Chapter 25: Twin problems
There were many things, the spectators of the duel had expected to happen. Their expectations ranged from Hadrian dropping dead down onto the floor, to the spell miraculously being blocked. However, what happened next none of them could have predicted. That was when they heard Neville who was still reading his book snicker lowly, which was no wonder because it was so silent you could hear a pin drop.
In the duelling arena around the place where Hadrian had sat, a pitch-black cloud was hanging now effectively covering what was within it. No one knew whether Hadrian still was alive or not, or what condition he was in if he was, in fact, alive. A few of the Slytherins started to murmur to each other wondering what was going on. Gillam, on the other hand, could only blankly stare at the cloud.
It was when Snape came out of his stupor and raised his wand to banish the cloud in order to see how Hadrian was when they heard a low chuckling rising from within it.
“Finally,” the slightly distorted voice of Hadrian said. “It seems that it’s my turn now.”
With that, he shot a slightly overpowered Bombarda aimed over Gillam’s left shoulder in case he managed to raise a shield to block the curse, quickly followed by an Expelliarmus, a stunner, a full body bind and a bordering on dark rope-binding spell in such rapid succession that they all blurred together and ended up looking like one spell. Hadrian need not have bothered with the Bombarda because Gillam still was too stunned to do anything, the four spells hitting him square in the chest. Once Hadrian swiftly caught the other boy’s wand he banished the cloud revealing that he was not harmed at all.
He looked expectantly at Snape who was once again too stunned because of the result to do anything. It took the man a few moments to simply stop looking back and forth between Hadrian and Gillam with a blank face not believing what just happened.
“The winner of this duel is Hadrian Slytherin,” he finally announced in a slightly disbelieving tone.
Hadrian bowed curtly before walking over to Gillam reviving him on his way and cancelling the other spells. He crouched down before Gillam who just sat up, holding the boy’s wand with the handle towards him but Gillam only stared blankly at him.
“I…I-I’m terribly sorry…I didn’t mean…I didn’t want to…” he started but his voice failed.
What shocked everyone was that Hadrian started to smile upon hearing that. “Did you really think that I would have let any of this happen if I hadn’t known the outcome of the duel beforehand?” he tapped Gillam on the forehead with the boy’s wand. “The way I taunted and continuously antagonised you, leading up to me setting up those specific rules. I mean I practically begged you to use that particular spell. Would I really have done that if hadn’t I known I could evade it?”
“You…you planned all that?” Gillam asked in disbelief slowly taking his wand back.
“To the very last detail. I even knew that it would be you, who might challenge me, or at least expected it. Now come on this is getting uncomfortable and I want to get back to the common room,” he stood up before holding out his hand to Gillam in order to help him.
Gillam on the other hand only stared at him. “So, it was your plan from the beginning to cast me out of Slytherin?” he asked shock clearly audible in his voice.
Hadrian laughed upon hearing that. “No, it was not and still isn’t, far from it actually.”
“But…your claim…?” Gillam was confused.
“Sure, that’s what I said but I’m also the ruler of Slytherin House now so I can very well reverse it.”
Gillam looked at him not knowing what to think anymore. On the one hand, Slytherin seemingly planned this entire confrontation from start to finish showing that he carried the name quite rightly, on the other, he now reversed his own decision of casting him out of the house without so much as expecting anything in return. He looked Slytherin straight in the eyes when he made a decision that would probably change his entire life, but that in his opinion would be worth any repercussion he might face because of it. It was true that his father was a Death Eater and he knew that should the Dark Lord somehow manage to come back as his father expected, he would have to take the mark.
However, he did not want to. He had heard many stories about how the Dark Lord treated his “followers” and that was not something he would willingly put up with if he could help it. Having duelled Slytherin he now knew this boy was powerful, scarily so. Sure, the other boy had hid behind his shield the entire time but he himself was no weakling and he had not been able to bring down the shield no matter how much power he pushed into his spells. There was no doubt for him that should he join Voldemort he would sign his own death warrant so he took the only way out he saw.
With a quick move, he was kneeling before Slytherin before speaking up. “I Robert Arian Gillam hereby place my unwavering loyalty under Hadrian James Potter-Slytherin to protect him from any harm and aid him in everything until he releases me from my duties or I take my dying breath. So mote it be.”
The reactions from the other Slytherins ranged from surprise to shock and even Neville looked up from his book not believing what he just heard. A protection oath was even more serious than a normal loyalty oath. In the worst case, Gillam would have to give his very own life to protect Hadrian from harm.
Even Hadrian was momentarily stunned into silence before he quickly regained his composure. “Are you sure that this is what you want?”
“I am sure,” Gillam replied seriously.
“Very well, I hereby accept your oath of loyalty and protection. So mote it be,” he replied in a solemn voice before continuing with a smile. “Now come on!” he again held out his hand towards the older boy who gladly took it this time and let himself be helped up. “Oh, and one more thing, never again kneel before me or I will find myself obligated to hex you…I am not that idiot Riddle,” he whispered to him with a cold slightly menacing smile
“No, you’re certainly not,” Gillam smiled.
Right at that moment Snape spoke up. “Mr. Slytherin, follow me,” he said in a tone of voice that brooked no room for argument and his face not revealing anything, all the while walking towards the exit at a quick pace.
Hadrian was just about to follow Snape out when Gillam grabbed his elbow. “Be careful, I have never seen him like that before,” he cautioned him worry clearly written in his eyes. Sure, Snape was not one who showed much of his emotions but shutting them completely down? He was still either in shock, or what he feared to be the case, beyond furious.
“I will, don’t worry,” Hadrian replied before following his head of house.
On his way towards the exit, Neville looked at him questioningly wanting to give him his father back but he only shook his head. Walking through the door, he was unaware of the worried looks that followed him. Seeing that Snape was already at the door to the common room he sped up following him out the door and to his office. Once they arrived, the Potions Master motioned for him to sit down with a crisp movement before he started to pace in a manner that told Hadrian that the man was internally seething and beyond furious. Hadrian watched him pace for about five minutes when he finally had enough.
“I’m sorry,” he simply said.
“Oh, you’re sorry…You’re SORRY, ARE YOU?! YOU COULD’VE GOTTEN YOURSELF KILLED!!! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?” Snape snapped at him spittle flying everywhere.
“That wasn’t what I meant,” Hadrian sighed. “I meant that…” he said before quickly sending a stunning spell at Snape while simultaneously erecting his shield because Snape had instantly started to curse him out of sheer reflex and rage, silently at that. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to erect his shield fast enough, resulting in a small part of the first spell getting through, leaving a thin red line on his left cheek that had started to bleed a bit.
Damned, that man was fast…faster than he had anticipated.
He touched the wound only to see blood tainting his finger, which made him frown; Neville would have to look at that. Watching Snape throwing curse after curse at his shield he had to admit that the man was a fierce opponent. After some time though the curses became less and less aggressive and more and more calculated instead. It seemed that the man was trying to find out what his shield was and how he could get through it. After only five minutes of trying to get past it, the man finally ceased his attacks completely.
“Better?” Hadrian questioned earning himself a glare from the man.
“Interesting. I wonder…” Snape mused.
Hadrian chuckled. “I highly doubt that you would say that anymore once you know what this shield truly is. Go on,” the Potions Master lifted an eyebrow. “I know you’re wondering whether it really can block the killing curse…so go on. If it makes you feel any better, you don’t have to aim directly at me.”
Snape seemed to concede that point before coming to a decision. “Avada Kedavra,” he intoned while aiming over the boy’s head. The curse hit the shield mostly dissipating, leaving only a few green sparks dancing over it before they too vanished. Luckily, he had his chambers and office so well warded, that no one knew that an unforgivable had been cast within it, it wouldn’t do to attract the attention of the aurors after all. “Truly remarkable. I never heard of a shield able to block this curse.”
“Oh, I have no doubt, that you know what this shield is,” Hadrian laughed, drew his wand and tapped it against the shield resulting in a knocking sound.
At first Snape simply looked confused, blinking a few times before it dawned him. Once the realisation hit him, a smirk spread itself across his face. “Sly. No one would have ever contemplated using something as simple as a glass plate to block those spells.” he shook his head. He had to admit that the boy had an interesting way of fighting. Digging himself in while waiting until the opponent had exhausted himself.
“Well no, not a simple glass plate, but one of my own creation; two layers of a special kind of glass each five inches thick, spelled invisible and to emit a light show when hit by a spell. Between the two plates is also a magical dampening spell preventing the second plate from bursting and vanishing when the first one does. Though this thing has two major downsides,” he sighed.
“For one you cannot attack yourself, which also explains why you opted to read instead of counter attacking,” Snape smirked. Now that he knew what the “shield” consisted of, he had to admit that it was quite brilliant, it was as he said, no one would think that it was a glass plate that protected him because frankly most wizards were quite dim when it came to unusual duelling and fighting methods.
“Yes, it blocks my spells as well and it is extremely magically draining to conjure this thing. I actually fainted seven times before I was even remotely able to conjure up a small piece of that glass,” he shook his head. “It’s a good thing when you want to dig yourself in since I’m aware of only five people who would even remotely be able to get past it with sheer power besides me, but for everything else it’s unusable.”
“Except draining the opponent for an easy victory,” Snape replied.
“That only works as long as the opponent doesn’t know what the ‘shield’ is about. A simple banishing charm and you’re past it,” Hadrian again shook his head. “No, I only could safely use it today because Gillam was too clouded by rage to try finding out what my shield is.”
“True, though I get the feeling you have a death wish,” the man now sneered.
“Why is that?” Hadrian was confused.
“Attacking me?” Snape pointed with his wand at Hadrian’s cheek where it was still bleeding, a small trail of blood going down his cheek. “You can consider yourself lucky that only a small part of that curse got through.”
“Oh that, nothing Neville can’t heal,” he made a dismissive gesture taking out a tissue and wiping the blood.
“Highly doubtable since it was a curse of my own creation,” here Hadrian furrowed his brow. “I’m the only one who knows the counter spell and until it is applied the wound wouldn’t close no matter what,” Snape explained in a smug voice.
Hadrian carefully pushed some of his magic to the wound only to find that the Potions Master was right. They might be able to overpower the curse and destroy it that way but that would be extremely draining and after he had to conjure up his glass wall twice within an hour he wouldn’t want to.
“Would you please cast the counter spell then Professor,” he inquired after banishing his shield.
“You know for what you did today I should leave it at least for another night,” Snape smirked at him.
“Then prepare to face my very protective mum who also is a healer at St. Mungo’s,” Hadrian snickered. “The last time my godfather did something that even remotely put me in danger she hexed him so badly that he couldn’t stand upright for an entire week.”
“Then I wonder how it is that he’s still alive, not to mention Minister,” Snape scoffed assuming that the boy was talking about Sirius Black who he knew could be an outright idiot, even if Azkaban seemingly left him mature.
Now Hadrian laughed. “I was actually talking about Frank Longbottom.”
With a frown, Snape waved his wand and a muttered incantation later, the wound on Hadrian’s cheek was fully healed. Showing no signs of having ever existed in the first place.
“You may leave, and I hope you don’t show any more Gryffindorish behaviour in the future,” Snape said while giving him a pointed look.
“That? Gryffindorish? I think that depends on the point of view,” he grinned while Snape looked at him with a mix of curiosity and exasperation. “But that aside, I wanted to address the Slytherins about a few things. Would you perhaps want to be present while I do so?”
Snape raised a brow while gesturing towards the door waiting for Hadrian to go first, following closely behind him. It took them only a few minutes of walking to reach the common room, since the Slytherin common room was close to Snape’s office so that he could reach them quickly in case of an emergency. Together they entered through the door hidden in the wall to see that nearly every Slytherin was gathered in the common room excitedly chatting about the duel they witnessed or for those who had the misfortune to miss it to get to know about it in detail. Once Hadrian entered followed by their head of the house, the entire common room fell silent in an instant. Hadrian saw that Neville sat in a seat in front of the fire his dad curled up in his lap, while Gillam sat opposite of him clearly worried but relief flashed over his face when he saw that he was alright.
What surprised Hadrian however, was that when he stopped before the other Slytherins the entire house bowed before him as one. He frowned when he saw that but decided to let it be for as long as not everyone was present.
“Mr. Gillam, Mrs. Roberts and Mr. O’Connor would you please see to it that everyone who isn’t already here gets here as fast as possible, I want to address a few things,” he nodded towards the respective persons.
He watched as Roberts went to the girl dorms, while O’Connor walked down the corridor to the boy dorms. Gillam on the other hand, rushed past him and out of the common room to fetch those who were still outside. It took five minutes before they all returned together with the missing students.
“I’m sorry Mr. Slytherin but I wasn’t able to find Mr. Danner, he is probably hiding somewhere with his betrothed Ms. Gregory,” Gillam told Hadrian in a low voice not needing to say why the two were hiding somewhere.
“That’s alright, just make sure that he is brought up to speed about what I’m about to say,” Gillam nodded and walked back over to where he sat before Hadrian had asked him to go fetch the others. “Okay, now that everyone is here listen up. I don’t know how Mr. Gillam handled things while being ruler of this house but I don’t doubt that my ways will be a bit different.
First things first, never ever again bow to me. You are proud members of the house of Slytherin and most of you are the children of a proud and old pureblood family. Even if you are not you should have too much pride to bow before anyone, not me, and most definitely not that idiot Riddle, or as you probably know him the Dark Lord, or Lord Voldemort,” a few sharp breaths were heard, especially from Hadrian’s right side where Snape stood to observe him and how he handled things. Hadrian filed that away as a piece of interesting information for later use. “I mean when you’re a masochist and want to be tortured to the brink of insanity regularly, please by all means go ahead and bow down to him. It is your life after all, but I’m not him and I don’t want you bowing before me. However, there are other things I would ask of you and that is the reason why I called you all here.
One of the goals I want to accomplish over the seven years I’m about to stay here is to bring this house back to its former glory and give it the reputation that it deserves. Thanks to Dumbledore’s manipulations and the wrongdoings of one Tom Marvolo Riddle, this house is where it is right now and that is nothing I can or will tolerate, but to right the wrongs of the past I will need your help.
I know that Professor Snape has said to every group of first years that this house has to show unity in front of the school while outside the dorms, it is not that I’m trying to deny that; because I’m not. Yes, it is important to help each other out when needed and not attack someone from our house, be it verbally or physically, but this tactic bears one large downside. When appearing with a unified front as we currently are, we are, at the same time, presenting a closed front towards the other houses and secluding ourselves from them. It makes us seem unapproachable, hence the rumours that are flying around.
During lunch, I sat with the Puffs as you probably know and I had the opportunity to ask a few of the older ones what their view on our house is and their answer surprised me. They don’t outright fear us but they are wary, and why is that? Certainly not because they all see the next Dark Lord or Lady, and see us as dark or evil wizards and witches in training. No, they are wary of us because the Slytherins always seem to be a huge and intimidating wall of green that looks unapproachable, and thus it is no wonder that the other houses keep their distance from us.
But how to change that? First and foremost, I don’t care what you do or with whom you stay while outside this common room. You want to befriend a Ravenclaw? Please be my guest. You want to stay with a relative that was sorted into another house? I will be the last person to say anything about it, and neither should any of you. It shouldn’t matter to which house someone belongs.
The houses here at Hogwarts were never meant to divide the students but to have those that share the same magical affinity together in one place, and until about one hundred years ago, the houses didn’t matter. That was until Dumbledore attended Hogwarts, he was the one who started badmouthing our house and it grew infinitely worse once he first became Headmaster and later defeated Grindelwald and everyone started to listen to him. Dumbledore is the one that encouraged the division between the Houses and the hatred of Slytherin House in particular. But do we really want him to win?” he said looking around the room at all the assembled students and catching the eye of a few. Every student in the room shook their head no in answer. “Good, but if we want to change our image and reputation then we need to stop acting the way he, and everyone else for that matter expects us to.
I’m not saying that we should suddenly stop our unity or that we should look the other way when someone from our house is attacked or has other problems, far from it. No, what I’m saying is that we should start to behave like normal people again and not the closed off wall we are at the moment. I know that change doesn’t come overnight but I would ask of you all to at least try to open up a bit and show the other houses that we are not the evil wizards and witches they assume us to be but students like them.
Any questions? Don’t worry, there are no wrong or stupid questions, though I should warn you that I might not answer every single one,” he finished his speech and looked at the others expectantly.
“So, is it true that you and Longbottom hexed each other in front of a group of Hufflepuffs?” someone who looked like a third year asked.
“Yes, this is true and it’s what I meant. There is nothing wrong in having an argument or fun in front of the other houses as long as it doesn’t escalate or disgrace our house. As for the little hexing session I had with Neville, it all happened in good fun and as you might have noticed, the Puffs that witnessed it saw nothing bad in it. In fact, it was the opposite, they opened up towards Neville and me,” he explained.
“Any more questions?” he asked but the only answer was silence. “Good. One last thing before you’re released. I don’t want any of you to openly insult or otherwise verbally or even physically attack any member of one of the other houses, is that clear? Anyone not following that rule will have to answer to me or if I feel merciful to Professor Snape” said professor looked at him in surprise. “I don’t want you to disgrace this house by behaving like idiots who openly insult others.”
A muttering went through the members of the house one though Hadrian heard clearly. It was Malfoy, who complained that he had to put up with Weasley’s idiocy without being able to counter.
“Mr. Malfoy I didn’t say that you shouldn’t counter if insulted by another student. It seems to me that you fail to listen to me properly since this now is the second instance where you misunderstood me. What I said was that you are not to openly insult someone. As a member of the house of Slytherin, you surely know how to do it subtly. Openly insulting or attacking someone is the way of the Gryffindors and unbecoming of a Slytherin.”
“Did you just accuse me of being a Gryffindor?” Draco snapped.
“Did I? I only said that openly insulting someone is Gryffindorish and it is not my fault if you find yourself insulted by it,” Hadrian replied with a smirk.
Quite a few of the Slytherins snickered upon that display of what Hadrian meant. To them it seemed that while Hadrian was much different than they would have expected he obviously knew his craft.
“If there is nothing else you can go back to how you were before I called this meeting, be it homework or another activity. Oh and should you have questions you can always ask me.”
When no one spoke up, he gave Snape who had observed him closely throughout his entire speech while leaning against the wall with his arms crossed before his chest a curt nod. After that, he walked over to where Neville was sitting in an armchair and reading, and slumped down in the armchair next to his friend.
“Man, am I exhausted,” he let out a sigh closing his eyes and rubbing his temples because a headache had started to form itself some time ago.
“It’s no wonder with how draining this shield of yours is,” Neville replied placing a marker in the book and closing it.
“And I had to conjure it a second time in Snape’s office,” Hadrian sighed.
“Do I want to know what exactly happened?” Neville looked at him questioningly.
“Probably not,” he laughed. “I’m off to bed; I’m practically falling asleep where I stand now,” Hadrian said while letting out a large yawn
“Goodnight,” Neville responded before returning to his book.
Once Salazar was firmly on Hadrian’s shoulders so that he could also get back without trouble, Hadrian went into his chamber and got ready for the night before finally going to bed.
Snape was once again pacing his office, he seemed to be doing this a lot lately, and once again, Slytherin was the reason for it. It was as if everything he knew and believed in had been shot to hell lately. When O’Connor came rushing into his office with the statement that Gillam would probably curse Slytherin for offending him again he all but ran to the Slytherin common room in hopes of preventing the worst only to find out that it was already too late for that. However, he had relaxed again slightly when he found out that Slytherin was to set up the rules. He got his hope that the boy might merely find himself in the hospital wing afterwards crushed again when he, in his best Gryffindorish recklessness practically begged Gillam to use the Unforgivables on him. In hindsight, however he had to admit that it was a quite effective way to gain the respect and awe of the other Slytherins by getting the killing curse thrown at him and surviving it…again.
Then there were the boy’s brewing abilities. The boil cure he brewed while paying attention to what the class was doing nonetheless, was perfect, something that had never ever happened in his time as a teacher before. That made him wonder who the boy’s adopted father was. In his opinion, it had to be a Potions Master because he highly doubted that anyone else would be able to teach the boy how to brew to such perfection. But who could have adopted Slytherin, and on top of that how did they do it without anyone noticing and how were they able to give him the Slytherin Heirship ring?
He was so lost in his thoughts that he was startled by the Patronus that suddenly entered his quarters. Frowning he wondered what the old fool wanted now so he threw on his cloak he had thrown over an armchair and briskly walked out of his office and up to the headmaster’s office. Being called in before he was remotely able to knock he opened the door and strode in before sitting down looking expectantly at Dumbledore.
“Albus, to what do I owe the honour of having to come up here this late in the evening?” he sneered.
“Severus my boy, how was your day? I hope the Gryffindor and Slytherin first years didn’t give you too much trouble,” the old man said with a twinkle in his eyes.
“At least no one blew up a cauldron,” he snarled hoping that the old fools faked concern wasn’t the sole reason he was called here.
“Good, good, and how is Mr. Potter faring so far?” Dumbledore now inquired. “I have to admit that I’m quite worried about him especially since he got sorted into Slytherin. Minerva also reported some troubling news. She said that the boy openly admitted, not only in front of her, but also a few other students, that he is dark. I worry what will happen once the entire wizarding world learns of this.”
Snape however only stared blankly at Dumbledore. Yes, he knew what happened before the Transfiguration lesson, Minerva had told him about it after all as it was her duty, but what was he supposed to do about it? It was Slytherin’s decision whether he wanted that fact to be known or not and he doubted that it would take long after having already admitted it for the entire wizarding world to learn of it.
“What do you expect me to do about it, Albus? I can hardly forbid him to tell the people,” he frowned.
“But perhaps you can convince him that it would be in his best interests to not openly proclaim his affiliation,” Dumbledore replied with a hopeful voice. Should Potter openly proclaim that he was dark…it would be a nightmare. He could deal with Minerva and the students who overheard him in the transfiguration classroom, but not the entire wizarding world.
Snape continued to stare at Dumbledore for a few more moments before coming to the decision that it would be better to let the old fool believe that he got his way.
“I’ll see what I can do but I cannot promise you anything,” he snarled. “Was that everything?”
“Yes, thank you for doing this. I don’t have to tell you that it would be detrimental to our cause should the wizarding world see him as the next Dark Lord,” Dumbledore added in a grave voice.
Snape had to keep himself from snorting; the boy may be many things but a Dark Lord he was not. “Very well then, good night” he replied curtly before standing up and leaving the office with its many strange devices and far too much red and gold colouring for his liking. Dumbledore obviously had never really left Gryffindor house.
The next morning Hadrian and Neville were intercepted by three people on their way to the great hall. In front of the doors stood a sixth year female Ravenclaw, a fifth year male Hufflepuff and a seventh year male Gryffindor.
It was the female Ravenclaw, who spoke up. “Mr. Slytherin, my name is Lucia Dunham and I’m the current leader of Ravenclaw,” she gave him a curt bow of her head. “These are my brother Richard Dunham, leader of Hufflepuff and Derek Linger, leader of Gryffindor,” both boys also gave a curt bow of their heads. “We’re here to welcome you as the new leader of Slytherin and congratulate you on a marvellous victory.”
Hadrian wondered how they already knew but assumed that news such as this quickly reached those who needed to know. “Thank you very much and I look forward to cooperating with all of you for the benefit of everyone. Though I should probably inform you that the behaviour of the Slytherins might change over time since I’m determined to better the reputation of the house. Therefore, I erected a new rule that says that no Slytherin shall openly attack the member of another house be it verbally or physically. It would be a great help if I was told by someone should a member of my house go against this rule or cause any other trouble so that I can deal with it,” Hadrian replied with a curt bow of his head.
“I think that is something that can be done. You know I wonder, you’re different to what many people expected especially for a Slytherin,” Linger answered.
“Then I would advise you to get rid of any preconception you might have had about me because I can guarantee you that I’m nothing like it,” Hadrian snickered.
“We will see,” the Gryffindor answered.
“Yes, we will. Despite that, should anything arise and I’m not available you can always approach Neville or Mr. Gillam about it and they will redirect it to me as soon as possible.”
“Very well, and welcome,” Lucia replied holding out her hand towards Hadrian who firmly shook it.
After that, the group went into motion walking into the great hall together before dividing up and going to their respective tables. Hadrian and Neville sat down in their now rightful place, Gillam already sitting to the left of Hadrian’s place and started eating their breakfast. They were halfway through it when hundreds and hundreds of owls swooped into the hall delivering post and the newspapers. Two owls landed in front of Hadrian, one of them carrying the Daily Prophet. Hadrian quickly relieved the two owls from their burden and payed for the newspaper before turning towards the letter because he knew what todays issue contained. Neville on the other hand picked the Prophet up and started to read it.
Headmaster of Hogwarts insults Founder’s Heir – Not even apologizing
As we all know the sorting of the new first-years took place at Hogwarts two days ago, though what else happened at that time left many students speechless. Harry James Potter, the Boy-who-lived and our saviour was sorted at that time too but that was not what was so surprising and quite shocking. No, what left everyone gobsmacked was the fact that Harry Potter who we learned to love and admire for his selflessness over the years in fact, isn’t even called Harry Potter anymore and hasn’t been since his adoption over five years ago. His name now is Hadrian James Potter-Slytherin, or as he prefers it Hadrian Slytherin.
Yes dear readers, you read it right, Harry Potter is the true Heir of Slytherin. But what does this mean for our saviour? It is unsurprising that quite a few students wondered whether this bears the possibility of Mr. Slytherin becoming the next Dark Lord.
This devoted journalist was able to receive a statement from Mr. Slytherin in answer to the question of whether he is dark.
“There is no dark or light, only magic itself. Those classifications came up because people were envious of certain families who inherited special magical traits. So is it a well-known fact that the Slytherin line inherits the ability to speak with snakes an ability I share. Everyone thinks this a dark ability but is it really? Is everyone who speaks French automatically evil? No. Like French, Parseltongue is only a language and simply because only a few can speak it, doesn’t mean it’s dark or evil.”
As this might be true, it didn’t answer the question to whether our dear saviour is dark or not.
“I have no problem with openly admitting that I can use spells others might deem dark but what everyone should keep in mind is that dark is not automatically evil. A healer that uses dark spells still takes the same oath and saves people the same as a healer that uses purely light spells but is the dark one therefore less competent or worse evil? No, he isn’t, and I for my part wouldn’t care how my life is saved as long as it is.”
This devoted journalist has to admit that Mr. Slytherin has a point there and putting into account what he did over the last few years for the magical community such as helping orphaned children while being a child himself I can confidently say that he certainly is not evil.
“I met Hadrian a few times now since I started to work here at the orphanage and I can say he is the sweetest child I ever met. He never comes here without presents for the orphaned children and stays at for least a few hours playing with the children or helping them with homework, and he is so well behaved I wish that every child would take him as an inspiring example,” one of the nurses at the orphanage stated welling with pride.
Therefore, we can all agree dear readers that while he is not as many of us assumed him to be, Hadrian Slytherin is still our beacon of hope and righteousness.
However, that was not the worst thing that happened during the sorting of the new first year students. No dear readers, the worst transgression that evening was committed by the Headmaster of Hogwarts Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore himself. When confronted by Mr. Slytherin with his change of name he not only refused to comply with the boy’s wishes at first but also openly accused him of line theft. For those of you dear readers who do not know it line theft is an extremely serious transgression worth a lifetime imprisonment in Azkaban. In the end, it took the threat and actual attempt to leave Hogwarts for the Headmaster to see reason and follow Mr. Slytherins wishes.
One might think that it ended there but dear readers the insult towards the actual Heir of one of the founders of Hogwarts goes even further. It happens that Albus Dumbledore even after the enquiry of Mr. Slytherin did not deem it required to apologise for his misdemeanour. Said man even went so far as to glare openly at Mr. Slytherin in a manner that told everyone in attendance what he thought about this matter, that he so obviously wasn’t even aware of his mistake, as if it was a normal occurrence to accuse someone of line theft.
We have to wonder dear readers as to whether Mr. Slytherin will take further actions against the headmaster or not, but for now at least I can sleep much better knowing that the concerns regarding our saviour are baseless and just rumours of those who don’t like the thought of a dark saviour.
For more about the life of Hadrian James Potter-Slytherin see page 2
For more about Albus Dumbledore’s past transgressions against Hadrian Slytherin see page 3
“Dumbledore seems not to be very amused about the article,” Neville spoke up with a look at the head tabled once he finished reading.
Hadrian threw a quick glance at the headmaster to see that this was an understatement; Dumbledore looked like he was seething inside.
“That is not very surprising, I mean he accused me of one of the worst crimes within the magical world and didn’t even so much as apologise,” Hadrian replied while folding the letter back together before placing it in the inside pocket of his robe, completely ignoring the stares he was receiving. It was a letter from his godfather asking how he was and whether he had settled in well.
“But will you?” Daphne suddenly asked.
“Will I what?” he inquired.
“Taking further steps against Dumbledore?” she elaborated her question.
“Depends on whether he apologizes in the foreseeable future or not,” he shrugged while lifting his cup to take a sip.
However, when he smelled the tea within, he instantly knew that something was off with it. Sniffing at it, he recognised what was wrong so with a smirk he put down the cup before diving into his bag, shortly later pulling out some dried herb, milling it between his fingers and adding it to the tea. After stirring it a few times, he then drank from it.
Everyone around them looked at him in confusion some of them drinking their tea without noticing anything wrong. That was until those who drank from it suddenly sported Gryffindor red hair with golden streaks in it. Only Hadrian who had added the herb to his tea had Slytherin green hair with silver streaks. A few gasps were heard while the students from the other houses snickered or in case of the Gryffindors outright laughed, even Hadrian grinned broadly at that.
“When I get a hold of those twins…” someone down the table growled, but were quickly interrupted by Hadrian.
“What is the problem? It’s only a hair colour changing potion, take it with dignity, and you don’t look that bad with red hair anyways,” he snickered. “Despite that I think it’s quite funny.”
“How is it that you’re the only one who has green hair?” Zabini questioned.
“I live with two of the Marauders at home. Do you really think I wouldn’t recognise a prank potion in my tea? I also know how to change the properties of this potion even after it was finished hence why I have green hair,” he replied with a smile.
“The Marauders?” Malfoy was confused and had obviously never heard of them.
“A group of notorious pranksters consisting of my birthfather, my godfather Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and the traitor Pettigrew. They pranked nearly everyone while attending school but I wouldn’t mention them in front of Professor Snape if I were you,” Hadrian explained while looking at his watch. “Well, lessons start soon so I’ll say goodbye until lunch.”
He stood up followed by Neville and walked out of the hall still wearing the green hair while the rest of the Slytherins had cancelled the potion at some point. Once he was outside, he was stopped by two Gryffindors with red hair who obviously were in their third year.
“Oi Slytherin, wait a sec” they called after him rushing over to where Hadrian had stopped in his tracks.
Hadrian turned around looking at them curiously. “May I help you?” he inquired.
“We’re Fred and”
“George Weasley and”
“we wanted to apologize”
“to you,” they said in perfect twin speak.
“We normally never”
“target first year students”
“with our pranks.”
“It surprised us”
“that you were sitting”
“where usually only”
“those of higher years sit”
“we wanted to apologize”
“that we accidentally hit you”
“with our prank.”
Now that piqued Hadrian’s interest. Normally he wouldn’t care about some random pranksters who hit him with one of their pranks except they went overboard with it but something told him that those two were not some random pranksters. It seemed that they not only had a codex but also were subtle with what they did. If they hadn’t approached him to apologize, he would never have suspected them.
“Did you make the potion by yourselves?” he questioned.
The two Gryffindors looked a bit surprised by this question but nodded nonetheless. “However we wonder,”
“why you’re the only one,”
“who has green and silver hair”
“instead of red and gold hair,” they said while George took out his wand in order to cancel the potion.
“Don’t you dare touch my hair, I like it as it is thank you very much, and had I wanted to I would have cancelled the potion myself,” he gave them a pointed look that made Neville who stood right next to him snicker. “To answer your question as to why I’m the only one to have green and silver hair I can only say that it’s a secret,” he added with a smirk.
The twins blinked a few times in confusion before smiling.
“We like you,”
“you’re not like all the other”
“uptight and arrogant”
“I’ve heard that a lot lately.” Hadrian snickered before looking at his watch again. “However, I have to leave now but if I were you I would be careful and check my drinks in the foreseeable future,” he said with a vindictive grin before turning around and walking in the direction of the charms classroom.
Neville on the other hand groaned once they were out of hearing range of the twins. “Please for Merlin’s sake…no, or at least keep me out of it.”
“But I didn’t do anything” Hadrian retorted.
“No, yet you didn’t.”
The rest of the day passed by quite uneventfully except for the many questions, he was asked because of that morning’s article about Dumbledore. During lunch, Hadrian still had his green hair but the potion quickly faded shortly afterwards. He also noticed with glee how the twins checked their goblets before drinking from it probably fearing some kind of retaliation. In the afternoon, they then had another transfiguration lesson. When assigning their homework McGonagall emphasised that she meant the length in total and not on each part of it making Hadrian and Neville snicker.
Now it was evening and they sat in their living room writing their homework when the hidden door opened and Salazar entered. They learned that the door was connected to several different hidden doors like the one in the dorms and that depending on which rune you activated you came out at several different locations all over Hogwarts. One for example was right opposite of the headmaster’s office while another lead to a nice little garden on the roof much to Neville’s delight who had made it his duty to get it back into shape after a millennia of negligence.
“Evening Sal” Neville greeted.
“Evening dad” Hadrian added. “Something interesting happened?”
“I went to check the third floor Dumbledore warned everyone about at the welcoming feast and I have to say I’m appalled,” he growled.
“Why? What’s wrong?” Neville inquired while putting his writing utensils away having finished his work.
“The old fool actually placed a Cerberus on that floor only a locked wooden door stopping anyone from entering,” he explained.
“He what? Is he insane? Cerberus are one of the most vicious breeds of hellhounds. Placing only a locked door that can be opened with a simple Alohomora between it and the rest of the school is asking for trouble. What if a student walked in there and got killed?” Hadrian was tremendously shocked. He knew that Dumbledore made strange and not always correct decisions, but this topped everything.
“Yes. However, I removed the Cerberus and warded the door and every other passage leading to that floor heavily; he will be in for a very nasty surprise,” Salazar smirked “That is also the reason why I’ve only just returned, it took longer than expected to get the hellhound out of the castle undetected,” he sighed.
“What will happen to it, and why was it even there in the first place?” Neville asked confused.
“The Cerberus is on its way into a preserve in America right now where it will be cared for. Why it was there in the first place, I actually don’t know yet but I want to go down there to find out tomorrow. If I manage it I’ll also go down to the ward stone and check the wards, and I’ll run a scan on the school to see whether any of those blasted soul shards are hidden here,” he explained.
“So, the Unspeakables finally found a way to locate them? Can I come with you? I’d like to see the ward stone” his son asked. His father never had made a secret out of the Horcruxes but it took quite some time for him to understand what they meant.
“Yes, they made the breakthrough two months ago, they found a method to at least detect one either in short range to the caster or by sending a pulse through existing wards that resonates with the Horcrux and shows where it is. They did a test run within the Ministry shortly after they first developed the method for detecting a Horcrux but it came out negative. However, the result was positive when they did the scan of Gringotts. It turns out that Bellatrix Lestrange had one hidden in Helga’s cup in her vault,” Neville flinched upon hearing that name, which wasn’t all that surprising because the woman was one out of three who tortured his parents into a mindlock. “They already retrieved it and extracted the soul shard. If I’m not completely mistaken they are examining the cup right now because of the historical value and want to place it here in Hogwarts for everyone to see once they make sure that nothing can happen to it.”
“Not surprising since it is a founder’s item. So, that’s three shards taken care of. Did they find out anything about the total number of shards?” Hadrian muttered.
“Unfortunately not,” Salazar shook his head. “But I think you should worry about that another time and go to bed it is quite late after all.”
Nodding Hadrian and Neville both bid Salazar good night before vanishing into the bedroom.
The next day also went by without a hitch the only interruption happened at lunch. Hadrian carefully and inconspicuously observed the Gryffindor table until just the right moment. Once that moment came, he quickly drew two small vials from his pocket containing a potion he had brewed the last evening and with a flick of his hand, he banished the potion to somewhere else. After doing so, he put the vials back into his pocket while continuing the conversation about a certain charm. It was the sharp intake of breath from several students, which drew the attention towards the Gryffindor table. Where once sat two boys with red hair now sat two identical looking creatures Hadrian and Neville very well recognised, kitsune.
“Great, Shiyo will be delighted” Hadrian said sarcasm tainting his voice.
“Who is Shiyo and what happened to those two?” Nott questioned.
“Shiyo is my bonded familiar and to what happened to those two…how am I supposed to know?” he asked innocently but it didn’t look like any of the Slytherins bought that.
That incident let Hadrian wonder where Shiyo was after all because he hadn’t seen him since the first evening. Meiren was content staying in front of the fire in their living room for now and Hedwig was a bit peeved at first that she couldn’t get to Hadrian in there until Salazar managed to create a shaft to the outside through which Hedwig could fly down there, though during night she flew over the grounds hunting. That was when Hadrian registered that Snape was staring at him. When he threw him a curious look back, he felt a shifting in his mind, which seemed to have become their favourite method of communication.
“You wouldn’t happen to know how an animagus revealing potion ended up in their pumpkin juice would you now? Hmmm?” Snape questioned.
“Well, should it really be an animagus revealing potion then I would assume that it is an altered version that not only reveals their animagus form but also locks them in it for about an hour,” Hadrian snickered, telling him about what he did without outright admitting it. “I would further assume that it was placed in their pumpkin juice as a retaliation for what happened yesterday.”
Snape mentally shook his head. “Be that as it may, I must inform you that the headmaster wishes to see you in his office after dinner,” he added before retreating from the boy’s mind, amusedly observing how a shocked and surprised Minerva McGonagall tried to find out what was wrong.
After a few minutes of trial and error on her side, he took pity on her and after examining the goblets informed her that the twins will be back to normal on their own in about an hour. The twins on the other hand enjoyed their new bodies and romped around the great hall much to the amusement of everyone else bar McGonagall who now tried to find the culprit to no avail, too bad that Hadrian had left no evidence.
After that, the day went on like normal and it wasn’t until right after dinner that Hadrian got the shock of his life.
Hadrian, Neville and Gillam had just left the great hall and were on their way up to the headmaster’s office, when Hadrian was suddenly grabbed by the Weasley twins, one on each side and dragged down the corridor towards the next unused classroom. He could see that Gillam drew his wand to curse the twins but Neville stopped him probably telling him that he was in no danger at all before they rounded a corner and entered the classroom.
“Hopefully you know that this wasn’t one of your most brilliant ideas considering that you were only a hairsbreadth away from being cursed by the fiercest dueller of my house,” Hadrian started once they let go of him.
“but there is something urgent”
“we have to show you,” they said while Fred drew an old parchment from his pocket.
He placed it on the nearest desk, pointed his wand at it and after a short incantation spoken so lowly that Hadrian couldn’t understand it, ink started to spread over it forming nearly an exact layout of the halls of Hogwarts minus the quarters of the teachers and a few other hidden areas. Dread settled in Hadrian’s stomach while walking over to the desk and looking where George was pointing. When he read the flag that accompanied a set of small slowly moving footprints that indicated that the person was in his or her animagus form his fears came true. There in small letters stood the name “Salazar Slytherin”, which now seemed to vanish right into a wall.