Chapter 28: The Wolf in Sheep’s clothing

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Hadrian looked worriedly at the fast approaching window before looking over to her friend.

“You might want to hurry up a bit,” she said.

Neville now standing on the handle of her own broom jumped over and landed right behind Hadrian placing her arms around Hadrian. Hadrian on the other hand let the other broom go before pulling her own around and leaning forward to accelerate into the other broom in order to come to a halt; hopefully before they would crash into the window as the other broom just did, shattering it in the process. Luckily, they came to a halt with the tips of the bristles scratching over the window, both girls let out a sigh in relief.

“That was close,” Neville said looking behind her. “Had we been boys I somehow doubt that we would have made it.”

“I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have made any difference,” Hadrian replied chuckling, when they heard something crashing within the room and shouts.

Turning the broom around towards the broken window to see into the room they found out that they were hovering right in front of the office of Professor McGonagall, who had obviously been enjoying a cup of tea together with their own head of house, Professor Snape. However, both were currently cowering under the table they had been sitting at and hiding from the rampaging broom that was flying in random patterns throughout the room knocking over anything in its way. Snape having pulled out his wand in an attempt to stop the broom, had to shield himself quickly when wood and paper suddenly rained down onto them, the broom having managed to dislocate one of the shelves hanging on the wall.

Hadrian who observed that quickly drew her own wand and cast a Freezing Charm on the entire room, deciding that it was better to immobilize the entire room and unfreeze the adults afterwards instead of only trying to hit the speeding broom. Quickly doing so, he shot a Finite Incantatem at the broom, which now hung in the middle of the room unmoving, letting it fall to the floor with a clatter. At the same time, the two teachers came out from under the table Snape straightening his robes looking at the offensive object in disdain while McGonagall dusted off her robe.

“Professors are you alright or did you get hurt?” Hadrian asked in obvious concern.

Adjusting her bun, Professor McGonagall looked around the room before focusing on her colleague.

“We’re alright, but would you be so gracious as to please explain to me what just happened?” she said with a raised eyebrow and her Scottish accent clearly audible.

“We’d like to apologize for the destruction the broom caused but before any of us could do anything the broom went wild and out of control without any outside influence endangering Neville’s life. So, I then jumped onto my own broom and tried to get the other broom back under control, when that didn’t work however I told Neville to jump over onto my own, while we were approaching the window to your office at a high speed. When Neville was safely on my broom I had to let go of the other broom to save ourselves from crashing through the window resulting in the other broom rampaging through your office,” Hadrian explained the happenings of the last few minutes. “I then, when I saw that you were unable to stop the broom yourselves, quickly froze the entire room before unfreezing you. My sincerest apologies for that but it was the quickest way to ensure that no one got hurt.”

“Mr. Slytherin, there is no need for you to apologize. It was not your fault that the broom was out of control and you did not do anything wrong, on the contrary actually. Thanks to your quick reflexes, you saved not only the life of one of your fellow students but also the two of us from harm. I have to thank you, and please accept twenty points for the House of Slytherin for your quick thinking and a marvellous display of support in getting the situation under control,” McGonagall told her with a curt nod.

“I also will have a talk with Mr. Flint. It seems, that you would make a good addition to our Quidditch house team,” Snape added. “You should return to Madam Hooch now.”

“Very well, and thank you very much,” Hadrian also bowed her head curtly before summoning the other broom.

“First years are not allowed on the Quidditch teams,” they heard McGonagall chiding the Potions Master.

“We will see,” Snape retorted smirking.

Hadrian gave the broom to Neville, and with a last dip of her head towards the professors, she pulled her broom around and slowly made her way back towards Madam Hooch who was quite worried about their wellbeing.

“You know…I’m fed up with being a girl. This has gone on long enough already and this evening I’m going to corner the one who did this to us and get him to reverse it,” Hadrian grumbled during their descent.

“Finally! Here I was already thinking that you would never do anything. Do you even know who did this to us?” Neville sighed in relief at the thought of being a boy again.

“You don’t?” Hadrian asked in surprise. “It’s quite obvious.”

“Pfft, you’re the Sherlock Holmes here not me, I’m only John Watson,” Neville retorted.

That made Hadrian snicker, it was true while she was good at deducing things, Neville would often push her into the right direction by giving advice or even sometimes by simply stating the obvious.

“True, I’ll tell you once we’re back in our rooms,” with that Hadrian landed right next to Madam Hooch, letting Neville get off the broom before dismounting it herself.

“Mr. Slytherin, Mr. Longbottom, is everything alright? Are either of you hurt?” she instantly questioned them, worried that something might have happened to them.

“We’re alright Madam Hooch, and we’re also not hurt. I managed to jump onto Hadrian’s broom in time to prevent us crashing into Professor McGonagall’s office. We also managed to disable the rampaging broom before anyone could get hurt,” Neville explained while handing the woman the broom. “Though I would recommend you to get rid of the broom. It’s not safe to be used anymore and would only lead to a catastrophe should anyone without any experience try to ride it.”

“Very well, you both should visit the infirmary nonetheless, and Mr. Slytherin, ten points to Slytherin for quick acting and saving another student from a possibly life-threatening situation,” Madam Hooch told them with a smile. “And don’t worry about missing the rest of the lesson, you both seem to be well versed in flying a broom so I doubt that you would miss anything important.”

“Madam Hooch, I have to inform you that Professor McGonagall already awarded us twenty points for this,” Hadrian said with a respectful dipping his head.

The Gryffindors stared at him thunderstruck while the Slytherins looked on in disbelief, both groups of students could not believe what they had just heard. Madam Hooch had obviously awarded Slytherin an additional ten points and Slytherin declined because they already earned points for the whole thing instead of keeping silent and therefore keeping the points.

Madam Hooch on the other hand started to snicker lowly. “Mr. Slytherin, your honesty is refreshing and I would wish that more children would value this trait as you obviously do,” she said blushing slightly. “At least take the ten points for your honesty and very mature demeanour.”

“Thank you,” Hadrian said curtly and bowed to her. “With your consent we would like to pay the infirmary a visit to have Madam Pomfrey check us now.”

Madam Hooch nodded her approval of that decision and after handing her the other broom, Hadrian and Neville left the flying lesson making their way to the infirmary. Madam Pomfrey thoroughly checked them and in the end, pronounced them to be in perfect health with Neville having only a minor shock over the entire ordeal. Being sent back to their dorms for the day to rest they set off, going to their own rooms in order to get a shower and changed into fresh robes, the ones they currently wore being soaked through with sweat. Once they reached the chamber, Neville turned around to Hadrian wanting answers.

“So who in Merlin’s name turned us into girls?” she demanded to know.

Hadrian snickered lowly. “Think about it. What do we know? It is neither a potion nor a spell, and the gender reading clearly states that we are males. Furthermore, neither a gender-switching potion nor any form of glamour changes anything about our momentary situation. Then there is also, what I said after I managed to bring our broom to a halt and you said that had we been boys we would have crashed into the window. I highly doubt that because I weighed myself after having been transformed into a girl and I am as heavy as I was before our change of gender. Considering, that the Finite Incantatem does not work it has to be a magic different to ours and that cannot be influenced by us the normal way. Therefore putting all those things together only one can be the culprit,” Hadrian explained lengthily.

“I wanted an answer, not a full assessment of our situation,” Neville countered exasperatedly.

“Come on Neville, the answer’s right in front of you,” that was when she heard a low meowing from one of the chairs standing in front of the fire. “Quite literally too.”

Neville looked around the room before he groaned. “Of course,” she said pinching the bridge of her nose upon seeing the kitsune. “It is one of Shiyo’s illusions…that explains everything. The illusion doesn’t change us physically but only our appearance hence why our gender still reads male and why our weight didn’t change. Also since kitsune magic is different to ours we couldn’t cancel or change it as well since it overrides any of our measures to influence it like the potion or a glamour.”

Again, Hadrian snickered while walking over to the armchair Shiyo was now laying in. “Hello Shiyo, I was wondering where you’ve been,” she smirked. “Would you please cancel the illusions?” she said as sweetly as possible while smiling.

Shiyo on the other hand, let out a huff before turning his head away.

“What’s the matter?” Hadrian confused and worried asked, crouching down before his familiar.

–You ignored me– Shiyo replied via telepathy.

“Oh Really? I ignored you? It wasn’t me who hid in the Gryffindor common room all this time,” she raised an eyebrow when Shiyo looked at her surprised. “Did you really think I wouldn’t know?”

Shiyo sighed deeply –I’m bored and I don’t want to wear that glamour anymore– the kitsune muttered.

Now it was Hadrian’s turn to sigh. “Well, as long as you promise to be careful around Dumbledore you can stop using the glamour, but you have to cancel the illusion on us too,” she offered.

Hadrian did not know whether this was a good idea or not but when he saw how happy Shiyo was when cancelling his own illusion of being a cat and the illusion on them he felt how much it had depressed the kitsune to hide his true nature. Glad that he finally was a boy again he slid into the armchair next to Shiyo who happily hopped on his lap where he curled himself up. Neville having long since vanished into the bathroom to take a shower when they heard him yelp in surprise, probably over the sudden change back to being a boy.

“Why didn’t you talk to me about how much you disliked wearing the illusion?” Hadrian asked in genuine curiosity ruffling the fur behind Shiyo’s ear eliciting a low purring from the kitsune. “I would have understood, and you very well know that I would never force you to do anything you don’t want to. It was a mere suggestion for your safety; you know I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.”

–You were so busy and had only attention for your scheming. I had hoped that you would become that playful boy you normally were again– he said sadly.

“So that’s what you fear? That I would forget to have fun and play around because of all the things I have to do?” Hadrian could not help himself, he started to snicker. “You know, if you had stayed at my side you would know that this hasn’t changed even a bit. It is true that I was busy on the first few days of school but you very well know what needed to be done.”

Shiyo perked up upon hearing that. –So you’re still the same –he asked in a hopeful voice.

“Yes, I’m still the same but now I need to go take a shower, I’m all sweaty and I feel disgusting.” he gently picked up the kitsune and placed him on the armchair before walking up to Neville who had just left the bedroom.

“So we’re back to normal? I have to say that I’m glad to be a boy again, thank you Shiyo,” Neville said while sitting down in one of the other armchairs.

“A small misunderstanding but it’s been solved,” Hadrian replied with a smile towards Shiyo before vanishing into the bedroom to take a shower himself.

When Hadrian was finished showering and dressed in a fresh set of robes the two left their quarters together with Meiren (Hadrian’s snake) and Shiyo who was happy to be able to run around as his true self. They went into the Slytherin common room and sat down in their usual seat in front of the fire, Meiren curled up on the floor in front of the fire soaking up the heat while Shiyo slept on the couch next to Hadrian. Neville was doing some homework, while Hadrian after having written a letter to his father, was writing individual replies to the mass of letters he had received. Declining interview requests for now, and searching out acquaintances with those families he thought might be interested in helping their cause. Though he also wrote a letter to Skeeter asking her whether she would want to write an article about him for papers like “Witch Weekly” herself or if she was alright with the paper assigning a reporter themselves for it, honouring the contract he had with the woman.

That was how Snape found them when he entered the common room just having finished the last class before lunch. He completely ignored the snake in front of the fire knowing that it was the familiar of Slytherin but seeing the kitsune sleeping right next to him surprised him.

“Mr. Longbottom, Mr. Slytherin, it seems that you’re both well and back to being boys I see. However, what exactly is a kitsune doing here?”

“That is Shiyo my other familiar, sir, and he was also the culprit behind our little predicament,” Hadrian snickered.

Snape sighed. “Very well, but you’re responsible for him and everything that he does. On an unrelated note, Madam Pomfrey informed me that you are in the best of health and only suffered a minor shock. Since you have Potions in the afternoon I leave it to you both to decide whether you want to attend or not. However, I have to warn you should you blow up your potion because you’re not up to attending, it will have severe consequences,” he told them in a stern voice, he didn’t want them to risk their health only because they were too proud to acknowledge their insufficient health. “Should you not be able to attend I would ask you to write an essay on the properties of Moonstone and its use in potions making, twelve inches long in total,” he said with a knowing look towards Hadrian who only smiled innocently. “You would also have to brew today’s potion on Friday afternoon during the NEWT year’s independent brewing session.”

“As much as I love writing essays I’m more inclined to attend the lesson as I know myself to be quite capable of brewing whatever we’ll brew today,” Hadrian replied with a smile.

“Cheeky Brat.” Snape snorted “And you Mr. Longbottom?”

Neville on the other hand shook his head. “I think, I will take the offer to write the essay and brew the potion on Friday,” he told the Potions Master.

“Very well then, lunch starts in five minutes,” Snape said with a curt nod towards them before turning around and leaving the common room.”

Neville would never openly admit or show it, but the entire ordeal with the broom had shaken him, it was not that he had not known what to do or that he thought that his god brother would have let anything happen to him, but he simply liked it more when he had both feet firmly on the ground. So it was no wonder that it got to him, not having any control over the broom whatsoever, and while he doubted that he would blow up his cauldron he also didn’t want to deliver something he knew he could do better on, hence why he opted to wait to brew the potion until he had fully recovered.

Upon hearing that lunch was starting in five minutes the two boys quickly wrapped up their work and stored away all the papers before leaving to join their house at lunch.

Everyone was eating in peace, when an owl that looked a bit dishevelled suddenly flew in with a bright red envelope in its beak. The owl quickly drew the attention of most of the great hall when it landed right in a bowl of potatoes in front of the Weasley twins knocking it over and letting the potatoes roll everywhere.

Hadrian was silently wondering what had happened that made the twins receive a howler since he knew of no new mischief from the two when he amusedly saw Snape wave his wand over himself with a disgruntled look, obviously knowing what was about to happen. He had to admit that the Potions Master’s actions had merit, when suddenly the most annoying high pitched shrieking voice echoed throughout the great hall, (it almost sounded like a banshee, well a banshee actually sounded better; and wasn’t as squeakily high pitched) Hadrian had the unfortunate luck to have ever heard; and having lived with Petunia for nearly five years that said something. Had the shrieking voice of what was obviously the mother of the twins resulted in an instant dislike of the woman it had only deepened even more by what the woman was shouting at the top of her lungs.


An eerie silence settled over the students before the first student started to talk with their friends, speculating whom that anonymous donor of the twins was, and how their mother had learned about it.

Hadrian, on the other hand, was internally seething. To him it was no wonder that the twins didn’t take anything serious, especially if even their own mother belittled them in such a way, not to mention in front of the entire great hall. Good for nothing…the twins were brilliant at what they did, and he would curse himself before he let them waste it as they had done in the past. So, he quickly penned a short note to them telling them to meet him in an empty classroom down the corridor off the great hall in ten minutes. Sending it off flying as a small bird to them he was not worried in the slightest that this might heat up the Hogwarts rumour mill even further, it was nothing he wanted to keep a secret after all. A minute later, the twins looked at him and nodded.

Eating another slice of toast Hadrian stood up, motioned to Neville and Gillam that they didn’t need to accompany him and walked out of the hall in a brisk pace to meet with the twins. He paced in the classroom only for a minute or two before the twins walked in with worried expressions.

“Uhm Hadrian…” George started but Hadrian quickly interrupted him.

“Don’t worry that doesn’t change anything between us,” he told them stopping his pacing. The twins sighed in relief upon hearing that. “It is true that I’m highly disgruntled by this, though not with you two but your mother; is she always like this?”

“Pretty much, yes.”

“She always says that we’re not good for anything,”

“only because we don’t want to take up what she calls a ‘proper job’ ”

“at the Ministry like our brother Percy”

“and instead want to open up a joke shop.”

“Even our older brothers Bill and Charlie aren’t safe from her ire.”

“The only ones who are perfect are our older brother Percy, and younger sister Ginny,” they growled.

“Don’t take me wrong but your mother is a disgrace to what mothers are supposed to be like. I mean, she should be happy that she has two brilliant sons like you who have already found something they are good in and can make a good earning with, not to mention someone who is willing to support you in your dreams and not shout to the entire hall that you’re a disgrace,” Hadrian sneered at no one in particular. “Pray that I never meet her in person…”

“You’re right; we didn’t think that she would react in such a way and we can only apologize for her behaviour.”

“Believe us, this was the last time we send her any money.”

Hadrian took a deep breath to calm down. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have ranted in such a way. Are you two alright?” he asked them having first-hand knowledge that something like that could be very bad for the psyche.

“Don’t worry, we’re pretty much used to it,” Fred replied even though Hadrian could clearly hear the pain in the other boy’s voice.

“But we have to thank you for believing in us and supporting our dream,” George continued before a devious smile appeared on his face.

“We actually already had the opportunity to finish one of our experiments,” Fred finished with the same smirk holding out a vial towards Hadrian who carefully took it.

Hadrian swiftly uncorked the vial before sniffing the potion, he recognised a few ingredients that were found in hair colour changing potions but this one was different. He dipped his finger into the potion to taste it knowing that it wouldn’t poison him. It didn’t take long for the potion to take effect, changing his skin colour into bright neon rainbow colours. When he saw that, he started to snicker.

“I just thought of the perfect first victim,” he told them while cancelling the potion’s effect when another idea came into his mind. “Hmmm, you know should you manage to change the skin colour into different shades of normal skin colour like say…a pale shade or a tanned colour you could not only sell it as a prank potion but also as a beauty product, I think a lot of people would buy it if you did.”

The twins looked at each other in surprise, contemplating what Hadrian just said.

“That’s actually a brilliant idea.”

“You know, we never thought about using our joke products in a serious manner,” Fred said before he looked at his brother again.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” George asked.

Fred just nodded and without another word towards Hadrian they both rushed from the room to Merlin knows where, but probably somewhere where they can experiment on his idea, which they would hopefully do in his potions lab and not some abandoned classroom.

“I wonder if the two realize that lessons start in seven minutes?” Hadrian asked the empty room with a snicker but he somehow doubted it.

Shaking his head, he left the classroom to walk to the dungeons for Potions even though he was extremely worried about what he had learned about the twins’ home life today. What the woman who called herself their mother did definitely bordered on mental abuse, and he didn’t like it. Not one bit. However, he also couldn’t do anything about it…unfortunately…. Except continue to support the twins, monetarily as well as morally.

When Hadrian arrived at Potions alone, the Slytherins were curious as to why Neville was missing, and the Gryffindors, especially the loudmouth of Ronald Weasley, started to speculate that Neville was too frightened to leave the common room, after what had happened earlier that morning. Hadrian observed the students continuing to speculate for a few minutes until the speculations got too far out of hand and it was his statement that silenced them. Stating that it was under the orders of the Mediwitch that he should not attend any more classes for the day.

Despite that little inconvenience, the rest of the day went by without any further incident except for Dumbledore suddenly flashing in bright neon colours during dinner. When Snape and McGonagall cornered the twins because of it they quickly assured him that they hadn’t been the ones who placed the potion in Dumbledore’s food and when they even went so far as to swear it on their pride as pranksters they tended to believe them. So that left the Potions Master with only one other possible culprit. Locking gazes with Hadrian, he shot him a questioning glance.

“I don’t even know how to brew that potion Professor,” Hadrian told him mentally once he recognised the Legilimency tendrils of his head of house.

Snape narrowed his eyes thinking through what he just learned from his student, it didn’t take him long to catch the truth behind the two statements, not that Hadrian had ever doubted that.

“You were right, you’re not like your father…you’re worse because you know how to avoid punishment…fortunately,” mentally shaking his head, he resumed eating his dinner.

Hadrian on the other hand cracked up upon hearing the statement of his Head of House, much to the confusion of everyone else.

Later that evening then Flint approached Hadrian upon the request of Snape. Snape had obviously told him about the incident earlier and advised him to see whether there would be a spot on the Quidditch team for him, therefore Flint requested that Hadrian come to the Quidditch pitch on Saturday in order to show him what he was capable of. Hadrian, who originally hadn’t wanted to try out for the team, agreed, thinking about Shiyo’s words about having fun, and playing Quidditch certainly would be fun, especially when he could mess with the opponent.

It was Wednesday and Salazar was currently sitting in his study in the townhouse in London, a letter lying in front of him. The letter was from his old friend Nicholas Flamel and informed him that he would gladly meet with him in his finca in Spain where he currently lived with his wife.

With a sigh, Salazar stood up and informed James that he would be out the entire day before he flooed over to Spain. Upon landing in a bright room that was kept in warm shades of beige and brown, he was greeted by a man that looked around forty or so, only a bit older than he himself looked with a warm smile. The man had tanned skin with short dark brown hair and eyes, he was wearing beige shorts and a Caribbean blue short-sleeved shirt.

“Salazar my old friend, how are you fairing these days, and what exactly may I ask, brings you to my humble home?” the man asked in a light tone while leading him outside where a woman that looked to be around her mid-thirties, was sitting peeling beans by hand.

She had long braided black hair and was as tanned as her husband, she was wearing a light yellow sundress dress. Upon seeing their guest, she put the bowl in her lap aside, quickly got up and walked over to Salazar, embracing him in a hug.

“Perenelle, it’s lovely to see you again,” Salazar greeted her returning the hug.

“Salazar, how are you? We see you far too seldom,” she said in a scolding tone while letting him go, but her smile told Salazar that she was only half-serious.

“It has indeed been far too long since we last saw each other, but I have been busy, I hope you can forgive me,” he explained with a sheepish smile.

“We heard about it…adopting Harry Potter…really?” Nicolas asked, sitting down and gesturing for Salazar to do the same.

“I know what you’re thinking, but I didn’t adopt him because I had some ulterior motive, he is family after all,” he explained while sipping the cold iced tea a house-elf had just brought.

“So, the lost magic of your grandson reappeared. I could say that I told you so but I have the feeling that it wouldn’t change anything,” Nicolas snickered.

Salazar grumbled upon hearing that. “I actually set my research facility on that matter, and they found out that every single mundane born has someone magical in their direct bloodline,” he muttered.

Nicolas hummed lowly. “As I suspected, magic always finds its way back into the open,” he nodded. “However, I doubt that you came for a visit to discuss the ways of magic, your letter sounded…distraught.”

Nodding, Salazar grabbed into his inside pocket and retrieved the stone laying it on the table in front of him. Seeing the stone both Nicolas and Perenelle drew a sharp breath and Nicolas suddenly sat straighter.

“Where did you get that from?” he asked suspiciously resisting the urge to grab it.

Salazar closely observed every reaction of his friends; he didn’t want to accuse them of conspiring with the old fool only to be proven wrong because he wouldn’t let the old fool destroy an old and deep friendship without proof.

“I found it at the school my son Hadrian is attending,” he explained leaving the statement open enough to be filled in by his old friend, he hated that he had to play this game, but at the moment he was cautious.

“Hogwarts indeed, we lent it to Dumbledore for research purposes,” Nicolas replied, now more than curious and worried. “But how did you get it?”

“So, you have no idea what he did with it?” he pressed further.

Nicolas looked at his old friend in confusion. “He asked whether we could lend it to him for about a year to study its magic and working mechanism. I told him that it was unlikely that he would be able to reproduce it since he misses the needed affinity towards Alchemy, but he assured me that it was more the how it works that he was interested in than the how to reproduce it. He also assured me that the stone would be safe and that no one other than he himself would be able to get to it. Salazar my old friend, what is going on? What is the meaning of this?”

“I’m sorry for distrusting you as I should have known better,” Salazar said inclining his head towards Nicolas. “But Dumbledore has done a few deeds that…let us just say that he will pay very dearly for them.”

Nicolas’ confusion only rose upon that. “What could Dumbledore possibly have done to deserve such a harsh judgement from you?”

Salazar chuckled lowly. “I somehow have the feeling that no one ever really knew the true Dumbledore. Did you know that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were lovers and wanted to rule the mundane world together before they broke up? Or that he was in the perfect position of preventing Voldemort from even coming into existence? All that isn’t putting into consideration his recent activities. He forged a prophecy to get rid of Voldemort saying that either my son Hadrian or his best friend Neville Longbottom have the power to vanquish that idiot Riddle. That was before luring that bastard to the hideout of my son’s birth parents and him, consequently leading to him becoming an orphan just before placing him with what one could only refer to as the worst kind of mundane in existence.”

Both Flamels became paler and paler with each word Salazar spoke, even looking a bit green when he finished his rant.

“Are you sure? Dumbledore was always was such a nice and well behaved young man, I somehow cannot imagine him doing something like that,” it was now Perenelle who spoke up.

“You asked where I found the stone,” they both nodded. “It was on a floor in Hogwarts, where behind a simple locked wooden door a Cerberus stood guarding a trapdoor. Beneath that trapdoor in a dark and damp corridor a Devil’s Snare grew. After that one came a room where the key to the next room was flying together with hundred different other keys that attacked anyone stupid enough to take the broom to get it. Once you got past that, the next obstacle was a giant wizarding chessboard you had to defeat to get further only to face a full-grown mountain troll. Last, you had to solve a potion riddle. Behind all that then was the stone located lying on a simple pedestal. Tell me; is this a proper protection for something like the Philosophe’s Stone? Something my son could get past with ease, perhaps except the troll? Not to mention that there was another completely unprotected way there, except the fact that it was not commonly known, to get into the room?”

Nicolas and Perenelle both stared at Salazar in utter shock not believing what they just heard.

“Only a locked door? Please, in Merlin’s name tell me that you’re kidding,” he finally brought out but Salazar only shook his head showing sympathy for his old friend. “Then for the peace of my mind at least tell me that you removed the danger for the children. I don’t want to imagine should any of them accidentally stumble over it,” he added in a pained voice.

“Stumble over it?” Salazar let out a harsh laugher. “He even announced at the welcoming feast that the corridor was out of bounds for anyone who doesn’t want to die a very painful death. Believe me the first opportunity I had, I went there and removed at least the Cerberus as well as heavily warded the entire area. Strangely, I could do nothing about the troll, but since no one will be able to enter the corridor without my express permission I’m not overly concerned about it and it would take a team of expert curse breakers to get through my wards,” he snickered.

“At least that’s something. What might have happened…I don’t want to think about it,” Perenelle sombrely shook her head. “Has Dumbledore gone insane to do something like that?”

“I don’t know about that, but I have a theory as to the why,” Salazar mused and upon seeing the inquisitive faces of his friends, he elaborated this statement. “You know that my son defeated Riddle about ten years ago,” both nodded. “What you both probably don’t know is that Riddle took measurements to prevent himself from dying, he created several Horcruxes.”

Suddenly Nicolas sported a murderous gaze. “Let me guess…he used MY stone to lure Riddle to Hogwarts and then announced the entire thing to the students to not only lure Riddle there but also your son to what? See, whether your son truly could vanquish the Dark Lord? What would have happened in the case your son might not have intercepted him and Riddle possibly had gotten his hands on the stone? I will kill Dumbledore. Not only has he abused my friendship with him but has also endangered hundreds of innocent children with his scheming,” Nicolas was furious.

“Nicolas my friend,” Salazar said in a soothing tone and even his wife placed a hand on the raging man’s arm to calm him down. “Please refrain from doing anything for now. At the moment Dumbledore has no idea that his plans have been crushed, and he thinks that everything is going according to them,” he explained despite the glare he received from Nicolas. “Should you storm Hogwarts now and demand answers from him, he will only wonder how you learned about it endangering not only me but also my son. However, should you wait until it becomes widely known that something has happened…” Salazar finished with a vindictive smile.

Slowly but surely the rage left Nicolas eyes until he sported an equally vindictive smile. “Once again you prove that you wear the reputation of the sly snake with good reason,” he inclined his head towards his friend in acknowledgement. “I will wait, if only to hit him even harder.”

Having discussed the important things, they directed their conversation to more pleasant topics, catching up with what they had done since they last met. In the end it got so late that Salazar agreed to stay over night and only left after lunch the next day with the promise to stay in contact and inform his friends about what was going on at Hogwarts.

The next days merged into weeks and nothing out of the ordinary happened. Hadrian had received a position on the Quidditch house team as the seeker when the previous one gladly stepped down after having witnessed his abilities and retook his original position as a chaser and was even allowed to use his own broom under the condition that between training sessions and games it was stored with Snape. The first actual game would be at the end of November against Gryffindor.

Hadrian who also had written replies to the letters, had received answers to some of them and stayed in contact with those he thought might become great allies, the most prominent among them being Lucius Malfoy. Sure, he knew that Malfoy probably associated with him only to strengthen his own power, money and influence but it wasn’t like Hadrian didn’t gain anything from it. Should he manage to convince the blond man to work with him and his father it would give them even more power against Dumbledore in the Wizengamot, not to mention that should something go wrong and Voldemort truly return he would be short a man. Therefore, he stayed in close contact with the man, exchanging letters with him every other day that for unknowing eyes looked like innocuous chatter in case the old meddling fool thought about intercepting his post. For a Slytherin however they were full of the verbal dancing between two possible associates.

Another thing Hadrian did was arrange another meeting with Ms. Skeeter for an interview for “Witch Weekly” as they had requested one. It had resulted as he had predicted in an outcry that he had made a contract with Skeeter but in the end, the paper had agreed to her writing the article since they wanted it so badly that they went along with it.

What Hadrian hadn’t anticipated though was the reaction to the article. The days following it he received even more letters than after the article over the headmaster insulting him. Most of them were either letters from mothers who were cooing over how well educated he was while there also was the odd love letter or in the worst-case even outright proposals or requests on the behalf of their daughters. But he did not only receive letters, it was as if most of the female student population of Hogwarts was suddenly after him.

During that time, Neville had much amusement over his god-brother’s misery when he complained over the amount of letters that he would have to write, and especially when Hadrian had to go into hiding from the masses of girls that seemed to follow him everywhere, luckily it was weekend so he only needed to come out for meals. Though compared to the popularity he gained with that it was a small price to pay.

The twins also took his advice and talked with Snape resulting in a surprising agreement between them. In the potions lessons, the twins were to work to the best of their ability as well as that they tone down their pranks on Slytherins and in return, Snape would not only teach them in Shadow Magic but also help them should they ever get stuck with a potion. They however told him that they would probably ask Hadrian first and only come to him as a last resort. Snape didn’t know what to think of it but was glad that Slytherin would act as buffer before they would come to him.

Hadrian also heeded Shiyo’s complaint and took more time to play with his familiar, or they took strolls along the lake meeting some of the inhabitants of the black forest on their strolls, like Thestrals or even a unicorn.

During the DADA lessons and also during meals Hadrian kept a close but inconspicuous watch on Quirrell, up to now though he hadn’t observed any strange behaviour from the man; except his excessive stuttering, so he could only continue to watch.

Another thing Hadrian did was roam the halls from time to time in irregular patterns after curfew to give Dumbledore the impression that he took the school rules quite lax. Interestingly though he rarely came across a teacher. Actually, the only other teacher he ever met except Snape who he also only met because he had warned him beforehand was McGonagall though he also knew that the portraits reported to the headmaster.

“Mr. Slytherin, what are you doing out of your dorm after curfew?” the stern Scottish woman asked him when she stopped him on the corridor in front of the Charms classroom.

“Professor McGonagall, I have to apologize. I have been roaming the castle my ancestor helped build and give life to and lost track of the time, but I can assure you that I will return to the Slytherin common room immediately,” he said with a smile inclining his head.

“Very well, and next time make sure to be back in the common room in time. Nonetheless, it will cost you five house points and earn you a detention with me tomorrow evening,” the older woman said with a small smile.

“Of course, it is only fair since I made a mistake and have to bear the consequences for it. I wish you a good night,” he replied with a smile of his own and a curt bow.

“Good night,” McGonagall said and watched how Hadrian turned around and walked towards the dungeons but was confused when he stopped after a few metres and turned around again.

“Professor McGonagall,” he started with a thoughtful face. “I wanted to ask you this for quite some time now. When I heard stories about my deceased birthparents I also often heard, that you knew them quite well. Is it perhaps possible that you tell me a bit more about them from your point of view? I mean of course only if it isn’t too much to ask from you, I wouldn’t want to steal your precious free time,” he smiled sheepishly.

McGonagall’s face instantly softened and her smile widened. “Of course I can tell you about your parents, I was their Head of House and later a good friend of theirs after all. Don’t worry about my free time; it wouldn’t be a bother at all, and perhaps I could learn a bit more about you after having not seen you for such a long time. You should know that I visited you and your family regularly before that tragic Halloween ten years ago. However, we can talk about that tomorrow during your detention, but for now you should get back to your common room; and to bed.”

A genuine smile adorned Hadrian’s face. “Thank you Professor, and until tomorrow.”

McGonagall wistfully watched him walking down the corridor and turn around a corner. She remembered quite well the sweet little boy she had played with on her lap before everything went downhill. How many times had she visited the boy at his aunt’s house unable to do anything, only able to watch him have to endure their treatment. Should she ever meet the man who adopted him, she would have to thank him profusely for having done what she hadn’t been able to do.

With a last smile, she turned around and continued her patrol.

It was one week before All Hallows’ Eve on the weekend that his letters with Lucius Malfoy led to results, he now had an appointment for dinner with the man at his house. So at exactly six in the evening after having informed Neville and Snape about where he was heading, he then flooed over to Malfoy manor wearing his best robes in an deep emerald green with silver trimming where he was greeted by Lucius Malfoy and his wife Narcissa.

“Ah Mr. Slytherin, welcome to my modest house. I have to admit that you left me wondering as to how you managed to get out of Hogwarts,” the blond man hold out his hand in greeting.

“Lord Malfoy,” Hadrian firmly shook the hand with a curt bowing of his head. “Lady Malfoy, a compliment to your tailor, this dress suits you wonderfully,” he took her hand and kissed the air above her knuckles with a bow letting her blush slightly. “I have to thank you for your kind invitation as I have to say that I looked forward to meeting you in person. You surely understand that certain things need to stay a secret until the time is right for them to be revealed,” he added with a smirk.

“Of course, a secret revealed isn’t a secret anymore and only as long as one person knows the secret is it ensured to stay secret,” Lucius replied with a knowing smile in return. “Be that as it may, it would be an honour for me if you would call me Lucius.”

Hadrian looked at the blond Lord in a contemplating manner before nodding. “It seems that after weeks of most interesting and pleasant letters it is time to move our acquaintanceship onto the next level, if you insist I call you Lucius, then I insist that you please call me Hadrian.”

“Very well, Hadrian, let us relocate this to the dining room. I believe our elves have prepared a delicious lamb filet,” Lucius led them through his impressive manor to a comparatively small room with a large table at which at least sixteen people could sit at, however it only had places for three.

Taking a seat next to Lucius who sat at the head end of the table and opposite of Lady Malfoy he smiled when an elf appeared with a wine decanter filled with an amber liquid.

“A forty-five years old elven wine, don’t worry it hasn’t too much alcohol just as much as Butterbeer,” Lucius explained while filling Hadrian’s glass with the liquid.

Hadrian picked up the glass and swirled the content a bit before sniffing at it. “This is an excellent wine, the grapes having been at the right time for gathering, I don’t doubt that is as delicious as it smells,” he finally said.

“I see you have some experience with elven wine then,” Lucius replied with a smile.

“Only when I meet with the goblins and they mostly serve elven nectar,” Hadrian chuckled lowly because he could clearly observe the little halt in Lucius’ movement to fill his wife’s glass as well as the curt glance at him, but the man quickly regained his composure.

It was no wonder that Lucius was momentarily shocked when he heard that. While elven wine was quite expensive, a small bottle of elven nectar would cost (depending on the age and quality) anywhere from ten to a hundred times the cost of one bottle of wine. Therefore, it was only served on very special occasions. So hearing that the goblins nonetheless, who are not known for their friendliness and hospitality, served it Hadrian regularly…it seems that he had underestimated the boy very much should that be true.

“Is that so?” Lucius inquired carefully.

“Indeed, did you know that my ancestor Salazar was considered an honorary clan leader for the aid he granted the goblins and therefore every member of our entire bloodline is automatically a member of the goblin nation?” he replied with a smirk.

Hadrian could clearly see Lucius perking up over that little tidbit of knowledge, as well as how the man instantly started to think of ways how to exploit it. Too bad that there was no way, because nothing short of marrying into the Slytherin family would gain him anything out of it, and since neither he nor his father were inclined to marry out of a political movement it was highly debatable that Lucius could exploit his power, not to mention that Draco was of the wrong gender. It wasn’t that Hadrian had something against same-gender couples since it wasn’t something frowned upon in the magical world, but he himself was straight, thank you very much.

“For a boy your age you have quite the amount of connections,” Lucius mused making Hadrian smile.

“Did you think I have been inactive the last few years? I have been running a profitable little business for a bit over two years now that gained quite a reputation in certain circles now,” he explained sipping the wine when the appetizer appeared before him courtesy of the elves, salmon tartar on a bed of salad garnished with red caviar.

“Do I happen to know this business of yours?” Lucius inquired picking up his cutlery.

“Now, now, that would be telling,” he replied with a smile. “But I know how resourceful you are so I don’t doubt that you would be able to unveil this little mystery.”

“Your guardian educated you very well,” it was the first time that Narcissa Malfoy spoke up.

“I hope so Mrs. Malfoy, otherwise I would be at a huge disadvantage towards my declared enemy,” Hadrian dipped his head towards her.

“Narcissa, please, and might I enquire who managed to get on your wrong side, Mr. Slytherin?” she asked politely following the usual etiquette of not calling him by his given name until being allowed to.

“Then I insist you call me Hadrian, Narcissa,” he countered with an amused smile. “As to who the person is who managed to encourage my displeasure towards him, I think the recent newspapers hold the answer to that.”

Lucius seemed to think that through before answering. “Dumbledore,” he said with an acknowledging nod. “Didn’t the newspaper say that you don’t hold a grudge against him though?”

“Indeed, and that was correct until Hogwarts started back up and I met him. Not only did he insult me by accusing me of line theft, but he also made a few decisions of questionable sanity. It is never a good idea to announce a deadly threat to a group of children since most of the time it piques their curiosity, resulting in them coming to harm,” Hadrian sighed.

In that moment, the empty plates disappeared making room for the main course. They engaged in further small talk broaching topics such as politics, certain laws and the what was going on in general in the wizarding world. Then when the desert was finished they sat together in the drawing room, the adults with a glass of wine each while Hadrian opted to drink a cup of tea. He just wanted to take a sip of his tea when he recognised that it was laces with something, Veritaserum, not enough to force him into a trancelike state as it was when someone was given three drops of it but enough to compel him to tell the truth. With a smirk, he took a sip wanting to see what Lucius wanted to achieve with it. He felt the potion taking hold over him but wasn’t overly concerned.

“So you openly admit that you’re dark?” Lucius questioned.

“Going with the Ministry of Magic’s definition of dark yes I am. However, in my opinion there is no light or dark, only magic and the intent with which you use it. As I already told the Prophet someone dark is not inherently evil, it always comes back to the intent behind the magic you use,” he calmly explained.

“Are you aware that the Dark Lord used a quite similar statement? I wonder how it comes about that you now use an extremely similar statement,” Lucius mused.

There is no Light or Dark, only power and those too weak to seek it, I am aware of this and I have to admit that he is equally correct with his statement as am I with mine,” he replied with a smile, now it would get interesting.

“You agree with the Dark Lord then?” that was the question Hadrian had been waiting for, the one question that would get him a foot in the door to the followers of the Dark Lord. He knew that he was fishing in extremely dangerous waters, but should he succeed…let’s just say that it would make his life infinitely easier.

He chuckled lowly to the surprise of Lucius. “Partly, while I want to achieve most of the Dark Lord’s goals myself such as equal rights for the creatures or getting rid of the light and dark labelling, it is his methods I object to, waging war is not the way to achieve those goals, not to mention trying to kill children.”

Lucius stared at him not believing what he just heard; the saviour of the British wizarding world and vanquisher of the Dark Lord openly told him that he had the same goals as said Dark Lord and only their methods to achieve them differed.

“Oh and Lucius?” Hadrian said with a sweet smile and a cold hard glint in his eyes. “The next time you want to know something from me you can simply ask and stop wasting precious potions on me. Had you asked Professor Snape beforehand he would have told you that Veritaserum is ineffective with me.”

Hadrian observed how Lucius as well as Narcissa tried and failed to regain their composure. Both were white as a sheet and stared at him in shock, and correctly so. Normally trying to slip someone a potion during a formal gathering like this one was a high insult and more often than not resulted in instant termination of any business between the two families if not an outright blood feud. It seemed to Hadrian that Lucius thought he wouldn’t recognise the potion in his tea or that he would be too inexperienced and naïve thanks to his age. Well, it was as Narcissa had said his father had trained him well.

It was just when Lucius wanted to say something that Hadrian spoke up again. “Don’t worry I won’t hold it against you as long as you promise to not try something like that ever again,” he said in a hard voice. “Actually, I had anticipated something like that; but be warned, I won’t tolerate a repeat, and if it does happen then you’ll learn exactly how much influence I have.”

Lucius gulped visibly, having the feeling that this wasn’t just an empty threat, and nodded in acquiesce. “Of course, and please accept my apologies, it won’t happen again,” he said with a low bow of respect to emphasize his point.

“I accept your apology,” Hadrian replied now with a genuine smile again before looking at the clock standing on the mantelpiece. “It has gotten quite late however and I have to return to Hogwarts if I want to evade Professor Snape’s ire. I have to thank you for your invitation and hope to stay in contact with you, the discussions we had were highly interesting and it would sadden me should they stop.”

The shock of the previous revelations having worn of Lucius nodded. “It would be an honour to continue or discussions and I will write you soon. On the 23rd of December I am holding a yule ball and it would be an honour if you and your guardian attend. It is held under an obligation of secrecy so that neither the invitees nor what is talked about during the event will be known to any outsider,” he said in a formal voice.

Hadrian hummed upon that. “While I cannot speak for my guardian I can at least confirm my attendance,” he replied while standing up and getting ready to leave.

“Very well, Dobby,” a house-elf appeared before Lucius and eagerly awaited orders. “Bring me the wooden box standing on my desk in my office,” the elf popped away only to return shortly later with said box giving it to his master and leaving again. “Please accept this present as a sign of friendship and in hopes of a close relationship and mutual co-operation in the future.”

Hadrian carefully took the wooden box that was intricately adorned with intertwined snakes on the lid, and opened it. What it revealed amazed him; sitting on a velvet lining sat a complete set of potions knives in different materials all high quality and quite expensive.

“I have to thank you and I will make sure that they will be put to good use,” he said inclining his head. “Though should I not leave now it is highly doubtable that it will be in the near future,” he added with a low chuckle.

“Indeed, we shouldn’t irritate Severus too much. I wish you a good night,” Lucius said.

“I also wish you a good night and forgive my husband for his ill thought methods this evening,” Narcissa added.

“No damage has been done and it would be ill thought of me to dismiss a possible fruitful co-operation between our both houses because of one little mistake. I too wish you a good night,” Hadrian said with a smile before he returned to Hogwarts via floo, reporting to Snape and getting to bed.

Lucius took a deep breath once Hadrian had left. “I have to admit that this has been a very interesting evening. The boy is powerful and I fear to think about what he is capable of, if pushed,” he told his wife while they returned to the drawing room.

“And I told you it would be a bad idea to slip him Veritaserum, especially after what Severus told us about him,” Narcissa shook his head.

“It was a calculated risk and it payed off in the end. Though I will have to talk with a few of my contacts, I’m highly interested in that boy’s business,” Lucius mused.

“Just be careful alright? I have the feeling that he is able to hit you even harder than the Dark Lord ever had,” Narcissa clearly was worried.

“I will be and I will also warn Draco, his continued opposition of Hadrian cannot go on,” he gave his wife a chaste kiss before he retreated to his study to initiate a few investigations while Narcissa went to bed.

Hogwarts – Staff room – Saturday 4 p.m.

It was Saturday and all the professors were currently sitting in the staff room for a faculty meeting. During the meeting they were going over what had occurred during the first month of the new school year, things that needed to be addressed, how the students were settling in and if there were any serious problems with them, and other important things that made the school function. The professors were all exchanging stories of things that had happened during their lessons with only one person silently sitting in a corner observing everything, Professor Snape. This was when Dumbledore strode into the room and walked over to the chair at the head of the table, silencing everyone.

“Good afternoon and thank you for coming to this meeting,” he greeted everyone with a grandfatherly smile while sitting down. “Is there anything that needs our immediate attention?” he asked but no one spoke up. “Very well, I would like to ask you to give your reports then.”

It was Professor Sprout, who spoke up first. “My first lessons went by without any noticeable incident, one of my most promising students is Bernard Maltby, a third year Hufflepuff. However, the two who really surprised me were Neville Longbottom and Hadrian Slytherin, Mr. Longbottom seems to be a natural when it comes to plants. I have never seen anything like that, the bouncing bulbs, which as you know tend to attack anyone who try to repot them, actually behaved around Mr. Longbottom. Mr. Slytherin on the other hand surprised me in a completely different way; he seems to be completely oppositional to Mr. Longbottom when it comes to plants. I received a missive from their tutor advising me to keep him far away from plants as he tends to ruin them more often than not despite his vast theoretical knowledge about the plants,” she explained with a snicker. “On that note I then decided to let the two boys to work together, and what a pair they are. I don’t doubt that they previously worked together in a greenhouse as they work together flawlessly.”

“It seems that this is not only the case in your class, Pomona,” Flitwick piped in. “Unfortunately I couldn’t observe them during a practical assignment yet since we’re still going through the theory. Nevertheless, I have to admit that both Mr. Longbottom and Mr. Slytherin have a profound knowledge and I somehow don’t doubt that both are already able to perform the Levitation Charm.”

“And how well behaved both are, perfect little gentleman,” Sprout practically cooed.

“While I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t end up in my house, it is nevertheless obvious that they were sorted into the right house, at least Mr. Slytherin,” McGonagall chuckled giving her opinion on the two. “In my first lesson both flawlessly transfigured their matchstick into a needle but when I told Mr. Slytherin, when he went to show off, that he should use the remaining time to write me an essay over different types of needles and their usage one foot long he actually wrote one foot on each type of needle instead in total. I advise you to be careful on how you word things when speaking to him,” she chuckled again.

The professors continued to tell things they had encountered having to deal with Mr. Longbottom and Mr. Slytherin, closely observed by two men for different reasons however. Snape observed them silently from his corner, absorbing every little tidbit he learned about his students while assessing the reactions of the others.

Dumbledore on the other hand, worried more and more with each story that was brought up. What he heard didn’t fit his plans even in the slightest; it even gave him the impression that Potter was a threat.

It was two days before All Hallows’ Eve and Dumbledore was sitting at the head table eating his breakfast, closely observing Harry Potter talking and laughing with his fellow housemates, and yes for him he would always be Harry Potter, no matter what the boy said. However, what he saw troubled him greatly. Not only had the boy obviously risen in the ranks in Slytherin quite quickly but it also seemed to him that Harry had a firm grip on his entire house, everyone listening to him. All this reminded him heavily of another student he had so many years ago, Tom Marvolo Riddle. While Tom had taken quite some time, to become the obvious leader to the house of Slytherin, Harry seemingly didn’t even have needed one day to establish his place at the very top of the house.

Not only that, it seemed to Dumbledore, that Potter not only had a firm grip on his own house but was also gaining more and more support in the other houses, not to mention in the rest of the wizarding world, as well as wrapping the teachers around his finger. That wasn’t bad in itself, but considering, that the boy himself openly admitted being dark it concerned him greatly.

Then there was the problem that Potter’s independence and power threatened his well laid out plans, plans he had worked for over a century for, plans he committed his entire life to. Yes, one could say it was his life’s work.

What was it he wanted to achieve? Immortality. But not as Riddle had wanted to achieve, bodily immortality, though this was also one of his goals but only a secondary one. No, he wanted immortal fame. Merlin should become an insignificant footnote compared to him, and he had been on his way to best achieve this goal…until recently.

It had all started in his youth, when he heard of Merlin for the first time. Right from that point in time, the man became his idol his role model and he wanted to be like him…no he wanted to be better than him. However, the problem was how to achieve that, when he had been young, the world was at peace…no enemy to vanquish and no metaphorical dragon to be slain.

At that time, he had prepared himself to go the long way of achieving magical feats no one else had done before, not even Merlin. That changed however, when he met Gellert for the first time. Here was his villain, his dragon to slain, but he would have to work on the young man to get him to fit the picture of the enemy first. Therefore he became his friend, supporting him in his view of the world. He knew that with wanting to dominate the muggles Gellert would quickly become an outcast, a Dark Lord in the eyes of the rest of the world. Once the other man then had reached the point in which his only option became continuing by waging war on Europe, he quickly cut his ties to the dark wizard. Unfortunately, he had to sacrifice his sister in the process but it was all for “The Greater Good”. He would sacrifice nearly everything for “The Greater Good”. What was his sister’s life when compared to “The Greater Good” anyway?

After having pushed Gellert over the edge, he then leaned back to watch him carve a path of destruction throughout Europe. He didn’t rest though since he also wanted to achieve his other goal, bodily immortality, which was infinitely harder to achieve. Sure, he found a few ways but each one was harder than the last.

His first attempt had been replicating the Philosopher’s stone; however, he quickly learned he didn’t have the needed connection to alchemy to create one so he abandoned the idea. He also couldn’t just steal the stone as everyone would know what he had done should it turn up in his possession but perhaps his latest plans would give him an opportunity in this regard.

While working together with Gellert they also developed the theory that the Deathly Hallows were real since the three brothers had also existed. He was delighted on the prospect of gaining immortality this way, of becoming the Master of Death. That would not only gain him bodily immortality but also work in his favour of gaining immortality fame wise, because how many witches or wizards achieved that before him? He therefore started to search for the three items Death had gifted to the three Peverell brothers, having tracked down the invisibility cloak to the Potter family line. They continued the search for the artefacts with the next one being the wand which they didn’t find at first, though later on after breaking up with him Gellert managed to track it down and since he intended to vanquish his former friend anyway, it was a fortunate luck. The stone was the only one he had never been able to track down.

It was then during his years as Transfiguration teacher and deputy headmaster at Hogwarts, that he came across another way to achieve immortality, Horcruxes. This way though he was wary about, splitting one’s soul didn’t sound like a good idea to him, but again fate seemed to favour him in two ways, this time in the form of Tom Marvolo Riddle. He knew right from the beginning that the boy was evil as well as that he craved for immortality too, who wouldn’t when having to face the London Blitz every summer without the prospect of safety through magic, and that served him well. Not only would that provide another possibility to expand and consolidate his fame by vanquishing another Dark Lord but it would also provide him with first-hand experience concerning how creating Horcruxes influenced someone.

That turned out to be another dead end immortality wise though. It seemed that not only creating one or more Horcruxes made your sanity deteriorate but also your looks and magic; and that was not something he wanted, he wanted to be seen as a saviour and the greatest beacon of light in all eternity after all, and that wouldn’t happen if he looked like a monster.

However, fate looked kindly upon him again, when one day the long lost resurrection stone appeared right under his nose on the hand of none other than Tom Marvolo Riddle. To his chagrin though it disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, and before he could get a hold over it, he assumed that Tom had hidden it somewhere but until this very day, he hadn’t been able to find it again.

While Tom vanished to after having graduated Hogwarts and failing to become DADA teacher, probably to gain more knowledge as well as secretly recruiting followers, Dumbledore didn’t rest. It was that summer that he finally took action against his former friend Gellert. Not because of the numerous requests sent to him to do so but because Gellert finally gathered the courage to return to England after all this time and that was not something he could allow. It would have been detrimental to his plans should anyone learn of their past so he had defeated him and kept him safely contained in his own prison (Nurmengard) ever since. This was also when he got a hold of the first of the three Deathly Hallows, as well as the first great boost in fame.

After having defeated Gellert, everyone celebrated him as their great saviour, the vanquisher of the Dark Lord Grindelwald. Everyone looked up to him and followed his lead.

The next few years he had actually allowed himself to rest a bit. Tom was doing Merlin knows what and everything else was quiet so he only tried to find other ways of gaining bodily immortality as well as starting to cover up his past in case anyone would start digging around.

It was twenty years after his victory that he was offered the post as headmaster of Hogwarts, which he gladly accepted. What better way to gain immortal fame than to influence the next generations of witches and wizards to believe him to be the next coming of Merlin? At the same time, Tom also returned applying for the post of DADA professor again. However, he saw another gift of fate he couldn’t decline, the time for another Dark Lord had come, Only for him to vanquish him of course so he outright refused to hire Tom. Unfortunately, that only aggravated the man instead of pushing him over the edge, but that would come five years later.

He was also offered the post as Minister of Magic several times but he declined every time, the minister was only a puppet on a string, and as long as he was the puppeteer there was no need of taking up the post himself.

Then came the one incident that pushed Tom over the edge. The man had tried several times to pick up the mantle of Lord Slytherin in the Wizengamot to take the political approach, though thanks to unknown reasons it had never worked until today. Quite fortunate for him really. When Tom became aware that it wouldn’t work that way, he ran for the post as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. That forced Dumbledore’s hand because he couldn’t allow Tom to gain any position of power if he wanted him to become the next Dark Lord so whether he liked it or not he had to run for the post too. It had been a close call but fate again favoured him and gave him the title of Chief Warlock.

Tom had been enraged and soon after the wizarding war of England had started.

Again, everyone looked up to him for guidance and this time he took a more direct approach gathering young and powerful witches and wizards under his banner to openly fight Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Everything went very well, the war was waging and under his guidance and more importantly control, a respectable army established that could hold itself against the far more in number Death Eaters.

Then the problems started.

He had hope to be able to defeat Tom quickly hopefully before the war could get to be too much to handle but that didn’t work. Tom hid behind wards that could rival Hogwarts or Gringotts most of the time while commanding his troops to fight the war. But how was he supposed to fight and defeat him when he couldn’t even reach him?

He needed to lure Tom out.

It took him nearly ten years to find a solution to this particular problem and it came in form of Sybill Trelawney. The woman prided herself on being a seer like her great grandmother Cassandra Trelawney had been but she was only a waste of space. However, for him she was a sign that fate still favoured him, despite the stones in his way at that time. After having drunk a certain combination of herbs in her tea and a small Compulsion Charm, she spouted a Prophecy – one he dictated – that was overheard by Severus Snape, something he had hoped would happen when he had held the interview in the Hog’s Head. That Snape overheard the prophecy was not exactly planned and he had already made plans to forward it to Tom some other way but Snape just was too curious for his own good.

That however did the trick. Quickly Tom sprang into action and hunted families and later babies that were due and born at the end of July. A few nudges in the right direction then had him pinning for the Potters.

Oh yes the Potters, they were simply perfect for his plans. Tom wouldn’t hesitate to kill them and should the boy survive they had a nice family that would abuse him simply for the fact that he had magic, simply perfect because he very well knew that Voldemort would come back one day; even if he was defeated that day, he had pushed him to make those Horcruxes after all.

Everything went as he had planned except one thing, Tom out of some reason had spared Lily and only stunned her, well that was corrected quickly after he – Dumbledore – had cast the killing curse at Tom’s back and therefore killed him, or at least rendered him bodiless, before he could kill Harry. A quick ritual in which he split Tom’s soul another time before it could flee and he had made Harry one of Tom’s Horcruxes. Why? So that he himself could determine when, where, and how, Tom would die. By sending Harry to his own death after having rendered the other Horcruxes useless.

A quick Compulsion Charm then ensured that Sirius wouldn’t be in the way, and luckily, he even had ended up in Azkaban. That left only Harry to deal with, and as he had planned, he left the boy on the doorstep of his aunt and uncle for him to be abused only so that he could save him, resulting in a deep dependence on him.

That was until about five years ago, when not only was Harry taken from his relatives but also said relatives vanished without a trace. After that, everything went downhill and quite quickly at that. Sirius was released from prison and couldn’t even be sent there again while Bagnold was sacked and Augusta Longbottom took over. Then the unthinkable happened and the Longbottom’s were cured of their torture-induced coma (courtesy of him once again since he had set up the rumour that the Longbottom’s knew something, and as the old saying goes everything else was history), the other godparents of Harry. The boy’s new guardian also gained an airtight hold over Harry, which curiously the godparents didn’t even say anything about.

Many times over the past years he had tried to get a hold of any kind over Potter, either through the Ministry or his godparents, but nothing he tried worked. The Ministry even went so far as to threaten to throw him out as Chief Warlock; him…the one who got rid of Gellert for them, him…who they thought to be the next coming of Merlin; until lately that was, and all that because of the mysterious guardian of Potter.

However, now the brat was at Hogwarts, he would finally be able to get to him, and he would…he needed to. The damned boy was far too confident, and if he waited much longer, it might be impossible to do what was needed. He would need to catch him alone but the problem was that he was never alone, either that stupid near squib Longbottom walked after him like a good little dog, or that Death Eater in training Gillam was with him. That was another thing he would have to deal with, he couldn’t allow Potter to openly have connections to Death Eater families, so was it another thorn in his side that the boy was obviously also in close contact with Lucius Malfoy.

He continued to observe how Potter now laughed about something that blond junior Death Eater said.

No, that would have to stop, and soon. Luckily he already had a plan, and since Halloween was in two days, that would also provide him with an excellent opportunity.

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