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A Serpent's Choice

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Hadrian James Potter, Rian for short, did not have an easy life.

Although many might believe that he, being the Boy-Who-Lived and all, would have an adoring family who fulfilled his every wish, it was not true. His family of abusive Muggles hated him and treated him even worse than a Malfoy would treat their house elf.

Hadrian hated his life. It was the summer right after his sixth year and not even a week had passed, but he had already been beaten up by his cousin twice and the last real meal he had, had been at Hogwarts. He was sick of this. The only good thing at the moment was the fact that the Megalomaniac Lord Voldemort, murderer of his parents and responsible for all the shit that happened in his life, had not reared his ugly head since the first year Quirrell-incident. The young, incredibly handsome and charming version of the Dark Lord had not shown up again either. A shame, really, he admitted to himself. God he was hot.

Rian shook his head to rid himself of those traitorous thoughts and repeated the thought Tom Riddle became Lord Voldemort. He’s evil. Not hot. Eviiiil. Then he giggled. Evil. EVIIIL. Such a funny word. Evil? What is even evil? Hehe even evil that rhymes. Wait, actually-

“BOY!” The delightful voice of his uncle ripped him from his happily drifting thoughts and Rian had to get up.

“GET DOWN HERE THIS INSTANT YOU DISGUSTING FREAK!!!”

What had he done now? Maybe, he thought with the sarcastic humour he had adopted as his own, I did not prepare his breakfast fast enough. Oh wait, that's impossible since I got up an hour before the fat whale!

Not necessarily any smarter pertaining the reason for being screamed at, Rian wanted to scream back “What did I do now?!” but instead he just went downstairs again, preparing for the unnecessary beating he was sure to receive.

As he entered the kitchen with his gaze lowered to hide the murderous thoughts that were crossing his mind, he asked neutrally “What may I do for you, Sir?”

The thundering footsteps and heavy breathing of his enraged uncle were his only warning before a fist connected with his already bruised ribs and he went down.

“How dare you?!” A kick to his stomach.

“You filthy vermin!” He curled into a tight ball and tried to protect his head.

“We feed you!” Rian had to grit his teeth harshly, so he would not accidentally start laughing like a maniac. Feed him? They stopped doing that years ago.

“And clothe you!” Yeah right.

“And you! How do you repay us for all of this?” Well, let’s see. I do the cooking, cleaning and tend to the garden. I repair everything that needs repairing and I get worked like a slave every chance you get. Beside that? Yeah you are right, I do absolutely nothing and laze around all day, sobbing about my Godfather. Who died, by the way. Gruesomely.

“You stole our food!” Ah, so Dudley was hungry again. Whatever. Wait until I'm seventeen you disgusting piece of muggle filth.

Rian sighed defeatedly and retreated into the back of his mind while his uncle beat him to a bloody pulp, as had been their routine for the past six summers.

 


 

As he woke up again he was lying on the floor of his tiny bedroom and hurting all over. Luckily his magic had already started to repair his body and the worst injuries were healing quickly so that he would be able to move again in a few hours, but that did nothing to alleviate the murderous rage churning in his gut.

The rest of Rian's summer passed in much the same way, with the occasional beating in between his chores and a few bites to eat, until his seventeenth birthday. The 30th of July was a day just like every other day, with the exception that Rian stayed awake until midnight, the way he did every day prior to his birthday he had had up to this point. When the old digital clock on his bedside table displayed the time to be 11:59 pm, Rian started to mentally count down the seconds until his magical majority would hit him, which was supposed to come with a power boost and better control over his magic, additionally to the permission to finally cast magic outside of Hogwarts.

He knew that it would probably hurt a lot and had thus gagged himself, since he did not want his loving family to have another reason to torture him before leaving in the early morning for their bi-yearly vacation.

Nothing could have prepared him for what came next.

It started with a light burning sensation in his abdomen, which spread throughout his whole body while getting stronger gradually. Then his legs started literally melting together and his back exploded with pain, while his body still felt as if it was burning up. The screams of pure agony tore from his sore throat and straight through the cloth in his mouth, echoing perversely in the small room.

Rian slowly opened one of his eyes, groaning in pain as he was immediately met by too bright daylight that seemed to split his already hurting head in two. He waved a hand at the source angrily and the light dimmed down considerably.

With relief he sighed and went back to sleep.

 


 

As he woke up again a few hours later he realized what he had done and sat up quickly, which made his head spin, wide awake. His thoughts razed in total panic. How had he performed magic without his wand? Would the ministry come and get him now, imprison him like they had Sirius? Had he even performed magic or had that been nothing but a drea- that thought process was cut short by his searching gaze, which landed on his window. The window with a floating black mist in front of it that reeked of magic and sheer power. Damn. He raked a hand through his smooth and silky hair, continuing to think about the consequences of his wandless magic. Until he froze. Smooth and silky hair? He did not have smooth and silky hair, untameable and nest-like were the words that usually came to mind.

Slowly, he raised a hand and touched his hair again, then pulled it in front of his face. As the black curtain of silky strands hung in front of his eyes, he realized another thing.

He could see without his glasses, his back had miraculously stopped hurting and his legs felt strange. With a start he remembered the melting sensation again and looked down fearfully to reassure himself of his legs’ integrity.

There were no legs. Instead, a three to four-meter-long tail covered in shimmering scales sprouted from his hips and wound around his bed in elegant curves. Rian fainted for the second time that day.

 


 

 The first thing he noticed this time was that the pain in his head seemed to be gone. Then he remembered the changes. Hadrian had performed wandless magic, his hair had grown out into what felt like waist-long silk, he no longer needed his glasses and his fucking legs were gone! He got up shakily, his tail curling on the ground to stabilize himself instinctively and began searching for the tall mirror in the abandoned treasures of his cousin. When he finally found it in the hindermost corner, where he had put it so he wouldn't have to look at his scars all the time, he stared at it disbelievingly. He no longer looked like the scrawny child with ghostly pale skin he had always been. His skin was glowing almost white and his eyes, framed by impossibly long and dark lashes looked just like the Avada Kedavra curse that he had survived as a baby. His hair was a shimmering black, so dark it was almost blue now and reached his waist in long elegant curls. His facial features looked more like the aristocratic ones of a Black now, rather than the pointy yet somewhat round ones of the deceased James Potter, and his blood red lips looked full and decidedly kissable if he could say so himself. As Rian finished observing his changed face, he let his eyes wander downwards over his wings to his waist, following his tail further along.

Wait. Wings?!

His gaze shot up again and he could see the way his eyes widened as they landed on his most recently discovered appendages. Between his shoulder blades, a set of feathered black wings was adorning his back. When he flexed his shoulders, he spread them accidentally, displaying an impressive span of three meters. Utterly fascinated, Rian reached out with a hand and softly caressed the shiny feathers and smooth scales at their base, which shimmered just like his hair. He sighed in delight at the feeling and almost lost himself in the sensation of his own warm caress.

After a while he came back to his senses and resumed his observation of his new body.

As he took in his elongated canines, pointed ears and forked tongue he came to a conclusion. However it had happened, at midnight of his seventeenth birthday Hadrian James Potter had gained a magical creature inheritance which came with a power boost so large that he could freely connect with his magic now, without the previous necessity of a wand.

Now the next step was to find out what he was and how in the name of the devil he could change back, since there was no way in hell that he would lead his life with a tail instead of legs and wings so huge that he no longer fit through doors.

He considered writing to Hermione, but she had not contacted him at all throughout the holidays just like every other friend he had, even though he had written her multiple times. That was quite suspicious and reminded him of his second year and the whole Dobby Disaster. Maybe his mail was getting intercepted again and if that were the case, he would rather not inform whoever was intercepting and most likely reading it of his change in race.

Wizards could be prejudiced as fuck after all. What would they say when they found out their boy hero had become a creature, a second-class citizen in their eyes?

So instead, he ordered a load of books about humanoid magical creatures and some random books to distract from his main interest, figuring that if there was anyone reading his mail they would find no offence with that and let it go through.

He started to meditate as soon as an angry hooting Hedwig was gone with his order. She had decidedly not looked happy with him for leaving her in her cage so long, especially when he had screamed in pain, frightening her immensely.

 


 

Inside of his mind, there was a vast, seemingly endless blank space. Hadrian drifted around for a while, trying to figure out how to reach his magical core, until he made out a faint glimmer in the distance. Rushing there at once with the weirdly floating walk he had figured out how to use, he reached the small spot fairly quickly in his opinion.

In actuality, it could have taken any amount of time between mere seconds, several minutes or even hours to get there, as there was no way to differentiate time in the grey abyss. As he arrived at the sparkling spot, he felt a peacefulness envelope him he never felt before.

It felt as though he had finally come home after a life of drifting aimlessly. With the peacefulness came a sudden burst of instinctual knowledge, which told him how to change in between his three forms.

Chapter Text

Rian had been sitting unmovingly on the ground for three hours as Hedwig came back with a small package from Flourish & Blotts that contained his books in shrunken form and a letter. His owl waited patiently by his side, unwilling to disturb her master.

Another hour passed and suddenly a white light started to envelope the teenager. His wings slowly retracted into his back, becoming visible there as an intricate black tattoo, while the snake tail shrunk down and split apart into two slender legs.

The dark green, black and silver scales disappeared from his body, except for his hip bones, shoulder blades, wrists and ankles, which still sported small patches of them.

Hadrian allowed himself a triumphant smile as he observed his changed appearance in the mirror. Hedwig soon decided that he had ignored her long enough and hopped toward him with all the grace an avian animal could display on the ground. Which is not much at all, really.

Noticing her undignified hopping, Hadrian giggled in a way he would later deny, but at least his eyes were on her now, which counted for something as far as the snowy owl was concerned.

With a weird owl bark she directed the boy's attention towards her load, earning her a head rub and a delighted smile, added to the praise of how good she was. She preened happily and nuzzled his hand in return.

He was about to take the parcel when he noticed the letter. Curious, he freed his companion of her burden and looked at the wax seal on the back to determine who may have sent it.

The cold wax showed a deep impression of an embellished key, disrupted by a round banner with the word Gringotts. Underneath he could just make out the Latin phrase Fortius Quo Fidelius. Strength through loyalty?, he translated with his limited understanding of Latin, wondering whether he had gotten it right. It would certainly fit the goblin nature. Maybe. He had not paid that much attention when they had been covered in class. All he knew about goblins was how to greet them without mortally offending them.

Hedwig hooted reproachfully and tapped against the letter he had discarded during his silent musing.

Rian looked at her and patted her again.

“You’re right girl. I shouldn’t get so easily distracted. Thank you.” She seemed to swell with pride and he had to suppress another manly giggle at her behaviour.

Breaking the seal, he slid the heavy parchment out of the envelope and cocked a brow while reading it.

 

Mr. Potter,

may your gold flow and your enemies tremble before you.

It has come to our attention that you have not accepted your heirships and never responded to any summons sent to your magical guardian.

As of today, the 31rst of July, 1997 you have reached your magical maturity, as well as your majority, because of which you are no longer in need of a magical guardian.

To discuss the future of your houses and their finances, we hereby cordially invite you to a meeting with your account manager Irontooth son of Broadclaw at your earliest convenience.

Enclosed you will find a portkey with the activation phrase “Aconite” which shall take you directly to Irontooth’s office.

May your coffers never empty.

Ragnok Head Goblin of Gringotts, England   

 

After studying the ink curiously (Is that blood? Jeez, what a way to make an impression) Rian shook the envelope again and a golden pendant fell out. For a moment he stared at the intricate details of the depicted aconite plant, fascinated by the delicacy of the work. Then he shook his head to get back on track and started to prepare for his visit to the wizarding bank, new books completely forgotten.

Then he took a piping hot shower which soothed his irritated skin, pulled on his least awful clothes, brushed his hair with Petunias best brush and double checked that every nonhuman detail of his new form was hidden by either the bulky castoffs of his cousin or his hair.

He looked at himself in the mirror again. Hmm, maybe Hermione was right. I do need new clothes. These look simply ridiculous. Maybe I could transfigure them into something a bit more sensible until I get new ones? Where did I put my wand? Oh wait, I should be able to do this wandlessly now!

Excited, he began jumping up and down until he remembered that he had no clue as to how he had performed wandless magic earlier, since he had only been half conscious then. He stopped jumping. To repeat that feat, he would first have to get a feeling for his magic. From where it came, how it worked and how he could utilise it effectively.

I will have to go from what I know.

Closing his eyes, he entered the vast grey representing his mind. Instead of drifting about aimlessly as he had done the last time he entered his mindscape, he immediately found the brightly glowing spot which seemed to represent his magical core. He immersed himself in the feeling of happiness and warmth which was radiating off it in waves and pictured what he wanted his clothes to look like.

A rush of energy enveloped him and he could feel how it changed his clothes to what he had pictured.

Opening his eyes again, he looked down at the previously bulky clothes and grinned in satisfaction. A black wizarding robe with an emerald green trim had taken the place of his cousin's castoffs. This did not look like a permanent solution though, as the black seemed faded and the green was slightly off, most likely caused by the influence of the original material.

It would have to do, until he could go out and buy himself some new clothes.

Alright, seems I have everything I need. Time to find out what the fuck that Goblin was talking about.

At his atrocious inner language, he could almost hear his best friend's reprimand “Hadrian James Potter, language!” and grinned at the image this conjured.

Each time he cussed, Hermione would look at him sternly and admonish him, but there was always a spark of good humour in her eyes and sometimes she had to hold back an unladylike snort at the cutting comments only she ever got to hear. Since they each had a public persona to maintain and the Golden Boy of Gryffindor should never use language as krass as this, she reminded him of it.

Shaking his head to rid himself of the thoughts about the only person he considered family, he grabbed the pendant from Gringotts and intoned the activation phrase.

“Aconite”

Immediately he got the nauseating feeling associated with a portkey as he was whisked away to the goblin run wizarding bank.

Trying to regain his bearing and not throw up on the expensive looking carpet beneath his feet, he looked around the lavish office.

“Master Potter. I have expected thee.”

In front of him, behind an enormous mahogany desk, the small goblin that had greeted him in such a strange way was seated. His name giving iron tooth stood out in the dim lighting, but could not distract from his aging features.

Irontooth sported a white beard and equally white tufts of hair were growing from his ears. The wrinkles on his face moved as his expression morphed from the sneer every Goblin seemed to be wearing at all times into a look of minor confusion.

Hadrian, only now remembering his manners, stepped up to the desk and bowed slightly before the strange goblin.

“May thy gold flow, Irontooth son of Broadclaw,” he intoned the traditional greeting they had learned in History of Magic. Well, the one Hermione had learned and taught him because “Hadrian, you have to know this, it's important!”. While he may not be as stupid, lazy and generally Griffyndorish as he portrayed, he still wasn't motivated to stay awake during Binn’s lessons.

“And may thy enemies tremble before thee, Master Potter,” was the equally traditional answer given by Irontooth.

A long fingered hand pointed towards the only available chair, so he accepted the wordless offer and sat down. The chair was a slightly bigger replica of the Goblin's own well made one. Firm leather greeted his behind and Rian had to admit in the privacy of his own thoughts that this chair came a very close second to the leather armchairs in the common room in his ranking of most comfortable chair ever. Yes, he had a ranking like that. It was important after all to judge the comfiness of chairs. Really.

 


 

Irontooth looked at the young man in front of him with raised eyebrows. Upon sitting down he seemed to have lost himself in his own thoughts, completely unaware of his surroundings. He took the opportunity to study him closely. There was something off about Hadrian Potter, besides the weirdly coloured robe, missing glasses and smooth hair that was brushing against the arms of his chair.

While he had never before met him, he was sure that this was not how the wizarding world’s saviour was supposed to look and more importantly smell. Centuries of experience practically screamed at him; there was something almost feral about him that confused the wizened goblin. How had a mere human come by the smell of a powerful magical being?

He had checked Hadrian’s genealogy just previous to the boy’s entrance into his office and there was nothing pointing towards any kind of magical creature blood he could have inherited on his birthing day.

He would have to do a full blood test later on to see whether their records were wrong, as ludicrous as that thought may be.

Gringotts’ goblins prided themselves on their meticulous documentation of everything of importance. One never knew when something like that may come in handy after all. Them making a mistake was simply unfeasible, at least to the goblin nation.

Still, he had to figure out how the boy had come by a smell as divine as this.

 


 

Rian looked up from his silent contemplation of the pattern on his robe which reminded him quite a lot of the plaid shirt it had been. The Goblin was staring at him with an intensity that made him wary.

“In your letter you mentioned something about a magical guardian? I was not aware I had someone like that.”

Irontooth looked startled by that revelation and clarified “Albus P. W. B. Dumbledore was named thy magical guardi’n on the 1rst of November, 1991, the morrow past thy parents’ death. He was suppos’d to educate thee about the wizardin’ world starting from thy eighth birthin’ day. Even before that he was to visit thee two times in a year’s cycle at least, to ensure thy home life was favour’ble. If what thy question indicates were true and thee have not been aware of this, then Dumbledore hath committed a grievous infraction.”

Rian stared at Irontooth uncomprehendingly. His brain seemed to have stopped working. Not only because of the weird words he had to dig through in order to make sense of the goblin’s speech. But more importantly because of the knowledge that Dumbledore had been supposed to look after him and educate him well before he ever got his acceptance letter.

If he had bothered to check on him just once, per his apparent duty, he would not have had to grow up with the Dursleys. Hell, if he had listened to him even one time when he begged to stay at Hogwarts over the holidays, or go anywhere else, anywhere, he would have been free of them.

“It's for your own good, Harry,” he said. “It’s just a small misunderstanding, they're your family after all and they love you,” he said.

How dare he??! He should have made sure there was no danger to me! I will kill him for this.

He. Has. To. Pay!

With those thoughts, his magic exploded outward and a blood curdling scream tore itself from his throat.

 


 

 Albus Dumbledore had just entered Gringotts, when he suddenly felt an explosion rocking the building, followed by a wave of incredible magical power that washed over the crowd of patrons before it dissipated.

He gripped his wand tightly and searched for the culprit between the masses of confusedly bumbling idiots, doubtlessly a powerful wizard the Goblins had angered. Suddenly smirking, he lowered his wand again. Thinking about it, this could be good. For him. If the wizard showed them their place, maybe those disgusting creatures would finally recognise his greatness and bow down before him. Or at least no longer stand in the way on his quest to access that blasted boy’s fortune, without something as bothersome as a handwritten letter of consent.

Getting a letter like that from the boy would after all require telling him about his inheritance, which was not a risk the great Albus Dumbledore was willing to take.

Satisfied with his assumed version of the events, he turned around and left to take care of his other business. He would come back tomorrow to see whether they would finally let him into the Potter main vaults. Or at least the Black ones, which the pest had inherited after his stupid Dogfather had stupidly gotten himself killed. Dumbledore was still furious about that.

He had had a plan already carefully laid out after which the Potter brat would have felt his precious Godfather’s death to be his own fault. It would have been perfect, but then the idiot went ahead and did that. What a glorious death.

 


 

 The Goblins along the walls stiffened in alarm at the magical wave, but they instantly knew that no mere human could have done this. Humans were unable to access their magic in their sacred halls after all. Not that the humans knew that.

Every human who tried and failed to use magic in their domain forgot about it as soon as they left the building. Besides that, the magic had felt primal in a way no wizarding magic ever could. Free, connected to nature. Not repressed and changed by the humans’ stupid tools.

So who could have produced a magical wave with such an intoxicating potency? Most magical creatures were not magically powerful and the ones that were had either been hunted to near extinction by jealous wizards centuries ago, or fled the country in search of a more tolerant culture. 

A mix of confusion and tentative hope for one of the strong creatures of legend to return to Britain filled the Goblins as they went back to their work.

 


  

Hadrian opened his eyes, blearily looking around the room he was in. Destruction reigned supreme around him, every piece of furniture or decoration seemed to have been burned to a crisp, except for the mahogany desk he and Irontooth had been seated-

Irontooth! Shit, where is he? If I did that -he looked at a pitiful heap of ash- to his bookcase, then what could I have done to his body?!

Hadrian started panicking and jumped up, quickly rushing to the desk to look behind it. As soon as he arrived at the severely damaged piece of wood, he breathed a sigh of relief. Irontooth laid behind it unconscious, but seemingly unharmed.

Carefully, Hadrian lowered himself onto his knees and shook the still form of his account manager. After a few shakes, he tried something different.

He searched for his core, this time finding it even easier than the previous time and willed for his magic to wash over Irontooth and wake him up.

Irontooth gasped loudly, coughed once and looked around with wild eyes until he found Hadrian's gaze.

“What, what are you,” his dryly rasping voice inquired, missing its usual superior infliction and the Elizabethan touch. 

“I don't know what you are talking about.”

How had the goblin known he wasn't human anymore? Had he done anything suspicious? If so he, had to find out what it was and make sure to never do it again.

The goblin, seemingly recovered from his shock, smirked nastily and got up from the ground.

“Do not play smart with me, boy. I know that you are a magical creature, but I do not know of what kind. As your account manager, I cannot talk about anything discussed with you outside of these office walls, so there is no reason not to tell me.”

Hadrian’s eyes narrowed and he stared the other creature down, uncommonly serious and not at all phased by the sudden transition into modern English.

“Fine. What I am about to show you will under no circumstances pass the walls of this office and its current occupants. Swear it.”

Irontooth smirked in a way that proved to Rian he had understood the implications of the other’s statement correctly. Or rather the loopholes provided by it.

“I, Irontooth, son of Broadclaw hereby swear on my ancestors that I shall not reveal anything showed to me by Hadrian J. Potter in this office to anyone not currently residing within the same.”

A flash of magic followed the oath and Hadrian nodded approvingly. After another piercing stare, he closed his eyes and submerged himself in his mindscape once again. He pictured his most natural form and felt his magic rush out to change him.

As soon as his wings had sprouted from his back and his tail had formed, he opened his eyes again to see Irontooth’s reaction. 

Chapter Text

Hadrian raised his eyebrows in surprise at the picture he was greeted with upon opening his eyes. Irontooth seemed to have frozen, face slack with astonishment.

When he didn't move after a few seconds, Hadrian cleared his throat pointedly. This seemed to snap Irontooth out of whatever that had been and he closed off his facial expression again.

Righting his slightly disarranged clothing, Irontooth stared at Hadrian.

“Had I not seen it for myself, I wouldn't believe it. A Lamia in Britain. The last of your kind sighted in these lands disappeared centuries ago,” Irontooth muttered, voice colored with confusion and was that awe?

Hmm, I probably should have read the books I ordered before coming here. What the hell is a Lamia? And did he say centuries? Then how did I become one?

Since Irontooth had already sworn confidentiality, he saw no harm in asking his questions.

Beginning with the most pressing one, he asked “What exactly is a Lamia and how am I one?”

“Lamia are a species of snake-human hybrids, just like the Naga. Opposed to the more common Naga though, Lamia also have a pair of wings. They have three forms. One mostly human, the one you are currently in and the form of Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent deity they descend from.

Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl descended into the earthen realm and procreated with the Aztec priestesses and priests. The fruits of those unions were the first Lamia and every Lamia of today is a descendant of those first ones.”

“So you're telling me that some deity singlehandedly fathered a species?”

“That would be correct.”

“So the first ones all had the same father?”

“I fail to see your point, mister Potter, but yes.”

“That’s disgusting! There is so much wrong with that origin story. Eeew. You're telling me I'm part of a species of incestuous demigods?!”

Irontooth looked shocked with that statement and protested immediately “I never said that! They procreated with other species, as a Lamia's mate can never be another Lamia. The chance of the children of such a union becoming Lamia as well are unbelievably rare, which is one of the reasons no Lamia has been seen in Britain in so long.”

“I have a mate?” Rian burst out, shocked by that implication and selecting to address it first.

“Yes, every Lamia has one. They recognise them by smell and touch after reaching their magical maturity and the first transformation accompanying it. Should a mate be met before that, the Lamia will feel heavily attracted to them, without really knowing why.”

Hadrian stared at the goblin, trying to process that. After a minute of staring, he put the information into a little box and went on with his still unanswered question.

“Okay. But how am I a Lamia? As far as I know, James was a pure blooded wizard and Lily a muggle born witch.”

“I'm afraid I do not know the answer to that question as of yet. I traced James’ heritage back centuries, but there was no hint of creature blood and since there exist no records of Lily Potter before her adoption into the Evans family, nobody knows anything about her ancestors. She could have been a pureblood, a half-blood, a muggleborn, or even a fairy princess for all we know as she never got tested. There is a way to find out, though-”

Hadrian interrupted him “You are not serious.”

He stared at the goblin, eyes glowing with anger and hidden power.

Before Irontooth could say anything to that, Hadrian spoke again, voice the calm before the storm.

“You are telling me that each time Dumbledore told me I had to go back to my family because of the blood ward's protection, he lied? That I am not related to those disgusting muggles at all?”

As his voice got high with disbelief, Hadrian realised something.

He was not related to them. The last strand of his sympathy for them snapped. The strand created by the belief that they were family. The one strand holding him back from doing something he would inevitably regret. Snapped. Nothing would make him feel remorse for them now. There would be no regret when he made them pay.

With this epiphany, the rage churning in his gut cooled to a glacier. And a frightening grin stole across his angelic face.

Only fools would think hot rage to be more dangerous than icy rage. Hot rage burned quickly, it made the one feeling it sloppy and irrational. But icy rage allowed the person to plot. To use their intelligence. To be patient until they reached their goal. To make the inflictors of said rage suffer tenfold.

Hadrian was not a fool.

He would make the Dursleys pay. And Dumbledore. Even if he had somehow honestly not known about his duties as his magical guardian, there was no way he hadn't known about the missing blood relation which would render any blood ward useless. You do not place a child with people you have not beforehand checked thoroughly.

But he would bide his time, amassing information and blackmail material on them.

First of all, he had to learn everything about his heritage and what it meant to be a Lamia.

“Before I so rudely interrupted you, you hinted at a way to find out how I became such a rare creature?”

“Yes. To find out who your mother’s parents were, we would have done a regular blood test, but she refused, after Albus Dumbledore” -Irontooth spat out the name like a vile curse- “convinced her it would be best not to know who abandoned her. Instead, there is now the possibility to perform a so called full blood test on you. A full blood test is only ever done when there is doubt about a person's heritage, as it shows more detailed and far-reaching answers than the standard test, but the procedure is too convoluted to perform regularly. Do you want to do a full blood test?”

Hadrian gathered his thoughts for a few moments, then he answered the goblin respectfully.

“Yes Irontooth, I would like to perform a full blood test.”

“Wonderful. Follow me please, we need to go to one of our ritual chambers for that.”

Irontooth got up and left the ruins of his office. After transforming back into his most humane form Hadrian followed him through the slightly unhinged door into a dimly lit hallway.

After passing by countless office doors and softly glowing balls of magical light the corridor ended in front of a huge portal of impenetrable darkness.

Irontooth stopped so suddenly that Hadrian, who had not been paying any attention to his surroundings walked straight into him.

The diminutive Goblin searched through his pockets for a few moments, then he raised his hand with a triumphant noise. He turned towards the portal and dropped the small object he had just found.

Before Hadrian could make out what the thing was, a blue wave erupted from it and the portal began to glow brightly.

Hadrian had to avert his eyes as the glow became brighter and brighter. He had just covered his face with his hands to block out the blinding light, when it stopped abruptly.

Blinking, he lowered his hands and looked at the huge cavernous room revealed by whatever Irontooth had done to the portal.

What the hell was that?

As if reading his thoughts, Irontooth said “What may have looked quite simple was actually a rather complicated magical reaction. This portal is in fact a door to a room with a small dimensional pocket-”

“A what?” Hadrian interrupted him unthinkingly. Irontooth, unphased by the rudeness, explained what he meant.

“A dimensional pocket is a part of a different dimension which is attached to its surroundings by nothing but a portal, or door. Such a pocket is only accessible through said door and nothing inside can escape outside, neither physical nor magical. That is the reason our ritual chamber for the more dangerous rituals is located within the only dimensional pocket accessible from Britain.”

So even if a ritual went wrong, no one outside would ever have to know. That's convenient.

Hadrian was amused by the Goblins’ reasoning.

“Okay. I get it, no misbehaving during the ritual or no one will ever find my body.” Hadrian was joking.

“Correct.” The evil grin on Irontooth’s face told him that he was not.

Hadrian gulped. “Alright then.”

Irontooth chuckled nastily and walked through the portal without hesitation.

Hadrian fought with himself for a few seconds, evaluating the pros and cons. He could either follow the Goblin and get to know his heritage, while potentially risking his life in a dangerous ritual. Or he could turn around and leave in one piece without ever finding out how he became part of a race of reclusive demigods. The choice was more difficult than it may seem, since he quite valued his life.

In the end his desire to find out the truth outweighed his survival instinct and he followed after Irontooth.

Crossing through a door to a different dimension was, in his opinion, a rather underwhelming experience. He took a step, felt a slight tingling sensation and there he was. Standing in the midst of a dark room only lit by flickering candles upon a huge black altar.

Irontooth had assumed his position next to the altar so Hadrian hesitantly made his way over to the stone monstrosity.

The candles threw trembling shadows on the rough stone walls and a shiver crept down his back.

Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all? I should probably tell Irontooth to break it off-

“Undress and get up on the altar, the ritual has started.”

Damn it.

“Okay.”

Resignedly, Hadrian turned towards said altar and doubled back. What he had previously thought to be dark stone was upon closer inspection just caked with multiple layers of a dried liquid. A very suspicious looking liquid.

“Is that dried blood?” His voice did not quiver. Really.

There was a definitive evil glint in the Goblin’s eyes as he responded. “Yes. Each ritual performed is driven by a blood sacrifice.”

Alrighty, as long as it's not my own-

“The blood has to be of the same race as the one performing the ritual. Since you are the only known Lamia in Britain, we will have to coat the relevant runes in your own blood.”

Oh come on! Didn't I lose enough blood with each beating? Now I have to give it up for a stupid ritual?

“This ritual is not stupid. It is very important.” Irontooth said indignantly. “And we will have to talk about what you meant by 'beating’.”

Rian looked up sharply. “Did you just read my mind?”

The Goblin had the nerve to giggle.

He glared at the other male.

“Why is that funny?” He hissed threateningly.

If someone was able to read his thoughts through his meticulously crafted occlumency shield he would very much like to know how that was possible.

The Goblin was still grinning broadly but seemed to draw himself together at the threat to his life presented by an angry Lamia. “I didn't have to read your mind, you were talking to yourself. Now, slit your wrists with this dagger, lay down on the altar and let the blood flow freely. It will be drawn to the correct runes magically. Do not worry, you will not lose too much blood.”

Content to ignore the bright blush on his cheeks caused by his embarrassment he dropped his robes, took the dagger and did as he had been bid.

Just as Irontooth had said, the red liquid flowed in unnatural directions to what he presumed were the mentioned runes, but he couldn't be sure because of all the dried blood.

“Irontooth?”

“Yes?”

“Why is there so much old blood everywhere if it just flows to where it's supposed to be and then stops?”

A nasty grin lit up the other creature's face at that question and Hadrian wondered whether he really wanted to know the answer to his question.

“Normally the blood comes from an unwilling sacrifice to minimise the risk to our customers. An unwilling sacrifice has to be drained completely of their blood since their magic won't react favourably to the ritual. It's the main reason we don't perform these rituals all too often.”

Hadrian was about to question everything wrong with those three sentences (which was a lot), when a tingling sensation spread out through his whole body and he moaned confusedly. His wrist wounds stitched themselves back together, which Irontooth seemed to take as a sign of some sort.

He took out a blank parchment, dipped it in a bowl filled with a black potion and put it on top of Hadrian's bare chest. Thin rivulets of the potion dribbled down from the soaked parchment along Hadrian's unblemished skin and mingled with his blood upon the altar.

As soon as every rune was covered in the mixture of blood and potion, the runes and the parchment began to glow brightly.

Irontooth covered his eyes to ward off the blinding light and stepped back while reciting a ritual phrase Hadrian didn't understand.

The tingling in his limbs intensified in reply to the strange words until it was a burning pain reminiscent of the last night.

Hadrian gritted his teeth to keep from screaming when the pain just suddenly stopped.

Chapter Text

 

“That went better than expected.”
At Irontooth’s mumbling, Hadrian looked at him sharply. “Excuse me? What do you mean better than expected?!” His voice came out with a slight hiss.

Irontooth grinned his nastiest goblin grin and replied in a smug tone. “Since there was no one available of your own race I had to improvise, this ritual has never before been performed with a willing and surviving sacrifice. I am rather astonished it worked, actually.”

The grin fell right off his face when the Lamia jumped up from the altar and grabbed him by his fancy west.

Hadrian snarled in the small creature’s face.

“What?!” His voice had lost most of its’ human quality by now and the goblin shrank back fearfully as the Lamia's creature instincts shone through.

“I-I mean I was pretty sure this would work out! I have researched the subject of ritual magic extensively in the past one hundred years and just because you were my first test subject doesn’t mean I was not sure this would work!”

Disgusted, he dropped the other man and picked up the parchment that had fallen to the ground when he had jumped up.

“So, what’s this? Some kind of inheritance test-“ He froze in the middle of his sentence.  

Irontooth got up cautiously and took the parchment carefully from unmoving hands. He looked down at it.

What he saw made him choke. Then he read out mechanically.

“Lillian Yacatete, former Evans, deceased. Mother of Hadrian Cuallee Yacatete.
Guatemoc Yacatete, deceased. Father of Hadrian Cuallee Yacatete.
James Fleamont Potter, deceased. Godfather of Hadrian Cuallee Yacatete.
Sirius Orion Black, deceased, second Godfather of Hadrian Cuallee Yacatete.”

Hadrian growled. “Is your stupid parchment telling me that my life is a fucking lie?!”

“Well. I mean… I don't know. This is- I have never...” He trailed off unsurely and stared into the flickering candles pensively.

He glared at the goblin’s back and tried to calm his raging feelings down.

I have to stay calm, killing the messenger is not going to do me any good. I have to find out what all of this means and a dead Irontooth coupled with the goblin nation on the warpath wouldn’t be pretty.

Then he imagined an army of tiny creatures, with blood dripping off their enraged faces brandishing all manner of shiny weapons. The picture was quite adorable in his mind, so he chuckled and forgot his anger at the goblin in front of him.

After several moments of staring into the air and giggling deliriously, he finally drew himself together enough to peruse the parchment for some more information.

Beneath the shocking revelation of his parentage and his own name which he would have to research later, there were several lists with everything he possessed and had inherited, the Lordships he could claim, his properties and his own magical abilities. He skipped over all of those and swore to study them closely later on. For now, what he was searching for was more information about his parents, particularly his father and why everyone thought him to be the son of James Potter when he irrefutably was not.

At the bottom of the parchment he finally found his genealogy written in multiple coloured ink. His eyes were drawn to the name of his father and the date of his birth and death. 1930 – 1980.

He died in the year I was born. I wonder what happened to him... Did Mom move in with James afterward and told everyone that I was his child? Merlin that would be weird. But it would explain why everyone thought me to be a Potter. Maybe he adopted me? Hmm.

To distract himself from these thoughts, he let his gaze trail along his father’s ancestors until it landed on a name he knew from one of Hermione’s rants about the importance of history after he had fallen asleep in the class for the umpteenth time. Tezozomoc Yacateteltetl, a long-deceased Mesoamerican ruler who had been known as a cruel tyrant, was one of his ancestors. Hadrian grinned. Awesome.

Just to see how closely related they were, Hadrian counted the generations in between them. Four. He frowned. Even for the elongated lifespan of a wizard four generations between 1320, when Tezozomoc had been born and 1980, the year of his own birth, seemed like a bit of a stretch. Looking at the dates in between he soon found the reason for the small number. Each of his father’s ancestors had lived for at least a hundred years, but most had lived far longer.

As he glanced over the dates once more, his eyes widened in astonishment. What he had just automatically assumed to be a nine was in fact a six. His father had been born in 1630, not 1930.

Since Guatemoc had been well over a healthy wizard's maximum age when he had died, the question of where his Lamia inheritance had come from was now moot. Only a magical creature could live that long and still be able to father children after all.

He looked at the different colours of ink again to distract himself from the creeping suspicion that he would probably outlive everyone he held dear.

The purple ink of his own, his father’s and most of their shared ancestors’ names was probably a way to mark creatures. As opposed to wizards which had a blue colour, if his mother’s name was anything to go by and grey which seemed to represent muggles.

Interesting. The ritual must have analysed the blood in some way and changed the ink based on its findings. I wonder how that works and if this technique could be used for other purposes as well. Hmm that could be really interesting, I’ll have to look into that soon.

Deciding to worry about it at home, he folded the long parchment, tugged it into his pants and grabbed his discarded clothes. Then he turned around wordlessly and walked up to the door they had come through, too lost in thought to see the awed expression Irontooth had been trying to hide ever since he found out about Hadrian’s inheritance.

 


 

Hadrian flopped onto the filthy mattress in his tiny room and stared at the ceiling.

So, James isn't my father. I'm not a Potter. Ha, Snape has no right to compare me to James now. He probably didn't even now my real father!

I wonder whether I'll be able to find anyone who did. How am I supposed to find out anything about all of this? Oh, I know! I'll ask Hermione to help me research, she will love this!

Hedwig chose this moment to hop onto his chest and clack her beak furiously until he looked at her. Then she fluttered her wings and flew over to his desk. Hadrian looked after her, shrugged his shoulders and stared at the ceiling in contemplation.

Hedwig seemed to huff frustratedly before she returned to his chest and looked at him as though to measure his reaction. He raised a hand and petted her mechanically. She clacked her beak again. He continued to pet her absentmindedly. With a frustrated bark, Hedwig grabbed a large tuft of Hadrian’s main hair and pulled.

“What the hell Hedwig?! That hurt!” He jumped up and glared at the smug bird now fluttering in front of his face.

He swore she was smug. Although she had no discernible facial expression he knew it, there was just that twinkle in her eyes.

Hedwig stopped looking smug and glided back over to the desk.

He was about to plop back onto his bed to try and understand his feelings, when Hedwig started hopping up and down on the desk.

Which was not something she did with any regularity.  As a matter of fact, this, she was cawing loudly now, was as far from her usual dignified behaviour as one could get.

“Alright, what do you want to show me?” Hadrian asked as he made his way over to the seemingly mad owl.

She stopped making such a ruckus, threw him a glance as if to tell him to not be an idiot and looked down at the envelope next to her significantly.

The envelope was still unopened and seemed to have fallen from the Gringotts letter discarded next to it. Hedwig turned away and preened her feathers with the most aloof elegance she could muster after her little show.

Hadrian chuckled, then he picked up the letter and opened it.

Inside there were a few sheets of crème parchment emitting a faint fragrance of Lilies. With his interest peaked, he began to read.

 

My dearest Cuallee,

If this letter has reached you the worst thing possible has happened. I died and left you all alone in the world. Unprepared for what has happened to you, unprepared for the creature inheritance that you just got.

I can only imagine what lies you were told by the light, but James and I were never romantically involved, though he is my best friend.

Let me tell you the story of how I met your father.

I had gone to the annual Ministry gala, because James told me to “get out and get laid!” I am sorry for the crass language, but that is James for you.

There I met him, he was gallant and charming and handsome and when I looked into his incredibly green eyes every worry seemed to just float away. Something inside me clicked when I looked at him and I knew that he was the one. Something every witch and wizard dreams of, but only the fewest ever experience. True love and companionship until the day you die. Your soulmate.

Oh, everything seemed just perfect for the first six months following the gala. We shared everything. Our hopes and dreams, our fears and our darkest secrets.

Three weeks after we had first met, he finally told me that he wasn't human. Of course, I had known that already since I had seen him without his clothes- I'm sorry, you don't need to hear that about your parents.

 

Hadrian looked at the letter and crunched up his nose in disgust. He did indeed not need to hear that. Shaking his head to rid himself of the disgusting images this conjured, he continued to read.

 

He was a Lamia and if you got this letter you have become one as well. There is not much time left for me, so go to Gringotts, they will be able to tell you everything about your ancestry.

 

One step ahead of you mom, Hadrian smirked slightly and continued to read.

 

Obviously, I didn't care what species he was and I told him as much. When he smiled at me then, it was as if the sun had come up early. The same smile you are giving me now. God you look just like him. Well, I say now, but for you this will have been many, many years ago. You probably don't even really remember me, my Cuallee.

 

Hadrian felt tears rise to his eyes and swallowed harshly. The only thing he remembered about his mother were the last few seconds of her life he saw each time a Dementor crossed his path.

 

I'm sorry for my chaotic thoughts, but there is not much time to organise them and there is still so much I have to tell you.

After those beautiful six months together, your father told me that he was dying. Every minute we spent together after that was tinged with the dawning dread of Damocles’ sword hanging over our heads.

He had travelled all around the world for many, many years to find his soulmate, to find me. But he couldn't, so he fell into a deep depression that poisoned him from the inside. The Lamia are a species that depends on their mate. If they don't find and bound with them soon enough they die a slow and painful death. That is why I never wanted this for you. I prayed to the Gods that you may be human, like I am. But Alas, it was not to be.

Britain was the only country he hadn't crossed in his search because he knew of its history. He knew that most creatures are treated like second class citizens, like the dirt beneath a wizard's feet. He knew that the most powerful creatures had been hunted to extinction centuries ago, with the Lamia very close to the top spot of most wanted. He knew what would welcome him when he came into this country and got found out by the so-called light. He knew, but he came here anyway.

The night we met he had come to the Ministry gala to reveal himself to the only people stupid enough to try and kill a Lamia, so that they may end his endless suffering.

He was severely weakened and suffering terribly but he told me that the moment his eyes fell upon me, he forgot his pain and the poison creeping through his veins from centuries of solitude.

But even finally having his mate couldn't cure him. He was too far gone already.

He lived for ten months after we met and it was the most beautiful time of my life.

We married in our seventh month together because we both knew that there wasn't much time left. It was the happiest day of my life, except for the day you were born.

I will never forget the moment Guatemoc held you in his arms for the first time, because it was also the last time I ever saw him alive.

He was so happy in that moment. When he looked at me, nothing but a shadow of the man I had come to love with all my heart, there was none of the bitterness left that had been lurking at the edges for so long.

He smiled at me as he gave you back and kissed me for the last time, then he turned around and left.

I will be honest, my Cuallee, I would have killed myself then and there, if it hadn't been for your steady heartbeat against my chest and for the knowledge that Guatemoc would want me to live for the both of us.

To continue living after this was the hardest thing I ever did, but each time I look at you, I know it was worth it.

And now you will be all alone. I don't know when or why I will die, whether Voldemort will kill us in his insanity, or whether Dumbledore will find out what your father was and kill us first. But I do know one thing.

I will do everything to protect you and so the only thing left to say is be careful who you trust. Don't ever trust the light and especially not Dumbledore. If you find your soulmate, do everything you can to keep them. Life is not worth living once they're gone.

We will always be proud of you, no matter what you do with your life.

In love,

Mom

PS: James and I pretended to be together after your father died to protect you and avoid suspicion from Dumbledore, which is the reason you were enrolled in Hogwarts with his name instead of your own. I wish that you can live your life the way you want to once you escape Dumbledore's machinations. I love you, my Cuallee.

 

Hadrian stared at the parchment in his hands, with red eyes and tear tracks staining his pale cheeks.

Hedwig crooned and nuzzled his face to cheer him up. He smiled softly and petted her in return.

After a few minutes he had calmed down enough to process the well of information provided by his mother.

 

Chapter Text

It had taken several days, but he had finally sorted out the feelings his mother’s letter to him had caused. Laying on his newly transfigured bed with his snake tail curling around a wooden bed post he thought about several things the letter revealed.

Firstly, it had become obvious that Lillian Yacatete had not been a fan of Dumbledore, or the “light” side, but neither did she wholeheartedly agree with the dark side. Her main reason for that had been Voldemort’s lack of sanity, which seemed like a fair concern after everything Hadrian had heard about the last wizarding war and its leaders. So if he decided to join the Dark Lord, he would have to do something about his sanity.

Secondly, staying neutral in the upcoming war would be tantamount to suicide and even more stupid than trusting the old goat ever could be. Voldemort may not have been sighted since Hadrian’s first year (he chose not to count his second year and the drool worthy young version, because that had been some kind of memory apparition and not the Dark Lord persona he had later on adopted). However, everyone who thought the megalomaniac dead was nothing short of stupid and oblivious in his books.

Seriously, there was no way the man whose greatest fear had always been the one of death (yes, the diary told him a few rather personal things) had died at the hands of an eleven-year-old child trying to fend off a creepy teacher with boundary issues. And a disturbing desire to please his master by giving him weird stones, Hadrian added in his thoughts.

The young Tom Riddle he had met had been ambitious, intelligent, magically and otherwise talented, charismatic and hot as fuck. There was no way anyone could deter him from reaching his goal of immortality. Besides, him having appeared in his first year at all was a rather clear indication that he had indeed managed it.

Conclusion: Voldemort had not died, he was still out there somewhere and if the state he had been in when he had fled Quirrell’s body was any indication, his physical and mental state was less than ideal.

And that ultimately meant staying neutral would place him at the top spot of both sides’ hit list, as both leaders seemed to be a fan of the “you won’t join me, then I’ll kill you before you join my enemy” mentality. Being hunted down by two incredibly powerful wizards with an army each to back them did not sound like the ideal life to Hadrian, so his choice was clear.

No neutrality for this one.

That made the question arise which side he would join, which wasn’t really a question at all.

On the one hand a man driven to insanity had killed his mother and her closest friend in a misguided quest to prevent his downfall, all the while fighting for equality among wizarding humans and magical creatures. Okay and killing thousands of Muggles along the way, but Hadrian honestly couldn’t give a crap about them. He hated Muggles.

On the other hand was the man who had wilfully put him with a family of abusive Muggles he wasn’t even related to, stood against anything even remotely considered dark and would murder him in a heartbeat if he ever learnt his species or his magical core’s natural inclination towards dark magic he had been born with.

Even if he were unable to find a way to cure Voldemort, serving a mad man would be about a million times better than serving the man who had been responsible for the most dreadful childhood a person could ever have.

So the dark side and Voldemort it was.

Thirdly, he would have to find his mate and learn more about what it meant to be a Lamia. If his mother’s retelling of his father’s life had been any indication, life without one’s soulmate was not worth living and would kill you sooner rather than later.

He had already gone through his entire stack of creature books Florish & Blotts had so graciously sent him, but the only times Lamia were mentioned at all, it was to warn away the reader from ever searching for one, as “this species of heinous dark magical creatures” had been “driven to extinction in the 1820’s for a reason”. Just reading crap like that was making him sick and he dearly hoped to find less biased books in the Hogwarts’ library’s forbidden section.

Until then he’d have to bid his time and somehow survive until the start of his last school year.

 


 

 He stared out of his small window unblinkingly, awaiting the return of his dearly beloved family, as they were meant to come back this day. Below his window was the front yard with several beautiful rose bushes, small flower beds speckled with purple and white, as well as trimmed hedges he had been made to care for since he was able to walk and hold a pair of gardening scissors. One of Dumbledore’s lackeys, a male ex auror by the name of Moody, if he had understood a hushed conversation of the previous summer correctly, stood crouched underneath a small tree. To Hadrian, the crippled man was as visible as the grass he was crushing with his feet, but the bypassing muggles didn’t so much as blink at the weird sight, so he assumed him to be invisible somehow.

A toothy grin crossed his face when Hadrian he realized what this meant. He could see through invisibility. Although he would have to find out whether this applied to all kinds, or just to certain ones, like a cloak of invisibility.

Then his thoughts turned back towards his watch dogs.

While the guards positioned around the house didn’t do jack shit when they witnessed yet another beating, they made sure that he was still there at least once a day. When he had visited Gringotts he had been back just in time for them to check in. It had been a really close call.

Were he to leave again and the guards found out, Dumbledore would immediately know there was something wrong, which would make his last school year a living hell of being monitored twenty-four seven.

After half an hour of motionless surveillance, his improved hearing picked up the distinctive sound of Vernon’s car as it made its way down privet drive.

It would be any minute now. Hadrian’s sharp teeth became visible as he grinned in eager anticipation. Then he turned around and slithered towards the door downstairs, more at ease on his tail than on his legs.

He had been waiting for this moment ever since the implications of being able to do wandless magic fully hit him. While he may be of age now that didn’t mean he was allowed to use regular magic outside of school. Before the holidays, Dumbledore had made the announcement that any student, no matter their age was forbidden from doing magic outside of school unless in an emergency, allegedly because there had been too many incidents before. Hadrian was convinced this rule had been made just for him, so that Dumbledore would be able to control him better, yet there was nothing he could do about it.

But none of that mattered now, because wandless magic was untraceable. He nearly cackled diabolically at that thought.

The blue car pulled into the driveway just as Hadrian arrived at the bottom of the stairs. He slithered into the living room to place himself in a strategically advantageous position for the upcoming confrontation the Dursleys didn’t know about yet.

After a few more moments of waiting, the lock clicked and Vernon’s massive body pushed its way through the resulting gap. Frankly, it looked like a greased-up pig trying to get through a cat flap. He giggled at the image and sat down elegantly in Vernon’s most treasured armchair, a monstrosity made of cheap polyester in a questionable puce colour which ranked barely above the iron garden chair he had sat upon once on his comfy-scale.

Heavily breathing from the exertion of walking, Vernon managed to pull himself through the door frame and immediately looked around with an ugly sneer. Then he stomped in front of the staircase to shout up in the direction of Hadrian’s room.

“BOY! WHERE ARE YOU?! GET DOWN HERE AND UNPACK THE CAR!”

At the amused clearing of a throat he whirled around. Well, he didn’t so much as whirl, it was more of a heavy stumbling, but the intention to whirl dramatically was there, Hadrian was sure.

 


 

 Vernon looked around his entryway wildy. Where had that sound come from? He was sure that blasted boy was still upstairs, on the brink of death. Or maybe he’s dead already. A satisfied smile crossed his face at that. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? To be rid of that fucking monstrosity once and for all?

Pulling himself from those thoughts, his beady eyed gaze roamed across the polished wooden floors, to the flimsy coat rack trembling from the weight of too many heavy jackets and the white commode with several pictures of his handsome boy, himself and his beautiful wife upon it. Nothing suspicious so far. The door to the freak’s former room with his school stuff inside was still as tightly locked as he had left it, good.

Then he looked towards the three remaining doors. The one leading to the small guest bathroom was shut, as well as the one closing off the kitchen, but the other one, leading to the living room was wide open. Vernon frowned and made his way through the simple door into his middle-sized living room and started shouting at the figure seated upon his favourite chair.

 


 

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING, FREAK?! I TOLD YOU NOT TO LEAVE YOUR ROOM WHILE WE ARE GONE! I WILL-” He trailed off as he took in the image of the monster in his home. His features, previously red with rage were drastically assuming a colour even whiter than the wall behind him.

“Wha-? Who are you and what have you done to the boy, you disgusting creature?!”

Trying to assert his dominance, Vernon stomped up to the creature and snarled in its face. This seemed to amuse the monster as its plump lips stretched into a frightening grin, which showed off its sharp vampire-esque teeth as its jade green eyes seemed to glow with power unknown to the regular human.

“Oh, but my dear uncle, do you not recognissse me?” The monster with the ethereal face spoke with a voice as soft as silk, but with a sibilant hiss to it. Then it curled its scaled tail on the ground and got up in a fluent motion. Vernon stared at the figure suddenly towering over him and backed away slowly.

 


 

Hadrian grinned in a way that would frighten the muggle and followed him as he made his way back to the door. Behind the man, his wife and son appeared, too deep in the middle of an argument to notice Hadrian.

“But Mooom, I want to play Rian Hunting!” Petunia looked fondly up at the massive whale in human guise and shook her head.

“I know dear, but he has to clean the house and cook first! Besides-” Just as her husband before her, she stopped talking in the middle of her sentence and looked in pure terror at the amused Lamia several feet in front of her.

Dudley, confused as to why his mother aborted her sentence turned around. As he saw Hadrian he screamed, wetted his pants, then turned around and ran away, leaving his shellshocked parents behind.

The Lamia grinned and lowered himself until he was of the same height as the fat man. “Ssso, there will be ssseveral changesss around here.” 
Vernon only nodded his head frantically, which pleased Hadrian greatly.

 


 

The remaining three weeks of his summer holidays were quite enjoyable for him, as he could do whatever he wanted to do, at least inside of the house.

While outside, he still had to pretend to be scared of the muggles he lived with, since he didn't want his watchers to become suspicious of the newly established dynamic.

A week after he scared them into submission through his new appearance, the Dursleys had gotten it into their had that he was still the scared little boy he used to be, as Dudley had seen him transform into his human form to leave the house once. Their logic seemed to be ‘if he looks human, he is weak’.

So, the next time they saw him in his human form, they had ganged up on him and tried to beat him. He had only grinned vengefully as a wave of magic rushed out of him and threw them into the walls.

After they had gotten up again, there was nary a thought of rebelling against his new set of rules.

 


 

Another week after that event and a week before the school year’s first day, a grumpy Order member appeared in front of him as he relaxed in the garden, pushed a thick parcel into his hands and told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t to leave the ward’s perimeter until he was collected in the morning of September first.

Hadrian raised an eyebrow at the man’s back, walked up to his room and dropped the illusion of his former appearance he always kept up around his guards. He had been wondering already how he would get his school shopping done, since Dumble’s seemed unwilling to let him leave the house for anything, but he supposed he had gotten his answer now.

Getting the stuff delivered to him didn't compare to the experience of visiting Diagon Alley himself, but if he didn't want to arouse Dumbledore's suspicion, he'd have to make do.

At least he thought so until he noticed that there were no clothes whatsoever enclosed in the package. He frowned in irritation. His old school robes had gotten too small and were threadbare, as he had been running around in the same ones ever since his first year. Automatic resizing charms could only do so much and now the robes were barley wearable.

Biting his lip, he looked down at the package and searched through it again. Maybe he had missed the clothes?

Nope, no clothes. Does he want me to run around naked?

Hadrian frowned again. Well. If he wasn’t given any clothes then he would have to get them himself, wouldn’t he? At the thought of finally leaving this dump again he smiled in eager anticipation.

His expression fell as he remembered the wards. They would alert his watchers to his disappearance, wouldn’t they? Dumbles did always praise them into high heavens after all. But why hadn’t they alerted them of his little visit to Gringotts? Was it at all possible that Dumbles’ wards really weren’t all that great and he had been bluffing this whole time?

Deciding that yes, it was a very real possibility and that even if it had been a fluke and the wards would normally alert Dumbledore, he would just not get caught. If he didn’t catch him he couldn’t prove it, after all.

Next, he thought about how to best get there without his bloodhounds noticing. The last time he had only managed that because of the portkey provided by the Goblins, but he couldn’t ask them for help every time he wanted to get somewhere.

Pacing across his worn carpet, he thought about wizarding means of transportation which would allow him to get to Diagon without having to leave the house.

Flooing was out, as the Dursleys didn’t have a working fireplace and even if they did, it wouldn’t be connected to the network and he didn’t have any floo powder anyways.

The knight bus was not an option either, since he couldn’t very well summon it inside the house and were he to leave the house, he would be noticed immediately.

He didn’t know how to make a portkey, so that only left apparition, which he didn’t know how to do. But as he had a lot of free time and a newfound capability to do wandless magic that needed exploring, he settled on learning how to transport himself from one place to another without leaving pieces behind. It couldn’t be that hard, right?

Right. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with any of this shit anymore if I left my head behind somewhere. Hehe, imagine dear Petunia searching for me and finding my severed head on the floor. I bet she would scream really prettily.

Pulling himself from those macabre thoughts, he let himself fall down on the soft mattress he had transfigured from the old one earlier that week and let his mind drift until he had found his core, a task which he had gotten a lot better at since he had first done it.

Loosing himself in the soothing magic, he wished to be sitting on his desk chair.

After a few tries that had ended with him landing on the ground hazardously, he finally figured out how to apparate smoothly and without the annoying sound of a car backfiring he had read about.

What he didn’t notice however was that each time he “apparated”, the shadows seemed to draw closer together around him, just as the light looked to be shying away.

Satisfied with his efforts, he briefly entertained the idea to change his appearance a little, but he looked so very different from the way he used to that he didn’t see the need, as no one would recognize him anyways if he didn’t put up the glamour of his old looks.

Checking whether he had everything he needed at hand, he apparated into a dark corner of the wizarding shopping district and looked around to orientate himself. The streets were crowded with wizards, witches and the occasional muggles lead by their wizarding children, relatives or spouses. Hadrian didn’t even bother to try hiding his sneer as he looked at them.

Being raised by the worst sort of muggles, he didn’t have a very positive image of them. On top of that was his knowledge of what their species was capable of, exactly. Not that wizards were much better, but at least wizards didn’t have nuclear bombs.

Shaking his head, Hadrian concentrated on his task at hand; getting some new school robes and a whole new wardrobe on top of that. There was no way he was going to keep running around in his old muggle rags.

Ever since the creature within him had been awakened, he had begun to notice a few changes within himself. One of those changes was his pride. Before, it hadn’t really bothered him to be seen as a hobo, but now he was unable to tolerate the thought. If what little neutral informant scraps he had manged to glimpse from his biased creature books was anything to go by, Lamia were prideful creatures with a vain streak a mile wide, so he guessed that made sense.

With the crowd subconsciously parting for him it was very easy to get to his intended destination quickly. Gladrag’s wizarding wear appeared in front of him and he swiftly entered the lavish store.

The last time he had bought robes, Hagrid had made him go to Madame Malkins, but Hadrian was set on getting himself an exquisite wardrobe, so her store was out of the question. While she made good clothing, the standard was set much higher at Gladrags. Sure, it was also more expensive, but Hadrian did have the money, if his inheritance test had been anything to go by.

Inside, there were no stacks of clothing lying around, or huge mountains of fabric towering over every surface available as was the case in Madame Maklins. Instead there were strategically placed mannequins showing off different styles and fabrics around the open room.

Looking around, Hadrian soon found several pieces he was interested in, in addition to the bare necessities he would have to get like undergarments, dress pants, shoes, cloaks and dress- as well as normal shirts.

“Can I help you pretty boy,” a melodious voice asked from behind him.

Hadrian turned around and gave his most charming smile to the man who had appeared from the depths of the shop. He was several inches taller than himself, with a head of fiery red hair, eyes the colour of grass, an easy smile and ruggedly handsome features. His figure seemed to be lightly muscled beneath the emerald green open robe, black slacks and white shirt he wore and the way he smiled at Hadrian nearly made him swoon. To a man who had only ever been interested in a single person who wasn’t even a real person anymore, and had only gone through his maturity two weeks previous, the shopkeeper was practically irresistible.

“Ah, yes-“ Hadrian remembered his manners, stopped salivating and answered “-I was just looking around for a new wardrobe and several school robes for Hogwarts. I’m Hadrian, by the way.”

The red haired male grinned at him, showing off his perfect white teeth in the process, and bowed jokingly “I’m Shamal, the owner. At your service. Let’s see what we can do about those clothes.”

After that, Shamal and Hadrian spent almost three hours flirting while choosing clothes for him to purchase. During this time Hadrian learned every piece of juicy gossip available in the wizarding shopping district, with quite a few rumours about Rian Potter mixed inside. It was a weird experience for him to be able to hear the honest opinion of someone about himself, without some sort of misplaced hero worship barring the way.

Shamal agreed with him that a baby couldn’t possibly have defeated the Dark Lord, but he was of the opinion that there was something special about Rian Potter anyway. Hadrian nearly snorted at that. While previous to this summer he would have vehemently denied that he was special in any way, it just wasn’t true anymore. Never had been, really.

Being a Lamia was not normal, but he was learning to live with that.

In the end he left with quite a few shrunken down bags with his new wardrobe consisting manly of dark colours, with some pastel and leather highlights, as well as a standing invitation to “drop by and just chat some more”.

He waved behind himself and left with the quiet ring of a hidden doorbell.

Standing outside in the warm summer breeze, he was just thinking about what to do next as a weird icy shiver ran down his back. Frowning, he whirled around and discovered a dark figure watching him from the shadows.

Okaay, that’s really creepy. I hope it’s an order member. Although they don’t know how I really look. Damn. It’s probably some sort of pervert.

He quickly disappeared into the noisy crowd to shake off the guy, if he was indeed watching him. The weird feeling didn’t stop, even as he made his way inside of Fortesque’s ice cream parlour.

Hadrian scowled. This was getting ridiculous. He was a mature Lamia and a trained wizard, there was nothing his weird watcher could do to him. At least he really hoped that.

Deciding to, for once, actually be the brash Gryffindor he portrayed constantly, he disappeared into one of the private washrooms and waited.

He didn’t have to wait for long, as the doors soon opened again and the cloaked figure waltzed into the clinically white room.

Hadrian glared at them and assumed a fighting position.

“What do you want from me,” he hissed dangerously.

A deep chuckle reverberating through the soundproofed room was his only answer. Then the figure dropped its cloak and he looked at the revealed man nervously.

Shaggy brown hair hung into intelligent, but slightly crazed blue eyes that bored into his own with an intensity unprecedented. He made an involuntary step back and ended up pressed against a wall length mirror.

The crazy person followed him and Hadrian was about to apparate away, or throw a bolt of lightning at him, or something, but then the man seemed to conclude his observations and the intensity of his gaze lessened. Going by the demented grin slowly spreading across his dirty face, he liked whatever conclusion he had reached.

A tile beneath his feet cracked as the man lunged towards Hadrian, who screamed and apparated away as fast and far as he possibly could. The last thing he saw was the tip of a tongue darting out to wet the still smiling lips.

Chapter Text

Finally, the first of September had come around and Hadrian patiently waited on the small bench outside of the house with everything he owned packed into the new trunk he had gotten by owl-order. After what had happened the last time, Hadrian was unwilling to risk another visit to the alley.  

The Dursleys were glad to see him go, until he promised them with a dark smile and a hint of fang that he would be back. At that announcement they looked like they would love to move to Egypt first thing the next day.

He giggled at the humans’ silliness, then took off his glasses to consider them. He didn’t need them anymore and only ever put them on when he knew that he would be watched by Dumbledore’s lackeys, but he was unwilling to bear with them for another year, so he closed his hand around them and let his magic seep inside to destroy them.

Shaking his hand to get rid of the ashes on it, he resumed his stoic waiting.

After several minutes he heard the sound of a car backfiring and looked up into the startled eyes of a witch several years his senior. She had short purple hair and matching eyes, but as she looked at him she blushed a bright red and her hair colour changed to match her new complexion.

He raised an eyebrow, intrigued by her ability to manipulate her body and confused by her reaction to him.

Standing up, he bowed elegantly and gave her a charming smile.

Then he subtly checked whether his Rian Potter glamour, as he referred to the glamour of his old face, was still holding. Satisfied with the warm pulse of magic covering his face as well as the snake features he retained even in his human form, he chose to introduce himself.

“Hello, my name is Hadrian Potter. Are you to be my escort to the train station?” He didn’t give his real last name as that would be a red warning flag for Dumbledore. Yet he couldn't wait for the moment when he would no longer have to hide who he truly was.

The Metamorphmagus seemed flustered beyond belief and only answered with a shy nod, before grabbing his trunk and offering her arm.

The young man looked at it with a frown, but took it after a moment's hesitation. It wouldn't do to decline a sidealong apparition, as it would be a blatant show of distrust.

Preparing for the worst, he took her arm and braced himself for the feeling of getting sucked through a straw he had only read about until now, as it was conspicuously absent from his own apparation.

After regaining his breath from the truly awful experience, he looked around the train station bustling with people, nodded at his escort, grabbed his trunk and vanished onto the train.

While searching for a secluded compartment he could be alone in, he thought about the young woman’s strange reaction. He had gotten it before, but only when his true appearance was visible. Was he just being paranoid, or did this mean that she was able to see through his disguise? If so that didn’t bode well for him.

Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do about it now. Frowning unhappily he continued to walk down the long corridor of the red steam engine.

As soon as he found an empty compartment he locked himself inside, took out a book to read and ignored his surroundings.

The train ride passed by like a blur and after what felt like mere minutes, but had in fact been several hours, he stretched to get the kinks out of his agile body and dressed in the new school robes Shamal had made from the finest materials Hadrian had ever worn.

Then he took a deep breath and disembarked from the train, whilst trying to avoid everyone trying to talk to him until he saw a familiar bush of brown hair. An involuntary grin spread across his face and he almost jumped the person who he saw as a sister.

Hermione shrieked as she was suddenly tackled from behind, then she heard a soft giggle, relaxed and turned around in the tight embrace.

“Rian! What are you doing? We aren’t children anymore!” Although her tone sounded admonishing, Hadrian recognized the amusement hidden within.

Tightening his arms around her, he whispered into her ear. “I missed you, Mione.”

Her expression softened and she hugged him back just as tightly.

“I missed you too, Rian. Why didn’t you write me back?” Her voice back to admonishing, she gave him a hard stare. Then she seemed to really look at him for the first time as her eyes widened and she gasped. Realizing his mistake, he clasped a hand over her mouth and dragged her away to an empty carriage.

Once inside he let her go, but she simply stared at him, slack jawed and with round eyes. He had forgotten about the exceptions his magic always made for his sister.

She was the only one he trusted implicitly, so she was also the only one his magic allowed to see through his glamour.

After he locked and warded the door by telling his magic that he wanted no one to be able to get in or overhear their conversation, he cleared his throat and explained everything that had happened over the summer, including the specifics of how and why he got his inheritance to the shell-shocked witch in front of him.

During his abbreviated explanation, Hermione’s expression went from shocked to understanding to absolutely furious at Dumbledore. She jumped off her seat and Hadrian looked at her warily.

“Mione, what do you think you are doing?” His voice was low and soothing, as if speaking to a frightened child.

Too angry to answer him, she started pacing the small space in between the two benches, all the while mumbling about different ways to “kill that old bastard”.

Hadrian raised an eyebrow in amusement and gently pulled her down next to himself.

“Hermione, listen to me.” At the use of her full name she looked up, rant forgotten. She knew that he was being serious when he used it.

Brown eyes locked with green ones and the witch nodded her assent. She wouldn't do anything rash until he had explained his plan of action to her.

Right in that moment the carriage came to a sudden halt and they had to get off. Hermione glanced at him briefly and he nodded at the unspoken question, they would continue this talk once their respective roommates were fast asleep this night.

 


 

The Great Hall was bustling with movement and the conversations of hundreds of students reunited after two months apart were near deafening.

In the midst of all the tumult, Hadrian and Hermione were quietly talking about the upcoming year and jokingly speculated about what kind of Defence teacher they would get, as there was no new face at the Head table yet.

Hermione was convinced the new teacher would be another disappointment, but Hadrian held against that with the argument that of the past six Defence teachers at least two had been decent.

“Two? I suppose Lupin was okay, but who is the second one?” Ron asked in between two bites, half chewed food clearly visible in his mouth.

Hadrian looked at the boy who had interrupted their animated conversation and tried not to show his disgust at the other's table manners.

“To your information, I was not referring to the werewolf who is too afraid of himself to be of use to anyone.” Ron looked ready to interrupt him, but Hadrian just held up a hand.

“When I said that we had two decent Defence teachers, I meant Shacklebolt, an Auror with plenty of real-world experience and the ability to impart said experience, as well as Snape…”

Ron's face got a worrying shade of red and he nearly choked on his precious food in his haste to make his displeasure known. Loudly.

“Snape?! Mate, what are you talking about?!”

Hadrian merely raised an eyebrow at Ron as everyone within the Great Hall stared at him.

Realising just how loudly he had said that, Ron closed his mouth and ducked his head.

The talking around them resumed as Hadrian and Hermione exchanged an amused glance.

Dumbledore chose that moment to get up and give his standard start of the year speech, welcoming them to another year at Hogwarts, telling them to stay out of the forbidden forest and to respect Filch's list of forbidden objects.

Then the twinkle in his eyes intensified and he smiled broadly.

“There are two more exciting announcements I want to make. Our school will be the host of a prestigious tournament held for the first time in almost two hundred years and I want every one of you to behave courteously to our foreign guests once they arrive!” Dumbledore gazed around sternly as he waited for the whispers to die down.

“The Triwizard Tournament is meant to improve relations between the partaking nations and-”

He was interrupted by the large oaken doors of the hall banging open, accompanied by a convenient flash of lightning and a rumbling thunder. The dark figure limping across the threshold was soon illuminated by the candles floating around the hall.

Scarred facial features came into view as well as a large artificial blue eye, rolling around in all directions constantly, as his remaining natural one gazed around the shocked student body shrewdly.

His eye landed on Rian and a frightening grin split his disfigured face. Hadrian’s eyes narrowed in response. The man certainly looked like Mad-Eye Moody, but he seemed to be acting differently than during the previous summers he had been assigned to watch Hadrian.

Now that he thought about it, the man had been acting strangely ever since the beginning of summer. Previously he had done everything to remain hidden, constantly glancing around in paranoia and startling at every noise, but about two weeks after Hadrian had gotten back to Privet Drive his whole demeanour changed. His permanently tense posture had gotten relaxed and confident and his gait changed from a clumsy hobbling to an almost predatory stride, which was only disrupted by the slight limp from his artificial leg. Besides that, there was something about the man which made his instincts scream to be wary and alert.

Hadrian’s distrustfully narrowed eyes were still locked onto the disfigured man as he made his way through the absolutely silent hall.

As he was about to tell Hermione that there was something weird going on, Dumbledore stood up and beamed at the new arrival.

“Ah, Alastor! There you are. I was about to tell the students about you!”

The man grunted, made his way to the head table and let himself fall into a seat with more grace than you would expect from somebody missing a leg. Then he took a large sip from his metallic hip flask and proceeded to stare at Hadrian creepily once more.

Dumbledore, not taking notice of the man's strange behaviour, introduced him to the students as Alastor Moody, the new Defence teacher and continued his speech about what an honor it was to host a magical tournament as illustrious as the Trimagical one.

Hadrian didn't bother to listen, as there was no way in hell he'd willingly participate anyways and chose to instead reciprocate their newest teacher's gaze.

“Rian? What the hell are you doing?” Hermione whispered inquisitorially as he didn't react when she poked him in the side to disrupt his staring match.

Without averting his eyes, he threw up a wandless and wordless Muffilato, ignored Hermione's incredulous stare he could almost physically feel boring into the side of his head at that feat of magic and whispered back.

“You know how Dumbles puts guards around the house each summer?”

Not waiting for her nod, he continued “Well, that guy has been watching me for the past five summers, but at the beginning of this summer something changed. It's almost as if he's a whole other person, but that's not… possible….”

Realising what he had just said, his eyes widened and he stared at Hermione incredulously.

“That's it! That isn't Moody, I bet there is somebody impersonating him. I knew there was something wrong! His smell is really weird too.”

The last thing wasn't meant for Hermione to hear, but she picked up on it and added it to her inner list of things to question Rian about. For the moment, her mind went to the far more pressing matter.

“If you are right, then this man could be anyone! He could be a Death Eater, or an international spy, or a hobo, or worse, a teacher from a rival school!”

Hadrian snorted at her aghast expression, patted her shoulder, then dropped the spell around them and continued to observe the most likely disguised man to discover any clues about his identity.

Just as he was about to give up on his endeavour in favour of the food in front of him, a fleshy tongue darted out and licked across scarred lips.

He froze. Of course, it could have been a coincidence, but his every instinct screamed that the man at the head table was the same one who had followed him in Diagon Alley.

Now Hadrian got angry. How dare he? First, he followed him around in the alley, scared him into apparating away and now he came to his school disguised as a teacher? He got even more worked up as he realised that the guy must have started impersonating Moody even earlier, if said man's sudden personality change was anything to go by.

So he must have been watching him for nearly eight weeks, which was just creepy.

He was going to confront the man as soon as possible, maybe he could get him to back off. And if he didn’t back off willingly, there were quite a few things that came to mind he could do to convince him. A bloodthirsty grin spread across his face at that thought and he relaxed.

After they had finally gotten back to the Gryffindor tower, Hermione had dragged him off under the pretence of visiting the library, which guaranteed that no other Gryffindor would follow them to interrupt their talk.

Once they were securely behind the doors of the room of requirement, Hadrian grinned broadly, dropped his glamour, which was unnecessary in front of his sister anyway, and transformed into his most natural form once more.

“Wow Rian, this is amazing!” The usually calm girl looked like a child on Christmas eve as she walked around him to inspect every angle of his hybrid form.

“You really look like the Naga I’ve seen in the 50 most dangerous magical creatures to run from!”

Hadrian snorted at the books name and corrected her with a hint of indignation in his voice. “Lamia, Mione. I’m not a Naga. I haven’t really been able to find a lot of information on my race, but at least I know that there is a difference between the two.”

At Hermione’s questioning gaze, he expounded on that statement with a jokingly snotty tone of voice while channelling his inner Malfoy.

“I will have you know that Lamia are a race far more glorious and prestigious than the Naga. We are descendants of the Aztec god of wind, air and learning, Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent himself! Whereas the Naga were created by a crazy wizard a little too obsessed with snakes for his own good. At least that’s what I was able to glance from the few creature books touching the subject.”

Hermione snorted unladylike and shook her head at his antics.

A large part of the evening was filled with the two best friends curled up on a large couch, sipping hot cocoa a starry-eyed Dobby had provided them with, and Hadrian answering Hermione’s near endless questions about what it felt like to have wings and scales and a tail and the ability to control his magic effortlessly.

Afterwards he patiently explained to her why she couldn’t just barge into Dumbledore’s office and kill him. Or throttle him. Or do anything at all which would draw the powerful wizard’s attention.

“Mione, please. If he suspects for even a second that I’m no longer on his side, not that I ever really agreed with him in the first place, then he will do everything in his power to regain control over me, be it through compulsion potions, spells or even something as ridiculous as a marriage contract. He will watch me constantly and I won’t be able to move as freely as I do now.

But all of that pales in comparison to what he’d do if he ever found out that I’m not human. He may pretend that he likes and cares about creatures, but if you take one look at the student register of Hogwarts, you will find that ever since he took over, only a single student with creature status was allowed to attend. And that one doesn’t count because Dumbledore trained him to be his meek little pet he can show around to prove to everyone that he does care about us. Not that it really matters in a society as backwards as the wizarding Britain one, where it’s still acceptable for us to be discriminated against and killed off, just because we are different!”

He was shaking with fury at the end of his rant and Hermione scooted over to calm him down. Hugging him tightly, she cooed sweet nothings into his ears to calm him down and reassure him that everything would be alright.

“Don’t worry, Rian.” As he didn’t react to his abbreviated name, she tried again with the name his mother had called him in her letter. “Cuallee.”

At that, he looked up, beautiful green eyes shining with unshed tears, and a broken little smile on his lips. Her heart melted and she hugged him tighter, threading her fingers through his silken hair.

“We will find a way. We will give Voldemort his sanity back, then we’ll join him and defeat Dumbledore. Once that’s done, we will tear this society down to the ground and rebuild it to be equal for everyone. And no matter who you may have to go up against, who may betray you, or look down on you just because you aren’t human, just remember that you are strong and worthy and beautiful. Never let anyone tell you differently! And no matter what happens, I will always be there for you, because you are my little brother!”

Hadrian just hugged her more tightly in response and if his body was shaken by a few sobs, well, no one would know about that. Ever. His sister was the only one allowed to see him like this.

 


 

The following few weeks were rather uneventful, but even Hermione, who had bet against it, had to admit that even though he was most likely a creepy stalker, the Moody impersonator was an incredible teacher.

In their first ever lesson he had introduced the horrified, or in Hadrian’s case, fascinated class to the three Unforgiveables by casting them on a bunch of unsuspecting spiders. Though his methods were unorthodox, they learned a lot from the strange man.

Three weeks after school had started again, Hadrian stayed in his seat after another eventful lesson with their Defence teacher, waving Hermione off as she looked at him questioningly. After a quick glance between her brother and their teacher, she turned around and walked out of the class.

Hadrian looked up at the man, a fierce glint in his eyes. The other reciprocated his gaze with a smirk that seemed incredibly out of place on his scarred face. As the door closed behind the last student, Hadrian put up some heavy anti-spying wards with the twitch of a finger and a thought.

Then, he stood in a fluent motion and prowled up to his teacher, coming to a halt a few centimetres in front of him.

“So. Who are you really, Moody?” His voice came out as a purr and he smiled lazily.

The disfigured man’s eyes widened almost imperceptibly, before he returned Hadrian’s smirk and turned around without a word.

Raising an eyebrow in curiosity, Hadrian followed him as he made his way into the private office adjacent to the classroom. Once inside, Moody sat behind his desk and waved a lazy hand towards the opposing chair. Hadrian dropped into it gracefully and waited for the other male to talk.

“I suppose it’s useless to pretend not to know what you’re talking about?” At Hadrian’s expression he shrugged and continued. “Right. So, first of all I want to assure you that I am in no way a creepy stalker.”

Hadrian snorted. “Oh my, Professor. Have you been listening to my private conversations?” He wasn’t really shocked as he had discovered Moody following him quite a few times now, which didn’t remedy the stalkerish impression he had made.

Unfazed, Moody shook his head. “That’s not the point, Potter. You know that I’m not who I say I am but I also know that you are now who you say you are.” Hadrian stiffened in his seat.

Moody tapped his artificial eye and Hadrian froze. The eye could see through anything. Moody had been watching him over the summer. In his house. Where he had transformed into his hybrid form.

Snarling, he jumped off his chair and crouched low, ready to attack at any given moment.

The man who wasn’t Moody followed him with his eyes, an almost hungry expression gracing his face as he observed the tightly coiled muscles of the Lamia. Confused by that reaction, Hadrian eased out of the defensive crouch and just stared warily.

Suddenly the skin of his teacher began to bubble and the tell-tale signs of Polyjuice potion which stopped working appeared. Short grey hair grew longer and thicker as it changed into a mess of dark brown. The face and body structure changed, limbs grew back and his protheses fell off with a sickening plop.

In front of him was now the man from that day in Diagon Alley, as Hadrian had been expecting.

The man grinned at him again and swooped into a low bow. “Bartemius Crouch Junior, Dark wizard extraordinaire, at your service.”

Chapter Text

A slow predatory smile stretched across Rian’s face at the introduction of the older wizard and he casually perched himself on top of his teacher’s desk. Hungry eyes followed his movements, looking like a snake about to devour its’ prey. Then Barty seemed to think of something and cocked his head to the side curiously.

“Why do you hide your pretty face? You look stunning without that ridiculous glamor.”

Barty’s voice sounded so honestly confused that Hadrian was thrown off and just stared at the other for a few moments, before he decided to answer him.

“As of now that is none of your business. However, if you earn my trust, I may tell you later on. Let’s get on with the important things. What is the allegedly deceased Bartemius Crouch Junior, a known and convicted Death Eater doing in a school filled with children posing as an insane teacher with an unhealthy obsession for barely legal young boys?”

His voice stayed as calm as if he were talking about the weather, but his sharp-edged smile never left his face and his eyes were trained on the wizard standing in the middle of the room.

Said wizard just grinned cheekily at the accusations, then he threw his head back and laughed. Fascinated by the unexpected sound, he watched his professor, enchanted. The dark, rumbling laughter mixed with the heady feeling of his magic shook the Lamia to his core and he felt a pooling heat in his belly, unlike anything he had ever experienced.

Before he could explore his body’s reaction to the ruggedly handsome man any further, the beautiful sound suddenly stopped and those dark eyes were focused solely on him again. Hadrian swallowed, mouth unexpectedly dry and any witty comment far from his mind.

“Just to make one thing clear, Mr. Potter, I am neither a pervert nor a stalker. You are simply a rather special case.” The velvety drawl of his voice incited the heat in Rian’s body anew.

Focused on the strange feeling inside of himself and the question of why his magic seemed so familiar, yet foreign, Rian paid less attention to the escaped convict in front of him than he probably should have.

He squeaked in surprise when he was suddenly caged in by muscular arms pronounced by too tight robes, Barty’s face centimetres from his own, and he tried to back away. Barty eagerly followed him with his body, one hand moving around to pull Hadrian closer.

His breath caught in his throat at the intense expression and he instinctively leaned into the other male, taking in his exhilarating scent, which triggered a series of images flashing through his mind.

A muscular thigh in between his legs, pressing him up against a cold stone wall. Magic swirling around him, teasing him. Lips trailing down his bare neck, finding their path along exposed flesh to hardened nubs. His desperate keen, a cry for more. Sharp fangs nicking scaled flesh. Arms caging him in, holding him up, keeping him safe. Red eyes hooded as they look up at him-

Hadrian gasped, shaking off the vivid pictures. Where the hell had that just come from? Red eyes? Fangs? And why did the magic of the man in his fantasy feel so similar to Barty’s own?

Barty seemed to take his distraction as an invitation and leaned down, his lips dangerously close to Rian’s. Rian glared at the man, any inclination to do anything evaporated in the face of his strange daydream and the questions it brought.

Instead of kissing the Lamia, Barty fell forward as Rian suddenly vanished beneath his hands.

The pointed clearing of a throat made him whirl around and he blinked incredulously at the sight of the beautiful man across the room, standing with his arms crossed.

“Now that we have established that you are indeed a pervert and I am not entirely disinclined to your advances, I think we should talk about the important stuff.” Hadrian, for all intents and purposes, looked as calm and collected as ever, business-first-and-fun-after attitude oozing from each and every pore.

Huffing frustratedly, Barty seemed to accept his fate and threw himself into his previously vacated chair looking like a sullen child denied their favourite sweet.

Rian had to hold back a snort of laughter at the image of one of Voldemort’s most feared, most sadistic followers being denied chocolate and pouting because of it.

“You’re a Death Eater.” Barty hummed noncommittally “And you are most likely impersonating Moody on the Dark Lord’s orders. I don’t know towards which goal, but I assume it has something to do with me.”

Barty just raised an unimpressed eyebrow, neither denying, nor agreeing to any of Hadrian’s guesses. Rian huffed in annoyance.

“Fine, I’ll keep stating my guesses then. Just stop me when I’m wrong. Voldemort-“ at the violent flinch from his teacher, Rian rolled his eyes.

“Oh do grow up, he wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of inventing a name for himself if he didn’t want people to use it! Voldemort either found you, or you found him yourself, after you somehow managed to fake your death and break out of Azkaban. Then he instructed you to impersonate Moody, to keep a close eye on me. During your stalking-” at this point he glared at Barty to keep him from protesting “of me, you found out about my creature inheritance. You got intrigued, so when you saw me that day in Diagon you couldn’t help yourself and practically jumped me. Voldy then ordered you to watch me even closer to see if I had somehow changed, and here we are.”

Barty had nodded along during his mini monologue, apparently agreeing.

“You are mostly correct, though the actual reason for me being a teacher is a little more complicated than `watch Potter closely´. Though I really don’t know why the hell I should tell you, you’re not even on my side of this war. At least I assume that, since you haven’t told me anything at all about yourself.”

Rian shrugged at the challenging look, seeing his point. He bowed low, just as Barty had done before and introduced himself at last.

“Fine. I am Hadrian Cuallee Yacatete, descendant of the Aztec ruler Tezozomoc Yacateteltetl, only known Lamia in the British Isles alive today. A dark creature on the dark side. Will you now tell me what Voldy’s deal is? Because I really want to get on with restoring his mind and body so that we can overthrow Dumbledore together.” His too sharp grin was back, fangs just edging out of his mouth.

Barty seemed to have frozen in his posh chair, eyes and mouth wide open, unable to comprehend the information and the way it changed everything.

Rian snorted in amusement and dropped into the chair he had originally been sitting in, waiting for Barty’s brain to reboot.

He had begun to consider whether he should ask Dobby for some tea and biscuits, when the other man suddenly started laughing again. Instead of the deep rumble from before it was now nothing but a hysterical giggle, which got Rian just a little worried for the mental integrity of his fake-yet-real teacher.

“Are you okay? I don’t think what I just told you was all that funny.”

Barty had apparently noticed the annoyance creeping into his voice, because he cut off his giggles and tried to appease Hadrian.

“Sorry. It’s just that I imagined Dumbledore’s face when he found out about his golden poster boy being one of the dark magical creatures he so despises. Besides that; the mental image of you of all people converting to the dark side, wanting to restore the Dark Lord to his former glory, hell, casually calling the Dark Lord `Voldy´ as if it were nothing… You have to admit that sounds pretty damn hilarious.”  

Rian couldn’t help but match the slightly demented grin directed at him and he nodded. Yes, he could see that.  

“Okay now that we’ve established that we’re indeed on the same side and both just want to help Voldy, will you please tell me what his plan for the immediate future is?”

Barty licked his lips in that nervous tick of his, wiggled a little in his chair to find a more comfortable position and thought about his answer for a moment. Rian huffed and finally decided to mentally ask Dobby for that tea he had been thinking of earlier, as this conversation did seem like it may yet take a while. Thanks to their bond he didn’t have to say a word, just thinking his message while clearly directing it at Dobby was enough for the other creature to understand him.  

If Barty was startled by the sudden appearance of tea and a large tray of biscuits he didn’t let it show, taking a large sip of his hot beverage and a chocolate chip cookie. He considered the foreign muggle sweet in his hands for so long that Rian finally got annoyed and cleared his throat pointedly.

The older wizard startled, then gifted Rian with a lopsided smirk and finally started his explanation.

“I think it’s important to start a story at the beginning, don’t you?” Rian groaned in frustration, he was never getting out of here. “Fabulous,” he continued unperturbed by the Lamia’s lacking enthusiasm. “After you destroyed our Lord at the end of the last war, I got caught and convicted to Azkaban. My father was the Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the time, so it came as quite the shock for everybody to see me get shipped off. Not that I ever expected him to make an exception for me. If he had been a decent father, maybe, but he is one of those disgusting creatures hiding behind a mask of righteousness, feeling like every atrocious deed they commit is somehow justified by their will to do everything for the greater good.” At this point he snorted derisively and Rian was inclined to agree with his assessment.

“Sure, my father is not as bad, or as far up his own arse as Dumbledore is, but he is getting quite close. I digress. What’s important is that my father is an arsehole, but my mother was wonderful. She couldn’t bare to see me rotting in prison, so she devised a plan to free me. She was dying and convinced father to Polyjuice us into each other, so he could leave with me and leave her behind. She died the same day. The same day my loving father put me under the Imperius and left me to rot in his fucking closet for nearly thirteen years!”

Barty was breathing heavily and his eyes glinted with pain, betrayal and not a little bit of madness. Rian leaned across the desk and put a long-fingered hand on top of a trembling one, only letting go once it’s steel grip on the desk’s edge had lessened. Drawing a few more ragged breaths, Barty continued.

“I could finally slip out during the Quidditch world cup last summer, because Crouch was distracted by the game, finally allowing me to shake off the curse. After that day I spent my time searching out the Dark Lord and once I had finally found him, helping him however I could. His mind is shattered and his physical form is weak; a homunculus with little magical capabilities. I don’t know how he survived the past sixteen years, but it seems like a part of him was lost during that time. I was sent here to ensure your participation in the Triwizard Tournament, since he wants to kidnap you for a ritual he needs to do to get his real body back. I have been going along with his elaborate plans, because I hope that once his physical form is restored, his mind will follow.”

Hadrian had remained stone faced during the last part of Barty’s rendition and thought about his plan of action.

“It seems to me like little has changed. I have to meet him and somehow convince him that he needs to get his sanity back before proceeding with the war, while simultaneously not getting caught by Dumbledore for obvious reasons.”

Barty nodded sagely. Then his slightly mad grin returned and he looked directly into Rian’s eyes. “So you will participate in the Tournament?”

Hadrian groaned. “Do I have a choice?”

The grin turned smug. “I’m afraid not, Mister Potter.”

“Yacatete. Or Hadrian. Not Potter, that’s not my name and it always reminds me of that conniving old fool,” he hissed out through gritted teeth.

“Hadrian,” Barty assented.

“Alrighty then. And here I was, afraid that this year would be dreadfully boring.”

Barty’s answering cackle was not reassuring at all, but Rian simply rolled his eyes, quickly growing found of the eccentric man.

“As fun as this has been, Professor, I will take my leave now. Inform me should Voldy change his orders.”

Making his way out of the office, he could practically feel the burning gaze on him and he grinned smugly when he caught the low appreciative whistle sent after him.

 


 

Hermione’s head shot up as he entered the Gryffindor common room and she all but apparated to his side. He stumbled slightly under the unexpected onslaught. Okay not totally unexpected, he did know his sister after all.

“So, what did you find out?” She was trying to whisper, but failed in her excitement. Several curious students looked at her and she blushed. She proceeded to drag him out of the common room and into the RoR, their usual place for secret meetings. He indulged her and followed along obediently.

Once inside the room, Mione started hopping up and down in excitement. “So? So? So? What happened? Is he really the creepy guy from the alley or did you ambush an innocent teacher?!”

He snorted at that, dropped into a squishy armchair and regarded her with one of his patented Hermione-stop-worrying-so-much-and-sit-down looks until she obeyed and shuffled onto the chair opposed to his.

Hadrian told her everything he knew about Barty, as well as his plans and that he would have to participate in the Tournament if he wanted the perfect opportunity to meet with Voldy. Hermione, predictably, chocked when he called the Dark Lord Voldy and went off on a rant why it was a bad idea to call one of the most powerful wizards alive by the nickname of a name said wizard made up to be feared and revered.

With a shit eating grin Rian responded to that reprimand. “All right, I’ll call him Tommy then.”

Hermione groaned in horror. He giggled.

“Why am I friends with you again?”, she asked through the hands covering her face, tone desperate.

He gave her a bright smile, slung his arm around her shoulder and leant closer. Her bushy hair tickled his nose, but he pressed on until he could whisper his answer into her ear. 

“Because I’m awesome!”

She rolled her eyes fondly, then looked at him critically.

“Why are you so chipper? Did something else happen while you were in there?” Mione wiggled her eyebrows. Rian blushed and averted his eyes.

“Uhm, not really? Barty just stared at me a lot and I had this weird vison of a man with red eyes, intoxicating magic and fangs as Barty almost kissed me-“

“HE DID WHAT?!”

Hadrian almost fell off his chair in his haste to back away from the suddenly furious girl.

“Mione, calm down. Nothing happened and –“

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN; NOTHING HAPPENED?! A TEACHER TRIED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU!” She looked like a goddess of war, eyes blazing, wild locks sticking off in all directions and teeth clenched in fury.

Rian blinked. He had not anticipated this reaction. At all. Probably because Mione never had a reason to freak out over something like this before.

“Calm down, Hermione! He didn’t kiss me. He almost did and I wanted him to, but then I had this vison-fantasy thingy and I apparated across the room.”

At the mention of her name she looked less furious and at the end of his rambling explanation she looked like a different person, leaning forward with madly twinkling eyes. Rian leaned a little further away from her, just to be safe.

“You apparated inside of Hogwarts, I thought that was impossible?? Hogwarts: A history said that several centuries ago a headmaster added something to the wards to prevent all wix inside from apparating, as an additional security measure. When did you even get your licence? You have a licence, right? Hadrian please tell me you have a licence.”

Rian smiled sheepishly, glad that the topic had changed, yet very aware that he did not, in fact have an apparating licence. He needed to find something to distract his sister, quickly.

“Well. I mean technically I’m not a wizard, but a magical creature. So maybe that’s why I’m able to do it. Or it might be because I did it wandlessly?”

Her eyes widened and he mentally high-fived himself; crisis averted.

“Oh my God, I didn’t even think of that! I have to go research this immediately!” She all but jumped out of her chair and fled the room.

Rian looked after her fondly until her fluttering robes had disappeared through the temporarily appearing door. Then he turned towards the suddenly lit fireplace in front of him, silently thanking the room for its’ service. A warm feeling flowed through him and he smiled as he recognised it as Hogwarts’ unique magic.

 


 

After spending a relaxed evening in his hybrid form, sequestered away in the room of requirement, Rian felt at peace with himself and the weird vison-fantasy he had had. If it had a deeper meaning, he could decipher it later. It might have something to do with his soulmate, but Rian still felt rather unsure about the whole subject. He thought about it further as he made his way back to the Gryffindor tower.

It wasn’t so much having a soulmate which disturbed him. Rather the thought of only ever being with a single person in his whole life annoyed him. Why couldn’t he fool around with someone before he met his soulmate? It wasn’t cheating if you hadn’t even met each other yet, right? Right. This, to him, meant primarily one thing: He could get a piece of Barty if the other was willing.

A cheshire grin slid across his features at that thought, exposing his sharp teeth beneath his glamor. He was just about to make a plan to seduce Barty, when he was suddenly pulled out of his mind by an annoyingly familiar drawl.

“Potter, what do you think you are doing here?”

Rian rolled his eyes in annoyance, about to give his ingrained Golden Boy response, when he froze. There was no need to act like the epitome of Gryffindor around him anymore. He would try a different approach instead.

Schooling his face into an emotionless mask, Rian kept walking.

“Potter?! I am talking to you!” The voice behind him sounded positively furious now and he allowed himself a brief victorious smirk. He kept walking.

“Stop right there!” A flurry of motion broke out behind him as the other male ran after him.

Rian kept walking, completely ignoring the enraged Slytherin storming after him. He only reacted when he felt a spell rush at his unguarded back.

Hadrian turned around faster than the perpetrator could blink, blocked the stunner with a sharp hand gesture then threw a nonverbal, wandless Petrificus Totalus at him. Too shocked to react, the other fell back with locked limbs.

Hadrian strode towards the motionless figure on the ground, leaned over him and whispered into his ear.

“Do not try that again. Ever. Believe me you will not like the consequences. And if you even think about telling anyone about this, I will make you suffer.” Panicked eyes were locked onto his looming form.

“Do you understand that, Draco?” The petrified pureblood made a noise which Hadrian chose to see as assent, so he patted his cheek condescendingly, got up and walked away.

“MMMH!” The muffled screech from behind him made him turn around with a mocking smile.

“Don’t worry, dear Dracie the spell will dissolve if anyone comes near you.”

Feeling quite satisfied, he skipped away while whistling a merry tune.

Chapter Text

Deep within the twisted creature precariously perched on a child sized armchair, the old feeling of loneliness arose, nearly tipping him over the brink of sanity once again. At that, sudden rage burned through him, hot and undiluted.

Rage and crippling loneliness seemed to be the only things he could feel ever since… he couldn’t even remember the time when he had had a real body, not to mention the ability to feel true emotion.

His miniature snakelike face twisted with his furious snarl. He threw his head back and screamed. He screamed at the world’s unfairness, screamed at his own helplessness, screamed at the knowledge that he would slowly succumb to madness. Without his mate, he couldn’t survive and he hated them for it. Hated that he, Lord Voldemort, was weak, dependant on another to survive. Hated how another he had never even met held such power over him. He hated. Hated. HATED! Them.

The inhumane sound echoing through the empty mansion would have scarred any human hearing it for life. But there was no one to listen to the fallen Lord’s cries. He was alone. He had always been alone and he would always be alone. His sharp fingernails left deep indentions in the soft wood of his chair, fingers desperately clinging to it, to reality.

He didn’t need a mate. He didn’t want one. He had lived his whole life without one, he could and he would continue to do so. He had obtained immortality at the age of sixteen. Had locked away a sliver of his soul in his diary by murdering an innocent little girl. To be tethered to this realm, but also to numb the pain.

To make himself forget what it felt like to be unloved. Unwanted. Ignored. To become truly strong and make all of those looking down on him submit to his greater power.  

But he hadn’t stopped there. He couldn’t, not anymore. Because underneath it all, he still remembered what he had wished to forget. And so, he continued on.

Creating Horcrux after Horcrux, mutilating his soul. Ripping himself apart until nothing but a shell of his true self remained. Half mad from his missing soulmate, half mad from shredding his soul until everything blurred together.

Nothing had mattered anymore, at that point. Only to kill, to maim, to cause pain. He had revelled in it, revelled in torturing friend and foe alike. Nothing had been able to penetrate the haze surrounding him.

Nothing… until he met a little boy with huge green eyes. Eyes that had been completely calm as he murdered the little boy’s mother right in front of him. For a brief moment Lord Voldemort had felt something akin to regret, but he had shaken it off and thrown a killing curse at the happily laughing baby.

 


 

“Who can tell me the key difference between Diffindo and Sectus?” Barty-as-Moody’s voice boomed through the silent classroom.

A Ravenclaw boy raised his hand hesitantly. Barty grunted in his direction, which the boy took as his cue.

“Uhm. Well… so Diffindo is a cutting spell and Sectus is a cutting spell too,” he stuttered uncertainly.

Barty rolled his real eye in annoyance. “Obviously. I wanted to know the difference between the two cutting spells.” His tone of voice heavily implied what he thought of the boy’s intelligence. The Ravenclaw shrank back into his seat and blushed a bright red.

The atmosphere in the room grew even more awkward after that and the students all avoided their teacher’s gaze. Hermione, who had decided not to wave her hand in the air anymore, as she had done during her first few years of schooling, and to instead wait to be called upon, sighed in annoyance.

The artificial blue eye of their teacher rolled around, focussing on several different students who weren’t paying as much attention as they were supposed to, but his real eye was trained on Hadrian at the front of the classroom.

Rian smirked at him, returning his burning gaze intently. While he couldn’t say that he found the current appearance of Barty in any way appealing, the knowledge of his true, handsomely ripped form beneath the scarred façade was enough to keep his eyes trained on him.

Barty focused on his students again, still waiting for one of them to give him a satisfying answer. Hadrian used the other man’s distraction to look behind himself and lock eyes with Draco Malfoy, who, in Rian’s humble opinion, seemed rather too cocky after their run in on the previous day.

The Slytherin who had been grinning smugly at the ignorance of the other students grew pale and wide eyed as he saw the way Hadrian smiled at him. Too friendly, with a touch of madness at the edges. He had perfected that look over the last few weeks of the summer holidays, as he had used it to cow the Dursleys each time they got any ideas.

Draco’s previously raised hand trembled and he had just begun to lower it, slowly as not to draw Rian’s ire, as Barty motioned for him to answer the question.

“We- well, Diffindo is a light spell and Sectus is a dark spell?” His voice trembled as Hadrian’s smile grew a touch more psychotic. Rian turned towards the front again, smiling innocently at Barty.

Their teacher raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “Are you telling me or asking?” His gruff voice sounded harsh against the hushed silence of the room and Draco shuffled in his seat.

“I am telling you.” His voice was still wavering, but Barty seemed to be feeling generous, as he turned towards the class as whole again and expounded on Draco’s answer.

“Correct. The only true difference between the two cutting spells is their classification. Because Diffindo only needs precise wand movements and pronunciation to work, it is classified as a light spell. Sectus is a dark spell, because it needs intent and emotion to work. Emotion and intent. That is the true difference between light magic and dark magic. But there is a third kind of magic.”

Barty waved his wand and three classifications appeared on the blackboard. Light magic, dark magic and perennial magic.

At this point, every last student was listening with rapt attention and several Ravenclaws, as well as Hermione were frantically taking notes. Rian heard a quill break, followed by a frantic shuffling around.

“Our corrupt Ministry has banned both the original magic, also called perennial magic, as well as the dark magic practiced by wix in this day and age. Not because they are generally more dangerous than light magic, but because of their inherent unpredictability.

The Ministry as a whole doesn’t understand what it takes to cast perennial magic and its successor; dark magic. Perennial magic doesn’t follow conventional rules, because it is so much older than us humans and our need to control everything around us. To cast the original magic, you have to be connected to your own magical core on a level so deep it’s almost impossible to achieve for modern wix, because of the way we are raised and indoctrinated.

The principles of dark magic are directly based on perennial magic, which is why it’s very different from light magic. Light magic is pressed into easily memorisable movements and spells, relying heavily on wands, restricted by our human need for control. It’s something the ministry and the broad masses understand. They can regulate and control it. Take away a wizard’s wand and they’re unable to perform light magic, unless they are very powerful.

Very few magical humans are able to connect to magic itself on such a deep level, but there are entire species of magical creatures with no such limitations. They are able to connect with their magical cores in a way nearly unknown to us wix today. Yes, we are able to use dark magic, but we rely on wands and spells even for that, crippling our own potential and creating a huge weakness.

If you want to know what magic is supposed to look like, just watch a house elf cleaning.”

While the class had been listening to his speech with bated breath, his last words were accompanied by a roar of outrage from the students. Magical creatures better able to access their cores? House elves in any way better than the wix? Impossible!

Rian snickered quietly at the mayhem breaking out around him. After reading all these creature books in the holidays he knew that what Barty had said had been true for the most part, but the last sentence had only been added to provoke his students.

While it was true that a lot of magical creatures had a better connection to their magic than magical humans (or wix) did, he himself was a prime example of that, house elves were not among those fortunate creatures. They, as a race, had been cut off from their natural connection after their collective fallout with the elven realm. Additionally, while the magic practised by wix was indeed weaker than what an in tune magical creature could produce with perennial magic, it wasn’t as drastic a difference as Barty had portrayed it to be. The main problem was indeed the magical humans’ reliance on wands.

Hadrian was just about to further dwell on the differences between wix and magical creatures, which was a really interesting subject, when he was suddenly grabbed and dragged out of his seat and into the office adjacent to the classroom by a strong hand.

The door behind him shut itself and left him and Barty, who else would it even be, alone in the dimly lit office. Rian turned towards his captor, who had moved back to allow him a bit of space and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“What are you doing, shouldn’t you be teaching?”

Barty smirked. “Nah, they were busy screaming at each other about whether magical creatures are better than magical humans or not, so I told them to write an essay about it and get lost. Didn’t you pay any attention?”

Rian coughed awkwardly. “Hmm, no. Not really. I was thinking about house elves and how they got banned from the elven realm because of the shit they did.” True, but abbreviated. “Besides, I tend to ignore what I don’t find interesting.”

The other man’s smirk transformed into something more sinister so quick it almost gave Hadrian whiplash and he advanced in fluid strides, looking the quintessential predator in all his muscled glory. Rian licked his lips at the other’s appearance. A tiny part of his brain chose that moment to comment on the fact that Barty looked like himself again and no longer like his scarred teacher, but it got overwhelmed by the part focussed on how fucking hot Barty was very quickly.

His mouth went dry when Barty was stood right in front of him, 200 pounds of muscled glory. Barty’s eyes darkened and he caged Hadrian in with his arms. Then he leaned down to nuzzle Rian’s neck, who gasped at the unexpected action.

A light chuckle reverberated through the taller man’s chest as Rian slung his arms around him and drew him in even closer. Teeth were soon nibbling along Hadrian’s neck, until Barty’s mouth was directly at his ear.

Hot breath ghosted over Rian’s sensitive skin as Barty whispered “As delicious as you look like this, I actually wanted to talk to you about our plans for the tournament.”

With those words, Barty withdrew and sauntered back to his desk. Dropping into his chair elegantly, he motioned for Hadrian to take the other one.

Smiling pleasantly with a hint of fang that promised pain if Barty ever left him hanging like that again, Rian took the invitation and crossed the plain office.

After he had sat down, Rian mentally asked Dobby for some tea and biscuits again, as that had freaked Barty out rather nicely last time.

To his great disappointment, the older male barely reacted to the treats suddenly appearing in between them and instead focused his intense gaze on him.

“It’s nearly October now. The other schools will come at the 22nd with their eligible candidates, after which the Goblet of fire will be put out so everyone who wants can throw a piece of paper with their name on it in it, to volunteer to participate in the tournament.”

Hadrian raised an eyebrow at that. “And how were you planning on entering me into the tournament in your original plan then?”

Barty suddenly seemed very invested in his herbal tea, as he focused all of his attention on stirring it with a conjured spoon.

Rian chuckled amused. “You weren’t just going to enter my name and hope for the best, were you?”

At that, Barty puffed up indignantly. “Of course not, I would have confounded the Goblet into thinking you were the only participant of a fourth school!”

“Excuse me? What kind of a stupid plan is that?”

Barty seemed taken aback by the brisk admonishment and Rian’s utterly incredulous look.

“What? That’s a brilliant plan and you know it!”

Now he just sounded like a petulant child, which was so utterly ridiculous that Hadrian snorted in amusement.

“I admit the idea of confounding the Goblet itself is genius. However, did you honestly think it wouldn’t be at all suspicious if there were four contestants, instead of three, with the additional one being Harry Potter, the chosen one himself? You didn’t think anyone may find that weird and start investigating?”

“Well,” Barty began hesitatingly. “If you say it like that. I suppose that would have been a little questionable. But what else can we do? We can’t risk the goblet not choosing you, we have to ensure you compete in the tournament so you can meet the Dark Lord.”

Hadrian hummed in agreement as he took a sip of his tea. Placing the cup down with a soft clinking noise, he looked at Barty with deliberation.

“I have thought about that since our last meeting, and I believe that the easiest solution would be to add several more people than originally intended to the Tournament. I didn’t know how that could be done, but if we use your approach it should work.”

Barty agreed and they spent the rest of their time together going over the details.

 


 

 Rian had just curled up in his favourite chair in the quaint little room provided by the RoR, draped his long tail elegantly around the piece of furniture and stretched his wings out, when he felt a breach of the proximity wards he had set mere minutes prior.

Immediately, he sat up straight, eyes trained on the only entry intently. When there seemed to be no immediate danger of anyone breaking down the door, he followed the feeling of somebody stepping on his magic associated with his wards being breached and tried to sense them through it.

He got a vague impression of a strong gait until the person came to a halt directly in front of the currently invisible doors, staring straight at them. Rian’s magic curled around the person, getting a feel for them until he recognised the familiar magic radiating from their left arm.

Opening his eyes again, he smiled serenely, got up and started slithering towards the small oaken doors with the fluid grace inherent to him. The huge carpet covering the whole floor of the common room inspired space was incredibly fluffy and Hadrian let himself get briefly distracted by the weird feeling of his scales brushing against the luxurious material.

Shaking himself out of it, he crossed the small room, opened the door and pulled a surprised Barty inside, before the older man had any chance to protest.

Barty rounded on him and seemed on the brink of lecturing him, when he just froze.

Hadrian closed the door and made his way back to the perfect armchair, the lightly crackling fire within the elaborately decorated hearth and the little footstool he couldn’t use at the moment, but appreciated none the less. He was confused when he noticed that Barty hadn’t followed him.                                

“Come on over Barty, I had thought our talk to be over, but if there was anything else you wanted to discuss…?” Said Barty still looked utterly shell-shocked and Rian raised a confused eyebrow.

“Barty,” he coaxed with a soft tone.

Starry eyes were focused on him and Barty smiled a little stupidly. “You’re so pretty!”

Rian blinked at that sudden exclamation. “Uhm. Excuse me? I don’t look different than usu-“ Rian stopped talking as a spot on his wing itched and his tail gave an involuntary flick.  

“Ah, that’s right. You haven’t seen my hybrid form from up close yet, have you?”

Barty only mutely shook his head, but looked to be recovering as he finally moved over to the quaint loveseat positioned in an angle to Hadrian’s own chair.

Trying to distract himself from the beautiful creature in front of him, Barty studied the red, black and gren colour scheme of the room. Every piece of furniture was done in an assortment of those colours, the carpet was a deep burgundy with intricate black flowers and the walls were a deep forest green.

He was so focussed on the pattern of his loveseat that he actually forgot about Rian for a minute.

Rian furrowed his brow at his teacher as he spent five minutes caressing his seat and humming under his breath like a lunatic. Since his pointed look seemed ineffective, Hadrian cleared his throat loudly.

Barty was startled out of his revere and looked up sheepishly.

“Sorry, but this material is fascinating,” he explained with shining eyes.

His enthusiasm earned him a light chuckle and a waving hand.

“It’s fine,” Hadrian assured the nervously twitching man. “So, what’s wrong?”

 “Oh, nothing. I just wanted to see where you disappeared to after you didn’t enter Gryffindor tower as I expected.”

“Okay, I don’t even think it’s necessary to tell you that that’s exactly what a stalker would do, is it?” His tone was more amused than annoyed, but Barty’s gaze shifted away guiltily anyways.

“I was just making sure you got back safely,” he finally mumbled.

Hadrian snorted, but indulged the other male by placating him. “Alright then. I’m in the room of requirement, with high quality wards adjacent to a door that can only be accessed by me should I wish it, in a school filled with magical children Dumbledore hopefully wouldn’t attack in case he found out about me. Oh, and I’m the only currently attending heir of Hogwarts.”

That last titbit he had learned by perusing the parchment from Irontooth’s ritual, which reminded him that he desperately needed to get to Gringotts again. And look through the rest of the parchment, it was annoyingly long and went into excruciatingly boring detail on everything. He had rushed out of there before officially accepting his titles, which now that he thought about it had been the main reason he had been summoned in the first place. Rian giggled, sometimes he could be quite airheaded.

Barty hadn’t moved in the time Hadrian had thought about the ritual and its aftermath. He was still staring at Hadrian incredulously.

“What did I say now?” Hadrian asked impatiently. He had been looking forward to a relaxing evening alone, which wouldn’t happen as long as Barty sat around like a particularly attractive stature.

His annoyed tone got to the other, who shook his head and mumbled something about impossible minxes into his none existent beard.

Hadrian rolled his eyes.

“Is there something else you wanted, or…?” He trailed off meaningfully, hoping Barty would get the hint to get on with it.

Barty, it seemed, did not get the hint. Instead he smiled lecherously at the Lamia and whispered in a hoarse voice which should be made illegal “Oh there is something else I want and I believe you can give it to me.”

Trying to process the change in mood, Hadrian leaned forward, faking nonchalance.

“I am not quite sure what you could possibly mean by that, Professor.

The other’s eyes darkened at that and his smile turned predatory. “Hmm, I’m not convinced, Mr. Potter

Hadrian glared at him.

Mr Yacatete,” Barty hastened to correct himself. Rian smiled angelically.

Ignoring his faux-pas, Barty stood in a smooth motion and sauntered up to Hadrian’s seat until he towered over the beautiful half serpent.

Said half serpent threw him a smouldering look through sooty lashes and beckoned him closer with a twitch of his shimmering tail. Barty growled as he felt the smooth scales rub against his leg and pulled Rian up by his tie until they were pressed against each other, chest to chest.

Rian slung his arms around broad shoulders and pulled his teacher into a passionate kiss. Barty growled into his mouth appreciatively and pulled him impossibly closer, deepening the kiss at the same time.

Wandering hands were exploring naked flesh while pushing offending garments out of the way. The younger moaned and buried his hands in Barty’s hair encouragingly as he leaned down to suck at his exposed nipples.

“Barty,” he moaned, need crashing into him forcefully. “Please~”

His response was a harsh tug of teeth on sensitive nubs that only served to increase his ache, so he pushed Barty’s head down to where he really wanted it. Barty smirked up at him as he met the nonverbal demand and smoothly got to his knees.

Talented fingers were mere inches away from Hadrian’s straining erection when the door was suddenly slammed open and Hermione rushed through, a giant stack of books in her hands.

“Rian, I just wanted to have a look at those, it’s about your wandless … magic…,” she trailed off as she finally noticed the two people in a rather compromising position. Calmly, she put down the stack of books on a small table and turned towards them with a serene smile. Rian smiled back innocently, while Barty took that as his cue to scramble up hastily.

“So, Hadrian, don’t you want to introduce me to your friend?”

Chapter Text

“So, Hadrian, don’t you want to introduce me to your friend?”

Hermione’s saccharine smile combined with the dangerous glint in her eyes was sending shivers down Rian’s spine and his smile grew strained.

“Actually, dear sister, you know him already.” Her smile froze and the dangerous glint grew into an ominous glower as she figured out who the unknown man right next to her baby brother was.

“This better not be your creepy stalker masquerading as our teacher!” Her voice barely rose above its normal volume, but Rian shrank back nonetheless. Nothing was quite as intimidating as an angry Hermione and right now she was in full overprotective big sister mode.

Barty had taken the time to get his act together and now smoothly stepped in front of Hadrian. Rian’s eyes grew wide. Oh shit, what is that idiot doing? She will castrate him!

His panicked thoughts were obviously not enough to stop Barty from doing something really, really stupid, so he caught his sleeve in his hands and tried to pull him back slowly, away from Hermione’s ire that was now shifting from Rian onto the one she was truly mad at. Her eyes were almost glowing from her anger and her hair was frizzing out more than usual, another sure indicator of her rising fury.

The blonde man did not seem to have even the most miniscule of survival instincts, as he didn’t budge once he was firmly planted in between the siblings.

“Barty,” he hissed urgently. “Get back here, she will kill you!”

He ignored him, instead turning towards Hermione.

Swooping down into a low bow, Barty smiled up at the glaring witch and kissed her pointedly not offered hand.

“Bartemius Crouch Jr, enchanted. I am glad to see Hadrian has someone so fiercely protective of him.”

She all but hissed at him in return. “Cut the crap, Crouch! You are not my brother’s mate and I will rather burden my conscience with murder, than watch you defile my innocent little brother!”

Barty looked at her wide eyed, obviously sensing that she was dead serious. He opened his mouth, presumably to backpaddle, but Hadrian didn’t let him.

Using his superior strength, he finally dragged Barty backwards and retook his previous position in front of his sister. Then he used his tail to boost himself up until he was taller than her and looked down at her sternly, previous unease and intimidation forgotten.

“Hermione, you know that I love you dearly, you truly are the sister of my heart, but I am of age and able to make my own decisions now. I know that Barty is not my mate and that the start we got off to wasn’t exactly the best one.” She snorted derisively, arms crossed, but kept listening.

“However, I haven’t met my mate yet. And until I do, which may take several years, if I meet them at all before I die of literal loneliness, I am in no way obligated to stay celibate, am I? I’m pretty sure Dad didn’t do that for three hundred years. So, if you would kindly keep out of my business with Barty, I would appreciate that greatly.”

Instead of the intimidated look he was hoping for, she looked at him with a mixture of smugness, which he recognized immediately as her I-know-something-you-don’t-and-I-will-lord-it-over-you expression, and pity? At least the murderous glares in Barty’s direction had stopped, so that was something.

Confused by her actions, he lowered himself onto his usual level, a little below Hermione’s and cocked his head expectantly. Barty behind him seemed completely thrown for a loop, opting not to interrupt again.

“Rian, have you not read anything about submissive creature mates?” He blinked.

“What’s your point?”

She looked away for a brief moment, constructing her next sentences carefully. He could almost see the cogs turning furiously.

“Well,” she cleared her throat and fidgeted with her hands. Not a good sign. Rian grew wary. “There are at least two partners in a relationship.” Rian was about to mumble no shit, Sherlock, but her awkward fidgeting stayed his tongue. “And with creatures it’s mostly pretty black and white as for their roles. There’s a dominant partner, the, ah, giving part, and a submissive partner, the receiving part.”

He was frozen in shock. Was his sister giving him The Talk?! Before he could shake off his numbness, she soldiered on.

“Anyway, the time before their meeting can vary greatly in between soulmates, depending on their race, gender and whether they are a natural submissive or a dominant.” Barty chose this point in her speech to throw Rian an apologetic look and hightail it out of the room. Coward. Rian glared after him, wishing he could run away as well.

“Since you told me about being a Lamia I have revisited some of the books on creatures I studied in the past and I found out quite a bit. One of the things I found out was that submissive Lamia are physically unable to…” Her voice trailed off and she gave him one of her meaningful looks.

Rian raised an eyebrow, his embarrassment cured in light of new information on his heritage. “They are unable to fuck, is what you’re trying to say?” He asked incredulously, his voice disbelieving.

Blood immediately rushed to her cheeks at that and she spluttered for a moment.

“What I was trying to say was that they are unable to receive pleasure from anyone except their mate. I swear, you can be so damn crude sometimes!”

He snorted at her flusteredness, but grew immediately serious as a thought dawned on him.

“Say, Mione,” he tried casually. “Why exactly are you teaching me all about submissive Lamia? Are you trying to tell me anything?”

She coughed and started twirling her hair. A really bad sign. Trepidation rose in his stomach.

“Youareasubmissiveandcanthavesexwithanyoneexceptforyourmate” He blinked, taking a few seconds to make sense of her rushed mumbling. Then his eyes narrowed dangerously.

“So I am a submissive? Wait, are you telling me that I can’t even fuck until I meet my mate?!” His voice came out in an angry snarl and Hermione quickly moved away from his anxiously beating wings.

“No, you just can’t … uhm. You know…”

His bared teeth and twitching tail convinced her to answer him quickly, even if it meant saying something incredibly embarrassing. She didn’t want to agitate her brother any further.

“Your body won’t allow itself to be penetrated down there.”

Rian blinked. Then he sat down in his armchair.

Hermione took a seat in another chair next to him, still anxiously twiddling with her hair while she waited for his reaction.

After a while of blankly staring at the wall, Hadrian started to slowly smile.

Instantly on high alert, Hermione looked at him warily.

“Rian, are you okay?” she asked, voice soft and understanding.

Luminescent eyes seemed to bore straight into her soul, smile falling away instantly. “I think I will need some time to process this. Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t even know about Lamia and now I’m not only a Lamia, but apparently a submissive. Do you have any idea what the Dursleys told me my whole life? About men who…” His voice trembled slightly and she could see the pain in his eyes.

Without hesitation she patted her lap and held her arms open in a clear invitation. Ever since their first year, when she had found him crying in an alcove, remembering the Dursleys and thinking that everything now happening to him was nothing but a dream, curling into his big sister had been the one thing that would calm Rian down. Especially after he thought about those monsters too much.

Being held tightly by the only person he ever trusted while she told him that she loved him, that he was special and that she would always be there for him soothed something deep inside of him. Even now, as a legally adult wizard and incredibly powerful creature, cuddling with Hermione calmed him down immediately.

 


 

Rian was sitting next to Hermione, with Neville on his other side acting as a buffer between him and Ginny who was really starting to creep him out with her obsession. As he hadn’t seen hide nor hair of her the first few weeks of school, he had been hopeful that she had calmed down over the summer, but after breaking up with Dean Thomas she was on him again.

As he tried to tune out her grating voice he lost himself in a fantasy where he would shut her up by telling her that he was a Dark creature, with a mate he would hopefully meet before he went off the deep end. She would look so nicely disgusted and betrayed, wouldn’t she?

Her beloved saviour not only a creature, a second-class citizen in the eyes of society, but a powerful dark one to boot. But he wouldn’t start out with that, of course. Firstly he would tell her that he was gay and very much disgusted by her. That even if he weren’t gay and he had to sleep with her in order to save her life he wouldn’t. Hell, he wouldn’t do it if his own life were depending on it.

Not that he could, of course. He after all couldn’t have-

His eyes widened in shock and he started to grin manically, how could he have been so stupid?

Hermione looked at her brother worriedly. He had snapped out of the gloomy sulk he had been since the incident the day before and suddenly started grinning like a madman.

“Rian?” Her questioning voice seemed to cut through his haze and he turned towards her.

Devilishly twinkling eyes met her wary ones and she raised an eyebrow in confusion.

“What did you think of?”

“Well, dear sister o’ mine. You remember that delightful conversation we had yesterday?” Leaving her no opportunity to answer he continued “Of course you do. So you also remember what you said about penetration?”

Her panicked gaze flickered around them as she simultaneously tried to shush him. He giggled and waved a negligent hand. “I obviously put up privacy wards already.”

She breathed a sigh of relieve and turned towards him once more. “Yes, I distinctly remember that incredibly awkward conversation,” she amended.

“Good.” His lips stretched into a downright evil smile, enjoying her embarrassment immensely. She glared at him. He met her glare unflinchingly, smile never leaving his face.

As she was about to become very annoyed with him because of his dramatics, he spoke again.

“So. You said that I couldn’t be penetrated, but you never said anything about my ability to penetrate someone else.” Hermione blinked. “Which means that I can fuck Barty, even if he can’t fuck me.”

Ending his statement, he looked very smug. Hermione sighed, already regretting having to burst his bubble.

“Rian, it’s not just about your desire to have coitus with another. There are certain signals mixed in with the magic of a Lamia’s mate which make them desirable. It’s why submissive Lamia have no desire to have sex with anyone besides their mate…”

She trailed off, suddenly realizing what this meant. Her eyes widened and her thought process stuttered to a halt.

Hadrian didn’t notice her predicament though, as he victoriously exclaimed over the fact that he did desire Barty, which obviously meant that the magical signals thingy was malfunctioning and he could go and fuck him after all. He was out of his seat before Hermione had a chance to reboot her mind.

As he stormed out of the Hall, intent on finding the professor that hadn’t been sitting at the head table for dinner, Hermione remained frozen in her place.

Neville, who noticed her unmoving posture with worry leaned in closer until he could hear her quiet mumbling. “So stupid… of course… dark mark… magic practically clings to him…how could I not notice this earlier? I can’t tell him…”

Confused by her jumbled thoughts Neville got back to his dinner and chose to ignore her for now. In the years he had known her, she had gotten like this a few times. Mostly when she had a revelation so shocking, she couldn’t deal with it. Although he was dying to know what said revelation was this time, he knew to be patient. If he was meant to know, she would tell him at some point.

 


 

The weeks until the other schools were meant to arrive passed by in a blur, the teachers saddling them with mountains of homework to get through as much of the curriculum as they possibly could before they were all too distracted by the Tournament to pay much attention to their schoolwork.

Hadrian and Barty spent what little time together they had ironing out details for the changed logistics during the Tournament, much to Rian’s frustration. He would have quite liked to use their time together in a more meaningful way, but every time they tried to sneak in a little make out session, Hermione always seemed to appear out of thin air to interrupt them.

He was growing quite frustrated because of that, which lowered his tolerance for bullshit to an all new low. That resulted in Hermione having to regularly drag him away from Ron or Ginny before he could snap their heads off. 

 


 

As the 22nd October rolled around, the sexual frustration emanating from Rian was nearly palpable and their whole house was suffering for it. Corresponding to Hadrian’s own mood, his housemates all felt agitated and jumpy, which had led to Hermione storming off towards the library a week previous with a dedicated expression normally reserved for exam season.

No one beside her and Rian had linked his mood to that of the others, which was a good thing considering that empathic abilities of that magnitude only ever appeared in magical creatures.

It was getting cold standing on the front steps of Hogwarts and Rian was just contemplating whether he should leave before the schools arrived, when an enormous flying carriage drawn by 12 beautiful Abraxan appeared in the far distance.

He had been staring at the mesmerizing sight for several minutes when the first students pointed to the carriage excitedly, which made him realise just how much his sight had been improved during his inheritance.

After another few minutes of waiting that transformed the previously bored crowd of students into a mass of thrilled children, which to be fair most of them still were, the carriage finally touched down on the dewy grass.

The first woman to exit the carriage looked normal sized compared to it, which made the students trailing after her look tiny. As they approached the Hogwarts’ residents it became clear to even the most slow minded people that the woman was probably just as tall as Hagrid. At least Rian thought so until Hagrid approached the woman, conversed with her for a moment and made his way over to the elephantine Abraxan, which prompted Ron to make a noise of surprise and say in what he probably thought of as his indoor voice “Woah, look at that, mate! She’s bloody huge!”

Seamus, who the statement was apparently directed at groaned in embarrassment when everyone turned to look at them. Ron’s face turned that interesting shade of red horrendously clashing with his hair and he ducked his head down in shame.

McGonagall glared at him and was about to stalk over menacingly when a giant splash and astounded outcries diverted her attention. Hadrian turned towards the noise as well and witnessed a truly mesmerizing sight.

Emerging from the depths of the black lake was a magnificent old ship made from dark wood, complete with fluttering sails, towering masts and a beautiful mermaid figurehead.  

While the ship made its way to the docks which had mysteriously appeared a few days earlier, the Beauxbatons students walked over and mingled with the Hogwarts crowd. Well, mingled was the wrong word. Stiffly standing as their own group a safe few feet away from them would be the more apt term to describe it, but who was Rian to judge?

He wasn’t the biggest fan of crowds either.

After their grand arrival, the two schools’ representatives were welcomed into Hogwarts with a welcoming feast rivalling the one the students always got after the summer holidays.

Dumbledore explained the rules of entering the tournament, namely one had to be of age to do so, and revealed the cup of fire which would choose one participant from each school.

Hadrian shared a slight grin with the disguised Barty at that. One participant from each school wouldn’t quite be the quota the had come up with to mess with the organisators a bit. 

 


 

That night, Barty without his Moody guise and Rian met up at the softly glowing cup.

“So, do you want to do this part, or should I?” Barty’s voice was barely above a whisper and he kept looking around to make sure they weren’t watched by anyone.

Rian rolled his eyes. “Barty,” his voice cut through the quietness of the entrance hall easily. “There is no need to whisper. I already put up several obscuring charms against both visual and audial surveillance.”

Barty cleared his throat embarrassedly and started to weave the charms they had come up with in their research to bamboozle the cup. The younger man grinned and closed his eyes.

As he had been developing his magic over the summer, he had discovered that he could actually see magic, if he closed his eyes and concentrated hard enough. This skill, just as his general magical abilities had become easier accessible by training.

In the beginning he had to keep his eyes closed and if his concentration wavered for even a second, he would lose the sight again. Now all he had to do was close his eyes, focus on the magic until his sight activated and then he could open them again.

At first the dual sight had been very disorienting, especially in a castle filled to the brim with magic, but it had become easier to navigate in time.

Opening his eyes, the now familiar layer of ethereally glowing colours was covering everything around him. He stared at the cup until everything else blended into the background and he could see the intricacies of the magic woven into and around the wooden cup.

This was his first time actually seeing the thing up close, their previous assumptions as to how it worked had been mere guesswork and Hadrian happily noticed that they had been mostly correct.

The charms Barty was weaving would work, but for the amount of participants they wanted, the magic would have to be a lot stronger than Barty’s. They would have to combine their magic. Rian frowned in concentration, then turned towards Barty.

He was just about to voice his suggestion when he saw the glowing magic surrounding the older man. His breath caught in his throat. It looked simply beautiful.

The swirling colours surrounding the wizard like a safe cocoon were mesmerizing and Rian couldn’t resist walking towards him. As he was standing just out of touching range he stopped.

There was something off about the magic surrounding him. There were two main colours; one a light blue, emanating energy and restlessness and the other the deepest red he had ever seen, pulsating with sheer power, drawing him in. Rian whimpered, overwhelmed by the look and feel of the darkly glowing magic.

“Rian? I think you have to lend me your magic, it doesn’t feel like mine alone is enough to convince the cup,” the distracted sounding voice pulled Hadrian out of his trance and he shook his head, vowing to think about his attraction towards the enticing magic later.

He stepped behind Barty, put his hands on his shoulders and concentrated on combining his own magic with the blue one emanating from Barty, whilst trying not to get too distracted by the red magic pulsating around them.

After a few more minutes they were finished and Rian dropped his hands.

Barty turned around, devilish smirk on his lips.

“Mr. Yacatete, whatever are you doing at this time of night outside of your common room? Such rebellious behaviour will have to be punished, don’t you think?” His voice was a few octaves deeper than normal, which shot straight to Rian’s groin.

He growled lowly, remembering Hermione’s words.

“Actually, I don’t think I’m the one who has to be punished. Weren’t you the one to lure your poor, unsuspecting student down here at night?” he all but growled while pushing Barty against the closest wall.

Barty’s eyes widened, obviously not expecting Hadrian to take control like that, but his complaint got lodged somewhere in his throat as Hadrian leaned in and started nibbling along his neck, sharp teeth never quite breaking the soft skin.

He whimpered and his eyes fell shut as he let his student ravage him.

Hadrian smirked to himself and continued nibbling along bare flesh, making his way up to those soft lips. He dove straight in for a breath stealing kiss and pressed his body against Barty’s lax one. Barty moaned into his ministrations and clutched at his back, trying to pull him ever closer.

Rian obeyed, pressing his knee in between spread legs. He slowly started rolling his hips, pressing his own hard length into the answering one in front of him.

Their kisses grew more desperate, their thrusting hips more frantic, until Barty moaned lewdly and clutched at Hadrian’s back, shaking from the power of his orgasm. Rian tipped over the edge soon afterwards, unknowingly immersing himself in the red magic not quite belonging to Barty.

Breath evening out, Rian pulled away from his teacher, turned around and walked towards his common room with a confident swagger.

At Barty’s mumbled protest behind him, he giggled and waved a hand, removing the evidence of their tryst from both of them with a twitch of his magic.

Chapter Text

On the 31st of October, five days after the other schools had arrived at Hogwarts, the name finding ceremony was about to begin. Every student, teacher, ministry official and undercover Death Eater had found their way into the great hall to witness the champion’s selection.

Dumbledore stepped up to the cup and raised his arms to get the hall’s attention. Rian turned towards Barty and shared a secret smirk with the disguised man, both looking forward to the next few hours.

As soon as everyone had stopped talking and looked at the old headmaster, he turned towards the cup and waved his wand around it in a complex pattern, chest puffed out importantly.

“It is now time for the goblet of fire to select the three champions!” He ended his wand waving with a decisive swipe of his hand and looked at the cup expectantly.

Nothing happened.

He frowned and tried again.

Every pair of eyes was on him. Rian grinned gleefully, their plan was working splendidly.

The spectators grew restless as Dumbledore got increasingly more flustered, his movements jerky and the usual twinkle in his eyes conspicuously absent.

Before anyone could voice their concerns, the wooden cup suddenly burst into bright red flames and Dumbledore visibly deflated in relief. He quickly collected himself and looked over the hall imperiously.

“The goblet will now select one champion for each school!”

As soon as he said that, a slightly charred parchment flew out of the goblet and he held out his hand, expecting it to land upon it. It did not.

Rian giggled, which earned him a reprimanding glare from Mione.

The piece of parchment remained floating in the air until it abruptly burst into flames. Dumbledore jumped away from the tiny explosion and stared at it, utterly gobsmacked.

Suddenly a deep, disembodied voice rang out.

“Gabrielle Delacour”

A pale girl with near-white hair and sparkling blue eyes got off her seat gracefully and walked towards the goblet, accompanied by the thundering cheers of Beauxbatons. As she was given no further directions by the slack-jawed headmaster, she stood next to him with an uncertain smile on her face. 

Before the cheers could die down the next name was announced by another exploding parchment piece and the same voice, which, as only Hadrian and Barty knew, stemmed from their magic now imbued within the goblet.

“Ajani Kamenye” was the first Durmstrang champion. A tall, dark-haired male of African descend stood up to the cheers of his peers and walked towards the goblet with a self-assured swagger.

“Harry Potter,” rang out and Rian gritted his teeth at the name. Hermione squeezed his arm to calm him down and assure him that everything would be fine. Soon they will all know my true name, but not yet. Dumbledore can’t know now. I have to keep pretending. Be their golden boy.

With that thought, he got up, nodded to his sister, put on his most cocky grin and walked towards the other two champions at the front of the hall. His applause was near deafening, but he could still hear the annoying voice of Ronald Weasley complaining that it wasn’t fair and how he was way more deserving to be selected as a champion. He rolled his eyes, hoping that the boy wouldn’t be chosen at all.

Unfortunately, they hadn’t had enough time with the goblet to select each champion individually, so the goblet would do that by itself with whatever system it used. They only forced it to choose Hadrian, but the fact that he was one of the first three called told him that he would have been chosen either way. Better safe than sorry, though. Besides, having 27 instead of three contestants would be a lot more fun.

Dumbledore, who had finally gotten his act together cleared his throat loudly, raised his arms once more and addressed the hall.

“Now we will proceed to inform the champions-,” he was interrupted by the goblet.

Another bit of parchment flew out, accompanied by the magical voice.

“Dinara Mikhailov” a petite, black-haired Russian girl from Durmstrang froze. Everyone turned to look at her. Whispers spread around and theories were made on the spot. Had she cheated? And if so, how?

A commotion broke out at the head table as the headmasters and judges started protesting loudly. Madame Maxime turned towards Karkaroff with a glare and was soon hissing something in rapid French, although he obviously did not understand a single word, looking at her helplessly.

Barty Crouch Snr unknowingly turned towards his son in disguise and whispered something, which seemed to enrage the mentally unstable man. Rian could see the tick in the fake Moody’s real eye as he tried not to kill his own father violently.

Before the situation could escalate any further, another name was spat from the goblet.

Name after name came forth and each student summoned by the goblet stood next to the original three.

Meanwhile, the judges were in an uproar, furiously discussing what this meant for the progression of the tournament as each student called was entered into a magically binding contract. If a student chosen as a champion refused to participate in the tournament, they would lose their magic, so only letting the first three chosen compete wouldn’t be possible.

It took a great deal of Hadrian’s willpower not to cackle like a madman as more and more students got chosen.

He didn’t pay a lot of attention to the others, as there would be 27 of them and he was fairly certain that the judges would find a way to eliminate most of them early on. Once that first elimination had happened, he would look at his remaining competitors to gauge their potential, their weaknesses and their strengths, but for now, there were simply too many of them to gain more than a brief overview.

A slight smile had made it onto his face as the judges got more and more flustered and it grew even more pronounced as yet another Hogwarts champion was summoned.

“Draconius Malfoy” made his way up to the front, with a mixture of confusion as to what the hell was happening and mostly unfounded confidence that he would reign triumphant amongst his competitors clearly visible on his face. His arrogant swagger made him look even more stupid in Rian’s humble opinion.

As he reached the front of the hall, he walked right up to Hadrian and grinned cockily.

“Scared, Potter?”

Rian’s smile turned saccharine and his voice was dripping with false sweetness as he replied. “Oh, I know you are Dracie, but don’t worry; I won’t go too hard on you.” Then he winked suggestively and turned away from the spluttering wizard in a clear dismissal.

A few more people were chosen until each school had nine champions except for Hogwarts, which was still missing one.

Hadrian looked at the goblet expectantly, waiting for the final champion to get announced.

As he stared at it, the goblet spat out another piece of parchment and called out the last name.

“Hermione Granger”

Rian’s blood ran cold. No. Not Mione!

His gaze fell on her immediately. She looked panicked, like being called was the very last thing she had wanted, which wasn’t far from the truth. He ground his teeth together angrily but gave her a reassuring smile when she looked at him. She smiled back shakily, obviously relieved to see that he wasn’t too mad.

Just as he had done before her, she got up with a fake smile and walked with a straight back, as to not show any obvious weaknesses anyone could pounce on.

Whoever put her name in there is going to fucking pay for it, Hadrian vowed to himself just as his sister reached him. Even if it was Barty. He put an arm around her, pulling her close.

“I didn’t put my name in,” she whispered lowly. He nodded and kissed her hair to wordlessly reassure her that he really wasn’t mad at her.

As he felt her relax against him, he vowed to do everything in his power to ensure her safety within this stupid contest.

The goblet of fire had stopped burning and reverted to its original appearance of a roughly hewn wooden cup and the students other than the champions had been dismissed to their houses while Rian had been fretting over Hermione’s safety. He tried to come up with a reliable solution to keep an eye on her that would still allow him to visit Voldemort, with little success so far.

Dumbledore turned towards the 27 remaining students and addressed them like the stupid children he believed them to be: “My dear students. It is a great honour to be chosen as participants in this noble tournament, congratulations! There were simply too many unique talents among the three schools. We just had to choose a few more people than originally intended, so that everyone who deserves it gets a decent chance at taking the crown!”

Hadrian had to conceal his disbelieving snort at the old coot’s gall with a cough. How typical of him to pretend everything was going according to his secret plan he hadn’t told anyone about.

“The first task will take place in a month. Information on the task will be shared with you in a few days’ time.  Now, off to bed with you!”

Any and all questions or protests were cut off and they were shooed out of the hall.

Rian took Hermione’s arm and dragged her along to a hidden alcove where he had promised to meet Barty.

The disguised professor appeared a few minutes after them with a huge grin on his face.

Hadrian grinned back at him. “That worked perfectly, although I am a little pissed that Dumbledore managed to make it look like he planned for this to happen. Stupid coot,” he added spitefully.

Hermione giggled at his childishness, which reminded Rian of her predicament and he got serious again instantly. Looking at her with concern written across his features he asked “Are you okay, Mione? I know you didn’t want to be a part of this and I’m sorry you got forced into it now.”

She smiled softly at him. “Don’t worry, Cuallee. I’m perfectly fine and able to protect myself. I don’t need you to worry!”

Barty was the one to snort in disbelieve at that, as Rian was still feeling all mushy after being called by his mother’s chosen name for him. She looked at Barty with a raised eyebrow and he shrugged unapologetically.

“You know better than I do that Hadrian would never leave you without protection in a situation as dangerous as the Triwizard Tournament. I may not have known him personally for that long, but from what I learned during that time and from watching him over the summer, he can be very protective of those he loves.”

“coughStalkercough,” Rian interfered. Barty rolled his eyes in amusement, quite used to Rian’s quips by now. He would never live the supposed stalking down, he was certain.

Hermione, who pointedly ignored their byplay for the sake of her own sanity, smiled at Hadrian softly, knowing that he’d go to any lengths to protect her, just like she would to protect him.

“I’m curious what the first task is going to be, now that they have to adjust it to so many people,” Mione said pensively.

The two men grinned at her impishly.

Massaging the bridge of her nose with two fingers, she asked “Do I even want to know?”

Simultaneous head shakes were her response, accompanied by their broad grins. Exasperated, she turned around and left the small stone alcove, making her way back to Gryffindor tower on her own.

As soon as his sister was out of earshot, Rian spun around, easy grin falling off his face. He was radiating fury, eyes glowing and mouth set in a firm line. Unlike a few moments ago he didn’t seem small or fragile, instead, his magic was pulsating around him, threatening to crush Barty at the slightest provocation. In Barty’s humble opinion he looked like a beautiful, yet utterly terrifying avenging angel.

“If I find out that you had anything at all to do with Mione being chosen as a champion, I will destroy you,” he snarled at the older man. Barty took an involuntary step backwards and bit his lip to keep in the whimper.

“Please, Hadrian I swear on my magic that I had nothing to do with it!” His voice trembled slightly as he spoke.

Rian smiled cruelly. “I don’t believe you. But I know just the way for you to prove your loyalty. Protect Hermione. If necessary, with your life. While I am rather fond of you, I will not hesitate to kill you, should you ever fail her.”

He nodded shakily to show that he understood, limbs trembling slightly in the face of Hadrian’s anger.

Rian smiled at him sweetly, then patted his cheek mockingly and left the alcove in quick strides.

 


 

One week after the selection, the champions were pulled from their classes for the wand weighing ceremony, as it was so ambitiously called. Rian didn’t particularly think that an old dude getting grubby with the champions wands was in any way ceremonious but to each their own. He shook his head violently to get rid of the picture that had formed at the thought of Ollivander with anybody’s wand and leaned against an unoccupied piece of wall to await his turn.

Nobody really explained why the creepy old man waved their wands around, examined them and told inappropriate stories about similar wands he had sold, so most of the foreign students were rather unwilling to hand their precious possessions over to him.

The British students, who knew the white-haired man to be the famously eccentric wandmaker Ollivander were marginally more relaxed, but even they were obviously hesitant to part with their wands.

Ammon Asfour, an Egyptian 6th-year Durmstrang champion looked particularly disgruntled to part with his wand and Hadrian looked on in interest as his headmaster forced him to comply.

The slim, white-haired boy glared at Karkaroff, his almost black eyes glinting with hidden darkness before he gave in and handed over his wand. Ollivander leaned forward eagerly and accepted the wand with an almost reverent look. His fingers caressed the magical focus until he quietly announced that it was made not from wood, but rather from carved ivory which was very rarely used for wands because of its inherent magic and a core of Wendigo hair.

Rian, who had heard him because of a well-placed listening charm, couldn’t help but be intrigued. He knew from Defence class that Wendigos were evil spirits that possessed humans, both magical and not, and fed off both their host and other unsuspecting humans in order to grow stronger.

Wendigo hair could only be harvested when a Wendigo was killed in its natural form, which was infamously difficult. Wendigo hair as a wand core was thus very rare and probably made Ammon’s wand one of a kind. He would have to look out for that one. Not that he actually wanted to win the tournament.

While everyone was busy, a blonde woman with garish makeup, dressed in a green atrocity of a dress grabbed Hadrian by his wrist and tried to pull him into a small cupboard.

He resisted easily, cheating with the superior strength his creature inheritance had granted him and looked at her calmly.

“Madam, would you be so kind as to unhand me? I do not know you, which makes this rather inappropriate.”

She blinked at him as if she couldn’t understand how anyone could ever refuse her and dropped his wrist. Then a blinding fake smile lit up her face and she laughed.

“Oh my dear, I am sorry. This is merely a misunderstanding! I’m Rita Skeeter, I write for the Daily Prophet. But of course, you know that, don’t you?”

Before she could talk any more, he raised an incredulous eyebrow. The nerve of her.

“Madam, as I have tried to make clear, I do not, in fact, know who you are and your inappropriate touch has made me quite uncomfortable. Now, if you would excuse me, I believe it is my turn.”

Leaving a gaping reporter behind he made his way towards Ollivander who was currently taking a look at the wand of a Beauxbatons champion that was openly referred to as the Italian stallion if Hadrian had heard the rumours correctly.

Rian stood behind the significantly taller student and couldn’t help but notice that his nickname was rather befitting of the handsome male with the caramel coloured skin and the soulful brown eyes. Weirdly, Rian didn’t feel even a lick of attraction towards the other, which confused him greatly as he was hot, objectively.

Maybe Mione wasn’t completely wrong when she said I wouldn’t be attracted to anyone but my mate? But then what about Barty? I’m most definitely attracted to him.

Instead of dwelling further on these thoughts, he took the Italian’s place and handed over the superfluous piece of wood which had been his magical crutch for six years.

The old wandmaker accepted it but didn’t even look at the wand as he gave it a flick. His unblinking eyes were focused on Rian intently as if searching for something hidden. Suddenly a flicker of recognition lit up in them and the briefest expression of awe flitted across the usually impassive face before it returned to its normal state.

With a brief nod that reminded Hadrian uncomfortably of a miniscule bow, he was finished and allowed to leave.

 


  

Hours later, after they had learned everything about the first task Hadrian had known already thanks to Barty, he was laying on top of his bedsheets and contemplating the weird, if brief encounter with the old wandmaker.

While it was obvious that the man wasn’t your usual run of the mill wizard, Rian suspected he was a creature of some sort. The recognition, followed by awe couldn’t be explained any other way but that he had discovered his creature identity.

The fact that Hadrian hadn’t been arrested and killed yet further proved that Ollivander had to be either a creature himself or a creature advocate, though the later was so rare in Britain that Hadrian was inclined to believe the former.

Unwilling to dwell on the consequences this might have for him and deciding that he would deal with those bridges once he had to cross them, he snuggled into his soft sheets and fell asleep within seconds.

Chapter Text

The 29th November 1997 was just an ordinary day for Britain’s muggle population. They were starting to get over the shock of Princess Diana’s death and the cloning of the first mammal, Dolly. There was no national or international crisis, no war, no new tragic deaths, just your run of the mill Saturday. The weather was as nice as it was going to get, which meant dark clouds but no rain.

For the people in the know of the magical world, this day was anything but ordinary. It was the day of the first task of the Triwizard Tournament, a historical event in the ever-stagnant wizarding world.

Change was rarely seen, so the reinstatement of a competition that had been abolished because of its high death toll and barbaric tasks was quite the big deal. Added to that was the never heard of number of contestants, which had everyone in a tizzy.

 


  

Leaning against the magical wall of the champions’ tent, his thoughts wandered to his sister. Hermione stood next to him, features schooled in an approximation of his own expressionless mask. To the others, she looked completely relaxed, but he knew that she was anything but.

Even if he hadn’t known how nervous and anxious she was, he still would have felt the slight tremble of her hand brushing against his own and noticed the nearly imperceptible tapping of her foot. With a slight smile, he slipped his hand into hers and squeezed it reassuringly.

When she relaxed marginally, he let his gaze roam across the 25 other contestants cumulated in the main room of the tent, trying to guess who would make it through this round and into the next.

Every champion had been told that the first task would consist of two parts, with the first serving as an elimination ceremony, where most of the competitors would be cut from the Triwizard Tournament.

What only those favoured by their respective headmasters, as well as Rian, knew up until now was the objective of the task and the precise number of contestants that would get cut.

Rian didn’t bother listening to Bagman’s long-winded explanation about the task and instead went through the information in his head.

Every competitor would have to duel two others from their own school and the winner of each duel would continue onwards. This meant that there would be nine duels with three competitors each and thus nine champions for the remainder of the tournament.

The only reason the other 18 would be able to discontinue the tournament without losing their magic was a loophole in the magical contract created by the goblet of fire. Rian hadn’t bothered listening too closely when Barty told him about it, but it had something to do with the magical numbers of three and nine. It was also apparently the reason why the number of participants couldn’t be any lower than nine.

Bagman was just explaining the second part of the first task and Hadrian tuned in again to see whether the information Barty had gotten for him was correct.

“The nine remaining champions will each draw a potion’s name from a bag. You will then collect the ingredients necessary for the potion while inside the forbidden forest. There is a time limit of four hours. While inside the forest, you aren’t allowed to interact with any other champions. If you are in immediate danger and want to get out, all you have to do is shoot up red sparks and somebody will rescue you. In such a case you have to work with the ingredients you collected up to that point, to try and complete the potion. Using any ingredients not collected by yourself is prohibited. Are there any questions?”

His query was greeted with silence and several concerned faces. Hesitantly a Hogwarts sixth year whose name Rian didn’t remember raised his hand. Bagman grinned jovially and nodded encouragingly.

With a slight stutter, he asked “So. Uhm if we lose our duel, we are no longer champions?”

The man dressed in his old, ill-fitting Wimbourne Wasps uniform nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, that’s right. Any other questions?”

The same boy raised his hand again and Bagman’s smile lost a bit of its brightness. He waved a hand to signal the boy to ask away.

“And uhm. When we are inside the forbidden forest, there will be additional security measures, right? We won’t have to rely solely on the red sparks, right?”

“No. You are all of age and trained wizards, the forbidden forest shouldn’t be too much to handle. Besides, you do have to defeat two other champions first, so two-thirds of you won’t even get that far, I wouldn’t worry if I were you.”

The boy looked both disheartened and more determined at that. Before Bagman could progress with the preparations, he raised his hand again.

Bagman outright glared at him, visibly annoyed now. The boy wasn’t deterred though. Typical Gryffindor, Rian thought amusedly.

“We get the potion recipe, right? Because you said potion’s name and that confused me because you couldn’t possibly mean that we get only the potion’s name, right?” His voice wavered unsurely at the end.

Bagman grinned gleefully and Rian was sure he had spied a sadistic glint in his eyes as he answered the question with apparent relish.

“Nope.” He popped the p. “You get the potion’s name and that’s it. By now your education should be advanced enough to know a potion’s ingredients from hearing its name.”

Rian grinned at that.

Of course, that was bullshit, the judges didn’t expect the champions to know every potion by heart. This was simply a test of who could cheat and not get caught, a test of their cunning if you will. A majority of the so-called champions didn’t know that though, unfamiliar with the history of the Triwizard Tournament as they were and grew very pale at that.

“No further questions?” Without pausing to see whether anyone had, in fact, any further questions, he continued “No? Good. The duels will take place three at a time. To decide who you will fight against, form lines per school in front of my three lovely assistants over here. Durmstrang to number one, Beauxbatons to number two and Hogwarts to number three.”

As he spoke, two men and a woman walked up to him with silver numbers floating over their heads and small cloth bags in their hands. They were all dressed in black wizarding dress robes and looked like they would rather be anywhere else.

The group of champions stood undecidedly until Rian huffed and made his way over to the handsome if very sour looking wizard with the number three floating over his head and stuck his hand inside the offered bag.

Taking that as their cue, the other champions made their way to their respective assistants as well.

Rian felt around inside the velvety interior for a few moments until he chose one of the metal tags clinking together. Pulling it out decisively, he held up the number three, imprinted on a small piece of metal on a chain that reminded him distinctly of a muggle dog tag.

The man looked at it briefly and announced in a bored voice. “First duel of Hogwarts, third contestant Harry Potter.”

He walked off to a side and waited until everyone’s time slot had been announced. Hermione would be in the second duel, pitted against Blaise Zabini and Dean Thomas, while he would fight against Ginevra Weasley, who had luckily reduced her stalking to a minimum, and Theodore Nott who was going to be an interesting opponent for sure.

While the last people drew their numbers, Rian turned towards Hermione and looked at her seriously. “Mione, I want you to throw the duel.”

In the corner there was a magical countdown of the time until the first duels would start and he gazed at it nervously, he’d have to make this quick.

She frowned at him and immediately opened her mouth to protest, but he quickly raised a hand to signal that he wasn’t finished.

Seeking her eyes with his own he tried to convey his emotions as he spoke again. “I do not want you to get hurt. You didn’t even want to be in this tournament, so please, just let Zabini win. I know that you can beat him because you are amazing, but please, I can’t lose you.”

She wasn’t convinced, he could see that, but he didn’t have much more time before his duel started. Rian wanted to kick himself for not thinking of this easy ass solution to protecting his sister beforehand. He had known that there would be an out for most of the champions, but he hadn’t thought of convincing Hermione to take it.

“Rian, if I’m in the tournament with you I can protect you! You won’t be alone and I do not want to lose you either.” Her tone was so earnest that he couldn’t help but smile at her, heart as per usual melting for her. He had to remain steadfast though, the only chance for her to back out would soon pass, so he had to convince her now.

“Mione, I know this is very hard to accept, but I don’t need your protection anymore. I’m not the helpless little boy I used to be, there is nothing in this tournament that could be a danger to me.” The because I’m a powerful creature with badass magical abilities was conveyed with a lopsided grin.

The muggleborn witch glared at him, arms crossed in front of her chest in the ultimate gesture of defiance. “Just because you are more powerful than me now doesn’t mean that I can’t protect you anymore!”

He huffed in annoyance and risked a glance towards the countdown. One minute. Damn it.

Bagman caught his gaze and seemed to take that as encouragement to approach them. Rian glared at the man, then quickly turned towards his most important person again. Grabbing her shoulders tightly, he looked her dead in the eyes and tried to make her understand.

“Hermione, please. I know you can protect me, but I don’t need you to and I can’t see you get hurt, you are my only family. Please. I love you.”

She bit her lip uncertainly, so he turned up the kicked puppy eyes. All he got for his trouble was a reluctantly amused glare. His gaze turned serious again and she looked away, fight leaving her body.

Yes, got her, he thought with glee filled relief.

As she opened her mouth to no doubt berate him and tell him to be careful, a loud bang rang through the tent.

Bagman stopped on his way to Rian and announced in a magically amplified voice “The nine champions of the first three duels will now follow me.”

Hadrian and eight other students followed the overweight man through the tent’s entryway and into a giant stadium with three large raised platforms. He grinned amusedly when he recognised the repurposed Quidditch pitch.

Behind him, he made out the enraged mumblings of Ronald’s only sister, who seemed to take the `desecration of the Quidditch field´ as a personal affront.

He coughed to conceal his chuckle.

“Those fucking entitled bastards! How dare they do this to my beautiful pitch?!” Her voice wasn’t particularly quiet anymore and Bagman turned around, pudgy face adorned with red blotches at this affront.

“Young lady has no one taught you any respect?!”

The scene could have made for a truly epic faceoff; the girl with the fiery red hair and the glint of righteous fury in her eyes against the grown wizard looking like a bee gone south, if it hadn’t been for the utter ridiculousness of it all.

Hadrian couldn’t hold back any longer and started laughing uncontrollably.

He didn’t notice the way the nine people around him turned to stare at him, enraptured by the bell-like sound of his laughter. For a brief second his glamours slipped and his true appearance shone through, too quickly gone for any of them to recognise him as a creature, but long enough for them to become utterly enchanted by him.

While Hadrian got his shit together and the people around him shook off their fascination, the tent door flapped back into place as a slim, blonde haired figure disappeared back inside.

Rian finally noticed the stares of his fellow champions and the judge and he forced himself to blush, true to his golden boy persona who didn’t like attention.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered meekly, head bowed. “I didn’t mean to laugh.”

Damn. I’m not going to miss having to pretend to be somebody I’m not. This shit is exhausting.

Bagman smiled brightly, instincts pushing him to reassure the boy in front of him. “Oh, don’t worry, my dear boy, that’s quite alright! It was a stupid argument anyway.” Here he sent a glare at Ginny. “Right, Ms Weasley?”

She, still somewhat in shock from the brief glance of Hadrian’s true beauty, could only nod mutely.

“Right, enough time wasted! I bet the audience is wondering what we are doing down here,” Bagman suddenly said to them. With a whispered word his voice was magically amplified again as he addressed the witches and wizards in the ranks far above them.

“Dear witches and gentle-wizards, it is with great pleasure that I announce the first task of the Triwizard Tournament! The tournament of this year is special, not only because it’s the first one in nearly two hundred years, but also because of the number of participants! To ensure that as many students as possible will have a chance to show off their talent, 27 competitors were selected by the goblet. 18 of them will be eliminated through this first challenge, to select only those truly worthy of being a champion. The nine who come out on top will be our champions for the remainder of the tournament, three for each school.”

The stands went wild at his explanation, loud cheers ringing out through the repurposed stadium. Rian sighed in annoyance at the longwinded explanation and tiredly asked himself why they were even here already. Shouldn’t all this stuff be announced before the first competitors were called upon?

“Now, I’m sure you are all wondering what the first challenge will be, right?” His question was greeted with enthusiastic cheers, as the task had been kept a strict secret from everyone but the judges and the people they chose to tell. Like Dumbledore had told “Moody”, who told Rian.

“Alright then! The first challenge is duels! There will be three duels with three competitors each per school and the winners will be the official champions.”

Bagman went on and on about the rules, but Hadrian’s thoughts drifted off again. He looked at the three platforms in interest.

They were situated far too close to the ground to be clearly visible from the raised seats of the audience, so there was either some cool magnifying magic involved or the platforms would be raised higher up once they were on them. Or, and he only considered this because wizards weren’t great with common sense, there wouldn’t be either and the audience just wouldn’t see a thing.

He kind of hoped for the last solution. If nobody saw him, then he could duel however he wanted. Of course, that was a futile hope, as at least Dumbledore, who still hadn’t made his appearance, with his blasted glasses would see everything clearly.

Thinking of the old goat with his accursed glasses and their ability to see through glamours made Rian grin with satisfaction at having found a way to trick them. He had never been as glad for the old book he had stumbled upon in his fourth year as the moment he realised he’d have to hide his creature features from the coot.

Back then he hadn’t yet known what he’d use the talisman he’d made for. The book had claimed that with the talisman in place no external devices would be able to look through any glamours he applied and after extensive testing under Dumbledore’s nose he had found its’ claims to hold true.

The talisman, which he had woven into his hair and hidden with layers of glamours was the only reason he had had the confidence to go back to Hogwarts that year and finish his education, as it would protect him from Dumbledore finding out.

His reliance on the talisman was the reason he had been so shocked when Barty confessed that he could see through his glamours, although he quickly figured out the reason for it. Moody’s eye was an intricate part of him, so it didn’t count as an `external device´(damn loopholes).

When Barty took on his appearance, the eye became a part of him too and voilá, he could see through Rian’s glamours like the real Moody would have been able to.

A sharp pain in his shin pulled him out of his thoughts and he glared at the grinning French girl next to him. She looked unrepentant as she pulled back her foot. “Sorry, but you didn’t react to my voice! The duels are about to start.”

That said, she skipped over to the others gathered around the three platforms. He threw an annoyed glare at her retreating back but followed behind her wordlessly.

As he arrived, Bagman was just explaining that the duels would take place in the air, slightly below eye level of the audience.

“… and there won’t be any safety nets. So, don’t fall off!”

Rian stared at the judge and co-organizer of the tournament incredulously. Is he fucking serious? So, what, you drop you die? What the fuck is wrong with these people?!

Before he could voice his protest, as per his obligation as the golden boy, Bagman ushered them onto the stages.

He shared a glance with Ginny next to him and smiled cockily at Nott. The older boy’s answering grin was savage and caused a shiver of anticipation to run down Rian’s spine. This duel was going to be interesting.

They were raised up by their respective headmaster’s magic in a show of strength for the audience. Rian dropped into a low defensive crouch, keeping both of his opponents in his field of vision.

A loud bang sounded out and Bagman’s voice boomed through the stadium.

“The last one still able to fight wins. Begin!”

Everything around him disappeared until all he saw were Ginny and Nott, Ginny’s fighting stance similar to his own, an obvious remnant of Auror Shacklebolt’s Defense classes and Nott’s own the typical, ramrod straight stance of a pureblood heir trained from birth.

He tried in vain to suppress the bloodthirsty grin stealing onto his face as he felt his animalistic instincts well up, preparing for a good fight.

They circled around each other for a while, no one willing to make the first move.

Suddenly Ginny moved back a step and the floating platform beneath their feet tilted in her direction ominously. Apparently, the damn thing wouldn’t even remain a stable underground.

Damn it. I’m sure there are also several mechanisms built into the stage that are activated when we take too long.

Before he could ponder what those could be, Nott used the brief moment of surprise to launch his first attack at Ginny, obviously hoping to knock her out quickly.

Ginny twisted underneath the red light of the stunner and fired one of her own in retaliation. Nott danced away quickly, but the platform dipped underneath his weight and he stumbled, thrown off balance.

The red-haired girl used that opportunity to fire off a barrage of Expelliarmus. Most flew past the wizard, but one hit him square in the chest and his wand was ripped from his hand forcefully.

As it hit Ginny’s palm, she grinned victoriously and turned towards Rian, a cocksure glint in her eyes.

Rian only smiled at her brightly, seeing the vicious expression on Nott’s face behind Ginny’s back and anticipating his next move.

Indeed, Nott was far from helpless without his wand. He ran towards the witch’s unprotected back, pushed himself off the ground and tackled her to the quaking stage in a smooth move. Rian tried valiantly to keep in his giggle at the scene and the crowd’s appalled reaction to it.

Apparently, it was unseemly for the scion of a noble house to engage in something as muggle as physical combat.

While he himself was not a particular fan of muggles, he could appreciate using physical combat as a way to surprise your opponent. Although he had honestly expected Nott to use some wandless magic. He danced out of the way as the two purebloods, one a blood supremacist and one a blood traitor, rolled around on the magical platform kicking and biting at each other like angry school children.

After watching them for a while with mounting annoyance, Hadrian shot an overpowered stunner at each of them, effectively ending the duel. Affronted murmurs got loud that the duel hadn’t been fair at all and that Hadrian didn’t deserve the win.

He rolled his eyes but chose to indulge the audience. After all, the winner hadn’t been announced yet.

Their platform was lowered onto the ground and Rian waved a negligent hand at his stunned opponents to dispel the charm.

As he turned away, he felt Nott at his back charging his magic for a spell. A slow grin stole across his face, unseen by the spectators high up on the ranks who were holding their breath to see what would happen next.

Rian easily sidestepped the purple jinx and turned around quickly, firing off the Golden Boy’s trademark Expelliarmus directly followed by a combo of tripping jinxes and a tickling charm.

Nott dodged past the first two spells, stumbled from the second tripping jinx and rolled straight into the charm. His eyes widened before the effect hit, then he dropped to the ground, giggling uncontrollably.

Rian raised an unimpressed eyebrow. Admittedly, his magic sight was an unfair advantage, but even without it, he was sure that he wouldn’t have failed as tragically as Nott just did. Honestly, he had expected more.

Ginny chose this moment to make her own grab for the win. As he sidestepped three separate curses fired by the irate witch, she lunged for him to try and get him off his feet. He only smiled indulgently, stunned her with a quick wordless motion of his wand and turned back towards the audience, bowing as his victory was announced. Nobody seemed inclined to call him a cheater anymore.

  


  

Poppy Pomfrey stared at the Potter boy questioningly. What the hell was he doing?

She looked at her assistant for the day, a healing apprentice from Durmstrang, but he only shrugged in reply, apparently just as lost as herself.

Ignoring their duties, they stared at the boy together.

He was sitting on top of his bed covers with crossed legs and seemed to be staring at the healing tent’s wall intently. Poppy cleared her throat pointedly to get his attention. He ignored her.

She shared another lost look with her assistant and proceeded to wave a hand in front of her patient’s face. He didn’t even blink.

Slightly creeped out by the young man’s behaviour, she hurried away towards another patient.

As she walked away, glowing green eyes suddenly focused and a little smile twisted chapped looking lips.  

Chapter Text

When the mediwitch had told him in no uncertain terms that he was absolutely not allowed to leave his bed to watch his sister’s duel in case something went wrong, he had set out to find a different solution instead. His first thought had been to transfigure a pillow into a double of himself and sneak out, but he quickly discarded that idea. It would take too long and if he got caught, he wouldn’t be able to look out for her at all. So instead, he focused his magic into his eyes and willed them to see through the tent’s wall.

He needn’t have worried though. Hermione fought with the naturally flowing grace envied by a lot of people, using her spells creatively to push back her opponents. She in fact fought so well that he got worried she would try to win despite her earlier agreement to throw the duel.

Dean Thomas was defeated with a ruthless efficiency he had seldomly seen from her, but Zabini was an even better opponent than he had originally anticipated and he grinned delightedly. Maybe it wouldn’t matter whether Hermione would try to win or not, because he’d defeat her either way.

That would be beneficial for several reasons. For one, she’d be out of the tournament, but she’d also learn that she wasn’t invincible. As much as he loved her, even he had to admit that she tended to believe herself above her peers because of her studiousness. She probably wasn’t quite aware of it, but he knew that cocksure glint in her eyes as she stood opposed to Zabini, sure she’d win. That overconfidence could be fatal in a real duel, so he hoped she would learn something from this.

His smile widened as Zabini pretended to fall for her trap consisting of two interwoven spells disguising another. Hermione’s stance relaxed as she was now sure she’d win. Zabini used that moment to dive away underneath the hidden stunner, lunged for her and threw a stunner of his own at her.

Too sure of her win, she had no time to react to the sudden attack and got hit full on in the chest by the red spell.

Rian giggled at the shellshocked look frozen on his sister’s face and cast a discrete cushioning charm on the place she’d land on. He didn’t want her to get hurt after all. What he didn’t expect was for Zabini to get behind the witch before she could topple over and catch her. He raised an eyebrow in interest at the display, then he stopped his magically enhanced sight, now sure that Hermione was safe and would be brought here immediately.

He didn’t bother looking at any of the other duels to study his opponents, it wasn’t his goal to win the tournament after all.

 


 

Shortly after the last duel was over, all the champions were called in front of the judges again.

Bagman stood next to them and grinned jovially.

“That were some amazing duels we witnessed today, right?”, he asked the audience in his magically amplified voice. Loud cheers from the ranks were his response. His grin widened.

“And now it’s time to officially announce our champions from here onward! Those called please stand behind me. Gabrielle Delacour for Beauxbatons.”

The audience went wild. Loud cheers and hollers made it impossible to proceed for a few minutes.

Soaking up the positive attention, a petite blonde with slightly too bright blue eyes stepped out of their group. She moved with an inherent grace many were either jealous of or drooled over. Rian had noticed her before, as even her own classmates fell over themselves to please her, which made it easy to believe the rumours of her being a part Veela.

He gritted his teeth angrily as he thought about her near royal treatment, compared to the way he would be hunted as a monster if his inheritance ever got public.

Before he could dwell on these thoughts any further, Bagman continued announcing the champions.

David Schmitz, a brown haired, blue eyed lanky German who seemed completely emotionless and Marcel Tribbiani, an Italian with a tall and muscular body, black hair and brown eyes, were the other two from the French school.

The reaction to Tribbiani, aptly nicknamed Italian stallion, was similar to Delacour’s, only from the other half of the audience. Most of the girls and a few boys were swooning and cheering even harder as he stepped forward with a confident swagger and waved at them. Rian rolled his eyes discreetly, just hoping the day would be over soon.

Next up were the Durmstrang champions, again two boys and one girl.

Dinara Mikhailov was a petite Russian girl with jet black hair not unlike Rian’s own and porcelain skin. He was sure her cute exterior was nothing but a façade though, as he had seen the hard glint in her eyes that spoke of somebody well acquainted with the harsh reality of life.

Ajani Kamenye was a large, dark skinned, haired and eyed male exuding the aura of a fighter. There seemed to be a beast trapped just underneath his skin, wanting to be let out to rip, tear, destroy. Rian grinned in anticipation. This farce might turn out to be more interesting than he originally thought.

The last one, Ammon Asfour was a slim Egyptian with skin the colour of mocha and eyes overflowing with magic. The irises and pupils were pure white, while the normally white parts were a nightmarish black. Rian thought them to be beautiful. He was a bit confused as to why no one except for Delacour and himself seemed to look at them though. The others’ gazes always slid over his eyes, seemingly unable to focus on them. He’d have to ask Hermione about it later.

Thinking of Hermione, the Hogwarts champions were next.

Blaise had apparently been called first, as he had already made his way over to the others.

“Draconius Malfoy”, was announced next and Rian stared at the other disbelievingly. Did Bagman really say Malfoy? The prat can’t even duel to save his sorry arse, so how did he win?

Apparently, Rian hadn’t heard wrong. The prat stepped forward with his ever-present swagger and smirked at him provokingly. He huffed annoyed, then followed Malfoy as his own name was announced, ignoring the deafening cheers of Hogwarts’ students for their very own celebrity.

“To all those who didn’t cut it, thank you for participating. You may take a seat.”  

With this clear dismissal, the rejected champions made their way over to the stands quickly. Most of them looked dejected and disillusioned. His sister just looked thoughtful. Hoping she had learned the lesson he had wanted her to, he turned his attention towards Bagman again. 

“Now each remaining champion will be assigned a potion’s name and collect the ingredients necessary to brew it inside the forbidden forest. These little guys-” grinning widely he held up what looked like a large eye, which earned him quite a few disgusted reactions “- are going to follow our dear champions. The images they pick up will be projected here so that we’ll all have a chance to observe the struggles and obstacles during the task. They also hold the potion’s name. Those of you who have seen their potion may begin with the task.”

With a dramatic motion nine large billboard-looking-things appeared out of thin air, placed in such a way that every spectator would have a decent view of all of them.

Not leaving any room for questions, Bagman’s assistants came forth, gave each champion a closed eye and retreated back into the large tent.

Rian inspected the wet looking, yet dry feeling thing in his hands curiously, trying to figure out how to activate it. Curiously he poured a little of his magic into the thing and as he had hoped it came to live. Shaking itself like a dog it rose into the air and stared at him. Instead of the pupil and iris from before, writing appeared and disappeared again.

Ignis Prohibere Potion

Rian grinned delightedly. He knew that potion. It was used to block fire from magical creatures. Thankfully, he had studied it intently during his first year, when Hagrid had insisted on housing a baby dragon in a wooden hut. Without further ado he walked into the woods, mentally preparing for the meeting with Voldemort.

 


 

Jaden and his friend had gotten the perfect spot by accident. The rest of the school had been in the stands long before them, leaving only seats at the very bottom that were too far away to be able to see any of the action during Quidditch games clearly. Everyone had apparently assumed it would be the same with the task, but the opposite was the case.

Silently, Jaden thanked Ares for his tardiness, since they were practically on one level with the dueling platforms, giving them a fantastic view.

They were on their tiptoes the whole time, never knowing which duel to watch, as they were all spectacular. Jaden was a huge fan of Harry Potter and couldn’t believe his luck that his duel had been right in front of him. Even Ares, who was drooling after the blond French girl Jaden didn’t know the name of had watched Harry’s duel with rapt attention.

Now the champions had been called forth and were each handed something they couldn’t make out. Jaden watched his idol with apt attention. The other boy seemed to concentrate for a few seconds, then the thing in his hands started floating and he grinned broadly. Jaden tried not to swoon.

Without looking at the other champions he walked into the woods unhurriedly. Bagman just stared after him with a flummoxed expression that made Jaden giggle.

The first billboard lit up and an image of a softly whistling Harry Potter was projected onto it. Soon, the other champions seemed to get it as well and more billboards lit up as they entered the forest.

His attention didn’t waver from Harry Potter for a second, although he didn’t do anything interesting. At all. He just strolled through the forest unhurriedly and didn’t pay any attention to his surroundings. That was a huge mistake, as he didn’t see the large hairy creature sneaking up on him. Jaden saw it and screamed, others followed, but Harry couldn’t hear them and then it was too late.

The beast pounced, knocking the magical camera out of the air. It landed hard on the ground, projecting nothing but dirt and a few leaves onto the board. The whole arena was deathly silent. Nobody moved for a few seconds, then voices got loud, demanding the teachers to do something, to save their hero.

Before the atmosphere could get any worse, Harry’s still image suddenly moved and showed him smiling brightly. Cheers and chanting got loud as he showed them the cadavar of the beast with a wry smile.

Jaden was on the edge of his seat for the rest of the task, eyes glued onto Harry’s screen. Nothing of interest happened for a while and he relaxed a little more with each ingredient Harry gathered. Then the projection was briefly obstructed by foliage, Harry nowhere to be seen, until the camera freed itself and he was back.

Soon after that, Harry got out of the forest with a bag of ingredients and a bright smile on his face. Somehow it seemed more real than any Jaden had seen of him before.

 


 

Rian strode off calmy, collecting a few ingredients he needed for the potion along the way. When he had almost reached the meeting spot he and Barty agreed on, he transfigured a bush into a large creature with a twitch of his hand. The creature pounced on him with a mental command, “accidentally” smashing the eye into the ground.

With a grin he stopped animating the creature, so that it laid on the ground, looking as if he had slain it.

In that moment another Harry Potter appeared, grinning widely. Rian blinked at him for a moment, then he shook his head to rid himself of the weird feeling of seeing his double and took his invisibility cloak back from the polijuiced Barty.

Checking his pockets for both the portkey to get him there and the hidden one to get him back in an emergency, he hurried off, trusting Barty to fool the audience and find his ingredients.

As he made his way further into the woods he cursed the headmaster and his connection to the wards that alerted him everytime somebody left their area.

Rian had studied the topic of wards intensively, because the ability to guard himself and his surroundings through runes and ritual magic fascinated him. Because of that he knew that even wards of this magnitude would be severely weakened when a lot of people passed through them within a short time. Dumbledore’s ability to monitor the school’s populace would thus be hampered and he wouldn’t be able to take notice of any individuals passing through, creating the perfect opportunity for Rian to meet up with Voldemort.  

Once he felt the tingling of the ward line, Rian stopped and whispered the activation phrase for the portkey, Morsmorde. With that the inconspicuous spoon whisked him away towards Voldie’s hidey-hole.  

After a nauseating few seconds he stumbled onto dingy wooden floorboards and barely managed not to trip over a broken statue lying around. The feeling of Dark Magic washed over him, mixed with a wisp of something that made his knees weak and weirdly reminded him of Barty. Shaking his head to rid himself of the association, he looked around, feeling wholly underwhelmed.

Instead of the beautiful manor he had been expecting from Barty’s tales, he was standing inside of a decaying hovel that spoke of grandeur long gone.  

Closing his eyes, he could almost see what this place had once been. Gleaming wooden floors without a single blemish instead of the mouldy mess he was standing on. Polished windows looking out on a perfectly maintained garden instead of blind, broken glass hindering the view of weeds growing over everything. Family and landscape pictures painted by a skilled hand and sculptures made from the finest marble decorating every available space tastefully, untouched by age, dust and mould. Colourful carpets and curtains woven from soft wool. 

A low hissing voice destroyed the beautiful picture and he dropped into a low crouch, creature instincts coming to the forefront of his mind, ready to defend himself at any second. Then he felt that intoxicating wisp of magic again, stronger this time and he relaxed involuntarily. 

“What is a little hatchling like you doing here?” 

Hadrian gave the snake slithering towards him a predatory grin, waiting for the moment where she’d recognise what he was.  

He didn’t have to wait long, as soon as her tongue darted out to taste the air she reared back and hissed incoherently.  

“Impossible, you can’t be a snakechild! Mother told me they all left…"  

Rian’s expression softened into a serene smile and he shifted into his hybrid form.  

Had the snake before him been human, her jaw would have surely hit the floor. As it stood, all she could do was stare at him. First disbelievingly, then curiously until she seemed to settle on reverence, bowing low before him.  

He giggled and motioned for her to raise her head again. 

"I'm sorry my dear, but there is no time to answer any questions you may have. I have to talk to your master." 

She stared at him, reverence forgotten in the face of a possible danger to her master.  

"Don't worry, I swear on my magic not to hurt him today if he doesn't antagonise me first."  

With a flash of his magic his oath was sealed and the snake nodded, appeased by his concession.  

"Follow me, snakechild." 

He smiled, changed back and followed her through the decrepit shadow of a once grand manor.  

Nagini slithered through an open door after telling him to wait a few moments before he followed, lest her master curse him preemptively.  

He took the time to think about this hare-brained plan again. Nagini had promised not to tell Voldemort that he had been inside of the house when she came across him. Learning that somebody had sneaked into his base without being detected might make the half insane Dark Lord a little trigger happy, which Rian wasn’t particularly keen on.  

Instead, she would tell her master that she had found a speaker wandering around near the manor in search of him.  

That should intrigue the older male enough to ensure Hadrian’s safety until he had explained himself. And if it didn’t, or the other wizard refused to side with him after his explanation, well... one Dark Lord more or less wouldn’t make much of a difference. 

He adjusted his clothes and made sure that his Harry Potter glamour was still in place, then he followed after the large snake.  

To say that he was unprepared for the homunculus housing the Dark Lord was an understatement. Of course, Barty had told him about the tiny misshapen body, but seeing it in person was an altogether different experience.

He barely held onto his emotionless expression when faced with glowing red eyes and deathly pale skin disrupted by black veins. And there was the smell of that wonderful magic again, dampened, hindered by something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. Voldemort glared and he resolutely shoved it to the back of his mind. No time for that now.  

Lord Voldemort glowered at him, then he spoke in a gravelly hissing voice. "Nagini told me that you were a fellow speaker and came here to show me something?"  

Hadrian smiled serenely, unimpressed by the other’s use of the ancient language and changed once more into his hybrid form while letting the glamour melt away.  

Voldemort gaped very un-Dark-Lordly and just stared at him for a few moments. Rian giggled at the flummoxed expression on the disfigured face and slithered forward until he was just out of reaching distance.  

“My Lord, your lovely familiar was quite right. I came here in search of an alliance, as I find myself deeply dissatisfied with the current political climate.”  The language of his ancestors flowed naturally from his tongue and seemed to wind around the room gracefully.  

“I hope you will listen to my tale without bias.” 

 


 

Voldemort couldn’t help but stare at the extraordinary young man with the intoxicating magic in front of him in wonder. The last half hour of rough explanations had certainly been eye-opening. He was thankful that today was one of the rare good days, where he actually felt sane enough to deal with the enigma in front of him without cursing him immediately, as he was normally prone to do.

Not only was the other male not the light champion and golden boy everyone believed him to be, but he wasn’t even a light wizard. Like Voldemort himself he was a dark creature, shunned and feared by the light side. If they ever found out about his true heritage, they would hunt him like an animal.

The Dark Lord smirked. This couldn’t have been more perfect. He was glad that Barty (who he would be having a talk with about important details that were not to be hidden) had been the one to discover his secret. Unimaginable what could have happened had the real Moody been on guard duty this summer. 

“Ssso, dear Hadrian, what do you want to do now?” 

The beautiful creature in front of him smiled blindingly. 

“I’m glad you asked. You planned your resurrection for the third task, right?”  

Voldemort nodded, then he added “But I have to adjust the ritual now. The one I was planning on using calls for the blood of an enemy, which you are no longer. Besides, now that you are willing to help me, I don’t have to wait for an opportunity to abduct you, you can just come here whenever you want to.”  

At that, the other frowned. “I don’t know about that. I can’t risk Dumbledore noticing that I exited the wards. I only came here today because there are so many magical people slipping in and out of the wards all day that he won’t take notice of individuals. If I did that on a normal day, he’d know instantly.” 

Voldemort sneered at the mention of the old coot.

“Do not worry about that. Just go to the chamber of secrets, from there you can apparate out without triggering the wards and no one will be the wiser. Slytherin made sure to have a way to enter and exit the school without the other founders finding out.” 

The Lamia grinned at that, seemingly delighted and Voldemort couldn’t help a small twitching of his serpentine lips.  

“Anything further will have to be discussed in our next meeting; you have to leave now.”  

 


 

Rian’s mood was on an all-time high as he waltzed out of the manor and took the portkey back into the forbidden forest. This meeting had gone way better than he had hoped, with Voldemort appearing mostly sane, actually listening to him and agreeing to an alliance. Of course, no details had been discussed yet, but he was confident that they would see eye to eye on most matters. 

He met Barty, who handed over the ingredients while the eye was conveniently obstructed by leaves and drank a dose of Moody-Polijuice, as he was supposed to be in the forest in case of an emergency.

Afterwards, Rian blew him a kiss in thanks, turned around and nearly skipped out of the forbidden forest, leaving behind a luststruck man caught in a body reflecting his inner demons.  

As he excited the forest, he was met by deafening cheers and Bagman, whose grin nearly split his face apart. Before he fully registered what was happening, his hand was being shaken vigorously and Bagman congratulated him on being the first to finish.

Rian blinked at the boisterous man disbelivingly. He had left the forbidden forest, travelled to his supposed archenemy, convinced said archenemy of his goodwill towards him and still came in first?

Well. Technically a fully grown and trained wizard who knew the forbidden forest intimately from a time it was simply called the forest of Dean had been pitted against a group of barely off-age students who had never visited the forest. Except for Malfoy, but Rian was not counting the prat.

So not really much of a surprise that Rian came in first, now that he thought about it.

When he tried to sneak off towards Hermione, Bagman stopped him and directed him towards his assistants who were supposed to take his ingredients to prevent any tampering.