Headmistress McGonagall had a very good glare. Adam was impressed by it. He also was the focus of it a lot.
"Mr. Lambert, I'd like to remind you that you are a fifth year now and I thought you would outgrow some of this unruly behavior. Was it truly necessary to put that Musical Charm on Masterson?"
Adam cleared his throat. "He was calling me a Half-Blood and making fun of me for liking Muggle musicals. So I thought I'd let him know how awesome Jesus Christ Superstar actually is." Masterson turned out to be a pretty good singer, actually. "He did really well on "Damned For All Time", I thought."
"Nevertheless, he's very embarrassed. He sang four songs from the musical before Professor Flitch was able to stop him. You need to apologize to him. I thought he was friends with your brother Neil."
Yeah, another reason to dislike him. "I don't actually talk to Neil that much." McGonagall raised an eyebrow and Adam sighed. "It's a whole bunch of long stories." McGonagall just shook her head and Adam frowned a little. Him and his brother...they tried. Sometimes, anyway.
"Now, we need to talk about these spells that you do when you're singing..."
"That’s not on purpose! It was an accident! I didn't mean to send that Lust Charm out! I was just doing a song and well..."
"You need to work on your self-control. And also, you are very lucky that all the students watching were fifth years and up, and that you stopped singing before anything got truly out of hand." Adam made a face just thinking about it.
“I know, when I saw that Hufflepuff prefect take her top off, I ran.” Adam blushed then, and looked over to see Dumbledore’s portrait laughing behind his hand. At least someone thinks it’s funny, he thought. McGonagall cleared her throat, bringing him back to the present.
"You are one of the sweetest, kindest students at Hogwarts and you get good grades when you try. But you send me to see Madam Pomfrey for headache potion more than anyone else here. Not to mention that little...group of yours.” McGonagall raised an eyebrow again. “Tell me, how did you find every student in the school with a tendency toward misbehaving and make friends with them?”
Adam shrugged. "I love my friends. And this isn’t about them being from different houses, is it?” McGonagall looked offended that he would even think that, and Adam quickly backtracked. “I’m sorry, I know you don’t care about that. Some people do, but…I love them. They’re all great people.” There was really no other explanation for it. "Look, I don't hurt anyone. I believe in love, all my spells are harmless."
Headmistress McGonagall sighed, and Adam knew he'd won this round. "Very well. Apologize to Masterson before he decides to duel you. And again, you need to practice… self-control."
"Yes Headmistress. Thank you." Adam said. He left something on her desk before he walked out. McGonagall picked it up, thinking what now?
The spell flower opened in front of her, and stayed bloomed on her desk for the next week.
Tommy Ratliff Malfoy (and boy, he despised that fucker who gave him that last name) was the most avoided person at the Sytherin dining table. He was a Sytherin, got in fair and square like everybody else, but it’s not like he was all that popular. Fuck, Neil Lambert had more friends in his House than he did.
Tommy really was a Malfoy, but a bastard one. His mother was quite a bit smarter and more determined than the other maids that Lucius had knocked up over the years, it seemed. Apparently Narcissa would handle the situation by throwing the maids out with a small amount of money and/or an appointment to a Healer who could “take care” of the problem discreetly. Instead, his mum got him legal recognition as a Malfoy, and enough money for his tuition at Hogwarts. He loved her for that-she still wouldn’t tell him what she had on the son of a bitch to make him agree.
But while the rest of his house seemed to respect the act of blackmail that his mum pulled off to get him there, they still shunned him. Being the bastard son of a maid, even one as diabolically fucking clever as his mother, didn’t do a lot for his rep. And of course the Malfoy’s rep wasn’t what it used to be either after the war-they had managed to piss everyone off and had to pay a hell of a lot of money in restitution. So those were two reasons.
Also, Tommy loved Muggle culture and was not into Pureblood posturing bullshit at all. He had white Malfoy hair, sure, but he’d gotten a cute Gryffindor third year to teach him how to spell a black streak in it. He knew from his birth that there were Purebloods and then there were Purebloods and honestly, fuck the second kind.
His most precious possession in the world was the guitar he bought from the owner of a Muggle rock club. He hid it in the Room of Requirement to keep his fellow Sytherins from destroying it. Tommy didn’t hate all of wizarding culture, but he figured when he was done he might disappear into the Muggle world, start a rock band.
“Hey! Thomas!” Tommy looked up from his plate. Who the fuck was calling him? Couldn’t they see he was busy brooding? He looked over and that fucking Gryffindor Adam, Neil’s brother, was gesturing at him. Not only that, he was smiling.
“Hey, why the fuck don’t you come sit with us?” he said, not caring that his voice echoed against the stone walls. Tommy looked over in time to see a few of the Professors shudder at the language, Slughorn the only one who smiled at it. “It’s not like any of your house is talking to you anyway.”
Tommy got up from the Sytherin dining table, feeling the glares from his entire house, and walked over to the small table of multi-house students that made up Adam Lambert’s friends and associates. Adam grinned and waved him over. “Come on.” The other kids made room, and the dark haired Ravenclaw sixth year even smiled at him. “So, you’re Thomas Ratliff Malfoy, right? Hell of a name.” Adam smiled a lot-he probably smiled more than anyone at the school outside of Professor Sprout.
“Tommy,” he muttered. Adam frowned and Tommy spoke up a little louder. “Call me Tommy, or Tommy Joe.” That was the name he used in the Muggle world, and it was the name he thought himself as, and not Thomas Malfoy. “And you can skip over the Malfoy part too if you want.” Tommy looked up at Adam for just a second, then put his eyes back down on the floor. So it came as a mild surprise when a big hand landed on his shoulder.
“Okay Tommy, come sit with us.” Tommy sat down, next to a cute black Gryffindor second year girl and a skinny boy Hufflepuff. Tommy thought his name was Isaac, but he wasn’t sure. He sat down and muttered a greeting and then just ate his treacle tart in silence while everyone around him chattered. He didn’t look up until he got a napkin thrown at him.
“What?” he said, throwing the napkin on the floor. If they only invited him over to give him shite…”Oh! Hi.” The napkin-thrower was Allison, the same girl who taught him how to spell his hair different colors. “What are you doing here?” Okay, he had to get used to being friendly.
“Eating supper with my friends,” she said, shrugging. Allison was an interesting witch, a young girl with Spanish Muggle parents who could do Charms better than most of the pure and half-bloods Tommy had ever seen. She mostly used them to get into trouble, and to spell her hair in bright red and purple, or black with pink streaks. The professors didn’t like it, but Tommy thought she was adorable. She took another bite of her treacle tart. “Are you going to sit with us again?”
“We’ll be here all week,” said the girl next to him, smiling. She had a cute smile.
Tommy looked back at the table of Sytherins. They were glaring a hole through him, and he swore that one of the Bole brothers looked like he was half-reaching for his wand. Neil Lambert looked totally miserable- his House had been reminded that Adam was his brother.
Tommy turned to look back at her, and the rest of Adam’s motley group of friends. They were all years, all houses, Purebloods and Halfbloods and Muggle-born. None of them were going to give a shit about his mother, his asshole father, or any of that other stuff. Fuck, Adam wasn’t just Halfblood, but American as well. Shit, why not? He thought. “Yeah,” was all he said, but everyone laughed and cheered a little. That almost made him smile.
“Mr. Lambert, drop that wand now! I say, are you dueling again?”
Fuck, Neil thought, as he slowly lowered his wand. His opponent, Brant, just smirked as he lowered his. Neil stared at him and mouthed Later. That earned him another smirk as Professor Slughorn came running over. Neil started to defend himself. “Professor, I was just defending myself, Brant-“
“Nonsense, Neil. You get into more duels or fistfights than anyone else in your house. I don’t see how you manage to cause so much trouble. I’m sorry, but I have to send you to the Headmistress this time. I can’t cover this one for you.”
“But,” Neil started, but Slughorn just looked at him. “Fine, sure.” Slughorn was the head of Slytherin house, and an okay one. But Neil was far from being one of his favorites. In fact, Neil was sure that doddering old suckup would be inviting Adam for one of his dinners and not him. He didn’t say anything as Slughorn escorted him to the Headmaster’s office. Someone was waiting just outside her office. Great.
Adam turned and looked at Neil, nodding a little. “Hey,” he said. “You try to duel in broad daylight again?”
Neil sat down hard on the floor since Adam had the only seat.“Yeah. You break the rules about impromptu performances in the courtyard again? Or having people from other houses over in the Gryffindor Common room? Or…whatever the hell else it is you and your friends do?”
“Why isn’t there a multi-house common room? Honestly.” Adam fidgeted with his robe. “It was nothing, really. We just took some brooms out for a spin.” Neil started laughing until Adam frowned at him. “What?”
“Asshole, you’re hopeless on a broom. I know Terrance is an awesome Beater, but hanging out with him won’t make you any better.” Neil squirmed. “What’s taking her so long?”
“Terrance is in there now. I might’ve gotten the Gryffindor Quidditch team in a little trouble.” Adam sighed. “That was pretty dumb.”
“Most of the stuff you do is.” Adam turned and looked at him, glaring. “What? It’s true.” He didn’t get Adam, he never had. They came to England just after the last war with Voldermort, and Adam wound up being a star at the school despite not giving a shit about what anyone thought. Neil couldn’t get a break from his own house.
Adam stopped glaring and instead looked him over with something a little too fucking close to pity. “So you’re keeping the American accent this week? You’re not going to try changing it to something more…suitable for a Slytherin? You should go for one of the middle class accents, I think. Then you won’t sound too much like a social climber.”
Neil stood up, and he was about to tell his brother to fuck off, never speak to him again, it was none of his business what he did-when the door opened and Terrance was let out. He winked at Adam, then saw Neil and nodded his head once. Adam went in next, and Neil took his seat, curling around himself. Before the door entirely closed, he could hear Headmistress McGonagall say “Adam, if we still had House Points, you would have Gryffindor in negative numbers by now!” That made Neil giggle softly.
“The same could be said of you.” Neil looked up and Albus Fucking Dumbledore was talking to him. He’d sneaked out of his portrait and was looking at him from one of a bunch of centaurs (they looked a bit annoyed).
“Why are you talking to me?” Neil couldn’t even get a decent audience with Slughorn. “Go talk to Adam, everyone loves him for some reason.”
Dumbledore just smiled at him, eyes twinkling in the portrait. “Your brother is quite the charmer, it’s true. But he can’t do it all himself.”
Do what all himself? Neil thought. “He’s got his friends, and I’m stuck with a house that hates me.” Neil sighed. “But the hat seemed to think I was a real Slytherin, and not a Ravenclaw. It was a toss-up.” Neil felt better saying it. Then he realized that the best conversation he’d had all week was now, with the portrait of a dead headmaster. Great.
“Well then,” Dumbledore said as he started to move out of the centaur portrait, “I suppose you can just work on making Slytherin what you want it to be, and not what it wants from you.” Neil had no fucking idea what Dumbledore was saying, but it was too late. “Bye!”
“Bye,” Neil whispered just as Adam got let out of the McGonagall’s office. “You okay?” he said, before he remembered he was supposed to be mad. Adam looked surprised, then smiled. It was his “I’m putting up with Neil” smile, but he’d take it.
“Detention with Hooch, I’m going to be polishing broomsticks for the next hour. Go in, I think she’s on a roll.” Adam snickered.
“Thanks,” Neil said, and he walked in next. “Hello, Headmistress…”
Later that day, when he was scrubbing cauldrons for Slughorn, he thought if he really had to fight everyone in his House, and out of it. Maybe he could just not let all that shit get to him. Maybe he could be more like Adam, and let that stuff roll off his back. Maybe he could define his own idea of what a Slytherin was. Maybe he could stop dueling and start getting back in more clever ways.
He liked that last idea.