Chapter 10: The Unexpected Surprise
When Alphard stated that he had spoken to Lord Black for permission to access the main family library, he had assumed that Lord Black was Regulus, the younger brother of Sirius Black, since everyone had heard of the story of Walburga Black disowning her eldest child. It seems that was just a misconception…
The Slytherins were unsure of how to proceed, as they didn't expect they'd stumble across Hadrian like this, and their lord seemed frozen stiff. Alphard was about to break the silence when the sound of footsteps reached their ears. A scruffy, tired looking man appeared, pausing at the sight of them before smiling,
"Ah so you are the guests that will be staying for the next few days." Piercing amber eyes struck them through the heart. Chills went down their spines, only one thing would allow a person to have such eyes: a werewolf… To make it even more terrifying, this person was an Alpha. What should one do in such a situation? Despite the rather friendly appearance of this man, the atmosphere was rather tense.
"Y-Yes, my cousin said we were allowed to use the library." stuttered Alphard, who was internally panicking. Why was there a werewolf in the house?! Where was his cousin?! Tom himself was tense, but for different reasons. This dangerous man was close to his raven. How could his raven be fast asleep in his presence? His mind whirled with ideas, plans, all to get him to safety.
Remus hummed, hiding his amusement at these scared looking rabbits. Although one wasn't much of a rabbit, so this was the one trying to court his cub? Ignoring them he went over to Harry, the Slytherins growing more panicked, and shook his shoulder.
"Cub," The group inhaled sharply, "Time to wake up."
Hadrian's brows furrowed, groaning a little he sleepily opened his eyes, "Hmm? Moony?" He rubbed his eyes, too tired to notice their guests.
"Stayed up reading or practicing last night, I'm assuming? Sleep on an actual bed, a nap will be better than this. Especially for your back." Remus explained, closing the book gently guiding Harry to the entrance, making sure he didn't see the Slytherins.
"Alright, alright, you worry too much Moony. The sofa is comfortable, almost like a bed." Harry grumbled, before the sound of his footsteps disappeared.
"Sorry I'm late! I was just making sure the elves had your sleeping arrangements done correctly. You can unpack your things there and lunch will be ready for you all." Sirius said, shattering the tense atmosphere as he came in. Seeing how tense the Slytherins were, understanding flashed in his eyes,
"Ah, excuse him! The full moon just happened recently, so he's a little bit more unfriendly than normal, but he has agreed to you guys being here. Just be careful around Hadrian, we're both rather protective of him." Sirius explained, well aware that it wasn't very reassuring and instead made them worry. He may be a Gryffindor, but he was raised in a house of Slytherins.
"Now then, I'll have Mipsy lead you to your quarters. Don't forget to join us for lunch!" With that Sirius grabbed hold of Remus and went off somewhere, most likely the dining room.
"If you would follow Mipsy, dear guests." Mipsy popped in, curtsying to them all.
"You gave them quite the scare." Sirius said once they were out of range of the group.
"Well they are the ones who have been bothering my cub." Remus countered, "And one of them is the one who's trying to take our cub." The end of his words having a bit of a growl. The effects of the full moon took time to wear off and ironically enough he was no longer a morning person during this time.
"Well what do you think of him?"
"He wasn't terrified, but rather wary of me. There was some fear, but it only grew when I was near Harry. So maybe he does feel some form of care towards him, or it's just the natural reaction people have towards werewolves and when someone else is in danger." Remus concluded, taking his seat.
"Hmm, well we have time to observe and learn more about him. It's why I agreed to the request in the first place. This is a very big thing that's happening to Harry." Sirius concluded, both of them waiting for them to come down for lunch. No doubt they were having a discussion of their own. Harry was going to have food later, it was best he remained unaware of their guests for just a bit longer.
"Alphard! You never said that your cousin knew a werewolf!" Abraxas hissed out once they all were able to meet up in a room, his painstakingly styled hair just a bit ruffled. All the bedrooms they were offered were new and fresh looking. No doubt this was due to the massive renovation that the house had gone through.
"Well it's not information that people normally share, especially when this is how people react! I had no idea of his status." Alphard retorted, annoyed that he was getting all the blame.
"They are not just friends." Zevi added, stopping an argument that could escalate.
"What?" Cygnus questioned, wondering how he came to such a conclusion.
"You saw how Lord Black acted around the wolf, and he called Hadrian a cub. Both Black and Hadrian are comfortable in his presence. I think the werewolf is mated to Lord Black. Why else would he call Hadrian, cub? Lord Black is Hadrian's godfather, everyone knows this." Zevi explained, rather calm considering the circumstances.
"Correction, everyone is aware that Sirius Black is Hadrian Potter's godfather. I wasn't aware that he was Lord Black, remember all the talk about him running away? Everyone said he was no longer the heir." Cygnus reminded them, well aware of the Black history due to his family loving politics. Sirius Black running away was one of the biggest scandals of the century, well after their lord sent a courtship letter to someone who was second born.
"Well that's not the point! Zevi could be completely wrong with his assumption, no head of a house would marry a creature, much less a werewolf! What about the issue of heirs? No one in the family is going to accept an heir with werewolf blood." Abraxas said, bringing them back to the main topic.
"It's because he is Lord Black that this is possible. Have you forgotten about what it takes for one to become head of the house? It's not just a simple signing and putting on the ring." Alphard retorted not liking what Abraxas was implying about his family.
"You're all deviating from the main topic once more. Remus Lupin, that's the man's name, is mated to Lord Black. He is a werewolf, and more specifically an Alpha. I'm sure you all know what this means?" Zevi countered looking up from his book.
"Oh god… That means we're in an Alpha's territory…" Cygnus understood just what kind of situation they were in. The one who was in the most dangerous situation was... without a word they all looked to Tom who was calmly writing notes in his journal.
"You all are acting rather ridiculous. While this is something unexpected, this kind of meeting was bound to happen. They are the ones who are taking over the parental roles for my consort." Tom said, closing the journal and placing it into his trunk.
"This is a more favorable situation than dealing with whatever the Potter family had in store. Everyone is aware of their stance on this courtship, and I would rather not experience a mind splitting headache or become addicted to Pepper Up from dealing with them." With that he got up from his seat, straightening up his clothes,
"Now let's get going, we've delayed for as long as acceptably possible. No doubt they're already aware of our discussion taking place. Lord Black may be a Gryffindor, but do not forget he was raised in a house of Slytherins."
Harry opened up the bathroom door, toothbrush in hand and paused. He had assumed that the noise he heard was his Uncle, and so he was going to ask how he was after the full moon, but the person before him was not his uncle.
"Good morning." Before him, charming smile and all, was Tom Riddle. Harry without a word closed the door once more. Nope, he did not have the mental capacity to understand why the annoying prick was here just yet. For good measure he made sure to lock the door as well.
Tom blinked, his mind needing a moment to comprehend just what had happened. A smile appeared before he let out a chuckle and went to find a different bathroom to use. The sight of Hadrian just awake and getting ready for the day was something he would definitely remember. That bird's nest for hair, the comfy clothes… Hadrian looked rather cute in his opinion. Now if only he had the chance to have it be photographed. That was one thing the muggles have improved leaps and bounds in compared to wizards.
"Remus, I just had the strangest hallucination…" Harry began before trailing off at the sight of the table. More specifically at the abundance of people who were in attendance, all of them being Slytherins. Expression closing off he turned to Sirius; the room seemed to have gone just a few degrees lower.
"Sirius…" Seeing the innocent smile of his godfather Harry sighed, "Never mind." He did not want to deal with a headache for the rest of the day. Giving a simple nod to the guests he sat down on his seat far too used to the pecking Hedwig was doing to his head.
"Alright! Alright!" He grabbed a water bowl, plate full of bacon, a fashion magazine and a copy of the Daily Prophet before placing it on the seat next to him.
"There! Are you happy, Queen of the Skies?!" He said sarcastically, reaching for the pot of tea. He was not a morning person, but Hedwig would not leave him alone until he gave her the paper. So he had to wake up at this time no matter what. Hedwig barked, disliking this treatment.
Harry grumbled even more at that, "Honestly, you should do more than just sleep and hunt. I don't make you deliver that many letters so you'll start gaining weight from all that bacon. Find a boyfriend or something! Fawkes has been eyeing you."
"What do you mean you have standards! He's a bloody Phoenix!"
"How is that an excuse? What does...you know what, never mind. We'll discuss it later, Hedwig. I haven't had enough coffee for this conversation. Just leave the magazine on my table when you're done."
"Hoot!" Hedwig finished up her bacon, grabbed the magazine and then flew off.
"Great, even my own owl is giving me an attitude." He muttered under his breath, stabbing his scrambled eggs. Sirius was about to crack a joke, until a fork somehow lodged itself into his chair beside his face.
"Say one word, and I will have you dressed up in the girliest, pinkest tutu I can find. I'll even make sure you dance like a prima ballerina." Harry growled out, green eyes flashing ominously. Sirius wisely decided to not antagonize his godson until he had his cup of coffee. A lesson learned from Remus when he was on his time of the month.
Tom paused, he had never seen Hadrian be aggressive... well aggressive may not be the right term. He had never seen him threaten someone... well that was not true either. He had threatened Rosemary, but she didn't count. Remus ignored the entire commotion, far too focused on having his own coffee, no cream or sugar this time.
"A-Anyways... I've added you all to the Library wards, so you'll be able to read the books without an issue. Of course there are certain areas that will remain restricted, but that should be enough for your research." Sirius informed them as they began their breakfast.
"Thank you, cousin, this will help us with our Ancient Runes projects." Alphard said, the entire atmosphere rather awkward. Two of the three members of this house being far too tired to interact with the guests for the moment. Sirius would have actually been just as tired if it weren't for the fact he had to do his role as Lord of the house.
When Harry finished his cup of coffee, a long minute of silence after Alphard spoke, he was a little more awake and looked around. Finally taking note of the group's presence and the conversation going on, he asked, "Oh? What are your ideas for the project?"
"Mine is finding a way to extend the shelf life for potions. Some of them are quite difficult to make, either far too time consuming or requiring rare ingredients. Stasis charms do work, but it's not permanent." Zevi spoke up.
"Mmm, that is rather ambitious, but if successful it will certainly help Saint Mungo's and potion masters all over the world. Although considering you are from the Prince family it's not much of a surprise." Harry replied, smiling just a bit, any discussion about magic bringing his mood up. The Prince line was known to produce at least one Potion master every two generations. Every member of the family had higher than average talent when it came to the subject.
Just like that the awkward atmosphere was broken, and everyone was discussing their projects and their statuses. Opinions, ideas, and suggestions were thrown around. Sirius and Remus joined in, using their many years of knowledge and experience to give further insight.
"All of you have rather unique ideas. I remember back during our year, people would go for the simplest thing so they could get an easy grade." Sirius said, the plates having been cleared away leaving only a variety of drinks.
"It's still like that, we're in the minority of our year who are doing something creative." Harry explained, eating the bowl of fruit Mipsy gave everyone.
"Speaking of which, does anyone know what Granger is making?" Cygnus questioned. Everyone went silent at that. Ever since the incident in front of the Great Hall, she had become even more overbearing. Several people had already had enough of her butting her head into things which didn't concern her. They wouldn't be surprised if, once they returned from the holidays, she was going to receive rather hostile treatment.
"Granger? Who is that? Is she somebody important?" Remus questioned, curious as to why everyone was acting like this to what he assumed was a muggleborn.
"She's a muggleborn, academically smart, but outside of that she's pretty much useless." Alphard informed them.
Abraxas scoffed, "That's an understatement. She could get perfect scores on everything, but no one will hire her with that attitude. She's narrow minded and always looking down on our traditions."
Remus raised a brow at those words, "So she's rude to everyone?" He was curious about this muggle born since she had annoyed even Harry. He was well aware that Harry didn't have anything against muggles or muggleborns, but it was the first time he's seen him so irritated at the mention of a name. Well besides Tom Riddle, but that itself was self explanatory.
"Well not exactly. She's always talking about her extensive knowledge, even if it's biased, so she comes off as rude, ignorant, bossy, and overall just annoying. Of course that's going to rub people the wrong way. The way she acts all high and mighty just because she knows the right answers… She has completely based herself on the school curriculum and whatever relates specifically to those subjects, but never expands her horizons. She's not taking the time to understand the world around her, and when it doesn't suit her needs or ideals, she complains. Loudly." Harry explained.
"It doesn't help that she speaks of things that no one outside of a noble house would understand." Tom added in, still irritated over what was said. Such ignorant words, and she has no idea what she's talking about. Family affairs were something strictly private and never brought into the light unless dug out. Thus why everyone in Britain was making a big fuss with the situation between the Potters.
"It's like someone going to a foreign country. They realize the people around them don't speak English and start throwing a hissy fit because of that. They should clearly be aware that being in a foreign country means that English may not be the first or second language wherever they are visiting." Harry added.
"Well if she's like that, she's going to be in for a big shock when she gets out of Hogwarts. She's going to be experiencing plenty of hurdles, especially if she's offending all the families with connections." Sirius declared.
"It doesn't help that she keeps on butting heads with the noble families. Acting like she's the only intelligent student of the class because she's read a chapter or two ahead of the subject." Abraxas muttered, remembering the many classes he had with that girl.
"A lot of people in the world have those issues. Being brilliant with one's education is good and all, but social skills are often neglected. People don't realize those skills are just as important until it is too late." Remus said.
"So what is she making?" Cygnus asked, bringing them back to what started this entire conversation.
"I heard that she was planning to improve a wizarding compass." Alphard answered, remembering some of the gossip he had heard before holidays.
"A wizarding compass? There are plenty in the world, and each new edition has more capabilities than the previous one." Zevi questioned, wondering why someone would pick such an item.
"She probably only saw the most basic ones shown in Hogsmeade and assumed that was the latest edition. I would have understood if she had chosen telescopes. Muggles have advanced the technology with their telescopes so far that ours have become inferior. Most of them do not require any magic either." Tom said, remembering some of the muggle stores he had seen during his time at the orphanage.
"Well, I believe that's enough of that conversation. You all came here to take advantage of the Black Library for your projects, so we won't delay you any longer." Remus declared, everyone's empty cups being taken as he and Sirius got up.
"Harry will show you where the library is, don't stay cooped up in there for too long!" Sirius yelled out before following Remus. An awkward silence filled the air as the group sat, not knowing what to say. None of them expected they'd be seeing Hadrian Potter, or that the first time they met again would be when he was sleeping.
Hadrian sighed, getting up from his seat, "I'll take you to the library, I need to continue with my project anyways." He told them, waiting by the doorway.
"Sirius did some renovating around the library, though he couldn't change much due to the ancient wards. The place isn't as dreary looking as before, and there's more natural sunlight for one. So there's no need for us to use candles or lanterns while inside." He explained as they entered the place. True to his words the place certainly appeared a lot brighter.
"Wouldn't that damage the books? There are a few old tomes that will have their writing fade due to the light." Tom questioned, remembering why all the old libraries had such terrible lighting. There were plenty of libraries in the muggle world that were off limits to prevent any damage occurring to the ancient books.
"Not really, Sirius made sure to have additional wards added to the old ones. In this case he included the ones that protect from being damaged by sunlight and other things. Gringotts is already known for their amazing wards, so it makes sense to call upon the goblins when it comes to warding. They have a larger variety of options, some of them are quite gruesome. Perfect as these books are worth more than any fortune." He said remembering how he had asked Sirius the exact same question. It wasn't like James ever considered updating the library wards, stating that they were strong enough already. They all ended up having a very thorough discussion about wards, warding, and the development of the subject over the years. It was a very enlightening topic since Remus did travel a bit in Europe and so experienced a larger variety of magic. Harry began to have the wish to travel a bit after his graduation, expand his horizons in other ways instead of books only.
"That area is under restriction, no one but Sirius, Remus, and his younger brother Regulus are able to enter. Apparently the books on those shelves are deadly, dangerous, illegal, or contain dark magic. If you try to go there Sirius will know and revoke your rights to enter the library." Hadrian knew that the group were mainly dark magic users. If he was aware, then Sirius had to be too. He just gave them warning, no doubt they knew that meant Sirius was watching them.
"If most of the stuff is restricted, then how are we doing our research?" Zevi questioned, as it was a reasonable concern of theirs.
"He hasn't restricted everything. Only the things that are not needed considering our grade and age. For dark magic he took out ritual books, and things that wouldn't be useful for our Ancient Runes project. There's still plenty of books for us to scour through." He gestured to the rest of the library that they had access to. A good three quarters of the room, more than enough for what they needed.
"If you really can't find what you need, Sirius would be willing to give a book from the restricted area, but under an oath." Was it a bit excessive? Yes, but considering the kinds of books the Black family had, it was understandable.
"As I'm sure you guys know, we can use magic. The wards are too strong for the trace to work." Using his own wand to set up the table he normally sat at. Mipsy had already brought his work and research materials set up.
"Here, you might find this useful." A large thick book was placed right in front of Harry who was in the midst of getting his things out. It had been a day since the Slytherins became guests in the Black household.
"What's this?" He questioned, reading the cover, the book itself was very worn, the title itself fading away. It was easy to see that this book was both rare and very expensive.
"You were having difficulty figuring out how the chained runes would be powered, correct? This book should help you, there might be some information on how pensieves work." Tom might be acting nonchalant, but Harry wasn't fooled. The Potter Manor had similar books like these and his grandfather had always talked about the importance of maintaining these old books. This had to have cost a fortune, or could quite possibly come from Slyhterin's own personal collection, making it worth more than any fortune in the world.
"I'll make sure to return it to you in perfect condition." He said, carefully opening up the book to skim over the contents. There was definitely a lot of information, all of it very interesting that he itched to just read the book alone, but first he needed to complete his other homework that was to be done over the break.
"Have it for as long as necessary, it isn't a very important book." Tom replied as he sat down across from him, pleased when Harry didn't make a comment. While meeting Harry here was unexpected it was also a great boon. It was more time that he could spend with Harry outside of the Potter's influence, and, with his followers being here, there was no need for escorts.
"How is the progress of your project?" He questioned, deciding to not get into an argument on the book's obvious worth. He wasn't someone who liked to owe someone something, so it was best to return the book once he no longer required it. No matter how interesting the book was he was going to return it once the project was over. Tom hummed, already bringing out his own things to work on.
"You already know that I am in the testing phase for the sequence. I decided to try it on a simple wooden model before using any specific time, and the test results have turned out positive. The sequence itself is running smoothly considering it is engraved onto something non magical. Once I start using a magical wood, that is when things may differ. For now I'm researching on the different kinds, while figuring out where I can get the supply to do my tests." He explained, the last part was where he was struggling the most.
Most magical trees were under a strict protection law, mainly because of the past and how the trees would be cut down without considering preservation for the future. The exact same situation that occurred with the snidget and it's very low population. It was difficult enough to breed the species back up, but even more so for trees as crossbreeding could very easily occur.
"Mm, that must be difficult considering the restrictions placed upon the usage of magical trees. You could try going for the less extinct ones, and maybe even the ones of lower quality. I've heard that there are projects of crossbreeding occurring to see if certain traits of two trees could be passed down to make a better one. You might find something more suitable there instead of the ones being bred back from extinction." He suggested, figuring that instead of making things harder it was best to look for an alternative.
"That's not a bad idea, if the price of creating the figures is too costly, then the department would not want to use them. Everyone knows that the funding for the department is decreasing with each new Minister. A foolish decision as the Aurors are the ones maintaining the Statue of Secrecy."
"But we've already come to the agreement that the way the Wizarding government handles anything is subpar and that world itself is stagnating. That is nothing but old news at this point. Of course once their terrible decisions backfire they begin panicking and start playing the blame game, refusing to take responsibility for their own faults." It was a pattern that Harry had seen time and time again during his study of history. His grandfather wasn't like the others, he worked on improving the wizarding world in whatever way he could.
"Mm, but these projects of ours are a way of forcing the wizarding world to advance, whether they like it or not." Tom countered before they both focused on their work completely. They had discussed enough about how terribly the world was being managed.
"But then wouldn't using a cross as a conductor of magic like the Italians interfere with how we do our own work? We're not even aware of what materials they use to make the conductor, and it is a closely guarded secret." Harry countered, eyes shining in delight at the discussion.
"Who said it would have to be a cross? We could use something else, a different shape and material. We'd only be taking inspiration from what they're doing." Zevi countered. It had only been a few hours, but the awkward atmosphere no longer existed.
Remus had pulled them all out from the library at one point, stating that discussing with others about their findings would be just as effective. So here they were in the sitting room having tea and biscuits while debating what the others thought about. For Harry this was very enjoyable as he only had this kind of debate with the twins when it came to their creations. They were geniuses with their unorthodox way of thinking things through.
"That may be, but changing-" Harry was interrupted when an owl swooped in and landed before him, outstretching its leg. He paused for a moment before his expression closed off as he recognized who this owl belonged to. It was a Potter family owl, the family symbol hung around its neck, clear to see. Not wanting to appear scared in front of everyone he took the letter, internally relieved when the owl flew off, meaning that a reply wasn't required.
I understand that your father has been rather difficult with you. He can be quite unreasonable at times in his moments of anger, but please don't take it to heart. I'm certain, given some time to cool off, he'll come around.
Regardless, I very much want to welcome you back into our home, if you would come to Potter Manor for a few days. The winter holidays are a time meant to be spent with family. I miss you very much and would love to spend time with my only son.
"Cub?" Remus questioned softly, concerned as Harry had become completely closed off. Harry didn't look at him as he handed over the letter, getting up from his seat,
"Excuse me, an idea just popped into my mind. I'll be testing it out in the dueling room." He said before leaving. It was clear that he was not okay and everyone could see that, but Harry couldn't find himself to care at that moment. Tom was concerned, wanting to go after Harry, or better yet find out the contents of that letter. The next moment they all felt chills down their spines, fear entering their hearts as low growl echoed in the room,
"Those bastards…" Remus, no Moony snarled out, eyes shining bright amber, canines peeking out from his lips. For the very first time Tom Riddle found himself to be frozen stiff, every inch of his body screaming at him to not move, to not bring attention upon himself from this Alpha. It was baffling that they had all forgotten that this kind of tired-looking man was a werewolf, an Alpha werewolf, and they were in his territory.
"I'm going to tear them to shreds." He growled as he got up, completely ignoring their guests.
"You can't." Sirius said at the doorway. He had an inkling that something was wrong the moment he saw his godson storm past him without so much as a word. The expression on his face also played a big role.
"You try saying that after reading this." Sirius blinked as he caught the letter, skimming it over, his expression becoming irritated.
"She's never been one to care for holidays much less act so soft. We've spent years in the same house, her approach was always more direct than this. She's trying to manipulate him." The very last sentence being spat out as if it was something utterly foul.
"You still can't do anything." Sirius countered calmly, folding his arms, letter still in his hand.
"YOU'D RATHER HE GO BACK TO THAT TOXIC PLACE?!" Moony yelled out, unable to hold back his anger when their cub was the one who was being pushed around.
"He's a Potter, and no matter what we do that's not going to change. Opposing this would only bring him more trouble. He has to go at one point, but he doesn't have to go right now." He grinned and continued, "Potter can scream all he wants, but he is my godson. It's only right I spend time with him for the holidays. Now calm down, you're scaring our guests. Malfoy looks very close to ruining his trousers."
Abraxas turned bright red in the face, making no comment as there was still an enraged werewolf before him. Sirius rolled his eyes, dragging Remus away so that the teens could gather their composure.
"W-What was all that about?" Alphard questioned once the danger had passed. All of their hearts pounding loudly in their ears.
"It seems that the Potters didn't like my response to their invitation. I told them that it wasn't necessary for me to visit if the one I'm courting wouldn't be present." Tom said, mask firmly in place despite his complexion being paler than before.
"So that means…" Zevi questioned, gripping onto his book tightly.
"Hadrian and I will be going to Potter Manor soon."
Hello everyone! I know that is has been a while since I last posted a new chapter, but I hope you all enjoy what's happening here. Some family interactions here, a bit of the uncles learning about the Slytherins and vice versa. Now I have something very special that I would love to share with you all! I have created a discord server! One that's dedicated to all of my fics, and if I have the time you all could interact with me there. A little bit of a sneak peek on the writing process maybe. Of course I would love to see any theory discussions and the like happening there as well.
Discord Link: /5hfKMMp
There's no expiry date on the link that way if you read the update late you're all good! There was an issue with it, but I was able to fix it!
Please stay safe everyone!