Summery: In the future Harry was given the choice to back and do his life over. Speaking to snakes, jumping across rooftops, socializing with half-demons and purebloods, and having a best friend who lives in a magical diary wasn't the most normal of childhoods. Now eleven and entering his first year of Hogwarts, Hadrian must live each day as two people. A Griffindor, 'Potter' and a Slytherin, 'Prince'. He...might not have thought this through.
Rating. M (-seriously, note that. If I get a flame later on because you see some shit you don't want to see I am going to mock your intelligence and your reading level. Harshly. I may even call your mother names and insult your manhood. I beg your pardon ladies. ;) )
Warnings: Violence. Mental and Emotional Abuse. Emotional Manipulation. Characters with flexible morals. A Harry encourage from a young age to think independently and form his own opinions. Other magical schools. Demon and Magical Creature culture. Pureblood politics. Verbal Sparing. Possessed Diaries. Cunning criminals. Time Travel. OCs.
AN: Hi there. I'd make a bunch of excuses about why I've been gone, but I am far too lazy to engage in such nonsense. Let it be known I became caught up in my brother's life for a bit helping him get situated. On the bright-side I have an obscene amount written out for both Alchema, and Very Bad Boys. I'll try to spread out postings evenly. No promises. Ever. If I do give a promise in the future just remember that I am a filthy liar folks. Cheers.
Questions? Comments? Limericks? Put them in your review. I try to give answers when I can.
NOTE, this is the second book of a series. This first book is Alchema: Child of Fate. You can find it on my profile. Go read that and then come back. XD
I'll burn a thousand moons just to light a single sun
And now the darkest hour collides
With our unguarded lives
Nothing left to fear, We could never fall
Head full of fire
Hadrian sprawled, feet in Draco's lap, hands behind his head, looking for all the world like he owned the compartment and everyone in it. It hadn't taken the blonde Malfoy heir long to find him, bringing his posse along with him. For the most part Hadrian let attention fall away from him and listened in on their conversations. He watched them and considered their familie's relationships to one another and noted anything valuable to know in the future. It was inevitable for them to force him to socialize at some point.
"I can hardly wait for the feast to begin."
Nott, a brown haired boy Hadrian met in Diagon Alley over the summer, sniffed from his book. "I can hardly wait for classes to begin."
"I can't wait for summer to begin."
"Draco! School just started." Daphne admonished, scandalized.
"Well, since it seems to be popular, what are you waiting for Prince?" The silver eyed boy asked, ignoring the other blond entirely.
Hadrian tilted his head, unknowingly adopting a pose Lady often used. To mess with the mini-slytherins or not to mess with the mini-slytherins?
"I suppose I am the odd man out here. Because, as it is, I can't wait until the ending. I know you would think I was waiting here, trying to be calm, pretending I didn't care, nervous about this new world I am entering. With only magical humans. With people I've never met. Far from everything I have ever known. About the new things I shall learn and whether I might make a fool of myself or whether the letter writers of this fabulous institution made a mistake when they sent an invitation to attend to someone like myself. As I am the only one in my family to do so. No pressure or anything. But, what I want most to see, what I can not wait to see, is the ending."
Daphne leaned forward. "Why?"
"Because that's when we get to the good stuff. We find out who betrayed whom, who was really one of the villains all along, who plotted what, who had secrets, who was lying through their teeth, who was wearing masks, who survives and, most importantly, who wins. So, while most people are wondering about the beginning...I find myself impatient for the ending."
Three calculating gazes assessed Hadrian. If they had been any other children they may have thought him strange and day-dreamy. Perhaps they would have stared and then gone on with discussions of Quidditch or house sorting. But these weren't that sort of children. They could hear the undertones, they could read between the line. Just as they had been trained to do since birth. Just as they would have to when they took their places in the family as adults. As politicians or Head Lords of their family. And it was a habit that would ensure they made it that far, if used properly. Right now they each roamed their minds, going over everything they knew about Prince, every shared memory, every odd phrase he'd ever spoken and they were adding things together, taking away others in a very quick, complicated formula.
It was Nott who broke the silence.
"You would only be so excited for the ending...if you knew something about it and found it favorable."
Now, Hadrian could deny that. He could roll his eyes. He could ignore it and changed the subject. Or he could tell the truth and see what happens. A scientific experiment really. And what was this whole thing, the two personas, the secret training, but a very large social/political experiment? They were going to be Slytherins, no doubt about it, so they wouldn't rush off to tell everyone. No, they'd sit back and make observations. Who was he to deny them a show? He fought the laughter threatening to break out and stared back out at his audience with a cool calm. He gave the slightest of nods. And said nothing.
An hour later Prince was asleep, head on Draco's lap, the rest of him lounged across their seat. Daphne eyed them with interest and caught Draco's eye.
"Public displays of favor already? We have been busy."
"You're just jealous I met him first Greengrass. It was by accident you know, I had no inkling who he was."
"I am at that. You Malfoys have the best luck." She pouted.
"That's why our families are always friends with them."
She smiled. "That's also true."
Draco gave a very put upon sigh.
"Yes, discuss your manipulation of my affections to suit your needs right in front of me, My breaking heart shall ignore it, my ears shall pretend they can not hear it, my eyes that they can not see..."
A cushion launched at him.
He smirked, stood, carefully placed it under Prince's head and walked to the door.
"Off to cause mischief are we?"
He left them to their calculations. A shadow following soon after.
Hadrian watched from the shadow the goings on in the compartment. He found Draco just inside the door of a compartment containing his Potter persona and a red haired boy he didn't know. Or at least, he wouldn't know until to night.
In the normal fashion wizards use time manipulation, so said Lady, one is denied the ability to changed the past or interact with others. Most especially one's own self. She then pointed out that she wasn't a wizard and what she was about to tell him he'd best keep to himself. Hadrian had scoffed. He wasn't about to run off and shout it to the heavens, still, he understood she had to do her duty and at least warn (read:threaten) him about the consequences.
There is a difference between time travel, which is what wizards did, and honest to goodness time manipulation, which is what he would be doing. It was a process Lady had perfected herself. During consciousness one half of his soul, his Prince persona for instance, would inhabit one body and live one life, while the other half of his soul would inhabit another body (the same body actually, only not and didn't that twist your mind?) and live another life at the same time, in the same time line and were free to interact as separate beings. At night, when both were unconscious, his souls would reconnect in his mindscape and he (Hadrian himself) would go over his memories from that day, reorganize information, who was friends with whom and why. Recent interactions, altercations, alliances and anything else of importance. After all of that was filed away in the appropriate places he would play back memories, take notes, asses his reactions and make tweaks to his personas as needed. Then he would 'sleep'.
When he first began this he had to be unconscious in order to power his other persona, so they weren't both awake at the same time. In fact, while he had been switching personas, this was his first go with both running at once. He was both excited and freaked out.
Potter stood, one arm keeping the red head back, and half listened to Malfoy's little speech. Hadrian mused at the differences between 'Draco' his friend and 'Malfoy' the arrogant git. It amazed him that he would never have gotten to see his true face without the mask if they hadn't met that one day the bookstore. He was thankful for it sure, but he couldn't help but wonder what is what like to meet the mask first.
Potter smiled at Malfoy and shook his hand, introducing himself formally which threw off everyone. Hadrian guessed, while they did expect Potter to be superhuman, they did not expect him to know proper wizarding etiquette. If this fazed them the wizarding world was in for a bit of a shock.
The ginger, Ron it seemed, was displeased with something Draco said. Probably a scathing remark about his attire. Hadrian himself was thinking it. He could understand having less than silk to wear, that had been his life up until recently, but he didn't see why a pure-bread boy representing his family on the first day of his entrance into the wizarding world (the social aspects of it) wouldn't want to present himself better. The wrinkled robes, crumbs everywhere along with a dirty face and quick temper weren't what he would have chosen.
"Ron, we're only introducing ourselves and having a conversation. There isn't any reason to be so rude. I f you don't like him ignore him, as it is you're being...well..."
Hadrian stepped next to Draco, body guard number two moving aside for him, and placed his hand on Draco's shoulder.
"I believe the technical term is being an ass." He supplied.
Draco looked at him, amusement in his eyes before it faded away behind the mask.
In front of them Potter was fighting a smile and Ron didn't appear to know how to respond. Of course he didn't know who Hadrian was and messy robes or not he was a pureblood and knew better than to insult someone he didn't know.
"Who's this then? Another one of your slimy friends?" Asked Ron under the guise of an insult.
Hadrian pondered that. Maybe the kids wasn't as dense as he thought.
"This is my friend Soboles Deorum. Prince, this is Weasley," He nodded at the red head, "and Potter. Harry Potter."
For the first time Prince and Potter made eye contact.
Hadrian held out his hand for Potter to shake. "Potter, It's a pleasure to see you here."
Potter shook it."Deorum, Nice to see you around."
Hadrian knew from the narrowing of silver eyes that his blonde companion caught that interaction. Neither he nor Potter had 'introduced' themselves, they acknowledged the other by their last name and said a pleasant greeting. It implied they either knew of each other from a shared social activity or they had met in some fashion prior to this and were on agreeable terms though not friends.
The ginger was oblivious.
"I'm Ron." He said, making no move to hold out his hand.
Hadrian nodded curtly. The only sign he'd heard him.
The message there was clear as well. Ron offered showed that he was willing to be on speaking terms with Prince but had no inclination to be friendly. Prince showed that while he would interact with Ron if necessary he also wouldn't be friendly. Their allegiances spoke for themselves. Potter rolled his eyes at all of it and Draco appeared pleased and smug. Probably because Ron hadn't registered who Prince was yet. If he had he would have forced a friendly smile on his face and held out his hand. As it was he'd just snubbed Prince and that was potentially social suicide.
How he loved politics.
"Well, I think I'll get back to my reading."
Draco nodded at Potter. "See you at school."
"At school." He agreed.
Ron ignored Draco completely and settled down to inhale more sweets if the numerous wrappers on his seat was anything to go by.
Potter looked to Prince and, surprising everyone, sent him a beaming smile.
"I like what you've done with your hair."
Hadrian glared. He had spent two hours in front of a mirror while Eridanous muttered spell after spell and rubbed in potion after potion to get his hair perfect. As Eridanous was his chosen familiar for the year he'd no doubt be stuck with morning routine until he died. It was torture and Potter knew it.
His glared softened and he let out a small laugh.
"Well, it's better than yours. Skipped the brushing part again I see."
In the great hall Eridanous watched from his place beneath the staff table, head on his paws. Beside him Eden did much the same, fluffy orange tail swishing behind her. It had been a long trip and he was eager for the day to finish. His noted were prepared with interactions from his perspective along with the ones he'd seen when Prince was not around. Eden, no doubt, had done the same for this other persona. Still, the smell of food being cooked several floors below caught his sensitive nose.
He buried his face in his paws and groaned.
"Not much longer. Control yourself."
"Says she who became entrance by reflective light. It took me ten minutes to regain your attention. We were nearly discovered."
She had the good sense to look abashed.
"It's hardly my fault. Human we might appear most of the time, but now are outsides match our insides and I find it hard to fight it. At least I am not whining about the fairness of it all."
"I only did it for a bit."
Eden purred smugly.
"I did not at all."
"That's because it was your idea."
He huffed and turned his back to her.
"Shall we bet on the outcome?" Came a cheery voice from above.
"Always." Came a silky reply.
Edrianous and Eden glanced at each other. Twin grins graced their feline faces.
"Lets." Eden agreed, watching the new students file in.
"It's a shame you're going into Ravenclaw, you'd make a fine Slytherin." Draco murmured. They stood together, hand in hand as Draco insisted on dragging him everywhere they went, watching the sorting begin.
"So would Potter." Hadrian replied absently.
"You think so?"
"I know so."
"Yes, you will be filling me in on that by the way. First you show up on the train, without even telling me you were attending my school mind. You only implied you were getting materials for a friend and said nothing about yourself. I was right to assume you'd be going back to the Viridian for schooling." Draco scowled. "And then you fail to tell me you have been interacting with the only other person alive who's as much of a political gray area as yourself. Potter of all people."
Hadrian smiled at him.
Pale cheeks tinted pink.
"Don't be ridiculous." He immediately began dusting down his perfect robes.
The two cats listened closely to the guess made and money exchanged between to the two staff members above them. While one made guess based on personality and family lines, the other had a knack for just knowing. Both had gotten their fair share of correct guesses however.
Prince and his other persona would be up soon. Time to see what these teacher's were made of.
"That's me." Good to know someone out there still used his actual fake name, rather than his forced upon nick name.
With a parting glance at Draco Hadrian began the walk to the stool. He ignored the murmurings his name caused, ignored the look he was getting from the headmaster, he focused only on the hat. According to the Journal of Knowing, as he'd called the book which apparently contained a version of his future self, he had already done this before. So what was the sense in being nervous?
Neither of them got it. Both guessed Ravenclaw. Which wasn't a bad guess, but then...Prince was many things.
He shot a smug look at Draco, who was ecstatic, and strolled to the correct table. A seat was immediately provided for him in the center of the table, in the ranks of the Slytherin Court he noted, and he obliged them by sitting there. Several people greeted them, he only nodded and said he needed to see where his friends were placed.
He watched Prince walk to the Slytherin table with little surprise. Hadrian knew the hat would be tempted to place this persona there as well, but he needed a different house if his plans were going to work. You could hardly be the poster child of the light from within the house of snakes, could you?
Finally it was his turn.
He grimaced. Why did everyone have to mangle his name? Hadrian. It was easy. Hay-Dree-In.
Welcome to Hogwarts young Potter. I have been waiting for you. Now, let's see...
A hat was talking to him. A hat. Considering he'd had a cat talking to him not an hour ago and there was a talking diary and a talking journal in his pockets you would think he'd be immune to this shit by now. Not quite it seemed. It was one thing to have a conversation with an inanimate object. And, although Lady had warned him about, it was quite another to allow one to decide your future. It felt stupid. In a variety of ways.
"Gryffindor." Guessed both anonymous teacher's voices from above the table.
Eridanous wasn't so sure. Weren't Prince and his persona the same person and therefore would be sorted into the same house? It was dizzying to think about. And if he did manage to go into Gyffindor, with his other soul half in Slytherin, how would Prince manage to balance that? Those were two very opposite ends of the spectrum there. The friends they might have would dislike each other, their alliances would be on different sides of the war, the mind set he would need to survive in either house would be different. Living each day as two people was hard enough, but living it as two people who ought to be enemies and had completely different views on morality?
How would your mind handle that? How would your soul? You might as well rip your soul in half and BE two different people. He felt the stirrings of unease low in his belly. Prince better now what he was doing.
Hadrian waited, holding his breath.
...well where to put you? You would do any of the houses proud. Do you have a preference? I feel...no I shouldn't...well... I should warn you whichever house you are placed into will not realize this and expect you to act as they do. They may not be able to relate to your other traits and you may find yourself a bit of an outcast if you display them too willingly.
He did his best to push his thoughts forward to the hat.
What you're saying is, if I am placed in, say Gryffindor-
He could feel smugness from the hat, apparently it was already leaning toward that house.
-they wouldn't expect me to have tendencies of a Ravenclaw or, you know, just putting this out here, a Slytherin? They would see a Gryffindor, expect a Gryffindor and never give it another thought?
Several moments of silence dragged on. Students glanced at one another, raising eyebrows.
Eden and Eridanous nodded at each other left to their proper houses. They would meet their charges and compare notes.
Neither of them were quite prepared with how their charges chose to handle things. Most likely because they through their plans right out the window and did something else entirely.
"A match into a needle? That's it? Why not a match into a semi-automatic or a machete? Wouldn't that be more useful? And challenging? And awesome? I suppose if you really needed to fix a tear on your Bag of Holding in the middle of a battle while hidden behind a large bush it may work..."
The entire class stared at the small Griffindor, though the few who understood his references (muggleborns) had the decency to look alarmed.
He sighed, waved his hand and turned his matchstick into a needle.
Professor McGonagal, who apparently decided to ignore his use of wandless magic, raised an eyebrow. "No weaponry Potter?"
He shrugged. "Peer pressure."
Hadrian blamed the lack of reaction to an obvious show of silent, wandless casting to the confusion already flooding their veins at the time. Or something like that. They might have just chosen to ignore it in favor of pretending to have a normal lesson. He certainly would have. You know, if he was normal and stuff.
Each of his classes had been both hard and easy, as both personas. The ideas were easy to understand and the spell operation it's self easy enough to accomplish, though he found wands unnecessary for all but the more delicate of things. This magic business was something else. He often found himself waving his wand but using Lady's methods of physical world manipulation rather than the spells. It was faster, easier, more familiar and had better results. No one seemed to notice the difference,. Which was fine but when things got bigger they would. It'd be hard not to. He would of course, worry about that when he got there. All and all he resorted to the social aspects and researching aspects of this world to hold his attentions. Namely, the library and messing with himself. Merlin his life was all kinds of dysfunctional.
The class finally over, after doing the spell on his first try he'd opened his notebook and began writing out a step by step instruction manual displaying the superiority of physical manipulation versus temporary, illusionary, forced transformation. McGonagall had looked at it over his shoulder, no doubt intending to see what he thought was more important then the lesson. She had instead blinked, then politely as for a copy stating his sources and recommended reading. He was lucky he was seen interacting with Prince so often, it gave him an excuse to know about it. He needed to be more careful in the future. Potter really shouldn't know these things. But classes as Prince were far more amusing. He headed to the door.
Just outside he saw Prince and Malfoy with a few other nameless snakes standing in the hall preparing to go to their class. Prince's cheeks were flushed, his expression pouting while Malfoy teased him about something or other. He'd noticed their closeness. Everyone had. A political alliance in the making and all that rot. Noticing him watching Prince flushed deeper. Malfoy turned and raised an eyebrow in a good imitation of their head of house. Hadrian hadn't had his class yet but he often saw that look on his face when a student dared approach him at the head table. It said something along the likes of 'what do you want and if it's stupid I shall poison you'. Charming that one.
Hadrian grinned at them, made a show of raking his eyes over Prince and Malfoy then tilted his head.
"Don't mind me, I'm just enjoying the Slytherin bro-fest. Continue."
Malfoy's cheeks tinted this time but he crossed his arms and put on a smug expression. Prince laughed and blew a kiss at him.
"Jelly Potter? I shall have to shower you with affections later to resolve the matter."
The hall burst into laughter.
He hated himself.