Well, I'm late and I apologise for that. I had a writer's block and had to rewrite half of this and I hope it's turned out better. I also hope you guys'll like it better than I do.
Many thanks to everyone who reviewed and all! This fanfiction has gotten a lot further than I expected tbh. It now has 400 reviews, 41 communities and over a thousand favs and follows each! I'm so happy! Seriously, thanks guys! And I apologise for not being able to reply all of your reviews though I had originally planned on doing so when I first started writing this. But never doubt I do not appreciate it because your reviews make my day. So thank you all!
Edit: A review by guest user NoToLogins made me reread this chapter (again) and I corrected some words to more appropriate ones (apparently I referred to Lady Greengrass as a 'that' instead of a 'who?) I sometimes wonder why new mistakes seem to pop up no matter how many times I review my own work.
Warnings: Fem! MOD! Neutral/Dark! Harry (And don't ask me how powerful she is... at this point, I don't really know either, but she's over 200 years old and brought up by Gellert Grindelwald himself, so yeah) Time Travelling (of three characters), AU-ish... As this is an experimental fic, I may choose to abandon it if it does not turn out well and I fail to save it from whatever depths I sunk it to with horrible story-steering and a writer's iceberg. Let me know if you feel like there should be other warnings included later on in the story.
Pairings: Hadria (FemHarry) x Tom Riddle, other pairings undecided. See A/N at the end of the chapter.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
Beta: LokidottirBlack who has kindly volunteered to help out (Happyfish is still MIA and we can only hope they're doing okay). Mistakes are mine.
Chapter Fourteen: Yule
"Sunt pueri pueri pueri puerilia tractant." Children are children and children do childish things. - Unknown
Gellert and two more letters:
Professor Severus Tobias Snape,
May I call you Severus? Severus, you are free to exercise any "reign in her Gryffindor tendencies" to your heart's content. What you have before you is the sum total of my accomplishments at doing the same and I look forward to the results of your efforts.
Please remind Hadria that she is only allowed one new pet every eighteen months and is in no way allowed to obtain one from another dimension /via any method, regardless of whether it is illegal or not/. Likewise, be sure that she is aware of any Hogwarts rulings on the subject of befriending eldritch horrors, class four-to-five creatures, magical folk of dubious origin, and any being of similar capacity for death or grievous injury.
I bid you the best of luck.
P.S. Also remind her that she is not allowed to breed ANYTHING and is still banned from performing any ritual of any sort without my permission until she is seventeen.
/P.P.S. Could you also remind her that it usually best to follow the spirit of the law instead of finding loopholes in rules that are put in place for her safety? Thank you. /
(The above letter was composed by a reader of the Danse Macabre fic posted on AO3, who wrote this letter in a comment. The only parts written by me are enclosed by a / on either side, everything else is the genius of EDelta88. If you enjoyed reading it, which I know I did, you have them to thank. The letter below also contains a suggestion from the same reader, that is to ban/ground Hadria as a result of something that has happened.)
Hadria Jamie Potter,
Did you know that the Professor you hold with such reverence just sent me a letter last night? I seem to recall that in my previous letter that, and I shall quote myself word-for-word, "I hope not to receive any letter from your Professors or esteemed Headmaster any time this year."
It has not even been half a school year yet and your Professor Snape has most kindly offered to send me a list of the infractions you have committed during your school term. Please do not add to that list. May I also add that you will be grounded for the rest of your winter break after the Malfoy's Yule celebration. Next time you do something you're not actually allowed to do, make sure you are able to avoid the suspicion of your Professors.
I have also been informed that there is something going on in your school, planned by your Headmaster. I'm aware that you must have some suspicion of this sort by now, if you are this fascinated by that forbidden corridor, so I'm just going to say that you should not be poking your nose into whatever funny business he is up to. From the sound of it, his plans are dangerous and honestly should not be carried out in a school full of children. But then he may have gone senile with his age. In any case, please be careful. I expect you to return for your winter break with your mind, soul, and body all in one piece.
The year turned fast and cold, and soon, there was a list to be filled by those who were going to stay in the castle for the holidays. Hadria had no need to put her name in this time around, but felt the temptation to do so, all the same, if only to find out how Gellert would react if he found out she wasn't returning home for the winter break.
"You're incorrigible," said Draco, when she told him as such. "Father would have a fit if I ever pulled something like that."
All of her friends were returning home that year, with the exception of the Weasley twins, who promised to keep an eye out in school while they were gone.
"Does anyone want to go shopping with me before the solstice?" Pansy asked during the train ride back to King's Cross Station. Their compartment was solely occupied by Slytherins.
"I've already Owl-ordered all the gifts," Draco drawled. "You mean to say you haven't?"
"Of course I have," Pansy huffed. "It's not gifts I'm shopping for. It's the robes!"
Hadria, on the other hand, had not bought anything for anyone yet, and was now internally panicking because she had never gotten any gifts for Slytherins before…
"I didn't realise we had another Hadria sitting in this compartment," Pansy said dryly. "Well, have you gotten your outfit for the Yule celebration yet?"
Unlike her previous life, Hadria now had at least seven different sets of dress robes, four of which she was sure she could wear to the Malfoy's.
"I've got one," she said, which didn't seem like a satisfactory answer because Pansy crossed her arms and frowned. "I don't trust you. Perhaps you should show me all your dress robes for me to review and we'll see if you need new ones."
"Wait, you're coming?" Draco interrupted. "Who invited you?"
Pansy glared at him, Blaise looked amused (which was no surprise) while his two minions looked at each other uncomfortably, for even they weren't that stupid.
"That was absolutely terrible, Draco. My mother would have my tongue if I ever said something of that sort!"
"You've turned into a Gryffindor," said Blaise, smirking. "Worse, you've become as bad as that Weasel."
Hadria, who was absolutely aware of the whats, whys, and hows now, decided to rub it in by giving Draco the face she often used on Gellert. It worked on the former Dark Lord, and it was three times as effective on the young Slytherin.
Draco, who had flushed a comical shade of pink at his housemates' rebuke, turned and saw Hadria blinking at him with unnaturally wide green eyes. Her usually expressive face was blank. When she spoke, her voice was like the glinting of light across ice.
"Your mother did say you might forget, but… you mean to say you don't want me there at all?"
Pansy's eyebrows shot up while Blaise's grin only got wider, though Draco didn't see it. He was far too busy trying to figure out what the hell that face meant because he had never seen it on Hadria before and how the hell was he going to get out of the grave he had dug for himself.
When there was no answer forthcoming, Hadria stood up.
"I'm going to find Hermione," she said, and with a silent wave of her wand, the compartment door slid open for her and she swept out, luggage floating behind her.
Just as the sliding door slammed shut behind her, she heard Draco swear like she's never heard a Pureblood swear before. Satisfied, she went to join her non-Slytherin friends who were sharing a compartment with Terry Boot and Hannah Abbott.
"So, you've finally left the nest of snakes," Terry commented when she entered.
Hadria sat down in a flounce. Her trunk shot up to join the others on the racks above.
"Pansy is scary when it comes to clothes," she lamented dramatically. "I had to escape before she could pry my address from my cold dead body, lest she turn up at my doorstep demanding to see my wardrobe."
Hannah perked up. "You're attending the Malfoy's ball too? At last, I'll have company who isn't Slytherin."
"Hadria's Slytherin," Hermione pointed out.
"She's about as Slytherin as the Weasley twins," said Hannah dismissively.
"Do the Malfoys hold one every year?" Hadria asked, curious. She had never really heard of this celebration in her previous life, probably because no one in her circle ever mentioned it, and by the time they grew up, the Malfoy family certainly wasn't in any condition to hold any parties.
"There's only ever one Yule celebration each year," Neville spoke up from where he was cuddling what appeared to be a pot of baby Devils' Snare. "It used to be hosted by the Blacks, because they were the oldest Pureblood surviving family in Wizarding Britain, but well, we all know what happened to them and since Lady Malfoy was the only Black left capable of hosting a ball, it got passed on to the Malfoy family."
It went unsaid that while the Ollivander family was likely to be just as old or older, well, the entire family line was rumoured to be all recluses who spent more time talking to their creations than to each other. Meanwhile, there was also Andromeda Tonks, who had been disowned by the Blacks and was definitely not going to be hosting any Yule Balls for anyone.
"Are Muggleborns ever invited?" Hermione asked, though it was clear that she only asked to satisfy her thirst for information and not because she had any desire to spend more time than necessary with a bunch of snooty Purebloods.
Hannah shook her head. "Not as long as it's a Black or a Malfoy hosting it."
Hadria chuckled, "Perhaps I could convince Narcissa to invite you next time. She's the main host, right?"
"Narcissa?" Terry echoed, doing a remarkable goldfish impression. Hannah laughed.
"That's still sounds like a bit of a stretch," said Neville. "Even if you're on first-name basis with her. Malfoy will never allow it."
"Unless," Hannah piped in. "Unless the rumours about Lady Malfoy being the true head of the Malfoy household are true."
"I don't want to attend a Malfoy party!" Hermione was aghast. "And for goodness sake, Hadria, don't get me an invitation. I wouldn't want to offend anyone by rejecting it."
"Grandmother had no such qualms," said Neville ruefully. "I heard she burned the letter the first time our family got an invitation from the Malfoys after the war. Of course, we've never been invited again."
"Yeah, one question?" Everyone turned to look at Terry who was looking past them with a funny expression, like he wanted to laugh but wasn't quite sure if it was appropriate. "Why is Malfoy wringing his hands outside our compartment?"
"Oh, that's because I made him think I was upset," Hadria said blithely. Hermione groaned while Neville seemed to brighten up.
"What did you do this time?" he asked, at the same time as Terry who questioned, "Is this a normal occurrence?"
Hermione harrumphed, "It's not a normal occurrence; it's a Hadria occurrence-there's a difference."
Hadria grinned sheepishly which made Hermione roll her eyes. "Draco was surprised I was invited. Apparently, his mother didn't inform him she had invited me."
"I would've expected him to invite you personally, what with you being part of the clique and all," said Terry.
"Was it the Jarvey or something else?" Neville said, leaning over his plant to rest his elbows on his knees. 'Jarvey?' Terry mouthed to Hannah who shrugged.
"I'm not sure," Hadria said, still smiling. "Might be a combination of things."
"Are we just going to ignore him then?" asked Hannah. "Because he's still outside the compartment looking like you stole his pet Crup."
"No, if Hadria had stolen his pet Crup, he'd have sulked and threatened to tell his father—"
"Which wouldn't work," Neville added.
"Which wouldn't work," Hermione agreed. "A more appropriate description would be 'looking like Hadria had made him swear an Unbreakable Vow to keep Snag with him till death do them part'."
Neville laughed. "Where is Snag, anyway?"
"Sleeping in Draco's trunk. Narcissa wanted to meet him, you see," Hadria admitted.
Terry's eyes widened. "Does Malfoy know?" Hadria coughed, which was all the answer they needed.
Hannah nodded to herself, "I said she's as Slytherin as the Weasley twins and still stand by that claim."
It took Draco Malfoy another drawn out minute before he decided to knock on the door of the compartment, which Hermione thought was exceedingly polite for him.
"Oh, let's just let him in, shall we?" said Hannah and moved to slide open the door.
The moment the Malfoy scion realizes he's been given audience, his face pales and smoothens out (which is always a considerable feat), and his back straightens. Hadria notes that his eyes are still darting and nervous, something Draco would have to correct if he wishes to do a perfect impersonation of his father.
"Potter," he greeted formally.
"Potter?" Hadria echoed, suddenly looking a little lost. "You never call me Potter unless—are you mad at me? Is this because I came here and left you at the mercy of Pansy? Really sorry about that, but Pansy was scary. I mean, what's wrong with my robes? It's not like Gerwald would let me wear anything that wasn't up to a certain standard anyway. You don't need to worry about me turning up in t-shirt and jeans or something. I won't embarrass you, I swear!"
Draco blinked owlishly at her, suddenly reminding her of Snag the first time the Jarvey accidentally ate a sherry-flavoured jelly bean.
"Congratulations," Terry laughed. "You've broken Malfoy."
"You're terrible," said Hermione with a tired sigh.
"I'm sorry?" Hadria tried again. "Draco?"
Said Slytherin came back to life with rose-hued colour. "I was going to apologize to you!"
"Oh my, whatever for?" asked Hadria, sounding so genuinely confused that it probably would have thrown Draco off again if not for the sheepish grin she wore.
Hadria laughed, then sat up suddenly. "Hey, I've another idea!"
By the time the train got to King's Cross, Pansy and Blaise had both been subjected to a very dramatic lecture full of Looks-of-Disappointment about how they should be ashamed of themselves because she was ashamed of them and shame on them—how could they make poor Draco try to apologize all by himself when it was obvious he was horrible at those sort of things and what kind of friends were they?!
Blaise took it all in stride but Pansy kept sputtering until Draco finally dropped his own wounded-and-close-to-tears act to say, "Pansy, did your mother never teach you that ladies do not sputter?"
The Slytherins spilled out of the train laughing at one another.
Then Hadria caught sight of a tall figure with a head of gold and squealed, all but flying as she tore past everyone else until she had tackled Gellert who would have taken a tumble if he hadn't been prepared for an armful of girl.
"Gerwald! Did you miss me? Did you?"
Gellert looked like he'd rather dress up in Dumbledore's robes than admit he'd missed her in front of every other Wizarding family present at the train station.
"Your trunks?" he said instead.
"Shrunken, in my pockets. And I freed Holly the moment the train stopped."
"Are those your friends?"
Hadria turned to see Blaise waving at her from faraway. A stunning woman with dark bronze skin and thick black curls stood beside him dressed in turquoise and gold. The woman smiled when Hadria waved back, and she found herself looking back at Gellert, who was regarding the Zabini pair with a smirk.
"That's Blaise," Hadria said, hoping Pansy was wrong about Gellert. She looked further into the crowd and near Blaise was the Malfoy family, distinct with their pale blonde hair. "And that's Draco with his parents." Draco smiled and nodded at her but did not wave, probably because Malfoys don't wave. Pansy was nowhere in sight now, and Neville (whose grandmother's choice in clothing also made them stand out) was too far to make eye contact.
"Well, you'll be seeing them again at the Malfoy's Yule celebration," said Gellert. "Now come along. There's a hellhound waiting for you at home."
Scáth was Hadria's best confidant. He knew everything there was to know about Hadria and probably more. Which meant that she hoped he would have some idea on what to do about any problem she might possibly have, from paranoid Slytherins to gift ideas. Not that he was very helpful most of the time. In fact, the Grim preferred to laugh at her misery.
"Come on," said Hadria, shaking the passive Grim until his tongue lolled. "You've got to have some idea!"
The Grim continued giving her the most irritating grin she'd ever seen on a canid, and that included all the other expressions she had seen Padfoot wear before.
"As much as I dislike your Headmaster," said Gellert. Hadria thought dislike was putting it mildly. "I highly doubt he's out to kill you on purpose." Hadria also noted that her guardian believed her Headmaster capable of killing her by accident.
"Try telling that to the entire Slytherin house," Hadria moaned and emptied an entire jug of blueberry syrup over her pancakes and cream, much to the horror of Gellert.
"Have you gone through your presents yet?" Gellert said, abruptly looking away from her questionable breakfast to the pile under their— "Hadria, why is it snowing indoors?!"
Hadria would always be glad that not only was she rich, but she was also the Girl-Who-Lived. It certainly helped her to get her gifts Owl-ordered, gift-wrapped and delivered all in one night. Otherwise she wasn't sure if she'd be able to turn up at Malfoy Manor considering the gifts she received from everyone.
There was a very thick and thorough research book on ghost animals from Hermione which looked like it might have come from some dubious bookstore in Knockturn Alley. Neville gave her a whole box of tiny mandrake seedlings (Hadria laughed when she saw them, and hoped Neville would enjoy his Barometz seed. His present was one of the few she had managed to get via Scáth).
There were two boxes from Draco. One of them contained a black dragon-hide cuff with a copper chimera design, and a card that wished her Blessed Yule, and a description of the cuff which apparently had similar properties to Foe-glass and could come alive and bite a stranger who grabs her arm when worn. The second box had holes in it and when unwrapped, revealed an unconscious Jarvey.
From Pansy came a decorative hair pin made of pale gold twisted into the shape of a nine-headed dragon with a straight lance-like tail. And from Blaise came a bronze penannular brooch with a serpentine ring which Hadria was glad to receive for this sort of brooches were the best things to use when fastening a cloak that was actually a living thing, and while she already had a few, it was always good to have more.
Surprisingly, there was also a box of chocolates from Theodore Nott, the only Slytherin to give her something that wasn't an accessory. The Weasley twins gave her food too, but Hadria decided to eat them only when she had fed some to Snag.
Finally, there were only two presents left for her—one from Gellert, and one from an unknown sender that Hadria knew to be Dumbledore. She opened Gellert's, which was a dark green scarf with a scaly pattern that made it look remarkably like a snake. One end of the scarf even had a realistic imitation of a snake's head while the other end tapered off into a tail. Hadria tugged at the red-satin tongue with much fascination, and poked at the fake fangs of the snake.
"This is wicked," Hadria breathed and Gellert chuckled from where he stood at the doorway.
"Well, open the last one," he said. "I've already checked it for curses and the like."
She opened it, and out spilled a puddle of silk that shimmered like a mirage in a desert. Hadria could almost feel the silence in the room.
"Gerwald?" She called out, not turning around as she bundled up the Cloak. "You've stopped breathing." Then she shoved her face into it and breathed in the familiar magic she could sense from it, seeping through her skin. She'd forgotten how much she missed the Cloak.
There was a set of footsteps and a rustle of paper.
"I recognize this handwriting," Gellert said, his voice flat. Hadria looked up abruptly at the change in his aura from reverent wonder to cold fury.
Gellert turned to look at her, his face like a deity sculpted in marble by the fine artists of old. "Never mind." Hadria thought it didn't look like 'never mind,' but decided not to push it. She'd just ask Scáth later.
"Uh, the last box belongs to you, Gerwald," she said in an attempt to change the subject away from whatever Hallow-related grievances Gellert evidently had with Dumbledore.
Gellert's face softened into something more human, and he sat down on the floor beside her to take the box wrapped in leaf-like paper.
"This isn't going to be another magical cake, is it?" he asked tentatively. She had Owl-ed him a birthday cake the month before, and had to charm it not to get damaged during the flight. Unfortunately, the cake had refused to let him cut it or even touch it until he sent her an Owl requesting for the deactivation word which she had forgotten to include in the birthday card.
"Nope, no cake," said Hadria as he unwrapped it, and took off its lid. He stared.
"Hadria, what's this for?" Gellert said as he took out another smaller box out of the first. It was a black box with a clasp in the shape of two entwined ouroboros. He ran a thumb over the serpents and one of them released its tail to bite him.
"What is this for?!" He repeated again, dropping the box into his lap. The metallic snakes slithered out of their knot and along the sides of the lid, allowing the box to open with a quiet hiss. Within the box was yet another box—well, cube, really, since it did not have a lid. This one looked like a gleaming transparent block of ice that Gellert was sure was not made of glass but rather some sort of crystal.
He turned the cube around, watched as the thing caught the light and threw glowing streaks of rainbow upon any nearby surface.
Gellert tilted his head to look at Hadria questioningly. "What is my gift?"
Hadria simply smiled, "Why, the box and the cube of course."
And while it was rather obvious what the box could be used for, he never did find out what the cube was supposed to do.
The Apparition Point was a spot just beyond the gates of Malfoy Manor, with neatly-trimmed hedges towering over them on either side that were not able to block the view of a grandiose mansion ahead. They could hear a fountain in the distance, and Hadria knew that there were sprawling gardens behind the tall hedges where white peacocks roamed. Hadria also knew that the Malfoys could have easily arranged for them to Floo in, but of course they had to make sure that their guests arrived at the right location for the maximum effect of showing off their class and wealth.
There must have been a charm set on the Apparition Point because not a few seconds after they had straightened their robes, a House-Elf appeared in front of them with a pop.
Hadria stared at the spindly creature with large eyes and bat-like ears. The creature stared back, expression slowly changing from one of uncomfortable politeness to one of awe and wonder and—
"Hadria Potter! So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, miss! Such an honour it is!"
Gellert cleared his throat, drawing the elf's attention to him. "And you must be Gerwald Grinsen! Hadria Potter's great and wonderful guardian! An honour to meet you too, sir!"
Gellert turned to his ward, who shrugged, bright green eyes shining with amusement. Then she opened her mouth, and he knew it was about to get worse.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too, Dobby," she said with a curtsy. "Thank you!"
Later, Gellert would stand at the side and try to blend in with his surroundings as Hadria shuffled sheepishly in front of the Malfoy family who were looking from their guest to their hysterical House-Elf.
Lucius Malfoy, who was dressed in an impeccable set of black and silver robes, had a stone-cold face that was on its way to being cracked by the minute twitching beneath his eye. Narcissa Malfoy, in a layered dress of delicate blue, had pale grey eyes that twinkled like Dumbledore's. And the youngest Malfoy, who wore a winter-coloured set of robes—which made his skin and hair look even paler than they usually were—was doing his best to imitate his father, and failing.
"I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to overwhelm him, I swear!" Hadria was saying most earnestly.
"It's just an elf," was the elder Malfoy's curt reply. "Next time, do refrain from exchanging unnecessary niceties with it."
And then Hadria was nodding eagerly and saying that she would, and that she couldn't help it, that her guardian had taught her to be polite and she didn't realize that was wrong. Of course, Lucius was then forced to tell her that no, being polite was not wrong, but it was not something required for an elf. It was then that the younger Malfoy interrupted loudly with a, "I just remembered, Pansy wanted to know the moment you arrived. I believe she would like to have a look at you before you meet the other guests."
Gellert remained behind, when Hadria was practically manhandled out of the room. Narcissa was openly smiling affectionately now, but Lucius's cold look remained.
"Oh, let them be," said Narcissa to her husband when he looked like he might begin commenting on his son's abrupt behaviour. Meanwhile, Gellert wondered what Hadria might have said if her friend had not removed her from the conversation in time.
Hadria knew what she might have said. There were, in fact, a great deal of things she could have said that would no doubt caused things to crash and burn without a good Obliviate on everyone at the scene. There were also things she could have said that would have caused Lucius Malfoy to regard her with even more distaste than he had in her past life. However, she did not say any of those things, and she did not know which of those things she might have accidentally said if Draco had not dragged her away to get her outfit critiqued.
And Draco said, "Please try not to ignite a feud between our families for the rest of this evening." Which went to say how well he knew half of her.
Then Pansy was there, in one of the antechambers to the drawing-room-turned-ballroom, along with Blaise, Crabbe and Goyle.
"I see you're wearing our gifts," said Pansy approvingly, and of course they must have shopped for their gifts for her together, likely from the same shop too, since the gifts were all Slytherin-themed accessories.
"Yeah, they're perfect," Hadria beamed happily. Blaise laughed and turned to Pansy.
"Did her thank-you note to you include a three-feet-long essay?"
"Mine was four-feet-long," announced Draco from behind her. Hadria thought he looked remarkably like one of his family's white peacocks at that moment.
Pansy sniffed haughtily. "Well, I got a Howler. Except it had less howling and more excited deluges of praise and adoration."
"We didn't get anything!" Goyle protested, and Draco laughed. "But you didn't get her anything!"
Blaise glanced at Hadria who was watching it all with much bemusement.
"I didn't intend for it to turn into a Who-Hadria-is-More-Pleased-With competition, I swear," he said, then gave his gift—the penannular brooch—a second glance. "Is that the cloak you wore for Halloween?"
Hadria nodded. She was wearing Noh again, because she felt his abyssal blackness would go well with the rest of her outfit. Blaise sidled up to her, until their shoulders were touching.
"How is your dress darker than my robes?" he demanded, for his robes were also black, but her black dress had been charmed as best as Hadria could to match the colour of her Lethifold.
"It's called magic, Zabini," Hadria drawled in her best imitation of their pale friend. They looked over to see Draco and Pansy comparing the gifts they had gotten from Hadria—Draco had a miniature dragon made of matchstick-turned-silver that Hadria had finally learnt how to animate, and Pansy had gotten a strange necklace with a white-flower-pendant that would only bloom if danger were near her, thereupon releasing stun-gas that only the wearer of the amulet would be immune to.
"Woven or casted?" Blaise asked.
"Casted. It'll probably wear off by midnight," Hadria giggled, but Blaise had never read Cinderella, so he didn't get the joke. "What time does the celebration actually start?"
"The festivities begin at seven," said Blaise, and did a Time-check. "Wilt thou giveth me the honour of leading thee to the feast?" And he extended out the crook of his arm.
Hadria laughed and slid her arm through, and they went like this, a pair of dark-haired dark-robed children.
"You know, Pansy never did comment on the suitability of my outfit," she later remarked, when they stepped into the drawing room. Hadria had darker memories of this place, but now, it has been transformed into a place of shining lights and colourful magic. Witches and wizards gathered at the corners of the room, where white-clothed tables carried trays of light food and drinks. Ethereal music played from an unknown source and wove its way through the crowd.
"Oh, if she had disapproved, she would have announced it the moment she saw you," Blaise told her. "Say, isn't that your guardian?"
Hadria looked over to where Gellert was sending them glares, even as he conversed with another witch who looked like she could be Daphne's mother.
"What have you done to make him look at you like that?"
Hadria laughed. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about him. The last time I saw him glare like that was when Professor Snape got me interested in Potion-making."
Now Blaise was not unintelligent; he soon put two and two together and began laughing too. Then he leaned in close, with a cat-like grin, until he was a breath away from her ear. "What's the colour of his face now?"
"Blaise!" She smacked his head and he straightened with a chuckle. Then she turned to look back at Gellert whose face had not changed colour—his face never really did, anyway—but his eyes… They were stormy.
"How are you going to get a boyfriend like this?" Blaise wondered.
Blaise ignored her and continued to observe her guardian with open fascination. "Does he react this way to Draco too?"
"No… Draco's too…" she made some hand gestures. "… um…"
Yes, Hadria thought. He often seemed like a child playing, and failing, at being like his father, who was, admittedly, like many adults she knew, not quite as mature as he liked to think he was. In fact, in her past life, he never really did seem to grow up until the year he received that mission from Voldemort.
Blaise on the other hand, regardless of what went on in his head (though it wasn't as if anyone actually knew what went on in there), always seemed in control, certainly less emotional, and more… Slytherin-material. Which probably made him more of a 'threat' in Gellert's eyes.
It was ridiculous.
Anyway, Hadria wasn't interested in romantic relationships… yet. She wasn't sure she ever would (she had been single until her death in her previous life, after all) but she felt if she did get attached, she sure as hell wouldn't go for the son of the infamous Black Widow.
Later on, Pansy and Draco found Hadria introducing Blaise to treacle-tart coated in melted chocolate from the chocolate fondue topped with dollops of ice-cream topped with assorted syrups. Surprisingly, none of the other guests seemed to be giving them a second glance.
"No one cares if I make my own master-dessert out of the available options," said Hadria. "It's called being resourceful, a Slytherin trait."
"Have you even eaten dinner, yet?" Pansy demanded as she stared at the 'master-dessert' as if it personally offended her. Perhaps it did, with the amount of sugar and fats it must contain.
"This is my dinner," Hadria replied empathetically, and her grin only faltered when a shadow fell over her. She turned and gave Gellert a sheepish smile. "Hey. Nice party, eh?"
Gellert narrowed his eyes and Hadria turned to introduce her friends properly (anything to distract him from—)
"Oh," said Pansy.
"Oh?" Draco said, incredulous, even as Pansy's eyes lit up and a strange smile took over her face.
"Oh," Blaise grinned and Hadria felt the sudden urge to gag.
Lucius Malfoy did not like them.
He didn't like Hadria Potter, who was a brat at her best and the only thing she had going for her was her Girl-Who-Lived status and the fact that she was a Slytherin. It was because of her that his son was slipping back into his childish behaviour, and it was because of her that the blasted Jarvey had nearly wrecked his study, and it was because of her that his wife was now enamoured by a child that was not theirs.
He didn't like Gerwald Grinsen, who was incorrigibly charming and smug and utterly unaffected by the wealth and status of their family. At least the girl had the decency to look impressed by their Manor—it was almost disgusting, really, it was like having a Mudblood ogle at their architecture—but the man with an unknown last name had acted like he was richer, wealthier, more influential. And as if that wasn't enough, dear Narcissa had been honest when she said, "It's such a pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face." And then there was the flirting. And the knowing smirk in the blasted half-blood's eyes that twinkled like Dumbledore's.
But Narcissa liked them. And Draco liked them. And now, even the cursed half-mad elf liked them.
Which meant that he could foresee interacting with them again and again in the future, far more often than he would like, because Narcissa and he usually agreed on families they wanted to avoid, and they would take measures on how best to limit interaction—polite or otherwise— with these families. But no, not this time. This time, his only hope was for the charmer to make a misstep with Lady Zabini, and even then, his wife would probably find a way to adopt the Potter girl…
Lucius took a sip out of the wine glass in his hand. He had just managed to manoeuvre his way out of a conversation with some Spanish friend of Narcissa's, and was now free to search for his dear old friend.
Unfortunately, he found Severus—who had only just arrived—having a conversation with the Potter brat. He didn't think he had ever seen his friend converse with a student outside school before, except for Draco. Insult, yes. Reprimand, yes. But a discussion about the edible fruits of the nightshade family and how that may help in creating a poison that was selective in its toxicity?
He turned away from the terrible sight, only to see Grinsen chatting amicably with a bronze-skinned woman who was dressed in stunning sunset-colours. Grinsen did not look like a man who had just been touched by an angel, and Lady Zabini did not look like a panther toying with her prey. In fact, as he edged closer to them, horror of all horrors—
"Of course, Luci was absolutely smitten with her. She was the jewel of the ball, after all, and he—Oh, there you are! I was just telling Gerwald about our youth! Would you like to join us? I'm sure it will be lovely to hear your side of the story."
And later when he excused himself to greet another guest, he heard her say, irritably loud enough for him to catch, "He's terribly easy to fluster when Narcissa isn't around, you know. It's why I always attend these things."
The Malfoy's Yule celebration was one of the most interesting and wonderful things Hadria had experienced that year, if only because she had never attended one before. There were certainly a lot less talking to posh people in fancy dress robes than she expected, unless one were to count her Slytherin year mates. It was simple, really, the kids stuck around with the kids, while the adults did this thing where they boasted about their kids, their accomplishments, their ancestry, and the like. Except for Gellert, whom she was sure was also actively dazzling every other person he deemed interesting—which apparently meant that Mr. Malfoy wasn't as interesting as his wife, and from what she could tell, Hadria was also sure that if Gellert hadn't been holding a grudge against her Potions Professor, he'd probably try and charm the guy into laughing at some joke too. Which would be a sight to see-Professor Snape laughing? She hopes she'll have a good camera when or if this actually comes to pass.
Most of their House had attended the celebration with their families and there were a few students-and-family from other Houses too, like Hannah, who had initially been very apprehensive about joining her and her Slytherin friends. It probably didn't help that Pansy wrinkling up her face like a pug, though it hadn't been directed at Hannah but another girl—who Hadria had never seen before—standing faraway with her father. (Which was actually a lot more pleasant to witness than her disturbing fangirl-esque fascination with Gellert).
Then there was the peacock incident, where all of the Manor's white peacocks somehow managed to find their way into the building and kept flocking towards anyone wearing white, which included Draco, Daphne, and a few other guests. Mr. Malfoy was understandably rather… furious about the whole thing, and Draco wisely chose not to tell his father who the culprit of the prank was.
So, when Hadria got a letter from the Weasley twins after the celebration, she was practically floating.
The twins had discovered the Mirror of Erised.
So it's sorta a filler, sorta leading up to the 'main' events of the first year. How was it? I was planning on including more stuff but my writing kind of ran away on its own and now you'll have to wait for other chapters for said stuff to be included.
Chapter progress will be on my profile as usual. For guest users and anyone else who happen to have tumblr accounts, I've recently created a new tumblr account. It's primarily art/science/nature/weird shit/fantasy and hp fandom stuff but I'll also be posting excerpts of Danse Macabre up there and if you wanna chat and don't want or can't do it here, feel free to find me on tumblr. It's nevertickleasleepinghydra-dot-tumblr-dot-com.
Cheers! - RA
ABOUT GELLERT-PAIRINGS: (Based on reviewers' input)
Current popular choices: (female) Amelia Bones, (male) Sirius Black
Runner-ups: (female) Lady Zabini, (male) Severus Snape, (or nobody i.e i.e let's not complicate things with Gellert and romance)
(female) Poppy Pomfrey, Tonks (?), Rosmerta, Ollivander's daughter/apprentice
(male) Remus Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody
No longer considering: Bellatrix (because of Neville), Luna (she's younger than Hadria)
Definitely not considering: Hadria (If you want to see a Hadria/Gellert fic, wait for it. Wait a very long time for it, because I don't have the time right now but some day, it might happen. Who knows?)
Did I miss out anyone? Well, do continue to provide your ideas and comments on this topic, and these results may change!
ABOUT HADRIA'S PAIRING:
Yes, I know I've put it out there that I'm pairing her up with Tom, but I realise I should include a disclaimer here.
First, romance will not be in any way a main plot for either Hadria or anyone else.
Second, I have never written romance before. (Well I haven't really written humour before either but it seems to turn out fine so we can hope) I have also never experienced any romance of any sort nor had any crush on anyone so don't expect too much because anything I'll write in this line will be what I observe from friends/family and those teen romance novels that are full of many things I'm going to try and avoid here. (Yes, I'm also ignoring the fact that Tom totally suits the whole dark and broody and dangerous male lead).
So yeah, just saying. Don't wanna get your hopes too high and all.