The young man´s whole posture served to tell all of them, even those with little intelligence, that the young man would obey his father as long as he lived, that the Dark Lord was his authority and that he expected punishment for disobedience.
"Daemon!" the Dark Lords voice was softer but without emotion, the anger gone from his face. His son looked up and removed a vial from his coat pocket downing it as if he had received permission already, which he had, Severus realised.
Once the Dark Lord nodded 29 vials appeared in front of the Death Eaters, they all held a strong healing potion and everyone took their vial and drank the potion too shocked to do anything else.
They had known that the Dark Lords temper would get loose and prepared for damage. He felt the slight trembling of Daemons fingers as they once again closed over his left upper arm to lead him back to the others before he was once more standing where he had stood, as if nothing had happened.
"Today I planned to test the evidence and adjust my mark if necessary. Your lack of knowledge and proper behaviour, however, has made you useless to my cause!" He paused for effect, his son leaning against the throne and watching in silence.
"Uselessness means that you are a hindrance. I usually remove what blocks my path in such a way that it will never do so again!"
Those words served to reduce all those arrogant men to whimpering fools that backed away, as if it would have any use. "Because most of you have sired children my options are limited. But I currently prefer the one where I simply kill you and your spawns and be done with it!" Another Silence, this one heavy with promise, filled the room. "Tell me, Severus, what do you know of the Rules and Laws?"
"Lady Magic has given us the Gift of Magic. Overstepping her Rules is the same as being foolish and ungrateful. Breaking them can result in losing the gift entirely. Dominance and Rank are very important. Submission depends on rank and Choice…"
"Little Knowledge, but at least you have some. Well, could any of you, now knowing this, explain why my son apologised?" "You are his father.." Bloodred eyes met his black ones for a moment and he flinched, biting his lower lip to prevent himself from speaking anything further.
It was Daemon moving forward after staying still and unmoving behind his father that drew everyone´s attention. The young man looked calm and did not flinch at the clear recount of the torture the Dark Lord had decided on in hopes of getting someone to make a guess.
"All of you follow the principle of the Head of House that has been chosen by the previous Head due to several factors, one of which is that the Head usually is chosen from the direct Heirs. Sex, Power and of course the Intelligence of the one that will then receive training in having this title are factors as well. A Head of House, as you view it, has the Obligation to care for those of direct Descendant of the family he is Head of!"
He paused, his hands clasped together at his back, posture straight but he did not step farther than where his father stood. "The original Principle behind this is much simpler than that. My father is my Dominant, his word is Law. In Theory it means that should my father discard the Laws and Rules of Magic I am obliged to follow his decision. There is no other authority for me, period. In the unlikely event that my Head of house does discard the Rules and Laws he would fall in disgrace and, because I have to follow, I will too. We would become blood traitors in the eyes of Magic herself!"
"Regardless of the circumstances what happened was that I stepped into your punishment. I disobeyed and disrespected my father's decision to punish you. Disrespect means that I have acted against my father´s ruling, Wishes and Decision. That there was no direct order or that I had.. the best of intentions.. is of no interest and beside the point!"
Everyone was gaping, not many managed to hide it as well as he, Severus, but Lucius murmur of wishing that his son was like that caused him to brace for the next wave of power. Instead there was a flash of sickly yellow light. "The nerve of you! How can your son behave according to the Laws if you had no knowledge and are incapable of teaching your son?"
"It is your obligation to educate and train your child, Mr. Malfoy. It is not the obligation of the child to teach itself. I have been raised with the Rules and Laws of Magic, I live them and I have been taught to solve my problems and behave properly. Your son has been taught that he can do no wrong, that he does not need to do anything but run to his father and the problems go away and he has little to no control of his emotions!"
"Maybe we should test your theory, Lucius. Your arrogance suggests that we could throw you into wilderness for a few months and you would return well trained and educated!"
The sarcasm was so thick one could probably walk on it and Lucius was still gasping for air and looking rather exhausted. "But old dogs can´t learn new tricks, that´s what you all operate under, don´t you? Thus you would not be able to perform properly even if we gave you proper instructions!"
The Dark Lord paused, waiting until Lucius managed to get up. "Despite that I will teach you to the best of my ability. At least your children, most of them anyway, will be able to learn what I have to teach!" The fear was back in full force causing a small satisfied smile to appear on the Dark Lords face. "It´s time, my Angel!"
Daemon bowed and drew his wand, chanting softly causing the doors and windows to seal themselves shut and the room to expand with several additions of tables, chairs and other less inviting looking furniture appearing. "We´ll see if any of you can learn new tricks, won´t we?" It was the beginning of the training and Severus had the sudden sense that some of them might not survive this.
Severus followed Daemon through Slytherin Manor after three years of training and a very extensive shower. Theodore Nott senior had not survived the training and he was under orders to retrieve the boy. The Laws demanded that the boy either join his father in the afterlife or get blood adopted, and soon, there was only a small time frame for this to happen.
They all had three hours to retrieve their respective spawns, but Theodore had spouted too much about his teaching methods and Severus was not sure if the child would still be alive, it had been three days of real time, after all.
Daemon stopped him in front of the second receiving room, his eyes cold and assessing. "My Consort will join you. I have already informed her of the situation. A female might just get the teen to allow help."
They entered and his eyes found the Consort soon enough, a beautiful woman of probably 20 years with dark brown hair that fell over her shoulders in gentle waves, green-grey eyes, cream coloured skin. She wore a bloodred dress and was putting her hair into a braid with one flick of her wand while slipping into a thin travelling cloak upon seeing them. "Daemon. Mr. Snape!", her voice was nearly musical and neither high nor strangely deep.
"This is my Consort, Josephine Riddle!" She smiled a soft smile and kissed Daemons cheek before turning to face him fully. "Shall we?" With that she took the floo powder and stepped into the emerald flames after calling out their destination.
Severus mind raced as he glanced from the vanishing female goddess to the male god on his way to leave through the door while he followed her example. There were only two reasons; according to the things he had been taught the past three years, for this gorgeous woman to be a mere Consort. Both reasons were ringing very loud in his mind as he followed her graceful, elegant and strangely purposeful movements.
She was, like himself, here for the first time and still she moved around as if she knew where they were going. He had the slight suspicion that she knew and was leading them to the teen´s room without hesitation, but this caused much more questions to arise than answers and she was above his rank, far above his rank.
A fact that had been made clear by his training and the look he had been given after being informed of her joining him, he was still "in training" like all others and they were just taking a short break. They would get better or at least any rank after they were done.
He was ripped from his musings when they entered the room of the young teen that lay unnaturally still on his bed, his thin frame forming a ball. "Hello Theodore! Do you remember me? I have been given order to help you and Professor Snape is here to pick you up! Don´t move child, yes, good boy!"
Her voice was soft and low, her movements calm and performed with ease as she removed several things from her coat and stepped towards the teen while scanning him. "You are aware, like any abused child is painfully aware, of the internal damage, fractures, bruises and other wounds so I will refrain from informing you of them!"
Severus startled at that, her tone suggesting that she did know and that she had dealt with a boy in this situation more than once already. "What I need you to do is look at me and move your head just a little up. Yes, good boy. Now swallow the potions, slow. Yes. Good!" One vial after another was downed and slowly they began to do their work visibly. "What I need you to do now is to stop clinging to all the things that hurt as the only knowledge you have. I need you to come back and wake up. It does no one any good if you stay in your little secret panic room within your mind. Good boy.."
She was running out of potions and calmly opened the next little box. "Daemon made them. They are strong but your stomach needed a little warning, otherwise I would have used them from the start. Don´t worry, now you won´t have to fight for them to stay down, child!"
"Do close your mouth, Mr. Snape. I have been taught and trained by the best, after all!", her chiding tone caused him to close his mouth, that had indeed been open slightly because of the calm and routine efficiency of her movements, as she stopped administering potions and cleaned the teen while using various spells to get him out of the clothes he wore and into new ones after applying slave in less than five minutes and while leaving the teens sense of pride intact.
"I need you to return now, child!" Theodore slowly opened his eyes, moving out of the foetal position, his eyes meeting those of Josephine. "Can you describe the remaining pain, child?" She was using the word "child" instead of his name, avoiding triggering memories of his father while still ensuring that he felt spoken to and reminding him that he was nothing but a mere child and she was here to help because he needed help.
"My tongue.. burns… my ribcage… and something pokes into my lungs…" his voice was raw from screaming and then crying followed by an unknown amount of not using said voice and Severus had to fight flashbacks into his own youth. "May I step closer, little one?" "Why.. why…we… I.." "You were acting like the untrained children you are. Allowing you to die is neither a suitable punishment nor an acceptable one!"
"My father.." "Is dead and will stay dead, he can no longer touch you!" She calmly stepped closer and helped him sit up while casting one diagnostic after another. "But.. to whom.." "That is a discussion we will continue once you are healthy enough to walk on your own. You need a healer."
"We can´t bring him to St. Mungo´s" Severus flinched at the cold look in her eyes as she moved away. It did not matter that the boy had said something alongside this line of thought; she was glaring at him in cold disdain.
"Has the Dark Lord not taught you to refrain from speaking if you do not have anything of worth to say?" The "who do you think you are to question me" rung loud and clear and her face softened only slightly when she turned back to the teen. "Daemon is the certified Healer you need. Now I will put you into a sort of stasis and levitate you out of this house!"
"Will.. will you.. adopt me?" She calmly cast the spells after removing the empty boxes and vials from all around them. "I do not know, child. And it is not my place to decide. Enough of this now, we will talk once you are healthy enough to walk!" Severus followed them, unsurprised that Theodore nodded at her words without further protest.
He woke with a start. The last vial had been a sleeping potion, the one given to him after he had been brought into the Infirmary and it had been his decision to take and drink it. "Hello Theodore!" the voice sounded familiar and smooth. Slowly he turned his head and moved a little to come face to face with Daemon Riddle who sat beside his bed, casually, a tray with food hovering next to him.
Casting a series of Charms intent to alert his Healer of his slow awakening sounded like something this particular Healer would do, which meant that he was not really surprised to see Daemon sit there waiting for him to wake fully. "Can you sit up on your own?"
It was a test and he knew it. This was a test and his magic tingled slightly to get his brain to function fully. "I can´t.." It was strange to be near this dangerous man and feel nothing but calmness. He could not bring himself to fear the man, respect him- yes definitely, but he felt no fear and he felt strangely at ease with admitting to his weakness.
That there was no pity in those emerald orbs helped, as well as the man´s calm reaction to everything. Dark power engulfed him, helping him to sit up before the same power helped him eat by feeding him slowly, Daemons eyes aware of it all while he prepared the next batch of potions needed for his healing and the next sleeping draught as well.
He felt no embarrassment and no need to hide and Daemon did not cause any feelings of shame to arise within him. He could not do something and it was nothing bad or demanded punishment, he was healing after all.
"You were out cold for over four days, but Hermione activated the time wards the moment she entered with you, which means that less than five hours have passed in reality!" Daemon stopped his motions and met his eyes after he was done eating and the potion to allow him to keep it all down began to set in.
"I had my suspicions, which is why I lifted the curse from you after one day. I have killed Nott senior, which means that he is very much dead!"
Feeling a strange warmth spreading through him, he met those colour changing eyes once more. "who.. who will.." "Take you in? The Grengrasses, Malfoys as well as Severus Snape and Martin Thompson have offered to adopt you!"
Daemon paused and sat down next to him once more, the potions already put next to him. "But my Consort begged me to offer you another option. As she rarely asks for anything I have decided to grant her the wish. If you wish to, we will adopt you!"
Another pause and those Emerald eyes darkened to jade orbs. "We are the Royal Family and it will be very different from the things all these others offer you. None of us will force the choice and we will accept the one you make. But be aware that our offer is a one-time only thing. Getting back later is no option!"
Theo felt warmth and many emotions flood him as he swallowed the potions. Daemon had known that the thought of the Grengrasses or Malfoys adopting him was sending showers of dread through his body. The Dark Heir had deliberately mentioned Severus Snape and Mr Thompson after them and was now deliberately not repeating either of the choices he had.
He liked his friends, he really did, but they had never been able to comprehend, had ignored the signs and hints and believed his lies given because he had not dared to tell the truth, not the full truth at least.
They had been raised differently than him and simply accepted him to be "strange" but nice. Getting adopted from either of their families would leave him the charity case, the odd one out with the irrational anger at their kindness that wasn´t kind but just "The proper thing to do".
"The families are not a good option, though. They struggle, once more, through the training and fight amongst themselves. You won´t be their child but a person owning them a huge favour and their arrogance still surfaces more often than not alongside a wave of temper!"
"Could I talk to Hermione?" Daemon removed the empty tray and vials, checking over him and cleaning him before he answered. "I will rely your wish once my Consort returns!" Smiling slightly, already aware that the formal tone and way of speech was nothing Daemon used in defence but was just his usual way of talking. Moments later he was alone and the sleeping draught began to kick in.
Time passed and Theodore felt strangely at peace with it all. Daemon would appear at least once a day, which caused him to be a little confused when his meal appeared without the young Dark Lord. But he couldn´t bring himself to worry about it, secure in the knowledge that there was a reason and that he would be remembered. After he finished eating three vials appeared.
It was a good sign, he knew, if the amount of healing potions got reduced, it meant that he was healing properly and would soon be able to leave. That however meant that he would have to make a decision very soon. Before he could get into the slight depression he always felt at this thoughts the door opened to reveal Hermione.
"Now that you are strong enough to eat alone, how about that talk?" her voice was soft and she elegantly fell into the seat beside him, her eyes scanning him to see for herself how far he had come in the past days or hours. "Daemon informed me of my options. I.. I like my friends, I do.. but.." Her eyes and face remained calm but soft and she let him ramble and talk about his previously hidden thoughts and ideas.
"I don't want to be stuck with them. Don´t want to be the poor, ungrateful orphan they so graciously adopted! And what if Professor Snape lost his temper… He might trigger too much.."
He talked and talked and looked away once he began to analyse the pair that had been caring for him those past days, or hours. "I know you carried me up here and that Daemon did not use magic to feed me the first three times…!" "I am sure you are hallucinating, dear child!" Her voice was soft and there was mirth in her tone and in her eyes.
Theo felt himself blush and he looked away. It was the first thing he learned and he was reminded of it again, talking was overrated. "How old are you, in reality, I mean?" Hermione's eyebrow had risen at his words and she had leaned back. "Daemon has turned 35 recently, I am 29 years old. But we do not look our age, which is why I forgive you the slight!"
"My Lord has many Masteries and I recently finished my own in Dark Magic, Healing and Charms. Daemons father happens to be the Dark Lord and you are currently residing in the private Infirmary of Slytherin Castle the men keep insisting on calling Manor. We live and breathe the Rules and Laws of Lady magic and your choice is so much harder because of it!"
She rose slowly, meeting his eyes. "Whatever you decide on, choosing to accept Daemons offer means that you will no longer be Theodore Nott and the Royal family does not have friends within the lower ranks. Failure is unacceptable!"
Her eyes softened. "You have been given time. Use it very wisely, child!" Brushing away one strand of his hair from his face she left without another word, leaving him with equally less and more information. But no one had promised him to make this any easier.
He remembered his friends whining about their father´s absence and lack of time. He had been in here for days, mere hours in real time and the Consort of the Dark Heir as well as the Dark Heir had visited him. It was a safe bet that being the Consort of and the Dark Heir was much more taxing and stressful than whatever his friend´s fathers did for a living.
Could he choose them over his friends? Could he even trust himself with all the potions in his system? Because he was well aware of Hermione's hidden meaning. If he chose them he would choose a family instead of friends, a demanding, private and dark family with the Dark Lord as head of House.
Had Daemon not made clear that this offer was not optional he would gladly test out all of his options and make his decision after that. But he had to be honest with himself and admit that he had already made the decision. Maybe if he had had a different childhood or was more Light than Dark the choice against his friends would hurt or cause pangs of regret, but neither thing happened. Instead his magic began to sing and he slowly drifted off.
"Little one?" Opening his eyes he met the grey-green ones of Hermione before he met Daemons emeralds and sat up. "Have you made your decision?" It was another of the things that caused him to feel comfortable around them, their refusal of calling him "Theodore", as if it was the most normal thing of the world to call a teenager "little one" or "child" instead of using his or her given name.
They had both made clear that Lady Magic was pushing for this, that Daemon had given in because of both woman in his live (the Lady and his Consort) suggesting this strongly and that they were not expecting anything but him using the time given to him.
Their faces were as calm as always, postures straight as always, movements elegant as always and he wondered if they really wanted him, if they would love him or care for him. If telling them "no" would hurt them and what they were hiding, or if they were hiding anything at all beneath the calm blankness.
"Now you are over thinking, mon petit!", Daemons voice cut through his musings, the older man gently trailing over his left upper arm. "We have offered to blood adopt you, take you in and raise you. It might not suffice to eradicate your memories but there will be no pain without due reason!"
Theo stiffened, his eyes widening. It took one abused child to recognise another. Now it made sense, the ability to stay silent and fight the urges despite the powerful man´s spell and the lack of pity in Daemons eyes.
"I am not a patient man, by any stretch of the imagination, and we have given you more than enough time!" "Shower and dress, we will return in an hour!", Hermione said softly putting a bundle of clothes beside his bed.
Daemon met his eyes once more and the pair left allowing him to get up slowly and into the bathroom where he took a long shower and returned to dress himself. Neither of them was surprised to find him sitting on the visitors chairs which only made it easier to speak the words burning atop his tongue. "I wish to accept your offer!"
Hermione smiled at him at that, a small but proud and happy smile. Daemons reaction was an amused smirk at his consort and a calm nod. "Very well! While I am aware that you despise this room by now we will conduct the ritual here, there is a bed you might need!"
Unsure if he should smile or act very grown up by sticking out his tongue he listened to Hermione's no nonsense explanation of the ritual and the details behind it all. The potions would not only give him the perfect mixture of their blood but they would also cause several physical changes, one of which was to revert him back to the age of four years. It was usual practice with children above the age of 12 and would allow him to develop into Daemons son- as the Slytherin blood would be the dominant part.
His looks however would be a mixture of both and he would relieve his "previous life" in its eternity during his physical changes.
Because the whole thing was painful, very painful, he would sit through it and the last potion would send him in Morpheus arms to ensure that his new live did not start like his old one ended. And to ensure that his magic began fighting it, or his mind.
Hermione gently placed the small body on the bed that had once belonged to her. Keeping the boy close had been the reason for their rearranging of their rooms. She would love to sleep with Daemon but the fact that he disliked woman and the fact that, while there was affection there was no love meant that she slept in the room next to his and their son slept on the left side.
But as he was a boy he was not supposed to run to his mother with his issues and she was near enough to satisfy her needs concerning mother feelings and the love towards Daemon.
She had indeed finished her Masteries and her "Test" from Lady Magic and would not return to the Academy. Instead she kept their potions and other healing supplies stocked, trained the house elves, decorated things anew, went shopping, joined the men during their brain storming sessions, organised both of their offices and sat through boring dinners.
She had contacted Neville about Daemons offer and been put in charge for the project that revolved around those greenhouses. There would be greenhouses, a public library, a huge hospital, a kindergarten and a Primary school near several big cities in England, Scotland and Ireland for the Magicians and there would be Higher schools and at least one university in each country for all of them as well as Training centres for soldiers.
It were things that were of importance but demanded a kind of patience neither man in her live could summon long enough. Dealing with underling´s wasn´t their strong suit, especially not the kind of underling one paid to do the work. Having patience was hard enough but both men were currently leading a Cloak and Dagger war and had to train the people in Britain. Even geniuses had their limits, Dark Lord and Heir or not they were still merely human.
Their own child had to wait until after the war, but Daemon had granted her the wish to adopt Theodore, something he would have done without Lady Magic pushing for it. Because she had only asked for things twice and knew of her options concerning those two men. She could influence them only so far and get only so much leeway, but it was a subtle game on a level she had grown to love.
Smiling she tucked the still changing body beneath the bed sheets and left to check on the progress of several of her projects while Daemon fought alongside their Allies in America and the Dark Lord attended a little massacre in Ireland aiding his people unseen, not that they knew that they were his people or would want him to be there.
Emerald eyes opened slowly, adjusting to the candle light. Long obsidian black eyelashes underlining the unusual eye colour of the five year old boy, his crème coloured, flawless skin only serving to intensify his eye colour, obsidian black soft shoulder length hair moving slightly as he sat up to take in his surroundings.
The room was painted in royal blue with black furniture, splotches of ice blue and grey thrown in as well as some sunset yellow and crème. The King size bed would be huge and too big for him, regardless of his age but it was funny to roll around in it and have to fight to reach the end, he was not in danger of ever falling off of this bed.
For the first time in over ten years nothing hurt and he could feel his body and magic easily without any fear of finding something amiss. Getting up he looked around noting the curtains to his left hiding a window, the four bookshelves and huge writing desk as well as the painting of his parents above his fireplace to his left.
Between fireplace and window was a door that led into his bathroom and walk in wardrobe, which meant that the door to his right led out of his room. "Master being awake! I bes Missy, your elf!"
It was the first time ever that the arrival of the house elf had not startled him and that he did not duck out of reflex. The little creature put a bundle of clothes on his bed and he thanked her noting that his voice was a perfect mixture between Daemons Husky, sensual timbre and Hermione's gentle, musical tone.
Entering his bathroom, after realising that the wardrobe had an extra entrance and the door lead into a short corridor in which he found the three doors: bathroom, toilet, wardrobe, he stripped and showered allowing the elf to dry him and help him into his clothes after he noted that he was indeed a perfect mix between his parents looks.
He was taller than Theodore Nott junior had been at the age of five, he knew as his mother had died during this year of his life. Once dressed and finished with the exploration of his rooms he left, Missy at this side, to find himself within a playroom roughly the size of his bedroom.
There was a table for meals and a huge window, shelves filled with children's books and cupboard as well as boxes filled with toys. Smiling he moved to the first cupboard and removed everything in it. This time he would have a childhood, this time he would play like a child and act like a child. He felt his magic spike at this and found that he could care less as his eyes fell on an emerald green plush dragon.
Hermione entered the playroom after being alerted by the ward on her door, finding her son giggling and playing with the plush dragon Daemon had bought and handed over to her. It had been her duty to design this room, a room that would change with her son as well as his bedroom would as he grew older.
He had noted her entry and was now looking at her his eyes wide and slightly glazed. Smiling at the little angel with the dragon she did not need much to guess what was happening and calmly sat herself down.
"Your father has ensured that you have the choice to forget, Nathaniel. Your father does not do things by half. If you allow it you will be no one and nothing else but Nathaniel Alexis Riddle, born on the 20th of August. While you will remember your former life, you will not have any emotions attached to those memories, like a bad dream you had for a few nights!"
"I want it to be real!" She nodded, unsurprised at having guessed right and gently played with the soft hair of her son she was going to cut very soon if she had her way.
"Allow Daemons power to work. All you have to do.." "is want it.." Smiling she nodded, watching as a brilliant smile formed on the little lips, the smile Daemon used rarely, very rarely which spoke of hope and happiness.
Nathaniel closed his eyes and allowed the power he had felt to flood him noting that it was creating a wall made of obsidian around his memories. When he opened his eyes he was aware of the wall and the content behind the barrier but was no longer caught up within it. Smiling at his mother he began to play in earnest. "Not now, Nathaniel. We have to go shopping!" "okay mum…"
His Mother laughed, a gentle, wonderful sound and he felt himself get picked up. "You may call me that in private. But don´t let your father hear it!" Snuggling against her he whispered "Mum" causing her to laugh once again and himself to feel happiness bubble in his stomach and the sense of sharing a secret as his mother moved through the room, his elf began to clean and the laughter stopped once they had left the room.
Moments later he felt a little nausea at his first apparition and tightened his hold around his mother´s neck.
Nathaniel sat at his father´s feet reading a tome about politics written by said man and one of said man´s friends. The book would be used for schools all around the world once the Dark Lord, his grandfather, had taken over.
He was ten years old now and his father occasionally played with his hair or stroked over his head to show that he was aware of his presence and as sign of affection even though neither of them moved much or spoke and Daemon was engrossed in his own work.
At ten he loved his live, all of it. The silent hours filled with learning in his father´s study, the hours where his father read him a book or taught him various things, like Laws and decorum through games, the hours where his mother played silly games with him that had not no other use but to amuse them, her musical laughter and the fact that she was tucking him in when her schedule allowed it.
Living and breathing the Rules and Laws of Magic was easy when you grew up with it and he was growing up very sheltered beneath several time wards, which was why he rarely met his grandfather and why his parents were absent for several hours sometimes.
His grandfather would spoil him every chance he got and called him "little Cherubim" but he never forgot that Grandfather was the one authority of the family, that he had the final say.
His father was his Law, Judge and jury but once his grandfather got involved it was his word that counted. His mother was the gentle influence. Her skill at manipulating was an art in and of itself and she did it while feeling secure and comfortable with her rank.
She never stepped over the line and bowed to every order and decision with grace using her influence rarely and subtle.
Both men knew what she was doing and let it slide. "She is a brilliant woman and I feel strongly for her, mon petit. Why would I stop her by developing those skills when I often find myself enjoying her little games?"
It was one of the things he would probably only understand fully once he was a little older but he had paid careful attention after this and knew what his father had meant.
He also knew that his parents loved him, that his mother loved his father but Daemon never used the word "love" and he did not feel as strongly for his Consort as it was the other way around. Another thing he would understand once he was older.
His life was beautiful and strenuous and so much more. He loved his parents and hated to disappoint them. Once, he had thrown a temper tantrum in front of his grandfather outside his room.
His mother was not allowed to come into his room after a punishment until after a certain time had passed and she had never cuddled him or kissed him after he had been a disappointment. But this one time she had done more than change his clothes and apply the slave.
"Sometimes we do something wrong. Most of the time it is done without us realising it but the fact remains. You are well trained and a growing boy. We have taught you to realise your mistakes as you make them. What you have to learn now is to accept that you have done something wrong and that you deserve punishment. Face your punishment and never repeat the mistake again. Pay attention and become stronger. You cannot fail, my little Angel and you will not fail!"
Since then she had kept talking to him after a punishment. All of those words hurt much more than the Punishment itself, hearing his mother chide that they had taught him better and seeing his father´s eyes growing cold in disappointment hurt.
That it had been his first punishment that did not involve the removal of toys or privileges it had come as a shock all of its own, at the age of seven, and thanks to the temper tantrum he threw, he had been introduced to the whip. He had learned to accept punishment since then and accepted that the lack of comfort was part of it at all times. Sometimes he forgot to heal the scars, a reminder for himself.
"Nathaniel" "Yes, father?" "Bring me +Amnia+" Getting up, after gently closing his book he went to retrieve the book and handed it over before sitting back down, a soft caress all the thanks he needed as he opened the book and returned to his reading. There would be a quiz about this, after all.
Moving through the Castle with the grace that had become his natural way of movement he passed by the official drawing room, ignoring the bunch of teenagers waiting within. "Hey! The Kids have to wait in here!"
He knew this voice and the teen it belonged to from his memories. Stopping he turned, calmly and deliberately slow scanning those inside the room and Blaise Zabini, who had spoken.
"The children of the Death Eaters have been ordered to await their parents in the drawing room, I am aware!" Not interested in finding out if they caught onto he meaning he continued on his way. Blaise was too stunned to say anything further and all others, they had listened, were shocked into silence, which suited him just fine.
At sixteen he was still a perfect match of his parent´s looks. Delicate but masculine. Beautiful instead of handsome. Having been taught how to seduce and manipulate by using his looks he was unusually aware of his body and the effect he had on others. He had put his training to good use and his father had laughed in glee at the destruction he caused during his One year of being set loose.
He had returned from this little adventure three days ago and had caused his grandfather to have a heart attack because he had manipulated, seduced and played one political game after another, amassing information and data as he went.
Now the time wards and spells were gone entirely and it was the 25th of august 1995. The Hogwarts students would return to school in three days and he would attend Salem Academy.
He was, theoretically, allowed to leave school during weekends but his father had been very clear in his orders, which was why he moved through his home and collected books he would take with him. It was a test after the test and he would not disappoint.
He could basically decide if he wished to turn his back on his family or return to his parent´s and his legacy. This test would be the one Lady Magic would interfere with to see if he was following her path and he was set on returning home.
His grandfather was dreading his test, probably waiting for one of his blood to become a blood traitor just to kill him long before his time. The Dark Lord was growing wary over the past weeks in which he taught his Minions proper behaviour and the war had been put on hold as much as one could put something like that on hold, anyway.
He had stood behind his father, listening to his grandfather´s worries that were shot down by his father. "If I tighten his leash further I might end up strangling him, and wouldn´t that be disappointing? Lady Magic demands his release and I will not stand in her way. My son needs to choose his path and I will not wait and find out what happens if I keep him home. The Lady has never been gentle nor patient!"
And that had been that. This time it was no setting him loose but his choice, he had to choose to return home. It sounded easier than it would be. Magic herself would use everything to seduce him, trying to see if he could resist straying from the path and his legacy.
Either way, regardless of how he ended up the decision would be final. There was no return button once he had made the choice. Avoiding temptation and finding the path back home, an adventure he was more than prepared to begin.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Final XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX The End XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Neville Longbottom sat at the Gryffindor table sipping his Afternoon Tea while listening to the hustle and bustle around him. He was fifteen now and there would be an accident at St. Mungo´s during Yule break. The accident would destroy the spell damage ward and some other parts of the Hospital, but everyone in this one ward would not survive.
Daemon had informed him of it a few hours before he stepped onto the train, his greenery coming along nicely with Hermione's gentle help and oversight of the working people. He had been caring for all the seams and plants given to him by the woman in a makeshift greenery while the greenhouses of his dreams were still under construction.
Hermione had given him several of the school books used at Salem Academy and he would use his school time to study them. He would then take his N.E.W.T´s and Mastery in Herbology and Potions once he had finished O. and had good enough grades to pass. Should his grades be below the expectations placed on him he would have to retake them at Salem and he would be unable to start with his work for an additional year.
A soft smile formed on his lips as he thought about the ten greenhouses that would be his and the beautiful house in the middle of the property that would be his, protected by Daemons wards and other little tricks. He would get a group of people with good grades, once it all was settled down, teach them everything necessary as they would then start taking over the shops where his plants would be sold.
There was a bigger house next to his property in which the three Potions Masters would reside, all of which would use his plants to make potions and next to that would be the animal farm where all of the needed Beasts would be cared for. It was Daemons System and it would suffice to get all of Britain, Ireland and Scotland the best care concerning potions supplies and premade potions possible.
Once Britain had settled down he would be sent to another Country to oversee it all there, it was literally his childhood wet dream come true. The Price he had to pay was high, but he was aware of the fact that one had to pay a price for everything. Putting down his cup he slowly rose, pretending to slump and want back to bed while he went to one of the empty classrooms to learn and repeat his training.
Time Turners custom made by Daemon Riddle were nice little playthings and he was on a tight schedule for the next two years.
Draco sighed but followed his friends as they went to question Severus concerning Theodore's whereabouts. Their Head of House Slytherin allowed them to enter and sit down, his raven feather used to grade students work vanishing as well as the work he had been about to grade.
His uncle had been sent back because he had taken to the Rules and Laws like a duck to water and was now here to ensure that they were acting properly and following what they had been taught by the Dark Lord and his Heir.
Over a month of their fifth year had passed and his friend was still absent, but it was the beautiful young men they had seen at the castle that had caused Blaise and Daphne to decide on this visit to Severus Snape´s office. He dearly hoped his uncle was in a good enough mood to allow them this childishness.
"How may I help you?" He watched as his friend's struggled to explain now that they were in Severus office. "We were wondering about Theodores whereabouts and why the Beauty we saw at the castle has not joined us in school.."
Severus eyes darkened and he looked them over, causing Draco to look away and lean back further. "There is no Student by the name of Theodore Nott, and certainly none by the name of Beauty!"
"It´s just, we never heard from Theo after our shopping trip but he sent a letter to those who had offered to take him in declining the offer. And his name might be unknown but a beautiful young man like that would have been very visible.." If one forgot that they were doing something very improper, Draco noted, one could at least give Daphne and Blaise points for trying very hard to keep going.
Severus leaned back his eyes boring into each of them for several moments. "You seem to be under the impression that you have a right to know any of this. Neither of you has any rank to pull nor is it relevant for you. Still you dare to disturb me. Just because you´ve set your eyes on a person far out of your reach?"
"So you know whom we mean?" Draco looked up at that, scanning Severus body language at the breach of Etiquette. "Theodore Nott was blood adopted with the Dark Ritual of Blood. The boy is dead, your friend is dead. He will not return and he will not remember you" Severus paused allowing this information to sink in.
"The parents of the one you knew as Theodore Nott do not like the Education offered at Hogwarts and have sent their son to another school!" Draco heard it all and felt coldness curse through his body.
"The Dark Lord has not sent his son to Hogwarts, he would not send his grandson, you mean, uncle?" Severus smiled a cold smile at him and he had his answers.
"What would happen if we tried to approach Daemon Riddles son in hopes of rising in rank because we knew him?" "I doubt that you know the Dark Heirs son. I doubt that you know the young man that brought Russia´s society to its knees liking the dark Lords boots after spending less than three months in the country. Should you approach the Dark Prince because you are too stupid to understand that he has no relation to Theodore Nott it will be at your own peril!"
Severus calmly stood up and made himself a glass of brandy, allowing it all to sink in. "The Dark Prince will deal with you like he was raised to!" "Raised.. but.." "They blood adopted him with the Ritual that puts every child above 12 back at the age of four or five. Even if he was still able to remember us, he has lived through eleven years as Daemons son!"
Saying what he had to say he left his mind racing, not caring that Severus threw his friends out after punishing them.
It was time to repeat his training and it was time to distance himself from the others, they probably would not be able to rise or gain any rank of worth.
The war ended less than two years later, shortly before Draco finished his education at Hogwarts. The dark Lords public return had been a blood bath with all of his previously incarnated and insane followers going on one last party.
The Final Battle lasted for five hours as several places were under attack at the same time. Diagon Alley fell followed by the Ministry and Hogwarts. No one was left to bury Albus Dumbledore and all body´s were burnt, those of the fallen Death Eaters alongside those of the Light rebels.
Some of those fallen had not been aware of this being their last fight, others had been preparing for this for years and Chaos reigned for several days as the Royal Family rose up the ladder and took control of Britain with practised ease.
There had been a Ball at the end of his Yule break within the new Ministry that had made clear just why the new leadership was important as Susan Bones tried to trick Nathaniel Riddle-Slytherin into a political marriage.
What was left of the Light Ministry got shot down the very same evening as well as any and all hopes of Daphne and Blaise to land in said young man´s arms.
While he had known that the War had been waging in the Shadows for years it´s end felt rather anticlimactic and that they had prepared for years meant that everything was built up within days after the Final Battle, the new shopping districts and schools opening during Easter break while Severus Snape had calmly organised Hogwarts and it´s new teachers and subjects.
Each student had to attend a testing period and some had to repeat a year of school. It was a surprise to see the Dark Prince enter the school after Easter break but Draco knew that he would teach them the rules and Laws, all of them once more.
Leaning back in his chair he watched the introduction of the teachers and subjects, now that the testing period was over and noted that several students were absent while others looked stressed and near their breaking point, Tracey was one of those.
The war was over. He was the last remaining Malfoy and would have to attend to his duties once he had finished his schooling but the five seconds the Dark Prince looked at him gave him an idea that there was a new world of duties he might have to fulfil.
Bowing his head he looked once again through the Great Hall and returned to his meal. The Future had begun and he was very interested in seeing how it played out. "Good evening, Draco Malfoy!"
"Prince" Nathaniel´s smile was cold and his Emerald eyes lit up in amusement as he passed the blonde.
Moving through the Great Hall as if he owned it, which he kind of did, he left, his smile turning amused in anticipation. They had won, their plans had worked flawlessly and he was here to make clear that the time to adjust has reached its limit. After that he would return to the Castle and take on his other duties and he might not be alone once he was done at Hogwarts.
Hermione smiled. She stood on the balcony of their castle in Washington D.C wearing her beloved silver dress and caressing her baby-stomach. The war had been won as smoothly as had been expected in all of the countries they had prepared to follow.
The world was changing, the future had started and it would soon be split between the Lord of the Light and his royal family and their family. Once this was done they would return to Britain as the Dark Lord stepped back and his son took over.
Nathaniel would do the same here and lead America while the Dark Lord would roam the world and visit all other countries for the last few years of his life and spoil his granddaughter and grandson once the twins were born.
She herself would become more active once the twins were old enough and Nathaniel would marry his "wife" in a few years as well. They had come far and their Future was wonderful.
"Thank you, My Lady!" whispering softly she stepped inside with a soft smile on her lips. Daemon had found the Love of his life and she could step back from some of her duties as his Consort because of it.
It was time to use her full potential, as mother and as intelligent woman trained by the Dark Heir, but for now she needed to pee and take a long, warm, relaxing bath and await the return of her eldest and her Lord.