Hey, guys! Sorry, it's been forever, I got caught up in my other stories, and then I went on vacation, and then I had other story ideas…anyway, here's the next chapter. Hopefully updates will be more frequent, now. But I just started my first job, and I'm also going to be doing college soon, so don't get your hopes up for anything too frequent. Anyway, if you have any comments, please share in the reviews!
Just then, the woman came back out and caught sight of the two of them. Hadrian quickly pulled his hand away from Draco, who'd still been holding it. Draco's face was just as impassively blank as Hadrian's, Madam Malkin looked back and forth curiously from one boy to the other. She then seemed to mentally shrug and gesture for Hadrian to hop up on one stand, and for Draco to return to his own. Flyting measuring tapes flew out of a small basket that was secured by her waist. Hadrian watched as they began to measure the other boy.
"Hogwarts, dear?" the woman asked. Hadrian nodded, wordlessly. "Any specifics?" Draco cut in, when he noticed the other boy seemed to look slightly lost.
"You should get the fitted robes if you can, and you can get trimmings in either silver or gold, though you'll want to coordinate with your house." Hadrian nodded, then frowned.
"I'll have the fitted robes," he said, and Draco marveled at how soft and smooth his voice was. "But I don't know what house I'll be in…" His voice trailed off as he looked back to Draco.
"That's alright," Draco was quick to assure him. "No one really knows until they get there. Everyone thought that my friend Sirius would be in Slytherin for sure, but then he got Gryffindor. All you can do is guess right now. I'm pretty certain I'll be in Slytherin, for the cunning and ambitious. But then there's Ravenclaw, they also use silver. They're known for being wise or book-smart. Hufflepuffs are loyal and hardworking, and Gryffindors are brave. Those last two use gold." Hadrian nodded, before quietly requesting the silver trimmings.
"Are you sure you can afford it, dear?" asked Madam Malkin kindly. "That'll be around 130 Galleons, depending on how much fabric it takes."
"If you do silk, it'll be 240," Draco added helpfully. Hadrian shrugged.
"That's fine," was all he said. Draco inwardly glowed, the boy was either a halfblood or pureblood, that was certain. He didn't show surprise at magical things or magical terms, like 'galleons'. And his father's only request was that he not marry a Muggleborn, for the only reason was that the old family doctrine forbade it. Furthermore, Hadrian was very obviously wealthy, despite the horrid clothes he was currently wearing…curious. Perhaps he and his family had been wandering about the muggle world and that's how they assumed muggles dressed? That would make sense, Draco had seen wizards wear far weirder things trying to blend in with the Muggles.
Madam Malkin left into the back, and a young shop assistant replaced her. Waving her wand, bolt of silk came off the shelf and began to gather around the Malfoy heir, forming themselves into robes. Pins and needles pulling thread set to work fastening them. "So you're aiming for either Ravenclaw or Slytherin?" Draco asked the other boy.
Hadrian nodded as he watched his owl fly around the shop. Draco noticed that his little snake was now sitting atop his head. "I don't consider myself to terribly ambitious, but I can be cunning when I feel like it. But I suppose Ravenclaw would be alright; I enjoy reading. However, I don't feel particularly wise."
Draco smiled. "I think the sorting is based on what your potential to become is, and then you're sent to your house in hopes to cultivate that particular skill by being around others like you. For example, my uncle Remus was a Gryffindor, but when he was first sorted he wasn't very brave. But then he made friends who helped him, and now he'd one of the bravest men I know." Draco smiled fondly, thinking about the old werewolf, then he frowned, remembering how sad he and his mate had been that morning.
Draco's eyes widened. How could he be so stupid. Today was practically a national Holiday: Harry Potter's birthday. Potter…Potter. Wait a second. He looked over at Hadrian.
"I don't suppose you have a scar like a lightning bolt on your left temple…" Draco asked, forcing himself to at least act casual. Hadrian gave a little half smile as he raised the hair on his forehead that had previously hidden the scar from view. "Ah, interesting. Funny, that history remembers you by a name you don't use, isn't it Hadrian."
Hadrian gave a little snort. "I hate that nickname. I've never liked it."
"You want to know something strange," Draco asked, and Hadrian looked over at him. "My uncle I was talking about, the friend that made him brave was your dad." Hadrian's eyes went wide. "My father will be here soon, maybe I can talk him into letting you meet him. Would that be agreeable?" Hadrian seemed to have frozen.
"You're not lying," he said in disbelief, blinking slowly. "He knew my parents?"
Draco nodded, taking in Hadrian's strange reaction with curiosity. "Your parents were somewhat famous even before the whole Boy-Who-Lived, thing. But aside from that, our families were rather close, I can't believe I didn't recognize it sooner. My father is married to your mum's best friend, my Papa. Your Godfather and Uncle Remus live at our Manor, they were your dad's best friends."
Hadrian slowly started to smile. "I'd like to meet them, if you think that'd be okay." Draco nodded happily, though he felt slightly confused. None of the grown-ups ever spoke about Hadrian in Draco's presence. But from what he could gather, no one knew where Dumbledore had stashed him. So, if Hadrian was lost, what was he doing here?
"So," Draco decided the easiest way to find out was just ask. The shop assistant, who had been trying to ignore what they were saying, noticeably perked up and looked interested as she added dainty buttons to Draco's robes. "Where've you been hiding all this time? No one's been able to find you."
Hadrian's smile turned to a scowl. "As far as I can figure, my original family shipped me off when I was a baby. I've been bounced around ever since. I've never really stayed in one place for long. A man named Hagrid took me here, he's around somewhere. Grabbing a drink, I think he said."
Draco was handed his robes in a shrunken bundle, which he shoved into his inside pocket. Father had already paid. "I'll wait for you to get done," Draco said as he sat down on the stool. "Father should be here soon, I'll introduce you then." Hadrian's smile was back.
They didn't say anything as Hadrian's robes were being finished up. They just watched as the owl (who Hadrian called 'Dewy') flew around, pecking at things and stealing ribbons. Fifteen minutes later, Hadrian was handed a bundle identical to Draco's and he shoved it in the pocket of his jacket. Hadrian held out his money back and the assistant tapped it with her wand, transferring the 247 galleons into the cashier."Since father isn't here yet, why don't we just go on ahead to grab what's next on the list?"
"Maybe a school trunk, to hold my things. My pockets are getting full. Do you have your school books yet, we could get those after?" Hadrian suggested. Draco nodded agreeably as he steered Hadrian towards the best trunk shop in the Alley, slipping his hand around the smaller boy's and smiling smugly when Hadrian's face lit up in a cute flush.
Voldemort watched with some anticipation as Lucius hurried to the Leaky Cauldron to meet with his husband. He'd gotten a patronus shortly after Draco'd gotten his wand from Ollivander (10 inches hawthorn wood with a unicorn hair). Severus had information on "Hadrian" while delivering potions, the boy was in the Alley. Severus had asked that Lucius make his way to the dingy pub as soon as he could, and so he'd sent his son off to buy his own robes before practically running to find Severus.
Voldemort hoped that it was the boy. He felt responsible for what had happened that night, even if his followers had long since forgiven him, if they'd even ever felt angry towards him at all. But Voldemort had been powerful, just as much or more so than Dumbledore. And he was smarter, there's no denying that. But Dumbledore was unpredictable, and Voldemort…liked to be organized. That had proved to be his down fall when Voldemort had shown up at Godric's Hallow to retrieve his Bella himself. And then he'd been compulsed…not even imperioed! CUMPULSED! To go and kill the Potters. He'd allowed stress to make him weak, and because of that Lily and James were dead, Hadrian had no doubt been suffering at the hands of the muggles and Voldemort himself was nothing more than a wraith.
Lucius entered the pub, his eyes finding the form of his husband immediately. Severus was speaking to a drunk Hagrid, obviously trying very hard to reign in his fury. Lucius stepped up and placed a hand in the small of Severus' back. Ever since Severus had been "proven" to be a spy for Dumbledore all along, he'd gained the respect of much of the wizarding world. Then, when he'd married Lucius, no one doubted that he'd actually been imperioed any longer. Instead, they regarded Malfoy Sr. with sympathy that he was forced to do all those horrible things against his will. And so, Dumbledore's people either trusted him or put up with him. Dumbledore himself was forced to (say he) believed Lucius' story, after his spy married the man. Hagrid was one of the people who trusted him entirely, and so the half-giant's face lit up in happy recognition.
"Luvius!" He slurred, swaying. "Good yer 'ere" he hiccupped. "jus' 'splainin to Sevvy that Harry's a good lad…he is…" Hagrid took another deep draft. "So sad…such a tiny li'l thing. So sweet, 'e is, just like Lily"
"And where is he?" asked Lucius.
"Sen' 'im off to get 'is robes," Hagrid grinned. "'e's a goo' lad…" With that he hollered out for a refill. "Hav' ter get me mind off of James and Lily and…" Hagrid sighed. "Poor li'l guy." Severus didn't stay any longer, instead spinning around and stalking away. Lucius followed him.
"A little explanation would be appreciated both by myself, and my uncle" Lucius told his husband while subtly letting him know that Voldemort was still with them. Severus sighed deeply as they exited the pub. Lucius placed a steadying hand on Severus' shoulder.
"Minerva mentioned that Hagrid had taken Hadrian to the Alley when I dropped off potions for Pomfrey soon after you left," Severus began to explain. "In a letter Hagrid sent her, he had mentioned several things that have lead me to believe that Hadrian…that in Foster Care…" Severus trailed off, unsure of how to finish the thought. "I offered to come and check up on him, but the first thing I see upon arrival, is Hagrid drinking the world away while Hadrian is Merlin knows where." Severus paused ruefully. "He didn't mention sending him to get robes until you got here." Lucius smiled a bit at that.
"Come, then," he said to Severus as he pulled a little on the Potion Master's elbow. "I've already sent Draco to Madam Malkin's for his own robes. Perhaps he and young Hadrian have already met." The two men wove their way between the many many families that had come on July 31ts to celebrate their savior's birth. Restaurants were over flowing and the ice cream parlor had a line that stretched out the door. The shops were all crowded and street vendors called out to the passerby, adding to the noise of the street. Shop bells clanged, merchandise clattered, wizards bartered and mothers scolded their unruly children.
Voldemort let the familiar sounds of the Alley sooth his nerves. He knew growing up in a orphanage like he had was better than Foster Care, due to the small amount of stability it provided. And he had emerged from the experience…damaged. It had taken years for him to trust people, and years more to overcome his need to make the muggles pay. How had Hadrian faired such a childhood? Granted, Voldemort had been in an Orphanage during the Great Depression, and later World War II. But who knew what horrors Hadrian had faced in his short life.
He wouldn't be surprised if the young Potter had a need for revenge against all Muggles.
"They aren't here?" Lucius asked the shop assistant who looked slightly afraid of the concerned father. "How long ago did they leave?"
"No more than twenty minutes, Lord Malfoy," the girl said as she inched further behind a counter. "Your son and another boy…the Boy-Who-Lived, sir," she said in awe. "He was here, in me shop. Such a polite boy. They left hand in hand, they did."
"And where did they go?"
"To get the other things on their list, sir." Lucius nodded as he turned away from the girl. Severus and Lucius left the shop.
"Hand in hand?" Severus raised an eyebrow. "Little early for our little Veela to be staking any claims, isn't it?" Lucius managed a small grin at that. Lucius' own Veela instincts had bound him to Severus while Lucius was in seventh year, about to graduate…and Severus had been in first. He hadn't told anyone (including Severus), choosing to woo Severus in private. That is, until Orion Black brought up an old contract between the Malfoy's and the Black's that had been made when Lucius was an infant by Abraxas. Unknown to Lucius or Voldemort, the young Malfoy was engaged to Narcissa, who was an old childhood friend. Out of duty and respect for his long dead father, Lucius agreed to it.
He never regretted it, after all when he'd married the first time, he'd been nineteen while Severus was twelve. He'd cared for Narcissa, and had genuinely grieved when she died giving birth to their beautiful son six years into their marriage. But then he'd finally given in to his Veela's longing and courted Severus not long thereafter. Severus often joked (after learning the truth about the Malfoy's creature heritage) that Draco would bond himself to the first pretty face he met.
Lucius always scoffed, but inwardly worried about the same. And so he kept his son's interactions down to that of Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe (two young wizards who had no chance of bonding to a Veela pureblood) and Pansy Parkinson (again, no chance). Of course, the first time he let his son go off and do his own shopping, he'd bond with "the first pretty face he met".
Well, Lucius supposed that Draco could to worse than the Boy-Who-Lived.
"The only thing Draco was yet to buy for Hogwarts were his books," Lucius said abruptly as he took off for Florish and Blotts, ignoring the chuckling of his lord in the back of his head, and his husband following close behind.