Chapter 10

"There you are Potter! I challenge you to a duel in the pit. Right here, right now!"

The declaration rang loudly in the empty silence of the common room as he entered.

Theodore Nott stepped into the centre of the room flanked by a sneering Parkinson and her two meatheads, Crabbe and Goyle.

Draco made his way near him followed by Ardella and Blaise. "Nott," Draco hissed, looking at the weedy boy who was sneering at him. "What the hell are you playing at?!"

"I thought that was pretty obvious Malfoy. I am going to put this halfblood in his place. How dare he strike an heiress of a pureblood house like a filthy muggle and in the end escape punishment from the staff. Worse is that you lot all seem like you will let him act how he wants. I will not stand for it!" Nott raged.

"Theodore Nott," Hadrian said slowly. "The wanna-be Lord who came to the rescue of the damsel in distress. How cute. Daily Prophet material for sure."

"That is how a pureblood Lord act. You will never understand this, you filthy half-blood. I will defend her honour and put you in your place, in the ground beneath us" Nott gloated.

"Thoedore, of the Ancient and Noble house of Nott, might I remind you that you are talking to the acting lord of three houses, all of which outrank your puny house by at least 500 years?" Draco asked snidely.

Nott went purple in the face "This half-blood is unworthy to call himself an heir of one of these great houses, let alone three of them. I shall rectify this insult right away!"

Draco was about to retort when Hadrian raised his hand and said "Draco."

Draco fell silent but glared murderously at the weedy boy. Hadrian stepped forward, towering over Nott and said "Very well, state your grievance and solution like a real pureblood heir Nott. For all your pureblood Lordly bluster, you behave exactly like that mudblood Granger, yelling your challenge and views where they are not needed nor asked."

Nott flushed with embarrassment, having forgotten the proper protocol to initiate a duel with another housemate in the Pit, as traditions demanded. Taking a deep breath, he stated "I, Theodore Nott, heir of the Ancient and Noble house of Nott, challenge you Hadrian Potter-Black to…"

"Lestrange" Hadrian corrected.

"What?" Nott asked, confused.

"My name is Hadrian Potter-Black-Lestrange, the adopted heir of the Most Ancient and Noble house of Lestrange" Hadrian answered and there was a gasp in the common room as he declared it.

Nott had gone white as a sheet. "Le..Lestrange?" he squeaked.

"My sworn godmother is Bellatrix Lestrange and I am eligible to carry her and her husband's name by adoption. You didn't think I wore their crest for fun, did you?" Hadrian grinned a blood thirsty grin.

Nott looked like he was having second thoughts but he carried on "I, Theodore Nott, heir of the Ancient and Noble house of Nott, challenge Hadrian Potter-Black-Lestrange to an honour duel in the Slytherin Pit for the slight and violence against heiress Parkinson, a lady who belongs to a family sworn as friends of House Nott."

Hadrian gazed at him for a second and drawled "If I accept, Name your rewards and conditions."

"When I beat you, you will issue a public apology to heiress Parkinson, her companions Misters Crabbe and Goyle and myself in the Great Hall at dinner tomorrow in full view of the entire Hogwarts population and staff. You will apologise for being a muggle brute and declare that you are not worthy of magic and just a filthy squib. You will also not hold any position in the Hogwarts duelling and quidditch teams" Nott declared.

There was a ripple of disagreement from the onlookers in the common room. Nott was asking for much for just an honour duel.

Hadrian contemplated the offer for a second before he said "While that sounds great and all Nott, there is simply nothing you or your… companions can offer that the Most Ancient and Noble houses of Potter, Black and Lestrange would consider as profitable or advantageous. You ask for much and I have nothing to gain from accepting your challenge. No, I must disagree to these terms." He stepped past Nott and made his way towards his room, with Draco and Blaise in tow.

Nott seethed as the halfblood waved his superior status of his houses to his own blatantly. The onlookers in the common room hummed in obvious agreement which enraged him even further. They were supposed to be supporting him, not the filthy squib. He would beat the squib and show them all. He had trained to duel his whole life and Potter knew nothing.

"You're a coward! A blight on your family names! It's a relief Arthur Weasley killed your blood traitor father and mudblood mother before they could see the Potter legacy end with a squib and a coward to boot!" Nott shouted behind him.

There was pin drop silence as the hush in the common room died immediately and Hadrian froze mid-step as the words registered in his mind and the anger that had been bubbling beneath the surface ignited to a gale storm.

Hadrian slowly turned back the smirking Nott and slowly made his way towards him "What. Did. You. Say?"

"You heard me. Go ahead Potter, prove me wrong. Show me you're more than a whoreson" Nott smirked.

"I accept your terms Nott and I add my own. The duel will end only when we both agree it's done. Not before, not after. The official referee will not interfere. Anything goes, magical or muggle. Do you agree?" Hadrian growled.

Nott gazed at the bulging muscles on Hadrian's torso before he steadied himself and said "I agree. Name your rewards."

"You, your companions, and your families will fall on your knees and apologize in the Great Hall for the insult against my parents and daring to use Arthur Weasley's name in my presence. You will beg for forgiveness like the scum you all are," Hadrian said lowly.

"How dare you even talk about my father you filthy halfblood! You don't even deserve to kiss his boot, let alone say his name" Parkinson shrieked with rage.

"SILENCE" Hadrian bellowed, and a wave of magic pulsed through the room and threw the Parkinson heiress off her feet, shaking the paintings and tapestries making a few students cry out in alarm. Hadrian closed his eyes and took a deep breath to center himself. His magic complied and he drew it back under control.

He opened his eyes and they glowed neon green with repressed power. "I also put forth the conditions that Parkinson will be your second. After I'm done with you, she will eat her words. Take my offer or leave it Nott."

"Like you can take us both on halfblood!" Nott raged.

"Hadrian! I will…" Draco shouted but before he could finish Hadrian said "No Draco, you will not sully your name fighting such scum and I will not sully mine by asking you as my second for these weaklings."

"How dare you! You dare call us weaklings!" Parkinson shrieked as he got up to her feet.

"All I hear is your incessant shouting and nothing else Parkinson. Either back your words or shut your mouth, you stupid bitch" Hadrian said, tired of hearing her high pitch yelling.

Parkinson glared murderously at him before she drew her wand and said "Theo I'm in. Let's teach this halfblood a lesson."

Evan Rosier stepped forward and said in a no-nonsense tone "I am Evan Rosier the Third and I will be the referee for the duel declared by house Nott and Parkinson on house Potter-Black-Lestrange. Does both parties agree with the rewards for the duel's outcome?"

Parkinson and Nott nodded while Hadrian declared 'Yes."

"Very well, know that forgoing payment after the duel will be seen as an honourless act and you will be banished from Slytherin House as per the rules if you don't pay up," Evan announced to the silent crowd. "Everyone who wants to see this will make their way to the Pit in an orderly manner. Prefects shall maintain file. Move, now!"

The common room immediately fell into a neat file and made their ways towards the Pit. Draco looked at Hadrian and asked "Hadrian, are you sure about this? I can fight as your second."

"No," Hadrian said shortly. "Nott and Parkinson will eat their words and I shall be the one who will feed it to them"

"Hadrian, Nott's been training his whole life to duel. We used to be friends before and I've seen his wandwork. You can't underestimate him" Blaise said in a rush.

Draco surprised him by laughing while Hadrian remained quiet "Blaise, Nott has no idea what Hadrian is capable of. Father and Mother have both taught him a few things and I'd be wary of anything Mother taught him since she is a Black. Blacks don't lose."

"Is there anything I should know about Nott, Parkinson or their families?" Hadrian asked as they made their way towards the Pit, the crowd parting automatically for them.

"Both of the families are blood traitors. They along with a few others switched to the Light side a few years ago and have been Dumbledore loyalists since then. Don't worry, beat them into pulp. Dumbledore as headmaster is sworn to secrecy about the traditions in Slytherin house and he can't punish you officially. As for their families," Draco sneered "they are merely Ancient and Noble families and they can't take legal actions as it was their heirs who issued the challenge in the first place and agreed to all the terms publicly."

"So as long as I don't kill them, I'm good?" Hadrian asked quietly, startling Ardella.

"In a nutshell yes. I'd try and stick to the common ones. Keep the more… exotic ones Mother taught you for another time. No need to go all out for these puny challengers" Draco advised.

Hadrian nodded "Thank you… brother, I shall see you after this." Hadrian walked towards the Pit.

"Is he really going to be okay?" Ardella asked her betrothed worriedly.

Draco took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze "Ardella, love. You have known Hadrian for two days. Granted, I too know him just for two months now but one thing I know about him: he has infinite patience thanks to his occlumency but if you ever tick him off, mainly insult his family in his presence, then you better brace yourself: A monster's coming and there is no mercy."

Blaise shuddered involuntarily.

Hadrian stood on the one end of the depression that was simply known as the Pit in Slytherin while Nott and Parkinson stood another. Nott was smirking while Parkinson as usual glared sullenly.

The crowd stood around the pit in a safe distance from the Pit and waited as Evan waved his wand and muttered incantations to surround the Pit with a spectator's shield to keep stray spells from hitting any onlookers.

Once he was finished, Evan shouted "SILENCE" and the hush around the Pit fell silent. Satisfied, Evan said "This is an honor duel between house Nott and Parkinson against house Potter-Black-Lestrange. Miss Parkinson will be Mister Nott's second while Mister Potter-Black-Lestrange has chosen to fight alone. They have both stated their compensations for the slights against personal honor committed and have agreed to the terms. Do you both agree to the compensations demanded from each other and vow to uphold it? Are you aware you will be banished from Slytherin if you do not pay up? This is your last chance to back down without repercussions.

Hadrian didn't say a word and neither did his two opponents.

"Very well," Evan said. "The terms of the fight are as follows: Anything goes, but no lethal or fatal spells and I mean this. I will ensure you will face criminal penalties if you get carried away. The fight shall end when both contestants say it's over, not before and I, the referee will not interfere unless I deem it critically dangerous to your health. Are both parties clear? Sat aye."


"Aye." "Aye."

"As for you spectators," Evan continued, looking around at the assembled crowd "There is a standard spectator's shield surrounding the Pit so no stray spells will strike you nor allow any spells to be fired from the outside. You are here to watch and you will only watch. If any of you tries something, then Professor Snape will be very, very displeased and after that you will answer to me."

"Very well, duelists prepare yourself. The first round will be Potter vs Nott!" Evan announced. Parkinson gave one final glare and climbed out of the dueling Pit stairs, standing next to her pet gorillas Crabbe and Goyle.

Hadrian drew his wand from the holster and the wand sang in unison with his magic as his temper surged looking at the smirking Nott heir. He'd have to make an example out of the weedy looking boy who had taken a standard dueling stance with his wand in front of him as a baton and hunched shoulders.

"BEGIN!" Evan declared from above and the duel was underway.

Nott immediately cast "Expelliarmus" and relaxed his stance thinking it was over since it was an advanced spell for a first year to know and Potter a muggle-raised squib, would know nothing about defending, let alone counter attacking.

He was understandably shocked when Hadrian simply cast "Protego" and his disarming jinx splashed harmlessly against a nearly transparent shield. Nott then knew he had made a massive mistake underestimating the squib. He had to be taught by the very best of tutors' money could buy, courtesy of Lucius Malfoy and he had not considered that in his arrogance and irrational need to please Pansy.

Hadrian was in no mood to play around and cast "Secet UItita" and the light blue lance of the ribbon cutting curse hurled towards a wide-eyed Nott. His opponent quickly raised a shield and the ribbon cutter slammed into his weak shield, which barely held and faded way, making the boy wince from the impact.

Hadrian not relenting, cast "Petrificus Totallus" and Nott immediately raised another shield which absorbed the spell but the effort was clearly taxing on the boy as he was breathing heavily now.

Hadrian, cast an "Expelliarmus" followed immediately by a "Stupify". Nott took a deep breath and using the last vestige of his magic screamed "PROTEGO MAXIMA!". He needed a breather and desperately thought of a way to go offensive against this powerhouse he had so foolishly challenged.

Hadrian's spells slammed harshly against the shield which held against the onslaughter of spells but the force behind the spells pushed the clearly exhausted boy back.

Hadrian, getting bored of this and eager for the real punishment to begin, twirled his wand in a complex arc and said "SCUTUM PULVERIS".

The upper years onlookers gasped in surprise at a first year knowing what a shield breaker was, let alone having the power and proficiency to even cast it properly, watched in wonder as the crimson arc of magic raced across the Pit and slammed into Nott's protego maxima shield which petered upon contact with the shield breaker.

Hadrian wasted no time and snarled "Concursu Inpulsa Impetum" and a shockwave of magic originated from his wand and slammed into a terrified Nott, blasting him off his feet. He slammed into the wall of the Pit and slid down in a painful heap.

Nott groggily looked around and try to shake the cobwebs off his mind and ignoring the pain that flared from his entire body. His wand was in a loose grip in his right hand and he knew his options were limited. The last spell had done the job in the half-blood's favour. He had never heard of that spell before and now had no doubt Lucius Malfoy had trained him personally.

With great difficulty, he staggered to his feet and steeled himself. If he went down, he would go down standing on his feet, not as a weakling on his knees. He would not allow Potter that satisfaction.

Hadrian looked at the weakened boy and without hesitation cast "Azkavike" and the steel grey Black concussion curse, created by the Black family which Aunt Cissy had taught him slammed into a helpless Nott who's grip on his wand slackened and he immediately fell face first into the floor, his wand clattering next to him.

There was silence around the Pit as the Nott heir collapsed on the floor. By norms, the duel would have declared finished and Parkinson had to fight Hadrian next as Nott's second but Nott had agreed this duel wouldn't be done until they both agreed it was done.

Hadrian was far from done.

He cut an intimidating figure as he walked slowly towards his downed opponent, the green eyes of the cobra tattoo on his neck glinting menacingly. He looked around at the silent spectators before his eyes settled on the terrified ones of Parkinson. He levelled his wand at Nott and cast "ENNERVATE".

Nott began to scream. Loudly.

Hadrian kept the enervate going and Nott continued to scream his throat out clutching his head "I GIVE! I YIELD! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!"

"No," Hadrian said quietly and continued the spell.

The Black concussion curse was a creation of the Black family and the members of this infamous family were known to be vicious, talented and powerful duelers. If you were ever stupid enough to pick a fight with them, the mistake could be a fatal one as they would hit any opponent and break them with family created spells like Black concussion curse.

The spell would give any victim a severe concussion and needed a specific counter curse to reverse. If the victim was awakened by any other spell, such as enervate, it would cause them a terrible migraine until the counter was applied.

Hadrian watch dispassionately as Nott continued to scream his head out. He had already calculated how much magic would be safe and wouldn't turn Nott into a vegetable and held the spell at the threshold, causing the boy terrible pain but not enough to damage his brain or mind.

Not this time at least.

Parkinson screamed "ENOUGH! STOP IT! PLEASE!"

"Like I said, I don't take orders from you Parkinson and it's high time you and your lot realized that," Hadrian smirked and increased the potency of the spell slightly over the line for a second. Nott gargled and a rank odor appeared as Nott lost control of his bowels and bladder and realized himself.

Disgusted, Hadrian cancelled the enervate and quickly cast the counter curse to the concussion curse and Nott heaved a sigh of relief as the pressure in his head receded, leaving him with a mother of headaches.


Nott was startled as he felt himself rise in air. Worse, he could feel something wet in his pants and a bad odor hit him, making him gag. He looked in front of him to see Hadrian Potter, his usual emotionless eyes glinting with malice.

"My, my. Who knew Heir Theodore Nott, pureblood protector of damsels, the ideal Slytherin had such a weak self-control. You disgust me Nott" Hadrian jeered.

Nott felt his humiliation rise as he realized the foul smell was coming from him. He had lost control of his body and had released himself from the pain. The most humiliating thing was that Potter had trounced him in a duel without even breaking a sweat nor taking a hit. He had trained since he was five years old and yet this squib from the muggle world had taken him down like a mere inconvenience.

Potter apparently wasn't done.

"You disgust me Nott but don't think soiling yourself and pissing yourself like a baby will save you from this. This duel is done when we both agree we're done and I'm still not done yet" Hadrian said calmly.

"Let me go Potter," Nott slurred. "You've proved you're better. Please let me go."

"it's very funny. I would have ignored you all the time we would be in Hogwarts if you hadn't decided to mess with me. I wouldn't have cared if you were gossiped like an old woman with Parkinson behind my back, calling me all sorts of names. I wouldn't have cared if you called me a squib and insulted my abilities to my face as well. There are very few things that tick me off and insulting my parents' memories and using that red-haired Weasel's name is a few of them and YOU DID BOTH!"

Nott gasped and spat out blood as Hadrian's fist connected solidly to his chest. The air was knocked right out of his lungs and judging by the pain, he had broken a few ribs as well.

Hadrian cracked his knuckles and went rapid fire bunny shots to Nott's chest and face without mercy, just like he practiced every morning.

By the time he was finished, Nott's face was a bloody mess. His nose was severely broken, along with a sprained jaw. He had lost a few teeth and had two black eyes. Judging by his rattling breath, a few of his ribs were broken as well.

"I hope we're clear Nott. Mess with me again and this will be a warmup compared to what I'll do to you. Insult my parents ever again in my presence or behind my back, I'll declare blood feud on your entire blood traitor family and trounce you in the middle of Diagon Alley. Are we clear?"

"Yes" Nott sobbed.

"Good. We're done here then. I have to teach your damsel her lesson now" Hadrian said before he cancelled the levitation that held Nott in the air and Nott collapsed into a painful heap at the floor.

"Referee Rosier, I declare this fight to be finished," Hadrian announced.

Evan had a blood thirsty smile on his face as he looked at Hadrian and said "Very well. House Nott has, clearly, suffered defeat. The winner is Hadrian of house Potter-Black-Lestrange." He turned to look at one of the fifth years and said "Take Nott to the Hospital Wing and tell Madam Pomfrey know there was a duel."

Hadrian bowed mockingly at the stunned spectators. "Now, let's begin our next duel."

"No!" Parkinson shrieked. "You're all delusional if you think I'll go into that Pit against that monster. Screw you all!"

Evan smiled coldly "In that case Miss Parkinson, as official referee I will declare you a coward and file charges of breaking honor in a duel which you had agreed to previously and drag you to the Wizengamot. The penalties I'm sure you are aware is a public apology in front of the Wizengamot, surrendering 70% of your family wealth and also a boon for Mister Potter which he can ask for anything, including you as his slave".

Parkinson went white as a sheet, as the ramifications of her actions suddenly hit her. Her father would be furious if he found out. The Parkinson family had barely made it past the War with their fortune, with her father bribing officials to destroy evidences of his death eater activities and also their allying with Dumbledore had to be settled in gold. Their fortunes had grown slowly over the past decade but she knew her father would never allow her to opt out of this duel and lose 70% of their wealth and she would never be a half-blood's slave.

She started crying, fat tears welling from her eyes as she hoped to win a few sympathy points but she was in Slytherin. There were sharks here and they sensed blood in the waters.

They were hungry for carnage.

"Please. I cannot fight him. He will destroy me," she sobbed.

Evan gave an unconcerned shrug "Maybe. I will ensure it is nothing lethal or fatal Miss Parkinson but you should have thought of the dangers before you ran your mouth and insulted one of the most politically and now magically powerful Lords in Hogwarts."

"Draco! Please. Help me! I'll do anything. I am your friend!" Parkinson wailed, hoping Draco would come to her rescue as she had fantasized many times.

Draco gave her such a cold look that she instantly recoiled while the Selwyn bitch that had stolen her Draco smiled sickeningly and said "Best of luck Parkinson. From what I know of Hadrian, you're going to need it."

Parkinson suddenly had a brainwave and said "I nominate Crabbe as my champion. He will fight in my stead!"

Crabbe looked startled before he screamed "No ways! I will not fight that monster again!"


"Nah-uh. Wha he sai'"

Parkinson was running out of options when she suddenly remembered "Greengrass! Greengrass will fight for me."

She looked around and spotted the blonde standing a few feet away from Draco and group. "Greengrass, you will fight that monster in my stead!"

"And if I refuse?" Greengrass asked icily.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," Parkinson threatened "If I am forced to fight and sustain any injuries, rest assured I will inform my father and your uncle both how the Greengrass heiress is not doing her duty as allies during a critical moment. I know you know what the consequences of that will be. FIGHT!"

"Miss Parkinson, do not test my patience. Either get in the Pit now or find someone quickly. Do not waste our time with your high-pitched shrieking" Evan said coldly.

'I will fight for house Parkinson as Nott's double," Greengrass said tightly and drew her wand.

Evan gave her appraising glance and said "Miss Greengrass, you are aware of what you are doing right? You do not have to do this. You are free to refuse."

"I must do this. I will fight Potter" Greengrass answered in a tone devoid of all emotion.

"Very well. You are aware you are now responsible for the injuries you will face. I will of course step in if it gets extreme but till then, you are on your own" Evan said.

Greengrass nodded once.

"Very well. Ladies and gentlemen, Heiress Greengrass of the Most Ancient and Noble house of Greengrass will fight in place of Miss Parkinson as Mister Nott's second" Evan announced loudly.

"Why?" Hadrian asked quietly yet his voice echoed loudly in the silent chambers. "I did not agree to fight Greengrass here. I have nothing against her. Where is the pug faced bint?"

"Hadrian, Miss Parkinson is within her rights to choose a champion in her stead and Miss Greengrass has agreed to be her champion. It's unorthodox to switch after the duel has begun but still legal," Evan answered.

Greengrass had made her way down the stairs and stood opposite Hadrian. Hadrian scrutinized her and asked "Why are you doing this Greengrass? I have nothing against you."

"Neither do I Potter. You have my respect for your prowess with your wand but I have no choice. I must do this" Greengrass said neutrally.

"Is Parkinson forcing you?" Hadrian asked.

"I thought we were here to duel, not chat?" she questioned with a raised eyebrow.

"Very well. We shall duel then," Hadrian replied. He looked at Evan and nodded.

Evan nodded back and said "Begin!"

Hadrian immediately cast a disarming charm, looking to end it quickly but Greengrass sidestepped the spell fluidly and threw a bludgeon back which Hadrian shielded with a well-cast protego.

"Stupify" Hadrian cast and the blonde sidestepped it again before casting "Expelliarmus" back at him.

Her disarming spell struck his shield he instantly brought up and Hadrian was impressed in spite of himself. While she was nowhere the powerhouse he knew he was, the vibrations he felt when her spell struck the shield confirmed she was a formidable witch in her own right.

Going for something new, he twirled his wand and cast "Stupify Tria". The three stunners were cast at her and either side of where she was standing, giving her no space to move. His respect for her grew when she calmly cast "Protego Maxima".

The trio of stunners slammed into her shield which held firmly and completely absorbed his stunners.

Hadrian, without wasting a single moment, cast "Scutum Pulveris" followed by an "Expelliarmus". The basic chain proved too much for the Greengrass heiress who found her shield broken before the disarming charm stuck, ripping her wand from her grasp.

The spectators and his opponent herself were surprised when Hadrian sheathed his wand and gave Greengrass a head nod and offered her wand back "I have no quarrel with the heiress of another Most Ancient and Noble house just because a bitch from lower house commands her to fight me. She has earned my respect and I will not humiliate her like I did Nott. Greengrass, this fight is over. If you continue to fight me for any reason of your own, I will go full power and use my entire repertoire. Let us finish this here and now. My quarrel is not with you."

Greengrass, to her credit flinched minutely at his threat, took her wand and offered a nod "Well fought Heir Potter. I have fulfilled my duties as heir to my house and its allies. It will be foolish of me to engage you when you are clearly better than me."

Hadrian nodded silently and walked out of the pit. He was about to talk to Evan when he heard Parkinson shriek "Greengrass! You stupid bint! Why didn't you beat him? You cost me a lot! Your uncle will know about this!" and stormed away.

Greengrass looked like she was made from stone before she quietly made her way towards her dorm followed by a worried Davis.

Evan called to him and said "Hadrian, what a show. I hope you are thinking about participating in the dueling tournaments?"

Hadrian nodded and Evan grinned "Excellent. It'd be a travesty if someone of your talent did not try out. Meet me in the Pit soon and I think you can do even better once I'm done with you."

"Thanks Evan. I'll make sure to practice with my friends" Hadrian replied.

"You do that. Now it's late, so why don't you all head to your dorms? I'll clear the crowd here" Evan said and made his way towards the prefects to help clear the crowd.

Hadrian walked towards his friends who were waiting near the entrance. Draco grinned broadly when he saw him "Hadrian! I had no doubts."

Blaise looked star-struck and said "You're one scary bloke you know? Nott won't dare to badmouth you anytime soon."

"He'd better not. He'd have gone down faster if I used my full arsenal and the next time I'll do far worse than now," Hadrian replied.

"Are you okay Hadrian? Did you get hurt or anything?" Ardella fussed over him.

Hadrian gave her a small smile and said "I am fine. Both couldn't land a spell on me."

"But was that violence really necessary? Will you be punished for it?" Ardella asked violently.

"Ardella. I learnt young that bullies and thugs understand only one language: violence. The speech I just gave Nott should keep him in control for a while. As for Parkinson, one day I'll beat the shit out of her with my bare hands."

Ardella had a dreamy look on her face "That'd be wonderful to watch."

Draco laughed and took his betrothed's hand "Don't worry Ardella. I'm sure Hadrian will give you a pensieve memory to watch in case you ever miss it."

Hadrian cracked a smile at that and said "It is late. Professor Snape had instructed me to go straight to sleep and I had planned to do that but Nott interfered."

"What happened with your mind scan?" Draco asked.

"I'll tell you tomorrow. My head hurts like a bitch. I won't be making it to practice tomorrow. Snape's orders. Why don't you show Blaise the ropes tomorrow? Hadrian asked.

"Sure thing, if he manages to wake up early," Draco said, rolling his eyes.

Blaise had a faraway look in his eyes "If it means I can duel like he did today, I'll wake up at midnight also if needed!"

The three of them said goodbye to Ardella and made their way to their room and Hadrian quickly undressed and took the potions given by Snape and sank into a deep sleep.

Elsewhere in the Hospital Wing, tensions were running run and even a bit of fear. Nott had been admitted to the Hospital Wing and the matron Madam Pomfrey had shrieked in horror at the first year's state and immediately flooed the Headmaster and Snape.

Dumbledore immediately flashed into the Hospital Wing via his phoenix and took one look at the boy and blanched. He quickly waved his wand and cleaned the smelled of waste from the weedy boy and assessed his condition.

"Ribs broken, nose crushed, four of his teeth knocked out, a concussion, damage to his cerebral nerves and his back and spine, muscle sprains in arms and legs and not to mention severe magical exhaustion," Pomfrey listed the extent of injuries the Nott heir had suffered and Dumbledore was honestly shocked 'Did the boy fight against ten or more upper years who then showed him the error of his ways?'

He looked at Severus who was lazily looking at ward with barely concealed boredom and asked "Severus, what happened?"

"Mister Rosier just informed me Mister Nott here along with Miss Parkinson wailing over there thought it was their duty to put Mister Potter-Black in his place and challenged him to a duel in the Pit. Mister Potter initially refused but Nott proceeded to run his mouth and praised Arthur Weasley and insulted his parents. This is the end result as you can see" Snape replied calmly, but inside he was seething at the insults against James and Lily Potter.

Dumbledore was aghast "One person did this much damage? To a young innocent boy? I will be having words with Mister Potter for sure."

"I wouldn't do that Headmaster," Snape said, frowning inwards "As Headmaster you have taken oath to never betray and interfere in the traditions of Salazar Slytherin's house and you know the consequences of breaking that oath. I don't think this stupid boy who brought it upon himself is worth surrendering your position as Headmaster?"

"Then what do I tell his parents? I cannot not inform Tiberius the state of damage his heir has suffered," Dumbledore said frustrated.

Snape shrugged "That is a task for your diplomacy Headmaster. Tell him his son bit off on something bigger than he could ever chew and suffered for it. As an alumnus of the house, Tiberius is well aware of the traditions of the Viper pit and honestly I would say it will be the least of his concerns."

"What do you mean Severus?" Dumbledore asked worriedly.

"The wager was that if Nott and company loses, their families would have to fall on their knees and beg for forgiveness from Mister Potter in the Great Hall during dinner. Even if Miss Greengrass fought in place of Miss Parkinson, she had agreed to the terms and now Lords Nott and Parkinson will have to find a way to settle this debt I'm sure" Snape said, clearly enjoying it.

Dumbledore went white as a sheet "Why the hell would these brats agree to this!"

Public image was everything in the Wizarding World, he being the biggest example of it. Lords Nott and Parkinson, reduced to begging for forgiveness from an eleven-year-old boy in the middle of Great Hall would reflect so badly on them that even their close associates would suffer the backlash, namely himself as the leader of the alliance they belonged to. He had to do some damage control. Immediately.

"Severus, I have to go now" Dumbledore said hurriedly.

"Of course, headmaster. I am assured that Mister Nott shall make a full recovery without any complications. Mister Potter certainly knew what he was doing" Snape drawled.

Dumbledore's worry grew. The elusive Mister Potter and his surgical strength would have to wait. Right now, he had an alliance to save from public humiliation.

A mass exodus of owls left Hogwarts that night, the Slytherins informing their Lords and parents the newest player in the house and what it meant for their own goals and aspirations.

Hadrian awoke the next morning and felt like himself again as the rage that had coursed through his body the night before was still shimmering under the surface but in control.

He looked around and saw it was around 7 in the morning and that he was alone in his dorm. No doubt his performance had inspired Blaise to wake up at dawn and start working out with Draco.

He took a relaxed shower letting the hot water wash over him soothingly and dried himself and dressed in his uniform. Hadrian took the book Snape had provided to him about Occlumency and made his way towards the common room to start reading it whilst waiting for Draco and Blaise.

There were not many people about in the common room which suited Hadrian just fine as he made his towards the couches and made himself comfortable on an empty couch near the fire.

The book was old and peeling at the edges and no doubt semi-illegal as the Ministry frowned heavily on the knowledge of mind arts. Hadrian opened the cover and the book was titled 'Occlumency – A Beginner's Guide'.

There was no author and Hadrian began to read.

'Occlumency is one of the most misunderstood branches of magic there is. A part of the broader field of Mind Magic, Occlumency has been the subject of immense controversy as witches and wizards have mis leant, misused and misled this sacred art, drawing the attention of magical governments and shadow groups alike who have since then strived to shun and control any knowledge and practitioners of this arcane art.

Occlumency, is not as a semi-knowledgeable witch or wizard would say 'the opposite of Legilimency.' The mind is a many layered, complex thing that cannot be just opened and studied like a book. Occlumency in essence, is the magic that allows the practitioners to master their mind primarily, with a major focus on shielding one's mind from an invading Legilimen or a mind reader in muggle terms.

A witch or wizard who is proficient in this art, is the master of the mind. They are aware of all the intricacies and nuances of the mind. They have a mental shield or shields in place that block the invading Legilimen attempting to break into their mind while also having a full working mindscape that allows them to create fake memories and feelings, create misdirection and even lay traps against the invading Legilimen with expert skill.

A mindscape, in the simplest sense, the physical manifestation of one's mind. It is a sacred place where a practitioner can organise and sort their memories and feelings thus allowing them to take control of their mind. It is a physical manifestation and can take form as per the character of the person such as a fortress, a library and even a meadow where they have categorized and stored their memories. Once fully formed and operational, the practitioner can build his 'mental' avatar so to speak and spend time in his mindscape as a tangible entity.

Having a fully functional mindscape offers many advantages and it is these advantages that makes governments and other forces wary of Occlumency practitioners. These advantages include perfect memory recall, perfect emotional stability and perfectly defensive mind that cannot be forced to spill its secrets. The most controversial advantage is perhaps resistance or sometimes full immunity to the truth serum Veritaserum which magical governments use in trials and investigations to gather the truth of the events that has transpired. A practitioner with enough skill can resist the serum from forcing them from speaking only the truth and can lie through their teeth to suit their needs.

Interested reader, while I know you are excited and no doubt determined to master this wonderful art, pay heed to the side effects and negative impacts of studying Occlumency as well. The mind is fragile, perhaps on par with the soul on fragility and one must carefully begin to master their mind. The art can be misused to shut down emotional responses from the brain to numb pain, sadness, anger, guilt or shame thus turning you into a psychopath with very few or no morals. The mind can be forced to not feel anything thus taking your ability to feel and making you less than a human. Beginners and intermediate practitioners of the art will feel emotional instability and irrationality initially as the mindscape begins to form and one must learn to expect these symptoms.

Finally, one must consider the legal consequences as well. Occlumency is a grey topic among the different magical governments and most of them require you to register yourself or face criminal penalties which must be considered as well. There are also rumors many shadow groups capture and experiment on known or suspected Occlumen to find the limitations of the art and their applications in a host of nefarious purposes ranging from assassinations to suicide bombings.

Pay heed to my words and follow my instructions to the letter, to master the arcane art of Occlumency and be the master of your own mind. Let us begin, my apprentice.'

There was a dark undertone to the authorless work on the Occlumency guide which Hadrian found to be suitable. The mind was not a toy and he himself was supposed to be a good example of what a botched Occlumency looked like.

Hadrian would have started on the next chapter then and there when the common room entrance slid open and a smirking Draco followed by a moaning Blaise appeared. Spotting him, Draco made his way grandly and sat down gracefully on the empty chair while Blaise collapsed bonelessly on another.

"I take it the session went good?' Hadrian asked with a raised eyebrow as he shut the book carefully.

Blaise moaned something incompressible while Draco smirked "Of course. I did my usual course and even managed half an extra lap around the pitch. Blaise on the other hand…" he trailed.

"It was my first time and he wasn't gentle at all," he whined and blushed when he realized how it sounded and he quickly corrected "This ponce wanted me to run four laps around that massive pitch with him and then proceeded to show me some wandless combat moves. It was hellish. I think I broke both my wrists on that leather bag!"

"I don't see what is there to whine about the four laps. I myself did six and half followed by an hour of hand-to-hand combat on the punchbag. I know Hadrian does eleven laps and hand to hand as well," Draco said in a matter-of-fact tone.

Blaise' jaw dropped open in response.

"Progress is not easy nor it comes in a day Blaise. You managed to complete half of it on your first day so a very good first attempt," Hadrian said.

"When you put it that way…" Blaise trailed thoughtfully. He looked at his pouchy stomach and at Hadrian's torso and said "Yeah, it'll be worth it."

Evan Rosier made his way towards them and wrinkled his nose at the two boys "It is good that you both are taking care to build your body but it does not change the fact that both of you stink. Breakfast starts soon and you both need to get ready. Go get showered and dressed," Evan ordered.

Draco and Blaise immediately leapt to their feet and ran towards their dorms, Draco throwing a mocking salute to Evan behind him. Evan chuckled humorously "My cousin never fails to entertain."

Hadrian nodded "The both of you are cousins, right. Aunt Cissy's mother Druella was a Rosier right?"

"That's right," Evan agreed "Great-aunt Druella married Cygnus Black. It makes us sort of cousins as well since Dorea Black, your grandmother was Cygnus' aunt."

"Aunt Cissy told me a bit about my family but there is still much I have to learn," Hadrian said blandly but there was a hint of bitterness coloring his tone as he thought about what the Dursley's had told him.

Evan gave him a friendly clap on his shoulder and said "No worries mate. You're a Slytherin and family as well. I'll tell you what I know about them."

"Thank you… cousin" Hadrian replied.

Evan beamed "Now, I would also like to congratulate you on your phenomenal performance yesterday, especially a shield breaker at eleven! What other tricks are you hiding behind your back?"

"A few," Hadrian shrugged with a small smile, enjoying the banter with the older boy. "I am a Black after all, and aunt Cissy has taught me some tricks."

Evan had a nasty smile on his face "Oh I'm sure. Even if I am five years older than you, I wouldn't want to cross wands with a Black. Aunt Cissy has a mean streak as wide as the English Channel!"

"She couldn't teach me all the lore even if I am the Black heir. The serious stuff can only be taught by Lord to heir and Sirius is… well indisposed at the moment" Hadrian said softly.

"That is a real shame," Evan said somberly. "It's a damn travesty what happened to him." There was an undercurrent of rage in his tone. Evan shook his head, as if to clear the dark thoughts. He spotted the book in Hadrian's hand and asked "What are you reading now?"

Hadrian held up the Occlumency – A Beginner's Guide and the blood drained from Evan's face. "Wh… Where did you find this book!"

Hadrian was confused at the reaction. "Professor Snape lent it to me to read. What is the matter, Evan?" Hadrian asked.

"Hadrian, you have no idea what you're casually holding in your hand. Do you have any idea how valuable and not to mention illegal that tome is?" Evan asked shakily.

Hadrian shrugged "Not a clue. Why don't you tell me?"

Evan took a deep breath "You know how our government feels about Occlumency right?" At Hadrian's nod, he continued "The Ministry, led by Fudge was so paranoid that they purged all and any existing tomes on Occlumency. They were determined to stamp out the noble art from the British Isles. Only a few tomes survived the purge in the deepest, darkest vaults some purebloods could find and stash and they are still nervous about retrieving it out lest it be destroyed or stolen."

"What you hold in your hands is one of the most comprehensive beginner friendly guides to the mind arts there is. There are only a few copies of this particular tome in the entire world and its next part 'Occlumency – An Advanced Guide' has even fewer numbers" Evan explained calmly.

"Is it dangerous?" Hadrian questioned.

"No," Evan denied "Well no more dangerous than Occlumency really is. The book is very rare, and priceless because it explains in explicit detail how the mind actually works and has a beginner friendly instruction to master the art. I should know because I studied from the copy of the very tome itself. Other books just explain how to build your shields and maintain them but this goes into explicit detail."

"Do you know who the author is?" Hadrian asked.

"I do," Evan confirmed "But if Professor Snape did not tell you, it is not my place to do so. I can only tell you that the author is regarded without a doubt as one of the foremost experts on the Mind Arts in our world."

"Then I shall ask the good professor himself. I was planning to read it in History of Magic class but I take it it'll be a bad idea?"

"A very bad one," Evan agreed. "None must know that you possess a copy of this particular tome, especially with your parents'… history."

"Understood. I will read through the night then, in the privacy of my dorm," Hadrian agreed.

"Good. Tell no one that you have a copy of this particular tome. I'd warrant a guess that Draco has already studied from this particular tome as Professor Snape is his godfather but trust nobody else. Understood?"

"Crystal," Hadrian replied.

Hadrian quickly went to his dorm and placed the rare tome inside his trunk and sealed it close. Draco and Blaise came with him, fully dressed and Ardella joined them momentarily. After saying goodbye to Evan and checking if they had everything they needed for class, they made their way towards the Great Hall for breakfast.

"How are you feeling Hadrian?" Ardella asked concernedly as they walked at a sedate pace.

"I am better now. Yesterday's session with Professor Snape really did a number on my mind, although when I woke up today, I felt like I was back to normal," Hadrian replied.

"That's a relief. Did you do your morning workout as well?" Ardella asked curiously, with a hint of disapproval which made Hadrian smile.

"No, Professor Snape advised me to take rest and I followed his instructions," Hadrian said.

"Very good," Ardella approved.

"Speaking of workout," Draco began gleefully and proceeded to tell his betrothed what he happened with Blaise that morning.

By the time they reached the Slytherin table, Blaise was looking highly annoyed and was seriously looking like he wanted to throttle Draco while Ardella looked highly amused.

"Hadrian, you guys" Marcus called from the center of the table surrounded by the Quidditch team. "Over here."

Hadrian nodded in acknowledgement and made their way towards him and took the offered seats near the seniors which the other students and teachers in the Hall alike took notice of.

Slytherin prided on their hierarchy and it was an unofficial rule that a newly sorted student sat at the end of the table and made their way towards the center based on their merit and power. The centre was where the brightest, most popular and the most powerful of the Slytherins held court and it was almost unheard of first years being granted a place among the Slytherin elite, even if said first years were a Potter-Black, Malfoy or Selwyn.

"Good morning Marcus, gentlemen," Hadrian greeted as he slid into the offered seat gracefully at Marcus's opposite while Draco, Ardella and Blaise took seats around him. "I did not expect an invitation to the Centre this early in my schooling to be honest."

Marcus gave a blood thirsty grin in reply "After that performance last night against those blood traitors, it'd be surprising if you weren't sitting here in the center." He looked at the group of first years "It doesn't mean all your positions here are guaranteed though. You know you will have to excel to keep your place here in the Center" he warned.

Draco shrugged unconcernedly while Ardella and Blaise nodded determinedly "We shall be the best Marcus. Though I don't think some of our housemates are happy with the seating order," Draco remarked casually as he mirrored Hadrian and piled a big breakfast onto his plate.

Marcus looked around and noticed a few fourth and fifth years scowling stealthily as their gaze bored holes into an unconcerned Hadrian who proceeded to start eating calmly.

"Allies of the blood traitors. They are an Ancient and Noble house after all and some of them think they have taken a spot that does not belong to you, especially as you all are still first years and they are fifth years" Marcus explained.

"As our esteemed Head of House said, age does not equal ability" Hadrian said as he gracefully polished off his food. He felt ravenous and proceeded to pile his plate again, much to Blaise' wonder and Ardella' amusement.

"I'm sure they will be having words with you all later in the Common Room," one of the quidditch team members said knowingly. Meeting Hadrian's gaze, he struck his hand out and said "Miles Bletchley, Keeper of our house."

Hadrian and the rest shook his hand and introduced themselves.

"Well heir Bletchley, they are more than welcome to have a discussion with them. I look forward to convincing them of my place by words or curses. I'm not particularly bothered which option they choose" Hadrian said quietly.

Marcus grinned maniacally "Spoken like a true Slytherin. Now we need a seeker and Draco tells me you are good Hadrian. Trials will begin in two weeks, make sure you have your broom ready. Draco, Vaisey there will be graduating this year so chaser spot will be open next year. Make sure you practice. Am I clear?"

"Yes sir," Draco and Hadrian agreed.

"Good. Now let us be off for classes" Marcus said and the quidditch team all broke up to go to their respective classes.

"What do we have first?" Blaise asked.

"Herbology," Ardella answered and the foursome made their way towards the Entrance Hall and towards the greenhouses.

Herbology passed without incident and they all managed to avoid smelling like dragon dung again and made their way towards the defense against the dark arts classroom on the third floor.

They shared the class with Gryffindors who were absent and the Slytherins made a neat file and proceeded to wait quietly.

"I heard Nott is to be stuck in the Hospital Wing for a week to heal and Parkinson refused to attend classes without him," Draco smirked.

"That cow probably has no interest in learning and just wants an excuse to slack off then," Ardella scowled.

Draco smiled at her "Easy love. No need to get worked up on that non consequential personality. You are hundred times her better in looks and a thousand in personality,"

Blaise gagged "Can you two stop being so sickening? Get a room already."

Ardella glared at him "If you had a betrothal already, then you wouldn't have to listen to us now do you?"

Blaise looked offended "Me?! Betrothed!" He adopted a suave look and smirked "No can do Ardella. I'm a lone wolf. I run alone!"

Draco snickered "Lone wolf. From what I heard from Mother, Lady Zabini is in talks to find one for you as well. Let's see how long that macho attitude shall last eh Blaise?"

Blaise went pale "Oh no."

"What about you Hadrian? Any betrothals?" Ardella asked, cutting off Blaise before he could go on a rant. "Considering the number of prominent families, you are heir to, I'm sure uncle Lucius is swamped with owls with offers to betroth you, especially after the parents get to hear what you did to Nott yesterday."

"No betrothals from the Potter family side. I have to check the Black and Lestrange family matters later this Christmas," Hadrian shrugged, not bothered either way. Aunt Cissy had explained betrothals as a part of the customs and traditions of the wizarding world.

Heirs, usually of ancient families and above usually betrothed their children at a young age so they could get to know each other during school and the contracts drawn usually have escape clauses or conditions if either of them found their significant other incompatible with them. This was very rare as magical compatibility was considered before the contracts were drawn in the first place and it was a rare case where an heir of a prominent family was single unattached past age six. Hadrian and Blaise being the prominent examples.

Before Ardella could answer, the loud and rowdy Gryffindors showed up. Hadrian spotted Weasley and Longbottom flanked with the bushy haired mudblood making their way towards them. They were about to reach when the doors opened and the Professor beckoned them inside.

The Slytherins sat on the left side of the classroom while the Gryffindors took the right. Hadrian took a seat with Blaise and waited patiently for the lesson to begin.

"Welcome to your first lesson on the Defense against the Dark Arts. I am Professor Quirrell and I shall be your instructor for the foreseeable future," the DADA professor began his lecture in a measured, even tone.

"I see you have purchased the recommended textbook. Good job but I dare say you will not be learning much from a book as defense is very much a practical orientated subject. Magic is…" he began but he was interrupted with a loud "Excuse me Professor?" from Granger.

Quirrell regarded the bushy haired girl coldly and said "I am still not done speaking Miss…"

"Granger. Hermione Granger professor." Granger said in a know-it-all voice. "This is in regard to your statement you cannot learn much from books. I think you are mistaken here. Books are after all written by the knowledgeable. I've read a few and you should consider adding… "

"How old are you Miss Granger?" Quirrell interrupted her rant.

"Eleven Professor," a confused looking Granger.

"Eleven," mused Quirrell thoughtfully. "How long have you been in the Wizarding World Miss Granger?"

"This… this is my first week here Professor," Granger stuttered.

"Simply marvelous," Quirrell said amicably, looking very impressed. "You have been here for just a week and you have already obtained a mastery in Defence against the Dark Arts already at the age of eleven. It has to be some record of some sort. Pay attention to Mage Granger here class. She will now tell us her highly learned opinion now."

Granger looked highly embarrassed now, much to the amusement of the snakes and a few Gryffindors as well who couldn't stand her. Weasley and Longbottom looked furious but the steely glint in Quirrell's eyes dissuaded them from rising to Granger's defense.

"Of course, even I would be foolish not to take this pre-pubescent girl's opinion on DADA," Quirrell continued in his light tone but there was an unmistakable bite in his words "After all, my dual masteries in the subject along with years of fighting as a Hit Wizard cannot possible match yours, you stupid, ignorant little girl."

Granger flinched at the end of Quirrell's lecture and looked close to tears. Longbottom started to get up "Hey…" Quirrell shot him a single malicious glare which made Longbottom to immediately sit down and shut his mouth.

Hadrian felt mildly impressed at the mere presence the Professor commanded in his classroom. Only McGonagall came close to something like this and she did not have the distinctive dangerous aura that Quirrell possessed. 'It's like being in Snape's presence… only more commanding' Hadrian mused to himself as he looked at the now silent Professor who was staring at the sniffing Granger.

"Out," Quirrell said softly.

"What?" Granger asked shocked.

"Out. Of my. Class. I will not teach a little girl who is arrogant enough to stop me at the beginning of my lecture and dare to tell me I'm wrong without even spending a week in the Wizarding World. Who do you think you are? Out I said" Quirrell said flatly.

"But Professor, please…" Granger started to say but Quirrell silenced her with a look again "As long as I have to stand your insufferable, know-it-all snotty presence in my classroom, I will not begin my lecture to the first-year students. So, take your sweet time."

Longbottom apparently had broken free from the glare Quirrell had given earlier and shot to his feet "You can't do that! I'll tell Dumbledore…"

"Shut you mouth and sit-down boy," Quirrell snarled, who looked truly furious now. Longbottom immediately sat down, looking terrified. "Being a celebrity has apparently gone to your head. Run to the Headmaster, his Deputy or even the Board of Governors. I will not teach you lot a single concept unless this insufferable girl and yourself is removed from my classroom. I hate to punish the whole classroom for one uppity girl's arrogance but it's this or I ask you all to leave…."

"Please Professor…" Granger started but Draco apparently had enough "Get lost Granger. You're wasting our time. Some teacher's pet you are, can't even listen to one" Draco snarled.

"You stay out of this Malfoy" Granger screeched back.

"Miss Granger, I am getting tired of this charade. It is unprofessional of me to punish a whole year for one stupid girl's audacity. I will give you five seconds to remove yourself from my presence, otherwise I will forcefully throw you out of my class and make sure you will FAIL every attempt in passing my subject. You will not graduate I assure you. It's your call" Quirrell delivered his ultimatum.

There was pin drop silence as the entire class waited to see what Granger would do.

"Please Professor," Granger started to speak with tears falling down now. "Please reconsider…"

"One…" Quirrell said softly.

"I'm sorry, I won't…"


Granger quickly gathered her books and stuffed it in her bags and ran to the doors bawling. Quirrell watched her leave impassively and with a wave shut the doors after Granger had left and locked it.

"I give this warning once and only once. I am not your buddy here. I am the teacher and you are the pupil and you will listen to me, not the other way around. I will entertain all your doubts so as long as you remember just who exactly you are talking to. I will not entertain your challenges or pettiness in my classroom. Am I clear?"

No one spoke.

"Good. As I was saying Magic is…" Quirrell began his lecture and Hadrian had to admit the man knew his subject well. He would greatly enjoy this class.

The rest of the class passed in a blur. They had Transfiguration next where they continued to try to transfigure the matchsticks to needles. Hadrian helped Blaise transfigure his successfully which he succeeded to brag to an unimpressed Draco who was already trying to change patterns like Hadrian had achieved.

After a quick lunch they had Charms where they took down a lot of notes on proper handling of wands which made Blaise snicker uncontrollably leading Ardella quite annoyed.

The four of them sat down in the Slytherin table for dinner where the elder years proceeded to ask them what happened with Granger and Quirrell. Draco gleefully recounted the incident leaving the seniors stunned.

"Of course, the good Professor would take offense," Evan said sagely "The man's a freaking legend."

"What do you mean Evan?" Ardella asked curiously.

"Professor Quirrell is frankly overqualified for that post. He has two freaking masteries in Dark Arts and Defense against Dark Arts and one in muggle studies as well. He's also a Grade 2 duelist and is rumored to have fought in the Grindelwald War as well. The man should be in the Department of Mysteries as a researcher. It's a blessing we are being taught by such an accomplished wizard" Evan explained.

The awe was clearly visible on everyone's faces as each of them stealthily sneaked a glace at the turban wearing Professor on the Staff table who was eating his dinner slowly.

"Can't believe that little mudblood told him she knows better, in his own classroom" Belladonna snarled "She got off very lightly in my opinion. I'd have cursed the life out of that bint!"

"There there," Evan said soothingly, rubbing circles on the enraged girl's wrist. "I don't think she's getting any slack. Professor Quirrell might bar her from writing the final exams."

"I hope so. She deserves it," Ardella sniffed.

The were interrupted when the doors to the Great Hall banged open and a group of people entered. The man in the lead looked like an older version of Theodore Nott, minus the weediness. He was also dressed in expensive robes and carried a silver wooden cane in his hands.

His companion on the right had a pinched face, with straight blonde hair and cruel blue eyes. He wore expensive robes and was in obvious good shape as he took even, measured steps inside.

The final man was dead opposite. He had thinning brown hair and was very fat. His robes, while expensive looked very unflattering on his fat torso. The cunning in his eyes clearly labelled him as a schemer.

The trio of men made their towards the table and stopped at the center where Hadrian was sitting.

"Which one of you is the Potter whelp!" the man in the lead snarled. 'I am Lord Nott and we have business to discuss."

AN: Sorry for the long wait. Here's the new one. Slightly longer than usual but I wanted to stop at this particular point. Hope you enjoyed the fight and the subsequent scenes. Reviews are welcome!

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