Warnings: This will have slash(Guys on guys, ppl.).
Disclaim Her: Voldemort is an odd fellow. His mind works in mysterious ways. Much like mine. -hums- Interesting, neh?
A/N: This wasn't supposed to be as long as it is, but I decided the ending I had wasn't final enough. It left too much up in the air, too much unsaid. That was fine, originally, but, then again, originally there was supposed to be a sequel, which didn't work out, so I've changed the ending a bit. Hopefully it's much more final.
Epilogue – A New Age
Macnair glared at the cells that lined the walls of the dungeons around him. "Salir Cobre?"
"What?" A teen with long black hair glanced up. He was easy to spot, since he was secluded from his cell mate's groupings for warmth.
"My Lord requests an audience with you." Macnair had thought that an odd way to tell a prisoner to come along, but he'd been told that Cobre was no normal prisoner.
"Tell him to get off his lazy arse and come to me," Salir replied coldly.
"You heard me. Now bugger off."
Macnair stared stupidly at the teen – who looked like he was going back to sleep – for a long moment before spinning and leaving to give the boy's response to Wormtail.
Salir rolled his eyes. 'Lazy sod.'
Voldemort frowned at Salir's cell mates from the shadows he was hiding in. 'How despicable! Leaving him to freeze down here!' he thought angrily before recalling that he was supposed to be furious with Salir for making him travel down to the dungeons.
Voldemort slid out into the torchlight, scarlet eyes narrowed dangerously at the Boy-Who-Lived. "Potter!" he shouted, refusing to use the fake name the teen had once used, in an attempt to distance himself.
Many eyes snapped up around the dungeon to look for the boy they'd once thought dead.
"Don't call me that," Salir murmured, eyes still closed. If he felt the weight of all of the stares on him, he didn't show it.
"Get up," Voldemort ordered.
"I said," green eyes opened to gaze at the Dark Lord challengingly, "don't call me that."
"And I said," Voldemort shot back mockingly, "get up. How about we compromise and you just get the hell up. Potter."
Salir snorted and closed his eyes again. "How about, no."
A sudden thought occurred to Voldemort and he shot a venomous glare at the other Gryffindors in Salir's cell. 'What if they haven't been giving him food?'
Ron glared back at the Dark Lord, strengthened by the revelation that the stranger in his cell was, in fact, his best friend. "What the fuck do you want?"
"Ron!" Hermione gasped in horror as Voldemort leveled his wand at the red-head.
"For Merlin's sake!" Salir groaned and pulled himself to his feet. "Put the fucking wand away, Riddle. Weasley, keep your mouth clamped shut before I glue it shut. You're giving me a headache."
Voldemort scowled, but put his wand away as asked, since Salir had finally done as requested. He also decided that, no, Salir did not look good and there would be a price or two to pay for not sharing food.
The Dark Lord opened the cell door and looked pointedly at Salir, who was leaning heavily on the bars of the cell. "Come on."
"No." Salir scowled. "I'm not leaving this prison unless everyone else can."
"You mean you can't," Voldemort clarified.
Salir shrugged nonchalantly. "What can I say? I don't like the grub they've been serving here."
"Liar." Voldemort knew for a fact that they served at least one thing a day that Salir liked.
Salir rolled his eyes. "Let them free already."
Salir's eyes flashed as his temper suddenly pulled free from the tight reigns he'd had on it. "This is a school, Riddle, not a holding block! The children should be learning from books, not bars! Get your men out and give them back Hogwarts. Put someone in charge you trust, if you must, but you cannot leave humans rotting behind bars and expect them to ever look at you with anything other than loathing. Taking away freedom is like taking away life, except so much worse. You are slowly killing off that which you want so much to save, magic. So what if they're not purebloods? You're not. I'm not. Does that make us any less important? Does that change our worth?
"As long as the people I grew up with are locked behind these bars, I cannot be free, Riddle. I suffer through them. I will leave this cell only when they can too."
"Of all the… Cobre, you are not a martyr! Get your arse out here!" Voldemort shouted, finally losing his temper.
"You didn't listen to a word I just said. Why am I not surprised..." Salir sighed, shaking his head helplessly.
Then, the teen fainted.
Voldemort groaned and stepped into the cell to get the teen. With Salir cradled safely in his arms, the Dark Lord headed towards the exit as the heavy cell door clanged shut behind him.
"Leave it to the Gryffindorks to kill off their saviour..."
Salir woke to the sterile smell of the infirmary and let out a groan. "I hate this place..."
"And let me tell you, Mr Potter, it's not overly fond of you itself." Madame Pomfrey came into Salir's line of vision with a tired smile.
"Madame Pomfrey..." Salir breathed a sigh of relief.
"Drink this for me," the mediwitch ordered, holding up a cup of potion, which Salir proceeded to take with a grimace. "Now then, You-Know-Who has ordered to be told as soon as you wake. Would you like to wait a little before I tell him, or just call him now?"
Salir sighed. "Call him now. If I argue with him while I'm not all here, I might have a greater chance of winning."
Madame Pomfrey chuckled. "I must admit, I was a little surprised when he carried you in here..." She said walking towards the door to her office.
"He's Lord Voldemort, ruler of the known magical world, and he can do whatever he damn well pleases, even if it confuses the hell out of the rest of us. Idiot," Salir grumbled, rubbing at his forehead. He wasn't the least bit surprised to find that his Notice-Me-Not Charm was gone.
Madame Pomfrey came back out into the main ward, shaking her head and obviously fighting a smile. "Only you would insult him out-loud."
"Hey, I'm just making up for the silence of everyone else." Salir shrugged. "How long have I been out?"
"Two and a half days."
The infirmary doors shot open before Harry could ask another question and Voldemort strode in, Wormtail scurrying in behind him. "Idiot!" the Dark Lord snapped at the boy in the bed. "You complete and utter idiot! What were you thinking, starving yourself like that?!"
"I was doing your job," Salir shot back coldly, in no mood to be yelled at.
Voldemort froze, glaring at Salir furiously. Wormtail and Madame Pomfrey watched on nervously as an oppressing silence fell over the two powerful wizards.
"Why do you care, anyway?" Salir finally said, breaking the silence.
"Who said I give a damn about you?" Voldemort bit back.
"I did, of course."
"Are you mocking me?"
"Quite fun, yes." Salir smirked. He knew exactly how to set the man off. "Any way, it does you good to be mocked. Humbles you."
Scarlet eyes narrowed dangerously. "Excuse me?"
"It humbles you, Riddle. Puts you in your place."
"I should kill you for that."
"Well, that was a waste of Madame Pomfrey's potions."
"You unmanageable brat!"
"Now you sound like Snape."
"I've had it with you!"
"Give us back our school, Tom!" Salir shouted suddenly.
Voldemort scowled, but silenced.
"Anything, okay? I'm offering whatever you want for control of this school to return to the teachers. That's all I want here," Salir continued softly. "Name your price. Name your school master. Change the staff if you must. Just give Hogwarts back to the community as a school."
"You are asking for a hell of a lot, Cobre," Voldemort responded as softly as Salir.
Wormtail and Madame Pomfrey continued watching the exchange, gaping at the proceedings in shock.
"What if my price is too high?"
Salir shook his head. "No price is too high when you've nothing to lose."
"Really?" Voldemort smirked. "And if I wanted you as Headmaster of Hogwarts and your loyalty to me and me alone?"
Salir took a deep breath, well aware that his choice would damn him either way. "Then it will be made so," he whispered, not meeting the Dark Lord's eyes.
"Done. I expect you in the Great Hall in an hour."
Salir bowed his head. "Understood…my Lord."
Voldemort strode from the room triumphantly, Wormtail once again scurrying after him.
Madame Pomfrey turned back to Salir, who hadn't risen his head from its submissive position. "Mr Potter?"
The teen buried his face in his hands and cried.
Madame Pomfrey led Salir to the teacher's entrance of the Great Hall. The teen had been dressed in plain black robes with a black wizard's hat. His hair was bound back in a black clip and his scar stood out on his pale forehead. His wand had been stored up his right sleeve, in case he needed it, which he didn't think would happen, but his life had taught him to be prepared for the unexpected, if nothing else.
Madame Pomfrey opened the door and led Salir in. The noise of hundreds of students, teachers, and Death Eaters died down as they noticed the newcomers.
Voldemort stood, smiling coldly at the teen as Salir stepped up to the Dark Lord and the empty seat next to him in the centre of the Head Table.
Salir was well aware that he was expected to bow or show some other form of subservience, but his pride wouldn't allow it, so he just stared at Voldemort challengingly, daring him with his eyes to call the teen on his actions.
:Always a challenge with you, isn't it, Cobre?: Voldemort inquired fondly in Parseltongue.
Salir shrugged. :It humbles you, Riddle.:
Voldemort snorted and turned his attention to the Hall. "Due to the regrettable death of Albus Dumbledore," he started, not sounding like he regretted it at all, "I have taken it upon myself to appoint a new Headmaster to this school," the Dark Lord declared, scarlet eyes narrowing dangerously as his gaze travelled over the room's occupants. "I expect Mr Potter to have your full respect and understanding. Or else."
Salir scowled at the wizard next to him. "Thank you for that vote of confidence, Voldemort," he shot at the Dark Lord, ignoring the sounds of protest at the sound of the forbidden name from their audience. Voldemort narrowed his eyes at Salir, which made the teen smirk before turning back to the Hall. "I hope to have his lordship off Hogwarts' grounds within the next week. Until then, you all have free time to reorganize from the hell we've all been through. For now, though, enjoy your meal!"
As Salir sat next to a scowling Dark Lord, the tables filled with food and the noise level rose again.
:You insist upon being impossible.:
:Come now, Riddle, you know me better than that.: Salir shrugged. :You have given me Hogwarts and I will run it as I see fit. If that means kicking you and your men out for a feeling of normalcy, so be it.:
:Oh, you know you love me.:
Voldemort just glared.
"Come in," Salir called in answer to the knocking on his office door. He was sorting through the random papers and files that Dumbledore had left behind after his death.
Salir glanced up and smiled tiredly at Minerva McGonagall. "Professor McGonagall. Just Harry is fine. Won't you come in?"
"And I insist you call me Minerva. You are my superior," McGonagall said as she sat in front of Salir's cluttered desk.
"Not by choice." Salir leaned back in his chair, taking off his glasses to rub at his tired eyes. "What can I do for you, Minerva?"
"First of all, thank you. You've put a lot on the line to get us this freedom, from what I can see, and for that we are all grateful."
Salir nodded. "Of course."
"Second, what is to happen to the resistance?"
Salir sighed, eyes trailing over to Fawkes' empty perch next to the window overlooking the barren Quidditch Pitch. "I will neither help nor hinder any efforts in the school to take down the current government, as long as those efforts do not cause problems between myself and Voldemort. I will try and keep this building in peace with him, but I can do nothing about the people within the walls." He brought his gaze back to McGonagall and the older woman almost flinched at the weariness she saw within the cloudy green orbs. "I have given my wand to Voldemort, Minerva. Consider me your enemy. What I learn, I am duty bound to report. Keep your secrets from me."
McGonagall looked old and sad as she stood. "Good night, then, Headmaster."
"Good night, Minerva. Pleasant dreams."
Salir stared out the window long after McGonagall had left. 'A new age has begun.'
"Must you do that?" Salir inquired as the door slammed shut behind the Dark Lord.
"I did not agree to this, Potter," Voldemort hissed furiously, holding up a bit of parchment.
"I could care less." Salir gave the red-eyed man a sever look over the top of his glasses, setting down the quill he'd been writing with. "I will not have nothing but Death Eater professors, Tom."
"I don't want any of these ex-Order members on the staff!"
"And what shall I do? Fire them all? I don't think so. I'm the only person who will offer them jobs right now, and they need their jobs. Unlike me, they don't have the money saved up to carry them peacefully through the rest of their lives."
Voldemort slammed the parchment down on the desk in front of the Headmaster, ignoring the now upturned well of ink. "Absolutely not."
Salir's eyes narrowed as he righted the ink well, leaving the dark purple ink to soak into the top of his desk, which had been spelled to soak up spilled liquids by an earlier Headmaster. "How about we compromise, then? Half and half."
"You'll have a Death Eater as your Deputy," Voldemort immediately ordered.
"It has to be someone I get along with."
"They will have the power to veto any of your crazy ideas."
Salir scowled. "Fine. How about Severus Snape."
"A member of the extinct Order? I think not!" the Dark Lord disagreed.
"What harm can he do?" Salir hissed. "You don't trust him?"
"No." Voldemort tapped his chin thoughtfully, seemingly oblivious to the glare aimed at him from the green-eyed Headmaster. "My second-in-command."
"Why not?" Voldemort scowled.
"He and I don't get along."
"You, Cobre, get along with none of my people."
"You get along with none of my people that I can trust to keep you in line," the Dark Lord amended, leaning back and fixing Salir with a penetrating look. "Lucius Malfoy will be Deputy Headmaster. Who are you keeping on staff?"
Salir let out a hiss. "Anyone whom you've yet to kill."
"No," Voldemort said bluntly.
"Yes. Minerva McGonagall, Firenze, Pomona Sprout, Rubeus Hagrid, Sophi Sinistra, Severus Snape, and Poppy Pomfrey will remain on staff at Hogwarts," the teen-aged wizard replied with forced calm. "This is not up for debate, Voldemort."
The Dark Lord bared his serpentine fangs in anger. "And when they retire?"
"They pick their replacements," Salir said coldly, meeting the scarlet eyes fearlessly. "And I already have someone coming to fill the Flying Lessons' post, so you may not take that."
"And who, Mr Potter, is coming for your precious flying?" Voldemort sneered.
"Another ex-Order member, no doubt!" the Dark Lord spat.
"He's neutral!" Salir shouted, eyes flashing, as he stood behind his desk so he could meet the Dark Lord's gaze easier. "And you may not pick someone to replace Muggle Studies since all the people you know are fucking incompetent!"
"I don't even want Muggle Studies to be taught!"
"Wizards are not better than Muggles!"
"They are too!"
"They are not!"
"They are too!"
"They are not!"
A cough from the door ended the argument rather suddenly and both wizards turned to glare at the man standing in the doorway, the smile tugging at his lips seeming to be out of place. "What is it, Lucius?" Voldemort growled when the Death Eater didn't speak.
"My Lord, I apologize, but Mr Oliver Wood is here to speak with the Headmaster," Lucius said in a respectful voice, the smile belying his tone.
"Thank you, Malfoy." Salir nodded stiffly to the Death Eater and swept out from behind his desk.
"This discussion is not over, Potter," Voldemort said warningly.
Salir shot a cold look over his shoulder. "This argument is over, Tom, and you have lost. Hermione Granger will take over Muggle Studies," he said evenly before leaving the office in a storm of black robes.
It took all of the will power Voldemort had to keep his mouth from dropping open in shock. Lucius wasn't that lucky and he gaped down the spiraling stairs at the retreating back. A slam brought Lucius back to the present and his gaze shot over to where the Dark Lord stood, fist resting against the top of the Headmaster's desk. The snake-like man's face was twisted in fury, eyes alight with malice as he gazed out at the Quidditch Field where students flew around, laughing, using the free time that they had been given to sort themselves out again by playing a favoured sport. The differently coloured robes and Muggle shirts and pants billowed in the wind as it whipped around the students. Long hair flew out behind the four girls playing while they threw a Quaffle around. A glint of gold sent a young boy diving from above, another three boys following him, grinning. The peace the students radiated was deceptive, as was proven by the broken gazes and the silence when any Death Eaters or Voldemort came near. The only way to observe them was from a distance, anymore.
"My Lord?" Lucius murmured, flinching when the infuriated eyes turned on him. "Perhaps you should let Potter have his Muggle Studies. It's a third year and above class, after all, not a core subject."
Voldemort sighed helplessly and looked back out at the flying students as two more figures joined them, Salir and Oliver Wood. "You've been made Deputy Headmaster. I expect constant reports on everything in the school from you," he said in a firm voice.
"Understood, my Lord." Lucius inclined his head. "What am I expected to teach?"
"It appears you may pick." Voldemort sneered. He held up a white hand and ticked the choices off on his spidery fingers as he named them, eyes never looking away from the dark figure on the Pitch that was making circles around the other flyers. "Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Arithmacy, or Ancient Runes."
Lucius made a face. "None of them sound much good, my Lord. Perhaps you can get Potter to add Dark Arts to the curriculum?"
Voldemort's eyes turned to Lucius in surprise. "An amazingly intelligent idea, Lucius. I shall suggest replacing Defence Against the Dark Arts with Dark Arts."
"With all due respect, my Lord, I don't think he'll agree with that."
"He doesn't have a choice," Voldemort growled, glancing back out the window.
Lucius refrained from pointing out that Salir, supposedly, hadn't been given a choice when it came to the staff or Muggle Studies, either. He liked his body pieces as they were, after all.
Voldemort glanced up at his visitor as the door to his Hogwarts office slammed shut. "Can I help you, Potter?"
"What makes you think I'd agree to this?" Salir inquired in a deceptively calm voice, holding up a letter which had been left on his desk.
"Do you have someone in mind to put in the Defence Against the Dark Arts position?" the Dark Lord inquired, smiling slightly.
"As a matter of fact, yes. He's putting together some last minute things in Romania, then Apparating here. I owled him two days ago," the teenaged wizard replied coldly.
"Then you'll have to tell him not to bother."
"Maybe you should go fuck an Erkling," Salir shot back before spinning and storming from the room.
Voldemort's mouth curled into a sneer and he slammed his fist down onto of his desk. "I HATE THAT BRAT!!" he screamed at the empty office.
Outside, Poppy winced and hurried off to see if she could get the Headmaster to agree with the Dark Lord on something.
Salir scowled at the woman who stepped into his office. "What do you want, Poppy?"
The matron settled herself in a soft chair that sat before Salir's desk and gave the teen a sharp look. "If you two don't start agreeing on stuff, this school is going to collapse around our ears, Harry."
"There's nothing to agree with him upon, Poppy!" Salir cried, dropping the uncaring mask he'd set up for being around other people. "He wants to do one thing with my school and I want to do something entirely different!"
Poppy shook her head. "Harry, what you're missing is the fact that he is now in control of the rest of the Wizarding world. It's nice that you're trying to keep Hogwarts like it once was, but it's just not possible. Something has to give on both sides. You've gotten him to let you keep all of the staff and Muggle Studies. Now you need to let him have his way with something."
"Like what?" the teen muttered, resting his gaze on the letter from the Dark Lord. "Destroy Defence Against the Dark Arts? Let Lucius Malfoy teach my friends how to perform the Dark Arts?"
"You cannot continue to think of the students here as your friends, Harry." Poppy sighed. "You must look at them as students, for that is what they are."
"Poppy, I'm still a student! I never finished my seventh year and now I'm expected to run a school! I don't know the first thing about teaching, let alone running the whole damned school!"
"But you're doing a marvelous job," Poppy said soothingly, standing and walking around the desk to give the young Headmaster a hug, which Salir gladly accepted. "And you've got guidance, you know. You've got all these pictures of the past Heads to give you pointers, and all of the staff to help you out. I'm sure that you can get everyone to agree to teach you what you've missed, if you'd like..."
"I know, I know…" Salir shook his head. "I just...miss having my friends, and…I guess I miss being a student, too. I miss losing House Points and chasing the Snitch. I miss getting into stupid fights with Draco and rushing to get my homework done at the last minute…"
"You miss being a kid," Poppy clarified.
"No, not really. I was never a 'kid', Poppy." Salir glanced out at the Quidditch Pitch sadly. "I never thought I'd say this but, you know, I miss Professor Dumbledore."
"We all do. He was a beacon of Light and hope for everyone," the mediwitch agreed.
"I suppose I should be filling his place, hm?" the young Headmaster said sarcastically.
"No one expects you to go around offering sherbet lemons to everyone, Harry." Poppy chuckled. "However, you might change out of these dreadful black robes and start smiling again. That will give the students hope, at the very least."
Salir gave the mediwitch a mischievous smile. "What do you think? A red robe with a gold hat?"
Poppy laughed and stood back, watching as the young man transfigured his robe and hat to the bright Gryffindor colours. "Much better. And you should let your hair down."
Salir stood and pulled his hair clip out and let his waist-length black hair fall around him softly. "Do I look better with the longer hair?" he inquired rather suddenly, tugging on a long lock. "I mean, someone once told me I looked better with long hair, but I'm not so sure it's proper for my current position..."
"Harry..." Poppy sighed and shook her head, smiling. "Do you like it better long, or short?"
"It makes me look like a girl," Salir mock whined.
Poppy snorted. "That may be so, but how do you like it?"
The Headmaster blinked thoughtfully. "Long, I suppose. He was right about that..."
Salir's cheeks flamed suddenly, catching the mediwitch's interest. "Ah, yeah. My boyfriend..."
Poppy folded her arms across her chest and gave the blushing teen a sever look. "Since when?"
"Eh? Hallowe'en..." Salir's face fell. "Well, Hallowe'en fifty-five years ago. We don't really get along anymore, I'm afraid."
Poppy gave the young wizard an appraising look. "Perhaps he's just too hard-headed to realize what he's missing, hm?" Salir scowled at her. "If you're feeling better, I'll leave you to your work. Make sure you compromise," Poppy added firmly before walking to the door and opening it to leave. "Oh! Good afternoon, Lord."
Salir's face went as red as his robes and he groaned. 'Holy fucking shit. He heard that whole thing! Harry, you idiot!'
"It is looking better, isn't it?" Voldemort agreed with Poppy's greeting as he observed the blushing Headmaster with an amused look. "I can only hope it will be even better by dinner."
"Ah, you and me both, Lord." Poppy nodded and walked down the twirling staircase calmly.
Voldemort stepped into the office and closed the door behind himself gently before leaning against it. "You know, I came up here to argue with you some more. I never thought I'd get such enlightening information by eavesdropping on your little chat with Poppy Pomfrey," the Dark Lord said lightly, examining his fingernails.
"Didn't those morons at the orphanage ever teach you any manners?" Salir growled, fighting back his blush furiously.
"They tried." Voldemort glanced up at the teen standing behind the desk. "Why wear those colours, Cobre? You're no Gryffindor."
"I've never met a Slytherin martyr, so I must be a Gryffindor," Salir shot back coldly.
"Pity." The Dark Lord sniffed. "We need to work this out. Today."
Salir pursed his lips. "I'm not getting rid of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Voldemort."
"And I don't want to keep it. Herein lies our problem."
The Headmaster glanced up at the supposedly sleeping portrait of Armando Dippet with a frown. "The Wizarding world fell to you and your men because they did not understand that which they were fighting. If Hogwarts had taught Dark Arts, even if it was only theory, they would have had a better chance of fighting back." He paused briefly. "At least, that was Professor Dumbledore's reasoning."
"You expect an uprising?" Voldemort asked harshly.
"There will always be uprisings. It's against the nature of the world for humans to always agree with everything," Salir replied in a monotone.
"Do you believe there is an uprising starting in this school?"
Salir gave the Dark Lord a tired look. "No, I don't believe there is an uprising starting here, I know it."
"Who?" Voldemort demanded.
Salir shook his head and dropped himself into his chair. "I cannot tell you."
"You swore yourself to me!"
"Please don't start yelling again."
"I'll yell if I want to!" Voldemort strode forward and leaned over the desk. "Who is planning an uprising, Potter?"
"I've already spoken to them about it, calm down," Salir ordered in response, shooting Voldemort a sharp look. The Dark Lord just glared at him "I mean it, Tom."
Voldemort let out an aggravated sound and threw himself into the chair Poppy had sat in earlier in a childish manner. "Stop fucking humbling me, Cobre," he muttered in annoyance.
Salir covered a smile. "I wish I had a camera."
"No blackmail." Voldemort shot the teen a furious look.
"Who said anything about blackmail? I just think you look cute."
The Dark Lord groaned. "Why did I make you Headmaster again?"
"Because you needed someone with the balls to argue with you," Salir mumbled thoughtfully. "And you needed me in a position where I wouldn't start another war, and could prevent one from starting."
Voldemort frowned at the young man in the Gryffindor House colours. "And I needed someone with brains in charge of this school," he decided, shaking his head. "Very well, you may keep your Defence Against the Dark Arts, but it will be made a third year and up elective. Dark Arts will be taught by Lucius Malfoy as the seventh core class in it's place."
Salir sighed. "Acceptable, I suppose. Have you picked the Death Eaters to teach Charms, Arithmacy, and Ancient Runes yet?"
"Yes." The Dark Lord pulled a sheet of parchment from his pocket and slid it across the desk. "Deren Beq will take over Charms, as well as become the Head of Ravenclaw House."
"She was a Ravenclaw while she was here at school?" Salir inquired seriously as he looked over the parchment.
"Yes. Schuyler Slade will take over Arithmacy, since that's about the only thing he's good for, and I don't need any more accountants than I already have. Varian will teach Ancient Runes."
"A dwarf? I thought you were against non-humans." Salir gave Voldemort a searching look.
"Did I say that?" The Dark Lord shook his head with a slight smile. "No, I don't mind them. They make invaluable allies."
"Very well. I don't find anything wrong with this, I suppose." The Headmaster set the parchment on top of a pile of more parchment stacked on the corner of the desk. "Is that all?"
"You want Miss Granger to teach Muggle Studies, correct?"
"Yes..." Salir agreed cautiously.
"Don't give me that look. She hasn't finished school yet. How are you planning on making that work?"
"We've already talked about that, actually. Since Muggle Studies is an elective course, it can go untaught for half a year, so Hermione can finish up her schooling before she takes over it," Salir answered. "Why do you care?"
Voldemort let out a sigh. "You made a good point earlier. You were not prepared for your new position, and you're not, technically, out of school yet. That would make it hard for anyone, I suppose." He stood slowly while Salir stared at him in surprise. "I shall see you at dinner, then."
"...Yes..." Salir nodded faintly.
The Dark Lord paused in the middle of the doorway on his way out and glanced back over his shoulder at the quiet Headmaster. "I still think you look better with long hair, by the way, Cobre. If you cut it, I'll be very disappointed in you," he offered before stepping out into the stairwell and closing the door behind himself.
Salir smiled at the closed door. "What an arse."
Salir stepped into the Great Hall for dinner to find everyone already in their seats. The students were, as always, shooting Voldemort looks that they appeared to think were sneaky. The Headmaster wanted to scream and found he couldn't wait until the Dark Lord's occupation of the school was over.
Salir stepped up to his seat next to the scowling Dark Lord and stood, awaiting everyone's attention. Once he had it, he spoke. "Good evening, everyone. I've decided to give you a bit of an update on the new Hogwarts, which will start on January third, so you've got another two weeks to relax." He smiled faintly and mentally cheered at the responding smiles from his audience. "You've all, no doubt, seen myself or Voldemort walking around in a cloud of anger lately? Yes? I thought so. We were fighting over your professors and classes.
"As it now stands, your teachers from before the school's occupation will continue to teach, assuming they are alive. We're not losing any more staff members, so you'll still be seeing familiar faces in many of your classes. However, Professors Beq, Slade, Varian and Wood will be taking over Charms, Arithmacy, Ancient Runes and Flying, respectfully. Professor Weasley, who will be here in a few days, will be taking over Defence Against the Dark Arts, which has become an elective for third years and above. Defence Against the Dark Arts has been replaced as a core class by Dark Arts, which is taught by Professor Malfoy, who is also the Deputy Headmaster. Professor Beq will now be the Ravenclaw Head of House, as well. Muggle Studies has been discontinued for this year and will return next year, taught by Miss Granger.
"Please bear with us for these changes and don't start any fights with your new professors. I'm sure you all have some bad history and I understand that you may not wish to get along with them, but I need you to try. Look at it this way, if I can get along with Voldemort well enough to be able to agree on your classes and professors, I'm sure you can get yourselves to behave in your classes come the third.
"And, now that the lecture is done, let us all eat!" Salir sat and dishes appeared on all of the tables.
Voldemort turned to Salir with a frown as the young Headmaster got himself some bangers. :Any reason why you felt the need to enlighten them as to what has been going on?:
:I need them to trust me, Riddle. If they know what's going on, they're more likely to behave,: Salir replied evenly. :Think about it. They don't have any choice in what happens to their school, that's left to you and me to argue about. They may not be able to choose what's happening in their school, but at least they're being told.:
:So you want the brats to trust you,: Voldemort deduced.
Salir rolled his eyes at the man's word choice. :Something like that.:
:Figures.: Voldemort spared a slice of carrot and waved it at the Headmaster with a smirk. :The brat would want the other brats behind him.:
:Rude and no table manners...: The Headmaster shook his head in amusement. :Why am I not surprised?:
:Because you know who I really am,: Voldemort hissed in Salir's ear, letting his tongue flick over the other's lobe.
Salir scowled at the Dark Lord. :Is that supposed to be a good thing?:
:Perhaps not,: Voldemort conceded thoughtfully. :But I think it might be to your benefit.:
The Headmaster shrugged emotionlessly. :Perhaps...:
"You know, I never did give you a Christmas present all those years ago…"
Salir frowned up at the Dark Lord leaning against the door frame of his bedroom, one hand searching for his glasses. "Happy Christmas to you, too. What do you want now?" he inquired as his searching hand found his glasses and set them on his face.
"To give you your Christmas present of course." Voldemort cocked his head to the side slightly. "You still sleep in the nude?"
Salir scowled. "What of it?"
"Just making an observation, Cobre. Calm down," Voldemort said soothingly as his gaze raked over the teen's toned chest and flat stomach, lingering on each scar he saw. Now he knew where they came from and found himself almost regretting each mark.
Salir shifted under the sharp scarlet gaze uncomfortably. "Riddle?"
Voldemort's mouth quirked up at the corners. "You're as beautiful as I remember." Salir drew in a sharp breath. "I was so upset when you left, you know. I followed you to Dumbledore's office that afternoon, and I kept trying to hex the door open. The coot must have had some powerful locking spells on that door, because it just wouldn't open. I couldn't imagine what you might have feared so much about returning to your home back then..." The Dark Lord met the startled green eyes evenly. "I suppose I know now. You feared me, didn't you?"
Salir swallowed. "Partially. I mean, I feared that you might kill me once you realized who I was, but I was more afraid of what you might have done to my home. What you did do to my home."
Voldemort nodded absently. "I'm not sorry, you know."
"Riddle, the day you're sorry about anything is the day the Earth will plunge into the sun," Salir replied dully. "You've never been sorry and you never will be."
The Dark Lord snorted. "Probably correct."
"Of course I'm correct. I'm Harry James Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived-And-Just-Keeps-On-Living."
"Really? And here I was thinking you were Salir Cobre."
Salir laughed at that and let himself fall back onto his bed, closing his eyes. "Idiot."
Voldemort smiled at the younger wizard as he stepped over to the bed quietly. "Indeed," he murmured, running a spidery finger down Salir's jaw.
Salir's eyes shot open and met the burning scarlet eyes above him warily. "Riddle?"
"You are saying that a lot, aren't you?" the Dark Lord teased, letting his one finger travel down the centre of Salir's chest and stomach to where the blanket lay, covering him.
Salir let out a sharp breath, watching as the Dark Lord's finger drew the blanket down further. "Oh, Merlin..." he whispered, realizing what the man wanted in a flash of recognition.
Voldemort smirked before leaning forward and capturing Salir's mouth hungrily. The younger wizard responded in kind, seeming to be attempting to devour the elder man's mouth. The Dark Lord slipped one finger between Harry's lower cheeks to tease at the young man's pucker, smirking when he realised it was still rather stretched out. "Been using this lately?" he teased as he pulled away from the kiss, scarlet eyes glinting.
Salir rolled his eyes. "Oh, certainly. I just knew you'd be coming to visit me today, so I made sure I'd be ready," he responded sarcastically.
"Watch that tone," Voldemort replied, slipping two fingers into the Headmaster.
Salir let out a hiss. "What is it with you and not using any proper lube?!"
"You scream louder?" The Dark Lord shrugged, scissoring his fingers inside the other. "Why not?"
"Why not indeed." Salir groaned, covering his face with one hand helplessly.
Voldemort smiled down at the teen's position, amused by the young Headmaster's hopeless air. He'd missed Salir's strange personality. He was the only person Voldemort had ever had sex with who could act as if there weren't something up his arse, even though his manhood was standing proudly at attention.
"Oiy. What are you smiling about?" Salir inquired with an air of annoyance.
"You," the Dark Lord responded honestly, pulling his fingers from the teen. "Now, turn around."
"Always ordering me around." Salir snorted good humouredly as he turned around and got up on his hands and knees.
"If nobody orders you around, you get into trouble," the Dark Lord informed the Headmaster as he slid from his robes and got onto the bed.
"I blame it all on you," Salir assured the man with a smirk. The Dark Lord snorted, then, in one swift motion, buried himself to the hilt inside the younger wizard. "Merlin be damned!" Harry spat.
"Something wrong, Cobre?" Voldemort inquired pleasantly as he wrapped his arms around the teen's middle.
"A little warning wouldn't have gone unappreciated, you know," was the dry reply.
"So sorry," the Dark Lord said before starting to move within the other. "Now, remember, nice and loud."
"Fucker," Salir muttered before letting out a hiss as the man above him roughly twisted one of his nipples. "You're going to have to work harder than that if you want me screaming," he added in a bored tone.
"Sex with you is never boring," Voldemort said in amusement as he changed his angle. Salir's only response was a muted shout. "Louder."
"Harder," came the breathless response.
"Ask and ye shall receive." Voldemort smirked, speeding up as he used one hand to give the smaller wizard's cock a vicious twist, a pull, and another twist.
Salir let out a sharp cry and then he was coming, contracting muscles dragging his lover over the edge with him mere seconds later.
The two men fell to the bed in a heap, the Dark Lord on top of the Headmaster with his arms stuck under the younger man, clutching him to his chest in a desperate manner.
Salir was the first to speak, once he'd caught his breath again. "That was nice."
"You still didn't scream loud enough," was the faintly annoyed reply.
Salir chuckled. "Please tell me that wasn't what you were originally planning to give me for Christmas, dear snake."
Voldemort nuzzled the tanned skin of the Headmaster's neck. "No. Accio." A small box flew into his outstretched palm, which he then handed to the wizard beneath him as he rolled them onto their sides.
"Hm?" Salir took the box and popped it open, then froze, staring at the necklace within in shock.
"Well?" The Dark Lord poked his stomach impatiently.
Salir swallowed. "It's beautiful. Thank you, Riddle."
"Put it on, then," Voldemort urged, poking him again.
Salir managed a weak chuckle as he pulled away from the chilled embrace to sit up and put on the piece of jewelry carefully. The pendant was silver with delicate rose-coloured flowers twining around the letters "SC", which had been made by two snakes, one with green emeralds for eyes, the other with red rubies. Salir sat there for a moment, staring down at the delicate piece.
Voldemort slipped his arms around the young Headmaster and drew him back into his embrace. "What's wrong, Cobre?"
"I–" Salir paused for a brief moment, biting his lip, before speaking again. "I've never had anything this nice before."
The Dark Lord's grip tightened around the younger man. "We'll have to fix that, won't we?"
Salir smiled and relaxed against the serpent-like man holding him. "I suppose."
The Dark Lord chuckled faintly and he rested his chin on top of the other's head. "I had a question for you, actually."
"Did you know that 'salir' was Spanish for 'to leave' when you picked it?"
"Yes." Salir let out a faint sigh. "It was symbolic of my presence back then."
"And is it still symbolic?" Voldemort inquired in a light tone, though Salir could detect a trace of fear.
"Not if you don't hex me again, it won't be," Salir teased, earning him a pinch on his bum. "Stop that. No, really. I'm planning on staying here."
"Good." The Dark Lord nodded. "After all, I still haven't figured out how to make you scream properly, right?"
"You're such a bastard." Salir snorted in amusement.
"And don't you know it."
A/N: -shocked and amazed look- I can't believe it's finally done!! Woohoo!!. -dances- Sooooo happy. You can't imagine how deliriously happy I am that this is finally done.
The lemon wasn't originally a part of this chapter on FFN, but I decided that it wasn't that impressive a lemon, all things considered, so I put it back in. (I also recalled that the other lemon is still in, and I think that one's actually a bit more... lemony... than this one.)
Many thanks to EVERYONE!!!(I'm too lazy to go and check who all's reviewed since the last update... -sweatdrop-)
EDITED 25/01/09 – Fixed a few spelling and punctuation mess-ups and changed the scene breaks to comply with FFN's changes. Put lemon back in.