Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter

Hey all! Long time no see ;D

This chapter is shorter than normal, I know, but I thought the father/son moment needed its own space, don't you? Anyway, thank you for being so patient with me, I truly appreciate it.

Can't wait to hear what you think of the long awaited moment between Hadrian and Rudolphus, so don't forget to review and tell me :D

{P.S If anyone is looking for a story that really pulls you in, that's original, and personally…my favourite fan-fiction story for going on a year now, you should check out Behind the Veil by StycianLeo. It's in my favourite stories.}


Two newly healed men ran at him from behind while he finished dispatching a comrade in front of them. Spinning, he didn't have time to raise his wand and hurriedly curled his hand into a fist in front of his face. The man on the left dropped, clutching his throat. Turning his attention back to the mountain sprinting at him, face red and practically frothing from the mouth, Hadrian's eyes suddenly widened, sensing the incoming spells.

Throwing himself out of the way he barely managed to dodge the synchronised cruciatus curses flung at him from both sides in enough time.

The mountain tackled him with a bellowing war cry, his head hitting the ground with painful force. Hot breath panted above him, the stench wretched.

"You sure do a lot of damage for someone so young, don't you, you little bastard." The wheezing breathes were suddenly the least of his problems. Meaty hands wrapped tightly around his neck and squeezed.

Instinctively, Hadrian curled his hands around the man's wrists and tried to loosen the choke hold.

"Aw," Veronica laughed gleefully, walking forward so that her dark features were within his line of sight. "It does my soul wonders to see you brought so low, Hadrian."

Angry that he'd allowed himself to be put in such a position, Hadrian glared at her blackly before letting go of the man's wrists. His arm snapped up, the heel of his hand connecting with wizard's nose. With a loud audible crunch it broke, the cartilage pulverised.

The mountain holding him down fell back with a yowl of pain.

Hadrian drew in a deep gasping breath.

"Avada Kedavra." A masculine voice snarled darkly.

The green light of the killing curse connected with one of the two remaining men. He fell to the ground, lifeless.

Hadrian didn't bother to look. He already knew who it was. Flinging his wand out, the last remaining wizard suddenly clutched at his chest. His face twisting with agony, he fell to his knees before collapsing to the ground with a dull thud, his heart having exploded in his chest.

Emerald eyes settled on the suddenly frightened looking figure of Veronica Fay. Climbing to his feet, Hadrian deliberately ignored his unexpected ally. His magic, so sensitive to other's magical signatures, was well aware of the identity of his…'rescuer'.

"Hadrian…please…" She begged pitifully.

"Mercy? Really?" He sneered at her with cold eyes. "But you so enjoyed seeing me brought low, did you not?"

Eyes wide and panicked, Veronica swallowed dryly. "Please," was all she could say.

"Avada Kedavra," Hadrian stated clearly, watching the petrified horror abound in her brown orbs with a feeling of deep satisfaction.

She fell back, her eyes open, dead.

Hadrian let his eyes slowly drift over the thirteen bodies at his feet before he finally turned to face his ally.

"So, what should I call you?" Hadrian raised his eyebrows expectantly; a small sarcastic smile twisted his lips. "After all, Rudolphus seems unnecessarily formal between Father and son, wouldn't you agree?"

~ Chapter 30 ~

Emerald eyes pierced the darkness that saturated the dense undergrowth in silence; waiting.

"I had heard the rumours of your deception," Shadows slowly retreated. "But even I hadn't expected such a transformation." A ruggedly handsome man stepped confidently out of the darkness that had hidden him so loyally.

Bright mulberry orbs ran over his exposed visage hungrily, drinking him in.

They had the same hair.

The same lush, ebony waves that seemed to stop just before they became a curl.

"And the people you keep company with,…interesting choice."

The mild judgment in those words, the presumptuous censure, it sparked something inside of him. It was like an itch. Infuriating for no rational reason. Galvanising.

Hadrian clenched his teeth together tightly, ruthlessly forcing down the foreign wave of emotion.

"I hope you're not expecting me to thank-you for stepping in?" He stated coldly, gesturing mockingly towards the corpses that littered the ground surrounding them.


Hadrian raised his eyebrows, "Good," He nodded stiffly. "We'd hate to start things off on the wrong foot now, wouldn't we?" The stinging tone and its underlying meaning were impossible to misunderstand.

Back off.

Le'strange gave no visible sign that the words affected him and Hadrian abruptly turned on his heel, determined to collect Draco and get back to Malfoy Manor as soon as possible. He had no wish to be in the man's presence for a second longer, even with his common sense shouting at him that his father's appearance at such an unlikely location was hardly a coincidence.

"I was surprised to see how casual your relationship with the Dalton heir is," Hadrian froze. "And this...Julian that he spoke of, the one he says has defected to the Light, he knows of your deception? What do you plan to do about that?"

Hadrian spun around. "You were watching me?" He hissed.

Le'strange merely nodded.

Hadrian stepped forward with well contained alarm. "I didn't sense you-"

"I didn't want you to." Rudolphus interrupted swiftly, mulberry eyes intense.

Hadrian exhaled with a humourless laugh. He'd heard stories of this man's ability when it came to magic and although that might be enough of a reason for most people, to Hadrian it was just an excuse. He'd failed, plain and simple. That it was to this man was infuriating.

"Well, in that case, I feel honoured that you decided to step in and dispose of one of them at all," Hadrian spread his arms wide to encompass the dead bodies at their feet.

"I wanted to see what you could do." Le'strange said seriously, as if he wanted Hadrian to understand that he hadn't stood by out of a sick sense of sadism but that there had been a point to his lack of interference.

Hadrian seethed silently.

Looking at the pureblood lord now, knowing their blood connection, he noticed things that he'd missed in their one and only meeting earlier in the holiday. Where before he'd only ever seen differences, armed with knowledge he'd never before possessed, Hadrian suddenly glimpsed the overwhelming similarities in their features.

Their hair was the same. Their jaw, nose, stature, even their eyebrows were shaped identically.

It grated.

"Of course you did." Hadrian crossed his arms over his chest. "Why are you here?" He demanded without emotion, his eyes icy.

Le'strange stared at him for several long minutes, drinking him in with hungry eyes.

"The Dark Lord has requested your presence."

"Is that the only reason...father." Hadrian sneered.

Rudolphus frowned deeply at the mocking title, "Why are you acting this way?"

The genuine sounding confusion in that question shook the iron hold Hadrian was keeping his emotions under. He drew in a long, deep breath trying to push down the bitterness that was literally bringing bile up his throat. That the man could just stand there as if Hadrian were ridiculous for having a problem with being discarded by his parents as if he were nothing...!

"You're right," He stated unemotionally. "We're strangers. You owe me nothing...just as I owe you nothing."

The frown steadily deepened as he spoke until Le'strange was practically glaring at him. "We're not strangers!" He spat the word as if disgusted by its mere mention. "You are my s-"

"Don't say it!" Hadrian snarled, his eyes practically spitting flames. The degree of his reaction must have surprised the pureblood because Le'strange drew back with bewildered eyes that were beginning to acquire just the hint of anxiousness. "Don't you dare call me that when you haven't even bothered to acknowledge my existence for the last seventeen years!"

A growing suspicion tinged with horror began seeping into unique mulberry eyes. "You don't think-!" Le'strange abruptly cut off as he stepped forward with wide arms and a suddenly desperate expression. "You don't understand-! I never- I mean, I did but, you- Please, just listen to me!"

Hadrian stared down at the single sheet of parchment laying on the goblin's desk in absolute silence.

Mother: Lily Potter née Evans

Father: Rudolphus Le'strange

"...This is confidential information, isn't it?" He demanded in a tightly controlled voice.

"Of the highest priority." The senior goblin nodded solemnly.

Hadrian wanted to nod, to in some way acknowledge the answer but his body seemed to have a will of its own right now.

Why couldn't he seem to stop his eyes from retracing those two names over and over and over again?! It's not as if they were about to miraculously change and become something else! So Why?!

Against his will, against every command his brain was sending his legs, Hadrian paused.

Rudolphus Le'strange was notorious. Ruthless in combat, imaginative and cruel under pressure, he was renowned for always being in control. Always. And yet, in beseeching orbs he saw an emotion that he never dreamed he would see in the Le'strange Lord: desperation. And considering the way the wizard didn't seem able to gather his thoughts enough to verbalise them, his father was just as unfamiliar with feeling such an emotion.

His thoughts wouldn't leave him alone. Against his will, the tumult of questions that been too frozen by shock before began to fly through his mind, refusing to be silenced.

Why had they given him away?!

What could possibly have motivated them to drop him off at a Muggle orphanage of all places?!

How had it ever even happened?!

The shouts and squeals of laughter around him seemed dim and remote, as if underwater. His body weaving swiftly through the overwhelming crowd of the Alley without any conscious direction, Malfoy heir at his side.

They both had spouses! Families! Responsibilities!

They were on opposite fucking sides of the fucking war!


Hadrian's pace slowed.


With his foot hanging suspended above the frozen ground, a horrible feeling of indecision gripped him.

He wanted to know what Le'strange was going to say. If there was anything to say, anything that might assuage this burning pit of bitterness he'd been feeling ever since he'd managed to wrap his head around what those two names, together, meant.

Hadrian almost, almost stopped walking.

His thoughts, so deafening barely a second ago immediately stilled, silent.

Unless,…they didn't know.

The realisation was like an arctic wind that froze everything in its path.

They didn't know.

Nobody knew about him.

Without wanting it, without permission or sanction, despite his own silent disbelief and inner fury at his reaction-because this was not meant to matter! An icy fury began to lick at his belly as the word that had silenced his mind seemed to now whisper from all corners.


"You can tell your Lord that I'll have to take a rain check on this one," He called into the night keeping his eyes straight ahead.

He couldn't do it.

His pride wouldn't let him.

He picked up his pace, "That is, if he wishes for the secret of his return to remain unproven."

He was a secret.

Hadrian's jaw locked and he picked up his pace.

They hadn't told anyone.

He was a dirty, horrible mistake.

Something never to be spoken of.

Something to be hidden away in the dregs of Muggle society and forgotten about.

Nothing but a skeleton you hoped would never come to light.

If he stopped, that would be it.

He would know that it mattered to him.

However much Hadrian might act like it didn't matter in the future, the pureblood would know different. To turn around now, to voluntarily stop and listen to whatever Le'strange had to say,…he couldn't take that back. He would know.

Hadrian wasn't even ready to admit that to himself, let alone his father.

A low growl sounded from behind him and suddenly a callused hand was wrapping itself around his wrist, tugged him back around.

Blazing mulberry eyes clashed against his icy disregard.

"Are you insane? You don't refuse the Dark Lord's summons, Hadrian."

Yanking his wrist free Hadrian once again turned his back on the wizard. "I don't think you're in any position to be questioning other people's sanity, Le'strange." He glared over his shoulder.

This time, when the grasping hand reached out to grab him he was ready.

Without warning, Hadrian abruptly spun on his heel and shoved his hand out towards the Le'strange Lord.

"What is this? What does it mean?" He demanded in an icy voice.

Some of the desperate confusion that had been multiplying with formidable speed in mulberry orbs suddenly got pushed aside as his father laid eyes on the unmasked coal symbol on the back of Hadrian's hand.

Silence engulfed the pair as Hadrian watched his father raise a hand as if to touch the mark only to retract it a moment later. Unable to identify the emotion shining from mulberry eyes as they flicked up to look at him, he was, nevertheless, surprised when the pureblood offered the information, the answer to his demand, willingly and without price, barely a second later.

"Le'strange blood carries within it a family ability to sense magic," Rudolphus stated simply, as if the information were commonplace and not something Hadrian had been yearning for an answer to for as long as he could remember. "The mark is the physical manifestation of the gift."

"That's all?" Hadrian drawled with disbelief. There was no way it was so simple. No way would he feel this overwhelming instinct to keep it hidden and unknown if that was all it meant.

Rudolphus stared at him intently. "...No, it's not," He admitted. "But if you will not listen to me otherwise, I propose that in exchange, I will tell you everything I know about the mark."

Hadrian gritted his teeth together tightly, glowering at the man as he slowly lowered his arm. He didn't have to look to know that nothing remained on his skin in evidence of its existence.

"Let me ask you something, Le'strange..." He spoke softly as he slowly backed up. He felt the exact moment that he passed the Apparation ward, the magic floating over his skin pleasantly.

Le'strange remained still, his mulberry eyes desperate and watchful and full of so many emotions as he watched his retreat that Hadrian knew he was making the right decision.

He wasn't ready to confront this yet.

Hadrian grasped his wand tightly, his own viridian eyes dark and unwilling to compromise. "...Does your wife know about me?"

He was watching for it, his entire concentration so intent on picking up any change in his father's eyes that despite Rudolphus' frantic effort to mask the reaction from him, he caught it.


"I thought not." Hadrian stated coldly.

Those words held such finality to them that Rudolphus couldn't help his instinctive reaction to fling out a hand in a fruitless effort to stop him from doing what he knew he would do next.

With a crack of displaced air; he was gone.