Chapter 15 – Rules of Magic
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter doesn't belong to me, but to J. K. Rowling.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 2, 1996
Hadrian woke six o'clock the next morning from the wakeup call of his wand. Listening and making sure that his alarm had not woken anyone else or that anyone else was awake for some reason or another, he made his way to the bathroom to take care of his morning routine.
Making sure that his shirt covered the markings and that he looked presentable, Hadrian calmly left his bedroom fifteen minutes until seven o'clock.
Standing outside the door of the resident Potions Master's office, Hadrian thought about all the times he had spent in those rooms over the past five years. Since Hadrian and Severus had started a tentative 'friendship' before Hadrian even set a foot inside the School, they had continued their discussions once a month when Hadrian came to Hogwarts.
Every second Sunday of the month Hadrian would spend his afternoon in the company of the Potions Master discussing Muggle Science versus Potions, played chess and many other things or just enjoyed some quiet time together.
They were not as close as Hadrian had been with his (first) Severus, since they did not touch the political topic of the conflict between the 'Light' and 'Dark' Families, or the Muggleborn policy. They discussed other political topics of course, such as creature treatment, banishing valuable history because it was supposed to be 'Dark' and the incompetence of the current administration and things like that.
But now Hadrian had done something. Something that made Severus aware of him being involved with more than the innocent discussions and the above table politics. They had been moving around the topic trying each other out before opening it for discussion. But the time for waiting and observing was over because he had been careless yesterday evening and showed too much, too early in the game.
With a mental resolve Hadrian knocked on the door and waited for the customary "come in." from the Potions Master. Receiving it he opened the door and walked in. He chose his usual chair in front of the desk and gave a nod in greeting and a "Good morning." which was returned to him from the man in front of him.
Severus was looking at him, and gave no indication that he would start to speak, so Hadrian joined him in staring. They sat there looking at each other for some time until Severus gave a sigh and leant back in his chair, showing the end of their silent confrontation on who were to start the dreaded conversation.
"Hadrian we have been friends for some time, in fact it has been almost seven years now, even though you are my student and are younger than me by quite a few years your behavior most of the time indicates that you have a greater brain than most of your peers. The respect I have for our friendship made me let you walk last night when you were tired and spoke without fully thinking about your words or actions, but now you have had the chance to sleep and recuperate, and I expect you are able to adequately answer my questions without lying and actually being aware of what you are telling me."
Hadrian opened his mouth to speak, but were stopped by Severus raised hand. "Wait let me finish. Just to make sure I understood you properly yesterday… You have markings of a binding on your right wrist; those markings are an Oath of Neutrality that you swore to Hogwarts because without the Oath the School Wards would reject you? Can you confirm this?"
"Yes, sir." Hadrian confirmed with a nod and again tried to speak, but once more where stopped by the raised hand of the Potions Master.
"Just a moment longer Hadrian, let me confirm something more before you try to explain. If I remember correctly from reading some very old books about Hogwarts and the Schools History the only reason someone would have to swear an Oath of Neutrality is if they are a part of the Courts of Magic, in fact the person or persons must have to be aware of their role in the Court they belong to and have a major role and deciding factor in any conflicts happening, for the need of Neutrality to be enforced."
When Severus paused and looked at Hadrian to confirm his reasoning, Hadrian nodded again.
Hadrian and Severus continued to look at each other. Both were trying to read the other: Severus tried to reason out what major role Hadrian had in the Courts, while Hadrian tried to see Severus reaction to Hadrian's confession.
"You are too unpredictable to belong to the Dark Court, meaning your place is with the White Court." Severus reasoned out laud, trying to gauge the truth from Hadrian's reactions. "You just turned sixteen this summer, meaning you could have gone through your majority and from that knowing your place, because the Courts are chosen by Magic both the Lords/Ladies and the members of the Courts. The members of the Courts feel connected to their Lord/Lady from an early age and try to find their leader to bond to. You don't follow anyone, or have been looking for anyone to follow the years I have known you; in fact the people around you follow you."
The man had a look of realization in his eyes; it made them more alive than normal. "You have to be someone with a major role to be called by the Castle for a Neutrality Oath. You are the White Lord. The Magic's chosen Leader of the White Court. Are you not?"
"Yes, I am." Hadrian answered.
Suddenly Severus stood from his seat and walked around his desk to stand before Hadrian who had turned his chair to still be facing the Potions Master. Hadrian looked at as the man before him knelt on the floor and bowed his head to Hadrian and before Hadrian were able to stop him Severus spoke again; "My Lord I, Severus Tobias Snape, swear on my Life and Magic Loyalty to you. May you use my talents as you see fit, may you benefit from my service to you and in exchange you will take care of me as my Lord."
Hadrian looked at the kneeling man before him, he had known that the possibility of the man swearing loyalty to him when he found out Hadrian's place in the Hierarchy had been high, but he had not expected it to happen so early or for Severus to be the first.
And because Hadrian hesitated too long Severus sighed and, still kneeling, bowed in defeat; "I knew it was a fool's hope that you would accept my fealty. After all, what use do I have? Just give me a moment to get out of your presence. I will not bother you anymore."
Hadrian reacted finally and reached out and grabbed the other man's shoulder. "Wait Severus! I am not rejecting you; I was just so surprised that you would swear fealty to me already. I thought you would wait and observe some more before you approached me again. I Hadrian Jove Potter accept Severus Tobias Snape as a part of the White Court, and his Oath of Fealty to me as the White Lord."
Hadrian felt his magic reach out from him, and surround Severus making Severus own magic to rise out from the confines of his body. Hadrian's magic grabbed a small part of Severus magic and bound it onto Hadrian's magic. In the moment Hadrian's magic connected Severus magic to it, Hadrian could feel the bond and a connection to Severus. From that connection Hadrian would always know where Severus stayed, Severus health and if he ever was in danger.
Severus felt Hadrian's magic invade him; encircle him first in judging him and his worth, then in acceptance and warmth. In the moment Hadrian's magic connected Severus magic to his, Severus could feel the bond that connected him to Hadrian, his Lord. The connection were so intense and the feeling of Hadrian's magic became too great, that Severus had problem kneeling without swaying. He quickly caught himself and reined his magic in, but he could still feel the bond as something warm surrounding him.
"Thank you, My Lord, for accepting me."
"Please don't address me as 'My Lord'" Hadrian shivered, "I would prefer just Hadrian in private and Mr. Potter in class, just like before all this happened. After all we still are friends, are we not?" Hadrian gave a smile to the other male trying to lessen the formal air in the room and bringing back the feeling of friendship and companionship that they had created over the years.
"Yes, My Lord."
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 6, 1996
The first week of classes was over. It had been five trying days. Both Hadrian and Severus needed to reorient themselves. For Severus the three first days of the new bond, he had to force himself to not act subservient to Hadrian, and getting used to the feelings of the bond, which he started to get used to by now.
For Hadrian it had taken a while getting used to knowing where Severus was all the time and to feel the magic that kept Severus bonded to him. In fact it had taken until this morning for the magic to fully settle.
It was dinner time and the feeling of Friday and the first weekend made the atmosphere light. Talk, laughter and light discussions filled the tables. Hadrian sat at the Slytherin table and observed them all.
At the Gryffindor table he saw Neville surrounded by his 'court', namely Hermione Granger, Ronald (Ron) Weasley and Ginevra (Ginny) Weasley. Ron was talking with food in his mouth, very enthusiastically about something. Meanwhile Hermione seemed to both lecture Ron about table manners and speaking to Neville about something too. And then there was Ginny sitting close to Neville trying to flirt with him by blushing and blinking. Neville seemed flushed but Hadrian could see it was an act, and that in fact he was more bored and irritated than anything else.
At the Ravenclaw table Hadrian observed Luna sitting amongst the fifth years but not quite a part of the group. While the classmate around her was excited about their discussion, Luna was reading a book upside-down. But this was no unusual sight. Luna only entered discussions when she wanted to, and then only if the topic interested her, which was not often. And to not go bored or show too much behavior common with true seers she hid herself behind her eccentric behavior such as reading books upside-down.
At the Hufflepuff Hadrian observed light laughter, warm smiles, a group playing a guessing game, in other words relative peaceful atmosphere. And ant the Slytherin table Draco was in his element. He was playing the political game that was both a pastime and daily life in Slytherin. And Draco had to play the game constantly to keep his place as the 'Slytherin Prince'.
Just as Hadrian looked at Draco's group, Draco caught his eye and gave a silent message of wanting to meet. Hadrian hadn't set up a time for the usual meetings of the conspiracy group, and thought that they could just as well meet this evening some another evening/day, and gave his signal of consent by picking up some more food at the table to eat. If he rejected the sudden non scheduled meeting he would have left the table and in that way stated he did not have time at that moment.
At the Ravenclaw table Luna looked up from her upside-down book and caught the eyes of Neville, and turned the book right side-up before closing it and placing it in her book-bag and taking out the newest number of her father's newspaper the Quibbler. This was also a preplanned signal saying: 'meeting afterwards'. No one caught them signaling each other.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, September 6. 1996, the Room of Requirement
It had been Draco whom had started to call their group for the Conspiracy Group sometime in their third year. Then the group had consisted of the Weasley Twins, Neville, Luna, Draco and Hadrian. Not a big group, but big enough to practically control the whole school. And of course that's where the conspiracy part came in.
After all hadn't Draco, Neville and Hadrian made the school believe (with the help of the Headmaster) that Hadrian where a harmless bookworm, Neville the 'Savior' and Draco the 'Prince of Slytherin'? Neville seemed like a leader of the 'brave' and the Light, while Draco where his opposite and of course rival, meanwhile Hadrian was practically forgotten by most of the school even though he was the one holding the top position academically of their year group.
In public this was how they acted and where, but in private hidden in the Room of Requirement they were all good friends. Here the leader of the group where Hadrian, both Neville and Draco followed his lead and it had continued to be so even when the group grew to include more people.
Now the four of them where gathered in their 'meeting room', a comfortable room where the walls where covered in books, a fireplace keeping it warm, a group of chairs and a coach and a small table made the room seem like a comfortable living room.
Hadrian was lounging in one of the chairs while the three others were sitting in whatever caught their fancy. There where servings of hot chocolate at the table. Hadrian waited silently for the three others to get to why they asked him to come here.
There were some shifting to get comfortable by Neville and Draco, while Luna looked like she usually did, like she was not fully there with them and therefore not uncomfortable. Draco and Neville looked at each other, trying to make the other start, a staring battle.
It was Luna who broke the silence.
"My Lord, we have been observing you this week since you acted a little bit different from how you usually do."
Both Draco and Neville nodded to show they agreed with her.
"And we were worried about you, until the flutter wings told me you were just processing two new bonds, and that we did not have to worry, you would be yourself soon enough."
"So they told you that, did they?"
Luna nodded with a happy smile.
"They also said that the best time to bind ourselves to you would be now, since you have to gather your Court and bind them to you no more than a year after your Magical Maturity. Of course you will be able to bind more people to you after that, but they would not be a part of your 'inner Court', it's just the Original (those you bind to you inside the allowed timeframe) and their descendants that will forever be your Court. That is one of the Rules of Magic."
Luna then looked away from Hadrian, and settled her gaze on something only she could see somewhere above them. Meanwhile Neville seem to have built up his strength and will to talk.
"When Luna told us about this we all tried to find information about the Rules of Magic, and well I went to the library." Neville blushed slightly. Since everyone knew he usually did not spend all that much time at the library Neville was probably a little embarrassed about his solution.
"I did not find a lot about the Rules, just the limitations the Professors teaches us in class and similar things. But what I found by reading behind the lines in the history books, where that the Lords/Ladies always picked out their personal and important followers themselves, while the less important followers were recruited by other followers. Is that a Rule? Do the Lord/Lady have to personally pick their own Court?"
"Yes. That is one of the Rules too." Hadrian nodded to Neville, who gave him a smile back.
"And what did you do, Draco? Where did you find information? Or did you find any at all?"
Draco flushed a bit at the implied insult.
"Of course I found information!" He said a little forceful. "I contacted Father and asked him if the Family Library had any information about the Old Magic. He sent me a book about it."
"And what did you find out from this book?" Hadrian spoke quietly.
"Well I found out that there are many Rules and that all the Rules were connected to the individual persons place in the Magical Hierarchy. For example there is one set of Rules for the Lord/Lady, and one set of Rules for the Dark, another set for the Light (white), and another again for the Neutrals. Then there are a set of Rules for the Courts and sets of specific Rules for the different ranks inside the Courts, and so on and so forth."
"A lot of Rules then." Hadrian said sarcastically.
"Yes. There are even Rules for…" Draco seemed to be starting on a new lecture, so Hadrian interrupted.
"Yes Draco I know."
"Eh, of course you do." Draco seemed to settle down when Hadrian sent him a small glare.
"You know Hadrian that we need to know these Rules, and that as a Lord it is your responsibility to make sure the people also are aware of the Rules, after all they are often the underlying reason for most of the conflicts in our world." Luna suddenly joined the group again.
"I have found out that the Court have certain Rules they have to follow the First Year of their Bonding." Neville shoot in.
"Well you do not have to worry about these Rules before you are bonded."
In the moment Hadrian said those words he knew they were back at the start of the conversation and also the point of the meeting. Seeing the triple grins on their faces as they knelt down Hadrian took it as a confirmation.
"Well then My Lord, you will have to bind us to you, and as I said earlier the best time for the bonding is now after all."
And in unison they spoke: "My Lord I, Luna Lovegood/Draco Lucius Malfoy/Neville Longbottom, swear on my Life and Magic Loyalty to you. May you use my talents as you see fit, may you benefit from my service to you and in exchange you will take care of me as my Lord."