Everything changed the day Hadrian stayed behind class. Binns, the only ghost on the staff, had no clue what would happen when he gave him that spell.
The rite of kinship. A blood ritual that was surprisingly not banned by the ministry. Not even in the Restricted Section. So once he knew where to look, he took the chance.
What he found startled him. Petunia Dursley was not as he was lead to believe, his aunt. She wasn't even related to him by blood. Which confused him.
Why was he forced to endure the Dursleys for months on end if they weren't even related?
So he looked further and found a distant cousin who was still on his family tree...on his father's side of the family. He had an aunt, a great aunt and a cousin.
So he located the other spell which went with the rite of kinship. The Art of destination. All he needed was the name and birthday of the person he wanted located. The spell would find the one specified within limits.
The only downside was that if someone shared the same name it would show them as well. Which is why it fell out of use a long time ago when the point me charm was created.
Hadrian found a room completely unused, from the amount of dust anyway.
He set up the spell, and then spoke the name of the cousin.
He had written her birthday on the ground, and then he received a vision. It was a glade, and she had what looked like a silver wolf beside her. Somehow he knew she was related to him. Her hair was long and as black as his own. Her eyes were the same color as his father's, and almost as mischievous.
Suddenly she turned, as if she felt him watching. The wolf looked like it was searching for the one who was hiding. Abruptly the vision vanished, and he received a location.
So she lived in a reserve for animals? Time to do some digging through the goblins.
Once he cleaned up all traces of the spell, he went straight to the owlry. Time to send a letter to Griphook.
"Dear Master Griphook,
I would like to locate a missing branch of my family, and hope that you could assist me. I have their names and the location of at least two of the members, and would be grateful if you could fill in the blanks about them, such as where they live and how long they have been there. If you could possibly get a review on their temperament and a way to contact them if they do belong to my family, I would be in your debt.
Sincerely, Hadrian James Potter."
The goblins of Gringotts would like to thank you for alerting us to the existence of the branch family. The contact information you have requested is in the envelope, as well as general temperament information.
As for the other matter concerning the money going into the Dursley account for your welfare, I am pleased to say that the funds are being retrieved through any means necessary as we speak. All funds to Vernon and Petunia Dursley have halted until further notice, and charges will be filed for the abuse and neglect.
Sincerely Griphook, guardian and caretaker of the Potter fortune."
Hadrian packed his trunk and prepared to leave. It had been a mere week since Griphook alerted him to the fact that his branch family did exist, and he had been in contact with his father's third cousin for days now.
Her granddaughter, the girl Adriane had not been informed about him just yet. Her grandmother wanted to surprise her with the news. At least now he knew what the wolf's name was.
He honestly could not wait to meet them. He only hoped this was a chance to start new...and that he could get along with his cousin. His current experience with them was not hopeful in the least.
He had his passport, and the only issue seemed to be getting Hedwig past the Magical Animal Control. He had no idea if she had her shots, or even where to find them.
As he walked into the terminal, he checked his new card. Griphook had sent it to him upon request, so he could withdraw from his vault in the muggle world without suspicion.
Hedwig stayed on his shoulder the entire way, quite happy to sit there instead of in her cage.
He walked up to the appropriate teller, and held out his passport. Just in case someone raised an alarm about his name, he had the goblins make the thing out for a James Potter instead of Hadrian.
"Well the passport seems in order. Wand please."
Hadrian handed over his wand, and was told to cast a simple charm. It wouldn't be recorded into the Ministry logs, even though he was clearly underage.
His bag full of books levitated a foot into the air.
"Alright. Now is this your owl?"
"Her name is Hedwig."
"How long have you had her?"
"Since first year, and I'll be started my third this year."
"Did you buy her at the Emporium?"
"As far as I know Hagrid got her in Diagon."
"We'll have to check her temperament and shots, but if you want we can administer the necessary shots for America for a fee of twenty galleons for the lot right here."
He handed over his new card, and the man swiped it. A green light appeared, signifying it was good.
"It'll take about five minutes. You can wait over there for her."
He sat down and waited anxiously, and Hedwig flew to his shoulder ten minutes later.
"Smart owl you have there. Patient too. Alright, you're cleared for travel. The next transport to that city is in an hour. But boarding for the thing takes at least fifteen minutes."
"Can we get on now?"
He lead Hadrian and Hedwig to the spot, and he took his seat. Since all of his things were in his school trunk (minus Dudley's cast offs which he got rid of the first chance he had) and his trunk was on a bracelet around his wrist, he waited for the thing to leave.
He fell asleep long before it took off, and woke up just as they arrived.
So this was the town where his cousin and aunt lived. It seemed nice. And as he looked at the houses, he felt a distinct sense of relief.
Not a single one looked like a stereotype of the other. None of them looked like cookie cutter shaped houses, and none of the lawns were perfect.
Thank god. He had enough of that in Surrey. Now to find the Ravenswood Preserve. At least he knew his cousin was at school.
"Alright Hedwig can I trust you to find the place?"
A sharp click of her beak, and she flew off in the direction of the woods. He followed her without question, trusting her completely. Hedwig had never failed to deliver a letter so he knew he could trust her to lead him.
Hedwig lead him to a quaint house near a manor. He knocked first, as his ingrained politeness made it impossible for him to do anything else.
An old woman answered.
"May I help you?"
"My name is Hadrian. We spoke on the phone?"
"So you're the lad who found something that connects your family to ours. I thought you would be older."
"I thought I would be taller. So I guess we're even."
The woman laughed, and let him in. Once he settled in, he explained everything and why he was there. She listened politely, and asked to see his proof.
Hadrian pulled out the evidence the goblins found for him, or at least a copy anyway. Once she finished reviewing the evidence, she looked at him differently. As if she believed him.
Hedwig hooted softly, and rested on his shoulder again.
"Lovely bird. What's her name?"
"Hedwig. It's supposed to be Germanic for 'female warrior'. She's my best friend and my only family until now."
Hedwig bit his ear affectionately. It was clear he loved his owl. And his owl loved him the same way, almost like he was her nestling and not her owner.
A sudden growl made him turn. Standing in the door was the same wolf he had seen in the vision...Stormbringer.
"Is that wolf friendly?" he asked cautiously.
"That's Storm, my granddaughter's pack mate."
Hadrian held out his hand cautiously for Storm to sniff it. The wolf took the hint and took in his scent, before relaxing. Hadrian made sure she saw his hands before he scratched the wolf's ears gently. The tail soon began to wag enthusiastically.
It seemed Storm liked him a lot, since she gave him a light lick on the cheek. Hadrian grinned, and he noticed the grandmother smiling at him.
"You seem to have a way with animals."
"I like animals better than people most days. They at least don't judge you or expect too much."
Storm's ears perked up and she raced to the main gate. Adriane was home.
It took all of ten minutes for Adriane to find out that not only did she have a cousin, but that he was staying with them. The fact that he was nice to animals and Storm liked him was the biggest deciding factor in his benefit.
Starting Monday he would be joining her at the school.
He had a lot of catching up to do. Meanwhile he noticed the odd interaction with Storm and his cousin, and it didn't take long to figure out what was going on.
"Hey Adriane...can you hear Storm's voice?"
"How...do you know that?"
"They way you two act. It's like she speaks to you and you understand her. I'm right, aren't I?"
"Yes...I can hear Storm. And she can hear me. She's my pack mate after all."
Hadrian grinned, and held out his arm. Hedwig flew to it, and hooted softly. She turned to Adriane and gave her the once over before flying to her shoulder.
"Oh good. Hedwig likes you. That usually means you're a really good person."
Said owl hooted and went back to Hadrian.
"This is Hedwig. She's like my family...and my best friend."
"I know exactly what you mean. Storm is both my family and my friend."
Storm barked in agreement.
Hadrian looked outside and noticed something odd. Was that...a horse with wings? What was the term for those again? Pegasus?
"Did a pegasus just fly by?"
Adriane looked and bit back a growl.
"I'll be right back. Don't move."
Storm went with her and left them alone. He heard a clatter and looked down. His wand had fallen out of his holster. That could be bad.
He bent down to pick it up...and a pulse of magic went through and out of him without warning! The wood in his hand pulsed, and began to glow. It was like an arrow pointing somewhere.
Hedwig suddenly became concerned and hooted anxiously. Clearly she wanted him to follow the glow.
I hope Adriane doesn't get too mad at me for not staying put.
That was his only concern. So he followed the glow, and saw several odd creatures. Some reminded him of a platypus, and he saw a few more pegasi flying around. Clearly they were unconcerned if he saw them, which was unusual.
That's when Hedwig stopped, and landed near a rock which pointed to the sky. Nearby was a glittering pond full of glowing rocks.
He normally would have felt a sense of unease...but Hedwig had never steered him into danger before. He knew he could always trust her no matter what.
The wand stopped glowing...and jerked out of his hand without warning. He watched in shock as it fell into the pond, right in the center.
He went to the pond to retrieve it...and found a rock which seemed to call to him. He picked it up, and it began to take a rough shape.
A pair of wings. One side was red and amber, the other emerald green and silver. Or at least it looked like wings to him. Underneath where the stone had been was his wand. He picked it up and put it back.
Well that was interesting.
"I'll say. Hopefully it won't turn around to bite me later. Hey wait..."
Hadrian turned to see Storm and Adriane. She looked annoyed.
"I thought I told you to stay put!"
Be nice Adriane. How could you have known your new cousin was a mage like yourself?
"Wizard, actually. And my wand normally doesn't do things like that," Hadrian said absently.
She stared at him in shock.
"Should I not have? Who said that anyway?"
"You...can hear Storm. How is that possible?"
"Wait. That was your wolf friend?"
"Why are you not freaking out right now?"
"I can talk to snakes. Wolves aren't nearly as scary when you've faced a eighty foot snake which can kill you with a glance."
Sounds like a basilisk to me. But I thought those were extinct.
"It was a basilisk, and no they aren't completely extinct."
Adriane rubbed her temples.
"I think we need to have a long talk. Preferably after we've had something to eat."
Didn't your grandmother mention take out for tonight? Something about pizza...?
"Thanks for reminding me. Follow us, otherwise you might get lost."
Once they ate dinner (Hadrian kept sneaking pepperoni to Storm, who chuckled but accepted the treat) Adriane looked at her new cousin.
"Alright, start talking."
"First off, I really am a wizard. Magic exists, and there is an entire society dedicated to keeping it secret."
"I already know magic exists. It's what brought Storm and me together."
I was unaware that magic was this common though. A whole community of magic users?
"Yeah...probably not a good idea to introduce yourself though. For some reason the magical world is a bit more prejudice towards anything they can't explain compared to the normal one. Take werewolves for example. There are at least fifteen laws against them which make it almost impossible for them to get a job, even though the only time they are really a threat is during the full moon."
"It gets worse. If you're lucky enough to qualify for a magic school, and then find out you don't have enough to cast simple spells, they drop you without thinking twice. They call people born to magical families but with little to no magic themselves 'squibs' and they are barely tolerated."
So just because someone from a family of magic users can't use magic they throw them out? That is completely barbaric.
"They don't even know about the advances in technology or medicine because they isolate themselves and pretend they're better just because they can use magic. It's partly the reason why I left Britain to try and find my cousins."
"With a place like that I can understand."
Adriane, we still need to find the one who was watching us. It could be a Fairimental.
"Or it could have been someone looking for a family..." said Hadrian sheepishly.
Adriane looked at his suspiciously.
"Hadrian, is there something you're not telling us?"
"I...was the one you sensed. I think. I was trying to find out who my family was, and part of that included a vision spell. Sorry."
Adriane's glare softened a bit.
"So what all can you do?"
Suddenly she had a bad premonition as her new cousin took his stick and with a swish and flick said clearly "Wingardium Leviosa!"
Adriane squawked with surprise as she felt her chair lift up and hover. Hadrian had a huge impish grin on his face and Storm (the traitor!) was on her back rolling around laughing.
"PUT ME DOWN NOW!"
Hadrian gently lowered her to the ground, and Adriane glared at Storm.
Storm howled with laughter in her mind anyway.
"And to think, we learn that one in our first year."
Adriane grinned, and Hadrian relaxed. Clearly he hadn't angered his cousin too much with his trick.
The next morning Adriane showed him the creatures on the preserve, from the normal to the magical. Hadrian listened with rapt attention, and he noticed how his cousin relaxed around the animals.
Since it was a Saturday, she took him around the town and showed him the sights. She scowled when she showed him the Town Hall, and when he asked she growled. But not at him.
"One of the Council members wants to close the preserve down and turn it into a country club."
Hadrian stared at her.
"Who in their right mind wants a country club more than a nature preserve? Country clubs are so boring and only attract old people with nothing better to do!"
"Mrs. Windor. She's dead set on closing Ravenswood and kicking us out."
Maybe there's something I can do to stop her. I have nothing better to do with the money my parents left me...
Adriane grinned as she showed him the vet. A girl with short curly hair was helping with the animals. She looked up when she heard Hedwig.
"That's a beautiful owl. New addition?"
"Not quite. Emily, meet my recently discovered cousin Hadrian. That is his owl."
"Hello..." Hadrian was a bit shy around girls.
"What's her name?"
"Hedwig. It's supposed to be Germanic for 'female warrior'."
Hedwig hooted and flew to Emily.
"She really likes you."
"Hadrian just got his own jewel. And he already knows about magic."
Emily's eyes lit up.
"Really?" she was excited.
Emily pulled out her own stone, and Adriane brought out hers. Emily's shown like a rainbow while Adriane's looked like a wolf's paw. Since they brought out their jewels, he took out the one he found in the pond. It seemed to be a bit more defined now, and looked more like a pair of wings.
"What are you going to call it?"
"How about the Sora jewel?"
They looked at him.
"Because when I think wings, I think of flying around in the sky. And Sora in Japanese means sky. My favorite past time actually."
Adriane looked at him oddly.
"You know the old tales about witches flying on brooms? Totally true."
"This I have to see."
Hadrian got the glint in his eyes, the same one he had when he levitated Adriane the night before. Somehow the girl knew it meant trouble.
"Tell you what. When we get back to the preserve I'll bring out my broom and show you how to fly. How does that sound?"
"Mind if I join you?"
"Sure. Maybe I can show you how to play Quidditch."
"What's that?" asked Emily.
"The weirdest, most bizarre game ever invented. And something I am quite good at. It's played on brooms and with three different types of balls."
"Let's meet back up at my house."
Hadrian and Hedwig went to the nearest magical shopping center...which happened to be in the Mall. He bought a Quidditch set and three brooms. This would prove fun. The shop was called Magical Mayhem...and it was right next to Hot Topic, something which made him laugh.
When he got back to the house, he found Adriane and Emily waiting. He went to his new room and brought out his faithful Nimbus 2000.
He put the other two brooms on the ground.
"Hold your dominate hand over the brooms and say 'Up!'."
Adriane's went straight to her hand. Emily's jumped a bit, and she repeated it firmly. It flew to her hand. He grinned as he showed them how to sit on the brooms properly.
The next thing he showed them was how to kick off without shooting like a rocket. Within an hour Adriane and Emily were enjoying the sky freely, and loving every minute of it.
Then he let loose the Snitch, and found himself racing the girls to catch it. Adriane was a bit miffed Hadrian beat her to it.
"I've been doing this for a lot longer, so don't feel too bad."
All in all, Saturday was a complete success.