A/N: Anyone who was irked that I missed the promise I made on my bio to post Chapter 12 by the 16th will have to surrender their irritation. I tried to post yesterday and it wouldn't go through. However, as compensation, I was able to finish this new chapter for you, as well! Much love and gratitude to you all, with shout-outs to Marksmom, slayer of destiny, Rowan Valadosa, Hortensia, TheDarkLadyVoldemort666, Winter Mother, and an understanding nudge to Pikachumomma.

Also, I'm begging everyone out there to pray to your gods that my sister gets her priorities straight and a damn job before she gets kicked out of her apartment and tries to land on us again. I know I said I'd be her soft place to fall, but paying all of her rent and utilities and expenses for over a year goes way above and beyond, doesn't it? I get that she has a bad back, but does that really mean to you guys that she can't work anywhere at all? I'm so done. There was a reason I left them all in the Midwest and haven't talked to them in eight years. I am the stupidest, most gullible person in the world to believe that helping anyone from my side of the family wouldn't hurt my husband and I. mournful sigh So be it. Done venting now; thanks for listening.

On the plus side, this chapter has laughter and lemons! Happy Reading!





In the News

Lord Marvolo Slytherin and his Consort Hadrian Morgan did not attend any meals in the Great Hall for the rest of the weekend. More than one giggly, starry-eyed teenage found him or herself lost in romantic speculations about what was probably occurring in the Lord's private rooms. If pressed, it could be proven that a few members of the Staff did their own share of speculating and sighing, as well.

Monday at breakfast saw the first public appearance of the Slytherin couple since the luncheon confrontation with James Potter on Saturday. James Potter didn't make it for another three days, and when he finally showed, he looked like someone who had fallen asleep while sunbathing – on the Equator.

Thanks to the unparalleled efficiency of the Hogwart's rumor mill, it was now widely known that James Potter had been hit with a rare curse indeed by the enraged and protective Lord Slytherin. No one knew its name, which was probably for the best, but everyone now knew that James had unquestionably been tortured – legally. The intent of the curse was pain – it began with the impact of the thick, purple magic on any surface immediately ridding the skin beneath of its first layer of cells. It then turned into astringent, further agonizing the fresh, raw skin. As the viscous magic oozed downward, it left behind a layer of salt that dug in between the skin cells and was nearly impossible to remove or negate. It had to be absorbed into the body or wear away over time.

Dumbledore's initial attempt to bring charges against Lord Slytherin for use of a Dark torture curse were stalled when it was revealed (to the horror of many) that Potter was actually hit with a beauty-treatment charm currently used on wealthy, Pureblood women in the pricier salons for advanced exfoliation. Respect for the beautiful ladies of the aristocracy soared.

In response, most of the Ladies publicly supported Lord Slytherin when Dumbledore and the elder Potters tried to press the point regardless of the 'torture curse's' origins, citing young James' incredible suffering and pain so intense that it brought their strong son to tears. James Potter found himself mortified when Witch's Weekly and Witch's in Vogue magazines featured a large center spread complete with glossy wizarding photos of twelve of the beautiful, refined, delicate Ladies who take the exfoliation charm monthly to maintain their lovely complexions. The kicker was when tiny Lady Amelie Ogden, a delicate flower of a woman, was quoted in the article advising James Potter to "man up and grow a pair, or she would personally visit Hogwart's and treat him to a 'Joy of Childbirth' charm" she had created.

It should be noted that Lady Amelie earned quite a sizeable little nest-egg, selling the charm to pregnant witches and exhausted mothers everywhere who wanted their husbands to shut the hell up.

None of those husbands had anything to say about the matter. Or pregnancy. Or their wives. Or, really, anything at all, without written approval from the little lady of the house.

It was also rumored that Lady Amelie was developing a 'Joy of Menstruation' charm as the second in the Line called 'The Charms of a Delicate Witch'. An oddly nervous, somewhat jumpy Lord Ogden stood firmly behind his beautiful wife's right to create such charms, and supported the naming of all six of his daughters and his mother to the Board of Directors.

The Lord and Lady Potter, supported by Headmaster Dumbledore, also tried to bring charges for assault against Lord Slytherin, and when denied that right by an unapologetic Head of the DMLE, the couple went to the newspapers. The Potters were outraged when their article decrying the deplorable treatment of their honorable, innocent son and heir at the hands of the evil Slytherins in both Hogwarts and the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was placed below a well-written, detailed article by Professor Filius Flitwick about the entire series of events and Marauder-led confrontations and attacks that led up to the retaliation by Lord Slytherin in defense of his new Consort. The Charms Professor proved his right to be Head of Ravenclaw House by citing witnesses, research into law (with special attention to Law of Nobles and Duelling Law) and a worrying amount of information regarding the circumstances surrounding Hadrian Morgan's childhood. He included the boy's placement in a muggle orphanage, shunning from the House of Potter, intervention by Dumbledore, etc. The small professor raised many very big questions concerning the whole situation, provided the documents from Hadrian's orphanage file – including the incriminating letters from the Potters and one from Dumbledore ensuring that Hadrian remain parentless and ignorant of his heritage and rights, and medical records covering the now-infamous 'staircase prank' that hospitalized Hadrian for several weeks.

Most condemning for the vaunted leader of the Phoenix Party – particularly in his other roles in which he swore to uphold the law and to protect and educate students – were the published records from young Consort Morgan and his attorney, Solicitor Geoffrey Bates III, documenting precisely what properties were transferred from the Potters to Hadrian due to the dishonorable actions of James Potter. Devastating to their reputations was the additional fact that a transcript of the scripted apology scene was published verbatim, showing precisely how the Potters and Dumbledore attempted to trick Hadrian into granting James "pardon" and thus forfeiting all of his awards back into the possession of the Potters. The 'pickle on the sundae', so to speak, was the undeniable fact that Consort Morgan, at the time of the failed apology, had not yet gained any knowledge of the additional penalties leveled on the Potters by Gringott's. Suddenly, in the eyes of the public, Slytherins were not associated with dishonorable, lying, cheating behavior as was Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and his supporters.

All in all, it was a very, very bad week for the Potter Family, Albus Dumbledore, and the Phoenix Party.

Additional articles popped up here and there. Witch's Weekly featured, courtesy of Lavendar Brown's pensieve memory, a word for word transcript from the class when Hadrian Morgan announced the winners of the writing contest. Lavendar's humorous, self-effacing side commentary on the whole situation won the young woman plaudits for her sense of humor, humility and courage. It also won her the attention of one Heir-Lord Neville Longbottom.

As a side note, that particular article and transcript became a favored short-story among Wizarding Great Britain, and was published later in a small booklet which included each and every story submitted by the embarrassed Gryffindors for what may well become, in time, one of the more well-known examples of a prank backfiring upon its makers.

The onslaught of articles and rebuttals and revelations during that week had everyone transfixed, with a few exceptions. Several important situations were developing without interference by manipulative old coots who were otherwise occupied. For example, bachelor Antonin Dolohov met and adopted his five sons, and they began their own plans to mete out proper justice. Of course, that's a story for another time.

But during that week, the two men who were the impetus for the media storm were, for the most part, sequestered from it. They conducted a couple of interviews with aurors and journalists. They bonded a house elf named Zeppo without the interference – or knowledge – of his former master. They solidified the relationship of the younger male with the other Slytherins. They participated in their scheduled classes, either as student or professor. They met each other's portrait mentors.

And they explored each other.

All in all, it was a truly spectacular week.


Making Love Like a House Afire

Hadrian poured a generous amount of the new shampoo Lady Amelie had sent him – such a sweet woman! – and began to lather his longer hair. Narcissa had advised him that he would do better in managing his hair if it were longer, and he allowed her to magically lengthen it. Now it flowed down his back in shiny, midnight waves, stopping at a point just below his rib cage. Marvolo loved it.

Stepping back into the stream of water, he closed his eyes and tipped his head back to rinse the suds away. He had no idea he wasn't alone until two warm, strong arms snaked around his waist and pulled him forward against a hard, muscled chest. A familiar, beloved face nuzzled his throat and neck, pressing sinful kisses into Hadrian's sensitive skin.

Keeping his eyes closed, Hadrian inhaled deeply, and said, "Abraxas, you can't be here! Marvolo will be home any minute!"

Strong teeth immediately nipped at his ear and Hadrian yelped in response before shivering in erotic reaction. He felt Marvolo's smile against his throat, and felt his own smile bloom when Marvolo growled, "I think the fact that you can even say another man's name in a moment like this calls for a lesson in who you belong to, little Serpent." Talented fingers smoothed their way down Hadrian's back and settled teasingly on the sensitive skin of his arse, kneading lightly.

Already shuddering, Hadrian dropped his head forward to rest against Marvolo's chest, allowing the constant stream of water to do whatever it wanted with any remaining shampoo in his hair. Languorously opening heavy eyelids, the sight that met Hadrian sent even more blood rushing south. Studying the droplet-dappled muscles of Marvolo's defined chest and abdomen, Hadrian focused on the dark nipple directly in front of him and immediately opened his mouth and suckled. He delighted in Marvolo's shocked inhalation, and began to test his beloved's limits by laving the pebbled bud. Before much time had passed, the powerful Lord of Slytherin was shuddering just as much as his wicked little Consort, who only took enough time from his ministrations to murmur, "Who I belong to, you say? I have no ownership papers at all. Free wizard here, my Lord."

Molted crimson eyes smiled down at him, dark promise clearly visible, before Marvolo's husky, dark chocolate voice rumbled with gentle threat, "Game on, little wizard."

Before Hadrian could process that properly, the hands on his buttocks tightened and lifted the smaller man with impressive ease. Willingly wrapping his legs around Marvolo's trim waist, Hadrian returned to his self-appointed task of tormenting Marvolo's nipples and suppressed an unmanly giggle of anticipation. The last time he had challenged Marvolo's 'ownership', Hadrian had been treated to two and a half hours of sensual torment, which did not end until he had finally been so desperate for release that he had screamed who he belonged to, and then screamed a bit more from the intensity of the orgasm that Marvolo had finally granted him. He was determined that this time, he would last much longer.

He had to reassess his determination when Marvolo's hands separated his cheeks even as they pressed him firmly against Marvolo – consequently pressing their erections together, too -and long fingers slid between to tease and torment the revealed rosebud. Unable to suppress a whimper, Hadrian closed his eyes tightly and tried to gather his resolve into a wall of mental armor against the oncoming sensual onslaught.

The armor shattered within mere moments of contact between Hadrian's back and the mattress. But it wasn't his fault! Nobody could withstand the things Marvolo was doing! If anyone anywhere were to assert that they could stay strong when gorgeously wicked Marvolo Slytherin dropped them naked on a bed, knelt between his knees, pulled him up by the hips and held him suspended while the single most talented tongue lapped and licked and rimmed his highly-sensitized entrance, Hadrian would stand up in public and call that person a dirty, rotten liar.

With bells on!

Closing his eyes in blissful surrender, Hadrian acknowledged that his will power didn't mean much at all against the force of nature that was Lord Marvolo Slytherin.

And his tongue.


From his kneeling position, holding his delightfully nude, defiant little lover helpless and spread open for Marvolo's private delight, there simply could not possibly be a better view anywhere than the one he was enjoying in this moment. Hadrian's glorious, raven hair was spread out in a midnight halo around his beautiful face. His porcelain skin was dewy and glowing, his lips dark red both from passion and from the way Hadrian couldn't keep from biting them to try and stifle his whimpers and moans. There was a beautiful blush of color in Hadrian's cheeks, and every few seconds the black lashes would lift in response to a swipe of Marvolo's tongue and glowing emerald would peek through. Hadrian's lithe, exquisite body was entirely under Marvolo's control as only the younger man's shoulders and upper back were resting on the mattess. The second Marvolo had gripped Hadrian's hips and raised his lover's arse to his mouth to savor and suckle like the finest meal, Hadrian surrendered. Now, he lay there, helpless and wanton, moving like a beautiful, sensual instrument that Marvolo played like a master musician, arms flung to each side like the most willing of sacrifices.

Grinning devilishly, Marvolo used his long fingers and strong arms to their best advantage as he lifted and spread his little lover a little more, holding him suspended and open to his invasive tongue and tormenting lips and teeth. Marvolo would not even allow his willful Consort to rest his legs on Marvolo's; apart from Hadrian's shoulders, he was entirely dependent on the strength and direction of his older lover. Marvolo knew full well that Hadrian had metaphorically shot up red sparks already, but had no intention of granting the little imp surcease any time soon.

Red eyes gleamed wickedly as he initiated the next step in Hadrian's sexual education. Positioning Hadrian's open thighs exactly as he wanted them, Marvolo paused, tongue extended beneath Hadrian's testicles and testing their weight. The cessation of torment caused Hadrian's incomparable eyes to open and stare at them, and that's when Marvolo channeled his magic and allowed his tongue to lengthen and extend into the long, muscled, forked tongue of his animagus form – the basilisk. He converted the poison to tactus extasim, a contact-activated aphrodisiac used by basilisks during mating that literally translates as 'touch ecstasy', and watched with amusement as Hadrian gaped up at him. Giving his beloved innocent just enough time to take a breath in trepidation, Marvolo struck, sending his tongue in lightning-fast spirals all over Hadrian's straining cock and full testicles, sliding along his perineum and powering directly through the tempting, twitching rosebud and into his beloved's core. Everywhere his tongue touched, it left behind white-hot sheets of pleasure that did not lessen in intensity at all.

Marvolo watched as Hadrian's eyes widened in shocked and felt his beloved's muscles clench and his buttocks clamp against the abrupt rush of intense sensation. Green eyes locked with red, and Marvolo once again allowed Hadrian just that second to comprehend the teasing, sexual threat in his older lover's eyes. Just as Hadrian gasped in response and opened his mouth to question or command or beg Marvolo – probably all of the above – Marvolo allowed his magic to connect to the extasim. At the same instant, he issued a basilisk's long, low mating call, which was to his ears quite beautiful but had a delightful little side effect.

It made his tongue vibrate.

Whatever Hadrian was going to say to Marvolo disappeared the second the magic sparked. Marvolo knew from his own experiments that Hadrian was experiencing the equivalent of a sexual nuclear blast. (He smirked at the analogy, certain that most wizardkind would not understand it. None who hadn't grown up in the muggle world, anyway.) He continued the mating call, tongue vibrating along and deep within his beloved's pleasure centers, and watched as Hadrian's indrawn breath of trepidation re-emerged as an uncontrolled scream. Hadrian's eyes rolled back, his head slammed into the bed, muscles clenching and rigid, as the single-most powerful and extended orgasm hit him like a tsunami.

And, just like a tsunami, the wave of pleasure that swept through Hadrian rolled backward with the tide and swept through the newly-formed bond between them, rolling into Marvolo and cutting off his mating call as he, too, erupted into an intense, prolonged orgasm, even though his rock hard cock had not even been touched. He didn't realize that he continued to hold Hadrian up and suspended through the entire, cataclysmic climax. It wasn't until they had both recovered and Hadrian told him that when (not if) he used 'the tongue of torment' again, that Hadrian would practice one or two of Lady Amelie's charms on him if he didn't let him dig his heels into something or someone solid during the blast.

The fact that Hadrian was fellating Marvolo's cock in reward and only paused long enough to issue his threat before deep-throating his lover and swallowing repeatedly was really just incidental information.

They did enjoy a good laugh, even though Hadrian's embarrassed, blushing face was buried in Marvolo's chest as he giggled, when they heard Tansy instructing their new house elf Zeppo to widen the range on his cleaning charms in their bedroom, as she had once found the 'masters' essences' a few feet away from the wrecked and undeniably … err, moist…bed.

On both sides.

Discussing it later, Hadrian snorted pumpkin juice through his nose when Marvolo commented that they could probably put out a small house fire with their newfound technique.


Black Humor

It didn't escape the notice of most of the students and teachers that Sirius Black was behaving uncharacteristically. He spent less time laughing, mocking and pranking, and a lot of time observing. Marvolo was one of those who was particularly interested to see just how the Black Heir would act on his unplanned Vow of Fealty to Slytherin. It was anybody's guess, really. He had seen the young man's grimace when Walburga and Orion's distinctive black buzzard swooped into the Great Hall, intimidating the post owls and Hufflepuffs, and dropped off a letter of congratulations from the boy's openly Dark parents. On the other hand, his quiet smile of pride when he opened the accompanying package and saw the long-withheld House of Black Heir's ring and seal was a promising sign of growing maturity.

Although Marvolo and Hadrian returned to taking meals in the Great Hall on the Monday just two days after James's failed false-apology, it took almost two weeks more (and a final cruel, truly deplorable prank by James upon Hadrian that fully opened Sirius's eyes) before Sirius seemed to work up enough courage to approach the pair after dinner. As was becoming their habit, Marvolo had joined Hadrian when their meal was complete and was escorting his beloved Consort from the Great Hall when they became aware of a small stir of conversation and looked around to see Sirius Black walking over to them with a determined, if measured, stride. His expression gave little away, but was certainly not the one he usually wore when planning trouble. And if anything, his demeanor was … respectful, if a bit abashed.

They stopped a few feet from the doors and waited for him to join them.

When he did, he nodded respectfully to Hadrian and offered a small bow to Marvolo. It wasn't quite the deeper bow of a House Heir to his sworn Lord, but it was close enough to show his intent. It also was enough to elicit raised eyebrows from Lupin, a shocked squeal from Pettigrew and an outraged growl from the newly-exfoliated James Potter. (Really, his skin was now exceptionally smooth and touchable, despite the appearance of sunburn. And that was mostly his own fault, as he refused to use the soothing beauty cream that was supposed to follow use of the charm. His mother had purchased it from one of the salons mentioned in that damn article, but James refused to use it on general principles… and because it smelled like roses.) Sirius glanced nervously at the still-seated but closely-watching Marauders and then seemed to steel his resolve.

"Lord Slytherin, Consort Morgan, I, as Heir to the House of Black, would like to extend an invitation for you both to be written into the wards of my Family's private library." Dark gray eyes watched them both cautiously. Murmuring erupted around the Great Hall as people relayed the invitation, and eyebrows were raised in surprise. It was exceedingly rare, almost unheard-of, for a non-Black to even see the famous – or perhaps, infamous – Black Family Library. Even the offer to view the Library was a major coup; to be written into the wards was a vow of permanent, irrevocable fealty between Families. The House of Black was declaring its final, formal allegiance to Lord Slytherin and the Vol de Mort Party, a declaration long withheld due to Sirius Black's involvement with leading members of the Phoenix Party.

Of a certainty, there were no Slytherin House members who missed the full impact of this offer. The House of Black was not just declaring that it was finally, fully committed to Lord Slytherin. Heir Sirius Black had personally extended a permanent offer of both personal and Family fealty, complete with access to all of the knowledge and secrets the notoriously Dark Family held, to Lord Slytherin and his Consort, the latter of whom was in direct opposition to the House of Potter. They were not just declaring their allegiance to Slytherin, but the severance of any and all friendships and loyalties to the House of Potters.

This was one of those moments when everyone could look back and remember when the Balance of Power shifted. Rather than countering each other, as they had done for two decades, Dumbledore and the Phoenix Party were taking a major loss, and Lord Slytherin and the Vol de Mort Party were now ascendant.

Fully aware of the importance of this moment, Marvolo and Hadrian treated it, and Sirius, with the respect they deserved. As if they had rehearsed it, Lord Slytherin and his Consort bowed in unison and then straightened. Marvolo then smiled with warm dignity at Sirius and said calmly, "I and my Consort accept the offer of the House of Black. We understand the depth of the invitation, and gladly reciprocate. Perhaps, during our initial visit to view this remarkable, magical treasury of knowledge and to be written into the wards that guard it, we of the House of Slytherin can further our ties and friendships with you and yours of the House of Black." At his side, Hadrian nodded in agreement, meeting Sirius's eyes without a hint of history to mar the moment.

Sirius nodded politely and replied, "As Host of the offer and Heir of the House of Black, I welcome your visit and look forward to nurturing our relationship with the House of Slytherin." Bowing again, he took the requisite single step backward and turned to leave, before hesitating and turning back with a questioning look on his face as he turned his gray eyes to Hadrian.

In response, Marvolo and Hadrian paused again and waited politely. Seeing that Sirius was having something of an internal struggle with himself, Hadrian broke the ice further and offered an amused smile. "Is there something you wish to ask me, Mr. Black?"

Finally, Sirius seemed to come to a decision. Squaring his shoulders and flushing slightly, he cringed a little as he asked the question that had been plaguing him ever since Hadrian bested him in the truth challenge that changed his life and forced him to vow – and bow – to Lord Slytherin. "Erm…yes. Yes. I …. ahem!...I must confess that I've been wondering just how you figured out that I was….um…," he tapered off in embarrassment, now flushing almost as red as James Potter, then summoned all of his Gryffindor brashness and forced out the tormenting, embarrassing question. "Hadrian, could you please tell me how you knew that I was rimming myself in my canine form?"

Snickers and giggles rippled throughout the Great Hall, and even Sirius could not help but bark a laugh at the bizarre question he had just asked. But damn it, he had to know; it was tormenting him!

All eyes turned to Hadrian, including Marvolo's, as the handsome young man considered his answer. Seconds ticked by. Finally, a charming, teasing smile crossed what Marvolo personally considered to be the loveliest face in the entire Great Hall, and Hadrian met Sirius's eyes and said clearly, "It was obvious by your manner, the way you bark your laughter, …" he paused for effect as he placed his hand in Marvolo's arm and turned to go, calling back over his shoulder in classic, Hadrian-style, "… and your constant, shit-eating grin, Mr. Black."

As they departed, Marvolo wearing a wide, white-toothed grin as he chuckled, laughter erupted in the Great Hall. It was to his credit that Sirius Black was laughing the loudest of all.


A/N2: A few typos that jar you for a moment; I'll fix them! More updates to come in all stories; not sure of order, though. Bear with me as I get back into the swing of things. For the record, the 'last prank' referred to in the 'Black Humor' section of this chapter is the side story written by Marksmom for my Schooled universe, which I will be posting next. I just need to take my crayolas out and color on it a little bit, although truth be told I could post it right now and y'all would love it.

I also want to cheer Slayer of Destiny & Marksmom for posting updates to their awesome fics and for choosing, as I have, to not sanitize their stories on FFN. The day FFN tries to mess with my stories is the last day I post here. Let's just hope the madness is over. Also, if anyone is hunting a reliable author of long, complete 'Harry gets smart and does it (or redoes it) right, check out Robst. The stories are really satisfying!

Blessed Be, y'all!