Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or settings mentioned in this story. This is a non-profit fanfiction, and all named characters and settings are the copyrighted property of J.K. Rowling.
After a good night's sleep, Draco felt nearly back to normal. Hadrian was worse off, though. He'd had many more injuries, after all.
"Four broken ribs, a fractured ankle, a little bit of a concussion, numerous scratches and bruises, moderate blood loss, and being put under two Cruciatus Curses on top of all that," Madam Pomfrey muttered to herself as she checked Hadrian's injuries. "Just what on earth were you thinking when you went up against You-Know-Who alone?"
Hadrian scratched his head sheepishly. "I wasn't really thinking at all," he admitted with a grin.
"That's right you weren't," Madam Pomfrey said, unwrapping the most of the bandages from Hadrian's body. "If I weren't here, who knows how long it could've taken you to finally be fixed up."
"Thanks, Madam Pomfrey. All my bones and everything are fine now," Hadrian said gratefully, opening and closing his hands and moving his arms. "All my scratches are healed as well. I don't know what I'd do without you."
Madam Pomfrey huffed. "Your bones may be fixed, but that minor concussion of yours is a serious problem. You said that your forehead hurt when you touched Professor Quirrell? Well, that's simply abnormal, since I can't see any evidence of markings or scars on your head. I must simply assume that it's a side effect from coming into contact with such strong evil magic. You'll have to keep that bandage around your head for some time to come."
Hadrian rolled his eyes. "That's fine, Madam Pomfrey," he said, "But can Drake and I please go down to the feast now? We promised our friends, and we're already late enough as it is. Everybody'll be down already."
Madam Pomfrey sighed in defeat. "Very well," she allowed with a faint smile. "Just don't do anything that'll hurt your head!"
Entering the Great Hall, Hadrian and Draco saw that it was decked out in the Gryffindor colors of red and gold to celebrate Gryffindor's wining the House Cup. A huge banner showing the Gryffindor lion covered the wall behind the High Table. When Hadrian and Draco walked in there was a sudden hush, and then everybody started talking loudly at once.
"Decoration's a little off, don't you think?" Hadrian asked Draco, feeling uncomfortable being surrounded with so much red and gold. It was oppressive.
"Nothing we can do about it now, Hades," Draco said with a sigh. Walking into the great hall, they were suddenly pinned with hundreds of pairs of eyes, all staring and scrutinizing them.
"It seems we've either reached a new low in the eyes of the other students, or we've regained our popularity," Draco commented, seeing all the stares being fixed on the two of them as they made their way to the Slytherin table.
"I'd prefer to think of it as we've done something to cause undue notice again," Hadrian snickered. As they slipped into two open seats opposite Pansy and Blaise, a few people even stood up and looked at them. "Rather frightening, how fast public opinion changes, huh? Just last week they were doing their best to insult and ignore us."
"Oh the fickleness of the public's favor," Blaise lamented dramatically, hearing Hadrian's complaint. "And oh, the hardships of the ones being admired!" Hadrian and Draco dissolved into giggles.
"You're just jealous," Draco said.
"Hadrian, is your head okay?" Pansy asked worriedly, eyeing the bandage still wound around his head, his dark hair sticking out above it.
He shrugged. "It's as fine as it'll ever be. Don't see why everybody's making such a fuss about it. It probably only hurt 'cause I suddenly got a headache or something."
Dumbledore arrived moments later, the babble dying away with the appearance of the Headmaster.
"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully, taking his place at the podium in front of the Head Table. "And I must trouble you with an old man's wheezing waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were… you have the whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts…"
"There you go, Blaise. Now you have an excuse if you forget any of the spells we covered this year," Hadrian whispered. He dodged the grape Blaise sent flying his way.
Dumbledore was still talking. "Now, as I understand it, the house cup here needs awarding, and the points stand thus; in fourth place, Slytherin, with three hundred and forty three points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and eighty seven; Ravenclaw has four hundred and six and Gryffindor, four hundred and seventy two."
A storm of cheering and stamping broke out from the Gryffindor table. Among them the loudest were the Weasley twins, even setting off some miniature fireworks from the ends of their wands. Ron Weasley was also cheering, and Hermione, who neither Hadrian nor Draco had spoken much to since their fall from grace at the beginning of the second semester, was looking pleased. No doubt she'd helped earn many of those points herself.
"Yes, yes, well done, Gryffindor," Dumbledore said. "Your achievements have been noteworthy indeed. However, recent events must be taken into account."
The room went very still. As one, all eyes slowly turned to Draco and Hadrian.
"Ahem," Dumbledore cleared his throat. "This has taken great deliberation on the part of all the Professors. Some thought that points should not have been given, seeing that the nature of the accomplishment was against the rules in the first place, but we teachers as a whole decided that it would be unfair not to give credit where it's due. This is not, I must say, an excuse to start breaking school rules whenever you feel like it. It is simply congratulations to those students who have demonstrated outstanding qualities against impossible odds. I wish all of you to keep that in mind."
Everyone in the hall was quiet, listening with rapt attention. "That said, I have a few last-minute points to dish out. Let me see. Yes…"
The entire room took a collective breath and held it. Hadrian and Draco were no exception.
"First – To Ms. Pansy Parkinson…"
The room seemed to deflate. When it appeared that the points weren't going to Draco and Hadrian after all, most of the students lost interest. Pansy, on the other hand, went rigid in her seat, her smile fixed in place. "What?" she asked nervously. "Why me? What did I do?"
As if answering her question, Dumbledore said, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but even more so to stand up to our friends. For the demonstration of great care and responsibility, I award her ten points."
There were some claps, a cheer here and there from the Slytherin table, but other than that there wasn't much of a reaction. Ten points didn't matter at all; they'd hardly changed the scores. Slytherin was still in last place, only with ten more points than before.
"Second – To Mr. Draco Malfoy…"
The room went still, the tension almost visibly rising. This was what everybody had been waiting for. Draco clenched his hands. Hadrian turned and gave him a wink, and Draco answered with a small smile.
"… for the courage and determination to follow his best friend and brother no matter how dangerous the situation, for the loyalty he has shown to his loved ones, and for the best-played game of chess Hogwarts has seen in many years, I award Slytherin house sixty points."
Draco gasped. Sixty points. It had bumped Slytherin up to second place, with four hundred and thirteen points. "Yeah!" Hadrian cheered, slapping Draco on the back. "Drake, you got us sixty points in one go! Nice one! We're up by seventy points!"
Slytherin cheers nearly raised the bewitched ceiling; the stars overhead seemed to quiver. Blaise was laughing at the expression on Draco's face, and Pansy was screaming with excitement, dabbing her tears with a lace handkerchief.
"'For the loyalty he's shown to his loved ones'?" Draco repeated tonelessly. "What does that mean? It makes me sound like a bloody simpleton."
Hadrian shrugged. "That's Dumbledore for ya. He's completely off his rocker, with all his mumblings about love. No wonder Father doesn't think much of the man."
At last, there was silence again.
"Third – to Mr. Hadrian No-Last-Name…" The room went deadly quiet. "For pure nerve and outstanding courage, and the resolve to protect his family even in the face of great temptation. For choosing the light instead of the darkness, I award Slytherin house…"
A collective intake of breath from everybody in the room, including the Professors. Severus, though still remaining impassive, fixed his stare directly on Dumbledore, waiting for the results.
A moment of silence while all the students tried to take in the news, while others mentally calculated how many points Slytherin now had.
"Sixty plus sixty plus ten is a hundred and thirty," Hadrian muttered. "So that's three hundred and forty three plus a hundred and thirty, which equals…"
He looked up suddenly, meeting Draco's eyes. "Four hundred and seventy three!" they shouted together. "We've beaten Gryffindor by one point! We've beaten Gryffindor! We get the House Cup!"
Hearing them, the rest of the students buzzed, passing the new Slytherin score around to anybody who hadn't heard. And then the cheers began.
Someone standing outside the Great Hall might well have thought some sort of explosion had taken place, so loud was the noise that erupted from the Slytherin table. Though the Slytherins were usually composed and elegant in their actions, none of the Slytherins could resist standing up and screaming for all they were worth. Slytherin had won the House Cup, maintaining their record of winning it for the seventh year in the row now. They'd managed to keep their undefeated record, at the last second at that. Flint could be heard yelling down the table about the two brats on his Quidditch team that'd saved the day, proudly banging his goblet on the table and adding to the noise.
Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw were quiet, giving some polite clapping to the Slytherin's exuberance. They were disappointed that Slytherin's record hadn't been broken, but it didn't concern them overly much. The Gryffindors, however, were completely silent. Weasley especially couldn't have looked more stunned, as if he'd just had the body-bind curse placed on him. The prize had just been stolen from the lion's jaws. Literally.
"Which means," Dumbledore called over the storm of Slytherin cheers and Gryffindor groans, "We need a little change of decoration."
He clapped his hands. In an instant, the red hangings became emerald and the gold became silver; the huge Gryffindor lion vanished and the proud snake of Slytherin took its place. McGonagall was shaking Severus' hand with a tight smile on her lips. Hadrian caught Severus' eye, and Severus gave him a slight nod, which was the most indication of approval the man ever made. Hadrian beamed, turning back to his friends and celebrating the end of the year. It was one of the best nights of Hadrian's life, and he would never, ever forget it.
With all the uproar over their endeavor down the trapdoor and their confrontation with Quirrell and Voldemort, Hadrian and Draco hardly had time to consider the exam results that were still to come. But come they did.
To nobody's surprise, both Hadrian and Draco got the exact same marks, at the top of their year. Hermione obviously came second. Even Crabbe and Goyle managed to scrape through somehow, although Hadrian strongly suspected it was due to Pansy's merciless tutoring. The two boys had had to endure hours of study under Pansy's watchful eye, and were smacked on their heads if their attention ever wavered. Pansy had even forbid them from eating until they were able to memorize the entire list of dates and names of the Goblin Revolution for History of Magic.
And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, a mountain of forgotten stale cupcakes was found under Goyle's bed and eaten by Crabbe and him so as not to let it go to waste; notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays; Hagrid was there to take them down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake; they were boarding the Hogwarts Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier as they sped past Muggle towns.
Pulling into Platform Nine and Three Quarters at King's Cross Station in London, Hadrian and Draco got off the train, their trunks and owl cages floating along obediently behind them; their last chance to use magic until they returned to Hogwarts that fall. Severus had told them that this year, now that they've started school, they would be staying with the Malfoys for the summer while Severus himself stayed at Hogwarts, unwilling to go through the trouble of going from Hogwarts back to his home and then back to Hogwarts again now that Hadrian already saw him every day at school.
Meeting Narcissa and Lucius on the Platform, Narcissa enveloped them both in a warm hug. "I'm so glad you two are safe," she said simply. "You made me worry."
Hadrian and Draco hugged her back, smiling happily. "We're back, Mother," they said, kissing her on either cheek.
Lucius looked down at them proudly. "First in your year, I hear," he proclaimed. "Well done."
People jostled all around them as they moved towards the gateway out of Platform Nine and Three Quarters. Most of the students had met their families and would be leaving for their homes through Muggle London, but Lucius and Narcissa would be taking Hadrian and Draco directly home by Apparition. It was beneath their dignity to be forced to walk on the same streets as Muggles, after all.
"Bye, you brats," Flint called, pushing his way through the crowd to reach the gate. "You better keep your flying in top shape over the summer, or else I'm gonna replace you both!"
"See you, Hades, Draco!" Terence and Miles Bletchley waved. "And don't listen to Flint. He actually likes you two a lot, only he's too shy to admit it."
Many others called out to them, waving and smiling, wishing them a happy summer. "Quite famous, aren't you?" Lucius remarked with raised eyebrows, seeing all the people that called out to Draco and Hadrian.
"Could you expect any less?" Draco asked smugly.
Pansy and Blaise rushed up. "Goodbye, Hadrian, Draco!" Pansy exclaimed, giving them both a big hug. "I can't believe first year's already over! We're going to be second years soon!"
"Pansy's been in hysterics," Blaise said with a roll of his eyes. "Must be heartbroken at the thought of leaving you for the whole summer, Hadrian."
Pansy blushed furiously and whacked Blaise on the head, screaming at him that he was wrong. Hadrian laughed. "Don't worry, Pansy. Draco and I are gonna miss you both as well."
"You two are welcome to visit us any time," Narcissa said to Blaise and Pansy. "We'll always welcome you. I'm sure Hadrian and Draco would be glad to have you two over as well."
Blaise bowed and Pansy curtseyed. "Thank you, Mrs. Malfoy," they said respectfully.
"Nonsense," Narcissa said, "Be sure to invite your parents as well. I would so love to have a tea party during the summer."
Waving goodbye to their two friends, who disappeared in the mob to find their own parents, Hadrian and Draco took Lucius and Narcissa by the hands. Turning back one last time to look at the scarlet train engine that had brought them back, they smiled at each other.
"Ready?" Lucius asked them.
Draco grinned. "One."
"Three!" Hadrian yelled. Narcissa laughed, and without another backwards glance, they were gone.
Author's Note: Last chapter! Yay! Finally, this story's finished. Special thanks to BloodyRose90; you've been so positive and supportive! Plus you reviewed almost all the chapters :P Thank you! Thanks to everyone who reviewed as well. I got way more than I expected. There've been a lot of people asking about a sequel, and I'm actually thinking of writing one. I just haven't done so yet... Author Alert me or something if you want to know when the sequel comes out :) It'll most likely be called 'The Slytherin Heir' or something like that. Okay, I just can't resist putting 'The End' down below. I know it's cheesy, but still. It's the end!