AN: Hey, kids! We are at the close here of this story, and I hope you liked it as much as you liked the first. Your reviews are the sweetest damned things.
Chapter 34: Tiebreaker
"It's coming! Holy shit! I think—Draco! Harry! Somebody! Get over here! I think my water just broke!"
"This is it," Lily told her brother with a predatory grin. The lights from the floating candles shone down on the sorting ceremony.
"There's no way in hell Hunter is a Slytherin," Aiden answered. "Me and Papa are gonna win this one."
Under the sorting hat sat Hunter Matthew Malfoy-Potter, his eyes darting around the room so he could avoid the stares.
Being the children of famous war-veteran poofs came with its downsides Hunter supposed as the bottom of his shoes tapped the floor where said poofs had stood before him. Daddy and Papa. Draco and Harry.
"You two are sick," Hugo laughed back at Hunter's sibling from a safe viewing distance.
"You come from a family with an even number of kids," Aiden told Hugo Weasley—three years his senior—as if Aiden knew it all. That was a typical Gryffindor trait, though. "Rose and you got into different houses. It's all equal and shit. With Lily here being a Slytherin and me being in the best house in the school we need a tiebreaker."
Lily rolled her eyes and bumped her hips against Aiden's side. He laughed, retaliating with a hip knock right back.
In a sort of quiet admiration, Hugo watched them and reminisced about his own sister. Rosie was off to University and Remus had retired as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher when Olivia went to University. University, University, University. That's all anybody could talk about.
His mother gently pushed him towards an academic life while his father aggressively pushed him to pursue his Quidditch skill. Hugo didn't really like either option, to be honest. He wished he could be like Lily and know what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
As evidence by her stellar first evening self-made green empire waisted dress, Miss Lily Malfoy-Potter had a passion for fashion. She learned how to sew as a little girl and had gotten free tickets to every Fashion Week and runway show in the world. Having the daughter of celebrity royalty at your event was one way to guarantee a huge turnout, after all.
People went crazy when she actually started making outfits, and they sold for extravagant amounts of money. They praised her eye for drama and glamour and her draping skills.
Public adoration, great family, lots of galleons… Lily basically got everything she wanted.
Hugo supposed he could always bum a job off of her as her personal assistant or something. He hoped he could, anyway. For some reason, he really wanted to be around Lily.
"I'm surprised your dads didn't show up with a magic camera to capture the moment," Hugo said simply so he would get out of his own head.
"They're probably hanging in the rafters," Eric half-joked and half-hoped, watching the sorting hat whisper to itself. For his fourth year, Eric had dyed his hair a shockingly bright purple.
Eric Sinclair and Aiden were attached at the hip ever since they met in first year. Born into a conservative family, Eric was a rebellious gay kid who never had a chance until he met his new friend from wizarding school's parents. Draco and Harry had for all intents and purposes become his replacement parents.
This was the first summer he'd spent with the Malfoy-Potter family, returning to school with a renewed confidence.
Aiden snickered. Eric was hilarious. Eric was so cool. Eric had such nice hair.
Not in gay way! No, his dads were the gay ones. He liked women. All sorts of women. Lots of women who flirted with him across the tables in the Great Hall. Aiden wasn't gay. He so totally wasn't gay because he was straight because his parents were gay. Right?
He shook his head and looked away from the way Eric's fluorescent hair looked resting against his pale skin, like a purple mist sweeping across him and forever cloaking him.
Eric would change it to a deep sea blue halfway through that year and Aiden would drown in it.
"Why is it taking so long?" he asked after a moment.
Lily had seen this before. "It means the hat is having a hard time sorting him. Poor thing." Hunter was more sensitive than most.
Only in books had Hunter read about embarrassment like this. The whole room—first years, seventh years, professors—was fixated on him. "I don't care which house," he said under his breath to the hat. "Just put me in one."
"Oh, but think of the possibilities," the old leather hat marveled. "In Slytherin you may find a path to greatness as your sister and your father did. Or, you may take the route of your other father and your elder brother. Heritage does matter in these decisions, but…"
"But?" Hunter's face was turning as red as Hugo Weasley's hair. It was a sharp contrast to his own dirty blonde hair.
"But you're not like them."
"I am so!" he defended immediately in a hushed tone.
The hat laughed above him, ruffling his hair. "You are, but you're not. You have their curiosity and their inner strength, but you prefer a quieter life."
Next to the struggling boy on his chair, Minerva shifted on her feet with a sense of patience. She'd been stuck between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor for a solid five minutes when she was sorted and her hair was still red.
"Who's the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?" Hugo asked when he saw the woman sitting in her high-back chair.
"Dunno. Some expert in breaking home protection wards from the Ministry," Aiden said. He'd picked up that much gossip on the train ride over. "Not sure what her name is, though."
"Something with a 'B'," Eric recalled from his conversation with a third year Christina Creevey. "Burning… Burden… Something."
"Ravenclaw!" the hat announced with his usual grand air about himself.
"What?" Lily gasped. According to the Malfoy-Potter family, there were only two houses in the old Scottish castle. Her brother's response was just to open his mouth in indignation.
Hugo was wildly amused. "Serves you both right."
"The response to the owl back home should be framed," Eric suggested. "That way you can always capture the beauty of the moment where Ravenclaw changed the course of history."
Aiden shook his head. "No. Unacceptable. Lily, owl our dads. They need to adopt another kid to break the tie. I mean, the world has to know whether Gryffindor or Slytherin is the better house in the end. This is serious science stuff."
"Wow, that sounds so important," she teased as she watched her littlest brother be accepted into a flock of blue robes and smiling faces.
"It is!" Aiden argued even though he knew it was entirely futile. Once Lily made up her mind about something it was Mission Impossible trying to change it.
The next witch, a dark-skinned girl with a long braid trailing down her back, was quickly sorted into Slytherin and the ceremony continued without further ado.
"Push!" Harry told Grace like he'd seen on telly.
Propped up on about a small army of pillows, Grace squeezed his hand even tighter in an attempt to disrupt his circulatory system. She really, really did not want to take orders right now. "You push!" she countered, officially out of witty or snappy things to say while giving birth.
"You push!" she yelled again, head tipping back as she entered her fifth hour of labor. "You do it!"
"Uh." Harry couldn't really take that responsibility into his hands. "Okay, okay. I'll push." He cast a helpless look to Draco on the other side of the hospital bed. Alas, he was too busy actually delivering their bundle of joy to be preoccupied with Harry's concerns.
"I mean it!" she growled. "I swear to fucking Merlin's fucking balls I fucking mean it." Grace deteriorated as time went on in every sense of the word, her sentences growing more profane and shorter still.
"Okay! Okay, uh, I'm pushing!" Harry, The Boy Who Lived, told her.
Grace let out a frustrated cry.
"It could be worse," Lily reminded Aiden. "He could be in Hufflepuff."
The dark-haired boy snorted. "Yeah, that's true. Daddy would have a conniption."
"When isn't daddy having a conniption?" she reminisced lovingly.
"You and your boyfriend going to head up to Gryffindor tower?" she asked. Lily figured she would at least talk with Hunter first, give him the big sister kisses and the whole embarrassment spiel in front of his cool new friends.
Aiden turned bright red. "He's not my boyfriend!"
"Sure." Lily gave him a sisterly kiss on the cheek. She would have to pass Hunter on his way up to the Ravenclaw commonroom anyway while she journeyed down into the dungeons.
Lily walked in her confident strut—like she was on the runway herself—past a group of fifth year boys who were doing all they could to not leer. They knew they'd get a smack-down if Lily saw them staring at her hemline again. Lily was a force to be reckoned with when she caught the unworthy trying to undress her with their eyes.
After them came a group of Gryffindor girls in the year before her to whom she politely waved even though she found them wildly annoying. They were the sort who clung around to the highest branch on the social ladder at school until they eventually wore them down and became a part of the in-crowd themselves.
They clearly underestimated Lily's tolerance for annoyance. As the only woman in the Malfoy-Potter house, she had to deal with quite a bit of annoyance in her lifetime.
The next person she passed was much more tentative in approaching her.
In the spirit of a warm Hogwarts welcome, she gave the new professor who was hanging around outside of the main entrance a smile. "Hullo."
"Hullo," she replied, a little surprised Lily had spoken to her. "Seventh year, right?"
Lily lingered there for a moment. "Yup. You only get me for a year, and once you see my test scores you will regret that fact immediately. The secret to my passing has been my Uncle Remus giving me some much-needed tutoring.
Grace smiled. "He tutored me when I was back in school. I'll try and channel his patience, hm?"
"I don't know," Lily grinned. She liked it when teachers had a sense of humor. "I think I'm going to fail any Defense class taught by someone I'm not related to."
"You'll pass," Professor Burbage said with an enigmatic smile. "You'll definitely pass."
"Erm. Alright, good luck, then. See you around?"
Lily rejoined Angela in the hall for their last first night together at Hogwarts, leaving Grace in the dust of her wave of general fabulosity. There was never a question in Grace's mind about telling Lily who her mother was—Lily just didn't need to know that.
Though Grace had to say, she really was looking forward to parent-teacher night. She'd have to tell Draco and Harry about how she was the one who whipped the Malfoy-Potter girl into shape in Defense Against the Dark Arts.
When Grace was done with her, Lily would be the next in the Potter line to slay a Dark Lord before her nineteenth birthday.
AN: Onto the high school AU!