Sorry for the delayed update I was a bit busy yesterday with some guests...at any rate enjoy this chapter, and remember that more reviews means quicker update!
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Harry found that for the first time in his school career what he had always assumed to be his inability to learn was false. He didn't exactly know what to say when he was brought up to the headmaster's office and told that his marks for the semester were above average.
"You want me to be head boy?" He said stunned into silence. Headmaster Dippet smiled at his shock.
"I'm not exactly supposed to tell you this Mister Black but your test scores for the year have already reached me. You have E's in every subject you took this semester." Harry stared at the man in shock.
"I do?" He said cocking his head to the side. "But what about potions I'm rubbish at potions surely there must be a mistake-" Dippet was chuckling and shaking his head.
"Perfect scores Hadrian, in fact our potions master has even written a note suggesting that you might want to take a Mastery Course in your future, and I know old Foxtrot, he wouldn't write something like that unless he meant it." The headmaster said. Harry frowned slightly. He supposed he had studied quite a bit more this semester than he ever had in his own time. There were no grand adventures to take up his time and Quidditch was something he and Ron shared, he couldn't quite play without him. There had been plenty of time to just sit quietly and pursue whatever topic caught his attention. Of course there was also his habit of reading ahead, he'd started it in his fourth year when things began getting hectic, Hermione had suggested that he go ahead and study when he could in case he landed himself in the hospital wing again. Harry leaned back and nodded slowly, if anything it would be his own passive aggressive way of getting back at Snape for all those times he'd told Harry that he was useless.
He could prove himself.
Without the distraction of a war he could become a far better person. This was his time; Voldemort couldn't steal this away from him.
"Do you think Professor Foxtrot would mind tutoring me privately next year?" Harry asked softly. The headmaster's eyes flashed and a small smirk played about his lips.
"I'm sure he'd be delighted, as am I, you are finally beginning to show some ambition Hadrian, I see great potential in you." He said smiling. Harry ducked his head as a blush spread across his cheeks. He wasn't used to being complimented academically. He wished Hermione were here, she'd be so proud of him. His smile faded a bit as his mind turned to another person who was here in this time, who would be proud of him.
Briefly he entertained the idea, he could remember Mr. Weasley's beaming pride when Ron had gotten his head boy badge- secretly he'd been jealous of Ron.
"The end of the year feast is never really important you know, and I doubt anyone would notice that you had gone home early." The old headmaster said slyly. Harry stared at the man for a moment before climbing to his feet.
"May I use your floo headmaster?" He said decisively. The headmaster's gaze softened.
"Of course, however in return I expect you to sign this." He said holding out a scroll. Harry frowned and reached for the scroll opening it carefully. "I believe I mentioned that professor Foxtrot does not make compliments lightly, a summer under his tutelage will have you well prepared for the hardships of the masters program." He said smirking. Harry felt the edges of his lips twitch.
"This seems like a high price for a floo trip." Harry said staring down at the parchment in wonder.
"I'm lending you my potions master mister Black." He said handing Harry a quill. Harry smirked and scanned the parchment once more before setting it on the desk and signing his name.
"If I may ask headmaster, why are you going so far for my sake?" Harry asked hesitantly as the scroll shimmered magically.
"You are wise beyond your years, you have seen the cruel realities of this world and you know how to survive them, I see great potential in you mister Black. I think we can expect to see great things from you." He said flicking his wand at the parchment and handing a copy to Harry. "Don't waste that opportunity." He warned grimly. Harry accepted the scroll and nodded slowly. "The powder is in the pink dish." The headmaster said inclining his head slightly. Harry nodded and made his way to the fireplace feeling slightly overwhelmed. It hadn't been the first time he'd heard those words…
We can expect great things from you mister Potter…
He shook his head dispelling the images of milky white eyes and stepped through the fire calling out his destination. As usual the world spun around him in a violent storm leaving him off balance and nearly throwing him from the fireplace and into the floo room. Almost immediately an elf appeared looking frantic.
"Master Hadrian sir! Oh Godsies is being glad to see yous sir! The master is under attack sir-" Harry felt his heart stutter to a halt.
"Where?" He cut the elf off. "Never mind take me to him." He demanded holding out his hand while his other reached for his gun. The elf grabbed his hand and Harry felt the dizzying sensation of elf transportation before he was suddenly standing in the drawing room where several men were standing their wands raised and pointed-
Harry felt a wave of calm fall over him.
"Hadrian no!" His finger froze and in the haze of his mind he watched two of the three men fall dead. The third turned his wand but Harry moved swiftly. In an instant he was across the room knocking the wand away and twisting the man's arms pulling them violently from their sockets drawing a shout from the man.
"Now do you want to tell me what this is all about little man or do you want to find out how slowly I can kill you?" He growled.
"Hadrian please! Let him go! It's Arcturus!" Harry went still and looked up at Lord Black. It was the first time that Harry truly noticed his age; he looked so old, so feeble. They had no way of protecting themselves. Then he noticed that Lord Black was clutching his arm to his chest, and that the skin on his hand was burnt badly. He noticed that Hester was staring straight ahead her eyes unseeing where they were usually so clever.
"How could you?" Harry whispered. "You've had everything you could ever want." He whispered to Arcturus. "You've never known what it means to starve, to beg for food, everything has simply been given to you, your father, your mother, they love you and they are alive you've never sat in the dark and wondered…just wondered what it would be like to be loved rather than hated. Yet you do this…how-how cruel." He released Arcturus and took a step back from the man in disgust. "You are a monster." He hissed. He turned and helped Hester into a chair and then Lord Black. "Elf! A burn salve!" He demanded before carefully rolling back the sleeve to examine the damage. He lifted his wand and slowly began to chant.
Healing was something that everyone had to learn in his time, Hermione made a point of finding the useful spells and drilling them all until she announced that they could probably take a healer's exam and pass. Harry had hated it though, because he knew he would have to use it, and he could imagine how many times. And he had used that knowledge until he could perform the spell flawlessly. He watched the dead flesh fall away painlessly before the new flesh began to take root, speed the rate of muscle tissue regrowth then skin cells. The arm would be badly burnt though, the skin raw, but nothing that a burn salve couldn't fix up in a matter of hours.
"Master Hadrian!" The elf squeaked as it appeared holding out the salve. Harry conjured fresh bandages before smoothing the salve on and wrapping the arm. Her reached in his pocket and pulled out a numbing potion he had on hand before giving it to Lord Black and turning to Lady Black.
"What did you do to her?!" Harry demanded turning his sharp eyes on Arcturus who's hood had fallen his eyes blazing as he glared at Harry.
"He cast a nightmare curse on her Hadrian." Lord Black whispered softly. "He was going to kill me and make it look as though she was the one that did it in a fit of madness." He whispered. Harry felt his throat go dry. "There is nothing that can be done Hadrian…she is lost to us…such a brilliant mind, lost." And then it was clear that a part of Lord Black was lost as well.
"You leave with your life only because it is what your father wishes." Harry said darkly. "Elf, take him home." Harry whispered numbly. A moment later the elf disappeared.
"I will evict him from the wards; Arcturus Septimus Black is no longer welcome in the Black ancestral home. My grandson Orion will replace him in my will; Arcturus will receive nothing from me, nothing." Lord Black said softly as he regained his stiff posture. Harry nodded and turned to the two bodies. He flicked his wand twice and made the bodies disappear without a trace as though they had never been there. "That is a very dark trick." Lord Black mused.
"Is it?" Harry said frowning slightly. Hermione had given him a dark spell to use? Well, he supposed none of them were really 'light' after what they'd been through. "I didn't know." He said frowning. Lord Black nodded and his grim expression softened.
"My dear Hadrian you are at times so innocent that I cannot believe you capable of doing what I just witnessed you doing. You just killed two men and it did not effect you which tells me that it is not the first time that you've had to use a gun, in fact it tells me that you've killed many people and yet that you were not corrupted by their deaths. You are still somehow innocent, like a child that never knew any better, you can't punish a child for doing something that they don't know is wrong." He said shaking his head.
"I know it's wrong to kill." Harry said softly. "I know that it is a horrible thing to kill, but I will do it if I have to and I will regret only that a life has been wasted." Harry said grimly. "These men were corrupt, but they might have had a family, people that will mourn them, and that is why I regret having to kill them. Because there are others, people that did nothing to deserve the loss they will suffer." He said staring at the empty spot where two unknown men had fallen.
"I take everything I said back, you are like a man who has seen far too much in his youth, you are old before your time, this world has made you old and I am sorry Hadrian, I am so sorry that I was not able to prevent that from happening." Lord Black said wearily. Harry shook his head.
"If I hadn't led the life I led I wouldn't have been able to act the way I needed to in order to save your life." He said slipping his gun away.
"Which brings me to my next point." Lord Black said frowning. "How is it that you are here? Tonight is the leaving feast is it not?" He said tilting his head to the side. Harry blanched and fiddled nervously with the hem of his shirt.
"Yes well…the headmaster allowed me to come back early…well it's not really important now, we should call for a healer to look Hester over-"
"Hadrian." Lord Black said dryly. Harry winced and reached into his pocket pulling out the scroll.
"Well you see…he allowed me to come early so that I could tell you that well…well I've been made head boy for next year. It turns out that I received Exceeds Expectations in all my courses and well…er…yeah professor Foxtrot thinks I should get a mastery in potions and he's agreed to tutor me privately over the summer…" He trailed off his face bright red as he stared down at his shoes. Lord Black held the scroll in his hands for a long moment.
"And so…and so you rushed over, to tell me?" The man said hope in his voice. Harry scratched the back of his head nervously.
"I thought- well I always thought…that if I had a dad…I would have wanted to make him proud, I didn't before and I never did anything that would have made him proud anyway but this time I did…it was something I did, not just luck and well I-" Suddenly a wide grin was spread across Lord Black's face and Harry was startled to see tears in his eyes.
"Oh my dear boy we must celebrate this! My son head boy!" He said gleefully.
"Well er no one is supposed to know yet technically." Harry said feeling shy, a bigger part of him though swelled with joy. Someone was proud of him for something he had accomplished, something that had nothing to do with Voldemort or his being the 'chosen one' it was just him, just Harry.
"Of course of course you shy boy but you've done this old man proud tonight! Oh I know I know, in honor of this achievement I'll have a lab put into your building in Knockturne how does that sound eh?" Harry didn't know what to say.
"That's a bit much for good grades…" He tried.
"Nonsense I'll not hear of it!" Lord Black said looking suddenly serious. "You saved my life today son, and you've worked hard to achieve these kinds of results, I'll not let such things go unrewarded. If it hadn't been for you arriving then the Black family fortune would have gone to Arcturus and he would have brought the Ancient and Noble house of Black to its knees. You've done more than you think Hadrian, more than I can ever hope to repay you for. Please, let me do these things for you?" He said settling his good hand on Harry's shoulder. Harry was humbled by what the man had said, he hadn't thought that is actions might have saved the Black family name. He nodded reluctantly. "Very good, now I must ring a healer, I believe I've found my wife in a poor state, probably opened a cursed book while doing her research, such a shame." Lord Black said grimly. "Such a shame." He said again his dark eyes darker than before.
As Harry looked at the glazed over eyes of one of the most brilliant women he'd ever had the privilege of meeting he decided that he had to agree. It was a shame, such a shame.