Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; February 1945
It had been Professor Slytherin’s idea. Every other Friday, Dark Arts Professor Marvolo Slytherin, Defense Professor Abraxas Malfoy and Potions Professor Tobias Prince held two, three-hour long, combined classes for their seventh year students. The purpose of the classes was to teach the students to integrate their learning. It gave them a solid foundation that would have, it was hoped, kept them alive longer should they ever have been confronted by Gellert Grindelwald’s hitwizards.
That concern was now moot, as the only time Grindelwald entered Great Britain as a Dark Lord, apparating himself and his Elite into Diagon Alley in a violent Declaration of War, Albus Dumbledore and Marvolo Slytherin immediately united to end the threat. They made a terrifyingly efficient team. Their respective political parties obeyed their leaders and joined their own efforts, attacking the Elite while Dumbledore and Slytherin dealt with Grindelwald.
Afterwards, they sent the smoldering remains of the Elite and the …. newly retired… former Dark Lord Grindelwald back into the midst of the remainder of Grindelwald’s forces. The message from Wizarding Great Britain was clear, and it was now understood throughout the world that the two political powerhouses in WGB had no problem standing together to repel any and all threats to their nation and their people. This fact had surprised some, as there was always a subtext of violence in the dichotomy that simmered between the rigidly Light Phoenix Party and the Dark/Neutral Vol de Mort Party. The hostilities were mostly reserved for the political arena, however, as each of the parties had large percentages of well-trained wizards and witches.
When testifying during the subsequent ICW (International Confederation of Wizardry) session, both the Lord Phoenix and the Lord Vol de Mort made an excellent point. Each of their political parties was named for the ability to overcome death, the greatest obstacle of all. Why would they not be able to overcome every other challenge that came their way?
On this cold day in February, the afternoon’s combined class had settled into the remaining thirty minutes or so of simple interaction with each other. The three professors had made it mandatory that their students use this time each week to talk with members of other houses, feeling that it was important for them to learn to interact with and understand even those people who upheld the opposite of their individual ideals. Thus, Slytherins and Gryffindors were gathered in small, tense little groups that stiffly discussed such important topics as their hopes for menu items at dinner and fashion. The three professors had settled watchfully at the counter that ran along the front of classroom and quietly conversed under a privacy shield. That Malfoy and Prince were being given orders by their old friend and political leader was of absolutely no importance at all.
Into the widespread quiet discussion came three, firm knocks on the classroom door. Briefly surprised, Professor Slytherin called out in his distinctive baritone, “Enter!” Everyone turned to look, glad for a break from their stilted conversations, as the door slowly opened and the distinctive, tousled black hair and bright green eyes of the Ravenclaw embarrassment, Hadrian Morgan, came into view.
Hadrian Morgan was a seventh year transfer student. What was known about him was that he had been raised in a muggle orphanage in the poorer part of London, placed there at age three when his mother, Rowena Morgan, died suddenly. He was the illegitimate child of one of the Potters, and despite the general distaste most people felt for Hadrian, the fact that the House of Potter had left a wizarding child to rot in muggle hell and denied the boy his right to inherit was not well received by the populace. House Potter had also prevented the boy from receiving his Hogwart’s letters, leaving him to the mercies of the muggle public school system. It was only the boy’s own efforts in researching his odd abilities and in training himself that had brought him to the attention of the Ministry of Magic and led to his transfer into Hogwarts.
Despite his general scruffiness and painful shyness, Hadrian had at least earned the respect of the professors and most of his House through the fact that he had somehow managed to train himself beyond the average level of a seventh year through the use of logic, observation, extrapolation and a truly laudable amount of self-discipline. Despite having had little to no access -- or so it was believed -- to any actually useful books or resources on magic for most of his life, the young man had slotted easily into the seventh year curriculum and was always seen in the library or writing quietly in one of numerous journals. He was a published author, having begun sending in various poems, stories and research papers to both muggle and wizarding publishing companies, and it was the small income he earned from these publications that allowed him the few galleons he could spend on himself.
Nevertheless, Hadrian Morgan was considered something of a joke by the Gryffs and -- to a lesser degree -- the Puffs, serving as a popular target for bullying and mockery. The Gryffindors were fairly well-known for such behavior, and the Puffs mostly went along for the joy of finally having someone to bully for their very own. Hadrian never defended himself, never spoke up in class, and generally flitted about the castle like a poorly-dressed ghost. The most recent example of bullying by the seventh-year Gryffs had gotten well out of hand, resulting in Hadrian’s extended stay in the Healer’s Ward and a grand total of 25 points taken from the lions. Professor Slytherin had been furious, even more so than Hadrian’s Head of House Flitwick, at the blatant favoritism of the Headmaster (who had steadfastly maintained that the culprits did not deserve a harsher punishment because, while the joke was poorly-planned, it was not their intent to do such extreme harm to the boy). The old man’s subsequent “solution” of forcing Hadrian to interact with the Gryffindors, and they with him, by running a mandatory writing contest which would be judged by Hadrian had been badly received by the Gryffs. It was only Flitwick’s direct warning to the lions that he would personally see them cleaning up Hippogriff shit, as an appropriate analogy for what they were dispensing, that kept the lions from retaliating even further against the beleaguered boy.
Of course, the cold, ruby stare of the most powerful wizard in Great Britain may also have been a deterrent. For all that he was a snake, Professor Slytherin rather detested bullies, and would not hesitate to strike against those who treated anyone -- particularly intelligent, relatively harmless, pureblood children -- as he was treated during his youth. He did not know the lad, but given their respective childhoods, Slytherin felt a distant sort of cameraderie with Hadrian Morgan.
Hadrian’s efforts regarding the writing contest had earned him some small respect from the Slytherins, including the professors. Despite the fact that it served more as an undeserved punishment to him, Hadrian chose to use the contest as an opportunity. He had carefully structured the contest to suit the Gryffs' interests, allowing them their own choice of topic, maximum words, etc. He had even arranged to have the winning entry widely published and was offering a galleon of his own, meager funds as an award for first place. Still, the rude snickering and general air of suppressed anticipation by the seventh year Gryffindors, particularly during this last class, had been obvious and irritating. They had found some way of making the boy regret his efforts.
When the poorly-dressed Hadrian appeared in the classroom doorway, a wave of malicious snickering swept through the Gryffindors. The young man was dressed in threadbare, secondhand robes, with faded trousers and odd, muggle shoes with laces showing beneath. As always, his too-long black hair was wild and his distinctive, green eyes showed almost too brightly in the pale face. But what caught the attention of the three professors was the look of pure determination on the small face as he ignored the snickers and focused directly on the professors.
“Excuse me, professors. I was hoping you wouldn’t object to me stealing the open discussion portion of your class to hand out the results of the Gryffindor writing contest?”
Delighted giggles and whispers raced around the room at Hadrian’s words. Marvolo sent a quelling glance at the students, who immediately settled. Abraxas and Tobias watched, intrigued, as their old friend and leader stared thoughtfully at the shy young man. As always, they would follow where Slytherin led. On the surface, it seemed to be a poor idea to allow the beleaguered young man the chance for the Gryffs to have another go at him; however, at least it would be done in their presence and they could use their influence to intimidate the Gryffs into behaving.
For his part, Marvolo Slytherin had the strongest impression that young Hadrian knew exactly what he was doing. The seasoned politician dismissed all of the distracting factors of the young man’s appearance and focused instead on the body language and the expression in the bright, green eyes. After a moment, he nodded firmly and beckoned Hadrian forward, turning to the students and ordering, “Return to your seats. You will maintain decorum or accept detention with me personally.” That threat had claws; no one, not even his snakes, wanted to serve time with Professor Slytherin. His detentions were always memorable.
Students shuffled and exchanged anticipatory grins as the Gryffindors returned to the center section of tables and the Slytherins to those on the right side of the classroom. The left side of the classroom was reserved as open space for larger demonstrations. As the three professors moved to stand in front of the Slytherins, Hadrian quietly walked to the front of the room. Snickers broke out as the students realized that the young man was simply too petite to be clearly seen. Unfazed, Hadrian simply placed a hand on the counter behind him and jumped, landing easily on the marble surface. His casual grace and easy solution won momentary silence from the lions and small smiles from the Slytherins, including the professors. The three men exchanged glances, reading each other’s interest with the ease of long association, and turned to see what Hadrian would do next.
Pulling out a file folder of parchments, Hadrian shuffled through the entries for a moment as he seemed to summon his courage. Marvolo was impressed by the shy young man’s quiet strength; his reticence was well-known by the teaching staff and a portrait or two, and was attributed to the harsh life he had been forced to live amongst the dregs of muggle society. Staring at the folder in his hand, Hadrian began to speak.
“As you know, the topic of the entries was left up to each student. I asked only that you write about something you truly love, and that you write your entry in the form of a story. It seems that the topic each of you Lions love the most is graphic sex.”
Loud laughter burst forth from the Gryffindors as the professors blinked. The Slytherin students laughed a little, as well, as they realized what the Gryffs had done. They had gotten together as a group, apparently, and had each written a pornographic story, knowing that the painfully modest, shy Hadrian would be forced to read and judge each entry. It was an amusing retaliation, in a way, although taken in light of the young man’s efforts to be fair and encouraging despite his poor experiences at the hands of the seventh years, it was a testament to the churlishness of the House of Lions.
Marvolo exchanged dark looks with his two friends. This was just another example of the rampant, poor behavior of the Gryffindors. They knew that Dumbledore would let them get away with this, too, choosing as always to dismiss the bullying of other students and pat the lions on the back for their ‘creative pranking’ abilities. As far as Dumbledore was concerned, regardless of severity, the actions of 'the children' were always to be twinkled at, possibly with an admonishing slap on the wrist if it went too far. Without any need for words, the three professors agreed that they would see that the Gryffindors regretted this latest poor choice.
Their decision turned into stern resolve when Hadrian discreetly slid one of the parchments across the counter toward Marvolo. Picking it up, his scanned it, then gestured Abraxas and Tobias over to read it with him. Their expressions blanked into the perfect masks of true Slytherins, as they realized they were reading a thinly-disguised confession -- written as a sexual fantasy -- by Cormac McLaggen for an unsolved sexual assault that had occurred last year against a second-year Hufflepuff. Marvolo noncommittally placed the incriminating parchment in his inner pocket and nodded slightly at Hadrian.
McLaggen’s days of freedom were now numbered. Even if he wasn’t put into Azkaban (which was doubtful), having been a minor when committing the offense, his father was Head Auror Adam McLaggen. He was also one of Marvolo’s best men.
Curious about the young Hadrian Morgan, who had literally walked into a den of lions and snakes with his eyes wide open, Marvolo rejoined his friends and watched the black-haired young man, while the sniggering, snide laughter of the Gryffindors as they reveled in their prank rolled through the classroom.
Seated casually on the counter, Hadrian seemed unaffected by the laughter. The Slytherins found themselves feeling increasing respect for the young man’s composure, knowing how difficult this experience was for him. So far, he was comporting himself with more grace than even the properly-raised purebloods of the seventh year lions. The only one of the Gryffindors who was not sharing elbow jabs and knowing looks was Neville Longbottom, who seemed uncomfortable and embarrassed at the behavior of the members of his House.
Hadrian looked up with a slow smile, and those few Gryffindors who had any sense of situational awareness felt a small shiver of worry slide over their spines. On the right side of the class, Slytherin eyebrows quirked in interest. Unnaturally green eyes roamed over the snickering students in front of him, pausing here and there as he began to speak.
“Before I say who won this contest, I think we should go over a few of the essays first.”
The rampant sniggering abruptly ceased as the attention of sixteen Gryffindors rapidly zoomed in to focus on the composed young man. What? What did he say? Initial protests were firmly stifled by stern looks from the three professors.
“Let’s begin with Lavender Brown, shall we?” Hadrian smiled gently at the rapidly paling young woman. “Ms. Brown, your sexual fantasy involves voyeurism. I applaud your courage in speaking so openly on the topic. Let’s examine your story in more detail.” He apparently did not see the young woman’s pleading expression and frantic glances around for help. “You wrote a story in which a seventeen-year-old, blue-eyed brunette female named ‘Violet’ – that is correct, isn’t it, Lavender? Your heroine’s name is ‘Violet’?” Smirks formed on Slytherin faces as the seventeen-year-old, blue-eyed Lavender reluctantly nodded, her brunette hair sliding forward to cover her face. Hadrian relentlessly continued, “So, Lavender, ‘Violet’ here likes the idea of watching two boys have sex, and she just happens to have wandered into the boys’ bathroom in the ‘Serpent’s basement dorms’ at ‘Swineblemish School of Magic.’… interesting names, by the way.” This time, Hadrian’s smile had a little more teeth. “And during her entirely accidental journey into that bathroom, she sees two young men – one ‘Luscious Manboy’ and one ‘Sends-us King’ – engaged in a hot and heavy kiss-and-grope against the sink.”
Across the room, seventh-years Lucius Malfoy and Severus Prince began to glare at the shrinking young woman. Professor Malfoy clenched his jaw tightly in an effort to contain his grin, managing to look very stern despite his dancing eyes. Professor Prince abruptly folded his arms, digging his nails deeply into his own flesh to keep himself from snickering.
“The two ‘serpents’ then begin to … how did you put it?” Hadrian made a show of carefully reviewing the parchment in his hands. Finding the phrase he was searching for, he said, “Ah! Here it is. They then begin to ‘thrust wildly against each other’s slim but masculine bodies, rubbing their rigid erections together and…,” his eyebrows raised in faux confusion as he peered closely at the parchment, before he looked up and said dubiously, “… and they began to cry.’ How… emotional of them.” By this time, Lucius and Severus were glaring pure hatred at Lavender, and the remaining Gryffindors had frozen into the silent stillness of prey that did not want to be hunted.
Green eyes carefully inspected Lavender Brown, before a bright grin formed on the young man’s face. “Well, I won’t go into much more detail about your story, Ms. Brown.” He waited for the relief to show on her face before adding, “I’ll just summarize the rest.” Her face fell back into an expression of despair. “The remainder of this story – all ten pages of it – involves Violet masturbating repeatedly as Luscious and Sends-us hump each other in a vast number of creative ways. I thought the faucet thing particularly interesting. Also logistically nightmarish; you must be very good at puzzles, Ms. Brown. As an additional note, the number of orgasms each of the three have would truly be epic, possibly even dangerous, should it happen in real life. But that’s the joy of fiction, is it not?” He paused, clearly waiting for Lavender to reply. At her reluctant nod, he said briskly, “Well, lovely story! I salute your courage! Moving on.” The relief on her face was tempered by the humiliation she was experiencing and the fact that she was too afraid to look at any of the Slytherin students or professors.
Gryffindors remained frozen, hoping to hide in plain sight, as the parchments shuffled again. It was like muggle Russian Roulette, but the weapon was aimed at them. Not good. More than one Lion began to regret participating in this latest effort to humiliate the ugly Ravenclaw. Talk about backfire!
Sirius Black began to shake his head in rapid denial as he was abruptly fixed by a bright, green gaze. Damn it! He was the originator of the porn idea, and had known from the second Lavender was targeted exactly what Hadrian was doing. The Ravenclaw was going to target each of the main instigators of this latest prank and reveal the pornography they submitted as their official entries. He felt like Reggie must have every time he realized that Sirius had another prank planned for his little brother. Very much a target, and scared as hell. Quickly reviewing what he had submitted, his sense of doom grew.
Hadrian held the pleading gaze and smiled slowly. “Sirius Black.” Just the way the young man said his name was threatening. “Your story is autobiographical!”
Slytherins snickered as Sirius yelped, “No, it’s not. It’s just a story, about someone else!” Hadrian shook his head slowly, a darkly-amused gleam in the emerald eyes. “Now, Sirius. You declare right at the beginning, in capitals and double-underlines, that this is a story about your own experiences, and that I should picture you as I read this. Well, I'm sure you didn't mean me, personally. After all, this is a public writing contest. Only a fool would think the sole reader would be the one judging, don't you agree? You even named yourself in the prefacing statement." Hadrian dropped his eyes to skim the page, before finding what he wanted and nodding in confirmation as he read aloud thoughtfully, "Here it is. 'Be aware that this is the autobiographical accounts of the sexual exploits of me, Sirius Orion Black, known far and wide as the 'sex god of Gryffindor', and that you should be sure to picture me naked as you ...' etcetera and so forth. You then go into great detail about various sexual encounters you have had, including a foursome with all of your Marauder friends. I congratulate you on your courage … and your flexibility!” Three horrified looks were aimed at Sirius from amongst the Lions, each belonging to a fellow Marauder. The Marauders in question -- James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew -- were immediately subjected to speculative looks from everyone in the room. The worst for most of the four was the smirking observation of the Slytherins, although James Potter was personally most disturbed by the reminiscent leers he was getting from Pettigrew. Creepy.
The attention of the entire class abruptly zeroed back in on Hadrian as the young man tapped his finger on his chin and added, as if in afterthought, “Of course, I personally was most amazed by the fantasy of you getting rimmed by Professor Minerva McGonogall in her animagus form. Your vivid description of how the roughness of a cat’s tongue would send you into ‘shrieking, splashing orgasm’ was beautifully written -- very vivid -- and truly an ambitious work of sexual and literary courage, considering the renowned fierce nature of your Head of House.” Hadrian paused a moment longer, watching the mortified Marauder, before adding with impeccable timing, "Perhaps you might consider that for your epitaph?"
The disgusted silence was broken by the thunk of Sirius Black’s head as it dropped to the table, and an outburst of laughter from all of the Slytherins and even some of the Gryffindors. Professor Slytherin himself had his eyes closed and a hand firmly pressed to his mouth, arms folded as casually as possible while he tried to contain himself. Next to him, Abraxas had given up the struggle for his icy mask and was laughing into his hands at the thought of the Head of Gryffindor’s reaction to this particular bit of information and what she would do to the self-proclaimed ‘Marauder.’ Tobias wore a look of deep revulsion, an expression mirrored almost identically on the face of his son, Severus.
On the counter, Hadrian crossed his legs gracefully and patiently waited for the attention to return to him. The shuffling of the parchments in his hands did the trick admirably, as the deeply amused Slytherins and the terrified Gryffindors awaited his next revelation. Tension built as the young man quietly sifted through the papers, before finding the one he wanted and pulling it gingerly from the pile using thumb and forefinger only.
“Ronald Weasley.” The unattractive, hot-tempered redhead paled, causing his plethora of freckles to stand out like pockmarks against the pallid skin. “Mr. Weasley, given your fondness for food, I must say that I am not surprised at the details of your story.” Weasley’s eyebrows knitted in confusion. He hadn’t written about food. What was the little homo talking about? Glancing up, Hadrian considered the redhead’s look of incomprehension and said with gentle malice, “Unless, Ronald, it is simply your vocabulary, or lack thereof, that leads me to this conclusion. Tell me, Mr. Weasley, what is the French word for cheese?”
Marvolo shook his head in disgust at the youngest Weasley boy’s open mouth and blank expression. This boy was proof positive that wizarding families needed to stop having children after the first five. Beyond that, apparently neither parent had enough magic to create anything even remotely attractive or intelligent. Sadly, this boy didn’t even have a redeeming personality. The Dark Arts Professor watched with burgeoning pride as Hadrian began to twist the knife.
“Don’t know? Because you use it all throughout this story. I was incredibly disgusted, frankly. Now, I realize my mistake, however. Well, actually, I realize your mistake. Allow me to explain, Mr. Weasley. You see, you are confusing two similar words with vastly different concepts. ‘Fromage’ is cheese. ‘Frottage’ is a sexual act. Rather than writing a story about yourself engaged in an act of ‘frottage’ against your unconscious brother Charles, you instead write about the two of you doing nasty things with cheese. I beg you, learn the difference. I nearly vomited several times reading this story. And, gosh, I just can’t even imagine what Charles might say.”
By this point, both Malfoys had wide, vindictive smiles on their handsome faces. The Malfoy-Weasley feud was well-known, although in truth none of the Malfoy’s had an issue with the five older boys. They were more representative of the Prewitt’s, the maternal line of the family. But Arthur Weasley and his youngest son Ronald were cut of the same cloth, although the elder was at least somewhat leavened by age. Still, both were too stupid, too hot-tempered, too given to using fists over magic, and too easily manipulated by Albus Dumbledore. This latest attempt to seem clever by the waste of magical education that was Ronald Weasley was most amusing to the cunning and highly intelligent Malfoys.
Predictably, Ronald’s face turned puce with rage and his big hands immediately clenched into fists. Marvolo began a mental countdown, starting at three, and by the time he got to one, Weasley was on his feet and shouting. “Fuck you, Morgan! Who do you think you are, acting all smart and fancy when you’re just a poor, ugly orphan? You just can’t stand it that you’re not popular and that you have no home or friends… and no family! You’re just jealous!” At this point, the enraged redhead was breathing heavily, his mouth hanging open as he sucked in air.
Preparing to intervene, both Abraxas and Tobias paused at Marvolo’s raised hand. The man never looked away from Hadrian Morgan. Obeying their leader’s implicit command, they relaxed and waited. Watching the young Mr. Morgan, the two professors quickly understood why Slytherin had them stand down.
Calmly watching Weasley explode in rage, Hadrian’s entire posture and expression reflected how unimpressed he was. When Weasley paused, having run out of the few words he actually knew well, Hadrian simply smiled slightly and said quietly, “You are absolutely right. I am definitely jealous of anyone who has a loving family and a good home. I’m not entirely certain what that has to do with your desire for 'frere et le fromage', and I definitely feel that I would not be interested in humping against my brother should I actually have one, but since my status as a reasonably intelligent but homeless orphan seems important to you at the moment, feel free to discuss it. Go ahead; I’m sure we can all wait, although I'm sure we would all prefer that, at some point, you explain the connection between my lack of a family and your wish to fuck your own."
It finally occurred to the dimwitted redhead to look around. The frozen looks on the faces of his fellow Lions, the sneers from the Slytherins and the glare that promised retribution on the handsome face of Professor Slytherin slowly clued the dolt into the fact that he had perhaps let his mouth run away with him again. The expression on James Potter's face promised pain for bringing up Hadrian's family situation. Turning to look at the smirking, vindictive gleams of the Malfoys, Weasley abruptly swallowed and sat down heavily. Oh, Merlin, his mum was going to kill him for what he’d said. Charlie was going to kill him for what he wrote, if he ever found out. Dad was going to kill him for giving the Malfoys ammunition and for pissing off Mom and Charlie. And the twins were just going to torture him – relentlessly.
“I am so fucked,” he muttered miserably to himself. Hadrian’s prompt, “Well, that was the gist of your story, wasn’t it?” brought another round of mocking laughter. Ronald slumped into his chair and waited for the hellish class to end. He needed to eat. His face wrinkled in disgust as he hoped fervently that nothing with cheese was on the dinner menu.
His infamous appetite was unaffected by the detention Slytherin gave him for his outburst, although he was not happy that he would be helping the kitchen house elves the next time they made camembert.
Meanwhile, multiple Slytherin students were making mental notes on how to make sure that the Gryffindor table had dozens upon dozens of dishes with cheese. The smirking professors let them plot.
The restless Gryffindors stilled again, sensing the malevolent green gaze passing over them. They were each making notes to kill the primary instigators of this stupid prank. Sure, it was funny when it was only going to be the paralyzingly-shy Ravenclaw that suffered. None of them had thought for a single moment that the boy who barely spoke would be able, much less willing, to tell anyone about what they had written. They had bet that he would burn their papers, in fact, and then they could have gotten him into trouble for abandoning the writing contest. What the hell was he doing, turning the tables on them like this? Each of them flinched as the weight of the boy’s stare settled, moved, settled again. It was like being in the sites of one of those R-me snipers the Muggle Studies teacher had told them about.
Parvati Patil quivered in her chair as Hadrian’s eyes stopped, and remained, on her. Oh, Merlin. Padma was going to never let her live this down. And as she was also a Ravenclaw, she could have already learned what Parvati wrote, and if Parvati told their oh-so-traditional father ….! The pretty Gryffindor cursed herself. Father would never let her out of the house again until she was safely married.
“Miss Parvati Patil.” Her pleading look was met with an implacable stare that promised nothing good for the girl. “Tell me, Parvati, do you know what it means to ‘titter’?” She blinked at him, before hesitantly answering, “Yes, of course. It means to laugh… to giggle, I suppose.” Hadrian smiled brilliantly at her. “Excellent, Parvati! Why you aren’t in Ravenclaw with your sister, I’ll just never know!” His sarcasm was far too sharp for the duller of the Patil twins to catch.
“Parvati, to ‘titter’ is actually something like what you, Lavender and Dolores do when you get together. In fact, Dolores is the best ‘titterer’ I have ever seen. You know the sound she made when she heard that the goblins were denied the use of wands? That was ‘tittering’ – sort of a fake giggle. Understand?” Parvati nodded slowly. She didn’t like it when Dolores Umbridge tittered. It was an ugly sound, almost as bad as the girl’s endless ‘hem-hem’ing.
Hadrian smiled encouragingly as he patiently talked the girl through his point. “So, Parvati, in your story, you describe yourself giving a boy a blow job.” The girl immediately turned bright red at the snorts and sniggers that erupted in the room. “And, while on your knees, you say that you look up at the boy as you do something with your tongue – you’re fairly vague on this point – and then the boy ‘tittered’.”
“Excuse me, Parvati? I’m afraid I didn’t catch that.”
Parvati cleared her throat, staring at the table in front of her, and said more clearly, “Totters. I meant to say that he tottered. Or maybe teetered. I can't remember, 'though it's sort of the same, isn't it? Just, you know, got weak and swayed a bit, in reaction, like.” Oh, Merlin, this was so embarrassing. She would never go along with the Marauders again. Never, never, never!
Hadrian’s look of dawning comprehension would have been perfect, if he hadn’t been performing it in front of Slytherins. “OH! I understand now. Because, quite frankly, Parvati, your adamant statements at the beginning of your story that you really know how to give a good blow job left me concerned for your ego when I got to that part. After all, if a man ‘titters’ when you’re giving him a blow job, I think we can all agree that you’re doing it wrong.”
Professor Slytherin’s snort was heard clearly throughout the room. Several of his snakes were laughing so hard they made no sound at all. Based on this day’s behavior, Marvolo resolved to get the Sorting Hat to re-evaluate young Mr. Morgan. That boy was a Slytherin if ever there was one.
Hadrian let the silence build around the mortified Parvati before he sat back slightly and began to deliberately shuffle parchment again. Once more, lions froze like rabbits.
The slow, dark smile that formed on the Ravenclaw’s face struck terror in the hearts of the remaining Gryffindors. Those who had not yet been singled out exchanged frightened glances and hoped fervently that the next victim was anyone else.
“Detention, Mr. Potter. With me,” Slytherin said coolly.
The Potter Heir’s head dropped onto his folded arms as the leader of the Marauders whimpered. The three professors, along with many Slytherins (especially Severus Prince), felt the overwhelming urge to rub their hands together or make some other overt sign of gleeful anticipation. Considering that young Mr. Morgan was, in fact, the victim of the Potter family’s lack of honor, Marvolo believed it very likely that the young man had saved the best for last.
“James, you wrote about Professor Marvolo Slytherin.”
Silence landed in the classroom like a boulder. At the Gryffindor tables, wide eyes and dropped mouths seemed to be the favored expression. Remus Lupin wanted to shake James. Idiot! The cocky ‘Master Marauder’ always had to go above and beyond! Always had to take the stupidest risks! What kind of moron writes a porn story about the most dangerous man any of them knew? Especially when there was even the remotest chance of the man finding out? Lupin knew why James had done it; the boy wanted to lay claim to ‘most daring story’ and never once figured that he would get caught. By the Moon, James’ father – oh, goddess, his mother! – was going to vilify him. And if James’s parents didn’t get him, Professor Slytherin would. Life as James knew it was probably over, and judging from his friend’s face, James knew it, too.
“James, your story was thought-provoking and insightful. You wrote about how Professor Slytherin, in another universe, would actually look like a snake, would mate with snakes – you seem to prefer the idea of his familiar Nagini – and goes slowly insane from the diseases he contracts through his sexual misadventures.”
At this point, Professor Slytherin was not the only one in the room whose countenance promised painful and prolonged torture – although his was certainly the most convincing.
“Your story was interesting and unusual. Also, very gross, and possibly the basis for a lawsuit, particularly in light of the written rules of this contest involving public figures and slander, which you had to sign as a seventeen-year-old adult in order to enter.” At this, Hadrian flicked a quick glance over at the fuming Head of Slytherin, who caught the look and abruptly calmed. There had been clear intent in that rapid glance. With one of those leaps of insight that had helped make Marvolo the powerful person he was, he realized that young Hadrian was offering him a golden opportunity on a silver platter – the chance to get the Potters, who were heavy-hitters on the Phoenix Party, into his sphere of influence. At that revelation, Marvolo realized that Hadrian’s brief pause in the guise of getting more comfortable was actually a question. At the Head of Slytherin’s slight nod, Hadrian smoothly continued, watched closely by an increasingly-fascinated Marvolo and his bemused friends.
“One major issue I had with your paper was the care in which you wrote it – or, actually, the lack of care. It is rife with misspellings and badly-written sentences, particularly regarding misplaced modifiers and such. For example, James, near the beginning, you actually describe what could have been a fairly beautiful image of a tall, strong Professor Slytherin on a beach, walking into the ocean water without any care for the water as it soaks the hem of his trousers. Is that the image you wanted to convey?”
Seeing a chance for some redemption and ass-saving, James spoke up. “Yes. I wanted to show that he was powerful, and that he didn’t care about things like ruined clothes and stuff.” He nodded firmly, certain that this would help get him out of at least some of the trouble headed his way.
Hadrian merely nodded thoughtfully. “Well, James, this goes to what I was trying to explain a few days ago, about how a badly-written sentence can convey a completely different meaning. What you should have said is something like, ‘Professor Slytherin walked into the sea, disregarding the saltwater that permeated the fine linen of his trousers.’” He paused a moment, letting the tension build a bit more, then went for the kill. “What you actually said was ‘Professor Slytherin walked on the beach and wet his pants.’”
As one, the Slytherins in the room went rigid, while most of the Gryffindors looked like their eyes should pop out of their heads. Remus felt like he was having a heart attack. Sirius, oblivious as ever, was giggling. Peter looked like he wanted to cry.
Actually, so did James.
The silence built and built, heavy with the weight of the professors’ glares and the cold rage coming off of Professor Slytherin in icy waves. Finally, James raised a pleading look at Hadrian, silently begging him to do something, anything, to break the tension.
He would regret that.
Hadrian clapped his hands together, causing several students to jump, and brightly exclaimed, “So, I bet you all want to know who won the contest, right? Well, I won’t keep you in suspense….. You ALL won! Congratulations!” His joy was unfeigned.
Even the professors were confused. Up until now, young Hadrian Morgan had obtained wonderful vengeance against the seventh year Gryffindors. Why, now, would he take away from that bitter pill by rewarding them? As the boy elaborated, however, it truly was all Marvolo could do not to beam in pride. He was absolutely, positively, getting Hadrian re-sorted by dinnertime, no later.
“All right, then! First, here are your galleons. Believe me, it hurts for me to give you each a galleon; that’s a very expensive book and a few meals I’m handing over to you, you know. Still, you deserve it, and it wouldn’t be first place if you didn’t get it!”
The listening Slytherins shook their heads in pure bemusement. Hadrian was even telling them that if they didn’t take the money, they wouldn’t get first place. Talk about foreshadowing! And yet, not one of them refused the galleon, although it looked like Longbottom accepted his with resignation and resolve. The professors made mental notes to keep an eye on the heir to the Longbottom family. Even though young Neville had participated in this farce, he seemed to have more substance than his fellow Lions.
As if he heard their thoughts, Hadrian then spoke up directly to Neville, “Oh, Neville! Forgive me for neglecting you; I had set your entry aside for a special award. First, let me evaluate it for you.” The young Longbottom closed his eyes in resignation and nodded quietly. He deserved this.
He was therefore surprised at what Hadrian then said. “Neville, your story was incredible. I mean that sincerely. It was so beautifully written that I sent it to my personal publisher, and you have a meeting with him next Tuesday during your free period.”
Neville blinked at him, still thinking that he was getting his own bout of justified sarcasm from Hadrian. He must be mentally thicker than he thought, though, as he couldn’t for the life of him find the barbs in Hadrian’s words. Maybe the publisher was going to humiliate him personally?
Hadrian’s beautiful smile was genuine. “Neville, I swear to you, I’m serious.” He glanced around the room, looking mostly at the Slytherins, who would appreciate this more. “For the rest of you, Neville followed the edicts of his peers in that he wrote a sexually-oriented story. However, he wrote it about flowers and fauna. It's called 'The Transfer of Seed'. He used beautiful, descriptive analogies, such as orchids and trailing vines, and crafted a literary work of art. I have personally submitted it not just to my own publisher but also to the leading botanical publications. Neville, you are a wonderful writer, and I will never forgive you if you don’t continue writing.” His sincerity was almost painful.
Stunned, the Longbottom heir simply stared at him. Eventually, he blinked and looked cautiously at the three professors, certain that they, at least, would be glaring at him for participating. He had tried to do it in a way that wasn’t offensive to Hadrian, that would quietly acknowledge the effort the Ravenclaw had gone to, and that would address his truest interest, but he hadn’t expected this! Nevertheless, the looks of approval on the faces of Professors Slytherin, Malfoy and Prince gave credence to Hadrian’s enthusiastic testimonial.
Huh. He was going to be a published author. For botanical porn.
He huffed a laugh. Merlin, Gram was going to kill him.
After Neville’s nod of grateful acknowledgment and a promise to discuss this more in private, Hadrian’s grin darkened and the expression on his face was briefly bloodthirsty. Marvolo actually felt an erotic shiver lick up his spine. He had to get this boy into his own house. Immediately!
Unaware of the powerful wizard’s thoughts, Hadrian began the final stages of today’s itinerary. “Good. Now, as you have all submitted entries and accepted the galleons acknowledging first place, you have all automatically agreed to the remainder of the prizes as well. In fact, the second you touched your galleon, the rest of your prizes were put in place. Again, congratulations! Have a wonderful day and thank you for participating.” At that, the boy began to gather up the scattered parchments and place them back in the folder.
Immediately, the Lions began to protest. Sirius’ voice was loudest, demanding to know what else they got and when they would get it. At this, Hadrian looked up and the evil grin on his face was downright chilling. “Oh, Sirius. Lovely little lions! I promise, you will absolutely get what’s coming to you. Shall I explain?”
By now, all of the Slytherins were nodding eagerly along with the oblivious Gryffindors. Merlin, yes! They desperately wanted Hadrian to explain! This was far too good to leave the class without knowing the full extent of the boy’s revenge on the bullying Lions.
“Fine,” Hadrian practically purred. “Well, first, as per the terms I drew up for the winning contestant, you are each getting your stories published. I had intended to simply publish the winning story within one of my own papers, but really, you all deserve So. Much. More.”
Marvolo forcibly repressed the desire to cackle. It was unseemly.
“Sooooo,” Hadrian drawled, delighting in the dawning horror on the faces of every Gryffindor except Neville, who was clutching his book as he contained the desire to applaud, “each and every one of your stories is being published in The Daily Prophet, The Quibbler, and Witches Weeky. Furthermore, I have sent copies to the Ministry of Magic, where your stories will be prominently displayed by the wand-check registration desk.”
Sirius Black felt nauseous.
“Furthermore,” the Ravenclaw added teasingly, causing Professor Slytherin to shift slightly in an effort to hide his erection, “the owls went out as soon as you accepted your galleon.”
Remus Lupin stared blankly at the table. Peter Pettigrew began to cry.
And as Hadrian jumped gracefully off the counter and sauntered toward the door, he paused to add one last thing over his shoulder, “Also, because you each made such a huge effort, I decided you deserve everything I can possibly give you. So, owls with copies of your stories have also gone out to each member of your families. They should be getting them right about now, in fact! Just think, right now your story is being read by your mother….”
Ronald Weasley started to hyperventilate.
James Potter swallowed heavily. Cormac McLaggen threw up.
Parvati Patil dropped her purse, eyes staring in blank fear.
Ronald Weasley could have given birth, he was hyperventilating so badly.
Neville Longbottom grinned.
“… and, of course, your professors…”
Sirius Black wondered if a dog could outrun a cat.
“…and, within hours, probably your professor’s attorneys.”
James Potter met a malevolent crimson stare and abruptly passed out.
Hadrian surveyed the devastation that was the seventh-year Gryffindors and offered a polite nod to the awestruck Slytherin students and a shy smile of thanks to the three professors. His face widened into a grin as the trio of stalwart men broke into applause, closely followed by every Slytherin in the room… and Neville Longbottom. He swept into a graceful bow and sauntered out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
Discreetly adjusting his now painful arousal, Professor Marvolo Slytherin headed directly to the intercastle floo. He had a hat to chat with, right damn now.