Chapter 1: Lesson 1-Arrival
Severus Snape arrived back at Hogwarts. He was tired, he had been sent on another useless mission. He slowly made his way up to the Headmasters office. Since it was summer the gargoyle moved aside for him as he approached. He rode the stairs to the top and entered the office.
"Severus, my boy, lemon drop?" Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, sat down as Severus took his seat.
"No. I regret to inform you the mission was a failure. It led to nothing." Severus told him, he had been going on these leads likes this for over 5 years and he was getting tired of it. Tired of Albus in general. He was just grateful this one didn't leave him with injuries.
He heard the Headmaster sigh. "I do appreciate you looking. We will have to put that on hold for a while, as starting this term, we will be hosting His Royal Majesty King Hadrian, he will be arriving tomorrow with a small group of vampires. He will be here to help teach us some defense lessons and he is interested in working with you on potions."
Severus woke up at that. He has heard of King Hadrian, his potion work was incredible, he beat him on his Potion Mastery, become the youngest one this past summer. "So he is going to be teaching DADA?"
"No, I am wondering if you can take that job and allow me to re-hire Horace Slughorn as the Potion Professor. The King will be teaching a different type of defense, it will require spell work, but also a more physical aspect of it, I believe swords and knives were listed. The letter mentioned working with you on Defense lessons, he does have a Mastery in it like you do. He will also be attending some classes, he wants to take 6th-year Runes and Arithmancy."
"He requested to work with me?" Severus was shocked. He had heard the stories of the King and from what he had seen the King, the man was quiet, didn't seemed impressed with people fawning all over him, and at the conference usually tried to blend into the background. He knew the King was dangerous, he had seen him defend himself when three wizards had decided to attack him. He had to use a pensive to see how the King took down the three wizards in less than ten seconds. When they cast the Reducto on the King, he simply sidestepped, then with killed one with a blow to the neck with his left hand, he did a simple Confringo, casting it with his right hand killing second and killed the third with snap of the neck as he brought his hands together.
"Yes, he was most insistent on it. I opened the quarters next to yours. I also opened the lower area of the dungeons to allow the vampires to stay in there."
Severus heard something weird in Albus' tone but he dismissed it, he began to think of all the different things he might learn and wondered if his private potion ingredients had enough for them work on something different. "Do I need to do anything?" He finally asked.
"I would appreciate it if you could be part of the welcoming committee since he has expressed an interest in you."
"I would be honored." Severus was finally going to meet the King, the one person he had been wanting to meet since he saw him last year, as he presented his potion that earned him his Mastery.
"Severus, I will be placing his seat next to yours. I am asking you to give the King a chance before you dismiss him. I expect you to keep a close eye on them, especially the King." Albus said.
"I am actually looking forward to working with him. I have seen him at conferences and I have wanted to talk to him." Severus looked at Albus as his words finally hit his brain fully. Close eye on the King? What was the man thinking?
He saw Albus give a small smile. "I am glad to hear that, they are arriving at noon."
They were at the Dragon Iron Gates, the King was due to arrive in two minutes but they hadn't seen anything even remotely indicating a group was to arrive. As it was getting closer to the time and nothing was seen, Severus was getting confused, the King was always punctual at conferences, would he be late here? Suddenly a group of nine vampires was in front of them.
"Good afternoon. I am Vlad III Drăculea, Prince of Wallachia, to my right, my brother Mircea III Dracul, to his right is my brother Vlad Călugărul, and to his right is my brother Radu cel Frumos. On my left is my cousin Mihnea cel Rău, on his left is my cousin Pătrașcu cel Bun, on his left is my nephew Petru cel Tânăr, his left is my other nephew Alexandru II Mircea, left of him is my youngest nephew, Vintilă. We represent, House of Drăculești of Basarab Dynasty, members of Order of the Dragon. We are the Royal Guard. His Majesty will arrive as soon as he can escape his council." Each stepped forward, took a bow as they were introduced and stepped back.
"I am honored to meet you, I am Headmaster Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, to my right is Minerva McGonagall, to her right is Filius Flitwick, on my left is Severus Snape, and on his left is Pomona Sprout. We have cast a spell to help protect you against the sun, so his Highness won't have to worry about it."
Severus watched their faces at Albus words, he wondered if Albus even looked up vampire customs, there was a flurry of muttering in Romanian, finally, Vlad III spoke: "we are wondering why you have cast this spell for his Majesty? We are confused by the lack of an official greeting. We are trying to avoid being insulted, as our King wants to spend time here."
Albus didn't speak and Severus realized the man was doing this on purpose. He didn't give their full names and positions, but for what reason. Severus stepped forward, bowed. "Please forgive us, your Highness, it has been such a long time since Wizards have had the honor of interacting with the Vampire Council, most seem to have forgotten the long-held customs. I am not sure why the sun spell was cast, I do believe it was to make sure nothing would damage your party."
"Potion Master Severus Tobias Snape, Professor of Potion at Hogwarts." Vlad inclined his head, Severus inclined in response. He turned back to Albus. "We have our own protection from the sun but his Majesty will remove the spell as soon as he feels like. His Majesty is a Royal Living Vampire, the sun does not bother him."
Severus closed his eyes and held back a groan, a Royal. He looked to Albus to see if he was going to fix his insult, but the man didn't move. "We offer our food, our lodging, and our fire. We open our doors to you and your family." Severus gave the official invitation.
Vlad and his family all bowed. Vlad spoke again. "We accept the honor of sharing your food, your lodging and your fire that you have extended to my and my family. His Majesty will be-"
He didn't get to finish before the King arrived. Severus thought the King was amazing from afar, up close made him realize just how right he was. He was tall, taller than his own 6 foot 2, which was saying a lot, his body reflected that fact that he worked out. His almost black hair was tied back as was custom, but it was his eyes that held him. They were an emerald green, he flashed to Lily Potter's eyes for a second, the skin was slightly tanned. He watched all the vampires go to one knee, Severus did the same and coughed to get Albus and the rest to do it, Filius and Pomona followed Severus' example.
The King looked at Albus. "Headmaster Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, I am aware I will be a student and a Professor here, however, I am wondering, do you not know of our customs."
"I am afraid I am unaware of them." Albus lied. Severus groaned. A Royal would know it for the lie it was.
At some signal Severus didn't see, the vampire rose to their feet, Severus, Pomona, and Filius follow their example. There again was a flurry of Romanian as they had been insulted again. They were clearly not happy with being lied to.
Severus moved closer to Albus. "To fix this, all of us need to kneel, like they did, we need to show our deference to the King."
"I am afraid I won't be doing that, I will not defer to someone when I am in charge of Hogwarts."
There was another flurry of Romanian. The King held up his hand and they stopped. "It is most regrettable that I must decline the offer of welcome. I will inform your Ministry. It was a pleasure to have met you. Good afternoon."
"Your Majesty, before you go, may I have some of your time?"
The King looked at him. "Potion Master Severus Tobias Snape, I had been looking forward to spending time with you in a lab. I believe tomorrow afternoon will do, as I must now take care of this new situation with the Ministry. I believe the expression is I will owl you?"
"Yes, that is correct Sire, I await your owl."
Suddenly all the vampires were gone. Severus and Minerva rounded on Albus, said at the same time. "I can't believe you."
"I couldn't kneel in deferment, it would allow him control over Hogwarts."
"No it doesn't, it was a formal custom, it doesn't allow him to control Hogwarts at all. You just might have broken the Treaty we have with them." Filius told him. "One of the reasons why the King was here was because the Treaty has been endangered for a few years. You do realize if it is broken, they can wipe us out?"
Albus looked at Filius, Minerva, Pomona, and Severus. "I am sure we can protect ourselves from vampires."
"This is why we need a real History of Magic Professor." Pomona told them, surprising them all. "The reason for the Treaty we have with them is they were killing us. The undead vampires, we had some success in killing if we weren't surprised by them. The living vampires, they are a different story, no one is aware of how to kill one. You insulted their King because you didn't bother to learn their traditions and customs."
"You knew they were coming for over a month and you didn't even bother to read anything about them did you?" Minerva asked.
"They are dark creatures, they would have found a reason to break the Treaty."
"The Treaty has been around for over 500 years if it's broken the blame will be placed at your feet." Minerva snapped. Her face a reflection of her anger and disappointment.
They didn't get to debate it for long as they heard the sounds of multiple apparitions. They turned to see Madam Bones with some Aurors. The Aurors were Tonks, Shacklebolt, and Moody. "Albus I can't believe you." Madam Bones went straight to the point. "We need you at the Ministry. We are trying to keep the Treaty from being broken because of your pride."
"We have been trying to get him to understand what he did." Minerva informed her.
"I did nothing wrong." Albus stated. "I was not going to give control of Hogwarts to their King."
"Well, I hate to ruin that fantasy, but the King owns Hogwarts." Madam Bones wanted to curse the man. "If he wants, he can close it. Do you not read anything we sent to you?"
They could see Albus looked almost faint at the information. "How bad is it Amelia?" Filius asked.
"Bad, the King is very calm actually, it's the Princes that are upset." She explained. "No one wants the Treaty broken but the Princes are gravely insulted and arguing with leaving and declaring war on us, again."
"The King?" Minerva asked.
"He appears to want to work on it, he understands both sides and seems to want to keep everyone calm. Severus, Pomona, and Filius have been invited to return, with them, to their lands, should the Treaty stay in place but the King can't come to Hogwarts."
"If he owns it, he can come to Hogwarts whenever." Minerva was confused, as she knew the others most likely were too.
"No, it's about honor, his invitation was rescinded, the lack of keeping with the traditional invitation, so he won't enter until he is invited, which is why Hogwarts is in danger of being closed. It's part of their customs." Severus said. He watched every eye turn to Albus. "What happens to Hogwarts is up to Albus."
Everyone watched to see if what Severus was saying would sink in. "I didn't mean to have him close Hogwarts, they are dark creatures, we must stand up for ourselves."
"Hate to burst that bubble you are living in. The King isn't a dark creature, the Princes yes, but not the King." Moody said. "I won't even mention the fact that the King alone could wipe us out. Regular vampires we can at least defend ourselves but the King and any of his kind, we have no defense against."
"I am more worried about the King joining He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named if this blows up in our face." Madam Bones sighed, it was going to be another long day thanks to Dumbledore.
"Can that happen?" Minerva asked.
"Yes, while we were there he received a message from him." Shacklebolt stated.
"What did he do?" Albus asked, finally realizing the danger he put them in.
"He read it, snorted, and put the message in his pocket." Tonks answered. She was impressed by the King.
"Are you sure it was from him?" Albus, his mind already revamping plans, asked.
"Yes, the crest was clear to see. There was no attempt to keep it hidden." Moody said. "The King has been very open and honest in his dealing with the Ministry. He has hidden nothing, it's not the first message he as received from him, he has not, to my knowledge, responded back, he just either hands them to someone else or ignores them by sticking them in a pocket, he doesn't even fold them."
"Now, do you understand fully what you have done?" Madam Bones asked.
"Yes, I must go and talk to the King." Albus said. "Minerva, get the quarters ready, Severus, get a private potion lab for him to use set up."
"It would be best if Snape comes with us." Moody told them.
"I am in agreement." Minerva stated. "He knows their customs and can make sure Albus doesn't step in it again."
They arrive at the Ministry and head towards the Wizengamot courtroom 10. "Why are we heading towards the Wizengamot?" Albus asked.
"Due to the number of people and secrecy involved, we are using that courtroom."
"Full Wizengamot session?" Albus asked.
"Yes, it was called because of you, so I had to go and get you to make sure you would come. Aurors went and got everyone else." Madam Bones snapped at him. "If you blow this Albus, I will make it painful for you." She warned, she didn't want another war because of an old man's pride.
Severus heard and wanted to smirk but didn't. They entered the courtroom and could saw everyone was in their seats except in the middle of the courtroom there were about a dozen chairs, very similar to the Wizengamot seats. The King was standing in the middle of the room. It looked like they interrupted something he was saying. All eyes were on them. "Albus to fix this, you need to invite them back and kneel." Severus told him quietly.
All of the vampires are now standing behind the King, who is looking at them. The King inclined his head to Severus, who inclined it back. He realized he is now accepted.
They all watched Albus walk forward to the King. "I do apologize, I did not realize my error." Severus wanted to groan, another lie, he must not realize the King will know he is lying. Albus knelt, and so did everyone in the chamber. "We offer our food, our lodging, and our fire. We open our doors to you and your family. Hogwarts welcomes you." Albus recited the official invitation.
The King replied back. "We accept the honor of sharing your food, your lodging, and your fire you have extended to me and my family. We look forward to visiting Hogwarts."
They all rose and the King began to speak to the Princes. The members of the Wizengamot began to break into groups and Severus saw Albus, with Madam Bones, was getting a lecture. "Interesting isn't it?" Lucius said to him.
"Interesting?" Severus questioned.
"It takes Hogwarts almost being closed for him to bend his pride." Lucius answered.
"Now, Lord Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, I don't believe I said anything about closing Hogwarts when we were speaking." They turned to face the King, bowed. "Do rise, I am glad we could reach an agreement. Potion Master Severus Tobias Snape did try to honor our agreement, Lord Lucius Abraxas Malfoy."
"I have found Severus to be very knowledgeable regarding custom and traditions, your Majesty." Lucius smiled.
"Please, call me Severus." Severus said. "I believe since we are going to be working together it will make it easier."
"You may call me Harry." The King gave him a smile, as he turned to Lucius "The invitation extends to you Lord Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, you have worked very hard to make sure this day arrived."
"I thank you, Harry, please call me Lucius. It is an honor to see the King of Royal Living Vampires in Wizengamot." Lucius told him. "You will forgive the Headmaster for the slight he is doing now?"
"Yes, I do believe the man isn't aware of our customs. Two of your, I am not sure what you call them exactly, are still chastising him." The King looked at the small group around Dumbledore, his comment earned him a small smirk from Lucius and Severus, as they could see Madam Bones and Minister Fudge were indeed giving Albus an earful.
"When will be arriving back at Hogwarts, your, Harry?" Severus asked.
"As soon as this is over, Vlad and Radu will be staying with me in my quarters, the others will be returning home tomorrow. I do not wish to have all of the Princes get offended. Vlad and Radu have more experience with wizards. Do excuse me, I do need to speak to some others." They had seen one of the Princes summon him over.
Severus watched him leave, Lucius hid the small smirk as he asked, "did he really lie to the King?"
"Yes, and he did it again in here. I know he knows he was lied to." Severus wondered how he was going to keep Dumbledore from shooting himself in the foot. "I am worried he will endanger us while the King is residing in Hogwarts."
"Did he really receive a message from our Lord?"
"Yes, he has been interested in his Majesty for a few years." Lucius answered. "I must speak to Fudge before I head back to the Manor. I will speak to you later, Severus."
"Of course, my floo is open."
Severus found a seat, started to watch the interaction around him. He noticed Albus trying to recover from political mess he created, by speaking to everyone but the vampires, he wondered if the man any idea about vampires.
"He doesn't." A voice said next to him. He turned, recognized Petru cel Tânăr, he went to rise. "Do keep sitting, they will wonder why you are standing if you get up."
Severus said, "shadow walking and shadow speaking."
"Correct, now I see why our King has accepted you. You may call me Petru."
"Severus. Accepted me?" He knew he was accepted but he could never find out what exactly it meant.
"Yes. I believe you will find it to be an interesting year for you." Petru said and then faded into the background as Severus felt another come towards him. He looked up and saw Mad-Eye Moody. "Moody?"
"Snape, I am hoping I can ask you to help, I know Albus, and I know he will try to take control over the King, while there, can you make sure he doesn't get himself killed or blow this Treaty up?"
"I believe the King is aware of the situation." Severus assured him.
"Merlin, I thought so. Don't know much about Royals, but know a regular living vampire could smell lies."
"Why doesn't he want them at Hogwarts?" Severus asked. "I didn't even know about them arriving until yesterday."
"He made a few comments at meetings, we tried to warn him but Minerva and you weren't at either one."
"He had me following another dead end." Severus told him.
"I told him that. He needs to give up the search, it's been over five years."
"We have tried to tell them that, but I think until he sees a body, nothing will stop him from looking."
"I would be surprised if a body turns up, we know how those relatives of his treated him, despite all the times Albus keeps telling us they loved him and treated like a prince." Over the last five years, Mad-Eye and Snape had developed a good friendship based on their looking for Harry Potter and discovering the awful truth about how the boy was treated.
"Is he still trying to train Longbottom?" Severus asked.
"Yes, but the boy has no talent, no power. His only gift seems to be with plants, and I don't think that is the "power he knows not". Augusta has been foaming at the mouth with all the extra training Albus has been trying to push on the boy."
"Don't ask. Granger and Weasley are still trying to get him to master the second year spells correctly."
"Albus wants me to teach DADA, the King is going to also be teaching a new defense class, I am not looking forward to having Longbottom armed in either class." Severus wondered why Dumbledore was training Longbottom, everyone knew he wasn't the prophecy child. As far as Severus was concerned it was fulfilled when the Potter baby defeated the Dark Lord.
"I don't blame you, he mangled a spell last week almost took out a wing in Hogwarts."
"He is training at Hogwarts?" Severus tried not to show his surprise.
"Yes, turns out he took out their dueling rooms at the Longbottom estate with another mangled spell. Lady Longbottom put her foot down about dueling at their estate. Didn't stop Albus, he just moved them to Hogwarts."
"I am not looking forward to having him back in a class. How did he make it into NEWT-level DADA?"
"You are kidding me." Severus groaned.
"No, the lack of Professors was what he used to get rid of the requirement to get into the NEWT-level DADA. The classes are going to be filled with anyone who wants to continue the class, no matter what grade they received."
"I wonder how he will keep him in it because if he blows up one bench because of a mangled spell, I won't let him stay."
"He will most likely try to pass him off to the King. I have seen that man fight, and I think he is expecting him to train Longbottom."
"Not likely, I believe I will be making sure Heir Neville Frances Longbottom is nowhere near my class." The King was standing next to them.
"Your Majesty." They bowed.
"Mr. Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody, I have heard about you." The King said.
"Don't believe everything you hear, Sire." Moody joked.
"So I am guessing the case of mixed alcohol I had sent to your house wasn't the ideal gift?" The King asked.
Moody grinned. "I do believe I am going to like you."
"You just made my day."
Severus felt his mask slip as he lets out a small smirk at the King's remark and knew the man was trying not to roll his eyes. "I do apologize, Sire, I thank you for the gift." Moody said.
"No need to apologize." He leaned forward and almost as if it's a secret between the three of them said, "my title does get in the way at times, doesn't it?"
"I believe I will stay out of that debate." Severus smirked.
"I will also remove myself." Moody added.
The King laughed. "Wise choice. I did come over here for a reason, we are ready to head back to Hogwarts and I believe my guide to my quarters is you, Severus."
"That went exactly like you said it would go." Radu remarked as everyone began to take seats in the King's quarters.
"He never changes." The King replied. "We still have a lot of work to do."
"I must say they are an interesting lot in Wizengamot." Vlad told them.
"They are still unaware we have been watching them for the last five years." Petru said.
"Let's hear the reports." The King stated.
Vlad began. "As you requested, we played on insults to the old customs, you nailed that one right, I have no idea why they believe we are stuck in our ways. 500 years is a long time. All of the ones at Wizengamot seemed to enjoy it, however, I believe they are missing their rituals and customs. McGonagall followed his lead when it came to kneeling despite knowing the correct custom. Flitwick, Sprout, and Snape impressed us. According to Mihai Viteazul, Sprout knew the history of why there is a Treaty."
"I have to agree, they didn't want to insult us and tried to fix the old one's mistakes." Radu added, he has for years refused to call the man by his name, unless he had no choice.
"Calling him old is like calling me ancient." Vintilă laughed, being the youngest of the pure vampires in the room at over 1000 years old. The King was the youngest out of all of them.
"Only the old fool lied to us, none of them were happy with it, even in the Wizengamot." Micea told them. "Also Fudge and Umbridge, I think, the one that likes pink, seem to believe you will support whatever laws they put forth, including tougher dark creatures laws. Something about making us feel we are superior since they won't affect us. Also, they believe that crap about the werewolves."
"They think we will want to make tougher laws regarding them, and something about natural enemies?" Alexandru wondered about the natural enemies.
"Where do they come up with that stuff?" Călugărul asked.
"I am not sure, but I find it interesting how much they are willing to do to make themselves feel superior." The King answered.
"Highlight, when you got that letter from Tom, they fell for it, really believe you might join him." Radu said. "They really wanted to put all effort into making sure the old fart didn't blow the Treaty."
"What did Tom write that made you snort by the way?" Mihnea asked.
The King pulled out the note and handed it to him to read, the note got passed around.
Is the old fart wearing orange today?
They laughed at the image, as they have seen the old man wear some colorful robes. "Snape and Moody were talking about the search and trying to get him to give up. They also know how useless the Longbottom boy is when it comes to defense, and feel he should be left alone and to develop his skills with plants."
"He is very talented in that aspect, to sweet for what they want out of him." Petru added.
"Keep an eye on him, we don't need them getting Neville killed." The King ordered.
"We have a rotation of four on him, with two more added when he is to be in training. That Granger and that Weasley boy are still being paid to be friends with him. Granger is ruining any confidence he does get. She is the reason for both explosions." Vlad told him.
"She is too bossy and likes to hit. She is a bully. She wants the poor boy to always study." Mircea stated, he really didn't like bullies. "That red hair boy is following in her steps."
"What about the female Weasley?" Radu asked.
"Still working on getting Neville interested, but Neville likes sweet little Luna." Mircea gave him a knowing look.
"They make a good match, she has been talking to us, letting us know what is going on if we miss anything." Vlad told them, all of them liked Neville and didn't want to see the boy hurt in any way.
"She seems a bit of a seer if we translate her words correctly." Pătrașcu added.
"I believe she is one." Alexandru stated. "I have spoken to her a number of times, she has provided us with warnings that have helped us keep others from being hurt. Moody almost got killed on the last mission and would have if Luna hadn't warned us."
"It seems he hasn't learned anything in five years." The King said. "I don't know why I am surprised if the last sixty years didn't teach him not to repeat his mistakes, I don't see how the last five would have improved the chances."
"Lucius needs to pull back a little, I think he might give the game away too soon." Mircea said.
"No, he did it right." Vlad said. "Snape will need his friendship and Lucius let know he would be there."
"Very true, it's going to be a shock to Snape." Mircea agreed.
"Yes, the old coot, he plans on trying to get control over you. He wants to use the teaching aspect to see if he can guide you to the light." Radu told them.
"I have a feeling he is going to be guiding himself out the door. He knows Harry owns Hogwarts, he has to know what that means." Mihnea said.
"I don't think he does. Remember he is still looking for Harry Potter, he hasn't been paying attention to the wards or even the Wizengamot. Today proved that. If he had, he would have made sure to know the customs we were going to use." The King stated, he knew the old fool would focus on finding Harry Potter and trying to prove he was a dark creature, instead of focusing on Hogwarts and what they were doing. "We have been here for five years and he still hasn't felt the changes. Some of the others have felt a slight change but they don't know what it means. If he had been doing his job, he would have felt all of the changes we have done."
"He stuck us in the dungeons." Petru reminded them. All of them felt deeply insulted by the rooms they were given.
"Not even in the good part. Snape quarters are the last good ones. He gives you this." Everyone looked around and they see the water running down some of the walls, the lack of furniture and the stuff that is in there is all mismatched, the threadbare rugs and no tables or even a desk. This was the best of the rooms and they couldn't believe Dumbledore gave it to their King.
"I am sure Kreacher will enjoy fixing it up." The King smirked. "He hasn't been happy with them using my house for their headquarters."
"I am so glad that elf was willing to stay there and spy, that woman's voice drives me bonkers." Radu shuddered at the idea of the voice. It was worse than a pack of howler monkeys.
"Yes, Molly Weasley, you should hear her howlers. Her twin sons earn enough of them, every time we see one heading towards them I believe we all fade out of the room." Vlad informed them.
"I know you said Radu and Vlad will be staying and we are leaving tomorrow, but we really aren't leaving correct, we are going to keep watching?" Vintilă asked.
"Yes, Vintilă, and please do not just focus on your mate." The King warned.
Vintilă grinned. "I know, she also knows. She said there was an emergency staff meeting called."
"I am sure she will tell us." The King smirked. "I will visit her tomorrow, it's been a bit since I have seen her."
"She does miss you." Vintilă told him. "Still calls you her adopted son."
"Figures. Nothing else?"
"I am not sure, there was something about another lead, sending the wolf out on it. I am not sure if he is using it as a lead or just looking to get the wolf killed like he did with the mutt." Călugărul sighed. "He wants to use the wolf but yet is afraid of allowing the wolf too much freedom."
"Can we keep Lupin alive? I know we tried with Black." Radu asked.
"We have saved both of them numerous times, the last time, we didn't know about until it was too late." Mihnea answered.
"Luna reminded me we can't save everyone." The King told them. He was still bothered by the senseless death of Black. "See what else you can find out, I will talk to Tom and let him know."
"Greyback might be the way to save Lupin." Mihnea reminded him.
The King looked thoughtful for a few minutes. "I do believe it might be the only option. The problem will be making Lupin see it that way."
"Isn't Greyback his alpha?" Pătrașcu asked.
"Yes, but he has spent numerous years running away from a pack and the old coot made sure to keep him grateful to him. I wonder if we can use that?" The King replied.
"If anyone can find a way to use it, you can." Vlad leaned back in his chair. "This thing is uncomfortable."
"Pătrașcu find out what you can about Lupin. The facts and shadows." Pătrașcu nodded his understanding. "Petru and Alexandru keep an eye on Luna and the Claws, Mircea, Gryffindor, Călugărul, the snakes, too many people are still targeting them. Mihnea, you have the Puffs. Vintilă, monitor Longbottom, their headquarters and fill in where needed. All of you call anyone up to aide. I am also sure the Little Death Eaters will be willing to offer information." The King ordered. "I am going to speak to Tom, while Kreacher fixes this mess. I will be there if anything arises. Kreacher."
They all disappeared to do their jobs, as Kreacher appeared in front of the King. "They actually put you here Master?" Kreacher said as he looks around.
"Yes, can you fix it?"
"Yes, Master, usual?"
"Please, anything happening at the house?"
"Meeting is called for tomorrow. Did enjoy Cat and Smells giving the old ding bat a lecture." Kreacher told him. "Think that is the only reason why the meeting wasn't tonight. Cat and Smells did inform Wolf, Voice, Red-hair menaces and the annoying moron twins what happened. You will love this, he asked the annoying moron twins to try and befriend you."
"That won't be happening. I am going to go and speak to Tom. Thank you, Kreacher." The King shadowed over to Slytherin Castle.
Chapter 2: Lesson Two -Invade Their Home
The King shadowed into the study of the Dark Lord and saw Lucius and the Dark Lord sitting there, drinking tea, waiting for him. The Dark Lord poured him a cup as he sat down. "Lucius was telling me how it went at the Ministry."
"The old goat did exactly what we knew he would do. He was only worried about the closing of Hogwarts. After the official invite, he didn't even speak to me at the Wizengamot despite the warnings from Fudge and Bones. We really could have pushed the lack of customs again, but we refrained, didn't want to push too hard." The King said, leaning back and finally relaxing.
"Now you are formally invited into Hogwarts, and he did the invite like we needed him to do in front of Wizengamot. Lucius showed me the memories." The Dark Lord said.
"Does he know what he did by inviting you?" Lucius asked.
"No, the fool didn't bother to learn anything. He believed it would mean he had to give up control of Hogwarts. We have finished modifying the wards before the official invitation."
"No one noticed the changes?" The Dark Lord asked.
"No, some felt a little bit of a change when they arrived back to set up their classrooms, but none of them bothered to talk about it or even bothered to check out the little change they did feel. I was surprised, we had people ready to Obliviate anyone who might want to check it out. The ward stone is keyed to me, and the ghosts, portraits and house elves all know to act like normal. Some seemed relieved we were stepping in."
"Do you need more people?" Lucius asked.
"No, everyone is covered, they know to bring in anyone if they need to. We had people covering while we were at Hogwarts and Wizengamot. I will get their reports from Vlad and Radu later."
"When do we want to start?" The Dark Lord summoned a piece of parchment that he had notes on.
They saw the King thinking and waited. "A few days from now, two or three. Use that sense of timing you have Lucius. Submit the dismissal of those Professors." He summoned some parchment, handed it to Lucius. "You will need to have the recommendations ready. I don't want to even give that old goat a chance to hire anyone. If he tries that route, explain that you can leave it to my hands as I am the owner and in residence. I believe that will stop him from interfering. You should be able to get away with it, cite giving them time to get to Hogwarts and set up. The day Hogwarts starts, we submit the adding of some of the canceled classes. He will ignore the notice, or we will make sure he doesn't see it until after the Welcoming Feast. I want new classes submitted once a month, it will keep him busy, have the Carrow twins gather the stats from other Magical School to use for backing up your claims."
"I have the recommendations all lined up. I have already informed Nott, Avery, and Jugson. We got the board in agreement, so it will be done. Using Rookwood's connections, I have the Professors lined up for classes we will be bringing back. I have set it so that they should be able to start after Yule holidays." Lucius said.
"Severus?" The Dark Lord asked.
"He knew the customs and he knew that old goat lied, he did get brave enough to ask to meet with me, surprised me." The King, he inhaled and slowly exhaled. "He was not happy with the Fashion Mishap as I thought he would be. He seems to have lost some of his trust in him."
"How do you think he will handle all of this?" The Dark Lord asked.
"He will need Lucius' help, especially when he learns the truth. No one wants to learn the person who they think of as a mentor has been lying and using you for years."
"He did tell me he would leave his floo open. I am worried that he might realize who you are before we get a chance to talk to him."
"He might but I am not too worried about that."
"Headgoatmaster is going to expect him to watch you." Lucius said. "Hey, isn't that a new nickname for him?"
The Dark Lord summoned the betting book, looked in it. "Yes, it is." He gave Lucius the pouch of Galleons. He entered the new name. "After two years I thought we covered all of them."
"I believe he has already been given the order to watch me. There is something in his shadow I want to look further into. I didn't get a full read of it."
"Any idea what it is about?" The Dark Lord asked.
"No, it is something he has buried deep and is in denial about."
"What did you learn about Longbottom?" The Dark Lord asked. They all were worried about Longbottom, but not in the way the Light would believe.
"Not anything new. The Idiotmaster forced him into our defense classes, he won't last long. We have to make sure that he stays safe, he shouldn't have been dragged into this. I am just worried who he will use next if Longbottom doesn't work out for him."
"He is viewing him as the backup. I can check in records to see who might be next, but it might take some time as I would have to review them year by year and who knows if he will just stick to students in Hogwarts, he might go for a home schooled." Lucius told him.
"We have tried to get a few people to talk to Lady Longbottom, she agrees with us, but Neville keeps listening to the old miser and his pawns." The Dark Lord said. "I believe he feels they are true friends, and he doesn't have any other ones."
"We are going to use the same plan we have been using in regards to watching him and the students in Hogwarts. We can't spend too much time in his office as Fawkes puts up a stink."
"That bird still believes in him?" The Dark Lord asked.
"No, but he doesn't like the undead around him, conflict of nature." The King said. "I am thinking of seeing if one of the family will do it."
"They might not have the patience for it, they have been avoiding wizards for a reason." The Dark Lord reminded him.
"He is lucky I didn't deal with him today, he was incredibly rude." The King paused for a few minutes. "How close do you think the Ministry believed the Treaty was in danger?"
"They all feel that the Treaty has been in danger for a number of years, especially with all the new creature laws being passed. They only get passed because of people's fear that he is pushing, about the Dark Lord and dark creatures like werewolves." Lucius remarked.
"Killing the Leader of the Light wouldn't have been a good move." The Dark Lord reminded him. They knew that while the King had a very polished appearance if he lost his temper no one would be able to stop him.
"That is the only reason why he is still breathing and of course, I want retribution." The King said.
"Lucius, don't forget to bring up the old rituals and customs to the Board, I want them to be amiable to the idea for when we finally put in the formal request." The Dark Lord said.
"Nott has already started and we got a surprise in that Ted Tonks actually talked to Nott about the idea afterward. He seems to agree with the idea. He has met with Tonks and given him some books to read."
"Isn't he a Muggle-born?" The Dark Lord asked. He was slightly confused by Tonks' actions.
"Yes, he said Andromeda had been teaching him about them. Nott says he asked a lot of good questions. Part of the reason that he doesn't ask Andromeda is that as she says, "my family wasn't the best ones to ask about the rituals" so she told him to ask Nott. I have to agree, the Black family isn't one to ask questions to, most of them are crazy."
"That is interesting. It will help us in the long run, especially if we stick with this non-violent slow takeover." The Dark Lord said.
"Hogwarts will be key to getting a lot of people to accept them." The King told them.
"How is that?" The Dark Lord and Lucius both asked.
"Parents listen to their kids about holidays, especially ones they think are harmless, Christmas slowly nudged Yule out, Halloween nudged Samhain. When it was time to decide which holidays would be celebrated at Hogwarts, he selected the muggle ones to keep the muggle-born and half-bloods happy. He did it without consulting the board."
"We can use that to get them back." Lucius told them. "He can't change anything like that without our approval. If I can find the archives of when he did it, I can look into the minutes and pull them."
"Do it." The Dark Lord told him. "Use whomever else you need for it."
"Rosier will help, he wants those traditions back, so I know I won't even have to ask him. He will be out the door heading to the Ministry before I even finish asking."
"Has he asked for your lesson plan?" The Dark Lord asked.
"Yes, I gave him a very basic one, included sword and knife work on it."
"He didn't say anything, that lesson plan was, well frankly, awful."
"I know." The King grinned at him. "I was hoping he would let me work with Severus and he will. That reminds me, were you able to get all those potion ingredients I wanted?"
"Yes, they will be delivered tomorrow. You know how to get to the Chamber?"
"Yes, Kreacher gave me the map. Not to mention, all of us can shadow into it."
"He isn't making you take any of the other classes?" Lucius asked.
"No, he seems to believe I am older than 17." The King replied. "I am not going to tell him differently. There is going to be a meeting tomorrow, Kreacher said. Tonight he said Minerva and Severus were giving the creeper an earful. Also an emergency staff meeting, which we know what that will be about. "
"You know you would think after all these years the man would catch a clue that someone was reporting to us." The Dark Lord commented.
"I think he has been confused because none of his leaks have worked." The King told him.
"Is there anything else? I told Narcissa I would be home in time for dinner."
"I think we covered it." The Dark Lord looked at his parchment. "Sorry, one more thing, do we want to work on getting rid of Umbridge?"
"We will need to do something about her, she is one of the biggest supporters of getting rid of dark creatures. She would like to have them all wiped out. I think if the Treaty broke today, she would have enjoyed it despite all her words to the contrary." Lucius looked at the list of notes. "It should be before we make a major move."
"I have to agree. Now, however, is not the time, soon she will find herself facing us." The King replied. He gave Lucius nod of dismissal.
"Pomona Sprout surprised me." The King told the Dark Lord after Lucius left.
"She knew about the Treaty and our customs. She even said "this is why we need a real History of Magic Professor. I am surprised by McGonagall, she didn't kneel."
"Shock? You know she would never have insulted anyone unless she either didn't know or was in shock from his actions."
"I believe shock might be it, she didn't say a word until after we were gone and then Severus and her rounded on the old fool."
"Shock. Minnie would have read the books she was provided, and I expect she thought he did too."
"That would fit with what we know about her."
The next morning, as he was getting ready to head to the Great Hall, he heard a knock on his door. He looked at the wall, the wards told him it was 'Severus Snape'. He allowed the door to open and could tell Severus was surprised by him not being at the door. "Do come in, Severus, I was just putting away some parchment before I headed to the Great Hall."
"I came to see if you needed an escort, I didn't know you were familiar with Hogwarts."
"I am good at finding my way, shadow walking makes it hard to get lost." He told him. "Would you care to experience it?"
"I think I would enjoy it."
"Enjoyment is not something first timers associate with it. You will feel cold, an absence of light that you are used to, but it doesn't make you dizzy or can harm you like your apparition can." He took hold of Severus. "Hold your breath until we arrive, it will make it easier."
Severus obeyed, he felt the coldness and absence of light, has it as described, but he also felt safe. It felt like nothing could touch him. He felt the difference when they came out of the shadows and let loose his breath. "That was amazing." He told the King.
"I am glad you enjoyed it." The King inclined his head. "Later today, I will be receiving some potion ingredients, would you be inclined to show me where I can store them?" They made their way to the Head Table.
"I would be honored." As they reached the table, Severus looked at the staff, back to the King. "I don't know their full names or if they have any titles in order to do the formal introductions."
"That is fine, we are to be co-workers, I am sure we can get along fine and it would be easier if we didn't stick to strict protocol, don't you agree?" He asked Severus. "If you would please do the introductions."
"I am again honored, as you are aware I am Severus Snape, this semester's Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, the Potion Master for Hogwarts, and Head of Slytherin house. Everyone will stand, as per custom in your culture, when they are introduced." Letting everyone know what was expected of them. Severus introduced everyone, then turned to the King. "May I present His Royal Majesty King Hadrian, leader of the Living Vampires and head of the Vampire Council."
Severus spent most of the meal talking to the King and everyone was surprised. No one expected Severus to be sociable, but they were talking about potion or defense, two of Severus' favorite subjects. Both stopped talking, however, when Albus walked in, they kept to polite replies to any question posed to them by the Headmaster but otherwise kept quiet, until they left.
"I am not sure what I did to make them leave." Albus told the staff.
"Really? No idea?" Minerva was giving the man a clear glare letting him know his little act isn't working on her.
"You can't really believe they are upset about yesterday." He acted surprised.
"Albus, you never even approached him after the formal invite and I know never apologized for the lies and slights you served to him." Minerva told the man.
"No, you didn't, please tell me you didn't lie." Pomona stated.
"He did, twice that I know about." Minerva replied.
Pomona and Filius groaned. "I am serious, we need to get real History of Magic Professor, one that doesn't teach just about the Goblin Wars." Pomona muttered.
"Any living vampire can tell when you lie, a Royal one can tell when you are even lying to yourself. Add to that, the slight you gave him, I am surprised he hasn't issued demanded an honor duel request." Filius added. "I know from what I have seen and heard, he is well skilled in dueling with magic and weapons."
"I am sure it will be fine. He seems to get along with Severus well enough." Albus remarked.
"They get along because they are Potion and Defense Masters, not to mention, they talked about some of the conferences they have attended at the same time. Severus also knew the customs for us to follow, which I am sad to say I didn't yesterday because I think I was still in shock over what you did." Minerva told him. "You best get those books out and start reading, while he may not have forced a formal introduction of the staff today, doesn't mean he won't follow other customs." She got up and left the table.
"She is correct. The King is very formal, we saw that with his Royal Guard and himself. They follow the old ways and expect us to follow them." Filius reminded him.
"We don't follow those old customs any longer, he will have to adjust." Albus said.
"You are forgetting he is a guest here, he also is the owner, you are the host, would you as a guest like to have your customs and traditions ignored, when they were at one time our own, especially in a place that you own?" Pomona questioned him.
"I would think carefully if I was you, Albus. The King is not someone you want to have as an enemy." Filius told him.
"I am sure he won't be joining Voldemort." Albus was certain he was right.
"That isn't what I meant. I meant, he can make He-Who-Must-Be-Named look like a child if you offend him. The living vampires and vampires haven't been happy for a number of years in regards to how wizards have been handling the magical world. This is a political situation which you can either help or hinder." Filius told him. Filius got up, left the table.
Pomona added, "there was a valid reason why the war with vampires only lasted three days, we realized we had no hope of winning. I would suggest you follow Minerva advice." She left the Great Hall.
No one said anything for a long time until Albus glanced at his remaining staff members, asked, "what did you think of Hadrian?"
"I wouldn't call him Hadrian if I was you. His title, unless he gives you leave, is the correct form. Filius, Pomona, and Minerva were correct in stating the King's character." Poppy informed him. "I believe you need to follow their advice."
"We aren't very formal here, I am not going to be addressing someone a 1/4 of my age by a formal title."
"Are you sure he is a 1/4 of your age?" Came the response from Rolanda Hooch. "You don't get to where he is without some experience. He knows the old customs, you might want to think why he knows them." She told him, hoping her words would sink in. "I have some brooms I need to finish inspecting." She got up, left.
"Albus I usually never say anything about anything, you know that, however, I am going to give you a piece of advice, don't let your glasses block you from seeing what is in front of your face." Aurora told him. "Follow their advice." She left the Great Hall.
Albus looked at the remaining staff who nod their agreement. Albus wanted to curse, he was hoping to get some of them on his side. He knew that the living vampire was a dark creature, he just had to find a way to prove it, and then find a way to break the Treaty and they could wipe them out.
"We have a problem." Vlad said shadowing into the room.
"I am taking it's from breakfast?" The King asked as he and Radu are going over contracts.
"Correct, despite everyone telling him what he needed to do, he still believes you are a dark creature, he wants to find a way to prove it and break the Treaty and wipe us out."
"Does he need Lithium in his drinking water?" Radu asked. "Sign here too." Pointing to a line.
"I am not sure about his drinking water, but he needs something. The man is very power hungry, oh I did see something in his shadow like you did, couldn't grab it, however. He is in denial about it, very heavy denial, we might not be able to see it, it feels like it is protected by something, I am not sure on that." Vlad said.
"Wonder what it is about? I can look deeper later when he isn't expecting me to be reading his shadow." The King said. "We can't put anyone in his office, how about his quarters?"
"I think that might be possible, that bird is a right menace. Are you sure we just can't have a cookout with it?" Vlad asked.
"Yes, I will work on the bird, he doesn't care for the old creep, but he is sadly a creature of Light. I have no idea why he is still here."
"Could he be one of the guardians?" Radu asked.
"He might, there isn't much written about them. I can see if the Basilisk isn't crazy and maybe get some answers from her when I shadow down."
"They seemed fine with you, some were surprised at how talkative Severus was, but they seemed genuinely happy he was." Vlad told them. "Oh, Longbottom is to be here today, after lunch, I believe the old coot is going to ask you to give him some instructions. Moody will be in attendance to make sure you don't do anything to Longbottom. Moody gave him a piece of his mind, for a paranoid Auror he seems cool."
Mircea shadowed into the room. "We might have a problem, Călugărul says there is a new rumor going around about Harry Potter, so there might be a new mission. According to the rumor, someone has a description of what Harry Potter looks like."
"How is that even possible?" Radu asked.
"Not sure, we are trying to find out where the rumor came from but it's leading to dead ends, it all seems to point to different people, so we were thinking it might have been mentioned in a general pubic area so that numerous people would talk about it." Mircea said.
"Wonder if the old coot let that one out to make it so that people won't give up hope because we know Longbottom is not inspiring hope." Vlad commented.
"I am not sure, that man is so full of schemes and lies, I wonder if he would know the truth if it bit him on the nose." The King told them. "See what you can find out, you know the usual routine. School doesn't start for two weeks. Have everyone make sure their areas are warded and secure, we don't need anyone finding our modifications." Mircea shadowed out.
"Alexandru has been on that, he took care of the kitchens this morning, he is going room by room, floor by floor double checking." Radu told the King.
The King nodded his head. "I expect our same skills and resources we have been using, I don't want anyone slacking on this, we are to close."
"If anything I think we are going to have to tell a few to relax, they are going hyper security sensitive." Vlad informed him.
"That is fine, just make sure we have plenty of coverage, they may only think there is three of us here, but what they don't know won't hurt them for now." The King told them. "Did we secure that meeting room?"
"Yes, Alexandru and Vintilă warded it before Vintilă went to watch Longbottom." Radu at the King's nod, he continued. "Harry, I know a lot is riding on this, but we can handle it, we have been preparing for this for over five years."
"I know Radu, I know. One of the reasons why I selected all of you is because all of you know how important this is."
"We have control of the Wizengamot, Hogwarts, and the Ministry. No one knows it, the old coot is going to fall hard, you will get your retribution for all of those years." Vlad told him.
"Yes, I will. So will my mates." He told them, causing them to grin.
"Nothing like the promise of bloodshed to make my day." Vlad replied.
Chapter 3: Lesson 3-Secrets
The King quietly looked around before revealing himself in the small tidy office. He sat down, pulled out his book and started to read as he waited. He heard the door open and glanced up, stood up, smiled.
"I was wondering when you would stop in for a visit." Poppy moved forward, hugging the King. "Did Vintilă tell you about the emergency staff meeting? I have so many questions I want to ask, I am sure we will get to them."
"I am aware you do. I will try and answer them. Yes, he mentioned it. I wasn't sure what it was about, none of us were present." The King said sitting back down.
"The old fool is paranoid you are going to take over Hogwarts, turn everyone into a vampire." She scoffed. "Doesn't want to listen or believe you aren't a dark creature."
The King smirked. "Technically, we already have taken over Hogwarts. I am not sure where he got the idea about turning people into vampires. We are aware of that little bit of information about me being a dark creature. He wants to work on breaking the treaty for some reason. I am working on trying to figure out what exactly he has planned. There is something in his shadow that is deeply hidden, maybe even has a protection charm on it. I am not exactly sure."
"None of us understood his idea of being turned into vampires, I think he is working on creating fear again. I am worried what he will say at the Welcoming Feast. He did ask Severus to keep an eye on you. Severus didn't take that to well, kind of surprised me. Severus, while he has a sharp tongue, usually doesn't give Albus a lecture on protocol. He gave the man a good ten-minute speech on what Albus had done wrong, what he needed to do to fix it and explained that living vampires don't turn people and weren't dark creatures." She paused, "it didn't work from what I saw and heard at breakfast."
"No, Vlad heard it all. He has Neville coming here today for me to work with."
"I don't know what he expects from that boy, but he can't deal with it. I am afraid he is going to end up next to his parents if that fool doesn't back off."
"Moody and Severus are in agreement on that. Severus has plans to get him out of the classroom, so do I. Granger and Weasley, they're ruining that boy's confidence. What is your opinion on them?"
Poppy sighed. "I know. She, while smart, is too driven to prove herself and goes about it in the wrong way. Ron, he just wants the fame, thrives on being Neville's friend. He is a bit of a hot head."
The King looked at Poppy for a few minutes. "Are they under any spells or potions? We have looked into their shadows and haven't seen anything but you know if it's the right type of potion or spell, it won't show up in a shadow."
"I have been hoping for that, but every time I do a scan they come clean. How are you going to keep Neville out of any kind of defense?"
"I don't mind giving him private lessons, without Granger and Weasley around, he could use the help. I just don't want him in a classroom with a loaded wand."
"What do Tom and Lucius say?"
"We are all in agreement as usual. Really haven't had much time with Tom, been working on the wards and getting this trip planned. This Ministry loves their rules and regulations. I am sure I will be dragged back to the Ministry a few times. Umbridge loathes creatures, so that will make it interesting."
"None of the staff made any remarks about the changes. Harry, are you really alright?"
The King gave her a soft smile. "I am actually more worried about Severus. I am not sure how he is going to take learning the truth."
"I believe I would like the truth just fine." They turned, saw Severus standing there. "Mr. Potter, I have been looking for you."
"I knew you would figure it out. I did tell them you would. I was just wondering if you would step out of the shadows and address it before I left the room. You heard enough to kind of guess what is going on." The King grinned at him.
Severus was thrown off, the King knew he was there. "Come and sit down, Severus." Poppy told him. "This might take a bit of explaining."
"A bit Poppy?" The King chuckled.
"Oh, hush you."
Severus looked at him. "How long have you known who you were?"
"I didn't know I was Harry Potter until about two years ago. When I was found, I didn't know my name. My relatives just called me freak, boy, or anything else they could think of but my name."
"I am aware of how you were treated. Moody and I discovered the truth shortly after we started looking for you when you didn't show up for your first year. When did you know Poppy?"
"Same time as Harry, two years ago." She told him. "Severus?"
"I am fine." They were watching him, he could feel it. He didn't want to open his eyes, look at them.
"No, you aren't, you are furious and you aren't sure who you should be furious with. You want to be mad at me, but knowing my history, learning that little fact and realizing what the old fool wants you to do has made you uncertain."
"Harry, don't read his shadows."
"I am not. Severus. I know you feel as if I lied to you."
"No, I know you didn't. You never claimed or denied being Harry Potter, it was never asked. I have been disappointed for a number of years in Albus. First, when I learned about what your relatives were like. He willing put you there, he knew Lily's sister hated magic and did it, ignoring that fact. Second, when he tried to cover it up how you were treated, the fact you were missing and had no idea where you were. He is still telling people you are getting special training. Third, how he treats Mr. Longbottom. I agree with you about getting him some help and out of the classroom. Fourth, his actions since I heard about your pending arrival. You want to protect Neville, I heard that too, not many people do."
Poppy leaned forward and took Severus' hands. "I didn't want to hide anything from you, but I couldn't tell you about Harry. I know how long and hard you were looking. I treated all those injuries you received."
Severus clasped her hands. "I know, Poppy. I am just trying to figure out how the Dark Lord and Lucius fit into this. I mean the man is clearly not insane. I can tell that from the few interactions I have had with him. He isn't out to just kill people anymore."
"Two years ago, Lucius made a trip to my country. He didn't know who I was, just as I didn't know who he was. After a few months of contract talks, Tom arrived, we both felt something when we looked at each other. It gave us a slight headache. After Poppy did a medical scan on me, we found out I am his Horcrux. We went from there."
"Are you working with him?" Severus calmly asked, much calmer than he was actually feeling. The Dark Lord knew Harry Potter and he wasn't dead, well given Harry was a living vampire, it made it hard, but the biggest thing was that the Dark Lord hadn't done anything about it.
"No, he is now working for me, which is why there haven't been any attacks. We want to protect the magical world, not just wizards. This plan for the fake prophecy is endangering all of us."
"Fake." Severus paled. It can't be a fake. There is no way.
"Yes, it's a fake in the sense he is taking a prophecy that wasn't meant to be reused again and again. The original prophecy was giving over sixty years ago, he fulfilled it when he defeated the Dark Lord Gellert Grindelwald. He used to again on for me when I was little, now he is using it again for either me or Neville."
"Albus' birthday isn't at the end of July."
"History lesson." Poppy told him, leaned back in her chair, she knew what was coming, smirked at the confusion on Severus' face.
"No it's not but you see you are using the Gregorian calendar, it's an updated version of the Julian calendar, both of which have 12 months, really no difference. The Romans invented a ten-month calendar a couple of thousand years ago. The Romans borrowed parts of their earliest known calendar from the Greeks. This calendar consisted of 10 months in a year of 304 days. The Romans seem to have ignored the remaining 61 days, which fell in the middle of winter. The 10 months were named Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. The last six names were taken from the words for five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. Romulus, the legendary first ruler of Rome, is supposed to have introduced this calendar in the 700's B.C.E."
The King stopped speaking, watched as Severus nodded his head to continue. "According to tradition, the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the calendar. This made the Roman year 355 days long. To make the calendar correspond approximately to the solar year, Numa also ordered the addition every other year of a month called Mercedinus. Mercedinus was inserted after February 23 or 24, and the last days of February were moved to the end of Mercedinus. In years when it was inserted, Mercedinus added 22 or 23 days to the year. The Julian calendar was invented by Julius Caesar, after whom it was named, in 45 B.C. Now Caesar's calendar, which consisted of eleven months of 30 or 31 days and a 28-day February, extended to 29 days every fourth year, was actually quite accurate. It erred from the real solar calendar by only 11½ minutes a year. After centuries, though, even a small inaccuracy like this adds up. By the sixteenth century, it had put the Julian calendar behind the solar one by 10 days. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the advancement of the calendar by 10 days and introduced a new corrective device to curb further error, century years such as 1700 or 1800 would no longer be counted as leap years, unless they were, like 1600 or 2000, divisible by 400."
"To sum up what Harry just said, the wrong calendar was used for prophecy, Albus was born at the end of September, from the original calendar making it the seventh month, filling the prophecy. Sybill took an old prophecy her grandmother had written down and spoke it during her job interview."
Severus inhaled and slowly exhaled. "So Lily dying wasn't necessary?" They see him pinching the bridge of his nose, trying to regain control of his emotions. Severus as fighting his desire to go and kill Sybill and the old fart that is their boss.
"No, and I have been thinking, mind you there isn't any proof, that the old coot knew it was already fulfilled and he is using it to keep control. He likes the power. Now some more speculation is that he had a hand in helping to create Tom's insanity. I can't prove that, but I think it's so. I haven't met this Horace Slughorn, the man who gave the book to Tom about Horcruxes, but until I do, I can't know for sure."
"If Horace is the one to give the Dark Lord the book then I can say for sure Albus had a hand in it. Horace isn't that type of person to know that type of information. The man is basically a coward and lives for his club and potions, though he isn't very good at potions." Severus told the King.
"I have to agree with Severus on that. I know Horace and he isn't."
"It would fit with what we know about the old coot." The King said. "I do apologize if that name offends you Severus, but we have been taking to calling him that for over five years. Radu and Vlad refuse to even say his real name."
"That is fine, I understand why. Trust me I do." Severus said. "I still want to work with you on potions and defense, but I need time to process what I have learned. May I speak to you about this again?"
"Yes, and you will find you won't be able to speak to anyone else about it, but those who already know. Talk to Lucius, he really is your friend. He has been worried about you."
Severus looked surprised for a few seconds. "Thank you." He cast a quick Tempus. "Longbottom will be here in about ten minutes. I need to go and meet Moody. I told him I would assist you in the lesson."
"That is fine, I will enjoy it. I shall see you in the classroom."
"Severus, trust him." Poppy told him as she stood up. "I do."
Severus gave her a soft smile. "You know I am surprised by myself but I do. I have known something has been wrong for a while. I just didn't want to admit it to myself. Thank you for telling me the truth." He left the office.
Poppy turned to Harry. "Well?"
"He is fine Poppy. He speaks the truth and I know will help us." He gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Now, stop worrying about your little chicks."
"You know I only count three people as sons, and I am happier now that you are all going to be working together. You have to protect Severus. As much as he likes to pretend to be strong, Albus has done a lot of damage to him." She told him.
"I know, Poppy. He is protected, he just doesn't know it yet." The King told her.
"Who is watching him?"
"Vlad's three sons, with their mates." The King answered. "They have been for a long time. It was the only reason why Severus made it back from his last mission to search for Harry Potter. The man sent him into the heart of werewolf country and didn't tell him."
"Thank you, Harry." Poppy said. "You best go and meet with Moody, he will hunt you down if you are late."
"I will see you later." He shadowed out.
Chapter 4: Neville
The King stayed in the shadows as he watched Moody arrive with Neville Longbottom. He could see Moody's magical eye spinning around the room. "Longbottom, remember your manners, the King is here to help you and you need to listen, but he goes by the old ways."
Neville didn't get to respond as Severus opened the door and entered the classroom. "Professor Snape, I didn't think you would be here." Neville was trying not to panic.
"Where else would I be? The King and I are going to be instructing you." Severus was annoyed. He knew it, but he didn't want to be here, trying to teach Longbottom. He wanted to go and talk to Lucius. He certainly didn't want Neville Longbottom involved in this and was thankful the King wanted to protect Neville.
The King stepped out of the shadows. "Good afternoon, Severus, Mr. Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody and Heir Neville Francis Longbottom."
"Your Majesty. Please call me Mad-Eye." Moody bowed.
"Bow." Severus informed Longbottom as he straightened up from his bow. He watched the King's raise an eyebrow as Longbottom almost seemed to fall as he bowed. Severus wondered if the boy would have if Moody hadn't grabbed his arm.
"I believe a review is in order to determine where you stand in your defense skills." The King walked towards them. "Severus, does this school include an exercise program?"
"It should." Moody commented lowly, but he could tell he was heard.
"I do agree. We will set one up for people interested. Now, Heir Longbottom, I do hope you do not mind me shortening your name, we will start with the basics. Severus, would you please assist Heir Longbottom in running through the spells, since you are aware of spell repertoire." The King instructed. He waved his hand, the benches and desks swept to the side. "I would like to see all the spells, not just dueling ones."
Severus looked at him for a second but nodded his head as he watched Longbottom move to the center of the room. "Is there an order you wish to see them in, Sire?"
"No, Severus, when you are ready." The King looked at Neville, something was off, he could see it. "Heir Longbottom, may I see your wand?"
"My wand?" Neville asked, holding it up.
"Manners, Mr. Longbottom."
The King took the wand and flicked it, a spark of fire shot out of it. He gave it a swish and a bright light burst forth. "Give it a swish for me please." Neville took the wand and gave it a swish and a small dull light came out. "You need a wand that matches you, that is part of the problem, another problem is you are holding your wand in a death grip. Relax your hold, and do not keep such a stiff wrist, you are preventing the natural movement that comes with each flick or swish of your wand." The King looked at Moody and Severus. "Can one of you get him a better wand? One that works for him, not against him."
"My Gram might not like that, Sire." Neville replied.
"It was his father's, Sire." Mad-Eye explained. "He was an Auror."
"Until he gets the correct wand, none of his spells will work correctly. He is wasting his magical reserves forcing the ones he is able to cast. I will not teach him until he gets the correct wand for him. I will not be responsible for magical child's core being burnt out." The King informed them.
"Burnt out, Sire?" Severus asked.
"Yes, you access your core each time you cast a spell, the harder the spell the more of your core you use. If you use too much of your core, your core gets depleted. It's called Magical Exhaustion. When it happens, if it's severe enough it can cause the core to burn out. When you burn out your core, no amount of rest, potions or spells will replenish it." The King explained.
Severus and Mad-Eye looked at the wand and back to the King. "I will inform his Grandmother, Moody, if you will take him to get a new wand." Severus stated.
"I will take him now. Ollivander is still opened. Come on Longbottom, let's go to Diagon Alley." Mad-Eye hobbled out of the room with Neville following behind.
The King regarded Severus for a few seconds. "Would you care for a duel, Severus?"
"Now Harry?" He asked.
"Yes, it should be interesting. Wands, swords or quarterstaff?" The King asked.
"I have no experience with swords or quarterstaff."
"Would you like to learn?"
Severus thought for a few seconds, he already knew the King would win in a duel. He had seen him fight before. "Yes, quarterstaff sounds interesting."
The King grinned and created a staff for Severus to use after he handed the staff, he pulled his wand out and transformed it into a staff. "What we are going to do is a simple exercise. Place one hand close to the end of the staff, the other hand at about the one-third mark."
Severus followed the direction, putting the pole on his left side with his right hand at the one-third mark.
"Now thrust the staff forward, pull it back and switch sides." Severus obeyed. "Again." Severus obeyed. "Swing it around, get the feel of the staff." The King told him.
Severus started to swing the staff and sliding his hands up and down to swing the staff in different ways. He began to twist his body a bit to add muscle behind the thrusts.
"I am going to start hitting your staff, I want you to feel how it feel, don't put a death grip on the staff, but not so loose that it will be knocked out." The King explained, he hit Severus' staff on the left side of the staff, and then switched to the right. "Feel the wood, tighten your grip a bit, don't plant your feet, just like in a duel, keep it light and flowing. When you are ready try to block me."
Almost an hour later Severus was exhausted. The King grinned at him. "Radu, let's show him how it is done."
Severus watched Radu come out of the shadow. "Your Majesty." He knelt.
"Rise Radu and don't do that again when it's just us." The King tutted at him.
"Ah, he knows." Radu gave a slight laugh. "Do you want Vlad here too?"
"No, I will do my work out later, now let's show Severus how a well a staff can work in a fight." The King summoned another staff and tossed it to Radu, who caught it swiftly.
Radu took his position and Severus watched fascinated as the two vampires battled. Severus noticed Radu was working extremely hard to keep the blows from landing while the King seemed to give another lesson and it was confirmed when the King said, "you are locking your elbow again."
Severus heard the door open and saw Minerva and Filius enter the room. "We heard the noise." Minerva explained as they joined Severus.
"Elbow." The King stated.
"I thought he was to give Neville a lesson." Filius stated.
"I did too. However, the King discovered the reason Neville is having problems, he was using his father's wand and it wasn't a good fit." Severus didn't take his eyes off of the fight he was watching.
"You have a quarterstaff too. I didn't know you knew how to use one." Minerva commented as she began to watch the pair of vampires. "He is good."
"I don't, had my first lesson today." Severus explained. "They have been dueling for almost three hours."
The King disarmed Radu, sending him to the floor with a clean sweep of his legs. Radu landed on his back, "I am just glad it wasn't swords." He muttered.
The King laughed as held out his hand and helped Radu up. "Practice after dinner, inform everyone."
"Yes, Sire. I am sure they will enjoy it before they head home." Radu replied. "Dinner will be served in an hour." He reminded the King. "I am going to take a hot shower." Radu faded into the shadows.
"Good afternoon Professor Minerva McGonagall and Professor Filius Flitwick, it is a pleasure to see you again." The King turned to face them.
"Filius, please. I haven't seen a quarterstaff duel in a long time, it was a great pleasure to watch even if for such a short time, your Majesty." Filius bowed.
Minerva curtsied. "We heard the banging of wood out in the hall, we didn't mean to intrude but it was fascinating to watch your Majesty, and Minerva is fine."
"Harry, when we are in private. We will be using swords after dinner if you wish to watch." The King informed them. "Now, if you'll please excuse me, I do need to go and get refreshed before dinner. Severus would you care to walk with me, I would like to set up some time for lessons if you are interested."
"Yes, Sire, I would enjoy lessons." Severus stated.
The King grinned. "My lady, may we escort you someplace?"
Minerva held out her arm, the King took it and they started walking, with Severus and Filius behind them. Minerva broke the silence by asking "I was headed to my office. Would you be interested in teaching a Defense Club concerning other methods of defense besides magic?"
"That will be my pleasure. It will work well with my lessons."
Radu and Vlad were waiting for him when he exited his bathroom. "I don't have much time, but I believe I discovered part of Neville's spell problem." He told them. He looked closely at Radu. "Do you need a healing potion?"
"I am fine, I am just grateful it wasn't swords." Radu replied.
"So what was the problem?" Vlad asked.
"He was using his father's wand and didn't match his core at all." The King sat down at his desk. "Does paperwork breed? I could have sworn I had everything signed."
Radu and Vlad held back a slight chuckle. "The old coot might use that has a way of forcing more practicals on Neville."
"He can try, but Severus and I will be in charge of his lessons soon. Neville is going to need to catch up before we can teach him anything else. I still don't want him to be involved in this but I didn't want to take a chance on damaging his core. Mad-Eye took him to get one."
"Good. Nothing from the old coot so far. We are still working on that rumor, but no one has been sent out looking for Harry Potter."
"Interesting." The King read a letter and signed it. "It confirms what we thought, that it was started to give hope."
"I agree. It seems to have been said around a few different popular spots all shortly after it first broke in the Leaky Cauldron." Vlad gave the King some parchment. "If look at the locations, it is clear someone did it to make sure it would get around but it would stem from various sources."
"Have everyone on alert, I want to keep track of anyone he might send on one of those wild goose chases he is so fond of, we don't need anyone hurt."
"Already on it. Mircea called up a few more and stationed them all over Diagon and Knockturn Alleys."
"Thank you." The King stood up. "Now, let's go to dinner."
Chapter 5: Lesson 4-How To Get Dumbles Annoyed, Learning the Truth
Severus and the King walked into the Great Hall for breakfast, the last few days had been spent with them working on potions. Severus and the King, with the aid of Moody, had worked on keeping Neville from actually dueling. They instead spent the time teach Neville how to get comfortable with his magic and his new wand. Neville had surprised himself with his new found abilities because of his new wand. According to Neville, Lady Longbottom was also happy about her grandson's magical growth.
Severus, Moody, and the King got Neville started on a physical exercise program. While Severus and the King already did physical exercise, it was a new experience for Neville. Moody would sit in a summoned chair and tried to land a spell on the King. Moody would randomly fire spells at the King, none of his spells hit. Severus, Moody, and Neville asked the King to teach them how he did it. The next day, the King started casting spells at all three of them as they moved.
As Severus and the King sat down they noticed that Dumbledore was reading some parchment and he was furious. Everyone could feel the anger coming off of the man in waves. They exchanged a look and Severus leaned closer to the King. "Do you know what is wrong with him?"
"Most likely some bad news regarding Professors being replaced." The King replied quietly. At Severus' confused looked, he continued. "I can tell you later when we are alone."
Severus tilted his head in acceptance but before he could take another sip of his tea, Dumbledore glared down the table to the King. "This is your fault isn't it?" Dumbledore asked, trying to keep his voice under control. He was furious. His face was getting red, his eyes weren't twinkling and his hand was turning white as he clutched the parchment.
"I am unsure of what you are speaking about." The King replied, setting his silverware down, giving Dumbledore his full attention.
Everyone's head was swinging back and forth between the two men. Severus could see people were surprised by both men's reaction. The King's calmness and Dumbledore's rage, especially since Dumbledore usually was very calm. No one had ever seen Dumbledore lose his control, especially in this manner. Dumbledore raised the parchment in the air. "This! You, after all, do own Hogwarts." Dumbledore snarled. "You had to have a hand in this business."
"Headmaster is my name on the letter?" The King knew his name wasn't on the parchment. He had Lucius set it up so that the letter was just from the board on purpose. He didn't want a link to him directly.
"No, but you have to be behind it." Dumbledore stated. "They wouldn't have done this without your interference."
"Really? I wasn't aware I signed anything regarding Hogwarts. I can review my correspondence but I think I would remember anything regarding Hogwarts." The King calmly replied. "Perhaps if you explain as to what the issue appears to be."
Dumbledore stood up, trying to regain his temper. "I need to speak to the following professors. Professor Thomas (current muggle study Professor), Professor Kettleburn, and Professor Trelawney. I will be releasing Professor Binns from his position."
"The cards didn't reflect bad vibes." Sybill Trelawney said. "I burned some fresh incense this morning to increase the positive energies in the Castle. Though we should be meditating together to allow us to achieve the ability to open up our third eye."
The King looked at Severus. "Is she always like that?" He was glad he was getting rid of the fraud. The woman couldn't be more wrong. She was being fired. He had never had any interactions with her but his family had and they weren't impressed by her.
"Yes, sadly she is, she is always wrong." Severus replied. He leaned towards him. "I am still trying to figure out how she got the job."
"What is the problem, Albus?" Professor Silvanus Kettleburn asked. He was wondering what had gotten Dumbledore so riled. The man was missing a few of his body parts from his job as the Care of Magical Creatures Professor. He was also not getting any younger and the animals he dealt with were dangerous.
"I would rather speak to you in my office." Dumbledore stated. He again looked at the King, deciding that the man really didn't know about the letter. He had reread it twice already and glanced down again. The letter was signed by Lucius Malfoy, Head of the Board of Governors. Malfoy had been a thorn in his side for years, the King wasn't even around when it started.
Minerva looked at Dumbledore. She quietly asked, "why are you so upset with the King?"
"I believed he is responsible for this." Dumbledore said and handed her the parchment he had still clutched in his hand.
Minerva took the parchment and read through the letter. "Why do you think he had anything to do with this? You even said that he didn't even know Lucius Malfoy until they met at the Wizengamot."
"I know, I overreacted." Dumbledore told her. "I can't believe I did that. I need to rethink how to handle Hadrian."
"You can start by using his title. You owe him another apology, not that you have apologized for your other slights." Minerva glared at Dumbledore. The man was being stubborn about the King and determined to prove whatever falsehoods he wanted to believe.
Dumbledore looked down the table again and realized he had, indeed, been handling the King wrong. If he wanted to reveal that the King was indeed a dark creature he needed to get close to the man and get him to reveal his secrets. He watched Severus and the King leave the Head Table and exit the Great Hall. "Where are they going?" He quietly asked Minerva.
"Potions lab again. They are working on a few different experimental potions." Minerva replied. "They have created a new potion for healing with some scar removal."
"I best get to my office, so that I can speak to my former employees." Dumbledore told her, he got up and left for his office.
Severus and the King walked quietly to Severus' private potion lab, as soon as the door was closed and the wards were in place, Severus turned to the King and glared. He wanted answers and Harry Potter was going to deliver them.
The King tried not to grin as he began to set things up for their newest creation. He knew Severus was wondering what happened but he wasn't going to let the man think he was in intimated by his glare. He wasn't in the slightest. While he did enjoy Severus' moods he wasn't going to let the man dictated his actions. He wasn't Harry Potter, he was a King and he had seen worse than the glare Severus Snape was giving him.
"Care to tell me what is going on?" Severus finally asked, the anger clear in his voice. He wasn't happy and wasn't afraid to let the King know it. He had spent the last few days with him and had grown to really like him. Severus admired the man, no boy, he was only 17. While he knew Harry had done more with his young life than Severus had done, didn't mean he was going to disregard his age.
The King turned and put the silver cauldron down on the work bench. "He is upset because Professors Binns, Kettleburn, Thomas, and Trelawney have been replaced. Professor Binns because he is a ghost and has had the lowest scores in History of Magic since he passed away. Professor Kettleburn due to his lack of Mastery and lack of limbs which makes it harder for him to control the animals he uses. Added with the increasing number of accidents in his classroom to himself and students. Thomas, because man has the highest accident rate in the one year he has been teaching. He also doesn't even have a Masters nor a Teaching Certificate. I don't believe I need to explain Trelawney. I also think he is upset because the Board has hired their replacements. All of them have a Mastery in their profession with a Teaching Certificate. He will be losing a few more who don't have their Certificates, though not the core group of professors. That parchment will be arriving by lunch."
"You didn't?" Severus asked, shocked. While he didn't think Trelawney was a seer, Binns was dead and Kettleburn's classes were increasingly dangerous, he certainly wasn't expecting them to be fired. Thomas was almost as big of a fraud as Lockhart was. He really wasn't bothered by them leaving or any of the others as long as it wasn't Minerva and Filius, he really didn't care. He was bothered by the lack of care the King was displaying, he was too young to have this type of attitude. Over the last few days, he had seen the King without his masks, when they were in the lab, and he enjoyed that person.
"Why shouldn't I have? I am not going to allow incompetent professors keep teaching here. Hogwarts has dropped to the bottom of the list for magical school to attend. It was once at the top. The educational standard has declined over the last few decades, starting within a decade of Headmaster Dumbledore taking control. The number of student accidents has increased in that same time frame, though in potions there was a decline when you began teaching. A troll in what would have been my first year, the theft of the Sorcerer's Stone also occurred in that year. A student who was almost killed during what would have been my second year, after numerous students and a cat were petrified that year. Do I need to continue?"
"That was because of the Dark Lord." Severus stated. Dumbledore had just stated it was because of the man, but hadn't provided the details of what exactly happened each year, he just stated that everything was back to normal.
"No it wasn't. Quirrell wasn't possessed by Tom, nor was that book part of Tom's soul. Tom was actually in America for those two years. He attained his new body that year. An American had decided he wanted to summon a demon. The man got the ritual wrong and summoned Tom instead. The book that caused almost Ginny Weasley's death was actually stolen by my people and we looked at it." The King looked closely at Severus. "Severus, you aren't going to like what I want to tell you. I also don't think you are ready to hear it." He didn't want to rip away any more of Severus' believe regarding Dumbledore, but he also didn't want to lie to the man.
Severus inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled. "Let me guess, Albus Dumbledore was responsible." He didn't know how exactly but he knew Dumbledore was behind all that. He had thought at the time it was strange how those events happened just when Harry was to start at Hogwarts. They never had yearly events up to that point.
The King looked at Severus for a few seconds, as if deciding if he should let Severus know the truth, Severus was about to speak when he finally answered. "Yes, he was. We found his magical signature on the Stone and the book. The Stone was actually stolen by Quirrell, who was under the Imperius Curse. Quirrell isn't sure who did it, he was Obliviate, however, that doesn't work well on or with vampires. We were able to review the memory after we found it. We have had vampires here during the last six years the first two years we only had a two here for protecting the student. We tried to stop the Troll by sending it away from the dungeons, we were in the process of getting ready to kill it when a group of Professors arrived, you included. We removed the book from Ginny Weasley, stabbing it with some venom from the Basilisk down in the Chamber, saving Ginny. We pretended to kill the Basilisk for those down there to hear it die. We shadow walk the Basilisk away from Hogwarts for it to kill for food. It isn't exactly sane, too much time alone and locked up. She is still in the Chamber but now gets food. Someone tried to make to make the book look like a younger Tom Riddle. However, when we reviewed the memory from Ginny Weasley, they got a few things wrong. One was the shape of the face another was the hair and eye color. It was close but it was a few shades off on both."
Severus felt faint, he was right, Dumbledore had set them up. "There is more isn't there, the rest of the years?"
"We think the first year was set up for me, some kind of test. After that, we believe the rest were set up for Neville to help prove he was the one marked for that prophecy that has already been filled a few different times actually." The King's words confirmed what Severus had thought already.
"I know it's a fake, but how can he use it?" Severus felt like his world was spinning out of control. He hoped Dumbledore didn't set up Lily for death. He really couldn't handle it if she did. Lily was his only friend when he was Hogwarts, he had loved her dearly.
The King walked over to Severus and took his hand. "It should be considered a fake in regards to Neville. It was fulfilled a few different times, once by a boy about three centuries, a girl about 200 years ago, again by Albus Dumbledore when he defeated the Dark Lord Grindelwald in 1945. I informed you that it was recycled, her grandmother wrote it down." The King paused for a few seconds. "You know I wonder if that name refers to to Grendel, the troll-like monster of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf?" He began to think about that, he wondered if that had something to do with anything.
Severus arched his eyebrow, he ignored that last commented. "You fulfilled it as a baby didn't you?"
"Yes." The King replied, brought back to the subject at hand. "You see, it has bothered us that this prophecy has been recycled a few different times, so we looked into it. The original seer was actually an ancestor of our dearly soon to be departed from Hogwarts Professor of Divination. The great, great grandmother was the original one to speak it. The boy defeated a Dark Lord in Spain. The great grandmother recycled it for the girl, who defeated a Dark Lord in France. Her grandmother recycled it for Albus, who while born at the end of September, still qualified because of the older calendar predating the Julian one, September was the seventh month. We know that Sybill recycled it for a job interview. Now the really interesting part is, the job interview happened after my parents and the Longbottoms were expecting, so she had to know one of us would be born by the end of July. She basically just hedged that one of us would. I know we were born at the end of the month."
Severus got up and started to pace around the lab. He didn't speak for a while. When he finally stopped pacing he again sat down on the bench he had been sitting on earlier. "What else is there? You mentioned being here for over five years, watching and protecting the students."
"We have been doing that, watching and protecting. We didn't know why this prophecy was around again. We didn't know that I was Harry Potter. Granted we had heard of Harry Potter, but has you can see I don't have the scar. My aunt said it disappeared within days of me arriving. We didn't find that information out until about two years ago when we learned I was Harry. Vlad went and spoke to the Dursleys regarding my scar. No one knew that I was Harry until two years ago, as I explained."
"You had to have heard the stories about Harry Potter." Severus was feeling like his world was spinning out of control. Everything he thought he knew was wrong. He accepted that the King was Harry Potter, but they really hadn't spoken about it after their talk with Poppy.
"We did, but you see I thought my parents were killed by drunk drivers. The Dursley family didn't like magic, and when I was about 5, I ran away from home. I figured anything was better than living with them, including the streets. On the streets, I certainly got more food. Anyways, about a week after I ran away, I was found by Mihnea. He took me back to Romania with him. It was there I learned I was a living vampire. I was actually born a living vampire. Since we don't require blood, no one really knew. We believe my mother was one."
"Lily couldn't have been one." Severus didn't know much about living vampires, but she couldn't have been a living vampire. Wouldn't she have known that? Wouldn't it have shown up in some scans?
"She was a muggle-born witch." Severus thought that explained everything. Lily was a Muggle-born, she wasn't a living vampire.
"No she wasn't. I don't think she knew she was one. Was she good at spell casting? Was she ever sick or severely injured?" The King asked. "Petunia isn't one, but you see, it's a creature inheritance."
"She was very good at spell casting. I am not sure about her being sick or injured, but from what I remember she wasn't. I thought the Killing Curse couldn't kill a living vampire?"
"It doesn't but you see, when Tom went to kill her, he asked her three times to step aside. She declined all three times. When he cast the curse, it rebounded back to him. It rebounded for a few reasons. One of them is based on what we saw from the color of the shield that protected me. The color of the shield was because of blood magic and her refusing to step aside when Tom asked. Another reason, of course, is that I was already a living vampire and someone was willing to die to protect me, in order for that to work, she had to have runes on the floor for protection. We went to the house, pulled back the rugs in what was my room and found the runes on the floor. We also felt the blood magic residue."
Severus thought for a few minutes. "You know that makes more sense than what Albus spews out. He has been saying it was the power of Lily's love that saved you."
"Love?" The King had never heard of that for a reason. Most of what they had found, all stated they had no idea why Harry Potter didn't die that night. Dumbledore certainly never explained it, and neither did the Ministry. There wasn't any mention of blood magic or the runes. It wasn't until they reviewed the memories of that night that he remembered and went to the house that they were able to piece together their theory. It made more sense than love, he thought.
"Yes, he believes it's the greatest power and he uses that as an example." Severus told him.
"Interesting, too bad he is wrong. While love is powerful, it's not going to stop the Killing Curse, not without some powerful magic behind it. If love could do that, every parent who ever died to protect their child would have experienced it." The King gave a small huff. "The things that man has spewed out over the years makes me wonder if he isn't already senile."
Pătrașcu shadowed into the lab. He glanced around, seeing Severus, he knelt. "He is getting some people to look into that rumor."
"Figures. Why?" The King asked as he stood up. "Stand up."
Pătrașcu spoke as he stood up. "Something about wanting to be viewed as making sure all reports are checked out. In his shadow, it said, he is doing it to make sure no one finds out that Harry Potter is missing."
"He knows Pătrașcu." The King told the vampire. Since there weren't too many shadows in the dungeons due to the lack of light, he knew Pătrașcu couldn't see Severus' shadow.
Pătrașcu glanced to Severus, "welcome to the team." He turned back to the King. "The rumor has grown, people are wondering why if you were spotted, why there hasn't been another sighting, and also want to know where you have been, haven't returned to Hogwarts, well you get the idea. Lots of questions without answers."
"I do. So basically his rumor is coming back to bite him. Interesting, I wonder if we can use it?" The King replied, thinking for a few second. "Get a reporter to write a few articles regarding the missing Harry Potter and his lack of being seen. Have Vlad and Radu see about the reports from when the Dursley family was questioned about when I disappeared from their home. See if the Ministry has any reports regarding me missing as of yet and anything about the rumors."
"We already have copies of them in regards to that information. Radu has his son Radu Bădica looking into those, and his son Radu de la Afumați researching the past Auror and Ministry reports for any mention of you. Vlad is reviewing our interview from when they admitted to the abuse to us." Pătrașcu told him. "Do you want a certain reporter to do these articles?"
"Have that one that Mircea used before to do them. Nothing about the past as of yet, just deal with those questions." The King stated. "Anything else?"
"Not from me, Radu and Vlad put the reports on your desk, there are some letters that need to be signed and a few contracts to be reviewed. Radu told me to tell you he will be back tomorrow. He and Vlad are making sure that Lupin doesn't get killed. The old fool sent him on another mission into werewolf territory again."
"Lupin left yesterday, did he make it to the territory already?" The King realized he was going to have to get Greyback involved to keep Lupin from being killed. Dumbledore was sending him into too many dangerous situations in his attempts to get some werewolves to join his cause.
"Yes, arrived early this morning. The werewolves don't seem to upset by it, but they are refusing to listen to him preach about the light."
"Wait, you mean you have been watching Lupin?" Severus asked. He was shocked. Vampires were protecting Lupin, a werewolf.
"Actually, we have been watching everyone in the Order, including you. He sent you into werewolf territory last time, it took a lot of persuasions to keep them from attacking you." Vintilă said, stepping out of the shadows. "We have another problem. Dumbledore just gave Moody and Neville a lecture about working on Neville's defense spells and expects the boy to show improvement by the time Hogwarts starts up. He also wanted him to stop the physical exercise, but Moody vetoed that idea. Moody said he would speak to both of you regarding this. Moody's shadow is saying that he didn't think it would amount to either of you doing anything about it."
The King shook his head and sighed. "I will deal with Moody and Neville. We got him a better wand so hopefully, we can get him up to at mastering the second year spells, but we aren't going to promote him being the Savior that man wants."
Severus felt better at those words. He really knew that Neville had no chance of defeating the Dark Lord. He needed to process the change in his views. While he knew that the Dark Lord was indeed back, the man hadn't been killing muggles or even leading any raids. The King's truths were hitting him hard. He needed to escape from here and think. He got up and started to leave the lab. He turned to the King. "I need some time to think."
The King walked over to Severus. "I know you have learned a lot, you won't be able to speak of what you learned with anyone but the select few who know what is going on here. If you have questions that you feel you can't ask me, please go and speak to Poppy or Lucius. Lucius was sincere in his desire for your friendship." He knew he repeated his advice from the other day but knew Severus needed to be reminded.
"I will." Severus responded. "I really just need to process all of this." Severus paused. "You have someone watching me don't you?" He ignored the reference to Lucius. He wasn't sure how he felt about Lucius. While he did state his floo would be open to the man, he just wasn't sure how comfortable he was in speaking about what he learned to him.
The King gave him a small smile. "You have always had a small group watching you. One vampire is never enough to watch over a person. I won't be removing them."
Severus didn't say anything, he wasn't sure how he felt about the fact that a small group of vampires had been keeping him alive for years. He knew he got out of some close situations too easy and now he knew why.
"We didn't interfere unless we had to, to keep you alive." The King told him when Severus hadn't moved or responded to his words.
"I know." Severus recognized the truth. He knew if they had interfered too much, they would have given the fact he was protected away, they just made sure he stayed alive. He did appreciate it. "Black?" He asked.
"We tried, we were too late. We didn't know he was being sent on that last mission and by the time we found out and were able to get someone there, he was already dead." The King explained.
"Did you know he was your godfather?"
"He was?" The King was surprised. While he didn't know Sirius Black, personally, he had read a lot about him and they had done what they could to prevent his senseless death.
Severus doesn't let his surprise show. "Yes, he was innocent of his crimes. If he hadn't been put in Azkaban, he would have gotten custody of you."
"We will talk about that later." The King told him. He didn't want to give Severus any more surprises. He knew the man would need to know the full truth and soon, but he didn't want to overload Severus. Severus had a few shocks this morning and didn't need anymore.
'Please, please tell me Dumbledore didn't do anything.' Severus thought as he looked at the King closely. "You will be telling me the full story tonight." The King glared at the tone and the order. "You will be telling me."
"You will not be giving me any orders. While I am only 17, I am still a King, you will respect that. I am not going to put our work in danger." The King informed him. "You will also remember, I am selecting to tell you this information. I don't have to provide you with anything."
Severus glared and walked out of the lab. His fury clear in his stance as he left.
"You know he might not speak to you again." Vintilă told the King.
"I am aware, but too much is riding on this. My happiness isn't as important."
"He is your mate." Pătrașcu stated. He didn't want his King to lose one of his mates. Mates were very important. As a vampire, it was deadly if you lost your mates, as a living vampire, while it wasn't deadly, it could be dangerous.
"I am aware, but I am one, whereas how many would be affected if we fail?"
Neither of the vampires replied, they knew the answer. They weren't doing this because they wanted to, they were doing this to protect the magical world. They realized their King was right, what was one man's happiness in the face of all those who would be affected if they failed.
"I will speak to him later, I hope." The King told them.
Severus left Hogwarts and headed for the Forbidden Forest, he needed time alone, he needed time to think about all he learned. As he was walking, he thought about Harry Potter versus King Hadrian. He sighed, he knew he just had treated the King as he would have treated one of his students. He knew the King was only 17 and his attitude towards him reflected that. He had started out treating the King as a man and a King. He closed his eyes. He would need to apologize.
The King earned his respect and had kept it, he was smart, talented and a great instructor. He was teaching him spells, how to use a quarterstaff and sword and they had created a new potion together.
He remembered all the abuse he had learned that Harry had endured in this short time with the Dursley family, and he knew that he had grown up fast. Harry had never had a childhood, and he doubted he had one once he had begun to train to be the King. You didn't get to be as good as the King was in defense or potion without spending a lot of hours working on them.
He also knew how smart the man was just from their conversations. There was a variety of subjects they had covered. If the King had no knowledge of the subject, he would listen to Severus explain about it. He would also debate issues with Severus and not get into a fight about the topic, he kept a cool head and wanted facts and presented facts when they debated. They also spend hours just chatting about different things. Severus realized if he hadn't learned he was Harry Potter, he would have continued to treat the King as an equal, instead of how he just treated him.
He began to think about Dumbledore. The man had too many fingers in too many pies. He hadn't liked what he had learned in the past about the man. It had started when he and Moody had begun their search for Harry Potter. Learning from Mrs. Figg that man knew about the abuse and did nothing made him sick, but when he thought about his own past, about how he was returned each year to his own abusive father or when he got threatened with being expelled because of Black instead of Black being punished, he realized the man didn't care as long as his long-term plans didn't get interfered with. Severus froze, no that man didn't set up Potter and Lily's marriage, did he? He didn't set up them for death. He couldn't have foreseen Lily having a baby that would be born at the end of July. Yes, he did. He suddenly remembered the problems Lily had getting pregnant and how Dumbledore had talked him into making a potion for them.
He began to curse and pulling out his wand he started to blow up some nearby trees. After he calmed down, he realized he needed to talk to the King and let him know this information. See if maybe the vampires could find out if it was true or not. He also realized he would need to go and speak to the Dark Lord. He had a feeling it would prove to be informative. Making his choice, he headed back to the Castle.
Chapter 6: Lesson 5-Getting Things Straight
Severus couldn't find the King in any of the potion labs so he headed up to the King's defense classroom. He heard the sound of metal clashing, with great caution, entered the room. He cast a shield over himself as he leaned against the wall and watched the King fight with three other vampires. He wasn't sure who exactly as they were moving so fast. The King was fending them off. "Călugărul, pick up your feet, stop trying to plant them when you go to swing." The King spoke.
"Easy for him to say." Severus heard from near him. A vampire stepped out of the shadows. "Severus Tobias Snape." The vampire gave a slight nod of his head.
"I am afraid I don't remember your name." Severus didn't think it was one of the Princes he had met.
"I never gave it. However, I am Basarab I, my father is Vlad III Drăculea, Prince of Wallachia, I have been part of your guard." The man bowed. "The King will not be done for a while. He is training some of the younger ones as you can see. He then will do his own workout with the more experienced."
"How much does he practice?" Severus couldn't believe how fast they were fighting. This was why wizards didn't have a chance in a war with vampires, never mind living ones.
"Practice? He isn't practicing he is teaching. Usually, there are more vampires so the lesson is going faster and since they are he has to slow down his fighting."
"How many does he usually fight against?" Severus wondered how does one get so good at such a young age to be able to do what he was seeing. He flinched as a sword came close to them.
"Watch it, Alexander." The King warned. "Think of your attack. Just swinging a sword isn't enough, it's like chess."
"This level around ten but so many are watching Order members. When he is doing his own that depends on who is available. As you can see he is gifted. We haven't found anyone able to beat him in years." Basarab voice carried the respect and awe for their king.
"How did he get so good?" Severus hadn't realized he has spoken. He was getting confused over everything he was learning about the King, compared to what he would have thought of him as Harry Potter. What would he have been like if he arrived here as Harry Potter? If James had raised him, not his muggle relatives?
"His relatives beat the quickness and dodging into him. Some of it is also his own natural ability. As a Royal, when he took the title of King from the last King, he received the previous Kings' memories and any ability they might have attained. However, few are able to combine the memories and achieve the skills, King Hadrian has."
"It explains a lot."
"Your issue is with his age. He has never been a child. He had an old soul before he received the memories. Do not get me wrong, he worked to get as good as he is. A skill like he has isn't something where you pick up a sword and you are that good. It took him years to get as good as he is."
"He has more than two masters doesn't he?"
"Yes, I do, Severus, do you wish to learn?" The King held back a slight grin as he watched Severus try not to hide his surprise at being caught off guard. "Basarab, I thought you would be with your father?"
"No, my wife is, your Majesty." Basarab bowed.
"Severus, I have some time before the next group arrives if you wish to speak. I am taking you being in here as your request to speak to me."
"Yes, I did wish to speak to you, I looked for you down in the labs, your Majesty." Severus moved away from the King and gave a slight bow. "I would also like to learn how to use a sword, I did do some fencing for my Defense Masters."
"I see. Come I will shadow us to my quarters where we can speak in peace. Basarab, please check with your father and Uncle regarding their status."
"Yes, Sire." Basarab and the rest of the vampires faded out.
"Ready Severus?" The King held out his arm. Severus took his arm without speaking and they were in the King's quarters. "Kreacher." The King cast a quick cleaning charm on himself.
Kreacher popped in. "Master King?" He looked at Severus but didn't say anything.
"Tea please for Severus and me." The King moved to sit down in one of the black leather wing back chairs.
Kreacher popped out. "Kreacher is your elf?" Severus sat down in the chair opposite the King.
"Yes, he has been for a long time."
"He belonged to the Black Family. He was your godfather's family house elf." Severus was going to ask how the elf was able to watch Order Headquarters but remembered it was Sirius' house at one time.
"Interesting. I have had him since I was about eight. He showed up one day." The tea tray appeared and an invisible hand began to pour. "I see you have some interesting questions." The cup of tea floated to Severus.
"Yes, but I also owe you an apology. I realized I have been treating you as I would a student, not like I had before I knew you are Harry Potter." Severus finally looked down and realized his tea was exactly how he liked it.
The King put down his teacup. "Severus, I knew that. I also knew it would be difficult for you, it was one of the reasons I had hoped you would speak to Lucius. Lucius and Tom had that issue, they saw a kid instead of a King. Do you want to explain what you are thinking concerning my parents."
Severus knew he shouldn't be surprised but he was. He took a sip of his tea and began to organize his thoughts. The King never rushed him. "I think your parents were set up to make the prophecy work. I think he set them up as a way to stop the Dark Lord. When the Dark Lord wasn't completely killed, I believe he placed you at your relative's house, hoping to come back years later and be viewed as your Savior. He has done it before with abused kids, leaving them with abusive parents and tried to form a mentoring bond with them. He did it to the Dark Lord, he did it to me, Neville also, and I believe he would have done it to you but you beat him to his own game by running away. None of us did. We allowed him to return us over and over to the abusive household."
"Are you sure?" The King hadn't thought of that aspect. They just believe the old fart just took advantage of the recycled prophecy since it wasn't repeated again until February.
"I can only tell you in October of 1979 Dumbledore came to me asking for a pregnancy potion. He said it was for the Potters. I needed some of their blood to make it work. I gave them the potion in the middle of November. You were born at the end of July. Also, there is something else, you mentioned blood magic being found at Godric's Hollow?"
"Yes, under the rug, runes, and we could still feel the blood magic."
"Lily and James wouldn't have known blood magic. Runes, Lily did take, she wasn't fluent in them but she would know how to use them and use them for protection. James never took the course. They would have viewed blood magic as dark and wouldn't have used it. I know Black and Lupin wouldn't have used blood magic either. I know Albus put the wards in place. The house was also his old house."
The King closed his eyes for a second. "He would have done the warding, it would explain why neither of them tried to apparate out. Why did she run up to my nursery if they could have escaped?"
"I agree. I had wondered about that for years. Another interesting thing, not one wand was found in the house, including the Dark Lord's."
"Tom said Pettigrew took his wand that night but something he mentioned. He mentioned that he attacked at night. Pettigrew said Sirius found him later that night but the interesting thing is that my relatives didn't find me until the morning of the second. I had been put there at night as I wasn't there when they went to bed."
"Where were you for those hours? No one had seen or heard of you after the 31st. He wouldn't tell anyone where you were."
"I am not sure but we did find a bind on my magic."
Severus stood up and started pacing. "A bind? Do you know what that would have meant if you didn't find it in time?"
"I am not sure what you mean."
"If he had left the bind on your magic and you hit eleven, your core wouldn't have expanded like a normal wizard's core. At eleven, we receive the first magical majority. It is a slight power boost as our cores expand as we hit our growth spurts in magic. It's why we have students start their training at eleven. If you had that bind on you when you were eleven, your core and power wouldn't have expanded. If he removed it or it was removed before your second magical majority at seventeen, you would get that boost but it wouldn't have been enough for you to be able to beat the Dark Lord."
The King watched Severus pace for a few minutes. "That does fit with what we know."
"What do you mean?"
"We found the bind. When we spoke to Tom and Lucius, we started to try to find more information. We were already looking into things here at Hogwarts but we didn't know I was Harry Potter. We started to try to find out information on Harry Potter. Most of what we learned, of course, was based on the myths surrounding that night. However, after we dug around for a bit, we realized there was a lot Dumbledore was hiding from everyone. One of the biggest secrets is that he created Tom. He wanted another Dark Lord to defeat. Dumbledore's popularity was failing and with a new war appearing on the horizon with a new Dark Lord, Dumbledore believed he could retain his popularity. He selected Tom when he first saw him in the orphanage back in the late 30's, Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 45."
"He was going to do what he was planning on doing to you on Tom."
"He selected Tom because he was a boy, an abused orphan, a half-blood who didn't know he was one, sorted into Slytherin. Dumbledore made sure Tom found a certain book that created an insane Dark Lord. The night of the attack, Tom went there not because he wanted to kill them but to confront Dumbledore. He wanted to tell James and Lily that something was off in regards to the prophecy. Dumbledore was already there. I don't remember what happened so I can't tell you. All I can say is I do remember Lily begging someone to not kill me, to take her instead, and asking how can you do this, we trusted you."
"It had to be Dumbledore, she wouldn't have trusted the Dark Lord. The Vow he made me take after that night. He used a lot of guilt. He kept saying how their deaths were my fault and how I needed to repent for my actions. He spoke of Lily and how much I loved her, I did, she was like a sister to me. He insisted I needed to pay for my actions and how I could make Lily's death mean something."
"You are not at fault, he set everything up." The King reassured Severus.
"Harry, what else have you got planned. You mentioned being here for over five years, I have felt the changes in the wards, I didn't say anything to Albus."
"He wants the Treaty to fail. He wants a war with the Dark Creatures since he doesn't have Harry Potter to use against Tom. He wants to wipe out anything he considers Dark."
"He has a pet werewolf." Severus was confused. He protected Lupin when he attacked him and that counted for something. No, it made me feel guilty and accept that life debt. He made me owe James Potter. He knew if James died, it would pass to Harry.
"Yes, but how often does he send him out to dangerous places, same with you." The King took a sip of his tea. "We have worked hard to keep all of you alive. He views anyone who doesn't fit into his lily-white beliefs as being dark. Why do you think he has canceled so many classes? He has canceled Law, Politics, Wizard Customs and even Music, saying they create problems."
"What do you plan on doing this year?" Severus was aware that a lot of classes had been canceled, classes he had wanted to take. He ignored the life debt for now.
"The wards were changed to allow us to monitor who enters. He has allowed too many dangerous beings and artifacts into Hogwarts. We stopped a Blood Quill from the Pink Toad. She was going to use it on students. We had to keep stealing them, she went through four before she stopped bringing them in."
"Blood Quills, that man is crazy."
"We think so. The wards are also able to hide our kind from him finding us here. We also adjusted them to stop his control over the elves, ghosts, and portraits, he was using them to control a lot of students. He used them to figure out which students he could manipulate into different positions he wanted them to take. The latest example is getting Percy Weasley into the Ministry." The King took another sip of his tea. "We also made sure to receive the formal invite at the Ministry to prevent him from being able to revoke the invite. He will be getting a notice this week where he will be losing the use of all of my seats. I would recommend you check yours."
"I don't have any."
"You are Lord Prince. He was to inform you of this when your grandfather passed away."
"My grandfather disowned my mother and I."
"No, he didn't."
"How do you know?"
"Voting records. You are listed as Lord Prince. It appears he has been using your seats in addition to mine to get his way."
"I will kill him."
"Please not yet, I don't want to have to find a way to keep you out of Azkaban and I need to get him out of power so he doesn't become a martyr. I would ask you to come with me and speak to Tom. Lucius would love to see his old friend also."
"I don't know what to say to the Dark Lord. I have been spying for Dumbledore. He must know I am a traitor."
"He knows you have been spying for Dumbledore just as he knows about the Vow and why you took it. It's in your shadows. He understands and would like to explain to you that he didn't kill Lily."
Severus turned and faced the King. "What else haven't you told me? I know there is something else, I can feel it."
"I bet you can, feel it, pull on it, find what you feel." The King stood up and moved behind Severus and whispered in his ear. "Find what has been hidden from you for so long."
Severus tilted his head. "I don't know what you mean."
"Focus on your magic, follow that strand that is telling you something is being hidden from you." The King said quietly in his ear. He placed his hands on Severus' waist. "Follow it, Severus."
Severus closed his eyes and focused. He had focused on his magic before and knew he could do it again. He found the strand that the King had mentioned and began to tug on it, felt it in his mind and gave a harder pull. He head and body felt like they were exploding. He felt the King's arms wrap around him. "Don't fight it, Severus."
Severus heard a snapping sound and almost fell to the floor, only the King supporting him kept him from falling. He let out a groan in pain. "Relax Severus, feel what has been hidden from you."
Severus focused on what he was feeling and opened his eyes in surprise. "I am a living vampire. I am your mate."
"Yes, Severus you are. What else Severus?"
Severus closed his eyes. "The Dark Lord."
"Yes, Severus. Do you know why you didn't know?"
"Yes, Dumbledore, he bound me."
"Yes, he did, as he did me and Tom. He wanted us to forget ourselves, to belong to him. That is why he wanted the mentor bound, he wanted our power. We are more powerful than he is and he knew it. He tried to stop us."
Chapter 7: Trio
Severus gasped he was shadowed into the Dark Lord's office. He felt sick, he felt displaced, like his world was turned upside down and righted again. "I will show you how to do it, it gets easier." The King held onto Severus.
"I see he finally learned the truth." The Dark Lord was sitting behind his desk.
"Tom." The warning was clear. The King guided Severus to a chair. "Sit down, you will recover faster." The King sent the Dark Lord a withering look and the man had the grace to look down.
"Severus, I do apologize. Lucius just left. He heard some interesting information at the Ministry today." The Dark Lord watched the King as he fussed over Severus. The Dark Lord remembered the first time he shadowed and how the King fussed over him. "Iris.'
"Master?" Iris popped into the room.
"Tea." The Dark Lord ordered. "Herbal tea for Severus."
"I will be fine, my Lord." Severus slipped to his knees. He really didn't want to be curioed. He felt the King leaning down.
"Severus, please take a seat. I haven't required that type of service in years. Harry would kill me if I expected it out of our mate." The Dark Lord watched the King pull Severus up and push him back into the chair.
"What did Lucius hear?" The King settled into his own chair.
Iris appeared, placing a tea service on the Dark Lord's desk with a separate cup of herbal tea for Severus. "Severus, drink your tea, it does help. I used it a lot when I was learning how to shadow." The Dark Lord handed Severus the cup.
"Thank you, my Lord." Severus took a sip of the tea. He could taste the lavender and chamomile in it. He knew it wouldn't bring instant relief but every bit helped. He wasn't looking forward to shadowing lessons.
"Tom. Only you and Harry can call me that." The Dark Lord knew they were coming but yet he couldn't stop himself from being snippy with Severus. He knew why and knew the King would be upset with him. He had years to get used to the idea but now that Severus was sitting in front of him, he found himself angry about the past.
"Tom." The King warned again. He understood what was going through the Dark Lord's mind but he wasn't going to allow him to torment or be cruel to Severus.
"He is trying, Harry. It's how our relationship was before and I think he is upset still with me." Severus took another sip of tea. He was going to make some potions to help deal with this issue.
"I am aware as is he." The King narrowed his eyes in warning as he saw the Dark Lord about to speak again. "We will speak of that in a bit, let's hear what Lucius heard."
The Dark Lord picked up some parchment, he looked at the King. "Lucius was about to attend a meeting with the Minister. He was about to enter he heard him and Dolores Umbridge speaking. She was telling him how Dumbledore is going to prove that you are a dark creature and they need to have the laws lined up for when the Treaty breaks. She also started to form a few committees. There won't be an official committee until after they get those laws passed. Dumbledore appears to have joined forces with Fudge."
The King didn't reply right away and Severus was surprised by the Dark Lord's lack of demand for an answer. The man used to have no patience and wasn't above torturing someone. The King told him that he was in charge but he honestly didn't believe it until now, seeing how there were interacting. "I do believe it's time we handle our dear Undersecretary Umbridge."
"What do you want to do?" The Dark Lord handed over the list of information that Lucius had written out for him. "Lucius indicated one of the laws was going to call for dark creatures to be enslaved, control collars on them, and if they have magic, suppressors cuffs. It won't go through at first, most would balk at the idea, but it will eventually."
"I believe a few words with Ms. Skeeter and the goblins will do the trick." The King answered cryptically. He had a slight grin on his face.
"Harry?" The Dark Lord wondered what the King was thinking.
The King gave him a genuine smile. "Umbridge's creature status is going to be coming to light. We will need the Death Eaters to start the rumors tomorrow at the latest. I can have my people spread them too, whispering in the pubs will work. You will need to send Ms. Skeeter the information."
"She is a creature?" Severus asked.
"Well, a half-blood one actually. She is the daughter of a Vodyanoy and a witch."
"Wait, a Vodyanoy? I thought they were myths, something some Americans made up." The Dark Lord didn't even want to think of half-blood Vodyanoy.
The King laughed. "Myths come from some base in reality. Muggles cannot always explain something so they either ignore it or call the one speaking about it crazy. The tale you are thinking of is called the Loveland Frog."
"I read those tales, it was in America during the 1950s." Severus had read a lot of folktales when he was studying for his Masters in Potions. Folktales provided a lot of information regarding magical plants.
"Correct, a Vodyanoy is said to appear as a naked old man with a frog-like face, greenish beard, and long hair, with his body covered in algae and muck, usually covered in black fish scales. He has webbed paws instead of hands, a fish's tail, and eyes that burn like red-hot coals. He usually rides up and down his river on a half-sunk log, making loud splashes. Consequently, he is often dubbed "grandfather" or "forefather" by the local people. Local drownings are said to be the work of the Vodyanoy."
"I can see that in her." The Dark Lord stated.
"The Loveland Frog, aka the Loveland Lizard, is a legendary humanoid frog described as standing roughly 1.2 m tall, allegedly spotted in Loveland, Ohio. A local man reported seeing three frog-like men at the side of the road in 1955 and a police officer claimed to have seen a similar creature on a bridge in the city in 1972. What they were seeing were actually the offsprings of a Vodyanoy and a frog, toad or even a human. Our dear Ms. Umbridge is one of the better-looking results." The King didn't want to think of what some of the other results looked like.
Severus coughed a bit as his tea went down the wrong pipe. "if that is a better-looking result, I don't want to see the worst."
"It would work, she is so anti-creature that this information would ruin her chances of anyone listening to her. Do we want to mention the blood quills?" The Dark Lord asked.
"She didn't use on so how would it be viewed?" The King asked.
Severus was a bit surprised. He had expected the King to take charge and keep it, not ask advice. He knew he was comparing him now to how the Dark Lord previous acted and how Dumbledore remained. He realized he wasn't being fair. The King didn't show any signs of being arrogant like his father would have been. Yes, the man did what needed to be done, but it wasn't with false bravado. He didn't brag and he certainly knew how to be a Slytherin. "It depends as most would view it as a dark act since she was willing to use it on children. She actually didn't use one so she won't ever be charged but she would take another hit to her name. She might lose her position." The Dark Lord said.
"I know you said you stopped them from entering Hogwarts but is there a paper trail to show how many she planned on using? How she even got permission to use one?" Severus asked.
"There is." The Dark Lord replied. "We could get Rita to print everything if we do it over the weekend."
"If Rita releases it Saturday morning, they would call a special session of the Wizengamot, Dumbledore would have to attend and I am sure Harry would make sure to find out what was said." Severus felt a bit better now.
The King leaned back in his chair, happy that his plan was working. They were speaking to each other without malice from the Dark Lord or fear from Severus. He just waited for them to work out the smaller details as he closed his eyes and begin to plan what the next few moves would need to be. He had the long-range plans aligned, now to get the smaller detailed plans started. He jumped a bit when Severus touched his hand. "Harry?"
"I do apologize, I was thinking about a few things. What have you decided?"
"We decided that your method of making us deal with each other worked." The Dark Lord gave him a knowing look. After years of dealing with the King as a King, as his mate and as the Alpha, he knew how the King worked. "I was holding onto my own bitterness and regret."
The King tilted his head in acknowledgment. Severus inhaled, "I am learning."
The Dark Lord and the King laughed.
Chapter 8: Lessons-Don't Make the King Your Enemy
Severus and the King made their way to breakfast. The night before they had arranged for Lucius to speak to Rita and knew Umbridge was going to regret her plans. "It is going to be interesting to see what Dumbledore will think of the paper this morning."
"He believes in her views but I don't think he approves of her methods." They entered the Great Hall, everyone was already there as they walked toward the table. The King looked at Dumbledore. "He doesn't approve of much." Severus didn't reply as they took their seats. There was some quiet chatter as everyone had their morning breakfast, talking about when the students would return, which was in a few days.
"Severus, Hadrian, I forgot to inform you last night that Neville will be here today with Hermione and Ron, for training today. They will arrive for their lessons at ten. Neville wanted to have his friends with him for a few days so the three of them will be here until the term starts." Dumbledore began to read some papers he brought with him.
The King looked up from his breakfast, "Mr. Dumbledore, I have not given you permission to use my given name nor have I agreed to give lessons to others."
"We are all very informal here. They are best friends so it won't be a problem I am sure." Dumbledore returned to his papers.
"It is a problem. You will address me correctly and Heir Longbottom's friends are not to be in the training." The King was getting annoyed with the old man. Why did people believe this man? Why did so many just follow what he said? He ignored what anyone wanted. He was rude and demeaning yet everyone just followed him, did what he wanted, even if they didn't agree with him, the exception being the dark faction.
"Albus." Minerva touched Dumbledore's hand. "You have never apologized for the way you have treated the King, do not do more damage now." She quietly warned him. The staff had been working on keeping Dumbledore from making things worse, usually by keeping Severus and the King at one end of the table with a few people between them since Dumbledore liked to sit in the middle on his own throne.
"My boy-" Dumbledore ignored everyone's groan and continued on, "-if you are to teach here, you must recognize that I am in charge and we are informal, I prefer it that way."
The King looked at Dumbledore. "I will be in the potion lab until it's time for Heir Longbottom's lesson and only Heir Longbottom."
Severus found the King in their new lab. He looked into the cauldron. "I see the changes are working."
"Yes, I did, however, adjust the number of crushed rose petals." The King looked at Severus, smiled. "How did he take my exit?"
"Not well. Minerva, Filius, and Poppy asked to speak to him in his office. The Daily Prophet arrived after that, and let's just say, Dumbledore isn't having a good morning. I believe he knew about the plans Umbridge and Fudge had for dark creatures. I am not sure if he agreed with Fudge or not. He stormed out of the Great Hall after reading the Daily Prophet."
"Interesting. The Blood quills?"
"Rita mentioned them, showed a copy of the invoices for them. She also provided an interesting accounting sheet. It showed the funds for the quills came from a Hogwarts account." Severus picked up a knife and start preparing some ginger root that was on the table. "She wrote a second piece, it was on the bottom part of the front page." The King gave him a questioning look. "She put out a piece about how Dumbledore has no idea where Harry Potter is and might be deceased. She had a few quotes from the Dursley family. She hinted that the rumors of his sightings are just to deflect that fact that Harry Potter might be dead. That the rumors were too specific."
The King thought for a few minutes. "Her usual brand of writing?"
"I wonder where she got the accounting sheet. Did it look like one of the goblins use?"
"No, but I think Lucius might know where it came from. I think it came from one of Hogwart's own ledgers. I know it didn't come from Lucius or the Dark Lord. Since there was no title on the sheet, it will be hard to prove where it actually came from. Most will just believe it's propaganda and won't take the account sheet seriously. Minerva, Poppy, and Filius questioned Dumbledore about the Blood Quill and Minerva gave him a long lecture of manners before the paper arrived." Severus started cutting up some of the ginger roots. They were working on a new version of a wolfsbane potion, one that would help prevent pain.
"Interesting that he wants to bring his pawns here now. He must be worried about the improvement in Neville." The King stirred his cauldron as he added some of the cut ginger root.
"Granger cuts down the boy's confidence. He knows Granger will ask you a thousand questions, it's part of her I want to know everything attitude. She is book smart and believes everything that is written if it comes from a book. She will be a problem."
"Great, what I don't want to deal with. I was thinking, maybe adding some thyme to this. It might make it stronger."
"A leaf or two might do that. If they are smaller." Severus went and got the herb. "We need to find a way to build up Neville's confidence without them around. We need to get him away from Dumbledore."
"As long as people support Dumbledore, there isn't much we can do. Most of the evidence we have against him, if he explained it correctly, people would support him. I am sure he will already have a way of explaining the accounting if the need arises. It has been the reason we haven't confronted the man."
Severus understood that the King meant. Nothing sticks to Dumbledore, Dumbledore was able to get out of the tightest of situations.
The King, with Severus, were in the training room, waiting for Neville to arrive. The King waved his hand and the room was cleared of benches and tables for them to duel in. "Cushioning Charms?" Severus asked.
"Yes, I added them to the whole room."
The door opened, Moody came in followed by Neville, Granger, and Weasley. Moody and Neville bowed but Granger and Weasley just looked at them. "Bow." Moody snarled at them.
"Bow?" Weasley stated, Granger elbowed him and they bowed.
"He is the King of the Vampires." Moody growled at them. "Your Royal Majesty King Hadrian this is Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley."
"Your Majesty, I am so excited to be working with you." Granger gushed. "I know we will be able to guide you in our ways."
"I wasn't aware they would be joining us." The King wasn't happy with them being with Neville and him. He ignored what Granger just said. Moody looked ready to kill the two of them but didn't say anything as the King had held up his hand, stopping Moody from speaking.
"Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley why are you in attendance?" Severus saw that the King stopped Moody from speaking. He knew what the King was going to do. So Severus selected to ignore what Granger said. He had no idea what Dumbledore told them but he found it interesting.
"Professor Dumbledore said that we were to take the lessons with Neville. He said Harry would train us. Though I don't believe he will be much help. We taught the class last year. We have been teaching Neville and taking lessons from Moody and Professor Lupin." Granger stated.
"He said he needed to learn our customs." Weasley added.
They all noticed that Granger and Weasley were filled with pride and their voices told how much superior they thought they were. "Indeed." Severus noticed that Neville looked surprised by what Granger and Weasley were saying as did Moody.
"Ms. Granger are you challenging me to a duel?" The King looked at Severus. "I do believe this is a first." He had heard about Granger and Weasley's ego but this wasn't something he was expecting. Their egos were a lot bigger than he had thought possible as Granger nodded her agreement.
"This is going to be interesting." Moody grinned. "Take your places." He knew the King was going to teach them what he had been trying to teach Granger, that she wasn't as great as she thought.
Snape summoned up the regulation dueling platform, similar to the one they normally used in classes. Granger and the King took their place on the platform. Snape tried not to smirk as he stood in the middle of the platform, they joined him in the middle of the platform. "Regulation rules. Nothing lethal, nothing dark, nothing that will permanently disable. You will turn, walk ten paces, face each other and when I say go, you will cast your first spell. Remember nothing lethal."
Moody was standing next to Snape as Snape stepped off of the platform. "This is going to be painful." Neville and Weasley were on the other side of the platform. They watched Granger and the King face each other. The King was standing casually while Granger looked tense, ready to fight.
Severus held up his wand. "On three, cast. 1....2....3." Severus lowered his wand.
"Expelliarmus." Granger yelled, the spell flying out of her wand. The King just stood there and let the spell hit, but nothing happened. Granger's face reflected her surprise.
"Obvolutæ Mumia." The King calmly cast his spell, Granger tried to dodge it but failed and she was suddenly wrapped up like a mummy, crashing to the floor. Granger's face was the only thing showing.
"Hermione." Weasley rushed to her side. "What did you do to her?"
"She is fine. Finite Incantatem." The King waved his hand. He walked down the platform. He looked at Granger. "I do believe I can be of help. However, you will not be attending any lessons unless they are in the classroom. You will no longer be teaching anyone, do you understand me, Ms. Granger?"
"Yes." She looked furious at being defeated. "Was that spell dark?"
"No, it's classified as a light spell. Now, it's yes, your Highness, I will accept Sire for the first greeting. Do remember your manners." The King looked to Weasley. "The same goes for you. If you fail to respect me in the class I will remove you. Mr. Dumbledore won't get you back in my class if I remove you."
"You can't do that." Granger sat up.
"You will find I can do it. Week detention for lack of respect when classes start with Mr. Filch."
"You can't do that. School hasn't even started." Weasley's face was red. He looked like he was ready to explode but Granger had put a hand on his arm.
"Actually he can. You are here for lessons, so therefore he can. You are at Hogwarts, the same rules apply." Severus knew the detentions wouldn't be with him.
"Neville, take your place." The King commanded, waving his hand, the platform was banished, Granger and Weasley gasped in surprise. Moody and Severus exchanged a quick smirk, they knew Granger wasn't expecting that.
Granger spent the lesson writing down the spells Neville was using. The spells were up to the fifth year level which surprised her. "What spells is he using?" Granger asked Moody. She was writing down what she could see the spells do. She was going to be doing a lot of research.
"You want to know Missy, you ask him. I told Albus you weren't invited to attend these sessions." Moody didn't care for the girl.
Severus was looking at Weasley, his thoughts were worrying Severus. He would have to speak to the King about what he saw in Weasley's mind. He turned to Granger and hers weren't any better. She was already thinking of ways to remove Neville's new wand. She was in charge of making sure that Neville wasn't up to par. Severus glanced at the King as the lesson ended, he looked at the King. He noticed the King tilt his head slightly. "Continue your running, Moody are you joining him?" The King was hoping Moody would keep the duo from stopping Neville..
"We will join you." Granger stated. "Ginny will love to help too."
"I believe it would be better if everything remained as it is currently. Mr. Moody will provide the time frame." The King stated.
"I am sure we can attend." Granger beamed a smile at Neville.
Severus and the King noticed Neville hadn't spoken at all. Usually, the boy asked questions. Maybe he wasn't so impressed by the terror trio. "Ms. Granger, he will do this program without your attendance. Do not interfere." He gave Neville an encouraging smile. "You have greatly improved. Make sure you take care of your wand, it's proving to be a great match for you." He didn't like how Granger had been looking at the wand.
"I don't know who you think you are but we're his friends and we want to help him." Weasley stated. Granger grabbed him as Weasley continued "Dumbledore will let us do-" Granger elbowed him, stopping him from continuing.
Moody stormed forward, his wooden leg making a racket. "A month of detention with me." Moody snapped out. "I have a few places that need to be cleaned. I don't even have to wait until the term starts. You will join me tonight at 7."
"Dismissed." Severus wanted to hex Dumbledore.
They waited until they were sure the three students were gone."They mean trouble for Neville. I saw her eyeing his wand." Moody really wasn't impressed by Granger or Weasley. Severus and the King exchanged a quick look. "I don't know exactly what is going on but I do know you two want to protect Neville. I know the two of you aren't falling for the games Albus likes to play. I will aid you in what areas I can. I don't want to know anything beyond what I do know or find out if I go looking."
"If you want to find out anything please come to me first." The King wanted Moody on their side. It would sway a lot of people away from Dumbledore.
"I will." Moody headed to the door. "Just a bit of warning, Albus doesn't trust anyone, no one knows what his plans are. Be careful, he's been this game for a long time."
"That was interesting."
"Very, I know you saw what those two were about." The King leaned in a gave Severus a kiss. "I have been dying to do that."
Severus blushed, he wasn't expecting a kiss. "You could have done it in the lab, not while you are all sweaty."
"I need a shower before lunch. I have a few meetings and then will be working out again after dinner, if you want a lesson. After that my time is yours."
Severus leaned close to him. "How about we have lunch out at the lake?"
"Make the arrangements while I shower." The King took Severus' hand and gave it a kiss.
Chapter 9: Hogwarts
The King was walking down the stairway when he saw Granger and the two Weasleys had Neville cornered. "Neville, you can't trust a vampire." Granger was saying. "I don't even think he counts as a King, I mean whoever heard of vampires being organized enough to have one. They only have clans."
"This running business, you don't need it." Ginny Weasley ran a hand down Neville's arm. "No one runs, don't you want to spend time with me?"
"I am not going to stop. I like it. I feel better." Neville answered.
The King watched and saw Neville didn't shrink into himself as he would have just two weeks ago. Neville also didn't stammer over his words. He was glad to see the boy stand up a bit to the trio.
"He's fooling you. You can't trust dark creatures. They are evil." Weasley told him. "They're worse than snakes. I bet he would have been a Slytherin. He hangs around Snape, that should tell you he is evil."
"While vampires are classified as dark, you are wrong on two things." The King said from behind Granger, appearing from the shadows, causing the three to jump. He noticed Neville didn't. "First, I am a living vampire, we are not classified as dark. Second, dark doesn't equal evil. That is like saying everyone light is holy."
"Your Majesty." Neville bowed.
The three recovered a bit. Weasley snapped, "you are a vampire."
"True, I am. However, there are the undead and the living vampire. I am wondering what kind of Defense Professors you have had if you haven't learned the difference. I am well aware of the lack of etiquette this school has which I am hoping to rectify." He was still surprised by the fact that the three of them still ignored what their professors told them.
"I do agree." Severus appeared next to Neville. He gave a quick bow. "Your Majesty." He had been enjoying using the shadows to appear places. "Ten points from Gryffindor for lack of manners, detention tonight with Filch, Weasleys and Granger."
"But we didn't do anything." Ginny Weasley stated.
"Failing to properly address your betters." Severus informed her. "You have had two weeks to learn how to address the King. I am not surprised that you continue to not follow the proper etiquette for royalty."
"Neville, I believe it's time for us to enjoy some training." The King said. "Perhaps, Severus, if you are not currently busy, you would enjoy some sword work." He knew if he didn't find a way to get the boy away from the trio they would create problems for Neville.
Neville's face lite up. "That would be wonderful, Sire."
"I would enjoy it, Sire. The usual classroom?" Severus had been tutoring Neville in potions and found the boy was improving.
"Yes, come, Neville, I have a new sword I think you will find fits you better." The Kind didn't wait for an answer but turned on his heel and headed back up the stairs. He needed to find a way to keep those three away from Neville. He could hear Neville following behind him.
"We will be right there." Granger stated.
The King ignored her as he continued on his way. "Neville, I believe we will be using a different room. We do not need their presence."
"I agree, Sire." Neville didn't like the three and was glad he had at least a small group that supported him in keeping him away from them. His grandmother was happy about it and encouraged that he listen to the King. She had been impressed by him at Wizengamot. She felt the King was good for Neville. "Sire, is there a way to keep them completely away from me?"
The King stopped, turned, smiled. "I do believe there is. I will speak to someone. I believe I know exactly how to keep you away from them and Gryffindor dorm."
"Thank you, Sire." Neville's smile was one the King was glad to see. The poor boy didn't need to deal with those three.
"Professor Spout, may I have a few minutes of your time?" The King asked as he entered greenhouse 3.
Pomona Sprout looked a bit surprised at seeing the King in one of her greenhouses. She bowed and replied. "Certainly, your Majesty."
"I have come to speak to you regarding one of your students." The King patted the Devil Snare that was trying to wrap itself around his arm. "Now, behave." He told the plant as it was continuing to try to wrap itself around the King.
Pomona watched as the plant listened to the King. "Is it regarding Mr. Longbottom, Sire?"
"Yes, I am wondering if you would be interested in an apprenticeship for him? He, I have heard, is very talented in that area."
"Indeed he is. One of the best I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. I have approached Albus regarding it but Albus has refused to allow me to speak to Mr. Longbottom or his grandmother, Lady Longbottom, Sire."
"Please call me Harry. I have a solution to that. As I am in residence, I can approve all apprenticeships. I would gladly approve of Mr. Longbottom's. Perhaps we can speak to him and his grandmother?" The King unwrapped the Devil's Snare from his arm and held out his arm for Pomona to take.
"It would be a pleasure, Harry."
Dinner was to begin about ten minutes and the King and Severus were having a small discussion on the benefits of using a dagger when Neville burst into the Great Hall. "I got it." He ran to the three Gryffindor sitting at a smaller table set up for the four students who were in attendance at Hogwarts.
"You got what?" Granger asked as Neville sat down.
"I got my apprenticeship with Professor Spout. I am moving into quarters next to hers tonight." Neville glanced up at the Head Table. He had to think of a way to pay back the King, Professor Snape, and Professor Spout. They had helped him so much in the past two weeks. Professor Spout always provided a way for him to hide from the trio when he couldn't find the King, Moody, or Snape.
"What?" Ginny Weasley asked.
"Yes, I start tomorrow. I can't wait." It would be announced at tomorrow's night Welcoming Feast.
"Wonderful, we now have a place away from the dorm to have fun." Weasley stated. "I hope we're having some chicken tonight. I really feel like some roasted chicken with potatoes."
"No, no one is allowed into my quarters. It's part of my apprenticeship." Neville was glad the King, his grandmother, Spout, and Snape had thought of that. They even provided a good excuse for him. "My grandmother doesn't want me to have anyone in my quarters, she wants my quarters to be a place for me to relax and study. She believes in the extra defense classes and now my apprenticeship, I will need a place to be quiet and reflect that is just for me. A place for me to be able to do all of my assignments."
"I am sure she won't your friends visiting you." Granger commented.
"No one." Neville stated. "They set it up so that the maximum any other student can spend in my quarters is ten minutes out of every four hours. They warded it before dinner. My gran should be here in a few minutes. She was speaking to Mad-Eye."
As he said those words, Lady Augusta Longbottom was escorted into the room by Mad-Eye Moody. As they walked by the students, Lady Longbottom stopped. "Neville, your quarters are set. Mr. Moody even added some alerts for us to make sure everything stays as we stated in the contract."
"Thank you, Grandmother."
"The elves are moving your things." Moody added and they continued toward the Head Table.
"You know Albus is going to have another fit." Severus said quietly to the King.
"I am sure. I am also expecting those three will be up in his office after dinner, complaining."
"Yes, I am wondering if Granger is going to try and force an apprenticeship so that they can find a way to have their own quarters. Albus pushed hard for her to be Headgirl, I believe for that very reason." The Headgirl went to a seventh year Ravenclaw girl. Dumbledore had tried to get Granger but everyone pointed out the girl's detention record versus the Ravenclaw's girls.
"Most likely, however, since I am in residence, all apprenticeships must go through me to be valid." The King smirked as Moody stepped onto the raised platform. "Good evening Lady Longbottom, Mr. Moody."
"Your Majesty." They replied after Moody bowed and Lady Longbottom curtsied.
"Please be seated." The King replied.
Before anyone could speak Dumbledore made his entrance with Minerva McGonagall behind him. She looked vexed and glanced at her four lions. Dumbledore stopped in front of the King. "I want to speak to you in my office after dinner." The King arched his brow and didn't reply. Everyone knew this was it, this was the powerplay. For the last two weeks, Dumbledore had ignored all the warnings about his lack of respect towards the King. They also knew Dumbledore was going to lose. No one spoke as all eyes were on the two. Silence reigned for three minutes before Dumbledore said, "I am the Headmaster and I will not allow this apprenticeship to be approved."
"That is fine." The King replied. Dumbledore gave a superior smile. The trio felt smug as they knew their precious Headmaster won. The King added. "It has already been approved and Mr. Longbottom's quarters have already been warded."
Dumbledore glared at the King. "We will discuss this."
"Magic has accepted the contract and it has been filed at the Ministry. I fail to see what there is to discuss."
"My office, now." Dumbledore turned and left the Great Hall.
All of the staff, including the new members, were shocked at Dumbledore's display. The King remained seated. "Elf, please begin dinner."
Dinner appeared and the King turned to Moody. "I do believe there was a job offer for you?"
"Yes. I already accepted. I will be teaching Defense III." Moody was impressed by the King and the new class he got approved in just a matter of days. Moody was going to be teaching Defense to the NEWT level students but this defense class was about using your environment, items around the area, and how to survive a conflict without a wand.
"I can't believe you are ignoring the Headmaster's demand to see him in his office." Granger had stood up from her seat when it became clear the King wasn't going to meet Dumbledore in his office.
"Do sit down, Granger, it's not your affair." McGonagall informed her.
"He shouldn't be allowed to disrespect the Headmaster." Granger retorted. "It's not right."
"Ms. Granger, sit down." McGonagall ordered.
"How can you allow this to happen?" Granger asked.
"I told you, Hermione, he is evil. He has Dumbledore under some spell." Weasley remarked, in what he thought was a quiet way, however, since the hall was almost empty, his voice carried.
They all heard a folk slam down and Lady Longbottom stood up. "You three need a lesson in etiquette, the truth, and respect. Neville, who owns Hogwarts?"
"His Royal Majesty King Hadrian of Romania." Neville answered.
"Are living vampires classified as dark creatures by any magical government?"
"No, Gran." Neville replied.
"When you meet His Royal Majesty King Hadrian, how do you greet him?"
"You bow. You refer to him as His Majesty when you first speak to him, after that you refer to him as Sire."
"What does it mean when Lady Magic as accepted a contract?"
"It means it is valid, that it is binding, and that it can't be broken without painful consequences." Neville replied.
"The display we just witnessed, what was wrong with it?" Lady Longbottom asked as she glared at the three.
"It was a clear disregard for the protocols concerning the correct mannerism in regard to the social standing of a Royal, the owner of Hogwarts, someone who has attained numerous Masteries, and social standings of a person who has numerous Lordships in our government."
"Correct. Perhaps you can explain to your three friends as we enjoy our meal what that means. Explain how disrespectful Headmaster Dumbledore has been." Lady Longbottom sat back down.
"Yes, Gran." Neville smirked. He was going to enjoy this. He knew Granger would head straight to the library and research everything he would tell her. He was a bit surprised she hadn't already but he knew she had been researching all the different spells the King had been teaching him. Her research had been coming up empty since all the spells he had been learning were ones that weren't taught in the United Kingdom.
"I do believe I like her." The King quietly told Severus.
"She is one woman no one wants to have against them." Severus replied.
Vlad and Radu shadowed into the King's office. "Lupin is safe. Greyback used his Alpha status and restricted Lupin from leaving the pack. He is going to slowly explain things to Lupin as the man finds out the truth."
The King looked up from his stack of paperwork. "Dumbledore?"
"According to my grandkids, the man has been very frustrated. He has paid numerous trips to the Ministry. Fudge had refused to see him a few times. Umbridge was placed in a Ministry cell. Madam Bones is gathering evidence against her, so Fudge is removing himself from the dark creature platform since Umbridge is so tied to it." Radu stated. "Lucius is going to be sending over some contracts he needs you to review and sign."
"I have them in the pile." The King pointed to a stack of parchment on his desk. "We got Neville's apprenticeship complete. I will need to have a group to guard his new quarters. Just a shift of two, I don't trust Dumbledore not to try something."
"I will arrange it." Vlad replied.
"When the students return tomorrow, I want to make sure we have some down by the train, I don't want to take a chance that Dumbledore might try to create a fake attack as a way to get people fearful again." The King added.
"We are already aware of it. He had a small group of people like that Dung, set up to do it tomorrow, about an hour after the train leaves King's Cross. We have the members in a small house, under guard, with the grandchildren using poly-juice to make sure Dumbledore isn't aware of the change." Radu said. "Markus wants to know if they can keep playing them after tomorrow?"
"How dangerous are the ones Dumbledore wanted to use?"
"Not very, petty thieves and their ilk. It appears to be a job for them." Radu picked up the pile of contracts Lucius had sent over.
"Memory charm the ones you can, release them tomorrow night, give them some gold. Have Markus be the contact when future jobs concerning Dumbledore arrive. The Order members, how many?"
"Just the one they call Dung. He needs to bath." Vlad took a seat as Radu began to read the pile of mail on their King's desk.
"Isn't he the one what usually falls asleep during their meetings?" The King asked.
"Yes, I am worried about Dumbledore seeing his thoughts and learning the truth." Vlad stated.
"True, send the man to Romania, keep him busy there. I am sure Catherine could use a new project. Leave Markus as the contact, I am sure he can find someone to play Dung."
"Dumbledore wasn't happy tonight." Radu commented.
"No, we had a small showdown in the Great Hall, he lost. He was very set on making sure Neville didn't get an apprenticeship. It is something more, I feel."
"You think it's more than trying to make him into their Savior?" Vlad asked.
"Yes. The apprenticeship wouldn't have interfered with that and it actually could have been used to as a way to keep him attached to Hogwarts as it's his last year." The King replied.
"Can it be tied to what he has been keeping hidden in his shadows?" Radu asked.
The King thought for a few minutes before he spoke. "I am not sure. We have checked the background of the Longbottom family and there isn't a tie to the Dumbledore family, so he can't try to claim the seats if anything were to happen to Lady Longbottom or Neville."
"Actually, I think he has an idea of Ginny Weasley and Neville getting married." Radu said.
The King started to rub his temples. "If they were married, she has a child, he could take over everything if anything happened to Neville. Since Neville is now under an apprenticeship, Neville can't get married without the approval of Pomona, me, and his grandmother."
"Well, that protects Neville for the next few years." Vlad smirked.
"True, but it creates a bigger problem. He needs a new Savior." The King saw their confusion. "I just removed his Savior. Since his plans were for the Savior to die in a conflict with the Dark Lord but after a child was born."
"Where he would have received the seats, the glory of training the Savior, and since their Savior is decreased they would have looked to him. Now, that Neville can't be married while he is at Hogwarts, he loses that opportunity." Radu slammed his hand down. "Which means he is going to increase the pressure to find Harry Potter."
"Exactly." The King sighed. "Do we have an idea of who is next in line for him to use?"
"Yes and it's funny because he isn't going to like it one bit and I am not sure how he is going to explain it as he wasn't born as the seventh month dies." Vlad was trying not to laugh.
"Who?" The King asked.
"Oh, I need to hear this theory." The King leaned backed in his chair as Radu said that.
"He believes that because Narcissa gave birth early because of the stress of Lucius being in St. Mungo's due to a raid that tied Draco to the prophecy." Vlad was trying not to laugh. "Petru was in Dumbledore's quarters and found the research. He copied it and I thought left it on your desk."
"I saw it but didn't know it was connected to the prophecy. I actually had a note attached to it so I could speak to Petru when I saw him." The King pulled out the correct pieces of parchment, spread it out on his desk.
Severus shadowed into the room. They quickly explained what they learned and Severus started to laugh. "I'm sorry but I was picturing Draco's face as Dumbledore tried to convince Draco he was the next Savior."
"You do give me the best ideas." The King kissed Severus on the top of his head.
"What?" The three asked.
"How good is Draco's Occlumency and acting skills?" The King asked.
Severus grinned as he laughed. "I taught him Occlumency. He has been acting since he arrived at Hogwarts."
"I believe we have some plans to make." The King commented.
The King shadowed into the Dark Lord's office causing Draco to jump a bit when he appeared. Lucius had asked Draco to come home to discuss some new information. Lucius didn't inform Draco the reason why he was needed at home but being a seventh-year Draco was able to floo home with Severus' permission since Severus was his Head of House. "I do apologize for being late." Everyone bowed and at the King's wave of his hand, they resumed their seats. He had been delayed by Dumbledore.
"Dumbledore?" Severus pour a cup of tea for the King. Dumbledore had been furious this past week with all the changes, the King removing Granger and both Weasleys out of his class for their attitude. Moody had also removed them which didn't make Dumbledore happy at all. The numerous detentions didn't help either. The trio was getting into trouble from all the staff. It appeared as if the staff had finally had enough of Dumbledore and his pawns.
"Yes, we will discuss that in a bit. Heir Draco Abraxas Malfoy, it is a pleasure to meet you."
"Your Royal Majesty, it is a pleasure." Draco was confused to why he was here but he figured it had to be important if the Dark Lord, his father, Severus, and now the King wanted to speak to him.
"Lucius, have you informed your son about why we are meeting?"
"No, Sire. I didn't want want to take a chance of someone seeing the message. I was delayed in sending the message this morning." Lucius had been summoned to the Ministry because Dumbledore had been in Cornelius' office trying to get the Ministry involved with the Board and the changes that were occurring.
"Very good. Heir Draco Malfoy, we have a slight problem which I believe you will enjoy." The King took a small sip of his tea.
"Please, call me Draco. I will do what I can to assist?" Draco looked at his father, he got a nod of encouragement. "I am assuming this has to do with Hogwarts?"
"Severus, do explain to Draco the background before we move forward. There is something I need to discuss with the Dark Lord. It won't be but a few minutes." The King put up a silencing bubble around the Dark Lord and him before anyone could respond.
Severus looked at the King, wondering why he was selected, why the King was a bit rude. Normally, the King didn't do things like that. He could see the Dark Lord's face and knew it wasn't good news. Something had happened. He knew they would tell him as soon as they dealt with the present issue. "Draco, I am not sure how much you know about Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom and the annoyances in Gryffindor, but I am aware you are familiar with Dumbledore's plans to have Longbottom become their new Savior."
"Yes, Granger and Weasleys aren't exactly subtle. They have been having a few not so quiet meetings about how to get Longbottom back to being their lapdog. Most of the students have been running interference for Longbottom to escape them. We heard a few meetings between the trio. Ginny wants to marry Longbottom while Granger and Weasel want to get rid of his new wand. They don't like how he is spending time away from them." Draco and his friends had always watched Dumbledore's favorites. They had for years been making sure the group didn't hurt the younger years. The trio had been nothing but trouble. "They are spending more time in Dumbledore's office. I even got a note from Dumbledore. He wants to see me tomorrow for tea. I was going to show you and Father after this meeting."
Lucius' face didn't reflect his anger but he was. Dumbledore was really going to drag his son into this. He had hoped that the King was wrong. Lucius never dragged his son into any of the Dark Lord's business. Lucius wanted his son to make his own choices and understand what those choices would mean. He wanted to avoid any issues like he had when his father dragged him into Death Eater meetings and other things. Granted, he was loyal and selected to become a Death Eater but he resented his father for forcing him into things. Dumbledore was going to try and turn his son into a pawn in this political mess Dumbledore had created.
"Draco, do you know why he wants to meet with you?" Severus wondered if he could attend the meeting.
"I am assuming it's because he wants something from me, I have no idea what since the man has barely spoken to me in the last six years I have attended. I only have really spoken to him when we have had the yearly prefects meeting."
"There are a few things you need to know before the King speaks to you. Granger and the Weasleys are in charge of making sure that Longbottom remains an idiot. They plan on having him confront the Dark Lord and having the boy killed after he gets married to Miss Weasley and has a child. Longbottom is now protected so please do not think we are expecting you to protect him."
"The apprenticeship-" Draco's eye lite up. "That is why. It's to protect him. Not that he doesn't deserve it, the boy is incredible with plants."
"Exactly. Now since this stops that plan regarding the marriage, the Savior business, Dumbledore has, we believe, developed a new one." Severus looked at Lucius.
"Draco, do you remember us telling you how you arrived early?" Lucius and Narcissa had been so grateful that Draco hadn't been born in July because they didn't want Dumbledore to even look at their child.
"Yes, I was to be born in July, around the same time as Potter and Longbottom." Draco's eyes got huge as he realized what that meant. "You think-, Merlin, I am not going to support Dumbledore." He almost yelled the last part.
"Good." The King smirked. "We aren't expecting you too."
"No, Draco, we have an idea, which I believe, you will enjoy." The Dark Lord added. "Dumbledore will try and pull you into a meeting."
"He has already sent him a note, to see Draco tomorrow for tea." Lucius' voice held the fury the was feeling. He saw his son tense up. "I am not upset with you Draco, but at Dumbledore for thinking he can drag you into this. I have kept you away from most of this as I believe you need to make your own choices, but only after you had all the facts and when you became of age to make a choice based on your wants and needs. Now Dumbledore has decided to drag you into this, it's unforgivable."
"I know that Father. I have always appreciated that about you and Mother. I have always supported the Dark's side views and am not going to change. What do you want me to do?" Draco has spent years in Slytherin, learning and seeing how the Gryffindors got treated, versus the other houses. He had seen how much the Gryffindor Trio were allowed to get away with. He had seen Dumbledore manipulate everything including keeping Slytherins from getting the house cup each year with some bogus point given to the Gryffindor Trio.
"If Dumbledore holds true to form, which the man hasn't changed that format in decades, he will try to guilt you into doing what he believes is for the greater good. He will promise you all the training and anything else." The Dark Lord summoned a book. "In here is some of his basic guilt ploys, things he has used numerous times over the years. I expect he will use them on you." They had spent a few hours going through their own memories of what Dumbledore as guilt.
"Dumbledore will want you to train with Severus and Moody. I am not sure he will want me to train you, but he might. He will push the Gryffindor Trio at you, say how they can help you and guide you." The King looked at Draco for a second. "Yes, Draco, you can have as much fun with them as you want. Do be careful that Dumbledore or the Trio doesn't slip you some potions. I will be assigning you some of my guards to protect you. They will follow you everywhere. You won't see them and they won't interfere with any of your private time."
As the King finished speaking six vampires appeared in the room. They went to their knees. "Rise." The King stated. "Draco, these are Prince Vlad III Drăculea relatives. They will work in shifts of two, with others assisting if needed. If you ever need them, just call out Prince. They will appear." The King waved his hand, the six faded into the background.
Draco looked a bit surprised but didn't comment. "You won't even know they are there." Severus had never noticed his guards and he knew he was very aware of who was around him. "Also, I do believe he will ask the King to train you, with Longbottom still. He knows that Longbottom will want to continue the lessons, therefore, will expect Draco to be his new spy."
"True." The King stood up, and when they went to rise, he indicated for them to remain sitting by holding up his hand. He walked to the fireplace, warming his hands. "Draco would anyone in the Slytherin or anyone who follows the Dark Lord like lessons?"
"Yes. We have seen the changes in Longbottom and all of us enjoyed the new Defense classes, even Professor Moody's."
"Good. Severus, we are going to have a new club for Dumbledore to believe his plans worked. Well, two clubs actually. One for the Gryffindors brats to believe they are getting the same training as the rest of the school and one for our side. There is a room that is down in the lower Dungeons, hidden and unward by Hogwarts' current wards, I believe it's time to use that room."
"The one that is hidden behind the landscape portrait that wasn't there last year?" Severus asked.
"Exactly." The King grinned. "Since Moody is doing the physical side in his classes, I don't believe it will be an issue if Dumbledore saw everyone exercising, but I do want to give them another area to hide the ones who want to do more."
"There is a room off of the Slytherin common room that we could use. I have used it in the past to hold duels and other lessons in there."
The King looked back to Draco, gave a slight smirk. "Draco, recruit as many as you can. Inform anyone who asks that it's extra credit for the club with the Gryffindors. I want Dumbledore and Gryffindor Trio to believe you're recruiting for them. We will make sure they outshine Miss Granger. She needs a few lessons in reality."
Draco grinned. He was going to enjoy this. "Yes, Sire."
"Good, Lucius I am sure you want to spend time with your son before he is due to return." The King didn't say anything beyond that, and Lucius knew it was a dismissal. He rose as did Draco and Severus. "Severus remain."
Once they were along, the King faced Severus. "I was delayed this morning because Dumbledore stopped me as I was in my office."
"What did he do now?"
"A few things." The Dark Lord responded. "He was at the Ministry. He is trying to get the Ministry involved with the Board. I believe he wants the Ministry to take control of the Board, and since Harry is in residence, he hasn't realized the Board is useless."
"He also has decided that Granger and the two Weasleys will remain in our classes since they passed their OWL in Defense, he is insisting that we can't remove them." The King remarked. "Tried to use the charter and said that if we refused them in our classes, we would have to give them private lessons."
"The Charter states we can remove them from our classes if they are disruptive." Severus was a bit confused. What was Dumbledore thinking? Have the lemon drops turned his brain into mush?
"Exactly, however, he believes we should give them a second chance, his eyes started twinkling, he gave me a lecture on how they were children, and needed our guidance, and second chances to make amends."
"If you don't agree, he will go to the staff and use it against you, believing the staff will support him. If you agree, he will think he won."
"Exactly, however, we know the staff doesn't support him. I don't want to give that away. I made a deal instead. They will return to the class on probation, as I do want to keep an eye on them. As part of the deal, they are required to attend the exercise sessions and the club. Moody was witness to the deal, as I didn't trust him, but he trusts Moody. I am sure he will call you into his office and make it appear as if he is doing you a favor."
Severus sighed. "He will. What got you upset Tom?"
"Dumbledore submitted to the Ministry a request to stay Harry's seat assignment. He wants to have the Goblins unseal the assignment and reveal who has taken the seats."
The King didn't comment as Severus looked at him. "Can he do that?"
"No, but when the Wizenagamot session starts, I will be forced to reveal I have the seats, as you know he will demand a breakdown of the seat count and assignment." The Dark Lord wasn't sure how to stop that.
"Does Lucius have an idea on how to stop it?" Severus wasn't great at politics like Lucius was but he understood if the King was revealed as Harry Potter, and only 17, Dumbledore could and would demand to become Harry's legal guardian again.
"I have an idea, but Severus it would put you on the line." The King turned and faced Severus.
"What idea?" Severus knew he would do it. He wasn't going to let anyone stop them, and he wasn't going to let Dumbledore hurt his King or his Harry, even if they were the same person.
"You take my seats."
"How?" Severus was a bit confused by that. He knew if they bonded, it would create problems for Dumbledore to try and gain control of the seats, but since Harry had the ranking of King, the power was his, and Dumbledore would use Harry's age again.
"Did you and Lily ever swear to be blood brothers or sisters?" The Dark Lord asked. "I know you said you loved her like one."
"Yes, before we got to Hogwarts. The summer before, we were ten, and we cut our palms, promised to be brother and sister, grasped our hands together." The King and the Dark Lord smiled. "Oh, yes, he won't like that either." Severus almost felt giddy, Dumbledore was going to be furious when he learned this.
"Ironclaw has the paperwork, you just need to sign. Shall we go?"
"Yes, lets." Severus stood up. He knew Dumbledore was going to drag him into his office when he found out, but it was going to be worth it.
Chapter 11: Dumbles' Failures
Dumbledore was cursing the King's name, Severus, Lucius, and well anyone he felt stood against him. He couldn't believe that Severus was in charge of the Potter seats and he couldn't do anything about it because part of the assignment required monthly testing on potions or compulsions spells on Severus. He had to find a way to get Severus and the King under his control.
Dumbledore really wanted to get rid of the King. The man was ruining everything he had worked hard for. He knew the man had to be a dark creature but no one would listen to him. He also got reminded, again, that the blasted man owned Hogwarts. He could see the joy Cornelius and Lucius had failed to hide when he was reminded again of that fact. He turned his mind back to his little pawns, they needed to improve their work. They lost him, Longbottom. He wasn't sure how that happened, exactly. He had thought that Ginny had her claws into the boy. He knew Hermione didn't teach the boy about anything he didn't want him to learn. He had made sure she kept to a set learning schedule. Ron, well, he was good at distracting anyone from learning and he liked to have his lions dumbed down. He needed them to blindly follow him.
He wondered if it was possible to have Moody work on Longbottom, bring him back into the fold. He tossed that idea out. Moody was all about getting everyone ready for this upcoming war. Moody would actually do the opposite of what he desired. Since they now had numerous defense classes, something he had been very much against, the students were getting trained. He cursed, he couldn't believe they were learning weapons and the exercise program, well, he wanted that wiped out.
Dumbledore could see the group of students running around the lake had increased dramatically. Moody was sending hexes and curses at them and all were enjoying the lessons. Most were trying to keep up with the King and he knew about the ongoing bet about anyone landing a spell on the King. So far, no one had. Where did this King come from? Why didn't he know anything about him before the announcement of his arrival? He had sent out his spies but all came back with the same information.
Dumbledore looked at the parchments. The King had been ruling for a while, been in training for years. The most upsetting part was that the King had never bothered to hide this fact. He had hoped he could find something to use against the man, instead, he found nothing. Lupin was another dead end. The werewolves weren't willing to join him and Lupin wasn't getting any new information from them. The werewolves had to be aware of Lupin's standing and while they seemed to put up with Lupin, they weren't willing to share their secrets with him. He had hoped to discover if the werewolves supported Voldemort or not.
Voldemort, Dumbledore inhaled and slowly exhaled, he had to be back and yet he hadn't done anything. There were no Death Eaters attacks. There weren't any seventh-year students bearing the Dark Mark. Severus hadn't been summoned to the man. Lucius was still pushing the dark agenda but nothing that Voldemort stood for.
Everything was in peril. Yes, peril, Dumbledore thought. All his work, all his goals were slowly being removed. Classes were being returned that he had spent years getting rid of. Students weren't following him as they did before. The Ministry wasn't listening to his advice and most seemed actually upset with him. He had tried to mend some fences but everyone refused to see that this "King" was a dark creature and they needed to protect their world.
Even his beloved Hogwarts wasn't responding to him as it had in the past. Granted, it had been a long time since he had interacted with her but he didn't think Hogwarts would refuse to remove the King and those vampires but Hogwarts did. Hogwarts also wouldn't allow him to spy on the King and those vampires quarters. He knew it had to be because of the King. The title made him sick. The King owned Hogwarts and Hogwarts was protecting him but he had to regain control over Hogwarts.
He had tried to add new wards only to have them crash back into him leaving him with a huge headache and small dose of magical exhaustion. He had tried to see if Bill Weasley would be able to give him some idea on the wards but Bill reminded him that he couldn't give any information regarding wards the goblins used as per his contract.
Dumbledore had tried to look in the DoM but the Unspeakables in charge refused to release the books he needed. He had tried to use a compulsion and memory charm on the man only to be warned by Madam Bones that if he tried it again he would be charged. She had almost charged him but Cornelius stopped it from happening. Dumbledore thought that Cornelius was on his side and in a private meeting tried to convince the man to allow him access to the books and get the King removed. Cornelius, fool that he was, warned him instead and informed him that he would allow Madam Bones to charge him if he didn't start to follow the laws.
He heard the proximity ward go off and saw Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were here for their meeting. He granted them entrance. He didn't notice the portraits were pretending to be asleep. He also missed former Headmistress Burke leave her small frame and entering former Headmaster Black's. She nudged Black. He moved over and together they got comfortable to watch and listen. After giving the trio some tea, Dumbledore got down to business. "I have arranged for the three of you to return to the Defense classes, however, I will warn you right now, don't do anything to get yourselves removed."
"He can't remove us." Hermione inhaled. "It says in Hogwarts: A History, that we can't be removed from any class after we have taken our OWLs if we signed up for them."
"Hermione, you are incorrect. You can be removed by any Professor for a few reasons, one is being a disruptive force in the class." Dumbledore knew the girl always wanted to be right. "It's in the charter and as the owner of Hogwarts the King can do exactly that."
Before Hermione could say a word, Ron put a hand on her leg. "What do you want us to do?"
"I want you to keep working on getting Neville back under control. He can't be allowed to realize his true potential. I can't have him out of my control either."
"What about the apprenticeship? How come he got one but not us?" Ginny whined. "I want one in Charms."
Dumbledore thought Ginny was another Molly in the making. The girl certainly had the tone and attitude. "I am working on getting the apprenticeship dissolved." He had yet to find a way around it but he would. "As for the three of you, I am going to arrange for them so that you can remain at Hogwarts."
Hermione and Ginny looked excited but Ron frowned. "I want to be an Auror. You said I could with Harry." Ron would never make it into the Auror program. He didn't have grades or the temperament for him to make an Auror. He needed Potions and the boy was barely making it with Granger's help.
"We still have to find Harry, Ron. Not to mention your grades. You need to follow my revision schedule or you won't even pass this year." Hermione's I'm superior to you tone was getting worse.
"You need to find him fast. I don't want to be married to Neville." Ginny shuddered at the idea. "His grandmother will make it hard for me to control Neville. You know she rules the Manor there. His uncle isn't helpful either."
"I am aware. I have people still looking for Harry. You, however, will follow whatever plans I have. If you have to marry Neville, you will. We can find ways around his grandmother and even him, once you have a child or if we find Harry." That was a better idea, get rid of Augusta and Neville, after he finds Harry. Once Ginny married to Harry, kill Harry and he would have the Longbottom, Black, and Potter fortunes at his disposal. He just needed to regain control. He wasn't going to have all his hard work ruined by some dark creature.
"Why can't Hermione marry Neville? I want Harry."
"I'm not marrying that idiot." Hermione snapped. "It's bad enough having to help him with his assignments. I can't even tell you how many cauldrons he has blown up."
Dumbledore closed his eyes as the three started fighting about Neville. "Enough. Neville is needed. You will do what I want until we find Harry, he is our only hope."
"I can't believe you are going to rely on him to get rid of You-Know-Who." Ron knew this was a bad plan but it was the only plan they had. He certainly didn't want to fight against You-Know-Who.
"You will do as I have instructed. You will watch the King and make sure he doesn't influence any students toward the dark faction. That means keeping opinions to yourself. All of you. You're on probation and any of them can remove you from their classes. I need you in them to keep an eye on them and Neville. Moody has also allowed you to return, you will not cause any problems."
"I don't want to run." Ginny whined. "I don't see why we have to take that class."
"You will attend it and any other lessons Neville attends. I don't care if you have to run three times around Black Lake, you will do it." Dumbledore really wanted to hex the three of them. He wished he could just get rid of them but he needed to have someone to watch the students.
"Fine." Ginny huffed.
"Are we in all of Neville's classes?" Hermione was already reviewing the books she would need to keep away from Neville.
"Yes. You won't be able to attend his apprenticeship lessons. I have tried to get you into them but I couldn't find a reason for it. Also, the King and Moody have arranged for private lessons with Neville, you will have to work on getting Neville to allow you to attend. Moody and the King have refused."
"How dare they." Hermione was miffed. "We have the right to those lessons."
Dumbledore closed his eyes, for such a smart girl, she missed the fact that the world didn't revolve around her and her learning. "Hermione, I will warn you now, that attitude will get you removed from those classes. They are not required to teach you anything beyond what is standard. If you want to attend the lessons, which I want you to do, you will have to remember they can and will remove you."
"But Hogwarts A: History says-"
"Hermione, the charter is what they are following and it's also what the Board follows." Dumbledore's tone took a warning tone. The girl needed to realize not everything written in a book was correct. "Now, you have your orders, I expect you to follow them."
"Yes, Sir." The three finally, very reluctantly said.
Dumbledore realized he needed to act fast. He needed to find Harry. He needed to get Severus off of the Wizengamot, he needed to get rid of the King and the rest of the dark creatures. He didn't have much time. He knew he lost the luxury of waiting. He had to act now. He was losing too much power and his name was diminishing in power.
Black almost snorted, Dumbledore and his pawns were really idiots if they thought these plans were going to work.
The King smirked at the former Headmaster Black reported what they had learned. "I believe Severus that the man is unraveling."
"I do believe it is so." Severus was sitting on the couch next to the King when Black began to tell them about the meeting. He had been serving tea and now found his hand being held by the King. "He is going to try to talk me into following his lead in the Wizengamot."
"Yes, I expect he will. At least, we blocked his attempt at using potions and spells." The King kissed Severus' hand. "We will make sure he doesn't do anything."
Draco was trying his hardest not to hex Weasley. He knew he wasn't the only one. Neville wanted to also. He had been summoned up to the Headmaster's office three days ago and the man honestly believed he convinced Draco he was the new Savior and to keep the news a secret. Draco laughed hard as he informed all those in Slytherin what happened.
"Ah, Draco, wonderful of you to join me for tea. Lemon Drop?" Dumbledore had a tea service all set up. He had originally planned on feeding the boy potions and compulsion spells but he knew Severus and Lucius would be instantly alerted if Draco changed his habits or even demeanor.
"No, thank you, Headmaster. I'm wondering why you have summoned me for this meeting. I haven't done anything wrong. We have only been in school for a few weeks so my grades can't be an issue."
"No, young Draco, I have something much more important to discuss with you. Something that could get your name remembered forever. Something that will raise the Malfoy name to new heights."
Draco was a bit impressed. Dumbledore sure knew how to dish the Phoenix shit. "Sir?"
"I'm sure you have read all the tales about Harry Potter and how Voldemort was defeated." Seeing no flinch, Dumbledore felt his plan might work. Lucius hadn't recruited him for Voldemort, not that he was sure the man was back but he felt Voldemort was.
"Yes, and I'm aware you have been searching for him since my first year."
"Very true, but I fear it may be in vain for I believe the prophecy I heard may actually concern you. Neville isn't strong enough, both of us are aware of that. However, you have shown yourself far superior." Hit that pureblood pride. "I'm aware your birth was to be in July and feel the prophecy was truly meant for you."
"Really?" Draco was a bit impressed. The King nailed how Dumbledore was going to appeal to him. Now, he was expecting the subtle hint of being given a great privilege.
"Indeed, and I would like to arrange for you to have extra lessons to help develop that potential. To be the true Savior of the Magical World, more famous than Harry Potter or Merlin."
Nice touch pride and privilege in one. "I'm surprised, Sir. I mean, I don't know what to say."
"I will arrange for the lessons and have Severus give you your new schedule tomorrow."
"Thank you, Sir. I'm honored." Draco wondered if the man's eyes were originally brown. He also wondered if he could sell him the Brooklyn Bridge while he was at it. "I look forward to it."
"Your lessons will be with Neville, we don't want him to feel we are abandoning him. I'm hoping you can keep a close eye on him, also."
"Certainly, Sir. I will do my part." Draco gave him a smile.
"Neville, it's a swish, flick, not flick, swish." Granger's annoying voice cut through Draco's head.
"I got it to work with a swish and flick." Neville showed the wand movement as he said "Reducio." The spell went flying into the dummy and blew it apart.
"Very good, Mr. Longbottom. Mr. Malfoy, please explain why the spell worked?" The King spoke from the front of the classroom.
"It worked because magic is about intentions. We learn the wand movement to aid in the spell casting but at our levels, we can do it without words or motions to confuse our enemies if our intentions are strong enough for the spell to work. Which is why we learned nonverbal casting last year."
"Ten points to Slytherin." Moody stepped forward. "Nonverbal spells are what you all should be using. Neville may have spoken the spell that time but he had succeeded in the spell before Granger decided she was teaching the class."
Since it was a NEWT level class all four houses were represented and they all laughed but Granger and Weasley. The annoying trio was very unpopular in Hogwarts and they were enjoying someone putting the three of them in their place. Most were extremely grateful that Weaslette wasn't in the class as they didn't want to watch her wither all over poor Neville.
"Well, why not just teach us that way from the very beginning?" Granger snapped. "If we don't need the movements, why teach them."
"I will put it in terms you will understand. You do not teach calculus before you teach someone how to count." The King was annoyed by the girl. "Do you prefer another analogy? You need to learn to walk before you run. It's called building a solid foundation so that you don't burn out your magic. Anyone care to inform Miss Granger why we need a solid foundation?"
Parvati Patil raised her hand. "Yes, Miss Patil."
"As we are just learning our magic, we have unstable cores and as we grow in the usage of our magic our core releases more magic until our magical maturity. It's why we have holidays and summer where we aren't allowed to use magic so that our cores can stabilize and expand without overtaxing our bodies."
"Ten points to Gryffindor." The King knew all the students had been sharing information. Some had tried to share the new books with Granger and the two Weasleys but they claimed they were dark and refused to read them. "What happens if, as growing students, you do not allow your cores to stabilize?" Several students raised their hands. "Miss Bones?"
"We can burn out our cores and if that happens and it's not caught in time it could kill us. If caught in time, we can regain our magic after a lot of bed rest."
"Ten points to Hufflepuff." Moody nodded his agreement. "One last question from the required reading, what limits the use of wandless magic?" Again, several hands went into the air. "Mr. Boot?"
"We limit it. By relying solely on wands, we have limited ourselves. It's why during the seventh year, we start to learn wandless to help us overcome our limitations since most of us will be hitting our magical majority or had recently had it."
"Ten points to Ravenclaw. Now, next week I want to see you be able to cast three different shield spells, nonverbal and wandless. I'm sure Mr. Moody will be able to help you attain that goal during your morning runs. For your written assignment, I want three paragraphs are three different shields and three different offensive spells we have learned this term."
"Dismissed." Moody announced as the bell rang.
The King was sitting in Severus' quarters when the man arrived. "Long day?" Severus looked like he was ready to drop.
"Yes, there was a special session of the Wizengamot. I only got alerted about it because Lucius had caught Cornelius heading to Madam Bones office to send out the last-minute notices. Dumbledore called it but already had his cronies in the session when we arrived. He was surprised by our attendance." He sat down in his favorite chair. He gave a slight smile as his favorite tea appeared on the side table.
"What did he want?" The King wondered what Dumbledore was going to try now. He hadn't had a chance to speak to Vlad or Radu about anything regarding Hogwarts or Dumbledore. He wasn't due to speak to Lucius or the Dark Lord until the weekend.
"He tried to get Neville's apprenticeship declared invalid and to prevent you from approving any more. He did mention he wanted the sole power to determine who achieved the honor of getting an apprenticeship at Hogwarts or with the staff." Severus was hoping they could remove Dumbledore soon. The man was a train wreck waiting to happen. He knew, however, they had to be careful. Dumbledore had a lot of power and powerful friends.
"I see. It failed?" The King wondered if Dumbledore's lemon drops damaged the man's brain. Maybe it was old age?
"Yes, Amelia, Cornelius, and half the Board quoted to him, numerous times, the Charter, the fact that you owned Hogwarts. He finally shut up when Augusta asked him if he wanted Hogwarts closed." He had been so thankful for Augusta shutting him up. He had to take a headache potion and given a few away before that point.
"Which we know he doesn't so he back down."
"Yes, but not before he wanted to force apprenticeships for Granger and Weasley."
"How did he expect that to work?" The King wondered what was so important about those two. He knew Dumbledore wanted the youngest to marry Neville but what did he want from those two?
"His idea was that since they are such great friends with Neville that they shouldn't be separated and because of your personal dislike of the duo you would reject them."
"I would and it has nothing to do with dislike. I think they need a dose of reality. Dumbledore has sheltered them too much. They think the world revolves around them and their needs, desires, and goals."
"Granger thinks books are the only truth." Severus closed his eyes.
The King laid a blanket over Severus as he heard the light snores from Severus.
Draco wasn't sure how he made it back to the dungeons. He had to be in shock. Yes, that was it. He quickly made his way to Severus' quarters giving the password to the portrait to Severus' quarters. "Uncle Severus?"
"I'm in the kitchen." Severus was making tea. He knew the King would arrive soon as his training with the other vampires was due to end soon. "Draco?"
"We need to speak, it's bad."
"The King is due here any second." Severus laid out the tea tray and headed to the living room. Draco was following him.
"I'm here now." The King arrived via shadows. "I was informed we needed to speak. The Princes mentioned you heard something, Draco. Let's get comfortable for this."
"Yes, if Uncle Severus can take the memory, I would appreciate it."
"I will get the pensive." Severus headed for his hidden lab.
"You? How about me? He wants me to marry Malfoy of all people." Granger's shrill voice carried. "As if I want to be married to that prat. He spends more time on his hair than any woman I have met. You know he will be all superior and with Dumbledore letting him believe he is the new Savior his arrogance has gotten worse. Honestly, Ginny, I don't want to marry him."
"It's better than Longbottom, Hermione. I mean, really, have you ever seen such a pathic wizard? He can barely cast a spell. Though, I have to admit his body is improving. His grandmother will need to go before I will get married to him. She is too much of a terror to deal with, never mind living in the same Manor as her. Though he will have better job prospects now. I thought I was going to have actually get a job." Ginny Weasley's voice reminded Severus of her mother's. "I was promised Lady Potter but Lady Longbottom will have to do."
"Well, according to your mother and the Headmaster, he wants it so that Neville and Malfoy die when they encounter Voldemort and have my Ron deliver the killing blow. Ron will be the hero." Granger's voice now sounded wistful. "Ron wants to be the Head Auror and eventually the Head of DMLE. We can get married after an acceptable time frame, of course. "
"Yeah, that will boost the Weasley name. Make all those pureblood who turned their noses up at us think twice about insulting us in the future."
"I'm more worried about what happens when we get married. I don't even want to think about having sex with Malfoy. I can hear him going, tell me how good I am...or maybe I'm so sexy. I feel disgusted just thinking about the idea of sex with him."
"Dumbledore and my mother want us to make sure we have boys so that no one can claim the Lordships. I know I won't have an issue having boys since I'm a Weasley but they will give us potion to make sure we don't have to have sex more than once."
"I have to put up with the Malfoys. Lucius and Narissa looking down on me because I'm a muggle-born. I can't wait until Malfoy Sr. is in Azkaban. I will enjoy watching him get arrested and sentenced. His smug smile will be removed, I bet. After Draco's death, I can claim the seats while you claim the Longbottoms. It's really perfect with Malfoy and Longbottom seats we won't need the Potter-Black seats. Dumbledore has Chief Warlock, me as Minister, and you leading society, it's really quite perfect if we ignore who we have to marry."
"How is he going to deal with that idiot King?"
"The Headmaster is going to have Lupin go to Fenrir. Lupin is to tell Fenrir that the King is going to start attacking the werewolves. So when the werewolves attack, it will get rid of the King and the werewolves at the same time. Well, that is the plan as soon as Lupin turns up."
"That will deal with all the dark creatures."
"Yes, and I am researching to see if this King is really a King. So far, all the facts say yes. The Headmaster wants me to dig into some of the vampire laws to see if we can get him out of Hogwarts."
"You think he is a fake? That we can get rid of him that way? I'm sick of his classes and the running. We are witches, not muggles."
"You? How about me? Every class I have with Snape, Mad-Eye, and the King, I have people laughing at me. Malfoy had the nerve to tell me to open my eyes and read a real book."
"At least you have Ron with you. I'm by myself in their classes. I spend all class listening to those stupid ideas about magic and how it works."
"The Headmaster is going to see about getting control over the classes again. However, guess who is giving him problems?"
"Your future father-in-law?"
"Yes, the pompous windbag needs to go. Between him and the King, they're ruining everything. I still am going to work on finding Harry Potter or find a way to get control of the seats. If we get control of them, I might not have to marry Malfoy, just get engaged and when Malfoy is dead and his father in Azkaban, I might be able to get their vaults given to me for emotional distress and fraud. After all, they are a dark family, who has been working with Voldemort and presented themselves as innocent victims of Voldemort's mind-controlling ability. As if anyone would believe that."
"Wouldn't it be better if you were Lady Malfoy? It will give you an in with the snotty pure-bloods."
"That is what the Headmaster wants but --"
"I understand that. I think we might need to use love potions on the two of them."
"We can't. We have to first get around that stupid apprenticeship of Longbottom's for him to marry you and you know Malfoy Senior would have his son checked for potions."
"Hermione, we can't have all these plans all over the place. I think we should dose Longbottom up, get me pregnant, he will have to marry me and that will be it."
"Sadly no. If you get pregnant because you used a love potion they will test Longbottom. The Royal Pain in Our Arse King will make sure he is tested and you will lose everything. You will be disgraced."
"They have to find out I'm pregnant before the potion wears off of. I can hide it for a few months to make sure. I'm sure my mother will be able to help me with any problems I might have until it is discovered."
It was quiet for several minutes. "That might work but what about morning sickness? Since we are both prefects you could cover the first part but what about the rest of the morning?"
"Mum will have potions for it. It's an easy plan and one that gets us around the Royal Pain and his grand ideas. Honestly, wandless and silent magic. Not all want to fight Death Eaters. Dumbledore will go for it."
"Let's go and speak to him about it. I will need at least a week to make the potion."
"Mum has them already made. They were for when we caught Harry. Dumbledore wanted to have him controlled as soon as possible."
The King and Severus smiled at each other as they exited the pensive. "I believe Rita would love to see this memory."
"Indeed. They were sloppy with their silencing charms."
"Actually, I saw them cast one as they entered the room. Granger missed the part of the charm that described you have to cast it in the room you are in, I was under the spell, they weren't."
"Thank you, Draco. Neville's food and drink are already watched. I assigned a personal house-elf to handle his food and drink but I will have his guards test it as soon as it appears in front of him." The King picked up the memory phial. "I will allow our mutual friends to see this."
"I think my mail is being read so let Father and Mother know. I found the family seal smudged on the last letter."
"I will inform them." The King looked at the grandfather clock in the corner. "I don't have time to visit until after dinner."
The King and Severus arrived at breakfast, together, like they normally did. Dumbledore glanced up at them but basically ignored their arrival as he continued his chat with Minerva. The King knew this morning's paper was going to make the man furious with his pawns.
MURDEROUS PLOT AT HOGWARTS
By Rita Skeeter
My dear, dear, readers, I must express my deep concerns about some of the students as well as our Chief Warlock, Headmaster Dumbledore. I was given a memory vial late last night. The memory shocked me. Yes, my dear readers, it shocked me. I had the memory transcripted (see page 2) and I'm sure all of you will agree, we must do something.
What must we do, you ask? I will tell you, we must punish those who feel they can break the law, do what they desire, including murder, to get money, titles, seats, and even positions in our strong Ministry. We must let them know we will not stand for anyone who would dare to undermine our government in such treasonous ways. My readers, make your voices heard.
Let them know we will not stand for this to happen. We can not allow Hermione Granger and Ginerva Weasley, and according to the memory, Headmaster Dumbledore, Molly Weasley, and Ronald Weasley to get away with line theft, illegal use of potions, and murder. Their desire to rule our world is clear in the memory given to me. We must stand up and stop them.
Dumbledore quickly turned to page two as did everyone else. No one spoke until Neville and Draco reached their names. "Hell would have to freeze over before I would marry you, Granger and it has nothing to do with my name, my social position, or you being a muggle-born. It is because I can't stand you. You give all muggle-borns a bad name." Draco walked out of the Great Hall.
"I wouldn't marry you, Ginny Weasley, if you were the last woman on Earth. I only put up with you because you are in my house and I didn't want to create problems but that ends now. Stay away from me. That goes for you two, Granger and Weasley." Neville picked up the paper. "I need to speak to my grandmother."
Dumbledore didn't say a word as he left the Great Hall until he got to where Granger and the two Weasleys were sitting. "My office, now."
The King and Severus watched the three follow Dumbledore out of the Great Hall. "Minerva?" Filius looked at the woman.
"I don't know. I thought he was a different person but lately."
The King and Severus exchanged a look. The article did a lot of damage. They knew Dumbledore might come out of it but his pawns were ruined.
The King watched Dumbledore leave the Great Hall with his trio of idiots trailing behind him. He looked down the table to the Minerva. The woman looked like she was ready to kill Dumbledore. The King could hear the whispering of the students. The shadows were filled with conflict between the lions and the rest of the houses with only a few lions defending the trio. None of the lions wanted to hear anything about Dumbledore.
"Get to class." Minerva was standing up giving the students her sternest glare. The staff remained seated until all the students were gone. "I will find out what is happening."
The King gave a slight nod to the hidden vampires. He wanted them to watch the staff's shadows. The King walked with Severus back to Severus' office. They didn't have a class until after lunch. Once in Severus' office, Severus put up his personal wards. "I wonder when the Aurors will arrive."
"They would be arrested for attempts but nothing else." The King frowned. "I don't even know if the attempt will work since they only spoke about doing it. Anyone can say stuff but they haven't done anything that we can prove." The King was going to check out some of the Order members to make sure that Dumbledore wasn't drugging them.
"Dumbledore's name alone will keep it from happening. They will have a taint on their names but you're correct, they only spoke about using potions. We know they didn't do it." Severus knew the King wouldn't let Draco or Neville be drugged in order to destroy Dumbledore. He began to review the potions that Dumbledore had him make over the years. He didn't think the man would drug Order members but he wanted to be sure. He added some purging potions to the list of potions he had to make this weekend.
"Nothing will be done, you are correct. However, we can use it. People are going to remember their names and not in a good way." The King looked at Severus. He wanted to spend more time with his mates. He missed seeing Tom and knew that Severus and Tom needed to work out their own relationship without him. He inwardly sighed. They would have to wait. This was more important. "Narcissa and the rest of society can spread the word. The Weasley name doesn't mean much but Granger needs her name to be in good standing to be the Minister if Dumbledore wants to keep with his plan."
"The Weasley family's name was ruined two centuries ago but it will harm the Order and Dumbledore. Most link the Weasley family with Dumbledor. We could use their words to promote that the werewolves have been misrepresented."
"Yes, with someone who is more of a neutral alignment. If we used Lucius or me, Dumbledore would bring up Lucius' past. Dumbledore likes to push how evil the dark is." The King tilted his head. "Perhaps it's time we change the viewpoint."
"Doesn't Fenrir have a few people running some muggle charities?" Fenrir had a lot of shelters for werewolves but they that wouldn't help since the shelters were to keep the Ministry from discovering the werewolves. Severus had heard a rumor about some of the werewolves working at muggle charities since they could select which days they could work.
"Yes, he does. I think it's time we promote their works, promote that they are able to work with muggles so why not in the magical world? We need someone other than Rita to write the articles." The King was trying to remember which ones they worked with. He thought he had it written down.
"I have someone I believe would be willing to write them. They are a pureblood, linked to a neutral family, and is a former Slytherin." Severus knew that Blaise's older sister had been waiting for a break to make it the newspaper world. Dumbledore's views had limited some of the jobs that any Slytherin pureblood could get outside of Ministry.
"It would help change the viewpoint on Slytherins and purebloods." The King liked that plan. It would be something Dumbledore wouldn't be able to counter either. "Sounds like a plan. I will speak to Radu later to see if anyone was able to spy on that meeting in Dumbledore's office."
"Fawkes might have allowed it. I have been wondering why Fawkes has stayed." Severus knew Fawkes would allow the King into Dumbledore's office but not the undead vampires.
"He is a Hogwarts' Protector, not Dumbledore's familiar has he likes to tell people. We have lessons this afternoon but how do you feel about visiting Tom before classes?"
Severus wasn't sure about his new relationship with Tom. Granted, the Dark Lord wasn't crazy but he really hadn't spent any time with Tom that didn't involve them having a meeting concerning Dumbledore or the recent events.
"Severus, if you wish to remain here we can, however, we are mates."
"I'm aware. I'm just not sure." Severus never really had a relationship. He had sex but not relationships. He hadn't spent any personal time with Tom. While the Dark Lord wasn't the same person, this was different. "Harry, he was my Master, he tortured me." The King pulled Severus into his arms. "I'm not sure if I can forgive that aspect."
"What does your vampire say?" The King whispered into Severus' ear. "Not your logical brain, not the insecurity that is creeping into you, but the part that you are now learning about."
Severus didn't respond for several minutes. He focused on the part he had rediscovered. He was finding it a strange concept, the hidden aspect of his new life. Granted only Tom and the King knew about his new discovery that Dumbledore had bound. "It wants me to be united with the both of you. I feel settled with you which I believe is keeping my inner vampire from raging forth."
"Exactly. Your inner vampire will guide you. Instincts will lead but don't let them rule." The King kissed Severus on the back of the neck. "Let it loose, it's more than just shadowing. What does it tell you?"
Severus wasn't used to letting his emotions or really any aspect of his life out of his tight control. He had been slowly adjusting to all of the new emotions, skills, even ideas that the King has brought to Hogwarts. He closed his eyes, forced himself to focus on his inner vampire. He felt the King's arms wrapped around him. "It's telling me to let you guide me, to give Tom a chance to show he is my mate, too."
"Tom knows he has a lot of work to show he has changed, that you are his mate. He knows it won't be easy but Severus we are here for you." The King nuzzled into Severus' neck. "If I could, I would take you away from here."
"I know but Dumbledore needs to go. We need to protect Neville and my snakes. We have a job to do." Severus' words brought them crashing back to earth. "There is still so much we don't know. Dumbledore needs to pay for what he has done."
"True, but you need to remember that you count. I do agree that we need to remove Dumbledore. That goal will not be taken off of the table. Dumbledore will pay." The King knew he would give up his happiness if necessary but he didn't want to make that choice for Severus or Tom. He also believed that the three of them would get rid of Dumbledore now that they were working together. It had taken years to reach this point but it was worth it. "Shadow to Tom?"
The King and Severus shadowed into the Dark Lord's office. Lucius was sitting with the Dark Lord going through some legal documents. There were books, parchment, scrolls, and even what looked like a seating chart on the desk. "Good, I was just about to send a message that we needed to speak." The Dark Lord looked a bit haggard as did Lucius.
"What did he do now?" Severus sat down next to Lucius. Lucius was sitting on the chair to the right. The chairs were the two that sat in front of the Dark Lord's desk. The King went around the desk and summoned a chair and sat down next to the Dark Lord. Severus felt his vampire relax as it sent him a happy feeling from being with its two mates.
The Dark Lord picked up the parchment that started the mess. He handed it to Severus. He wasn't very happy and while it didn't endanger their plans, it certainly put a huge kink in them. "He found some obscure law that would force every seat in the Wizengamot to be revealed, any unclaimed seat would be removed until they found the Lord or heir. He plans on using it on Monday during the first session. Lucius was able to hear our dear Ministry speaking to Madam Bones about it."
The King looked at Severus. "That puts Severus into his line of fire. I know we assigned the Potter seats to Severus but now he is going to know. He is already furious about the article. He won't like the fact that Severus hid the seat assignment."
"Exactly. The seats are neutral, however, we're trying to figure out a way to stop it." Lucius didn't even know how Dumbledore found the law. They certainly didn't want Severus thrust into the spotlight and didn't want him endangered since the man was still at Hogwarts and Dumbledore believed Severus was his spy. "The law is so obscure, it's like written in one book."
"Granger." Severus placed the parchment back on the desk. "I have seen her research in the library. She must have found it, showed it to him, and he is now counting on either gaining control over the seats or having them and any other dark seat thrown out." While Severus couldn't stand Granger he acknowledged the girl knew how to research and was relentless when she had an assigned task given to her by Dumbledore. The girl worshipped Dumbledore, believing the man could do no wrong.
"Lucius has a list of seats that are unclaimed. He isn't going to like the results." The Dark Lord pulled out a scroll. "That scroll has all the seats in Wizengamot." He opened it up, unrolling it and laying it on his desk for them to review. "Once the seats get assigned to the dark faction, Lucius will control the Wizengamot fully, like Dumbledore used to."
"I was able to have Radu cast the spell in the Ministry archives room. It lists every seat, who the seats are assigned to, and who is the rightful heir." Lucius wasn't sure what Dumbledore was doing exactly. "He has to know this isn't going to be favorable to him. No one in his Order has any power in the Wizengamot." No one in the Order had any titles, any political pull. Most worked at Hogwarts or in the Auror Corps. The rest were either retired, homemakers, or students.
"I don't think he is thinking of that. I believe he is hoping to get back control over the Potter seats by using the Potters' wills. The wills state that he could control the seats until Harry came of age." Severus had been a bit surprised by the fact that Potter had done it. He expected the moron to do it but was also surprised as normally people didn't leave their seats to anyone but family. The only smart thing Potter did was prevent anyone from gaining access to any vault unless it was his son or for his son's benefi but the funds were to be paid out after the fact. The goblins had been a very strict policy about presenting receipts for purchases.
"We could use it, however, I fear the danger he put Severus in." The King didn't want Severus in any danger. He knew Dumbledore had allowed people to be hurt in the past, Dumbledore had even arranged for accidents to happen. He remembered what happened to Black and the numerous times they had prevented Order members from being killed while doing missions for Dumbledore.
"It is true but I believe we can use it." Severus looked down the list. "Since I assigned them neutral and kept my identity a secret, we can use the fact that he exposed me against him and get all of the seats assigned to Lucius." Severus knew the seats wouldn't reveal when he took control so that would also protect the King. Dumbledore would believe that Severus had control over the seats once Dumbledore had lost control.
"He would expect it, believing you would have no choice. He would believe I would kill you if you didn't assign them to Lucius. He might be upset that you didn't tell him but you could say that you hid them under your family title for the very reason of being protected from me and the dark. You didn't want anyone to be aware of seat assignments because of the dangers it would have posed to you as a spy for him." The Dark Lord looked at the list. "Since he believes I am back, he might even expect you to show signs of being punished and he will be confused when you don't."
"Yes, he will try to make me feel guilty for not trust him with the knowledge and he will be furious that this exposure forced the seats to be assigned to the dark. I will point out that if I had been aware of the situation, I would have warned him. Remind him that he was the one that researched for a way to get the seats exposed and thus exposing me. I will also express my displeasure at being forced to vote for the dark." Severus was going to enjoy venting some of his real anger onto Dumbledore. "Also, not being punished by you will confuse him. I haven't told him you have returned and I know he has been hoping for raids or even some Muggles' deaths as a way to expose you." Dumbledore was trying very hard to figure out why the Dark Lord hadn't exposed himself, why there weren't any Muggle raids, or even deaths that Dumbledore could link to the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters.
"True, but I still don't like the fact that he is doing this. There is something else at play here. I wish I knew what it was." Lucius had actually given up trying to figure out Dumbledore years ago. The man was a snake sometimes, he was a Gryffindor most of the time, rarely a Hufflepuff, and he certainly was a Ravenclaw at times even if he didn't actually do the research. The man didn't get to be in the position he was in by being stupid.
The King and Severus looked through all of the research that Lucius and the Dark Lord had gathered. The King picked up the scroll. "I believe he is hoping that once the Potter seats have been exposed, he will get them returned to him. Also, look at the names of the vacant seats." The King felt that Dumbledore was doing this for a reason beyond the Potter seats.
"We have. None of them have any association with him, except for some being his former students. There are only fifty seats, with as I'm sure you noticed, over hundreds of titles."
"Yes, but there are only 39 who are sitting on the Wizengamot. I believe he is hoping to fill the missing ones with light oriented Lord/Ladies. Most of these titles are much further down the list of being able to sit in the Wizengamot, and I believe he is holding back one of the laws that Marta found a while ago. The law requires that when a seat count is present if there are empty seats, he can put forth a motion for those listed with titles will be summoned to fill in the missing seats in the Wizengamot. Since the call is not based on title order but on the fact that the first person to claim a seat on the Wizengamot will be assigned it."
"Yes, as it was designed to entice those who cared about government over those who just wanted a title." Lucius looked at the scroll again. He began to put names next to the titles. After several minutes, everyone noticed a pattern, if they were dark, Lucius put a star next to their names, if they were light, he underlined the name. "If we get as many followers and supporters to the Ministry when he calls the law up, they will be forced to go by the oldest titles first, not the first come first served, since everyone will be present. Dumbledore won't expect that. He won't share that he is going to do it. I believe he will just tell people to be at the session."
"He would as he would fear it being leaked out by someone bragging in the wrong place or to the wrong person." Severus looked at the list. "Most of the ones who are light, have been the ones he has been using in the Order but they aren't actually members. They just aid him with funds or even doing light missions if they go overseas or something. Nothing that is dangerous, so they would trust him." Dumbledore never counted on how much Severus was able to glean out of the Order meetings or the trio of idiots he counted on for keeping Longbottom under control.
"Outplayed by his own plan." The Dark Lord laughed. "We will have to find a way to make sure Severus isn't in any danger."
Severus was shocked. He wasn't expecting those words out of the Dark Lord's mouth nor the man laughing. He watched the three of them work out who to have in the wings on Monday. He mostly watched the Dark Lord, listened to the man as he spoke. This wasn't the Dark Lord he remembered from his teens even when he joined. This Dark Lord was the one he had heard about. The one he had wanted to join. The one who was his mate.
"Severus?" The King speaking his name brought him back from this thoughts.
"Sorry, I was thinking. I take it we have a plan all set up?"
"Yes, we know Dumbledore is going to invite only those he believes to be light, we are going to invite everyone else. Since it's a morning session, Lucius will be able to delay the summoning until after lunch. During lunch, you can shadow over to the Ministry and we will be able to retain control." The Dark Lord explained.
"Good, he won't expect me to appear as he will believe I won't get the notice in a timely fashion." Severus was going to enjoy watching Dumbledore's plan backfire.
"Since we have a plan in place, I'm going to head home. I want to work those drafts for future laws that we have been wanting to get passed." Lucius headed out before anyone could respond.
Severus watched the man leave and was, again, surprised that the Dark Lord didn't do anything about it. He realized all through the meeting he hadn't heard the words my lord. He frowned a bit.
"When it's just Lucius and us, I don't expect formality." The Dark Lord reassured Severus. "Shall we have dinner tomorrow night? I know you can't get away tonight as he expects you at the dinner in the Great Hall during the week."
"Yes, that sounds good." The King gave a slight smile to Severus. He saw that Severus was a bit confused but Severus was slowly getting used to listening to his vampire and following his instincts. "It would be nice to get away from Dumbledore and his temper tantrums."
"The newspaper certainly gave him a heart attack this morning." Severus knew that the annoying trio hadn't actually done anything illegal but they certainly exposed a lot about Dumbledore's plans. Plans that Dumbledore would have to either hold off on for a long time or scrap altogether. "Do you think he is going to scrap his plans?"
"No, he will wait, let his sheep believe it's just rumored before he does anything. He might even start to recruit other students into doing it instead." The Dark Lord really wanted to get Dumbledore out of Hogwarts.
"His actions have been revealing. Many of the half-bloods and muggle-borns have been explaining about how royalty works in the muggle world while the same half-bloods and pure-bloods have been explaining the old rituals, customs, and even the holidays that Dumbledore has banned." The King had enjoyed providing a lot of the Ravenclaws with book titles.
"We can't stay too long as he wants us at lunch." Severus glanced at the clock. He hadn't realized they had spent so much time here. He really must have deep in thought not notice that much time. He looked at the King. "I was deep in thought."
"We know. Severus, your life has changed a great deal. You are dealing with learning so much, about yourself, about us, and about your nature. Thinking about it, process it, and even having an internal debate with yourself is understandable." The Dark Lord gave Severus his own smile. "You should have seen the room I destroyed when I learned the truth. I think if Dumbledore had been even remotely near me, I would have killed him. It took Harry, Vlad, Radu, and Lucius to keep me from going after him."
"We had to threaten him with tying him to the bed." The King laughed. "Not only did he destroy a room but he also destroyed three training dummies. I believe he vented a lot of anger with vampire willing to fight him."
"I did." The Dark Lord had been furious when he realized the truth. When he realized he had fallen victim to Dumbledore's plots. "We will make him pay for all that he has done."
"I actually haven't been thinking about all that. I have been processing the changes I have noticed in you, Tom. I have been thinking about what I thought I knew about you, what happened, what my vampire is telling me, and what I'm learning about the three of us. Yes, I'm angry at what Dumbledore has done. I wonder what could have been at times. However, I'm also grateful that I have each of you now. I'm not sure how I would have reacted to Harry showing up at Hogwarts at eleven. I hate his father. I hate Black and Lupin. I hate them for what they did to me and all that bitterness combined with what Dumbledore wanted me to do, would have ruined the chances I would have had to know my mates." Severus was a bit surprised at his own words. He was never one to share his feelings, share what he had felt or been thinking. He was a Slytherin and Slytherins always censored their thoughts.
The King got up and walked around the desk going to the right while the Dark Lord rose and went to the left. They reached Severus at the same time, pulling the man up to his feet and escorted him to the long couch that faced the fireplace. "I know we don't have much time but we do some time to just be with each other." The King arched a brow as the Dark Lord sat down pulling Severus down next to him. The King sat down on the opposite side of Severus, each man laid their arm over Severus, giving a slight hug.
The King closed his eyes. It had been a long day. However, seeing Dumbledore's face when he stepped into the Wizengamot this morning was going to be one he remembered forever. Dumbledore lost all the seats he thought he had by trying to gain control over the Potter seats. Dumbledore had been surprised to realize that Severus had the Potter seats and after the meeting, Severus made sure to thank Dumbledore for exposing the fact. Severus reminded Dumbledore that he now had to assign the seats to the dark faction as if the Dark Lord ever did return he would be exposed otherwise. Severus also reminded Dumbledore of how he was going to have to come up with an excellent reason why the seats were assigned to the neutral faction. Dumbledore was more concerned with all that he lost that he just left the Wizengamot leaving behind Severus and all those who were now looking confused as to what happened. No one was really sure where Dumbledore disappeared to but the King, Tom, and Lucius were able to get a lot of issues resolved.
The King felt a blanket laid over him and saw Kreacher standing there. "He went to Voice. No idea why. They disappeared in the floo with special charm connected." The King thought for several minutes but fell asleep before he had an answer.
The day passed in a haze of lessons. The King and Severus only saw each other at meals and Dumbledore wasn't around. He hadn't been back to Hogwarts since the Wizenagamot. Severus and the King were in their usual spots eating dinner when Granger slammed down her folk as she stood up and stormed out of the Great Hall, leaving the two Weasleys by themselves.
"Interesting." The King looked at Severus. "Tonight?"
"I can't. There is a gathering of the Old Crowd." Severus quietly spoke.
Severus rushed back to Hogwarts. He wished the King had stayed in the shadows but the Burrow's kitchen was so small it wouldn't have worked. It wouldn't take much for someone to hit a hidden vampire with the number of people crammed into the kitchen. Severus ignored the students roaming around. He knew it was almost curfew but he had more important things to do. Severus bypassed his quarters and went straight to the Kings. He knew the man would be in there doing his dreaded paperwork. Vlad and Radu had mentioned the building pile before he had left for the Order meeting.
The door opened even before he could knock. Vlad stood on the other side. "Trouble?"
"Yes." Severus entered the room as the King rose from his seat. He felt his mate's magic surge into him. "I'm fine. However, we have a huge problem. We need Tom and Lucius."
"I will retrieve them." Radu shadowed out as Vlad went to back bedroom to retrieve the pensive they had stored there.
"Severus?" The King approached Severus, concern filling his voice.
"I'm fine, honestly. It's you that are in danger. You need to retrieve my memory." Severus sat down in his favorite chair in the room. "Tea?"
"Tea, please, Kreacher."
Severus didn't see the little elf when he had arrived. Kreacher looked at Severus. "He needs something stronger. Kreacher get it." Kreacher disappeared before anyone could reply.
Vlad set the pensive down on the table. Kreacher appeared with a calming draught and a bottle of elven wine. "Memory first." Severus took the calming draught from Kreacher. Kreacher poured wine for everyone, including glasses for Lucius and the Dark Lord.
Radu returned as Lucius and the Dark Lord arrived. The Dark Lord had shadowed Lucius over. The Dark Lord's magic surged toward Severus. "I'm fine. Harry already checked." Severus reassured the Dark Lord. "Watch the memory. We have a huge problem."
Vlad took the memory and put it in the pensive.
Everyone could see they were sitting in the Burrow's kitchen. The place was packed with people. There wasn't a space opened for anyone to sit down.
"What are we going to do?"
Severus wasn't sure who was speaking he was staring at Dumbledore. Dumbledore had a smug look on his face as he spoke. "I will have everything sorted out by the end of the week. I had some excellent news today."
"What news?" Minerva sounded doubtful. She and the rest of the staff were losing their faith in Dumbledore.
They heard a loud bang and then pounding on the door. Molly got up and wove through the crowd and opened the door. A horde of Goblins attempted to storm into the room. Five managed to fit into the room. "We are looking for William Weasley."
Severus watched Bill make his way to the goblins. "I had the night off." Bill was a bit confused. He hadn't planned on attending since Fleur was home with the baby and they were sleeping but his mother forced the issue.
"You are under arrest for violenting section 23405.21 of your contract with Gringotts." The head goblin handed the paperwork to Molly. "As his mother, you and your husband can attend his sentencing tomorrow."
"What? Why?" Bill asked as his hands were cuffed. He looked down at his cuffed wrists. He wasn't sure what exactly happened.
Molly opened the paperwork and read the top line. "What? Bill, it says that you provided vault information regarding one of Gringott's clients to non-employees." Molly turned and looked directly at Dumbledore. "Arthur, they plan on beheading him at tomorrow's sentencing."
Chaos broke out as Arthur made his way to his Molly. Dumbledore was right behind Arthur. "What?" Arthur took the paperwork that Molly handed him. Bill was being escorted out of the door.
"No, not my son. They can't take him away." Molly started wailing at Arthur. "Arthur, our son, our son."
"Molly, we need to resolve this." Arthur patted her back. "Bill needs us, please stop crying, Mollywobbles."
"Sentencing?" Dumbledore stepped in front of Arthur and Molly.
"Yes, we have the records of him entering the information records and the Vows he took as an employee alerted us to his breaking them. According to our records, he reported the information to Mrs. Arthur Weasley and Albus Dumbledore." The head goblin looked directly at Molly and Dumbledore. "William Arthur Weasley searched through numerous documentation regarding the information on the Potter, Peverell, Gryffindor, and Black vaults."
"Albus, you promised nothing would happen to him. You used a compulsion and memory charm on my son. You told me that since Bill wouldn't remember the goblins wouldn't know or do anything." Molly's voice started to rise as she spoke. "YOU PROMISED MY SON WOULDN'T BE HURT!"
"Now, now, Molly, it was for the greater-" Dumbledore went down to the ground as Arthur Weasley's fist connected to Dumbledore's nose. The blood started flowing.
"You endangered my son for what? A hope that you might gain some knowledge you had no right to know." Arthur was standing over the prone form of Dumbledore. He looked at the goblins. "Does this information clear my son?"
"We will investigate the situation." The head goblins gave orders in gobblygook. They left the Burrow.
"We will be at Gringotts." Arthur escorted Molly out of the Burrow. At the door, he turned and faced Dumbledore. "You better find a way to fix this. I will not have my son pay for what you have done. If you don't-" Arthur left the warning hanging.
Dumbledore was helped up by Granger and Weasley. After some fussing by most of the Order over the Headmaster, Dumbledore waved everyone back to their seat. He cleaned himself. "I'm fine, let's move forward and forget that unpleasant business. I'm sure Bill will be fine." Dumbledore ran his hand down his beard. "Bill was able to provide me with information regarding Harry Potter."
"Albus, do you know where Harry Potter is? Is he alive? Are we able to retrieve him?" Minerva looked at Dumbledore. Her face showed her shock and also her anger.
"I would like to keep the information regarding Harry to a limited few for now. The good news I was going to share was that I am aware of where he is at. I do need a few select people to assist me. So perhaps it would be a good time for those I do not require at this moment to go and support Arthur and Molly." Dumbledore gave a slight smile. "I need to speak to Minerva, Severus, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny."
Quite whispers broke out as everyone slowly filtered out. Severus glanced at Minerva. She was upset with Albus while the three idiots looked like they normally did. He had already buried his panic at hearing about the vaults and Harry Potter. He was hoping that Dumbledore didn't know the King was Harry Potter.
"Bill was able to provide me with the location of Harry. He is at Hogwarts." Dumbledore looked panicked for a quick second. "He is the King."
"No!" Minerva gasped.
"He's dark! He can't be Harry Potter." Weasley jumped out of his chair. "You know he is dark!"
"Sit down, Ronald." Dumbledore ordered. "He is a living vampire and we can convert him to our side. He is needed."
"What do you want us to do?" Granger pulled Weasley back into his seat and glared at him when he went to speak. Weaslette looked eager.
"We must show him the light. Minerva, I need those books you recommended. We will all need to read them. Severus, you seem to have a good relationship with Harry, perhaps some insight?"
"Yes, you can start by using his title. As Minerva and others have told you before, the King is very formal." Severus looked at the three idiots. He waited for several seconds, watching them wither under his stare. "There is nothing the three of you can do to improve your standing."
"Surely, you can convince Harry-" At Minerva's cough, Dumbledore inhaled deeply. "Surely, the King will listen to you, perhaps if you could discuss what the dark has for goals. Explain, perhaps, how and when Voldemort returns, he will want to destroy everyone who isn't a pure-blood wizard."
"Albus, you have ruined your potential relationship with Hadrian." Minerva looked at her three lions. "I won't even discuss your behavior." She returned her glare back to Dumbledore. "You have Bill in danger of losing his life, you have alienated the owner of Hogwarts, and King of the Vampires, you have done nothing that shows anyone you aren't as bad as You-Know-Who. If Bill dies, it will be your fault."
"Don't you dare. I allowed you to use that when we dropped Harry off at those horrid muggles. I allowed you to use it over and over again as you returned abused children to their relatives. I have allowed you to use it when you worked Neville to near exhaustion. I have allowed it when Sirius was killed, I have allowed you to use it over and over as a way to excuse your actions, it stops now. You will get out of here and go and work on saving Bill. If, and I do mean, if, the King is Harry Potter, we can discuss a course of actions." When Dumbledore went to speak. "No, it might not be Harry. Harry might be dead and the King is the next living relative. While James may have been an only child there were other relatives in the family."
"I bet the vampires killed him." Weasley didn't even bother to lower his voice.
"That is enough, Ronald Billius Weasley. The King isn't a dark creature. You can't have it both ways. I mean it. You can't have him be the icon of the light that Albus' wants and also be a dark creature." Minerva gave them all her own version of a death glare. "If Bill dies, I will blame you, Albus and I will act as a witness against you."
"I will fix it." Dumbledore reassured her. "I will go and discuss the situation after we come up with a plan for getting the King to align with us."
"I have a suggestion. Try treating him with the respect he deserves and stop scheming." Minerva stood up. "Go to Gringotts. We can discuss everything else after you fix this mess you created."
Severus also rose. "Let me escort you back to Hogwarts, Minerva." He held out his arm.
"I need to stop in Hogsmeade for Poppy." Minerva took Severus' arm. "The normal apparition point is the closest."
The King closed his eyes. "We didn't need this."
"No, he is going to try and become your best friend." The Dark Lord sat down. "How come we didn't know about this?"
"Because he planned it under a Fidelius Charm. Kreacher tried to follow them but he couldn't get past the wards." The King wondered what property they used.
"Lucius, any ideas on how to stop this from being leaked?" Vlad knew this was going to endanger their work.
"I don't think he will leak it. Gringotts won't release that one of their employees violated their contract. I'm not sure if Dumbledore can save Bill Weasley, either. I do know he won't want the information released because he wants to be able to control Harry. His first course of action will be to try and gain legal guardianship of Harry. He might use the name Harry Potter but I do know he won't use Harry's titles. The titles would alert to many people." Lucius thought for several minutes. "I can't think of anything legal he could do to gain control but that won't stop him. If it's illegal, by the time we get it through the court system, Harry would be over 21."
The King smirked. "We don't have to worry. Lucius just provided me with the answer. Dumbledore will use the name Harry James Potter."
"He will." The Dark Lord's laugh started everyone laughing.
The King was in the shadows watching Dumbledore. Radu and Vlad were also in the Ministry. It had been a very busy morning. The King had visited with the goblins before the day had even started. It had taken a lot of compromises between the King and Jareth, the Goblin King to reach an agreement. One that would enable the true criminal to be punished at a later date. The King suggested using truth serum on Molly Weasley to get the required evidence against Dumbledore and his deeds. Molly would face some punishment also depending on what she admitted under truth serum.
Arthur Weasley had been a bit surprised at the support from the King but he was thankful. Molly eagerly agreed to take the truth serum especially after failing to get the goblins to listen to their side for most of the night. The goblins and the King didn't tell Molly or Arthur of their agreement. Currently, Molly was still with the goblins. The truth serum session was over but she was signing her statement and other paperwork. The King was sitting outside of the conference room with Arthur. They really didn't speak but Arthur did mention that Dumbledore had appeared last night but didn't remain for long. Bitterness filled Arthur's voice as he described Dumbledore's quick departure and lack of concern for his son. Dumbledore was more concerned with getting custody of Harry Potter. "Are you Harry Potter?"
"No, I'm King Hadrian of Romania, King of Royal Living Vampires." The King looked at Arthur. "I am not Harry Potter."
Molly came rushing out of the conference room. The King and Arthur rose, Arthur barely remained outright as Molly hugged Arthur. "Arthur, they are going to release Bill. He is also going to keep his job." Molly released Arthur and went to hug the King who stepped out of the way.
"Yes, I know, Mollywobbles. The King helped arrange it." Arthur had been so thankful that someone did something to stop his son from being killed. "He was the one who persuaded the goblins to use the truth serum."
The King remained where he was. He didn't want Molly to hug him. He originally was going to leave her to suffer for her own part in Dumbledore's plan but he wasn't going to allow an innocent to pay the price. "Yes, I spoke to them. You will have to accept whatever punishment they decide, however, your son was innocent." The King arranged for Molly's punishment. He wanted Dumbledore, not his pawns.
"They already informed me. I have to do some work for them." Molly was almost beaming. "I won't have access to the vaults or any personal information." Molly started to give Arthur the details.
The King walked away before either of them noticed. He entered the conference room. "Ironclaw?"
"It is all set." Ironclaw handed a thick scroll to the King. "I have included the protection you asked for."
"Excellent. Thank you. I better head to the Ministry as I know it's almost time for Madam Bones and the Ministry to arrive." It wasn't even six in the morning and the King was tired. It had been a long boring night. Dumbledore wasn't going to be expecting this counter to his desire for controlling Harry Potter. The King snapped out of his thoughts as he saw Dumbledore rise to greet Madam Bones. Madam Bones didn't look happy to see Dumbledore waiting for her in her office. She looked annoyed.
"Albus, you are here early." She put down her travel mug filled with coffee on her desk as she hung up her cloak. She was going to get her locks changed and add some wards to prevent unauthorized entrance.
"Yes, I do have some pressing business regarding Harry Potter. The person posing as King Hadrian is Harry Potter." Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling. "We have found Harry Potter."
Madam Bones started coughing. She finally was able to stop. "Run that by me again?" She summoned a glass of water and drank some of it.
"King Hadrian is Harry Potter." Dumbledore looked like a much younger version of himself as his face reflected the joy of seeing his goals back in sight.
Madam Bones started laughing. "Albus, the King isn't Harry Potter." When she looked at him again, she sighed deeply. "I hope you have some proof?"
"Yesterday, when the seats were revealed, Severus had several seats assigned to him. I looked at the Potter seats. The seats were assigned by King Hadrian." Dumbledore wore a smug smile on his face. "Harry Potter is only seventeen and has never attended Hogwarts. His parents enrolled him so therefore, he is one of my students."
The King couldn't do anything about the lie Dumbledore just stated. Dumbledore would never admit what he did to Bill Weasley. The King watched Madam Bones leaned back in her chair. "Albus, he isn't Harry Potter. When the vampires request admittance to our country. They provided proof of their identity including the King. He isn't Harry Potter."
"He is. It's the only way." Dumbledore produced three scrolls. "I retrieved my copy of the Potters' Will from my vault as well as the paid tuition for Harry and his acceptance letter. Harry never attended and part of our charter is once the enrollment is paid for and the acceptance letter is issued they must attend Hogwarts."
"Albus, he isn't." She held up her hand to stop Dumbledore from speaking. "I am going to go to the DoM and will return with evidence to show you otherwise."
The King smirked. He knew what she would find. They had fixed the heritage issue years ago. Vlad and Radu just added the extra protection thanks to the goblins. The King remained in the shadows watching Dumbledore. The man was smiling, his eyes were twinkling, and he was popping lemon drops like they were his lifeline. The King felt a light brush against him. The King looked over this shoulder and Vlad and Radu tilted their heads. Vlad and Radu disappeared.
The King didn't have to wait before Madam Bones returned. She carried three heavy tomes and some scrolls. She dropped them on her desk. She picked up the smallest scroll. "Albus, this is a copy of the visa application that was submitted to the British government for legal entry." She handed over the small scroll. "As you know, in order to obtain a visa and passport, you need to supply a valid birth certificate." Madam Bones opened another scroll. "King Hadrian is the cousin of the last King of Romania, King Michael. Crown Princess Margareta of Romania and her four sisters handled the muggle side. King Hadrian was declared King of the Living Vampires. He is the only male member of the House of Drăculești of Basarab Dynasty, Order of the Dragon, and the house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen."
Dumbledore looked up from what he was shown. "He can still be Harry Potter."
Madam Bones opened the three tomes. She flipped through the pages until she found what she was looking for in each one. "Here is the Potter line, it shows that Harry was the last of his line. There is a date of death, Albus. He wasn't even five." She pushed the tome toward Dumbledore. She pointed to the second tome. "Here is the lineage of the Peverell family." She pushed it next to the first. "Here is the lineage of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen lines. If you notice they all are linked with the marriage between the Peverell family and Hohenzollern. You can see the two lines married back and forth for over a century. The King is the last male of those lines who is a wizard." She waited for several minutes as Dumbledore traced the lines backward and followed the lines to the King. "He isn't Harry Potter."
Dumbledore's eyes weren't twinkling and the smug smile was fully gone. Dumbledore closed the tomes. "I want to put in for guardianship of King Hadrian. He is registered as a student."
Madam Bones rolled her eyes. "Sorry, you can't. As a sovereign, he is a legal adult no matter what age they become a sovereign. While many will have someone run their affairs until they are older, the King has been handling is affairs for a while. He is also listed as a professor. He also has a master in Defense and one in Potions. He also owns Hogwarts and as the owner could remove you should you try another attempt at gaining custody. Honestly, Albus, you should be thankful after how you treated him he hasn't closed Hogwarts. You lost a lot of your power base yesterday with that power play."
Dumbledore didn't say anything for several seconds as Madam Bones started to close the tomes. Dumbledore slowly rose, looking his age. "He has to be Harry. We need Harry."
"What?" Madam Bones hadn't heard him but the King did.
"Nothing, my dear, nothing." Dumbledore left the office.
Madam Bones sat down. "I expect you had a very busy night as I know those visas applications weren't there before as well as the date of death for Harry Potter. What is your next plan?"
"Now, Amelia, that would be telling." The King stepped out of the shadows. "I would recommend you go and visit Ironclaw, he is going to have some very interesting information for you."
"I see." Madam Bones pulled out a letter. "I got it this morning. It's from Gringotts."
The King smiled. "You might want to speak to Molly and Arthur Weasley afterward. I believe you will find it interesting." Dumbledore was going to come crashing from his Hogwarts' tower.
"I'm sure. Does anyone else know I'm involved?" Madam Bones put the envelope in the top drawer of her desk. "It just requests my presence at Gringotts. Even if someone opened it, nothing would have been revealed."
"No, as I promised. Not even Radu and Vlad." The King remained where he was. He wanted to be able to exit fast in case someone entered her office.
"He won't give up. He wants Harry Potter." Madam Bones turned to the King. "Perhaps it might be time to either present one or discover the grave. I am sure you will be able to make sure the autopsy will reveal some interesting results but also provide confirmation?"
"Yes, it might be an interesting way to go. I will keep you informed." The King turned to head back into the shadows. "Perhaps, it might be time to remove him completely from power."
"It might be better. It's been a long, slow process but it does have to end at some point." The King stepped into the shadows. "I need to learn that trick. Talk about making an exit."
"Yes, it does leave an impression."
Madam Bones jumped a bit, almost spilling her coffee. "I swear you do that just to see if I will spill my coffee." A lingering chuckle was heard.
Radu and Vlad were sitting opposite the King. "Arthur and Molly provided a lot of information to Madam Bones and the goblins. Arthur already removed himself from the Order as well as the rest of his family including their youngest two. The youngest two were very vocal about returning to the Order when they are of age." Radu's sons had been watching the Weasley family. "Michel reported that Arthur already banned Dumbledore from setting foot on his property. Bill Weasley gave his mother an earful when he was released and finally able to return home."
"Good, has he picked a new spot for the meetings?"
"No, he has been trying but no one wants to host them and many are upset about learning what happened to Bill. Molly has been very vocal about it." Vlad grinned. "Her mouth is finally useful for us."
The King smiled. "Did he lose anyone else from his Order?"
"Yes, a lot of people. Minerva has been giving him a lot of lectures usually after someone else has left the Order. She raked him over the coals for putting Bill into such a position and ignoring it for the greater good. She actually told him where he could stick his little motto. I never knew the woman even knew that kind of language" Radu laughed. "Fawkes let a few of us watch Dumbledore today without putting up a fuss. I think the bird wants Dumbledore gone. Dumbledore kept using Harry Potter's name and how he had found him."
"He is still on that is he?" The King leaned back in his chair. "I do believe the body of Harry Potter is to be found with a proper grave marker. An autopsy report we can take care of the real report is finished unless we have someone who can do the autopsy."
"We do have someone in that department that is qualified to do an autopsy. He has been keeping an eye on any corpse coming in to make sure Dumbledore can't claim the Dark Lord or Death Eater did it. We will have to make sure none of the Order members in the Auror department are summoned when it's located. They will do a few scans and give them to Dumbledore if they are summoned." Vlad looked down the list of Aurors they knew didn't support Dumbledore. "If we did it on a Saturday or Sunday night, we won't have any Order members on duty. The ones that work the weekend work during the day."
"Let's make the arrangements. I'm sure there is an unclaimed boy in a grave that could use some family."
"We already have one. It's in a graveyard not far from where the Dursley live." Vlad pulled out the information. "We wanted to be prepared. The boy was five when he died. It was originally an unmarked grave but Mariam thought it might be useful and bought a grave marker a few years ago to match the information that would lead others to believe it was Harry Potter. We didn't add a name or date of birth but the death is listed as the 26th of October, 1985. The boy's autopsy showed signs of abuse, starvation, and neglect."
Mariam was the seer in the vampire community. "I'm thankful she didn't tell me." The King took the information and read it. "Did Rita follow Molly around?" He frowned at some of the details listed as he couldn't imagine any child enduring the abuse this poor boy did.
"Yes. I expect her twisted version will be released tomorrow." Radu could see the x marks on the skeleton printout of the pathologist's report as well as the medical examiner. "Your relatives might be questioned."
The King arched a brow at Radu. Vlad swallowed. "Harry Potter's history will be released for all to know. How we found you might also be released if they use truth serum on the Dursleys."
"I'm aware. It's time to end the search for Harry Potter once and for all. It will be another nail in Dumbledore's coffin as he attempts to answer the questions regarding Harry's death." The King never really discussed his past. He didn't remember much of when he was first placed at the Dursleys but he did remember his last two or three years there. The older memories weren't as clear but they were there. He would never forget them as no vampire ever forgot their own memories.
"When do you want the corpse discovered?" Radu asked.
"I was thinking as soon as possible."
"It would be easy to do tomorrow. There is a muggle couple looking for their son. They have been for years. We can have one of our sons drop by and provide the police and the muggles with the idea to exhume the boy. The paperwork would be easy to place in the right files. I think we might know where the couple's real son is. I will see if one of my grandsons can verify the information and we might be able to reunite the parents and son."
"Do so. It would be nice if we could give the parents back their son. At least, some good will come out of this mess." The King liked the idea of being able to reunite a family. They wouldn't get any credit but that didn't matter.
"Yes, the son hasn't done too badly on his own. He doesn't have an arrest record or anything." Vlad handed the file to the King. "He used to live close to you."
The King looked down at the file. The name rung a bell. "I know this kid. He was the younger brother of Piers Polkiss. Piers got held back a few years and his brother was in the same year as me. Piers and Dudley would pick on him. They chased him one day all the way from the school, past their house, and down the street." Harry hated his cousin's gang of stupid friends. "Piers was like seven or eight. His mother used to tell my aunt that the school was prejudice against her son. Piers would hold the kids while Dudley hit them."
"Well, your cousin and he are in the muggle juvenile detention center. Your aunt and uncle moved closer to the detention center after they almost lost their house trying to defend your cousin against his numerous crimes. The last one was dealing drugs to minors." Radu handed the updated file on the Dursley family. "Dumbledore isn't aware that they moved. Mrs. Figg is still on the next street watching the Dursley house."
The King reviewed the files quickly. He looked up. "I know how he is going to try and claim I am Harry Potter despite the evidence."
"Mrs. Figg?" Radu and Vlad spoke at the same time.
"Yes, she was my babysitter if you want to call her that. She spent more time talking about her cats. She thought Dudley was me the first time she saw us outside when we three. Dudley started screaming at her and she kept calling him Harry until my aunt started her own screaming matching tell her that her son would never be a freak."
"He is going to use her as a way to show you are Harry Potter. The man is nuts." Vlad wondered about Dumbledore.
"It has to be. She is the only one who can claim she saw me when I resided in the muggle world. He can't bring my relatives to the Ministry and there isn't anyone else."
"Do you think she will recognize you?" Radu asked.
"No, but I wouldn't put it past Dumbledore to show her a picture and start telling her how much I look like James Potter. Asking her to tell him stories about me as a child with the photo in front of her."
"He would and if he added some compulsions to the photo, they wouldn't show up on her because they aren't focused on her but the photo." Vlad leaned back in his own chair, sighed deeply. "What do we want to do about that? We can produce a corpse as many times as we need but if he uses an eyewitness, it might not go our way."
"I have to agree with Vlad."
"I agree with you." The King drummed his fingers on his desk. "Unless we can show how muddled she is. Get her talking about her cats and ask for memories of her time with Harry. Have the Ministry pull them and see what she truly remembers."
"He would object. She is a squib but I wouldn't put it past him using that the dark is just trying to confuse an old lady to keep from losing the Potter seats." Vlad sorted through the files of the people they had been watching. He pulled out a very thin file. "We don't have much on her."
"No, we don't. She has never really been an important factor that we had to worry about." Radu looked at the file. "Her name, address, and basic information like being an Order member but not really active."
"What about that Bagshot woman? She saw you as a baby. We have the letter your mother wrote about your first birthday party. She might be able to counter that Figg might say."
"I'm not sure. Dumbledore ruined her name a bit because of the history books she put out that he didn't like." The King hadn't really thought of Mrs. Figg since he left England. "No matter what Lucius will do, he will use the same argument that the dark just doesn't want the truth revealed for fear of losing the seats. Dumbledore won't care if Severus gets hurt for losing control of the seats. He wants to regain his power. Madam Bones would produce a lot of evidence to back up the claim that I am not Harry Potter. If Dumbledore decided to call on Lady Magic for judgment, however."
The vampires smiled. "Yes, Lady Magic."
The King grinned. "We still use the boy in the grave, reunite the family, and allow Dumbledore to call forth on Lady Magic."