No replies so on to the chapter!
Chapter 3: Head Snake
"Come along you four, get to class," Regulas Potter said to a group of fourth year Ravenclaws. For emphasis he rose to his full height, but it wasn't really needed. Regulas had grown into an impressive man, six foot two inches in height and broad shouldered. His face had all the charm of his great-grandfather James, including the brown colored hair. The hair was a specialty as his father and his sister had been born with red from the Weasley side of the family. He had inherited the Lily Potter green eyes though, which matched his Slytherin uniform very nicely.
Regulas was a talented flyer, but had never shown an interest in quidditch and retired from his chaser position in his fifth year in spite of being the leading scorer (including seekers) the year before. Instead he had persuaded his aunt Hermione Granger Weasley, headmistress of Hogwarts, to trust him as Slytherin prefect. After two stellar years in that role she had seen fit to grant him the title of Head Boy without argument.
The four Ravenclaws respected Regulas, even before his show of strength. Regulas smiled as they disappeared behind the next corner, headed for the staircase. It was a shame he didn't get to take some points. As Head Boy, like with all the prefects, Regulas had some extra time before his next class to be on hall duty and aid the professors at Hogwarts. But he usually didn't need it; he'd just find the nearest secret passageway and be there within a minute of the professor opening their mouth to teach.
This particular day was no different and that was important, because Professor Binns did not appreciate people coming to his class after he had flown in, prefect or not. Binns had not changed his clothing since his death a few hundred years prior, and it appeared that was his philosophy on everything: his classroom, the desks and chairs in his classroom, the curriculum; all of it seemed to be stuck in, at best, the 1900s. And that was ancient.
"In 1927 the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald took up the persona of the auror Percival Graves in order to infiltrate the American Ministry in search of his dark plans," Binns began in his dry monotone voice.
"This guy does know that things happened after he died right?" the girl next to Regulas said. Her name was Luca Black, a fellow seventh year, and someone that was within the fringes of his inner circle. He viewed her platonically. He was aware she did not.
"This did happen after he died," Regulas said, paying only enough attention to the conversation as was necessary to placate her. For seven years he had listened to Professor Binns talk about some really boring things, but there were some diamonds in the rough. The story of Hannibal melting the snow of the Alps in order to surprise the Romans and defeat the greatest empire in history. George Washington levitating boats to bring his army across the Delaware. The Dark Wizard Count of Translyvania who had all of Eastern Europe's magical community on their knees before him. The drama in each of these stories of wizards using their magic to achieve their ambitious goals was something that fascinated Regulas. Something he intended to learn from.
The story of Grindelwald was an entirely different thing though. After seven years of irrelevant history with minor interesting things here and there they were at the point of the two Great Wizarding Wars and the great wizards within them: Grindelwald, Dumbledore, Voldemort, Scamander, and of course his own grandfather Harry Potter.
Someday I will be in that list he promised himself. Someday you will lose the subname of "Albus Potter's Son."
But for now he must learn.
"His search for an Obscurial led him to a showdown with the famed magizoologist Newt Scamander, which Scamander won. Not to be deterred, Grindelwald escaped the Americans and arrived in…" Professor Binns drowned into the background. Even when interested Regulas had difficulty staying awake in this room. It didn't help that the room was so hot with the windows up that he thought Professor Binns had gone to Hell and they'd just been brought along for the ride.
"I know he was a dark wizard and all, and he certainly lacked something in execution, but do you think Grindelwald had a point?" Eva Nott asked as the prefects made their bedtime rounds that night. Eva was the other seventh year prefect and was someone Regulas paid much more attention to than Luca. Eva was pretty and she knew it; tall, slinder, blonde, with sky blue eyes; and able to use every bit of those looks to achieve her ends. Whenever she went to work Regulas could only admire a master at work. Even when he was the victim.
"Every leader has a point or they wouldn't have followers," Regulas replied carefully.
Eva laughed her patented "three-ha" laugh that was clearly fake and yet warmed the heartstrings nonetheless. "Ever the politician Regulas," she said.
"You don't get to Head Boy without some instincts," Regulas said with the hint of a smile. She grinned and they continued their rounds. Suddenly a door opened to their right and a pair of students walked out. A fourth year girl named Scarlett and a fifth year boy named Rory. They were giggling playfully until they saw the two prefects. Regulas and Eva wiped their smiles with merely a look.
"You are out after curfew," Regulas said simply. Rory looked directly at the floor, but Scarlett tried to feign ignorance.
"I'm sorry. Time must have gotten away from," she began.
"Silence," Regulas barked, causing her to straighten up and both of them to take a step back. "15 points from Ravenclaw to convince you to watch the time in the future. Run along now and don't let us catch you going anywhere but directly to the dorm." Scarlett didn't argue.
"Look up, Rory," Regulas said once Scarlett was out of earshot.
"Sire?" Rory asked raising his head.
"What are you doing up at this hour?" Regulas asked.
"I thought you'd figured that out by now sire," he said.
Regulas smiled. "Well, it's complete now. Run along back to the common room."
Rory stood still for a minute before speaking. "No, points taken?" he asked shyly. "Not that I'm complaining, but…"
Regulas stopped him with a hand. "Run along, son," he said. "Inform the room my rounds are almost complete and will be returning soon."
"Yes, sire," Rory said before running in the direction of the dungeons.
Eva waited until Rory was long gone before saying, "Unwilling to take points from your own house?"
"Out of curiosity, what point do you think Grindelwald had?" Regulas answered.
Eva chuckled. Several seconds of silence passed between them as they reached the end of their route and began the path back to the common room. Finally, as they were approaching the dungeon wall that served as the entrance to the Slytherin living quarter, Eva answered: "Grindelwald knew that a more perfect world was possible. That unless someone did what was necessary that world would never be achieved. Wasn't that correct?"
Regulas smiled. "Do you think we've made progress?" he asked.
Eva shook her head. "The opposite," she said before giving the password to enter the Slytherin common room.
The Slytherin common room was a large circular room of stone set up in the lowest regions of the school. There were exits on either side leading to the dormitories, but the entire back wall was lined with long, tall windows showing the murky waters of the lake. The effect gave a slight greenish hue to the surrounding stonework, an effect that was not offset by the fires in the central hearth.
Most of the tables and sofas were huddled in small circles throughout the floor space, but the largest recliner had been moved to a position of prominence in the center of the far wall, flanked by two of the more ornate windows onto the lake and with a couple of ordinary dining chairs nearby. Only one person ever sat in that chair.
At this hour most of the Slytherins were asleep, with only a couple of fifth year students in a corner studying, clearly recognizing just what they were in for in their OWL year. Regulas bid Eva a good night and moved to unwind in his chair, passing by a small wardrobe on the right wall of the room. As per usual, a small tickle went down his spine, like a bead of sweat rolling down the inside of his skin. He ignored it and moved to sit on his seat when the door to the common room suddenly opened to reveal Headmistress Weasley as well as his grandfather. Both wore expressions of exhaustion or despair. Or both.
"There you are," Weasley said to him. "We've been looking all over for you."
"For me?" Regulas asked. "What for?"
Harry took a step forward, eyeing the room with much more curiosity than Weasley was giving it. "Not here," he said. "Come, my son. There's something you need to know."