Disclaimer: This is a fan written work based on the works of J.K. Rowling. It might possibly also have some elements of a number of other works, like the anime Hellsing. There is no money being made from this, it is merely a work meant for the entertainment of myself and the masses. This is merely for fun, and no profit. I repeat: I am not making any money out of writing this.

Warning: OCs OOCs Sues, and some crack. You have been warned.

Note 1: AU. (filler-intro-sort of)

Note 2: Death = Harry ; Harry = Death. "Death speech" "Human speech"

Note 2.5: Harry = Death, Wishmaster, Letum, and Contristo Acerbus

Note 3: ~Dementor/Death Reaper/Shadow Hunter speech/Parseltongue~

Note 4: Reaper = Death Reaper; Hunter = Shadow Hunter

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Devil's Handshake

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chapter thirteen

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Harry informed his family about the turn of events after the feast via his grandmother. His grandmother made sure that if the Headmaster insisted on playing games within a castle that was one fourth hers by right, then she would see to it that her descendant was protected as were the other students at the school. There was no reason to call for reinforcements for the school in the past since the headmasters of the past, including Albus himself, hadn't decided to turn the school from one of the safest places in the world to a magnet for trouble.

The forces she had called upon could be commanded either by her or her grandson, they were wresting power from the headmaster who seemed to be abusing his power as of late. As soon as it was confirmed that Harry Potter was attending the school the man went from being concerned for the well being and privacy of all individuals into someone that needed to know absolutely everything.

He made subtle demands and threats, to portraits, ghosts, and elves alike. They were to keep a close watch and eye on the goings on in the castle, of course that knew not what was going on in the mind of the suddenly senile and old manipulative mad man rushed to obey, wanting to please the man.

Helena made sure to inform those portraits, other ghosts, and elves, that their duty was not to the castellan, but to the children, the other occupants of the school. The headmaster, while magically powerful, had nothing on the founders and if not them for comparison there was still the one Being that none living nor dead could match when it came to matters between life and death.

The invisible protectors of the castle grew in number, a whole company of Reapers and Hunters, that was a combination of roughly eighty of the things that roamed the halls and grounds keeping watchful eyes out for the children, those innocents that needed protection not only from themselves but forces out of their control that would seek to use them for their own ends damning the consequences.

The Forbidden Forest grew darker, even darker than it had ever been during its whole existence. The dark creatures in it along with the light knew that something was amiss, there was something stirring in the castle. Whatever it was was anyone's guess. But all knew that it was something important, something special, something else.

The first day of classes passed by uneventfully, nothing out of the ordinary expected from a school happened. For once the stairs were rather cooperative with hurrying students, none of the steps or moving things hindered or hampered any of the students and even moved when and to where the students needed to go.

Harry also got a taste of what it meant to be the leader of the House in school. Snape made sure to dump all paperwork and other such things on the boy's lap. It was a rather odd experience for Harry to have to speak with each member of his house individually, get to know them some, and a bunch of other things expected of him. He was head of a family, the student's family away from home. When they had problems with others or among themselves he was the designated go-to-guy.

He was the leader. He led, they followed. It was that simple when it came to the public.

He acted as the epitome of the English Gentleman, and expected his housemates to follow his example. Of course there were those that tried to go the other way to undermine his leadership, but they were reminded that it would be best to go with the flow of things, rather than fight against the current.

These students weren't threatened outright, but in more subtle ways. Like seemingly ignoring them and other such means. Most of the things that were done were done in ways that most would think normal behavior, but to Slytherins that were supposed to appear and be unified, well...

As the days progressed, the Slytherins went from outright distrust and hatred from and by the other Houses to simply general distrust and mild dislike. It was an improvement, and by Halloween, the change in the house of serpents became rather obvious.

There was no more outright baiting or insulting. The serpents played with words, body language. They thought before acting, they took into themselves some traits of the other houses. They treated others in the same manner that they wished to be treated.

They had turned into ladies and gentlemen in the eyes of society or the sample of society that was Hogwarts. The house of the serpents had seemingly turned over a new leaf. All it took were a few weeks of threats, promises, and a whole lot of scaring thanks to Primo and Quartus still hidden from view of course, as well as leading by example.

He always acted as the better man, he also treated others with respect or at least acted civil with others, even though he didn't really like them, like Hermione know-it-all-bossy-bushy-haired-girl Granger or Ronald hot-head-attention-seeking Weasley, to name a few.

Draco Malfoy among a few remaining Slytherins remained as his opposition to change from within the House of Serpents and Snakes. He continued to act the way he wanted to, and thus was treated differently by the rest of the house, specifically those that chose to follow Harry's example of embracing what it truly meant to be a Slytherin. Outside of the school there wouldn't be any robes and crests that would make it obvious from where one came from, and so it would only be up to what a person was like to be able to tell whether that person was worthy of association or not.

The eyes of the older students were opened to the fact that their parents' connections would only open a select number of doors for them. In order to go even further than the previous generation they would need to branch out or go beyond the commonly perceived mold. Reach out to the other houses to possibly form more bonds or branches, more links and chains.

The upper years were the easier ones to convince when it came to forming connections and alliances beyond the four walls of Slytherin. Harry managed to find ways to make them see the error of their ways, alienating themselves from the other houses was part of the poison that had infected the house for so many years.

He may have only been eleven, but he had been planning such changes since he had first heard of the fall of one of the four houses of Hogwarts from his grandfather who thought that it was such a shame that one of his own students' houses had fallen so far from the zenith of power and prestige that it had reached in the long forgotten past.

His short term goal was to unite his house and make it better than it had been for several years, which was in decline. His long term goal was the unification of the school itself. But that wouldn't take place for quite some time.

Snape was quite happy with the change within his house at Hogwarts, he had more time for his beloved potions, and less time worrying about all the other things he worried about back when he still had all of those other duties he had. He didn't have to deal with all those children that he really wasn't fond of, the only reason he even taught was due to how much he owed the headmaster for keeping him out of prison, as well as all the free potions supplies he could get his hands on.

It was the Halloween feast, and all were enjoying the food and sweets, even Harry who sat somewhere in the middle of the Slytherin designated table. He kept watch over all of those that he considered his before delving into the scumptuous meal. He enjoyed himself, but had been told of the possibility of something bad happening during or right after or even just before the end of the feast.

His grandmother told him that should something happen on this night, he had a company of the deathless at his command. He was grateful to her help and would use them should the need arise.

Harry had worked with his trusted, those eight that had not scorned him when he first joined the house at Hogwarts, and created a code or manner of speaking that didn't rely on words but on a combination of simple gestures and body language in general. It was how he relayed messages to them for them to disperse into the rest of the House. It was how the other Houses were left puzzled with the uniformed movements that the serpents could perform whenever something in their environment changed or something new had occurred.

When the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor barreled his way into the Great Hall at the end of the feast, Harry's trusted and the rest of the snakes looked to him for how they were to act and what they were to do, even amidst the pandemonium. They looked panicked, but knew that panicking was not a good idea at such a time. It was a sign of weakness and the snakes couldn't afford to show somethnig like that in such a public setting or place. So they looked to him, not that anyone else noticed of course.

The Headmaster instructed the prefects to lead their Houses back to the dorms, not really thinking about where he was sending the Slytherins. Harry signed that they were to return to their dorm, he assured them that they would be safe from any troll. Even though it had only been a roughly a month or two, he had gained at least their trust in him, which for the time being was good enough for him.

They filed out of the Hall in the most calm and orderly manner, not that the professors other than Professor Flitwick, short of stature that he was was the last professor to leave the Hall, had noticed. He was impressed and it was thanks to him that Slytherin was well beyond any of the other Houes when it came to the race for the House cup.

"If the Headmaster was serious about protecting his students, a troll wouldn't have been able to enter the castle," Harry said as the House walked to the dungeons, the last place that the troll had been seen in, "If one were familiar with the founding of the school, one would know, especially the headmaster, that the castellan which was and is the headmaster holds control over the protective wards of the school. But no need to fret, there are added protections for the students in the castle for the time being."

"What things?" a second year passed on the question.

"Can't you see them, keeping an eye on our traveling troupe?" Harry said, as he motioned to all around them, thus they all looked around and slowly one by one they saw shadows separate from shadows and move about.

When they were at the half way point to the entrance to their dungeon dorm they were joined by the Bloody Baron himself, who somehow managed to change his clothes into a knight's armor, complete with sword and shield. He nodded to the majority of the students as he searched for Harry and upon finding him bowed..

"I concede defeat, your grandfather truly is the better man," the Baron said, "Lord Slytherin, I have gathered the ghosts of those that were part of Master Salazar's house, and we shall accompany you the rest of the way, know that no troll or any other creature that wish harm upon you shall survive the wrath of the Wraiths of Slytherin."

"Wraithes of Slytherin?" one student asked as they continued their cautious walk.

"We are the ghost of those former students of the school that have stayed in the world for a while longer, but as ghost were were unable to influence the material world," the Baron said, "A curse if you will, we were allowed as ghosts to speak and be spoken to as well as only to observe. But as wraiths we became something more. We share some traits with ghost, like the ability to pass through objects and turn invisible, we share traits with poltergeists which permits us to interact with the material. But was sets us apart from our closer cousins the undead and the dementors is that we are able to transform parts of our ectoplasmic selves into objects, such as my armor and weapons."

There were a few murmurs of understanding, but one person decided to ask, it was a brave Draco Malfoy..

"Are you the so-called additional protection?" he asked of the ghost.

"Oh, no," the Braon replied, "We've been around for a while, but we haven't had a Lord Slytherin to follow. As for the additional protection, well..they're things that would give demons nightmares."

No one could really think of what it was that might give demons nightmares, or reasons why they would even consider guarding a school of children of all places. Then the brighter and more perceptive ones realized that everything, all of the changes, only started to happen once Harry Potter began his journey to the school.

They turned accusatory gazes at him..

"I admit that you have gained some modicum of my trust," Harry said as the approached the hidden entrance, "They are the deathless ones, those that serve Death himself, those reapers of souls and hunters of the ever living. Death defends the living, I do hope that you will keep this secret as well?"

Nods all around, even those that had hoped to oppose him for the rest of the year nodded in agreement of his wishes for now they had the threat of death in the air. It was then that Reapers and Hunters began to appear.

The first years recognized them as the same things that the Grey Lady had commanded, and were the first to figure out who were the Beings that had cared for Harry Potter, or at the very least who were related to them.

"You're the grandson of Constristo Acerbus aren't you," Blaise Zabini queried, his mother had been previously married to a man that had briefly worked in Azkaban and was familiar with the seemingly immortal Head of Maintenance there, as well as the occasional visits from the Grey Lady herself.

"I am," Harry replied as they walked into their common room, once inside he took his place behind a desk made out of the wood of a magically enlarged ash tree, where a few piles of paperwork lay for him to complete for the rest of the night. He didn't really require much sleep everyday, just twelve hours total thanks to the other magics flowing through his veins.

"Who's that?" one fifth year asked the first year.

"He's the Head of Maintenance of Azkaban," Blaise responded, "He's been there since the beginning according to what I've been told. The prison is actually on loan to the ministry by the House of Ravenclaw..."

"...Meaning that our Lord Slytherin owns the wizarding maximum security prison...shit," the fifth year said. That revelation further convinced more of the house to switch over to Harry's side.

"I can hear you talking you know," Harry said from behind his desk and paperwork, "I expect Professor Snape will eventually return to us with news about the troll and what has happened to it, since we are all relatively safe in here I need someone to visit the kitchens, the Halloween feast is not yet over and I'm sure some of you still hunger for a feast."

There were several volunteers among the seventh and sixth years.

"Do any of you actually know how to get there?" he asked the volunteers.

They all shook their heads in the negative.

"Baron are you still there?" Harry asked looking up from his paperwork.

"Sir, yes, sir," the Baron said as he turned visible, "How might I serve House Slytherin?"

"Pick two of the volunteers and show them the way to the kitchens," Harry said, "My serpents and snakes have a feast to finish, thus we need some grub."

"Cromey, Flint," the Baron barked, "Come with me."

The seventh year Varian Cromey and sixth year Marcus Flint followed after the Baron to the kitchen, and they would be the first Slytherins, aside from Harry, to know where that was. Gryffindor would not be able to horde the place all to themselves now.

Professor Snape arrived sometime later with news that the troll had been found dead in one of the upper level corridors, it had been attacked by a number of suits of armor that had unrelentingly attacked it from all sides. Most of the suits would be needing some non-magical repairs though, he also informed the students that had originally been in his care that the suits had not been the cause of death. His fellow professors theorized that something like a dementor had killed the thing as it was in the throes of torture.

Cheers rang throughout the common room as students continued with their hallowed celebrating, Snape joined in as he was still considered as a member of the House. He was deputy of the House actually, thoguh rarely exercised his powers thanks to Harry being mostly around.