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Chapter 1: Slytherin's Revenge
“This is preposterous,” Salazar Slytherin declared angrily. “The three of you are inviting all sorts into the school. There’ll be no place for pure-blooded witches and wizards if you continue in such a manner.”
Godric sighed. He had heard this argument many times already.
“Salazar, this pure-blood belief is becoming like a mania with you. My own grandsire was of Muggle birth and a most powerful wizard. And look at Helga. She’s is born of wizard and Muggle and becoming a witch of some renown.”
Salazar snorted. He hadn’t much time for Helga. It wasn’t that he disliked her. He simply considered her weak and of very little account.
“All I am asking is that you give some consideration to the lineage of those whom you invite into our school,” he continued irritably. “Magic ought to be kept within the old families. People whose ancestors have known and practiced magic for generations.”
“That is merely your opinion,” Godric replied. “It is my opinion that anybody who has the talent and the courage should be permitted to study the ancient arts of magic. I have yet to see any proof that pure-blood wizards are any more talented than those from unmagical backgrounds. I feel certain my grandsire could quite easily best you in a duel,” he added, under his breath.
Salazar turned and stormed out of the room.
“What is the cause of this strife betwixt us?” Helga asked sadly. “We used to be such a happy company. And you and Salazar were such close companions, Godric.”
“Yes, well, I’m beginning to wonder why we ever were. I seriously think the man is suffering a softening of the brain. This pure-blood idea is becoming an ever-greater mania with him.”
“Godric is right,” Rowena agreed. “Salazar is continually causing disagreement of late. I almost wish we’d founded the school without him. Then we wouldn’t have these constant strife as to which students are of the greatest value.”
“Must we quarrel about it?” Helga asked. “We established the house system in order that it should not be of significance if we did not agree as to the qualities we wished to see in our students. We would each teach as we thought right. Does it really matter if Salazar only wishes to teach pure-blood wizards, Godric? Should we not permit him do as he wishes within his own house?”
“I no longer belief that that will satisfy him, Helga. Once I believed that it would but I am no longer persuaded. Besides, it is such folly.”
“What ought we to about the end of year prize giving?” Helga asked. “Salazar will not be content if the prizes do not go to those of pure-blood.”
“Well, I do not know what you intend to do but I shall not allow him to dictate what I should decide for my house,” Gryffindor declared, slapping the table in front of him. “Arthur McDonald has proven himself by far the most outstanding student in there. Fighting a troll like that and he only 15 years old. I doubt many of the 7th years could have done it. Regardless of what Salazar may
say, he shall receive the Gryffindor prize.”
“You’re right,” Rowena agreed reluctantly. “Betty and Rasmus are the most intelligent in Ravenclaw this year. If Betty’s marks are higher, well, Salazar will simply have to accept it. I do hope Rasmus gets the top marks though. I really would prefer to avoid further disagreement.”
As it turned out, Rasmus got one mark more than Betty in the final exam, and Helga decided to give the Hufflepuff prize to a pure-blood.
“I know it is probably not just, Godric,” she replied when he scoffed at her choice of student, “but it’s not worth creating disagreement about. It is merely a prize.”
Salazar evidently didn’t agree with this. He was outraged when he saw Arthur’s name on the list of students receiving prizes.
“A Muggleborn,” he declared, disgustedly. “Surely there is some student more deserving than a….a dirty blooded thing like that. Mud, that’s what his blood is, mud!”
“Don’t be so foolish, Salazar,” Godric argued. “You are well aware that there is no other student in this school who could have fought a troll as well as Arthur did. I have great misgivings about your own ability to do as well as he.”
“Mudblood,” Salazar declared, enjoying the sound of the term. “I’m not the one who’s foolish. You are the one choosing Mudbloods over decent, deserving wizards and witches too.”
“Perhaps you are not foolish. No, you’re not. You’re mad; that’s what you are. You’ve got some form of mania about pure-bloods. It’s not-not normal.”
“You call it a mania?”
“Stop it!” Helga shouted.
Both wizards turned to look at her. It was unusual for Helga to raise her voice and virtually unheard of for her to order the others to do anything.
Helga paused, but then continued.
“We agreed we could do what we liked with our own houses,” she said quietly. “Salazar, may Godric not choose his own students to receive prizes?”
“I agree,” Rowena said decisively. “Arthur is the obvious choice for the Gryffindor prize, Salazar. There is no other student as brave as he.”
Godric smiled at her.
“Humph. Looks like my opinions are not held to be of value by anybody in this school,” Salazar said, glaring at Helga. “Perhaps I shall simply leave.
There is little purpose to my presence her if what I say is not regarded.”
“Perhaps you ought to,” Godric stated shortly.
“No, don’t do that,” Helga cried. “I pray you, remain here, Salazar. I realise we have had many quarrels of late, but we can resolve our difficulties. Pray do not quit not. Not after we have toiled so long in order to establish this school. It is just now gaining a reputation. Please remain.”
“Please, Salazar. Look at how well your students are doing. Do you not wish to see them complete their studies. Do you not wish to see your younger students take their examinations.
“Well, maybe I won’t leave just yet,” he replied thoughtfully.
No, he wouldn’t leave just yet. He wouldn’t give in like that. Firstly he would leave something that would teach them-Godric Gryffindor in particular, but Rowena too and even that insipid little Helga.
The only question was what he could do. No way was he letting bloody Gryffindor win. It would have to be something that would really teach them; show them they couldn’t mess with Salazar Slytherin.
His first thought was his students. The students of Salazar Slytherin had been hand-picked and were fiercely loyal to him. He had chosen not just those from pure-blood families, but those who were proud of that and who understood, as he did, the importance of blood.
They would support him; he was sure of that. He had taught them to see that their first loyalty was to their house and not to the school. He could choose an ex-student to take his place as head of house and ensure that his students were a sort of enemy within.
Abruptly, he paused. It wasn’t enough. Despite their blood, his students were still only boys and girls and only a quarter of the school. They could not, alone, do the sort of damage to the school that he hoped to do once he left.
What he needed was something that could be controlled only by those loyal to him-his true heirs.
A half-formed idea crept into his mind. He was serpent-tongued. They had learned that the second year of the school’s existence when a snake had tried to attack one of the 1st year students and he had ordered it back and then to leave the school. He had been as surprised as anybody else when the beast had done exactly as he had asked. Godric, Rowena and Helga had been greatly impressed.
So, what he needed was a snake. It would be controlled only by him or by those of his kind. Serpent-tongues were rare, he believed. There could be something he could do with that.
Dare he venture into the nearby forest? He knew that it was full of dangerous and fantastical beasts. If he were looking for a serpent that could wreck vengeance on the other houses and their heads, it was the obvious place to look and yet he hesitated. He did not really want to venture in there. So far Godric was the only one of them who had done so. The others, particularly Salazar and Helga kept well out of it.
After another argument, however, caused when Godric scoffed at Salazar’s 1st year students, when they were less successful at riding their brooms than Godric’s, Salazar braced himself to act.
He headed to the edge of the forest and softly called to all the serpents within. Slowly, they slithered towards him-large ones, small ones, brightly coloured ones and dull ones.
Most of them were useless. They were basically harmless or there was a relatively easy way for a wizard to defeat them or they lived such a short life that it was pointless expecting them to last long enough to do any damage whatsoever.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a Basilisk, however. His first reaction was one of fear. If he looked at that beast directly, he would die; there was no doubt about that.
“Turn away,” he ordered. “Do not look at me.”
It was only slowly that it occurred to him that this creature was exactly what he needed. If only he could direct it at the right people, it could be just the revenge he was looking for.
Somehow he would have to conceal it, he thought, as he returned to the castle. As a serpent-tongue, Salazar had taken great interest in the behaviour of serpents and knew that the crowing of a rooster was fatal to basilisks. He had, fool that he had been, mentioned that to Godric while they had still been friends, so they would know how to defeat the creature if they were aware of it’s presence.
For some days, he plotted, searching the castle for a suitable place in which to conceal a serpent as large as the basilisk. More and more, his attention was drawn to the castle pluming. If only he could find a way to conceal the basilisk in that, it could travel around the castle unseen by anybody and attack where needed.
At random, he chose a bathroom, and left the taps running.
“There’s a leak in the bathroom,” he told the others. “Don’t worry; I’ll fix it.”
“Finally, you decide to do something purposeful,” Godric muttered. “All you have done of late is criticise.”
“Do you wish me to help?” Helga asked.
“No, no, I can manage. I do not believe it to be anything serious. I merely need to perform a few charms. It may take me some time, however.”
He worked a few spells on a sink, enlarging the pipe below it and causing the sink to disappear when a the words “open up” were said in serpent’s language. Finally, he scratched a snake into the side of a tap, just to ensure that there was no doubt as to which sink was the entrance.
Now all he had to do was to bring the snake into the castle. This was the most difficult part of his plan. It would have to wait until nightfall when the occupants of the castle were asleep.
That night he again headed to the edge of the forest, and called to the basilisk fearfully.
“Do not look at me,” he ordered. “But go towards the castle and follow the directions I will give you.”
With the basilisk encased in the chamber, Salazar announced his imminent departure from Hogwarts the very next day.
“Please remain,” Helga pleaded with him. “We began this school together. Without you, it shall not be the same.”
She was the only one who protested. Godric and Rowena looked almost relieved at his announcement.
“Well, if that is what you wish,” Rowena said. “Do write to us and let us know what you choose to do next.”
It was a conventional request only, but Salazar didn’t care. He packed his things and wished his own students goodbye, reminding them that their first loyalty was to their house and that they should support it’s new head-an ex-student who agreed completely with Salazar’s own pure-blood theories. Then he left the school forever. He didn’t look back.