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Chapter 26: Intemporaliter Putus
Beautiful Chapter image by Ayita @ the dark arts
During the five years that followed; the school went from strength to strength. Hogwarts School, named for the memory of the elf who had given his life for it, was attracting children of famous Wizarding covens from up and down the country, but Salazar was not entirely happy with his life, and was not sure the dream was how he had envisioned it.
It seemed that everyone else around him was happy. Godric and Rowena had been firmly established by the Alban people as the almighty successors of King Bevan and Queen Emma. They were lauded wherever they went. Godric was seen as the defender of Alba, the man who had saved them from the evil King Harald, and therefore the man most deserving of Rowena’s heart. They were a happy family; with their ten year old children Helena and Bevan, although they were still legally recognised as Harald’s children, and a recent addition to their family, their barely days old daughter.
Artemisia Black had entered the world in a similar way to her mother. She was legally a Black due to the fact that her parents were not married but the streets had still been lined with celebrating people; rejoicing at the birth of a beautiful baby girl. However, Rowena was more fertile than her mother, and Artemisia was not the heir to the Alban throne, that privilege still lying with her older brother. She had brought so much joy to her parents, but she only intensified the rotting jealousy in Salazar’s gut.
Adrian and Helga had also made a very happy family. Their child, announced at the victory at the Battle of Alba, had been a bouncing baby boy made with his father’s chestnut brown hair and tawny complexion. He had been named for Helga’s father, and Helga often chirped how Edward Hufflepuff reminded her of her brave father. They had had another child two years later; a little girl they named after her doting aunt, Coventina. The little girl had a cloud of blonde hair like her mother, but neither child had inherited Helga’s distinctive eyes.
Even the newly minted Peverell’s were also living happy lives. Ignotus and Coventina had fallen together; an effect of the pairing off of all of Salazar’s friend’s. Despite the age difference; they were a happy couple, and Coventina had even produced a little boy, with all the appearances of a Peverell, who they had eagerly named Antioch. He was two, just like little Coventina, and the two children played together while their parents taught the students who arrived fresh faced every year.
Cadmus and Rachel were also married, with a son of their own, named Ulrich. Their marriage was very restless, and the students often laughed about their angry fights heard all over the castle. But there was no doubt that they loved each other. Despite everything, when they made up they were happy together. Their family was not perfect, but they loved each other in a passionate way, and Salazar could not help but envy them.
Then there was Salazar. He taught the Dark Arts; a subject he felt had to be studied deeply for a student to know how to effectively counter them. But he knew he wasn’t the most popular teacher; that honour fell with Godric, a swashbuckling figure who taught Transfiguration. The students adored him, and he was effectively the spokesperson for the four founders, and the symbol of the whole school. Salazar sometimes felt that he was totally monopolizing everything as usual.
Through the years, Salazar also realised two things. The first was that he did not clearly state his intentions during the creation of the school. Godric, Helga and Rowena were all two happy to let dirty Muggle children into the school. The thought of them and having to teach them made Salazar feel sick. It was their forebear’s ignorance that had killed his parents and Bess, and he could not stand giving them the gifts that their parents had scorned and killed innocent people for.
The other was that Rachel had lied to him. The years did not diminish the pain of losing Rowena. Every time he saw her, her sparkling diadem perched on her unruly dark hair and his locket hanging round her neck; he could not help but feel his heart ache. He hated Godric touching her; he hated the way she was with him when he wanted it so much for himself.
And his house followed his suit. Godric’s house, the Gryffindor’s, were a rowdy lot that did not seem to know when to shut their mouths. Salazar thought they were undeniably proud, like their creator, and although Salazar cared for his friend in some way, the Gryffindor’s seemed to reflect the worst aspects of Godric’s personality. They were smug and arrogant, traits that had grown within Godric continually since the day Salazar first met him.
The Hufflepuff’s, Adrian and Helga’s house, did not seem to be striving for excellence in Salazar’s opinion. The placid nature of their creators made it so anyone could get into Hufflepuff, and Salazar thought that was ridiculous. But that had always been Adrian and Helga’s way; they were endlessly manipulated by Godric and Rowena, who used their weak wills to get what they wanted.
The Ravenclaw’s seemed just like Rowena also. They all valued intelligence above anything else, and were all very beautiful, just like she was, but they did not realise there was other ways to achieve greatness from that lofty pedestal they put themselves on. The Ravenclaws seemed to be so aloof, just like Rowena was, and Salazar thought them all terribly proud.
Only in Slytherin were there truly great witches and wizards in the making. Their names would be remembered in history; there was no doubt about it. They had the talent, thirst and drive to prove themselves, something which the other houses did not possess. Only his students would be the greatest, as they had the cunning, resourcefulness and drive to push themselves to the top.
Salazar focussed his mind on the pile of paper work he had in front of him. There were mountains of essay’s and letters for him to read, and his tired brain ached. He had just finished marking a particularly tedious essay on Werewolves when he got a letter he had been delivered earlier in the day by a disgruntled looking messenger; clearly he had been travelling for days. Salazar ripped it open curiously, wondering who it could be from.
I have to admit your offer of employment I received came as quite a surprise. I am sure your acquaintances had informed you of my history in Alba, and my history with a certain lady who I am sure will never wish to see me again, so therefore it seemed like an illogical choice.
I would be honoured to accept the offer of a teaching post; I miss Black Castle, it was truly one of the happiest times of my life. I no longer want the speed of the life of an ambassador, and would much prefer to return to the peace and solitude of that far flung castle. But it may be best to not warn your acquaintances of my arrival; I am sure they would not be best pleased.
The Baron Sanglante, Guillaume Abraxas Malfoy
Salazar felt an excited leap in his stomach. Malfoy had finally returned his answer to Salazar’s offer of employment. Guillaume Malfoy was one of the greatest Arithmancers of the age, and Salazar felt sure that he would fulfil his role spectacularly. It would also cause some much needed controversy in Salazar’s opinion. Helga and Adrian were perfectly secure in their relationship, so Salazar did not think twice about offering Guillaume the job. After all, Helga was very forgiving and would surely welcome Guillaume back with open arms. It would also make them think; something his friends really needed to do.
Lady Helga Hufflepuff was adorned with jewels. She was no longer the wandering child, lost and lonely in the woods of Alba. She sat by the Queen’s side at the long teacher’s table, looking at the rows of tables spanning the length of the hall. The Black Castle was now essentially a hybrid; half of it was Hogwarts School and half the Royal Court of Alba. It was not as formal as it had been, and Helga felt totally at home here. She was finally at her happiest. There was nothing wrong in her whole sunny world.
In memory of Hogwarts she had let hundreds of homeless House Elves live in Hogwarts and work in the kitchens. It was highly successful for both parties. Helga felt nothing in her life could go better. Her children were in bed, but she scanned the table looking at her friends. She could not believe how they had once been young revolutionaries trying to change the world and now they had achieved their dream.
Everyone was there minus Salazar. That was the only thing in her life that made Helga sad. The one person who had originally encouraged her to make her dreams reality now seemed so distant and aloof. He rarely sat with them after dinner and had tonight gone for a walk down to Alba. Apparently he was meeting the new Arithmancy teacher he had hired. Salazar was always the one who made staff appointments as he was always the one who would find the spark inside the candidates that made them a good teacher.
“Helga,” whispered Adrian drawing closer to her, “I am worried about Henry Wakefield. He hasn’t been handing his essays into me at the moment, what do you think...” She had a whispered conversation with her husband about this particular student; a boy brimming with so much talent but not the ability to apply it effectively.
Due to the depth of this conversation; Helga only noticed who had just arrived when Rowena gently tapped her on her arm. Turning round, Helga saw what had turned Rowena’s face deathly white. Salazar was striding into the hall; one of his wry half smiles plastered on his face. But that was not what scared Helga so. Beside him stood a man that Helga hoped she would never see again.
“I would like to reacquaint you all with our new Arithmancy teacher; The Baron Sanglante, Guillaume Malfoy.” Helga felt sick at the sight of him, and the old feelings of inadequacy and fear rushed to her heart. How could Salazar do this to her when he knew what Guillaume was to her? Malfoy’s eyes had rested on her, and she felt terribly cold looking into the icy grey. But she felt suddenly comforted as she felt Adrian’s fingers curl soothingly around her own.
Nobody spoke. Helga could see that Rowena was reeling from the same shock that she was. Surely Salazar would not be so insensitive as to bring Guillaume back? “We welcome you, Baron Sanglante,” and Helga turned round to see who had so freely offered this warm greeting. Godric was sitting at the centre of the table, dressed in the finest ermines and silks, a cheerful smile on his face.
“I thank you my Prince,” said Guillaume through clenched teeth, clearly not wanting to address such a low born man as the Prince of Alba. “I hope I can be useful in your mission to educate magical children.” Guillaume turned back to Helga and gave her one of his familiar half sneering smiles. Helga wanted to attack him. Only Adrian’s hand prevented her from standing up.
“I’m sure our hospitality will be well appreciated by the Baron,” said Salazar dutifully, “and I think it is best that I take him to his quarters. I bid you all goodnight.” With that, Salazar turned on his heel and began marching towards the entrance hall. Guillaume lingered for a moment, his eyes still on Helga, but then he followed his employer out of Helga’s sight and into the shadows beyond the door.
Godric and Rowena’s chambers were the most lavish in the whole castle. Their living room was bedecked with tapestries spun with gold and rugs from far flung Persia. On the mantelpiece was the head of a stag that Godric had killed on one of his many hunting expeditions, and Helga knew that it reflected the extravagant natures of their owners. It dripped with luxury; something that Helga had once envied, but now so easily obtained it did not seem important.
Adrian did not knock when they entered their quarters. Everything was much less formal now, and Adrian and Helga were no longer servants after all. They were nobles, and could therefore enter Rowena and Godric’s presence without any fuss. The door swung open, revealing Rowena and Godric in what seemed like deep conversation. Helga and Adrian went and sat in their usual chairs, opposite Rowena and Godric, and they all knew what they were talking about instantly as the icy atmosphere descended.
“How could Salazar do this?” hissed Helga, trying to keep the hurt tears from rolling down her cheeks as she looked from Godric to Rowena and back again, “when he knows all that happened?” Adrian gave a decisive nod of agreement and took Helga’s hand in a protective and comforting way. Rowena repeated Adrian’s nod and they all turned Godric, their unofficial leader who had been the warmest towards Guillaume, waiting for his opinion on the highly controversial situation.
“I think it’s best that we keep him here,” began Godric nonchalantly. Adrian instantly began to argue back but Godric lifted one authoritative hand and began to list his reasons, “Salazar has been, how do I say it, distant at the moment, and it seems we must humour him to keep him on our side. I have not seen a stronger marriage than yours; surely you can weather this out?”
“But Godric,” began Adrian, a look of anger appearing on his scarred face, clearly affronted at the speed in which his friend had taken sides, “he nearly ruined us in the beginning and Salazar knows that. I think we should get rid of him now, I cannot live here as Guillaume is here working by my side every day.” Rowena gave a curt little nod before readjusting her diadem, but Godric continued with his usual gusto.
“If you trust your wife Adrian,” said Godric sternly, a hint of anger colouring his words, “you must weather it out as we have no replacement for him. It is Salazar who picks all the new teachers, and we have placed our trust in him, we don’t want to upset him.” Adrian ballooned slightly, but Helga beat him to speech, her irritation finally bursting through.
“Why shouldn’t we upset Salazar?” she snapped, desperately trying to keep her temper, “Just because he is causing so much friction at the moment it doesn’t mean we have to give in to his every whim all the time. He is just as much of a founder as we all are, and he should be able to take criticism, just like we do from him.” At this point, Rowena chimed in to support Helga with an enthusiastic nod of the head.
“Helga is right Godric,” she insisted, taking Godric’s hand firmly in her own, “Guillaume would cause more trouble than he is worth, and Helga and Adrian need peace to be effective teachers. I don’t see the problem with just removing him quietly now and prevent ourselves from prolonging the problem. That would seem the logical answer.”
Godric was always quick to anger, and now he snapped at Rowena with a bite that was all too familiar to her, “no. Guillaume is staying as we haven’t got another Arithmancy teacher, and that is my final word on the matter.” Adrian stood up, a disgusted look on his face, for once losing his temper, and he stormed out of the room, leaving Helga to trail in his wake. She shot one disappointed look at Godric, before leaving their lavish chambers, hoping that Rowena would plead their case.
Rowena was frozen to her chair. How could Godric dismiss the worries of Helga and Adrian so easily and favour Salazar? She barely looked at him as he let out a heavy sigh, before taking off his boots with one hand. “You going to come to bed Rowena?” he asked as he pulled off his tunic, revealing his defined torso. He was acting as if what had just happened was of no importance. His uncaring attitude infuriated her.
“No, I’m not,” she said irritably, folding her arms across her new taffeta dress. Godric turned to face her, a confused look on his face. He never understood the depth of what other people were capable of feeling, because she thought he only saw the world in black and white. “Why were you so dismissive of Helga and Adrian?” she barked, standing up to face him. Godric’s face showed a mixture of bewilderment and amusement as he replied.
“Dismissive?” he replied incredulously, running one hand through his fire red hair, “they were over exaggerating the whole affair. Salazar knows what he is doing, and I don’t particularly want to upset him at the moment, with him seeming so...moody.” Rowena cared for Salazar, but at the same time she was not going to sacrifice Helga’s happiness for one of his whimsical appointments.
“Godric,” crooned Rowena, trying to keep her temper under wraps, “can you imagine if something similar had happened, but it involved us. What if Salazar had invited Harald to be the new Arithmancy teacher? How would you feel then?” As Godric never thought his words or his actions through, he reacted instantly and it was clear that he was getting irritated.
“Guillaume Malfoy did not attack and invade Alba or marry Helga did he? And Helga chose Adrian didn’t she; whereas you chose Harald!” When it came to Godric, he knew her so well that he knew how to make her angry and exploit her weaknesses. Whenever he felt weak he brought up this old argument. In retaliation Rowena lunged forward at him, ready to shout at him, hit him or something infinitely worse.
“Don’t you dare bring that up again Godric!” she spat, pointing one delicate finger at him with all the strength she could, “just because you’re now my Prince Consort, it doesn’t mean you can talk to me however you want. I am still your Queen!” Godric grabbed his discarded tunic and threw it back on again, not wanting to look so vulnerable in front of her.
“You are not my Queen!” he shouted, a laugh echoing in his words, “I am a foreigner! I am a foreign monarch’s bastard who does not have to give you any deference. We are not even married before God, just at your proclamation. In the eyes of the law you are just the mistress to a bastard and that is all you will ever be!” Rowena nearly lost her composure, but she turned towards the bedroom, a cold look in her eyes.
“If you are going to be so puerile Godric I am not talking to you!” she sniffed as she marched forward, kicking open the door and slamming it shut behind her. The coolness of the bedroom calmed her skin that was burning with suppressed rage, but she turned back, opening the door again to stare at Godric. “You can sleep outside tonight.
Guillaume had already made quite an impact on the school Salazar thought. He was an effective teacher, one who terrified the students into submission and forced them to learn. Despite the initial hostility towards him, neither Helga, Godric nor Rowena had put forward any opposition towards the appointment, so Salazar assumed he was here to stay.
Salazar’s subterranean office lay down the corridor from the Slytherin common room, and Salazar liked the peace and solitude it offered. Here, he did not have to see Rowena and Godric or feel the stab of betrayal every time his eyes fell on them. He did not have to be around so many happy people when he himself wasn’t. He flicked through the piles of essays he still had to mark and let out a protracted sigh. It was going to be a long night.
There was a sudden knock on the door. Salazar assumed it was a student, so shouted “come in” in a fatigued voice. He was then surprised when Guillaume entered, his mane of silvery blonde hair glinting in the candlelight, dressed in the finest robes that Salazar had ever seen him in. Salazar offered the chair by his desk to sit on, and Guillaume obliged, letting out a tired sigh as he did so. Guillaume did not speak for a moment, but when he did, his voice was grave.
“Salazar,” he wearied, placing his gloved hands in on Salazar’s in an imploring way, “I have come here to infringe on your hospitality yet again.” Salazar’s interest was piqued. Guillaume was settling into life well at the castle, surely he had enough books, parchment and quill to supplement his teaching. Salazar’s green eyes met Guillaume’s icy grey as the new teacher continued.
“My sister has recently suffered a terrible misfortune. She was recently married to an old widower with several sons and all her property that she inherited from out father was entailed to her husband. He recently died, and she is destitute. I would send her to live with my wife and sons, but she has never got on with my wife, Heloise. You might say I should send her to a convent, but Bonne has never had the temperament for that. So I was wondering whether she could come and stay here.”
Salazar’s mouth curled into a smile. Hogwarts was already reordering itself in Salazar’s mind and transforming itself into a giant chess board. Waiting for Godric to make his move, Salazar realised he needed reinforcements if he wanted his ideas reflected in the school. Guillaume would be the first of these allies; grateful for his return to the school. And now, it seemed another unexpected soldier would soon be arriving.
“Of course she can,” purred Salazar, giving yet another half smile as he saw the tactical advantage this would bring, “she will be most welcome. There are many chambers spare at the moment, I’m sure we can find her one.” Guillaume gave a grateful smile before standing up; clearly he had much work to do also. “Goodnight Guillaume,” said Salazar as his new ally left the room.
The winter night was cold as Guillaume and Salazar walked towards “The Green Dragon”. It was the largest and most luxurious of Inn’s within Alba’s walls, and this was the place that they would meet Bonne and escort her up to the castle. Salazar was slightly apprehensive. From what Guillaume had said, Bonne knew what she wanted in life, and was not afraid to get it. She seemed to have a cunning mind, something that Salazar prized, and he wondered whether there was some flaw with her when he met her.
“The Green Dragon” made Salazar feel proud every time he stepped through its doors. It shared the name with the tavern where he had first met Godric, the place where he had left his old life behind. It was amazing to see how much he had changed. Now he did not even need the constant presence of Godric to keep him from slipping back into having no defined purpose in his life. It seemed the school had always been his destiny, and he would not ruin it.
When they walked into the Inn, a hushed silence descended as the customers noticed the entrance of the Lord High Chancellor of Alba and one of the Founders of Hogwarts into their humble presence. The owner of “The Green Dragon” raced forward, ready to serve these high ranking men who had walked in. “I was wondering whether a woman has arrived. She is Frankish, going either by the name of Madame Des Mieux or Mademoiselle Bonne Malfoy,” drawled Salazar as he looked down at the eager little man.
The man nodded jovially, “Mademoiselle Bonne Malfoy is in one of the dining chambers in the back. I suppose you two are her guests.” Salazar gave a quick nod, before the owner gave a deep bow, then turned to lead the two men to the back room. “Leave us be,” ordered Salazar as they reached the door. The man nodded and bid them farewell, leaving Salazar and Guillaume standing motionless outside the door.
“I warn you,” whispered Guillaume, pressing his ear against the door as if to test his sister was in there, “she can be a bit...feisty.” Salazar nodded, understanding how women could be. He instantly thought of Rowena, who could be the warmest friendliest person in the world or your coldest worst enemy on any given day. But then he realised; no woman in the world could ever have as big effect on him as Rowena could.
Guillaume pushed the door open, a false smile on his face. “Bonne, my sister!” Salazar could not see Bonne for a moment, his vision obscured by Guillaume’s broad back. However, when Guillaume entered the room, Salazar caught his first glimpse of Bonne, which he was sure would burn in his mind until the day he died.
Bonne was the most perfectly beautiful woman he had ever seen. She did not have one flaw. Cascading from her roots to her waist was the most glittering silver blonde hair that fell with a slight curl. Everything about her face was perfectly symmetrical and she had plump pink lips that looked like the ripest berries. Her eyes were not the same piercing grey as her brother’s, instead bordering between silver and light blue, making them reflect any light that fell on them. Her body was tall and graceful; she had a full bosom and wide hips.
Salazar couldn’t help but salivate at the sight of her. She was not like the two other women in his life. Bess had been wild and untamed; a mass of dark chestnut hair and an infection smile that still haunted his dreams. Then there was Rowena; glamorous, beautiful and unobtainable, an ice cold beauty with a shadow underneath the gloss. Now there was Bonne, a whole new thing entirely. She was perfect looking; there was not a hair out of place. She was the type of woman who drove men to distraction with desire.
“Brother,” she said, her soft voice drawing the listener in until they hung on her every word. “It is so wonderful to see a friendly face in these terribly sad times.” Her beautiful face did not give away any hint of what she was thinking as she gracefully stood up. Guillaume walked forward as she put forward her hand for him to kiss, which he did obligingly.
“Dear sister,” he drawled, “I would like to introduce to you my employer, Salazar Slytherin.” Her alluring eyes turned to Salazar, and he admitted silently to himself that he felt his heart flutter. There was something devastatingly attractive about her that he couldn’t shake off. She gave him a polite nod of recognition, which he returned.
“Monsieur Slytherin,” she halted in her thick accent, “it is so wonderful to meet you at last. The whole world seems to be talking of you and your friends little project.” Salazar’s throat felt dry as he gazed at her. “Please sit,” she said, a smile not yet crossing her face, “I have ordered a meal for us and it should be here soon.”
Salazar took his place next to the head of the table, which was taken by Guillaume, and opposite Bonne who was smoothing her deep blue dress. “So,” she began her voice suddenly becoming sharp, “I hear that the school admits an interesting selection of students. Are all of them of the right...quality?” Both the Malfoy siblings turned to look at Salazar, who was momentarily lost for words.
“We have some students from the very best covens and ancient families in the country. We have students from Alba and one girl from as far flung as Constantinople. There is as wide variety of pupils as there is possible to be.” He bit his tongue to stop himself mentioning the unworthy Muggle children who were taught at the school; not entirely sure of where the Malfoy’s lay on the spectrum of opinion.
“I heard you teach Mudbloods at your school,” she began, fixing him with a piercing stare similar to her brother’s, “is that true?” It was then that she showed the first true hint of emotion he had seen on her face. It was disgust. Salazar suddenly understood that Guillaume and Bonne were like him; they knew that Muggle children should not be taught alongside their magical opposites. He had finally found people who thought the same way as him.
“I don’t like it that way,” he whispered, his voice only audible due to the quiet of the private room, “they are ignorant. Muggles are filled with suspicion and fear of what is really in front of their eyes. They will go to any lengths to crush things they don’t understand, and they don’t understand us.” Salazar’s eyes were locked on Bonne’s beautiful face, and she gave an expression that looked fleetingly like a smile.
“I’m glad we are on the same page then,” she began, as if it had all been some test for him, “I’m sure we will be firm friends.” With those words, their dinner arrived, and the three diners spent the rest of the evening having totally unimportant conversations. But Salazar did not care; he liked Bonne, and wanted nothing more than for her to like him.
Okay...hope you enjoyed it. The title means "Eternally Pure" in Latin, and I thought that would be the Malfoy family motto, which I thought was pretty apt for this chapter as they are now going to be playing such a big role. Please tell me what you think of Bonne. She was very hard to write because I wanted to make her a contrast to Rowena especially, but I don't know if I succeeded so please review and tell me. Next time...Bonne's appearance causes a splash as Ignotus has some exciting news for Cadmus...