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The golden sun shined down upon the village of Green Taft. The weather was cool and breezy and the flowers were in bloom. The voices of the children playing in the grounds and the sound of the wind against the bushes seemed very dulcet. The grass in the fields was dewy and shone in the light of the sun making it seem as a web of silver on the green velvety earth. In this beautiful village of Green Taft, which was situated in a valley surrounded by several mountains, only happy and good people, with no specific purpose or adventure in life, lived. They ate, worked, spent remaining time with their family and friends and that’s all they did. Except for one lone figure sitting on a low hill at the edge of the village. The figure neither moved nor made any sound; it seemed like a gracefully positioned statue.
The wind blew his long tawny mane of hair into his youthful face as he sat on the hill, unmoving. His brilliant green eyes were unfocused and there was a pronounced frown on his forehead, indicating that he was deep in thought. His face was flushed, as if he had run all the way here. The robes he was wearing were smeared with dirt here and there and something very thin, made of wood, was sticking out of them.
Godric Gryffindor sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. He had to go. He had to go and complete what his mother and father had started many years back. Now that he knew how his parents had died, he wasn’t just going to lay back and relax. He had a mission to accomplish; and a dangerous mission at that. Deciding what exactly he was going to do, Godric got up and headed back into the village towards a small but neat cottage with cream coloured walls. He opened the gates, walked past the cabbage patch and into the cottage.
“Cynthia,” he called. A short girl with amazing amethyst eyes shining in the light came out of the kitchen which was on the left. She was wearing a flowery yellow dress and she smiled at Godric.
“What is it, Godric?” she asked. “Oh, and my goodness, look at your robes! Where have you been?”
“Never mind that. Where is your mother, Cynthia?” Godric replied impatiently. Cynthia frowned.
“She is in her room and doesn’t come out,” she stated worriedly. “I don’t know what the matter is but since you left, she has been in a right state.”
Godric nodded and hurried to his aunt’s room. He quietly opened the door and peered inside. His aunt, a woman in her mid-forties, was sitting on her small bed sobbing silently. Godric coughed. His aunt looked up, startled and immediately began to wipe the tears from her face with the back of her hands. She kept her eyes lowered as Godric walked to the bed and sat down heavily.
“Why do you cry, dear Aunt Rose?” he said. She didn’t say anything, nor did she look at him. She just sat there with a twisted expression on her face, as if she had eaten something very bitter. Godric took her hands in his. “Aunt?”
“You want to leave, don’t you, Godric?” Her voice was so soft, it was some time before he registered what she had said.
He sighed and opened his mouth to say something, but his aunt continued, “I knew you would want to leave once I told you about your past. I am sorry I didn’t tell you earlier; I was just worried you would make rash decisions and get yourself hurt.” She started sobbing again and Godric hugged her. “I do not know what Cynthia and I will do without you, Godric. Please remember us.”
“Aunt Rose,” soothed Godric. “I have to leave. I can’t sit here carelessly anymore. You know I have to do this, right?” Rose nodded. “I just cannot bear knowing how mother and father died and not do anything about it. Now, I am nineteen and surely have enough strength to fight injustice. Tell me Aunt Rose, wouldn’t you want your brother’s and sister-in-law’s soul to lie in peace?”
His aunt looked at him, teary eyed. “Yes,” she said, finally. “Yes, I would.”
Nodding, Godric stood up. “I am glad you understand, Aunt Rose. I will gather my belongings and leave after lunch. You will tell Cynthia, won’t -- ” He stopped speaking abruptly when he heard a sniffle. He turned around and spotted his cousin standing at the door, tears rolling down her cheek.
She ran to Godric and hugged him, crying uncontrollably onto his shoulder. “Don’t go, cousin,” she cried. “I won’t let you go.”
“I will go and you will not stop me,” Godric said in a gentle but firm voice. “And I will always remember my favorite cousin.”
Cynthia looked up at him with hard eyes. Then suddenly, she giggled. “I am your only cousin, Godric,” she corrected him. Godric grinned and nodded.
Godric left at late noon - his little belongings attached on his snow-white horse, Pegasus – bidding sad good-byes to the two only ladies that he had as family, not knowing if he would ever see them again. Aunt Rose and Cynthia had given him food that could last a month. As he traveled for many days, their food packages came really in handy.
On the way, he stopped at various places to spend his nights. Then he would leave early in the morning, not wanting to waste any time to reach his destination. His nights were very restless. He would lay awake for several hours contemplating his steps skillfully. Wherever he went, the people there were always nice to him and he would give each one of the family a gold coin.
Finally, at the end of the second week, Godric arrived at the wizarding village of Hogsmeade. Excited that he had reached his last stop, Godric entered the village, all the while admiring its beauty. The houses were neat and trim; and the shops were all full of half of the things he had never before seen in his life. His horse, now trotting on his own as he watched on in awe, came to a stop in front of a small, haphazard looking house with peeled paint. It seemed like a black sheep in the middle of the trim and proper houses. Godric dismounted Pegasus, patted him a little and proceeded toward the odd looking house.
He knocked twice before the door was opened by a rather old man, with hair as white as Pegasus and broad shoulders. He looked at Godric curiously, studying him with narrowed eyes.
“Hello, sir,” smiled Godric. “I am Godric Gryffindor from the Valley. I have made a long and tiring journey and need a place for shelter.”
The old man thought for a while, and then replied, “You can stay in my house, Godric Gryffindor. How long will you be here?”
“Until the mission I have come for is accomplished,” Godric answered.
The man smiled. “Very well. I am Heram Hufflepuff. Do come in.”
The exterior of Hufflepuff’s house was nothing compared to its interior. It was an entirely magical house. For such a small house, there were four rooms and a kitchen squashed inside. Amused, Godric suppressed a chuckle. All in all, the household was comfortable and just the place for him. He would have some peace here, because it seemed that Hufflepuff lived alone. He decided to voice his thoughts.
“You live alone, Sir Hufflepuff?”
“Merlin, no,” Hufflepuff laughed. “I live with my daughter, Helga. She is out in the fields and will be back by lunch time.”
A/N. Please review. I appreciate constructive criticism.
Oh and another thing, I just can't write ancient english (if you know what i mean) so if you find it a bit modern, please bear with it. Although I have tried my very best.
Godric had settled in the new surroundings quite well by lunch time. He found out that Hufflepuff was a very jolly man and they spent time talking and getting to know each other. Of course, Godric knew where to hold his tongue.
“Do tell me, where is your family, young Gryffindor? You live in the Valley, don’t you?” Hufflepuff asked Godric, as they sat on the kitchen table waiting for Hufflepuff’s daughter, Helga.
“Yes, sire,” nodded Godric. He hesitated before speaking, “My family…” Thankfully, he never got to finish his sentence because at that very moment they heard a loud crash from outside.
“My goodness!” exclaimed Hufflepuff as he started to the doors, Godric at his heels.
A girl of about the same age as Godric was sprawled on her stomach, right outside the door, surrounded by dozens of oranges, some of which were rolling away happily. A wear-worn basket lay upturned beside her. She got up immediately and ran about, her blonde curls flying behind her as she captured the oranges frantically and put them back in her basket. She looked so funny that Godric couldn’t help but grin. At last, when all oranges were in her basket, she stood and for the first time noticed that she had audience.
“Father,” she bowed her head reverently.
Hufflepuff rolled his eyes. “What happened now, Helga?” he asked exasperatedly.
Helga coughed nervously. “On my feet,” she replied, looking sheepishly at her father. Godric noticed her eyes flicker to himself, but she didn’t say anything.
“For such small feet, I do not know how many times…” Hufflepuff was muttering, and then as if he realized something, he stopped and turned to Godric. “This is my daughter, Helga Hufflepuff,” he pointed to the girl, “and Helga; this is Godric Gryffindor of the Valley.”
Godric smiled and walked forward. He took her hand and kissed it. “Charmed,” he said, not taking his eyes off her. She blushed and nodded.
“Come, let us go inside.”
They followed Hufflepuff back in the house, where Helga prepared lunch while Godric and her father played chess. Godric was losing spectacularly when Helga entered with a tray of sandwiches, salad and orange juice. She set the tray on the table and walked over to them.
“I see you are not a very skillful chess player, Godric Gryffindor,” she said to Godric, who was surveying the chess board for anything that would help him turn the game on his opponent. Immediately, he turned his head to look at her.
“Indeed, I am not,” he smiled. “Please call me Godric.”
Helga nodded. “Father, lunch is ready,” she announced. They cleared away the chess board and proceeded to have the long-awaited lunch. The cheese sandwiches were delicious.
As he ate, Godric studied his hosts. They were nice people. Heram Hufflepuff was very straight-forward, jolly and warm. He joked with Godric and treated him like his own son. Helga, on the other hand, was a clumsy girl. She had gotten her kind and loving nature from her father but she was a little stubborn sometimes. Her warm brown eyes sparkled everytime she smiled. Godric also noticed that she had a dimple on her left cheek. She had a very innocent personality and Godric was attracted to her as rapidly as a charging buffalo.
“…heard he is giving a huge ball,” Hufflepuff was saying when Godric put a hold to his thoughts and tore his eyes away from Helga’s pretty face.
“Really, father? Can I go?” Helga squealed excitedly. Her face fell when her father shook his head. “Why not?”
“It is only for wealthy noble people. Not peasants like us,” stated Hufflepuff.
“What is the matter, sire?” Godric questioned confused, not having heard half of the conversation.
“A very wealthy and powerful lord lives outside of Hogsmeade. He is giving a huge party in honor of his only daughter’s nineteenth birthday,” Hufflepuff explained. “Helga insists on going. But I say that it is not for poor peasant girls. It is for noble men and women.”
“I will take you,” offered Godric promptly. “I am a noble man, remember?” he said to the puzzled Hufflepuff. “I will escort you there, Helga, if you do not mind.”
Helga looked at her father with round, pleading eyes. Hufflepuff nodded slowly. “Okay,” he said, finally.
“HAH!” shrieked Helga happily and kissed Hufflepuff on the cheek. “Thank you.”
“You will behave yourself in front of guests, dear daughter,” Hufflepuff reprimanded scowling but his lips were twisted upwards.
“Helga,” Godric said. “Will you show me around Hogsmeade?”
“Of course, I will! What kind of a question…” She stopped at the look on Hufflepuff’s face. “I mean, I will indeed show you around, Godric Gryffindor.”
Godric grinned. “Tomorrow.”
The next day, Godric woke up early in the morning. Last night’s dinner had been a silent affair. Helga had not been with them. She did not have a proper outfit for the ball and had gone to purchase one. Godric already had his dress robes ready. As they were quite good-looking, he didn’t need to buy new ones. He had retired for the night before Helga had returned.
Godric decided to sit on the porch and have some fresh morning air. It was the crack of dawn and he thought nobody would be up yet. But he was mistaken. When he went outside, he saw Helga sitting cross-legged on the floor. A dozen birds were pecking grains in front of her, two of them sitting on her head and shoulder, while she hummed softly to herself. He watched her silently as she pulled out her wand and waved it muttering an incantation Godric could not hear. A tiny silver badger erupted from her wand and pranced around her as she laughed happily.
Godric was amazed. What kind of a spell was this? He had never seen anything like it before. He suddenly felt very warm and happy. He smiled as the silver badger ran up to him, circling him before disappearing in a wisp. Feeling giddy and peaceful, Godric walked over to Helga, who was now tickling a robin as it twittered cheerfully.
“Adorable, aren’t they?” he said.
“Erlack!” Helga screamed, startled out of her wits and whirling to face Godric. The birds around her flew away when they saw a stranger next to them. Helga tried to stand up but slipped on the remaining grains, landing right into Godric’s arms. He helped her catch her balance and breathe, his hands lingering on her arms incase she slipped again.
“Thank you, Godric,” Helga said gratefully. Suddenly her expression turned furious. “Why did you have to sneak up behind me like that? The birds, too, flew away,” she added staring angrily at the sky.
Godric raised his eye-brows. “That is very welcoming of you, Helga. Your father would not like it if he knew his daughter was rude to the guest,” he teased her. She rolled her eyes and sat back down. Godric sat down beside her and listened as she started humming again. After a while, a few birds flew down and apprehensively resumed pecking the grains. Helga sighed and watched them, a smile tugging her lips.
“You have a beautiful voice,” Godric noted. She looked at him and smiled her dimpled smile. “What was that spell you did a moment ago, Helga?” He couldn’t hold back his curiosity.
She looked at him bewildered. “What are you talking about?”
“Yes, how did you do it?”
“It is called the Patronus charm,” she said simply. “I invented and named it.”
Godric was impressed. “Indeed. What does it do?”
“It brings back good memories and makes you feel happy,” Helga informed him.
“Can you teach it to me?” asked Godric. Helga nodded.
“But not now,” she said. “Father must have awoken and I have to prepare breakfast and then I have to show you our village and then…cough…I mean, not now.” With cheeks blazing, she hurried inside. The sun was up now. Godric grinned and followed her inside after a while.
Two hours later, Godric and Helga were ready to roam the village. Heram Hufflepuff accompanied them a short way before parting ways. He needed to go to their fields. Godric offered his arm to Helga. She looked at him before tentatively sliding her small hand in the crook in his arm. Gradually, she became less tense and talked to him more freely. She pointed out various places to him while they walked.
“That is the pub, Hog’s Head. It is new; and that is the dress shop, Malden’s Witch and Wizard wear.”
Godric looked at her, remembering something. “So, did you get your dress robes, Helga?” he asked her.
“No,” she replied, not meeting his eyes.
“Why? Weren’t there any nice?” Godric pressed.
“No, it’s not that.” Her ears were slowly turning pink. “They are very expensive,” she mumbled, looking anywhere but at Godric. She did not like admitting that she was poor.
“Really?” said Godric seriously. “Well, I will be glad to buy it for you.”
Helga gaped at him, shocked. He wanted to buy her a dress? He was a rich noble man while she was a poor peasant girl. Then why was he so nice to her? She couldn’t think why he even bothered with her in the first place. Helga had thought him to be a lord or something when she had first set eyes on him. But it turned out he wasn’t. He was so decent and well-mannered, anyone would have mistaken him for a prince or lord. Not to mention that he was very handsome. The nicest thing about him was that he listened to her. He seemed genuinely interested in whatever she had to say. That was okay; but now he was asking to buy her a dress? Maybe he was fooling with her. Maybe, she was sadly mistaken about Godric Gryffindor.
“What did you say?” she asked him, wide eyed. He did not answer her; he just pulled her inside the glittery dress shop.
“Wait, Godric.” Helga dug her heels in the ground. “No, no, no. You don’t need to do that. It is quite alright. I have one at home. It is a little patched and frayed but, honestly, I will be fine.”
“Consider it a gift from me, okay? After all, you and your father let me stay,” smiled Godric, taking her hand and walking inside Malden’s.
They studied different robes (for all occasions), walking around shelves; Godric in the lead. Helga stayed quiet. Godric was already going to much trouble just so she could have decent dress robes for the ball, she wasn’t about to tell him which one she liked the most. He would think that she was being greedy. Maybe, he wouldn’t even like it. She had chosen a dress of the colour she liked the most. She had fallen in love with it at first sight. But what if Godric did not like it? It was him who was taking her to the ball, after all. She was pulled out of her thoughts when Godric suddenly stopped in front of her. Helga couldn’t stop in time and slammed into him hard.
“Ayyah!” she yelped as she lost her balance and disappeared into a shelf full of wizards’ robes.
She was helped out by Godric, who was looking at her with a mixture of concern and amusement on his face. He flicked his wand carelessly, the robes straightened themselves and everything became as it was before Helga fell. He looked back at her and smiled.
“Are you hurt?” he asked. Helga shook her head. She was angry with herself for making such a spectacle. Witches and wizards around them were staring at her. Godric had just arrived yesterday and she had already made a fool of herself three times. She felt furious for being so clumsy and not paying attention in where she was going.
“Very well.” Godric swept his hand around gracefully. “Which one do you like, Helga?” Helga glanced around and instantly spotted the dress she wanted. But she wasn’t about to tell him. She bit her lip nervously. “Well?”
“It is not my decision to make, Godric,” she replied. “You choose.”
Godric raised his eye-brows. “Do you want to go to the ball or not, Helga?” he asked. “You have to choose your own attire. Do not be shy with me. I have enough gold.” He jingled his money bag for effect. Helga still looked uncertain. He noticed her glance twice at a yellow dress robe nervously. He smirked and walked to where it was displayed. “Okay, how about this one?” he asked her knowingly.
Helga stared at him. “Do you like it?” she asked, looking at him doubtfully. Godric nodded.
“It is certainly the best I have seen,” he said truthfully. The dress was really very beautiful. It was of a bright golden-yellow colour with full bell-shaped sleeves and a princess-cut bodice. The yellow net below the waist brought out the silky black skirt underneath it and flared out beautifully.
They left Malden’s with Helga’s new dress robes. She had finally given in and let Godric buy it for her but that had not prevented her from bargaining furiously with the wizard who ran the shop until he sold it at a reasonable price. Godric, who had been standing aside during this whole argument, muttered a quick apology before hurrying out with Helga.
Next, they both went to the Hog’s Head where they had butter-beer, Helga still thanking him profusely for the robes. She insisted that she pay for the butter-beers. They roamed around a little more and chatted with a few people. As they explored the village further, Helga noticed that Godric did many unusual things. He would often stop to talk to people, some of them even Helga was not better acquainted with. When asked, he would reply with a “nothing wrong with making friends”, which amazed her even more. She also noticed that he seemed very interested in swords for he took quite a long time examining different types in Sreggad, Sedalb and Sdrows. Helga concluded that everything Godric Gryffindor did, he did it with a specific reason behind it. She couldn’t understand him for he was very confusing to her.
Godric and Helga were almost out of Hogsmeade village now. Helga led him through a winding path until they could see the huge outline of a looming castle.
“That is where the ball is going to be taking place!” Helga informed Godric, who was staring intently at the castle with narrowed eyes. “In the Ravenclaw Castle.”
Helga did not notice Godric’s eyes darken.
A/N. Ahhh, describing the characters is hard work. I just hope I did justice to both Helga and Godric.
I love reviews, by the way. They always make me smile.
My huge thanx to Jamie_Malfoy, PoisonedDoxy, BJAuth, Albus_Dumblydorr and Golden Phoenix for the wonderful and encouraging reviews.
A/N. Hello guys, I am back. I am really, truly sorry for the delay. It was my cousin's wedding and we were so busy with the decor and preparations and everything that I didn't get time to write. I hope this chapter will be sufficient for now.
“Lady Ravenclaw, your father has sent you an early birthday present,” the maid said, bowing. “He wishes you to wear it at the ball.”
Rowena Ravenclaw sighed and picked up the rectangular box her maid had put on the table before leaving. She opened it apprehensively. Robes again! Not to mention the colour which was a sharp, flashy pink. Pink? How many times had she told her father that she hated pink but he always seemed to forget. Pink was too girly for her taste. Disgusted, she threw the dress robes aside. Then on a second thought, picked them up again and looked them carefully up and down. The pattern was perfect but a little too loose for her comfort.
Rowena took her wand and waved it over her robes. “Fittius.”
The dress shrank a little from the waist, making it just the perfect size for her to wear. She waved her wand again, in a much more complicated fashion, and her dress instantly turned navy blue, which she preferred more than pink. She held the dress in front of her while admiring her handiwork. Satisfied, Rowena folded it and put it in the closet and resumed her reading, which she had been doing before the maid interrupted.
Reading was all she did these days. She rarely went outside because she had no friends and felt lonely. Books were her only companions. She had read almost every book from the castle Library, which was saying something because the library was simply huge. Rowena loved to learn. She had a great thirst for knowledge and she did anything and everything to quench it. Thus reading became the only alternative for her. She certainly didn’t like the balls and formal dinners that often took place in the castle and never felt the need to attend them. But her father would not hear any of it. Rowena knew why, though. Her father wanted her to get married. That was why he kept inviting young lords and princes from afar to stay. Rowena thought that was very unfair of him. She was not even nineteen yet. Still had two days left to be.
Rowena sighed and put down the book. She just wanted some space from everybody. She hated him. She hated being the daughter of Lord Rigor Ravenclaw.
“Helga! Are you ready to go?” Godric called.
Godric was waiting patiently for Helga to come out of the confines of her room. She had said she’d be out in fifteen minutes, but he wasn’t entirely sure about that. After all, girls always tended to be like that. They took exceptionally long time getting ready. So why could Helga be any different?
But just as he thought that, Helga walked out. She looked breathtaking in her yellow robes. She had her hair in a loose bun with a few curls framing her pretty face. She bounced over to Godric hugged him tightly.
“Thank you for taking me to the ball,” she said happily. “And for this dress. How do I look?” She twirled around gracefully in front of him. Godric laughed.
“Amazing,” he said. “Where is your father?”
“I am here,” came Heram Hufflepuff’s voice. He hugged Helga and turned to Godric. “You look after her,” he whispered. “She has a knack for constantly getting into trouble.”
Godric grinned and nodded lightly. He gently took Helga’s hand and steered her out. “Come home soon,” Hufflepuff called after them. They waved back.
The Ravenclaw castle stood tall and dominating reaching the evening sky. From closer inspection, Godric could tell that it was very old, probably passed on from generations. However, its interior was marvelously decorated for the occasion. A guard led them through a pair of huge double doors wherein hundreds of richly draped people were present. Some were chatting in groups, some were by the buffet table but majority were dancing on the podium which had been set in the middle of this great hall.
Godric glanced at Helga. She was watching around in awe and amazement. She turned to him with a radiant expression on her face.
“Wow,” she whispered, she eyes sparkling. “I have never seen anything so…so…”
She seemed lost for words but Godric understood perfectly. He continued to gaze at her for sometime before he came to his senses and led her to the front where a young woman was standing in navy blue robes, a woman of such ravishing beauty that she outshone almost everyone who was beside her. Her straight black hair was parted in the middle and she seemed somewhat bored. Godric didn’t need to think twice who she was. He had heard much about her beauty and knew at once that this was Rowena Ravenclaw.
Lord Ravenclaw approached her. Godric watched, with a frown, as he led her through a door just behind the podium. Deciding they’d wish Rowena later, he turned to Helga.
“Can I have a dance, my beautiful lady?” he bowed to her. Helga grinned.
“Certainly, good sir.”
“What is the matter with you, Rowena?” Lord Ravenclaw asked harshly. “You haven’t spoken a word to anyone yet and…WIPE THAT BLOODY EXPRESSION OFF YOUR FACE!”
Rowena’s bored expression immediately turned to one of ultimate horror. “I am sorry, father, but I truly am bored,” she tried in a brave voice. “I am tired of you introducing me to every young man you lay your eyes on. I will NOT marry now!”
Lord Ravenclaw slapped her. “You will hold your tongue in front of your father, Rowena,” he said coldly. “And you will do as I say. Am I clear?”
Rowena dearly wanted to make some angry remark but she could not muster up enough courage. She had already spoken once in front of her father. She didn’t want to ruin her birthday furthermore.
“Yes, father,” she sighed dejectedly.
“Good. Now come on. Many bachelors are waiting for a dance with you.”
Once out of the room, Rowena let her eyes wander among the crowd of people. After what had happened just now with her father and of how he’d slapped her, she was still angry and hurt. Although she was used to this kind of behavior. But hadn’t expected anything would happen on her birthday.
She stopped her wandering eyes when they spotted a familiar face. It was not who she wanted to talk to right now but at least it was someone she knew. She walked forward to the person, who was sporting forest green robes, and tapped his shoulder. He immediately turned around and when he saw who it was he smiled broadly.
“Thank goodness I saw you,” she returned his smile and hugged him. “Salazar.”
A/N. I again say that I am sorry for the lateness of this chapter. I would really appreaciate reviews.
“You look beautiful, as always.”
Rowena smiled. “Thank you, Salazar,” she said vaguely.
“What seems to be the matter, princess?” Salazar wore a confused expression. “Is there a problem?”
Rowena shook her head vigorously, her dark hair falling in front of her face.
“Is it Lord Ravenclaw?”
Rowena stared at him. “How…?”
Salazar smiled triumphantly. “I can tell from that miserable expression you were wearing just now,” he smirked. Then suddenly became very serious and said, “What did he do now?”
“He slapped me,” replied Rowena angrily.
“Will you keep your voice down, Salazar?” Rowena whispered furiously.
“Sorry.” Salazar looked at her slightly red cheek and let out a frustrated sigh. “If it weren’t for you, princess, I would have left by now.”
“Why do you always say that? That is the reason why I did not want to tell you,” snapped Rowena.
Salazar looked at her. “Because I care about you,” he said quietly. “You are my best friend, after all.” Rowena softened instantly.
“I am sorry,” she sighed. “It’s just that father knows perfectly how to ruin things for me.” She widened her eyes slightly to prevent the tears that were threatening to form behind them. Salazar hugged her.
“Come on, dance with me.” He led her to the podium.
Godric and Helga were dancing silently, looking around them at the people and the decorations. Godric scowled when he saw Lord Ravenclaw chatting with a group of women, who were heavily studded with jewelry. Rowena Ravenclaw was nowhere to be seen. A melodious sound made him to look at Helga, who was laughing silently at a clumsy old couple dancing, although it looked more like stumbling around, beside them.
She caught him looking at her and jerked her head in the direction of the couple. Her eyes were sparkling merrily, almost irresistibly. Without pausing to consider what he was doing, he bent down and brushed his lips against hers, lightly.
She stared at him confusedly for a moment, and then asked innocently, “Does this have a reason too?”
“Excuse me?” said Godric, furrowing his eyebrows.
“Well,” started Helga. “I have noticed that everything you do, you do with a specific reason behind it. So does this have a reason too?” she repeated.
Godric stared at her for a long time. Then, suddenly, he burst out laughing. “Yes, you could say that,” he said, ruffling her hair playfully.
Helga beamed. “I knew that!”
Just then Godric spotted Rowena Ravenclaw twirling around a person dressed in impressive green robes. He watched them until they stopped dancing to get something to drink. “Come on,” he muttered to Helga before taking her by the waist and pulling her with him.
“Your highness,” he said when he reached them. Rowena and Salazar turned around. Godric pecked her on the back of her hand. “Happy Birthday.” Rowena smiled weakly. “I am Godric Gryffindor and this is Helga Hufflepuff.”
“Your highness,” Helga bowed.
“Oh no, please call me Rowena,” she smiled. “Thank you, Godric and Helga. By the way, Salazar Slytherin,” she said, laying a hand on Salazar’s arm. “He is the Chief General of my father’s army.”
“Hi.” Salazar Slytherin inclined his head at Godric and proceeded to kiss Helga’s hand.
“I have seen you before, Salazar Slytherin,” Helga said to Salazar. “Two years ago in the battle with that North Country. At that time you were a soldier, weren’t you?”
“Indeed, I was, Helga Hufflepuff,” said Salazar clearly. “I am a little surprised that you remembered my face among hundreds of soldiers.”
“Of course, I remembered you,” Helga said. “You were very brave.”
Salazar grinned. “I like her,” he said to Rowena, who laughed and rolled her eyes to Godric.
“Why don’t we all go outside and get to know each other,” Godric suggested.
“Yes, that would be nice,” stated Rowena. Salazar nodded and took Helga’s arm immediately, leading her outside. Godric frowned at his back and reluctantly offered his arm to Rowena.
Now all he had to do was play nice.
A/N. I am sorry it took so long. Something really bad happened and I just couldn't do this chapter. Unfortunately, I also had exams going. Now just review and make me happy!
Rowena was highly enjoying the company of Godric and Helga. They were so nice and understanding. She desperately wanted to be friends with them. She only had Salazar. She would love to share some of her things and joke around with her friends. But they’ll leave after the party is over, she thought sadly. Salazar was already conversing with them like he had known them from ages. He was currently laughing at something Helga had said.
“You are very funny, Helga,” he said, clutching his aching stomach. “Don’t you think, Godric? Rowena?” Godric, who was laughing too, nodded and Rowena smiled happily. She had never been this happy in her life.
“I am really hungry. Why don’t we have something to eat?” She asked. The others nodded.
“We’ll get it,” offered Godric, indicating him and Salazar.
“You don’t talk much, do you?” Helga asked Rowena after Godric and Salazar had left.
Rowena smiled. “I am having the best birthday ever!” she exclaimed. “I have never had any friends and it feels so good to laugh and joke with someone.”
“Why don’t you have any friends?” Helga questioned curiously.
“Well, I…,” Rowena hesitated. Should she tell Helga the truth? They had just met. She was a complete stranger. Then why did Rowena feel that she had known Helga for ages? If I want to make friends, I have to trust people first, Rowena thought. She immediately felt better and decided to tell her.
“I hate my father.” And Helga understood everything. Her father had told her that Lord Ravenclaw was a cruel and shrewd man but if his own daughter hated him then Helga had no doubt about it. She enveloped Rowena in a hug. Rowena looked a little startled at first by this strange display of affection, but recovered quickly and hugged Helga back. “He hit me,” she whispered, a tear sliding down her cheek and onto Helga’s shoulder. “I hate him.”
Both girls broke apart to see a furious looking Salazar and a shocked Godric standing in front of them, each holding a tray of different delicacies.
“Rowena,” said Salazar again. “You shouldn’t talk about your father like that!”
Rowena opened her mouth to say something but Helga said quietly, “It’s okay if you think that Rowena shouldn’t be opening up to strangers, but don’t worry Salazar, we won’t tell anyone. You can trust us.” She willed Godric to say something reassuring as well, but when he didn’t say anything and just kept staring at Rowena in an odd sort of way, she asked softly, “Godric, are you alright?”
Godric immediately snapped his gaze to Helga and smiled. “I am just fine, Helga,” he responded vaguely. “Yeah, don’t worry Salazar. Helga is right. We won’t tell anyone.”
Helga grinned. “Well, now that this is over, can we eat?” she suggested, taking the situation into her own hands. “I am famished.”
Godric chuckled. “Here,” he said, handing her one of the trays. “You can share with Rowena.”
“So, tell us about yourselves, Godric,” Salazar said conversationally.
Godric instantly alerted himself. “I am a pure-blood.” Godric didn’t know why he said that. He just felt like it. “And I come from the Valley, Green Taft village. It is a beautiful place.”
Salazar nodded. “I have heard about Green Taft,” he revealed. “What about you Helga?”
Helga paused. What could she tell him? That she was a peasant girl? If she told them that they wouldn’t want to have any relation with her. Wealthy people don’t make friends with peasants, she reminded herself.
“I am a pure-blood too,” she uttered finally, not wanting to say any more. She glanced at Godric nervously; he had a knowing but determined look on his face.
“She lives in Hogsmeade village. Her father is a farmer,” he said firmly.
“Godric!” Helga exclaimed. Rowena smiled. “Really?” she said. “What do you grow?”
Helga stared at her shocked. “You…I –,” she stuttered.
Salazar laughed. “It is fine, really, Helga,” he said. “Infact, you are lucky. You can grow what you want to eat. We, on the other hand, have to eat what we get.”
Helga rolled her eyes, but smiled widely while Rowena slapped his arm in mock rage. “That is rude, Salazar,” she said. He just grinned cheekily at her.
“It is late,” Godric announced, looking at the sky. “We have to leave.”
“Already?” Rowena asked, disappointed.
“Yeah, you haven’t even eaten anything yet!” exclaimed Salazar. Rowena gave him a dirty look.
Helga looked at her sympathetically. “We will come to meet you tomorrow, okay?” she said while Godric nodded. “Save some food for us,” he joked.
Rowena beamed. “Noon,” she decided. “We will have lunch in the woods.”
“Sounds good,” agreed Salazar. “Can Godric and I come too?”
Godric and Helga burst out laughing at his cheekiness. “No, you can stay here and clean the toilets,” Helga said sarcastically, stumbling as she got up to leave.
“Salazar, you are a great idiot,” said Rowena.
That went well, Godric thought contentedly, as he lay in bed thinking that night. He had liked Salazar instantly. But with Rowena, he was doubtful. Although she seemed genuine enough when she had revealed that she hated Lord Rigor Ravenclaw. Why would someone hate their own father?
But, Godric had seen the extent of Lord Ravenclaw’s cruelty. He gritted his teeth, but calmed himself down. No wonder his own daughter disliked him. He was a monster; and Godric was going to make him regret that. He was nearing his destination. He just had to be patient.
Godric shot out of his bed as though somebody had just given him an electric shock. Clutching his heart, he looked around when he heard a roar of laughter. Helga.
“What did you do that for?” he asked indignantly, after he had gotten over the initial shock. Helga grinned mischievously. “You just gave me a heart attack, young lady!”
She dissolved into giggles. “Sorry, I just couldn’t help it. You were sleeping so soundly.” And she burst out laughing again. Godric glared at her for a moment and soon after, joined in her laughter.
“Well, get ready, you slept in,” Helga said after the laughter had subsided. “Salazar and Rowena will be expecting us.” She left.
Godric readied himself in a hurry. He was usually an early bird. He slept till late only when he was very exhausted or had something on his mind. That makes sense, he thought sardonically.
A/N. Hey are you forgetting something? Oh yeah, REVIEW!
Oh and I don't mind constructive criticism :-)
“I am taking Pegasus.”
“No, you are not.”
“Yes, I am.”
“No, you are not!”
“Well, why not?”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“That you are not taking Pegasus!”
“WILL YOU BOTH JUST STOP IT?” Heram Hufflepuff shouted.
Godric and Helga immediately shut their mouths and looked at the older man innocently. They had been having this argument for a whole ten minutes and Hufflepuff was getting increasingly agitated. He glared at both of them, challengingly, before marching straight back into the house.
Godric smirked. In all reality, he was just determined to annoy Helga since she had so successfully woken him up this morning. Secondly, he had seen her innocent side, but she also had a stubborn streak in her that Godric longed to see. Yet, he did not completely know why Helga refused to ride to the Ravenclaw castle. She insisted that they walk there, but Godric was going to have none of it. Besides, if they took his horse, he would have a chance to be close to Helga.
“Please, Godric,” Helga interrupted his thoughts, giving him puppy-dog eyes. Godric, however, grinned and shook his head. “Fine!” she huffed, crossing her arms across her chest and turning away from him, like a five-year-old would do when father would not buy him/her a candy. She gave a startled shriek when Godric scooped her up and settled her on Pegasus, before mounting behind her, himself. She huffed again and glared at him, her arms still crossed. She was sitting with both her legs on one side. Even while sitting, she only reached up to his chin.
Silently, they rode for about a couple of minutes when Helga sighed in frustration. “Why are you so stubborn?” she asked Godric, who raised his eye-brows.
“And you are not?” he said. She glared him again but this time leaned into him and rested her head on his chest, her hand on his arm.
Godric’s heart did a flip-flop. A weird tingling sensation which he had never felt before rose inside him and he smiled, wrapping one arm around her waist while holding the reins of Pegasus with the other hand. He deliberately slowed down their pace. They didn’t say much; just rode in silence until Ravenclaw castle came into view. Rowena was already waiting outside for them, with a basket in one hand a book in other. Godric dismounted and waved at her before offering his hand to Helga, who, however, tried to climb down on her own and unfortunately ended up falling on all fours. Godric smirked and gave her a you-should-have-let-me-helped-you look, while she glared at him.
“Oh Helga!” Rowena exclaimed coming to a stop beside them and staring at Helga with concern. “Are you alright?”
“I am absolutely okay,” Helga smiled hugging Rowena, who happily returned the favor. “Where’s Salazar? I don’t see him…I hope he didn’t take my advice to heart and start cleaning toilets!” she grinned.
“You know, I have better things to do than clean toilets, my beautiful lady,” Salazar’s voice came from behind them. He grinned and placed one arm around Helga’s waist and the other around Rowena’s. “Hi Godric.”
Godric nodded. “Where did you come from?” he asked Salazar.
“The castle…duh,” replied Salazar.
“I am facing the castle and I didn’t see you coming,” Godric said, astonished. “You just appeared out of thin air!”
Rowena laughed. “Yeah, he does that a lot,” she said, and then muttered, “Show off.”
Salazar rolled his eyes. “It is called apparating, Godric,” he explained. “Only a few others, including Rowena, and I know how to apparate here. I will teach you if you like,” he offered.
“Yes, it would be fun!” Helga said. “Will you teach me too?” Salazar nodded.
“Mind you, it is not at all easy,” Rowena warned. “You can splinch yourself if you are not careful.”
“What’s splinch?” Godric and Helga asked in unison.
Salazar laughed. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You will know soon.” He gave Rowena a significant look and she chuckled. “Come on. We can ride into the forest. I know of a fine clearing.”
“Let us get three horses,” Rowena agreed, already turning around.
Helga looked highly uncomfortable. “Can’t we walk?” she asked almost pleadingly.
“It is better if we ride, Helga,” said Salazar. “It is a little far. Why? Are you afraid or something?”
“Well I…,” Helga paused and looked at them before continuing. “I have never ridden a horse and I do not know how to.”
Godric laughed. “Is that it?” He looked at her incredulously. “Is that why you created such a big issue back there, about not taking Pegasus?”
“I certainly did not create an issue,” frowned Helga. “But yes, this is the reason I did not want to ride here.”
“It’s perfectly understandable, Helga,” Salazar said in a soothing voice. “You can ride with one of us, just as you came with Godric.” He smiled. “Infact, I will be most honoured if you rode with me.”
“Why thank you, Salazar,” beamed Helga while Godric scowled.
“Why don’t we ride in pairs?” he suggested. “Rowena will be with me then.” He stared hard at Helga before turning to smile at Rowena.
Helga, however, did not at all understand why Godric was sending her sharp and significant glances. She was about to ask him when Rowena declared, “How wonderful! It’s settled then.”
Salazar disappeared again and came back riding a beautiful chestnut coloured horse. He offered his hand to Helga and hoisted her up behind him, while Godric did the same with Rowena. They nodded at each other and started into the forest. Salazar and Helga were riding ahead of Godric and Rowena. They rode cautiously, since it was very dark in the forest, each pair having their own conversation. Rowena noticed that she rather liked sitting behind Godric, clutching his waist.
“Godric, I am sorry I forgot where you are from,” she said.
“It is perfectly okay, Rowena. I am from Green Taft village in the Valley,” Godric answered, turning his head slightly to her side. Then, very quietly, he asked, “Do you really hate your father?”
Rowena flinched. “I knew the subject would come up some time,” she sighed. “Yes, Godric, I do hate him. I trust you won’t tell anyone. This is not a thing a lady should say about her father.” She paused and Godric thought she was finished; but he was wrong. “My father has taken many innocent lives. I think many people know this but they would never say or admit anything for fear that he might kill them too. He is vile and cruel. He even treats me that way. He just pretends like a kind gentleman when wealthy, worthy people are near him. My mother regretted marrying him. It is sorely because of him that she committed suicide, leaving me alone with no relatives other than that monster.”
“Oh my God, I am extremely sorry, Rowena,” gasped Godric. “I did not know Lady Ravenclaw killed herself.”
“Do not be sorry, Godric. It was a cowardly thing that she did,” spat Rowena. “But I will still love her.”
Godric nodded sympathetically. He was amazed, actually. Although he knew a lot more about Lord Ravenclaw than his beautiful daughter, Rowena, never in his wildest dreams, would he have thought that she would hate her own father with such a passion. He felt sorry for her. She hadn’t even lived her childhood to the full. Her mother had committed suicide, her father was cruel and she hated him and she had no friends. He was glad him and Helga were being of some help.
“So what do you think of Helga?” asked Godric; he couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“Oh, I like her very much. She is very charming,” answered Rowena instantly.
Meanwhile, with Salazar and Helga…
“Say ‘she sells sea-shells on the sea shore’ rapidly,” Helga challenged Salazar.
“See shells shea-sells on the shea-sore,” repeated Salazar quickly.
Helga giggled and shook her head. “You can’t do it until you practice,” she said. “Even my father is not able to say it properly.”
“I presume you think very highly of your father, by the way you speak of him,” stated Salazar.
“I do,” agreed Helga. “He is my favourite father.”
Salazar laughed out loud. “You mean to say you have other fathers?” he grinned.
“No!” exclaimed Helga, shocked. “I meant to say that he is my favourite from all the fathers of the world; they may be anybody’s father.”
“Oh I see,” chuckled Salazar. He already liked Helga very much. She was fun to be with and he loved her company. Rowena was the practical and logical one. But Helga was somehow different.
“Tell me, Helga, do you like to read?” he asked her.
“Ack, no,” declared Helga. “I don’t read unless I have to.”
Salazar grinned. Yup, Helga was definitely different.
Moments later they reached the clearing Salazar was talking about. It was a large area and sunlight poured inside. It was totally “tree-free” as Helga put it so simply. They sat down in the middle of the clearing, so that they could see the sky and enjoy the sunlight properly. Helga and Rowena emptied the food basket and arranged the fruits and the sandwiches in front of them, so that anyone could have anything they wanted.
“Ah,” Salazar sighed. “This place is bliss. I come here sometimes when I want to be alone.”
“You never mentioned it to me,” said Rowena coldly. “It would have been useful to me.”
“You never asked,” sneered Salazar.
They talked for hours. All four of them were getting along very well. Rowena seemed very happy; Salazar noticed that she would sometimes smile without any particular reason at all. What he hadn’t been able to do for years, Godric and Helga’s company had done it, and he was glad for Rowena. He wasn’t joking when he had told her that he cared about her. He certainly did.
“It’s so quiet here,” murmured Helga. “Aren’t there any animals in this forest? I have heard unicorns and centaurs reside here.
“Really?” said Godric, raising his eye-brows.
“You are right, Helga,” Salazar said. “Although I have never seen a unicorn before, I have met centaurs.”
“Have you?” asked Rowena interestedly. “I have only ever seen there pictures (Helga– me too) in books. I know they are very proud creatures.”
“They like to keep to themselves, that’s all,” said Salazar.
A few days passed and everyday the foursome would come to the clearing and relax. The bond between them got stronger and stronger. Now, they couldn’t even think to live without seeing each other. Sometimes they would just sit there silently, Rowena reading one of the library books, Salazar snoozing, Helga collecting different types of leaves from the trees or humming to birds and Godric lost in his own sinister thoughts.
Unfortunately for them, no centaur or unicorn or any other creature living in that forest ever crossed their paths. Rowena was getting increasingly frustrated by this. She pestered Salazar asking if he had truly encountered centaurs.
“But there seems to be no one here!” protested Rowena. “And even if there is, they are all residing deep into the forest.”
“I think you are right, Row,” nodded Helga. “This clearing is only a couple of minutes ride from the edge of the forest.”
Salazar sighed. “What is it with you and –,” he began but stopped suddenly, raising his finger to lips. Godric strained his ears trying to hear what Salazar had heard. And soon enough he heard a rustling of leaves and a low growl.
In the next instant, a huge ugly beast pounced out in front of them from inside the trees. Its dragon-like tail was curved upwards and its rich red fur rendered a dazzling contrast with the green of the forest around it. The sharp silver teeth of the beast were barred and its gray eyes, narrowed. Rowena gasped. It was a –
“Manticore!” whispered Helga, alarmed.
“You never said there were manticore’s in this forest,” Rowena hissed at Salazar.
“I didn’t know,” swallowed a wide-eyed Salazar. The manticore chose that moment to attack. It arched its back and gave a resonant, rather terrifying roar before pouncing on Rowena, who was standing nearest to it. Rowena shrieked and fell down.
“Rowena!” shouted Salazar. He instantly aimed his wand at the manticore and yelled, “Impedimenta!”
The spell didn’t slow him down; instead, it fell on its back giving Rowena enough time to scramble up and away from it. Growling angrily, the manticore got up and looked at them with inspecting eyes, as if sizing them up. All four of them had their wands out and ready for the fight. Godric made a movement as to step in front of Helga and without warning something sharp shot out of the beast’s tail, missing Godric by mere centimeters.
“Stupefy,” shouted Godric. A jet of red light struck the beast straight in-between the eyes; but nothing happened! Except make it more angry. Godric panicked. It roared and shot another round of spines at them. Helga screamed and ducked when she saw one of the spines speeding in her direction.
“Stupefy! Petrificus Totalus! FURNUNCULUS!” Rowena was yelling spell after spell frantically, but nothing seemed to be working on the manticore.
“Reducto!” shouted Helga. Nothing.
“Diffindo!” cried Salazar and Godric together, with negative results. Salazar yelped when a spine pierced his arm. “Protego,” he said feebly and produced a shield around them. Till then they had all been ducking and rolling here and there in fear of being the victims of the deathly spines. Rowena shot a variety of curses and hexes at the creature.
“Why doesn’t magic work on it?” she cried with tears in her eyes.
“I don’t know,” replied Godric. He was scared. Very scared. He didn’t want to die, not now. He had things to do before that. And he certainly didn’t want anything to happen to his friends either. He wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt if one of them died right now. Helga glanced over at a green-faced Salazar. She was nearest to him. Her face showed a mixture of emotions – worry, fear and anger. She didn’t know what to do. Nothing seemed to be working, no spells, no hexes. And now, Salazar was injured. He was rapidly turning an ugly shade of green and looked quite faint. He looked so helpless.
Helga looked up in time to see the monster arch its back, ready to pounce again. Apparently, it had become quite bored of shooting spines at them and being the center of colourful rays of light. Helga watched, as if in slow motion, as it bend its hind legs and forced them in an almighty push, aiming his pounce at the fallen Salazar. Her mind immediately went into overdrive and she let her body take control of her. With an alarmed shriek, Helga jumped in front of Salazar just as the manticore came flying at her. She fell down and screamed in pain when it scratched her cheek.
“GODRIC! Help me!” she cried, trying to hold back the manticore and blocking her face at the same time.
“Oh my God!” Rowena exclaimed running to help Helga but the manticore shot many spines at her. She dodged them clumsily and looked to see what Godric was up to.
Godric, who had been standing there trying to think of something that would affect the manticore, gave a start when he saw Helga jump in front of Salazar. He looked around frantically. What could he do? Then he heard Helga scream and an idea popped into his head. He quickly transfigured a long branch into a sword and advanced where the manticore had pinned Helga; she had many scratches and bruises over her face and arms. While the manticore was aiming Rowena with the pointed spines, Godric saw his chance and with one great sweeping blow, brought the sword down.
The beast roared in agony and swiped a paw at Godric, who dodged it easily and stabbed the manticore again, this time on its neck. A brief guttural rumble escaped its throat as blood oozed out of the wounds and a moment later it slumped down onto Helga.
Rowena hurried to where Godric was trying to lift the dead animal off Helga’s body. She gave a loud sob when she saw the blood spattered form of Helga and the unconscious Salazar, who looked like he needed serious help. So she sat down beside him and inspected his arm. Not a drop of blood could she see where the spine had penetrated his arm. She knew that the spines from the tail of a manticore were venomous. But she also knew that its poison took time to spread inside the body. She waved her wand over his arm and muttered something under her breathe, hoping against hope that the spell would work. She had found this healing spell in a book but had never used it before in her life.
Slowly, the spine protruded itself back out of his wound and blood started to come out that wound. Rowena assumed it to be the dirty blood, which had poison mixed with it. She closed her eyes in relief when Salazar coughed and opened his eyes. His skin colour had gone back to normal. She magicked his dirty blood to disappear and helped him sit up.
“You scared me,” she uttered putting her arms around his neck and hugging him. “I thought you were dead.”
“You are not going to get rid of me so soon, princess,” Salazar grinned. Rowena smiled.
“I would really appreciate it if someone would help me lift this thing off Helga,” Godric’s frustrated voice came from behind them. Helga’s breathing had stopped by the weight of the beast upon her chest. Rowena gasped and scrambled up, followed by Salazar. They both helped to get the dead manticore off Helga. She gave a loud sputter and sucked in a large amount of air. Godric immediately pulled her into a fierce hug.
“DON’T ever do that to me, young lady!” he said into her hair. “Do you enjoy giving me heart attacks?”
Helga gave him a watery smile. “I am so glad you are okay,” Rowena said softly. “That was a very brave thing you did.” She hugged her friend.
They all turned to face Salazar, expecting him to say something. But he just stood there silently staring at Helga like he had never seen her before. Before loosing consciousness, he had witnessed how Helga had saved him by jumping in the way of the manticore. She had almost sacrificed her life because of his! No one had ever done this for him. Even when he was fighting with his own army. Being the Chief General, he had gathered much respect from his soldiers over the years. But he knew none of them would jump before him in front of death. He couldn’t believe this petite lady had just done that. This lady who he had met only a few days ago. This lady who he considered only as a friend but now could be so much more than that.
“Thank you,” he said quietly, looking at the ground. A tear trickled down Helga’s face and she threw herself at him, sobbing.
“I was terrified. I felt we were all going to die and then you were injured and you looked sick and I thought…oh, I couldn’t let you die and…” she babbled on into his shoulder as he looked Godric and Rowena in bewilderment.
“It’s okay. I am alright,” Salazar whispered to Helga, awkwardly draping an arm around her waist and hugging her back.
She pulled apart, smiling, and wiped her tears away. The four of them just stood there facing each other but saying nothing. From that moment on they were best friends. There are some things you just cannot share without ending up being best friends, and fighting together a giant manticore is one of them.
A/N. The last line belongs to the last line of the 10th chapter (Halloween) from Philosopher's Stone with a few twists made by me! *grin*
Are you forgetting something???? REVIEW!!
Rowena was crying. She wouldn’t show her face to anyone. It was buried in Godric’s shoulder, red and blotchy. Nothing he said would make her stop crying uncontrollably. She had been like this since morning when she had heard the terrible news. Therefore, Salazar had taken her to Helga’s house, thinking it would help if Godric and Helga were around. Heram Hufflepuff had almost fallen out of his seat when he saw Lady Ravenclaw step into his house. But he was a considerate man and left the four friends alone.
“Rowena, please say something,” Helga said, patting Rowena’s hair and handing her a tissue, which she took without turning around.
“Rowena, you are scaring us,” stated Godric. Then, as a joke, he added, “Did someone die or what?”
This caused Rowena to break into another round of tears. She pounded her fists against Godric’s chest. Salazar sighed and shook his head. “I’ll tell,” he said.
“You know?” asked Helga, surprised. Salazar nodded. Of course he knew. It was all over the castle, and he also knew that it would be the gossip of Hogsmeade very soon. “Well then…” prompted Helga.
“A villager was murdered at the castle,” announced Salazar to a shocked silence. “He came with a few problems to Lord Ravenclaw but the Lord could care less. No one can decide whether that villager was a fool or a brave man when he stood up for himself.”
Rowena turned around. “He was a fool!” she cried, rubbing her eyes furiously. “Everyone knows how he is! Everyone…”
Salazar stared at Rowena, then continued, “Well, apparently, he must have gotten Ravenclaw very angry – he was already in a rough mood this morning – and was ordered imprisonment down in the dungeons. The rest is history.”
Helga gasped. “But why did they kill him?” she sniffed.
Rowena laughed bitterly. “You do not know my father yet, Helga,” she spat. “He is a cruel person.”
Godric was silent throughout the whole conversation. His face was red, it seemed, with anger. Without warning, he launched Rowena roughly to her feet. “Follow me,” he commanded in a hard voice.
“Godric what -?” ventured Helga, standing beside him; but he put his hand over her mouth.
“Please, just do as I say,” he said gently. They all nodded; Rowena had stopped crying, but her eyes were still blood-shot.
Godric led them out of the house and out toward the edge of the village, on a winding lane, into the wild country-side around Hogsmeade. People stopped to stare at the strange group; most of all wondering what Lady Ravenclaw was doing walking along with a peasant, an army chief and a stranger to the village.
There were cottages here and they were fewer. They followed Godric toward the foot of the mountain in whose shadow Hogsmeade lay. After turning a corner, they saw a stile at the end of the lane. Godric led them to the foot of the mountain. There the ground was covered with boulders and rocks. He examined the rocks carefully and then motioned for them to follow him as he began to climb a steep, stony.
“What are you looking for?” puffed out Helga, slipping down for the second time.
“A good hiding place,” replied Godric, panting slightly. “Aha,” he said pointing to a narrow fissure in the rock. Without much difficulty, the four of them squeezed inside into a dimly lit cave.
“Wow.” Helga looked at Godric in confusion. He shrugged as if he could read her mind.
“Sixth sense,” he said. They all sat down in a circle and looked at Godric. He seemed very uneasy for some reason. He spoke, “What do you lot know about me?” His friends looked puzzled.
“Lots,” said Salazar. “You are from Green Taft village, a noble man, a…pureblood and a…well…” He frowned.
“Exactly,” said Godric sharply. “You don’t know anything. I have not told you anything.” He sighed. “The time has come to tell you about my past.”
“Go on, Godric, we are listening,” urged Rowena.
Godric nodded and began his tale. “Long ago, in the neighboring village of Hogsmeade called Bellator –”
“How do you know about Bellator?” interrupted Salazar. “It’s in ruins now.”
“I know that,” said Godric annoyed at being cut off. “Now just shut your mouth and listen.” Salazar nodded seriously. “Well, in the village of Bellator, there lived a couple, Ioan and Sue Almus. They were very kind; people looked up to them. Ioan was very brave and Sue was known for her good advice.”
“Now, at that time, Bellator and Hogsmeade were under the nourishing wings of Lord Helinthus, the Great. He provided and listened to his people. Thus, he was highly praised for his greatness. But nobody knew that a war was brewing, somewhere within the very dungeons of Lord Helinthus’ castle. A royal member of his own court – powerful one at that – stole and bribed his own master’s army. His name was Rigor Ravenclaw.”
Rowena gasped but Godric continued as if he had not heard. “The mutiny began and Ravenclaw came out victorious. Helinthus was imprisoned and there he committed suicide. From then on, everything was a disaster. Lord Ravenclaw was a selfish and greedy man. He robbed people of their land and money; he tricked them and for that, they loathed him.”
“Ioan and Sue Almus were devastated. Being one of the high-class noble men, they had been on quite good terms with Helinthus. They both decided that in order to teach Ravenclaw a lesson, some steps had to be taken. They founded an organization which defied Lord Ravenclaw and everything that he stood for. They put their lives on their sleeves for what they believed in.” Godric closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
“When Lord Ravenclaw found out about the organization, he panicked. They were a strong group and he was afraid they would defeat him. He knew that the Almus’ led the organization and he also knew that if they were to be gotten rid of, then the entire organization would crumble. He tried to kill them may times but failed. So, Ravenclaw ordered his army to burn down the village of Bellator. He wanted people to know that he was the powerful one.”
“The villagers bravely fought against the soldiers but they were no match for them. Every one of them was killed, including Ioan and Sue Almus. Both of them were murdered most brutally,” Godric paused, as if he had difficulty in speaking. “Ioan and Sue Almus were my parents.”
There was a shocked silence. Helga looked mortified and Rowena’s face showed intense hatred for her father. Salazar, who had a look of disbelief on his face, asked Godric, “Where were you when…uh…at that time?”
“I was only a year or two old when my parents were killed in the massacre. They asked my Aunt Rose to take care of me and sent us away to a faraway village. We have always been in Green Taft from then,” replied Godric.
Rowena was shocked. She didn’t know she could loathe someone so much as much as she loathed her father. He didn’t deserve to be her father; he didn’t deserve to be rich. Letting some tears fall down her cheeks, she hugged Godric tightly.
“Oh my God! Why didn’t you tell us before, Godric?” demanded Rowena. She was very much aware that Godric hadn’t hugged her back. Pulling apart, she stared at him.
“How could I have told you?” said Godric. “You are the daughter of the man who killed my parents.”
More tears streamed down Rowena’s cheeks. “But –”
“I came here to avenge my parents’ death. I did not even know I would be sitting here with you three as my best friends, especially you, Rowena,” Godric confessed.
Rowena nodded and Godric knew that she understood. “I just could not hold it inside any longer when I heard what happened to that villager,” he said. “I want to complete the mission my parents undertook, may years ago. Will you three help me with that?” he asked, looking all three of them in the eyes.
“On my death,” Helga said at once. Godric smiled softly at her.
“Definitely,” nodded Salazar.
Godric looked at Rowena. She had a blazing look on her face as she nodded fiercely. Godric smiled. “You will have to teach me how to apparate, Salazar.”
“Rowena,” Godric looked at her. “Any spells you know.”
Rowena said, “I will teach you everything I know.”
“What about me, Godric?” asked Helga indignantly. “How can I help?”
“Your being at my side through all this is all I want from you,” smiled Godric, tapping her nose lovingly. “Besides, you are good at charms, aren’t you? And you also have to teach us that badger spell.”
Helga grinned and hugged him. “I sure do.”
“We will be there for you, Godric,” stated Salazar. “We are a team.” He indicated the four of them.
“Means a lot to me.” Godric extended his hand and they all piled their hands on top of his. “The Story Begins…”
A/N. Thanx to all who reviewed. You guys are the best!
It had been several days since Godric had told them about his past and the foursome didn’t even have time to dwell on their inner fears. They were busy practicing for the inevitable. Godric and Helga were learning how to apparate. Salazar didn’t have to work too much on them as both were quick learners. They were finally able to do so, but not without splinching themselves in the process once or twice. Rowena taught them different kinds of spells and hexes she had read about. Wherever they went, she always had a thick book under her arm, for reference. She found extreme joy in correcting their mistakes.
In a surprising turn of events, Helga had recently discovered that she had summoning powers. She could levitate an object, summon anything that was in her sight and could fling objects anywhere she wanted without even touching her wand. They had all been very surprised by this, including Helga. Rowena was a little disconcerted at first. She was becoming increasingly jealous of Helga day-by-day. Rowena still loved her very much and she would happily step in front of a killing curse for her friend; she just couldn’t help but feel that Helga was very lucky. She watched that as days passed, Godric and Helga’s relationship grew. Helga was the only person that could cheer Godric up if he was in a sour mood. Rowena wished she was the one who had this effect on Godric, not Helga.
Fortunately, Lord Ravenclaw was on a journey to the Highlands on an invitation from the King. One day, the four friends were taking a rest from their daily practice. They were in the castle garden. Salazar was hogging freshly picked berries by Helga and Rowena was pretending to read but in reality staring at the sleeping form of Godric. His eyes were closed but she could tell that he was awake by the deep frown on his face. Seeing him, Rowena felt very tired. How she wished she could rest her head on Godric’s chest and fall asleep peacefully. With a huge pang she saw Helga kneel down next too Godric and innocently massage his fore-head to get rid of that frown. Godric instantly relaxed and his expression turned serene as he opened his eyes to look at Helga. A mischievous smile tugged at his lips as he stretched his hands and started tickling Helga, who shrieked with laughter.
“They look good together, don’t they?” asked Salazar from beside Rowena. He had been watching them too.
“Whatever,” muttered Rowena tightly.
“What is gotten into you?” demanded Salazar. “You have been on edge lately. You don’t even talk properly to Helga.”
Rowena bristled. “I don’t?” she asked. She hadn’t even noticed that her infatuation with Godric had led her behave like this.
“Yes, you have,” quipped Salazar. “Are you going to tell me what the matter is?”
Rowena looked at him and sighed. She couldn’t tell him. She knew Salazar cared about her as he said told her countless times. Despite that, Rowena couldn’t bring herself to tell him that she was jealous of Helga.
“Oh nothing, really, Salazar,” she faked a yawn as she said this. “I am just a little stressed out, you know, with all this practicing.” Rowena could tell that he was not convinced but was relieved when he did not push the subject.
Godric, meanwhile, was trying very hard to gather people for the organization they were building. The villagers wanted to participate but they were scared of Lord Ravenclaw. The news of the killing of their fellow villager had a great impact on them.
“Please do not be scared,” accosted Godric in a meeting once. “We must fight Lord Ravenclaw. Or he will consume us entirely. We don’t want to be in his service for the better part of our life, do we?”
“We will be a strong group, a team,” declared Rowena, stepping forward. “My father is a cruel and an evil man. We must stop him. And the best way is to defy him!”
Helga now understood why Godric kept befriending people when he had arrived. He was preparing for this from the beginning. People trusted him and saw him as a true leader. The fact that Rowena was also with them was a great help too (after the shock had subsided, of course). This was the beginning and Helga feared what the ending would be like.
A/N. I know it's a short chapter but I was feeling a little lazy. I'll try to make the next chapter cover my laziness up ;-)
Thanx a billion much to everyone who has reviewed untill now! You guys rock!
"My Lord! My Lord!" boomed a male voice as a knight sprinted up the halls of Lord Ravenclaw's castle. Sweat beaded down the knight's face as he ran, sword clanging onto his armor loudly. "My Lord! I have found something! Y-You wouldn't believe it!" His boots pounded as he walked up to Lord Ravenclaw, who was sitting pompously on his throne overlooking his empty entrance hall with his chin in his hand.
Lord Ravenclaw looked up with a look of extreme distaste. "Sir Alexander! What are you doing here! If I remember correctly, which I normally do, no doubt, I'm sure I sent you out to find my daughter!" He sat up straight and Alexander immediately went on one knee, panting heavily
Alexander lifted his head up to face his powerful master. "But I have, my Lord! I found her indeed and with some nasty deeds up her sleeves, my Lord." His shaky hand reached out and held a tightly rolled scroll of parchment upon which he had written down the things he saw and heard.
Ravenclaw looked down and snatched the scroll away from him impatiently. His eyes scanned the parchment speedily, his face contorting into a frown all the while.
“WHAT!” exclaimed Lord Rigor Ravenclaw, furiously.
“My information is perfectly correct, Your Grace,” verified Alexander. “An organization has been formed to defy you. They call themselves The Moral Brigade.”
“The Moral Brigade? How dare they?” boomed Lord Ravenclaw.
“And Lady Ravenclaw is a member.”
“Rowena? My own daughter?” Lord Ravenclaw looked shocked. After a while, he asked in a fake calm voice, “Who else?”
“A peasant girl named Helga Hufflepuff,” replied Alexander. “That’s all I know.”
Godric, Helga, Salazar and Rowena were walking among the ruins of Bellator. Godric and Rowena were talking about the modifications and effort they would have to make to their Head-Quarters to make it possible for human inhabitation.
“Well, we should thank our luck that it is a strong building and wasn’t ruined completely,” Rowena said. “Or it would have been difficult to build it.”
“Hmm, you are right, Rowena,” said Godric, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “How about an engorgement charm for the meeting room?”
“Yes, that’s a good idea.”
Meanwhile, Salazar was telling Helga how much of a difficult task it would be to build their own army besides the villagers.
“Thankfully, I am the Chief General and the soldiers listen to me,” he smirked. “Actually, they will have to listen to me. Some of them may oppose for fear of Ravenclaw but I know every soldier hates him.”
“Obviously,” said Helga. “But what’s there to be so smug about?”
“Oh well, just the fact that it would be very similar to what happened the last time there was mutiny,” grinned Salazar in a this-is-going-to-be-fun way.
“Ah, you are right,” Helga couldn’t hold back a giggle. “I hope we win,” she sighed.
Placing an arm around her shoulder, Salazar assured, “We will.”
It took them four to five hours to put suitable spells on the building they were going to make their Head Quarters. Engorgement charms, cleaning spells, anti-apparition shields were all included in them. Finally, when they were satisfied with their work, they came out to admire their hard work, before leaving Bellator.
Helga’s house seemed so warm and inviting to the dusty and stale air of Bellator. Godric collapsed tiredly on his bed. “What a day!” he sighed. Helga nodded, raising her hands and closing her eyes for a second before a tray full of four goblets came soaring onto her out-stretched hands. She held the tray out to Rowena, who conjured water in the goblets and handed them to Godric, Salazar and Helga.
“Don’t forget, there is a meeting with the villagers this evening,” Rowena reminded them, taking a sip out of her own goblet.
“We haven’t forgotten,” Godric mumbled, stretching his hands behind his head lazily.
“Will your father be able to come?” Salazar suddenly asked Helga, who bit her lip and lowered her eyes. Heram Hufflepuff had been ill since yesterday night.
“I don’t think so,” she replied after a while. “He seems quite pale.”
Godric sat up, sleep forgotten. “Don’t worry, Helga. I am sure he will be okay. Rowena will give him a sleeping draft and he will be perfectly alright by tomorrow.”
Helga looked at Rowena, who nodded kindly. “I hope so,” she said.
Salazar tried to change the tense mood. He didn’t like awkward silences “Helga, Rowena, have you two forgotten about…?”
“Oh my! It completely slipped my mind.” Rowena didn’t even let him complete his sentence. Salazar grinned. He knew it would work. Helga caught on, too.
Only Godric looked puzzled. “Forgotten about what?” he questioned, glancing from Salazar to Rowena to Helga, who chuckled and said, “You will see.” She closed her eyes and a moment later, a long perfectly wrapped package flew into her hands. “Rowena, Salazar and I were talking and…well, we would like you to have something.” She motioned for Rowena and Salazar to hold the package with her; and the three of them together handed it to a completely non-plussed Godric.
“Go on, open it,” Salazar urged Godric. “I am fairly certain you will like it.” He grinned.
Godric shook his head amusedly and ripped the package open. He was pretty sure that it was Rowena who had wrapped it up this nicely. His eyes widened. Inside lay a gleaming silver sword. He could see his reflection in the shining metal. Godric touched the handle of the sword, which was glittering with rubies the size of eggs. With sparkling eyes, he looked up at his best friends and opened his mouth to say something…anything, but words seemed to have left him.
“It was Helga’s idea, actually,” Salazar said, sensing Godric’s dilemma and making Rowena frown.
Godric turned his gaze on Helga, who blushed. “I knew you liked swords,” she muttered, not meeting his eyes.
“Thank you,” was all Godric could say.
“Well, now that the worst is over…,” grinned Salazar, earning a blow on the head from Rowena. “I will be leaving. I have some unfinished business to attend to.”
“I will come with you,” said Rowena promptly. “A nap will be good for me.” They both waved Godric and Helga goodbye and with a swish of their robes, were gone.
“So,” said Godric, looking at Helga, who was determinedly avoiding his gaze. “Thank you for the sword. I really appreciate it.” He reached over and gently wrapped her in a hug.
Helga’s face turned as red as her lips. “It was nothing,” she murmured.
Godric laughed. “It’s not nothing. It means the entire world to me.” He placed his sword carefully on the dressing table beside his bed and turned to look at Helga. “You know you look very pretty when you blush.”
At Lord Ravenclaw's castle, Rowena was settling herself into her bed. Just as she was about to flick her wand to diminish the lights in her room, the door edged open and her father appeared in the gap. "Rowena? My dear..." His voice was sultry and etched with false sweetness. Rowena held a glare inside her.
“Yes? Father?” she asked cautiously, as Lord Ravenclaw walked in, sitting on the edge of her bed.
“Erm...Rowena I know this had been a hard week for you ("Hard for me? Hard!” Rowena muttered as her father narrowed his eyes) but...you know that I would do anything for your safety. I know who you hang out with; the likes of that peasant girl…I don’t trust her. She is just being friendly with you for your money.”
Rowena’s eyes hardened. “How…how could you say that?” she ground out, getting angry.
“Rowena, I care for you; you are my daughter but I don’t trust your judgement,” her father explained calmly, making Rowena more furious.
“If you are telling me that I don’t judge people well…”
“I am,” Lord Ravenclaw answered firmly.
“I don’t care for what you say. I trust Helga and always will. She is not like you, Father,” Rowena added smartly, glaring at him as if to convey her point properly.
Rowena could see that it took a large effort for her father to calmly say, “Rowena...you've got to understand me, dear,” while placing a hand on her shoulder. Rowena shrugged it off like it was a bug. “FINE! If that is how you want it? I forbid you to step outside the castle from now on, understand?” snapped Lord Ravenclaw, standing up and walking towards the door.
“Father, don’t,” Rowena pleaded. He didn’t turn around but Rowena knew he was smirking as he left, slamming the door behind him. She felt fury rush through her veins and she threw her covers off herself and bounded out of her bed. She couldn’t let her father manipulate her anymore. She had to stand up for herself. And that’s what she was going to do.
“You do what you want, Father,” Rowena whispered, as she opened her wardrobe and pulled her dresses out. “Because I am not going to listen to you anymore.”
I will finally be free, was the last thing that Rowena thought before she pushed open her window and climbed out, silently.
Helga stirred when she heard someone on the front door. “What in the name of Merlin?” she muttered before clumsily stumbling out of her room. Groggily, she opened her front door and froze. “Rowena! What-?” she stopped, eyeing her bag with wide eyes. “Oh my…”
“I ran away,” explained Rowena simply, walking inside. “I can’t stay there anymore. Can I stay in your house, Helga?” She had tears in her eyes.
“Of course! What kind of a question is that?”
“Alright then, calm down,” Godric said loudly to the crowd gathered in front of them. “Today, we are going to work on a new spell.” He turned to Helga. “Ready?” he asked her. She nodded and stepped forward, tripping slightly, while Godric went to stand beside Rowena and Salazar, who glanced at him quizzically. “Just watch,” Godric whispered to them.
“Right,” said Helga, clearing her throat nervously. “For many days, all we have done is learn to defend ourselves and to duel properly with a wand. But today, I am going to teach you a spell which will bring you happiness, relieve you from all the stress. Godric and I think that this spell will come in handy after the battle.” Helga paused and glanced at Godric, who nodded his head encouragingly. “Now, repeat after me. Expecto Patronum.”
“Expecto Patronum,” everybody chanted, including Godric, Rowena and Salazar.
“Once more,” said Helga. They did as she said. “Good. Expecto Patronum is just the incantation. Now, we swish our wands, like this…” She demonstrated, while saying clearly, “Expecto Patronum!”
Everybody ‘oooh-ed’ and ‘ahhh-ed’ when a stout silver badger erupted from her wand and pranced around the room, its short, bushy tail swishing behind it. It came back to Helga, nuzzled her and disappeared into mist.
“That is impressive,” said Rowena. “Did you create that spell, Helga?”
“Yes, I did,” Helga replied. “Okay, now everybody, give it a try.”
Half an hour later, nobody could do it except Rowena, who was only able to produce some silver mist from her wand; nothing more. She seemed highly irked.
“Why can’t I produce a Patronus?” she finally cried, glaring angrily at her wand.
“Don’t worry, Rowena,” soothed Helga, patting her friend’s arm “I know you will do it.” Rowena smiled at Helga; she could not think why she had been jealous of her. Helga was kind and loyal and Godric deserved her.
“That spell was really tough, Helga,” said Salazar, as the foursome made their way to Helga’s cottage.
“Yes, I think so, too. However, I was able to do it easily the first time I did it.”
“Helga, did you leave the door open?” Godric suddenly asked her, as her house came into view.
“No,” said Helga. Godric cursed under his breathe and quickened his pace. “Godric what?” Rowena panted, keeping up with him.
“Something’s wrong,” answered Godric suspiciously, when they reached the cottage. “Someone’s been here.” He walked in cautiously.
“Godric, don’t be silly,” reprimanded Rowena. “It must be Helga’s father.”
Salazar suddenly spoke up, “But, Row, did you not give him the sleeping draft?” Rowena gasped. “Oh no!” She looked around for Helga but she had already disappeared to her father’s room. Godric opened his mouth to say something but he was cut off by a loud scream.
“Come on,” he cried. “It’s Helga!” They rushed in after her and were shocked to see her sobbing beside her father’s bed. “Helga?”
“He is dead!” Helga whispered, tearing streaming down her face. “HE IS DEAD!” She wailed, thumping Heram Hufflepuff’s chest. “GET UP!” She continued to scream until Rowena, who was crying too, ran to her and wrapped her up in a tight hug.
Godric and Salazar walked up to Hufflepuff’s bed to confirm their fears. Salazar gave a start. “His eyes are open!” he exclaimed.
“What?” Rowena looked up from where she was comforting a distraught Helga. Godric stared at her, becoming numb by the second. Oh God!
“He was murdered,” he said quietly, suddenly understanding everything. He looked at Salazar, who looked like a live statue; frozen with eyes wide.
“But why?” cried Helga, swiping furiously at her tears. “Who would…? My father never did anything wrong. He did not have any enemies.”
“No,” said Godric. “But you do.”
“I don’t under – ah,” gasped Helga and looked at Rowena, who looked highly uncomfortable. “Your father…Lord Ravenclaw knows. That’s why he killed my father!”
“Helga, I am sorry,” Rowena said as a tear rolled down her cheek. But Helga pushed her out of the way and marched to the door. Godric saw this and in two long strides, was standing in front of her, blocking her way.
“Get out of the way!” Helga shouted, pushing him. “I am going to kill that –”
“Helga.” Godric’s voice was firm. Salazar placed himself behind Helga incase she decided to become violent. She pushed Godric again but he didn’t even budge. “Helga.”
She pushed him once more before admitting defeat and slumping down on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably. “Why me? He killed my…father. My father is dead. Ahhhhh!” She didn’t thrash anymore when Godric scooped her up and left the room.
Rowena stared after them; she could still here Helga’s heart-wrenching cries. “I cannot believe this!” she exclaimed suddenly. “He had no right to kill Hufflepuff. How can…?” Salazar hugged her muffling what she was going to say.
“This was just a warning. There is going to be more,” he said. “The sooner we are able to finish him off, the better.”
Salazar watched the trainees out of their disguised hovel of their Head-Quarters while sipping a mug of butter beer. “They're coming along great, don't you think?” asked Rowena, watching them as well.
Salazar snorted as he watched a twenty year old maiden levitate herself five feet into the air with a shriek. “Unless levitating themselves and just floating there is useful, then they'll be loads of help!” he replied sarcastically. He looked at Helga, who was sitting a little way away from them with her eyes closed as if in a different world.
It had been two weeks since Heram Hufflepuff, Helga’s father, was murdered. Helga had been distraught. Only Godric could calm her down. However, they did not even have enough time to mourn Hufflepuff’s death properly because on the fifth day after the murder, they were attacked. The four of them had been riding to Bellator, when six soldiers in green uniform ambushed them. Luckily, Godric, Helga, Rowena and Salazar were good duelers and had them tied up after a exchanging a few powerful spells.
This attack led them to believe that it was only some time before Lord Ravenclaw would come to know the whereabouts of their Head-Quarters. The second time they were attacked, Rowena had been injured. Godric became more determined than ever. Salazar knew Godric did not want anyone to die and he also knew that somewhere, deep beneath him, Godric blamed himself for all this mess. But Helga, Rowena and him would not let him.
Salazar brutally wrenched out of his thoughts when he heard people screaming. He stood up and motioned to Godric, who had apparated beside him and Rowena. Large gray horses galloped into the village, trampling everything in sight. “This is it,” Godric shouted loudly. “Let us show them!” Rowena added, “Don’t forget the spells I taught you.” The villagers looked scared, but they all nodded determinedly before scattering into the whole area.
“Come on, let’s move.” It was Helga who gave the command. Godric nodded. Then he noticed something. Half of the soldiers had separated themselves from Ravenclaw’s army at the last moment and joined them. He grinned at Salazar. “Good work, mate. Was this the unfinished business?”
Salazar nodded. “Yes, but I am sorry to say only half of them were brave enough to come to our side,” he stated. Godric waved him off.
“No worries. We are grateful.” The foursome piled their hands on each other and went into different directions to search for the Lord Ravenclaw. He had not come out yet. He was letting his minions do all the dirty work for him.
“RIGOR!” Godric called ferociously into the crowd. “Come out here, you coward. You started this, you will end this.”
“GODRIC! Look out!” Rowena gasped and pointed as her father, who wore a sinister grin, charged at Godric's back, sword aimed for the center. Godric, hearing the call in the knick of time, turned and pushed away the deadly weapon with his own. Rigor hopped down from the horse and slapped its buttocks, sending it off.
“You rang?” snarled the evil Lord.
Godric stood firm, even though he had nearly been killed. "Indeed I did," Godric said, stepping back and drawing his wand up. Rigor copied the motion. He swiped at Godric carelessly but missed. Godric smiled sickeningly.
“Do you remember Ioan and Sue Almus, Rigor?” he asked, waiting for his reaction. It did come. Ravenclaw’s eyes widened.
“How do you know about them?” he growled. Then added, “Reducto!” A jolt of red light splurged from the end of his wand, nearly missing Helga's head. Salazar stepped forward, a snarl on his face. “You betrayed me. You…you cheat!” Ravenclaw shouted, pointing his sword at Salazar.
“You know, I once trusted you,” snapped Salazar. “But you are vile and cruel being. You are pathetic.” He heaved his wand upward to Rigor's eye level. “Expelliarmus!” he shouted, at the same time, Helga cried, “Petrificus Totalus.” Unable to jump out of the way for fear of running into his own men, Ravenclaw’s wand flew out of his hand and he was petrified. “But only just,” explained Salazar. “Let's run!”
They ran, blocking spells and clashing swords, fumbling through crowds, along the way. Helga was heaving, clutching a stitch in her chest by the third time Rowena's father had cornered them. Salazar’s spell had been a weak one. Tears were spilling onto Rowena's firm face, determined that though she may be crying, her emotions were to remain hidden. Godric was standing firm and still as he watched the villagers bellow him die with fury and all their heart put into the battle. Salazar looked around him at his friends. He himself was feeling like this had to end sooner or later, preferably sooner.
He watched as Rigor approached them for what felt like the final time. Godric was the one who stood face-to-face to Rigor Ravenclaw, Rowena standing not too far behind him, fierce and protective. “So you finally stand up like a man,” Godric said calmly as Rigor jumped off his steed.
Salazar looked as Lord Ravenclaw let out a stern laugh. “Boy, what would you know of being a man?” He laughed and gripped his sword in one hand.
“I would know a lot more than you would; I stand up for myself and my friends, my comrades. You, all you do is fetch servants for you, and that deserves a punishment. Your treatment of ‘your’ kingdom made the villagers this way. You have created your own enemy,” Salazar saw a quick flash of Godric's new sword being drawn.
Godric took a deep breath. “And Ioan and Sue Almus were my parents.” Ravenclaw’s eyes widened and a flash of fear passed through his face. Godric raised his sword. There was a great rush of air, a ‘swoosh’ and a bloodsucking ‘squelch’ and the sword was wrenched from Rigor's stomach as he fell to his knees, gasping for air. “Revenge is sweet,” Godric said, kicking him once and for all.
Salazar's eyes softened a bit when Rowena shot her father a harsh, reprimanding look and before turning away, muttered, “You deserve it, Father.”
Helga rushed forward to hug Godric. Lord Ravenclaw was dead. Finally!
A new era had begun. The era of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin…
Big thanks to the FANTABULOUS slytheringinny for her HUGE help in writing this chapter.
I am really sorry for the delay but I had a bad case of Writer’s Block, as you all know Thank you for reading this chapter and I hope it was worth the wait. Reviews are appreciated.
A/N. To all my readers, I am really sorry for the delay in the updating of this chapter. School is just....grrrr! Despite my attempts, I couldn't find time for this. Finally, here it is and I hope you all read and review.
Two months had passed since the Battle of Bellator and nothing could dampen the high spirits of the people of Hogsmeade. Their problems were finally solved when Lord Ravenclaw died. The prisoners of Ravenclaw had also been released. People were euphoric. For them, there was no one to fear. For now.
As for our four heroes, Godric, Helga, Rowena and Salazar, they spent most of their time together at the Ravenclaw castle. Always joined at the hip, they parted only at night-time when Godric and Helga returned to Helga’s cottage while Rowena and Salazar, to the castle.
The aftermath of the war had rendered them with a drastic change in their personalities. Salazar had become a little more serious and responsible and had lost his cheeky manner; while Helga grew more and quieter as the days passed. It became apparent that she had trouble going on with life without her beloved father by her side.
However, things with Godric and Rowena were completely opposite. Rowena couldn’t be more than happy that her cruel father was more there to order her around whenever he wished and Godric felt contented and peaceful knowing that he had finally carried out his parents’ mission successfully. But he never stopped worrying about Helga. Sure, she would talk with them, even debate on various things but she never joked around anymore nor did she speak to anyone except Godric, Rowena and Salazar other then when necessary. Godric missed her smile, her pretty dimpled smile. He and the others tried hard to make her laugh but to no avail. It seemed like she was completely cut-off from the real world.
“It’s like she is physically here but mentally elsewhere,” Rowena once said to Salazar and Godric while Helga was picking flowers.
Salazar nodded his head and Godric sighed. “We have already tried so much,” said Godric. “I do not know what else to do!”
Rowena pursed her lips. “Maybe we should…” she trailed away when she felt someone come up and sit beside her. “Helga! Wow, such a pretty garland!” she complimented her friend, looking at the colorful garland of flowers in Helga’s hand.
Helga blushed and smiled. “I made it for you,” she said, arranging the garland on Rowena’s head. “A pretty tiara for a pretty princess.”
Rowena could only stare at her. How much more was Helga going to do for her? These small and completely insignificant things that Helga did for her meant the whole world to Rowena. At the moment, no one seemed more beautiful and big-hearted to Rowena than Helga. She could not even think why she had been jealous of Helga in the first place. Rowena glanced sideways at Godric and saw that he was smiling too. She truly does belong to him, she thought, her gaze slightly misty.
“Thank you,” she said quietly, hugging Helga. Rowena realized she would do anything to bring her best friend back to them.
That night, Rowena suggested that they all sleep at the castle. Reluctantly, Godric and Helga had agreed and Rowena assigned them all different rooms. So, here Godric was, tossing and turning on the bed, unable to sleep. He remembered his bed at Helga’s house and sighed. Although it was patched and had frayed ends and was a little hard, it was still homey and comfortable; completely opposite of the bed he was right now lying on. It was white and soft but that did little to make Godric feel comfortable and sleepy. Everything about this castle made Godric twitch. It had once belonged to the enemy.
After trying to sleep for the dozen-th time and failing, Godric gave up. He got up and donned his night robes before leaving the room. The castle seemed dark and scary. Godric was thankful for the torches that illuminated his way. He had never truly explored the Ravenclaw castle before. Well, now is my chance, he thought.
He wandered around the huge castle, frequently opening doors and peering in, staring at ugly gargoyles and examining a few portraits of the ancestors of Ravenclaw. After a while, Godric noticed he had reached one of the towers. Deciding to do some star-gazing, Godric reached the top only to find out that he would not be alone to do so. He stared at the curly blonde hair for a while before making his presence know.
“Helga,” he whispered, his voice sounding loud in the silence of the night.
Helga didn’t turn around nor did she move a muscle. Godric settled down beside her and stared at her pale face. She was looking at the sky with searching eyes.
“Are you counting the stars?” Godric whispered again. This time, Helga sniffed and shook her head.
Without turning her eyes away from the navy sky, she replied, “I am trying to locate the star my father became when he died.” A single tear rolled down her cheek.
Godric’s heart skipped a beat. He felt overwhelmed, as if Helga’s emotions were smothering him. He shifted a little so that he could see her whole face now. It was contorted in an effort to not cry. Gently, he raised his head and wiped away her tear. Helga’s chest heaved and she finally looked at him, a flood of tears pouring out of her eyes. She flung herself at him and sobbed uncontrollably. Godric knew she had reached her breaking point.
“It is okay to cry, Helga. Let it all go,” he said, holding her tight. She was crying harder now and trying to speak at the same time.
“It is all my fault, Godric,” Helga cried. “I – hic – should not have…left him alone.”
“No, it is not your fault.”
“It is!” She cried onto his shoulder, thumping his chest with her fists angrily. “I could have - hic – saved him! Maybe a good spell or potions would have –”
“Helga, stop!” Godric commanded firmly. He held Helga at arm’s length and looked into her eyes. “Helga, sometimes things wrong. You cannot predict them; you cannot stop them. I…I too am sorry that your father died but that does not mean that you should stop living and mourn.” He took her hands in his. “You have got to move on, Helga!”
Helga was silent the entire time. She refused to look at him. All she did was stare at their clasped hands. Tears still ran down her face into her lap but her sobs had subsided.
She looked back up at the sky and spoke softly, “But I cannot forget him.”
Godric shook his head. “You will never forget him, no. He will always be in your heart, Helga,” he said. “And he most definitely would not want to see his beautiful daughter mourn his death forever.”
Helga looked at him and giggled, wiping her tear-streaked face with the back of her hands. She had always like when Godric complimented or praised her. “You are right,” she muttered. “I am a fool.”
“I won’t disagree,” joked Godric, earning a punch on his arm. Helga was smiling now. “And as for the star you are looking for,” Godric continued, turning her face to the other side. “You were looking in the wrong direction. There is your father, right above your house. No doubt the brightest star in the sky.” He grinned at Helga’s amazement as she stared fixedly at the tiny twinkling star right above the Hufflepuff cottage. Indeed, it was the brightest star Helga had ever seen. It someone made her heart swell.
“He is looking out for me,” she whispered.
“Indeed.” Godric leaned forward and kissed her forehead. It was not the place he preferred but right now was not the right time. “Come on, it is getting cold out here. Let us go back to our rooms.”
Helga looked at him in mild disappointment. In the deepest corner of their hearts, both of them knew that they wanted nothing but to stay out here all night. Together.
Helga nodded. “Yes, let’s go…”
Salazar smiled. “You sure are something, princess,” he said, causing Rowena to blush. “I am into this. But one question. Where and how are we going to build this school of ours?”
“Why, right here,” answered Rowena, waving her hand at the Ravenclaw castle behind her. “We will destroy it.”
“But Rowena,” Godric said. “Destroying the castle and building it again will be a little difficult, do you not think?” He stared dubiously at the huge castle.
“Godric is right, Rowena,” agreed Salazar. “We could make some additions though.”
“Like what?” Helga asked with interest. She was already imagining how their school would look like.
“Like adding dormitories for witches and wizards, conjuring more windows,” Godric said, seeming excited about the idea.
“Yes and furnish a great dining hall for everyone to have breakfast, lunch and dinner,” added Salazar.
“Adding classrooms for different subjects,” Helga joined in excitedly. “Making a common room all for ourselves where we would compare notes.” She was smiling broadly now. “Oh, it would be fun! We could also add a few magical surprises for the children…to keep them constantly in awe.”
Rowena laughed. “Our school will be the best school there ever will be!” she declared happily. All four of them were grinning from ear to ear and Rowena felt satisfied to notice that Helga was smiling and laughing again.
“You put reason back into our lives, Ro,” smiled Helga, hugging Rowena. “Thank you.”
Rowena nodded, a little overwhelmed. Trying to fight the rising lump in her throat, she announced, “Right. Now let’s start planning!”
A/N. And I am baaaack!! *stumbles back from the angry shouts and glares of her loyal readers* Oh God, I am so very very very for such a long delay. I know I am in no position to give any excuses but still, here me out. This chapter was written a week or so after I posted the eleventh chapter but for a reason, I had to change one important detail in the story and because of it, the latter half of this chapter was deleted. I decided that I would add it and then update the chapter. But unfortunately, I was caught up in my prelims and then my exams that I had no time to write the remaining chapter. And finally, when I was free from the exam burden, I realized that I had lost my inspiration AND the book in which I had written this chapter. Luckily, I was organizing my book cupboard the day before yesterday and that's when I found my book. I sat and read it again and finally got back my inspiration. I wasted no time in writing the chapter and typing it out in two days. Today, I swear that I'll never abandon this fic. Even if it takes me long to update (for whatever reason) please don't think I am abandoning it. I am too proud of this story to do a silly thing like that.
If you are still with me and have not left me, thank you very much. I can't ask for more than this. I would again like to thank all my reviewers who reviewed uptil now AND who will read and review this chapter as well. Thanks again.
Now, I'll hurriedly move to the side and let you enjoy this long-awaited chapter. *stops rambling*
The construction of the school had begun and Godric, Helga, Rowena and Salazar were very busy. They had divided the work between the four of them and since Godric and Salazar stubbornly insisted that they didn’t need any outside help, the four of them alone worked to make their school. On Rowena’s insistence, they had destroyed the gloomy interior of the castle, so that they could create shiny new classrooms for the students.
“Classrooms, classrooms, classrooms!” Helga said exasperatedly one day. “The children aren’t going to study all day, Ro.” Helga had changed a lot since the past month. They cheery and innocent Helga was back and Godric, Rowena and Salazar couldn’t be happier.
“Well then, what else do you propose we add?” Rowena asked with a scowl.
“Dormitories,” Helga said instantly. “They will need somewhere to rest.”
“Yes, and we should probably make a huge common room for them to study or do their homework or just sit and talk,” added Salazar smartly.
Godric nodded his agreement. “Good idea, Salazar.”
Rowena sniffed. “Alright then, dormitories for girls and boys, a common room,” she muttered, scribbling on her parchment rapidly. She looked up. “Anything else we forgot to add?”
“Let me think…” Helga said biting her lip.
“The kitchen!” Salazar said suddenly.
“But the castle already has one,” Godric said. “I checked.”
“But it’s on the third floor,” explained Salazar. “The school kitchen should be way below and finely hidden so that the students can’t break in.” The others reflected on this for a moment before nodding their agreement. Rowena scribbled on her parchment again.
“Okay, Salazar and Helga – the kitchen,” she said. “The best place you think, Salazar.” Then, she motioned for Godric. “Godric and I will do the common room and two dormitories. We’ll be on the sixth floor. Any questions?”
The others shook their heads and when Rowena turned, she noticed Helga eyeing her and Godric with a weird look on her face. As they reached the sixth floor, Rowena couldn’t hold it any longer. She turned to face Godric.
“What’s going on between you and Helga?” she blurted out. Godric looked surprised.
“Nothing,” he said and pointed to the middle of the sixth floor corridor. There were only two rooms on this floor. “Let’s expand that one into a common room.”
Rowena nodded. “Right. And that room can be where the girls sleep. We will construct the boys’ dormitory on the other side of the common room.” They pulled out their wands and began to work. Rowena glanced at Godric. “You still haven’t answered my question,” she said, adding, “I know you like Helga.”
“Engorgio,” muttered Godric, waving his wand in a complex fashion around the room. “Am I that obvious?” he asked, finally looking at Rowena.
Rowena grinned and conjured a wooden table out of thin air, placing it near the fire place. “Yes, you are,” she replied. “And incase you haven’t noticed, she likes you too.”
Godric stopped and looked at her. “I know that. I just don’t know how to tell her,” he sighed. “She thinks I like you.”
Now it was Rowena’s turn to stop in surprise. “Really?” she said with raised eye-brows. She paused, a slight frown on her face. “Hmm, that explains a lot.”
Godric nodded, conjuring red and gold chairs with his wand. “Doesn’t it?”
Seeing the chairs Godric had conjured, Rowena frowned. “Those are not the right colors,” she said. “Make them blue and bronze instead.”
Godric stared at the red chairs and shook his head firmly. “No, I like red and gold.”
Rowena huffed. “Fine, then.” She turned around and waved her wand, painting the walls of the room blue. She turned back to look at Godric challengingly. He scowled hard at her.
A couple of hours later, the common room was ready. Rowena had transfigured the old chairs into new ones while Godric arranged the furniture around the room the way it looked best to him. They had also created a couple of empty portraits for the future.
Presently, Godric and Rowena stood side-by-side, staring at their handiwork. Godric sighed. “I wonder what Salazar and Helga would say when they see this room,” he muttered. Rowena nodded, looking at the red chairs, blue walls, bronze tables, blue carpet and gold frames. Funnily, the walls were blue but the ceiling was red in color. The room was a mesh of blue, red, bronze and gold!
“Let’s go and see how those two are doing,” declared Rowena, throwing one last disgusted look around the room before marching out with Godric.
Helga and Salazar met him halfway. They both looked disgusted and angry at the same time. “What is the matter with you two?” asked Godric.
“You will see,” Salazar replied, throwing a dark look at Helga, who in turn, frowned at him. “Come with us.” They both led Godric and Rowena down to the lowest level and past the dungeons until they reached a portrait of a fruit bowl.
“This pear wasn’t there before,” Rowena instantly pointed out. She had helped frame this painting and thus, she remembered.
“We added it,” Helga said. “Go ahead and tickle it.”
Completely non-plussed, Rowena did as told. She raised her right hand and tickled the pear with her index finger. “Oh!” she exclaimed as the pear squirmed as if it was giggling and the portrait swung open.
Godric was grinning. “Hah, nice idea, you two,” he said, stepping inside the kitchens. Rowena hurried after him, pushing him aside when Godric gasped. “Merlin, what…?”
It was as if a completely unskilled artist had suddenly decided to paint something and splashed different colors across the canvas as a silly joke. The kitchen was even worse than the common room. Half the walls were yellow and the other half was green. The sink and tables were black while the platform and chairs were silver. The cupboards were green and shiny Ravenclaw utensils were bright yellow.
Helga and Salazar climbed in after them and looked at their friends sheepishly. “Well, of course it was all Salazar’s fault,” Helga began to explain when suddenly Godric and Rowena burst out laughing. They were laughing so hard that they couldn’t even breathe. “What’s so funny?” asked Helga, putting a hand on Rowena’s shoulder and shaking her slightly, urging her to be serious.
“We were wondering if you two would like the common room,” grinned Rowena, trying to stop her giggles.
“But your kitchen is even worse than the common room,” said Godric and broke into another fit of laughter. Salazar chuckled at his friend.
“So, the same thing happened with you?” he asked, shaking his head amusedly.
“Yes,” Rowena replied, choking one and twice and then managing to keep a straight face. “Yes, it did. I guess we all like different colors. We’ll have to do something about this. This isn’t going to work.”
Helga nodded vigorously. “Yeah, what will the students say? They will think we are lunatics trying to run a school.”
“They will think no such thing,” Salazar intervened. “We will all take different rooms to ourselves. That way, there will be no problem in any room being multi-colored.”
“I have a better idea,” Godric said, eyes gleaming excitedly. “Why don’t we divide the students in a group?” he said, widening his eyes at his friends expectantly.
“You mean like little children, big children, stupid children and intelligent children…?” Helga asked, looking unsure. Godric laughed and shook his head.
“No, silly. Not like that,” he said. “Groups meaning each student will be assigned to a particular house according to his or her personality and traits.”
They considered Godric’s idea for a while. “Hmm…” Rowena said slowly, thinking hard. “That is a good idea, Godric. It might just work.”
“I agree.” It was Salazar. “We will have different names for each house.”
“Yes, me too. We can each be the head of one house and select the students ourselves,” Helga added, twirling her curls around her fingers excitedly.
“Well, that settles it, then,” Rowena said, smiling widely. “There will be four houses, one led by each of us. One problem, though. What will we call them?”
“How about Red House, Yellow House, Green House and Blue House?” Godric suggested later that day when all four friends were strolling down the streets of Hogsmeade looking for some pretty paintings for their school walls. People waved at them as they passed by and some even bowed out of respect to the heroes of Hogsmeade.
“Godric, if you are trying to be funny, I am not amused,” Rowena said with a roll of her eyes. “That’s plain silly.”
“Just a suggestion, Princess,” Godric said with a grin and poked Rowena playfully.
Helga cleared her throat loudly. “I want a pet,” she announced, deliberately avoiding Godric’s eyes.
“What’s an ‘apat’?” Salazar asked in confusion. They all stopped and looked at Helga when she giggled at Salazar.
“I mean, I want a pet animal,” she clarified and Salazar grinned, shaking his head at his silly mistake.
“Okay, let is all go to Madam Carthery’s house,” Godric suggested promptly. “I know for a fact that she has a lot of pets. Cats, dogs, rats and even snakes.” Helga made face when Godric said ‘snakes’. Apparently, she was not much fond of snakes.
Madam Carthery was a pretty woman in her early sixties with white fleecy hair and wrinkled skin. She had bright blue eyes with which she stared Helga at she went about looking at the cats and dogs. She didn’t like rats and snakes and did not even glance at them. Salazar, on the other hand, was fascinated by snakes. He asked the lady if they were poisonous and when she shook her head, he bent down and picked up one particularly dangerous looking snake.
“Put that down, Salazar, that’s disgusting,” Rowena said, pulling an ugly face at the reptile.
“What? I like it and I think I am going to buy it,” said Salazar in a defensive voice. “It is such a pretty thing.”
“Don’t you dare!” Helga’s voice reached them before her body. She appeared out of the back with a pure white elegant looking cat clutched securely in her arms. “I do not like snakes, Salazar. They scare me. Please,” she said. Salazar stared at her for a while with an unreadable expression on his face. Then, suddenly, he nodded and reluctantly put the snake back in its place. Helga smiled gratefully at him. “Thanks.” Turning to Madam Carthery, she said in a pleasant voice, “I will buy her.” She pointed to the beautiful cat in her arms.
She paid for the cat and just when they were about to leave the house, something soft and fuzzy zoomed towards them out of nowhere and collided with the side of Godric’s head. “What the – ?” Godric muttered, turning around and catching the fuzz ball with brilliant reflexes. “It is an owl,” he said, surprised. Indeed it was an owl, but it was so small that Rowena doubted it was some other breed.
“Yes, Master Gryffindor,” Madam Carthery said, coming up behind them and taking the owl from Godric. “It is definitely an owl.”
“But how is that possible?” Rowena asked, staring at the little excited thing in the older woman’s palm. “Owls are only seen at night, as far as I know. I have never seen any in my whole life!”
“Exactly my reaction when I first saw Artemis,” said Madam Carthery, stroking the owl, whose name apparently was ‘Artemis’. “I could not believe that she is an owl but it is true. She is very clever and sometimes delivers my messages to my brother who is out in the fields.” She paused. “I just woke up one morning and found her snuggled in my pillow and from that day forth, Artemis has been with me.”
At that moment, the owl suddenly zoomed out of Madam Carthery’s grasp and smashed into Godric’s chest. He looked amused when Artemis flew a couple of times above his head excitedly and then perched herself on his shoulder. Madam Carthery smiled.
“I think she likes you,” she said, extending her hand towards Artemis but the tiny owl snuggled closer into Godric’s neck. He chuckled.
“I like her, too. If you don’t mind, Madam Carthery, can I buy her?” he asked, raising his index finger towards Artemis and she jumped onto it with a hoot.
The old woman shook her head. “I won’t let you pay for her. She has become a friend, not a pet.” She smiled and shoo-ed the four friends out of her house but not before thanking them and asking them to visit her again.
“So, you and Godric have a pet and I cannot have a snake,” said Salazar dryly, pouting slightly. “Why can I not have a pet too?” he asked Helga as they walked back to the castle.
“You can have a cat, if you want, but no snakes or dogs,” Helga said. When Salazar glared childishly at her, she caught his arm and smiled at him. “Alright. You can share my cat with me. How does that sound?”
“Oooh, that is so exciting, Helga. Thank you so much!” The dripping sarcasm in his voice made the other three laugh and shake their heads at him.
Helga giggled. “You are welcome.”
That night, Godric snatched up Artemis from her perch and set her down on his pillow. “So, you deliver messages, huh?” he asked her and she hooted softly back at him. “Very well. Although it is really unbelievable that an owl can deliver messages, still I will put you to test. Are you up for it, Artemis?” She hooted again and lovingly nipped his ear. Godric grinned. He took a parchment from his drawer and scribbled something on it with his quill. Then he attached his folded letter onto Artemis’ leg. “Take this to Helga. She is in the next room,” he whispered, stroking his owl’s feathers. She hooted and with sudden boost of enthusiasm, she zoomed out of his room.
Godric sighed and slumped down onto his pillow. Let’s see how Helga reacts to my letter, he thought before closing his eyes and trying to sleep.
A/N. Just quick note to let you all know that my other fic "The Other World" will be updated in a couple of days, or if I get time, tomorrow ^_^ Thank you for your patience.
Also, I would like to thank Anne (harrystrulove) for helping me improve this chapter *huggles Anne*
The next morning dawned bright and clear and Godric was awakened by the chirping of birds outside, as well as the loud shrieking noise that Artemis made to wake her master up. She zoomed excitedly around his head, pecking him gently on the head now and then. Godric opened his eyes and frowned at his owl, who looked like she was witnessing morning for the first time.
“You weren’t born just yesterday, right?” murmured Godric sleepily, burying his head further into his pillow. Then, suddenly, he remembered his letter to Helga last night and shot out of his bed, making a beeline for Helga’s room.
Silently, he creaked open the door and peered inside. The curtains were closed and the room was still dark. Godric opened the door wider and stepped inside. Helga usually woke up before him but Godric was surprised to find her still sleeping soundly on her bed. He tiptoed towards her and put a gentle hand on her forehead. Strange, he thought, she was not ill. Stepping forward, he pulled open the curtains and sunlight streamed into the room. Godric turned and looked at Helga. Her blonde hair was spread on one side of her pillow; her rosy lips were slightly parted as she slept and her breathing was slow and calm. The rays of the sun softly caressing her sleeping figure gave a natural glow to her creamy skin. She looked beautiful to Godric.
Deciding not to wake her up just yet, he pulled up a chair beside her bed, sat down and just looked at her, trying to satisfy his desire for her by merely staring. He wanted to run his fingers through her curls and along her jaw line but he did no such thing in fear of waking her up. Half an hour later, Godric was still sitting there. Helga’s hand was in his and he was playing with her fingers, drawing senseless images on her palm. Suddenly, her hand moved and Godric looked up expectantly but her eyes were still closed. So, he went back to drawing pictures on her hand. This time, her fingers curled and a soft giggle reached his ears.
“Helga, are you awake?” Godric asked, staring at her. Slowly, her eyes fluttered open and she looked around sleepily for a while before turning her head to look at him. “Good morning, my lady. You look beautiful.” Godric bit his tongue; he hadn’t meant to say that.
Helga blushed and sat up, feeling her fingers clutched in his warm hands. “What are you doing in my room, Godric?” she asked after mumbling out a shy thanks to him. Yawning widely, Helga stretched herself as best as could with only one hand and while doing so, her thin and faded night robe slipped off her shoulders. She didn’t notice it but Godric did.
Trying very hard not to stare at her bare shoulder, Godric gave himself a mental shake and concentrated hard on her pretty face as he answered her. “Watching you sleep,” he said before he could think properly.
“What?” Helga asked, blushing modestly. Momentarily, she looked down at her hand covered by his and then looked back up at him.
Godric closed his eyes, cursing himself for letting that slip. He had been concentrating so hard on her face in fear of his eyes straying to her bare shoulder that he didn’t notice what he was speaking. “No…I mean…yes, that’s what I was doing,” he said softly, deciding it was no use making excuses.
“Why?” she asked him innocently, her cheeks tinged red, which only tempted him more to touch them…to stroke them with his fingers.
“Because you look…” Godric was about to say ‘ravishing’ but instead settled on, “…beautiful when you are asleep.” He didn’t know where he was getting this sudden courage from.
“Oh!” Helga looked down, not knowing what to say. She could feel Godric’s eyes on her and all of a sudden, his hands felt more than a little warm on her skin. As the moment stretched, her palms turned sweaty and beads of perspiration began to glisten on her forehead. She suddenly realized, horrified, that her robe had slipped off her shoulder and pulled it back on its place.
Godric noticed this sudden change in temperature and let go of Helga’s hand. He didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. But that is inevitable, he thought to himself. He didn’t want to scare her away. But then again, if he told her that he wanted to push her down on the bed and devour her until his longing for her was satisfied, she would definitely get worked up and would never want to see him again. Maybe I should wait a while longer he decided.
Apparently, his body disagreed with him because Godric found himself leaning forward. As if in slow motion, he watched Helga’s eyes widen when she noticed him leaning closer, her breathe hitching in her throat before her eyes fluttered shut. Just when Godric was about to close the gap between their lips, he realized what he was doing and at the last moment, raised his lips, kissing her forehead instead.
“Get ready. Rowena and Salazar will be waiting,” he muttered before hurrying out of her room.
Helga was still in a daze when they left her cottage and arrived at their school. Her eyes were glazed over and she seemed to be floating on clouds. “What’s wrong with her?” Rowena asked Godric, seeing Helga’s dreamy expression.
Godric sighed. “I almost kissed her this morning,” he replied, running his fingers through his hair. The four friends were seated in the multicolored kitchen of the castle, having a late breakfast. Helga was sitting at the other end of the long table, beside Salazar, who was unsuccessfully trying to engage her in conversation. Almost as if she sensed they were talking about her, she looked up and her eyes met Godric’s. They stared at each other, neither wanting to break the eye contact, until Rowena cleared her throat loudly, snapping Godric’s attention back to her.
“Almost?” she asked quietly, taking a bite of her meat sandwich.
Godric nodded. “I kissed her forehead instead,” he muttered, looking down at his plate. His breakfast was untouched, spread all over his plate due to his pushing it here and there. “I just could not do it.”
“What! Why?” hissed Rowena incredulously. “Why could you not do it?”
“Because she is not ready yet, Ro,” replied Godric, stabbing his fork into his breakfast in his frustration. He didn’t know what to do. Helga was proving to be a constant distraction. She had taken to invading his thoughts constantly, even when he was least expecting it. And he knew this problem wouldn’t be solved if he tried to stay away from her.
“That is a ridiculous excuse, Godric!” Rowena reprimanded, slapping his hand and pointing at his breakfast so that he would actually eat it rather than play with it. She sighed when Godric just shook his head. “Why do you say that?”
“I just feel it,” said Godric, trying to explain his situation to Rowena. It was hard. “Look, it is difficult to explain, Rowena. But I feel she is not ready to get involved in a relationship yet and I do not want to force myself on her.” He sighed, putting a hand on his forehead and dragging it heavily through his thick hair.
“Alright,” Rowena said slowly, trying to look at the situation from Godric’s perspective. “Maybe you are right, Godric,” she muttered. Godric knew that Rowena would never understand. She had not been there, almost kissing Helga. It had been Godric and he knew this was not the right time. Helga needed some more time.
He looked up when Helga stood up to get herself some water and accidentally tripped on one leg of the table. Godric shook his head and glanced at Rowena with raised eye-brows. She had an amused expression on her face. “This habit of hers is never going to change, Godric,” she told him with a smile.
“Ready everyone?” Helga asked, raising her wand. Her friends nodded and she smiled before saying something softly under her breathe while waving her wand. Immediately, a silver badger erupted from her wand and scurried towards Godric, Rowena and Salazar as they watched it in awe.
“How did you do that, Helga?” asked Salazar, reaching out to stroke the badger but it turned to mist and disappeared completely.
“I told you it looks brilliant,” Godric interjected happily. He had suggested that they take a break from creating classrooms and thinking up unusual names for their houses to do something relaxing and creative. All of them had finally agreed upon Helga teaching them that ‘cute spell’ as Godric put it.
“Yes, it does,” Rowena said. “Tell us how you did this, Helga,” she pleaded. It was almost an insult that Rowena Ravenclaw did not know something like this.
Helga smiled proudly. “When I first performed this charm,” she told them, her expression containing fondness. “I was very happy. I do not remember why but I know I was and I was just mumbling nonsense words under my breathe while swishing my wand from one side to the other.” She paused, trying to remember exactly what had happened. “And I guess it just happened. I tried saying those same words but nothing happened. I tried this for many days, hoping the little badger would fly out of my wand again but it never happened until after one week or so when I was truly happy again. I tried and my little badger came to life.” She raised her eye-brows at the others. “So you see how this is done?” she questioned.
“Um…you can only perform it after one week?” Godric offered lamely.
Rowena snorted and shook her head at the boy standing beside her. “It means that this charm can only be successfully performed when you are happy,” she explained. “Correct, Helga?”
“Exactly,” smiled Helga.
“Sounds…happy,” Salazar uttered, lost for words. He had never encountered a spell like this and he was eager to learn it. “Alright then, let’s get started. What is the incantation?”
Helga nodded and answered, “The incantation for this charm is ‘Expecto Patronum’.” The other three looked excited and impressed. “Here, swish your wand like this. Yes, I know it is a little complicated. Oh, and remember to think something happy. Think. Happy. Thoughts.” Helga said slowly, emphasizing every word.
Godric closed his eyes and tried to think of a happy thought. Presently, he couldn’t think of anything, so just for experimentation sake, he shouted, “Expecto Patronum.” Nothing happened. No badger came out. Godric looked at Helga. “Does it take more than a minute to come out?”
“No,” laughed Helga. “You are not thinking happy enough. Think of something that made you really happy. Something that you won’t forget ever.”
Godric nodded and closed his eyes again. Rowena and Salazar followed suit. After a moment, three strong voices cried out, “Expecto Patronum!”
They tried performing this charm for more than two hours and by the time the session ended, only Salazar and Godric had managed to produce some kind of wisp out of their wands. They were ecstatic and couldn’t stop talking about it. “Did you see that?” Godric was saying excitedly to Salazar. “It looked like a very furry badger with an odd kind of shape.”
“Very odd,” agreed Salazar, swishing his wand and muttering the Patronus charm under his breathe. A thin mist slithered out of the tip of his wand and he grinned at his friends.
Helga beamed at them. “Very good start, all of you,” she said cheerfully, skipping along with them. She tripped on the front steps of the castle and Godric caught her promptly. “Thanks,” Helga muttered, looking down. She glanced at Rowena who was frowning. Knowing what this was about, Helga said gently, “Don’t worry, Rowena. I am sure you will do better in the next session.” Rowena just huffed and walked on.
It was Godric and Helga’s turn to prepare dinner that day. They were standing by the platform, doing their own peeling and grinding while Rowena and Salazar discussed names for their houses. The four friends couldn’t believe it was so hard to find suitable names for merely four houses in a school. If naming the houses was so hard, they were certainly not looking forward to naming their school. They couldn’t just name it Godric, Helga, Rowena and Salazar. It would look odd and completely unsensational, which Rowena pointed out bluntly.
“I guess we will just have to stick with Red, Yellow, Blue and Green houses,” Godric heard Rowena’s muffled voice and he grinned to himself. He didn’t look around but he could just imagine Rowena’s defeated face as she told this to Salazar.
Godric glanced at Helga. She hadn’t heard Rowena and seemed to be in her own wonderland, a slight smile tugging on her lips as she worked on their dinner. So far, she had given no indication that she had read his little note and Godric decided that now was the time to ask her.
“Did you…er…get my note?” he asked, breaking the silence between them. Helga looked up in surprise before nodding her head slowly.
“Yes, Artemis delivered it,” she informed him. “She is a clever owl.”
“That she is,” nodded Godric, still not looking away from Helga. “So…don’t you want to say anything?” he asked hopefully and she looked up again, her face flushing.
“Well, I don’t know why you sent me the clarification note. I never thought you liked Rowena more than a friend,” she said, her tone slightly defensive.
Godric grinned inwardly. “Oh, did you not?” he muttered, trying very hard to keep a straight face. “Well, just in case, Helga. Just in case…”
Helga coughed and dropped a vivid colored vessel with a loud clang.
There, some Godric/Helga moments after a long time. Are you all satisfied now? :D
A/N. I would have posted this chapter a couple of days ago but I was out of station and thus, couldn't. I also want to let my readers who read The Other World know that chapter 6 will be up soon :)
Six months later…
Four firm voices shouted into the silence of the night. A huge lion, an enthusiastically active badger, a majestic raven and a sly snake erupted out of the wands of four different people, enlightening the surrounding for a while before disappearing into silver mist. This mist circled the foursome and then faded into the darkness.
“Bravo!” Godric Gryffindor shouted, punching his fist in the air happily.
Rowena Ravenclaw laughed. “We finally did it! My raven was perfect. A corporeal patronus.” She put his wand back into her robes, deciding that she would perform this charm every night. It made her really happy and light headed.
“Corporeal is a nice word to describe it,” said Salazar Slytherin, his mouth curved upwards into a wide grin. He looked very impressed.
“Remember how surprised we were when, for the first time, Godric produced his lion?” Helga Hufflepuff reminded them and they all smiled at the fond memory. The four friends had always expected that a badger, like Helga’s, would come out of their wands whenever they performed the Patronus charm. It had been a real shock for them when Godric had produced a misshapen lion after two months of practice.
Salazar chuckled. “I most definitely do. I especially remember Godric’s face,” he teased his friend and Godric poked Salazar with his wand.
“What about your face when this long rope like thing slithered out of your wand?” Rowena asked in amusement and everyone burst out laughing.
It seemed like yesterday when they sat practicing the Patronus Charm and many other spells and hexes that Rowena taught them from her ancient books. But in reality, six months had passed since that time. The four friends could say that they had learnt a lot in these six months. The school was almost ready as well. Going through with Godric’s plan, they had divided their work of the school. Each of them had chosen a place that they liked and built the common rooms for their houses there. Godric had chosen the site on the seventh floor, exactly opposite of the West Tower, which had been claimed by Rowena.
Helga had decided to be near the kitchens. Since she was a good cook and spent a lot of her free time trying out new dishes, she had found it convenient to build the common room near the kitchens. Salazar, on the other hand, had surprised them all by choosing the dungeons as his abode. He had cleared the cells and any other thing that reminded him that the place was initially used to cage prisoners. The common room was smartly hidden behind a stone slab and, just a Salazar wanted, you could see the lake from the windows. Although the surroundings were dark and dull, the atmosphere in the dungeons was always cool and the view from the common room was just beautiful.
Next came the dormitories. It was Rowena’s firm decision that boys and girls would have separate sleeping quarters in their common room and thus, two dormitories were created in each common room. It had taken them two months to furnish their common rooms, but it was worth the hard work. The final result was better than what they had first come up with. No multiple colors and ugly combinations flashed in any of the rooms. The Gryffindor common room, as Godric called it now due to lack of any other name, was scarlet and gold in color. Hufflepuff common room was dull yellow and black, Ravenclaw common room was blue and bronze and Slytherin common room was silver and green, like the lake outside.
“I like the place, Salazar,” Helga had said when they had gone on a tour to see each other’s work.
“Thank you but it is not much better than the Ravenclaw common room,” Salazar said with a smile and Rowena blushed, waving aside his praise with her hand.
“Ravenclaw common room, huh?” grinned Godric. “So, you lot stuck with your last names as well?”
“I actually happen to like my last name and have no problem naming my house Hufflepuff,” Helga spoke up rather confidently. “I guess we should all just stick with our last names. They sound pretty rich.”
“Hmmm, I agree,” nodded Rowena after a moment. “What do we have to loose? Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw sound great! Why didn’t we just think of our names before?”
Godric laughed out loud. “That’s settled, then. I knew my idea would work. What do you say, Salazar?”
“I think it is a brilliant idea. However, I would like to tell you that my name reminds people of evil snakes,” said Salazar, trying to maintain a straight face.
Rowena stepped up and held Salazar’s arm. “No problem, Salazar. I think we can live with that. Right, Godric, Helga?” she simpered and they all laughed at Rowena’s comeback to Salazar’s little joke.
And thus, it was settled that the four houses would be named Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Now all that was left was naming the school. Pretty much everything other than that was done. Rowena had worked a little trick of hers by charming the stairs of the school to move around constantly. Helga had taken the responsibility of organizing the kitchen and the staff room for the four of them which they had recently created. She worked in parallel with Godric, who was given the job of decorating the Great Hall. The four friends had decided that this hall would be used for eating purposes only. Godric had conjured two long tables for the students and another wooden table perpendicular to the other two, for themselves.
Since the Great Hall was exactly above the kitchen, it was easy for Helga and Godric to come up with the idea about how to transport food to the Great Hall from the kitchen. They created three tables in the kitchen exactly below the ones in the Great Hall. Helga had said that they could charm the food to appear in their plates when anyone of them whispered a magic word. They couldn’t come up with any other way to transport food; they would need servants for that, so they stuck with Helga’s idea.
Meanwhile, Salazar had taken to creating secret passage ways – behind the tapestries and walls and secret rooms, some of which only appeared when you needed them to, while a few others required a secret word to gain access. The four of them had come up with this idea to make their school fun and adventurous for their students. They wanted them to study magic and enjoy as well.
The day the school was ready, Godric, Helga, Rowena and Salazar stood outside, staring at the huge castle which was their school. Their school. It felt good to see that their dream was finally coming true. They had climbed the first step towards their goal and nothing could make them happier than watching their dream unfold in front of their eyes.
Sighing deeply, Rowena looked at the school, her eyes roving over the many turrets and towers and windows. She smiled. “The school is ready,” she announced, stating the obvious.
Helga beamed; a fond expression graced her soft features. “It looks beautiful, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does,” murmured Godric, briefly looking over at Helga before turning back to admire their school.
“Now, all we have to do is name our school,” said Salazar, running his fingers through his dark hair. “Oh, this is such a hassle! Why can we not call it ‘School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’? I have liked this name from the beginning.”
Godric nodded and thumped Salazar on the shoulder. “Relax, mate. I suppose our intelligence is working on it,” he said, glancing pointedly at Rowena, who scowled at Godric’s taunt.
“What? I never said I disliked that name,” she protested. “It just sounds incomplete. Do you not think we can do with something better?”
“Maybe, but for now, I agree with Salazar,” Helga said with a yawn. Salazar cast Rowena a triumphant look and she made a face at him before accepting defeat. “That’s good then. I cannot take anymore drama. I am off to bed,” Helga yawned again and started to walk back to her cottage, muttering something about how she would finally have a good night’s sleep.
“Helga, wait!” called Rowena and Helga turned around with a questioning glance. “We all have our different common rooms now. Why don’t you and Godric stay here from now on?” she asked hopefully.
Godric seemed to consider Rowena’s idea and after a moment, nodded his agreement, having no problem with the move, but Helga just stood there without giving any indication that she had heard Rowena. “Helga? Did you hear me?” Rowena asked again and Helga blinked and nodded.
“Um, I…I don’t think I can ever sleep anywhere else except my cottage,” she muttered, looking down. Godric instantly took a step towards her. “No, its fine if you would like to move here, Godric,” she said looking up at him. “I am really sorry, Rowena. I just can’t.” Helga turned around and hurried away.
Godric, Rowena and Salazar exchanged glances. “I think she is still not over her father’s death,” Salazar said, staring at Helga’s running figure at it slowly faded into the evening fog.
“I do not think that’s the reason,” stated Rowena, pursing her lips. “She probably does not want to leave her house because it contains many memories of her father. It must be a comfort, feeling that she is near her dead father when she goes to sleep every night.” Rowena sighed and looked at Godric. “Are you leaving as well?” she asked, already knowing his answer.
“Yes. But do not worry. I will try to talk to her,” Godric assured them. “I will see you in the morning, then. Have a good night.” He looked up and gave a little whistle. There was a loud hoot and Artemis flew down from the castle, landing perfectly on Godric’s shoulders. “Say bye to Rowena and Salazar,” Godric commanded the little owl and Artemis hooted. “Good girl.” Rowena and Salazar chuckled as Godric grinned at them and then followed Helga’s footsteps home.
He found Helga sitting in her father’s room, staring blankly at the wall. She looked at him when he entered. “Goodnight, Godric,” she said. Godric felt that she did not want to talk to him. But he tried.
“Helga, I –”
“I do not want to talk about it, Godric,” she said, looking away from him. “I cannot leave this house. You can go if you want to.”
“But you have to leave this place sometime,” insisted Godric, walking in and kneeling down on the floor opposite her. He looked up into her face. “We have a school to look after. Once we have children living there, you will have to stay there as well. We cannot have one of the founders living separately. Do you not think it will be highly inconvenient?” he questioned her calmly, wanting her to understand.
“I…do not question me, Godric. I will think about it tomorrow,” she said, turning away. When Godric did not move from his place, she said firmly, “Goodnight.”
The School Is Ready & The Quest Begins
The next morning dawned dull and gloomy on the village of Hogsmeade and Godric Gryffindor wished he could stay in bed the entire day. He hadn’t been able to sleep properly that night and was, thus, feeling very sleepy, until Helga came in and demanded stiffly that he better get up. Godric closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.
“Stop being lazy and get up, Godric,” Helga said, poking him on his chest. “I know you are awake.”
“You do?” Godric opened one eye and looked up at her teasingly. She scowled at him. “What has happened to you? Why are so disgruntled?” he asked exasperatedly as he sat. Helga didn’t answer him and went about straightening things in this room and pulling open the curtains. It was still a little dark outside. Perhaps it was going to rain. “Helga?” he asked again and she jumped.
“Aren’t you happy that the school is ready?” Godric asked, puzzled. What had gotten into her? She had been totally alright till yesterday.
“Of course, I am!” exclaimed Helga, turning around to look at him as he sat up on his bed. “What kind of a question is that? I am very happy.” When Godric narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something again, she cut him off. “Don’t ask. It has got nothing to do with sleeping in the castle,” she told him and he frowned deeply.
“Then what is it?” he couldn’t help but ask.
She didn’t reply.
“…making me mad. Alright, how about ‘Imperial Wizarding School’?” Rowena asked ticking off names from her list. They had been at it all morning, trying to find a suitable name for their school. Rowena had gone nearly mad making up royal names for the school.
“Rowena, stop,” insisted Godric, finally. “We do not just need royal names. Why cannot we have something unique but simple?” he asked, looking around at Salazar and Helga, both of whom nodded their agreement.
“I agree,” said Salazar, turning to Rowena. “Let’s go with something simple. It will not make any difference.”
Rowena looked at them all. It was difficult thinking of anything other than royal names for the school, being royalty herself. She sighed and eventually receded. “But I cannot think of any simple names for our school,” she protested weakly. This was giving her a headache. She hadn’t realized naming a school would be such hard work. She encouraged Helga to speak up; the blonde girl had been unusually quiet since she had arrived.
Helga thought for a while, she was fairing no well than the others in this name business. But a moment later, she remembered something and her face perked up. Her friends looked at her eagerly, waiting for her to speak. “How about Hoggy Warty?” she asked and although her expression was amused, she was very serious.
Godric laughed and Rowena stared at Helga incredulously. “Hoggy Warty?” she repeated as if Helga had gone mad. “You want to name our school Hoggy Warty?!”
“Well…” began Helga.
“What is wrong with Hoggy Warty?” grinned Godric and Salazar chuckled. He didn’t like the name either but no harm in pretending he liked it. Besides, it was very funny and both men exchanged amused glances.
Rowena rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I am not amused,” she stated in a huff. “How did you come up with a name like this, Helga?” she then asked, turning to look at her best friend. Helga smiled.
“When I was little, I had this huge wart on my chin and it made me look really ugly,” she said. “Father tried many spells to get rid of it until finally he succeeded. But till that time, he used to tease me by calling me hoggy warty. I had a real appetite, then,” laughed Helga, remembering the fond memories with her father. “So, I guess the name suited me.”
Rowena softened a little but still shook her head. “It sounds like a childish name,” she said honestly and Godric nodded as well. Helga shrugged. It was worth a shot. Besides, her friends were right. She, herself, thought it was a weird name.
“Why don’t we just forget about the name for now?” Salazar intervened calmly, running his fingers through his long dark hair. “We will concentrate on what has to be done next. I am sure name of the school will come to us at the least expected moment.”
Helga nodded, Godric looked impressed and Rowena seemed reluctant. She wanted everything perfect but they could not help it right now. They were stuck. So, all four friends came to an agreement. They would not discuss the name from now on. If nothing, they would just call it “The Magical School” or like Salazar suggested, “School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
They looked at each other and nodded. Helga let out a heavy sigh. “I guess it is time to leave, then,” she said, her eyes lowered to her lap. Godric flinched visibly. All four of them didn’t need to ask Helga what she was talking about. They already knew. Since the past few weeks, they had been thinking about none other than the prospect of leaving each other and Hogsmeade in search of students. They had known from the beginning that once the school was ready, they would have to leave each other and travel far and wide to gather students for their school. They just hadn’t brought this subject up until now.
The friends looked at each other sadly. Rowena bit her lip. She didn’t know how she would be able to live without Salazar, Helga and Godric. Also, she had never ventured out alone into the bad, cruel world. She had a lot of knowledge of the outer world but she still was not prepared to face the challenge of venturing out alone. Who knew what lay ahead of them?
“When do we leave?” asked Godric, breaking the tensed silence. He was looking hard at Helga. He thought he understood the reason for her stiff behaviour this morning. Worry lines creased his forehead when Helga refused to look at him. He knew she was not happy but nor was he. He would miss her and Rowena and Salazar.
Salazar looked up at Godric’s question and frowned. “A week later?” he suggested, wanting to delay the departure date by a month but he knew it would never happen. Salazar was not afraid of going alone in search for students. The reason he was reluctant was because he had become so accustomed to his life here with his three best friends that it felt strange to say goodbye and leave.
“No,” stated Rowena, shaking her head slowly. “I really wish could do that, Salazar. But we have to leave as soon as possible. It will probably take us more than six to seven months to complete our quest. That’s too long. We cannot waste out time anymore!” She paused and looked down at her lap mournfully. “I will assign someone to take care of this castle while we are gone. We should leave the day after tomorrow.”
Everyone looked at her, shocked. Helga had tears in her eyes and seeing her, Rowena felt very guilty. She leaned forward and hugged Helga tightly, tears pouring from her own eyes. “Please, do not cry, Helga,” she whispered. “Time flies, trust me. We will be back before we know it.”
Helga sniffed and nodded, pulling away from Rowena and offering her a weak, watery smile. “I hope so,” she whispered and Godric wanted to embrace her and protect her from the world. He didn’t have the heart of leaving her on her own. But he also knew that Helga was stubborn and definitely not weak. Besides, it would be better if they separated and continued their search.
He turned around and exchanged glances with Salazar. They were both thinking the same thing. There was no other way…
Rowena was right. Time really flew when all four founders wanted it to slow down. The next day passed so quickly that they thought God was deliberately doing this to them. Before they knew, the friends found themselves packing their belongings in small fabric bags. Helga and Rowena had also made lots of sandwiches and orange juice for their journey. It wouldn’t last for more than month but something was better than nothing. They would need something to eat if they did not reach any village soon. Salazar had also invaded the treasury of the castle. Now, the four of them had enough money to last them for a long time.
The time came for them to leave and all four founders of the legendary magical school, stood facing each other on the grounds of their school. Four handsome horses waited patiently beside them.
The air was filled with tension and anxiety and even fear. They didn’t know what to say. They just stood there, staring at each other. Godric tried to memorize every feature and curve of Helga’s face so that, even after a month or two without seeing her, he would be able to remember her just like she was. He never wanted to forget her and Merlin only knew he couldn’t live without seeing her face everyday.
“Well then, I guess it is time to say goodbye,” Salazar said, gathering the courage to say something. It seemed like his lips were stuck together. Rowena sighed and nodded. She turned to Godric and gave him a hug, doing the same with Salazar.
“Take care, both of you. Try not to end up in trouble,” she said, smiling slightly.
Salazar nodded stiffly, while he hugged Helga and rumpled up her hair. “Would you be able to ride the horse?” he asked her, remembering her fear of riding horses. Helga bit her lip but nodded firmly.
“Yes, I can,” she said. Her eyes were teary again and they could almost make out the tremble in her voice. She came forward to Godric and looked up at him, wishing he would ask her not to leave him. But he did no such thing. Instead, he leaned forward and captured her in a bone crushing hug. That was the final straw. She couldn’t take it anymore. Tears streamed down her face and onto Godric’s shoulder and she began sobbing. “Please, do not leave me. I want to go with you,” she sobbed, her voice muffled against Godric’s shoulder.
Godric looked over her head at Rowena and Salazar. Both looked sympathetic. Rowena was sniffing hard and had a handkerchief pressed to her mouth in fear of bursting into tears. She looked down when something brushed past her and saw Helga's white cat. The creature was probably confused why her mistress was so sad.
“Helga,” Godric muttered weakly. When she still refused to leave him, he turned helpless eyes to Rowena, who just shook her head, telling him to handle this himself. “You have to be strong, Helga. We all do not leave each other but we have to do this. It is our duty to save those poor wizarding folk who are in danger of being hunted by muggles…” Helga sniffed loudly and pulled apart. Her eyes were red and swollen. She wasn’t crying anymore but every now and then a tear dripped down her face. Godric knew that it had got her attention. “But if you still want to come with me, I will not mind…”
“No,” she said softly. “I will go. I know it is better if we all divide and work.” She looked really small and vulnerable to Godric at that moment, but her face, unlike before, was firm now and Godric smiled gently at her. “I just hope we could write to each other.”
Godric’s eyes lit up. A bulb had switched on his head when Helga mentioned that. “Artemis!” he exclaimed, excitedly. He whistled loudly and his enthusiastic little owl zoomed towards him from where she sat perched on the horse’s back. “I have Artemis with me. Remember, she can deliver letters?” he asked, stroking Artemis lovingly. “Can you not?” She nibbled his ear in agreement.
Rowena looked doubtful. “We have no idea if she can deliver long distance letters,” she pointed out.
“Worth a shot,” shrugged Salazar and Helga was already nodding her head vigorously. Anything to stay in touch with her friends.
“Write to us daily,” she ordered Godric, who nodded sincerely. “Right, now we all know where we are going and what we have to do. Good luck!” They tried to smile bravely at each other but all it came out as a grimace. Helga picked up her cat and set it atop her horse.The four friends mounted their horses and bade each other farewell. Salazar and Rowena disappeared into the forest; they would take different directions from then on, while Godric and Helga rode together out of the village and then parted ways.
They didn’t know what lay ahead of them nor did they know what would happen during those months until they met again. But they certainly knew that they would be friends forever. How wrong they were. Little did they know that the moment they departed on their quest, nature had turned the kaleidoscope of their lives in a bittersweet turn… leading them to ultimate disaster.
A/N. Dear readers, I am truly sorry for such a late update but hope you enjoy this chapter and review :)
“Helga? Are you there?”
Helga Hufflepuff looked over her shoulder and shouted out, “Yes, I am. Come in, Karen.”
A skinny woman with a bald head entered the room. There was a worried frown on her face. “You did not come down for breakfast, Helga. What seems to be the matter?” she asked. Helga, who was staring out of the window, shrugged her shoulders without turning around.
“Oh, come now, dear. What is bothering you?” Karen asked again.
Helga sighed and turned to face her friend. “Two months have gone by and Godric still hasn’t written to me,” she replied sadly.
Time had passed pretty slowly for Helga. After riding for a week or so, she had finally reached a strange little village where half-crazy people lived. A day or two in there and Helga deduced that there were no wizards there. Gathering her belongings, she took off again. After a four day journey, she reached this village where she met a bald woman named Karen. They bonded very quickly and Karen insisted that Helga stay in her house.
Helga wouldn’t have found out that Karen’s family was magical if not for her curiosity, because they hid the magic from her very well. One day, when both friends were chatting in the meadows, Helga asked Karen, “Have you always been bald?”
Karen had shook her head and replied, “No, I had beautiful brown hair that reached my knees.”
Helga’s eyes widened. “Then, why did you…I mean, what happened?” she asked, curiously. Karen was silent for a whole five minutes and Helga was pretty sure she would never know what happened to her hair but, suddenly, Karen sighed and spoke. It seemed she had a hard time to speaking because her voice was constricted.
“They burned off my hair.”
Helga stared at her, shocked. “Who? And why?”
“You are a nice girl, Helga, but you mustn’t freak out when I tell you what I am going to say next,” warned Karen, and Helga nodded vigorously. “You see, I am a…a…”
“A what?” Helga blurted out, unable to take the suspense any longer.
“I am a witch.”
“I can do magic!”
One look at Karen’s dark expression and Helga went into peels of laughter. “Do you mean that?” she asked, calming down just a little. “Are you really a witch?”
“Oh, yes. I have a wand, too. I don’t have it me, though,” explained Karen, looking oddly at Helga. She didn’t seem in the least bit scared of Karen knowing that she was a witch.
“Really? Does it look a lot like this?” Helga giggled, pulling her own wand from her robes.
Looking back, Helga decided that it had been the funniest moment of her life. Karen’s expression had been priceless. That day, they told each other everything. Karen told Helga how the non-magic people had tried to kill her because they thought she was an evil witch and Helga, in turn, told her about the school and how she and her three friends, Godric, Rowena and Salazar, had build it for witches and wizards.
“Really? A school for people like us? That is the nicest thing anybody has done, Helga!” exclaimed Karen. She showed great interest in the school and Helga found herself opening up to this strange woman.
Karen had a ten-year-old son and Helga promised to teach him everything at her school. “I will take him with me,” she told Karen. “Once I have convinced the other children of this village who can do magic, I will send them away to our school.”
“How will you do that?”
Helga held up a metal box which was filled with oddities. “These are of no use to me. I’ll bewitch them to transport the children directly to the school,” she stated, smiling at Karen’s awed expression. It was clear that she, and probably many others in this village, knew very little about advanced magic.
“Who will be there to take care of the children, Helga?” asked Karen and Helga told her that Rowena had assigned a trust-worthy villager to look after the castle in their absence.
“He is a cute little podgy fellow. Rowena said people call him Fat Friar. He is very religious.”
And on and on their conversation would flow. Karen was a great help in Helga’s mission. She knew almost every single person living in this village and told Helga who was magical and who was ‘muggle’ (Karen found the word muggle very funny but decided they needed some name for the non-magic folk.) “You should select her,” Karen would whisper to Helga, pointing at some girl playing in the street. “Her mother is a witch and the girl is very clever.” … “Oh, and don’t forget ol’ Cappurt. He is a smart fellow and knows how to clean dishes with a mere wave of his hand.” … “We, witches and wizards, have to be very careful to hide our magic or those bad people will burn us or throw us into the river!”
In this way, hours turned to days and days turned into weeks, but there was still no word from Godric. It bothered Helga that Godric had not kept his promise of writing daily. She reasoned with herself that Artemis probably could not deliver long distance letters and that was why Godric had not written or perhaps Godric was just busy but in the end, she knew that she wanted confirmation that she had not lost her friends…that they still remembered her.
Helga looked back at the sky, squinting for a dot of white in the distance. Nothing. Turning to Karen, she said, “I worry about them. I wonder how Rowena, Salazar and Godric are and what they are doing…”
The wind was crisp and the evening sky was clear as two boys stepped out of their tiny little hut, which stood at the edge of the village, and brandished their swords at each other. “Any last wish?” one of them asked with an evil smile.
The other boy snorted and replied, “I will cut you to ribbon!”
And then the sword fighting began. They lashed at each other but also managed quite nicely to block out of the blows from their opponent. A single pair of eyes watched them from the door at they fought. Suddenly, one of the boys tried to do a trick with his sword and it resulted in him loosing his balance. He fell backwards and looked up at his triumphant opponent, who was laughing his head off.
“What are you laughing at, you codger?” he cried in a huff, extending his hand. “Now help me up!”
Godric Gryffindor shook his head from his place by the door and walked up to the two boys. “This is wrong. Look what that trick caused you, Samuel,” he scolded. “When you are fighting, there is no time to show off. You are against an enemy and some silly trick can…”
“Cost me my life, I know, Godric,” yawned the boy called Samuel. His friend chuckled and Godric scowled. These boys! Everything was fun for them. They did not know what it was like to fight…to be in danger.
“Very well, be careful from next time. I am not going to tolerate any more funny tricks. Sword fighting is…”
“An art of the brave and noble, I know, Godric,” repeated Samuel, rolling his eyes.
“Fine, fine,” muttered Godric. “Go back and pack. Tell everybody else to do the same. You all will be leaving early tomorrow.”
Both boys nodded obediently and left, whispering excitedly to each other as they hurried away. Godric let a small smile creep onto his face as he himself made his way towards his own house. He was back in Green Taft village…back from where his journey had started. His aunt and cousin had been very happy to see him after such a long time. They were proud to hear about Godric’s accomplishments.
Green Taft was ruled by magical folk, meaning that muggles were a minority there. So, there had been no problem for Godric to gather up little witches and wizards easily. Besides, people knew him and trusted him. The people of the first two villages that Godric had visited had been more difficult to convince. Till now, Godric had sent twelve students to the school. Tomorrow, twenty more would be on their way.
Knocking once or twice, Godric opened the door to his cottage and went straight into his Aunt Rose’ room. Cynthia was probably cooking in the kitchen. Aunt Rose was knitting and she looked up and smiled at her nephew. “You are back early. How did the lesson go?” she asked him.
Godric grinned. “Those two are nuts but they are good with swords,” he told her. Absentmindedly, Godric pulled at a thread on his cloak and said slowly, “I am leaving tomorrow, Aunt Rose.”
She looked up at him, sad to see him leaving so soon. But she did not utter a word and waited for Godric to finish.
“Why don’t you and Cynthia come with me?”
Aunt Rose smiled sadly. “I am afraid we cannot do that, dear,” she said. “I would not be able to bear to leave this house. This has been my haven for years.”
Godric sighed. If Aunt Rose refused, then Cynthia did not have a chance to come with him as well. She wouldn’t want to leave her mother alone and travel far away with him. “I understand,” he said and got up to leave the room.
“Godric,” called Aunt Rose and he stopped in his tracks. “Did you write to your friends?”
“Oh, yes!” replied Godric. “I sent a letter to Helga three weeks ago but Artemis has not returned yet. I hope she did not get lost. Helga tends to worry a lot.”
Aunt Rose nodded and went back to her knitting. Godric glanced at her one last time before making his way to his own room. It had been like hell, these past four months. Searching and convincing possible witches and wizards that there was a school especially built for them and that they would be taught magic from the basics. Initially, people thought he must be joking but they learned to believe him eventually.
Between all this, Godric hadn’t had time to write to anyone. But when he arrived at Green Taft and told his aunt and cousin all about his friends and how they had built a school together, they asked him to write to Helga, Rowena and Salazar immediately. Godric decided that Helga was the priority and two days after reaching his native village, he sent Artemis on her first ever long distance delivery.
I wonder where the other three are, right now, Godric thought to himself as he slowly drifted off to sleep, dreaming off unknown lands and faceless people…
A/N. This chapter is dedicated to one of my greatest friends and the most faithful reviewer of this story, Priscilla (Potterholic). Your reviews always make me smile and encourage me to write more. Thank you so much for being there *huggle squish glomp*
I am sorry it took so long to write to you. I think Artemis got lost while delivering Godric’s letter to me. I immediately scribbled a letter back to you. Now, it is your job to write to Salazar.
So, how are you, Ro? I really miss talking to you three. I found a dear friend in the previous village I stayed in. Right now, I am somewhere in the far west, I guess. I am not sure… but people here are so vile. Not only do they not believe in magic, they actually kill innocent witches and wizards. It has gotten difficult to locate and rescue them.
They are beginning to suspect I am a witch as well. I am scared. Godric said in his letter that he journeyed to his native village. He sent thirty something students already. But that was a month ago. I do not know where he is now.
Please ask the others to relate what you wrote in your letter to Salazar. I want to know everything.
Sighing to herself, Rowena folded Helga’s letter and neatly placed it under her pillow. She would remember to take it with her wherever she went next. Artemis hooted and perched herself onto Rowena’s head. “Yes, you can rest for a day, sweet,” said Rowena, chuckling. “Tomorrow, you are going to fly to Salazar.” The owl hooted softly and Rowena knew it understood.
She had been surprised when Artemis had flown in with Helga’s letter attached to her legs. I should not have been skeptical, she thought to herself while pulling out a parchment and a quill from her bag and beginning to write on it. Salazar would be worried if he did not get a reply soon. It had taken five months for Rowena to get a letter. Who knew how much time Artemis would take to deliver again?
How are you? I hope Artemis doesn’t have too much trouble finding you. All four of us are so far apart, perhaps, she gets confused. Godric is fine, says he has sent more than thirty students to the school. I am running a close second. But it seems Helga is not having much luck. Poor girl is going through a rough time. What about you? How many did you manage to convince?
Salazar, Helga requests that you relate whatever I said in my letter to Godric and ask him to do the same. I truly hope that this hell-ish journey is over soon but I am sure the fruit will be sweet once we are back. I cannot to wait to start teaching.
Take care. Hope to see you soon.
The next day, Rowena summoned Artemis and tied her letter around her legs. “There you go,” she smiled, stroking the tiny owl’s feathers. “Find Salazar and give this to him, will you?” Artemis hooted and pecked Rowena gently before zooming out of the window. Rowena stared as the do grew smaller and smaller in the sky and then turned around, glancing at her tiny broken down shack.
Spending a week in here had been hard. Up till now, she had no idea what it was like to be poor and wondered how Helga had lived in that tiny little hut of hers for all her life. It was Rowena’s last day here and she did not want anyone to ever find out that someone had lived here. This shack had been deserted when Rowena had found it and it seemed like nobody had lived here for quite some time. Situated right outside the main village, it was just the suitable place for her stay.
“I should prepare the children for tonight,” she muttered to herself as she set about cleaning the place. They would have to pack their things and be ready. Rowena had also managed to persuade a few families to come and live in Hogsmeade. They had heard about the place, of course, but never been there, and were quite excited to move.
Rowena thought of Godric, Helga and Salazar. Oh, how I wish they were here with me, now.
The clear sky and the wonderful atmosphere did not give any hint as to what was going to happen in a few minutes time. As the sound of the drums grew louder and louder, a crowd of people had began to gather in the clearing by the lake. Their whispers hushed into silence as two strong-looking men marched into sight carrying a young man between them. They were followed by a tall man with fleecy white hair who walked with a cane. He was the Village Head.
“People,” he boomed, coming to a halt in front of the crowd. “This is the moment we have all been waiting for. This man,” he pointed to the tired young man being dragged behind him, “as we all know, has been practicing evil magic right under our noses for many years. We have let him get too far. A little girl almost died because of his evil tricks. Therefore, it is time we get rid of him for good!”
There was a smattering of applause but a few people could be seen silently crying. They wanted nothing but to stop the young man from dying. They knew he was innocent, unlike these cruel people who were applauding his looming death. Amongst them, stood a tall dark haired man, his gaze fixed intently ahead of him.
“Zerus, would you do the honors?” the Head of the Village asked one of his men standing behind him. Zerus nodded and threw his victim roughly onto the ground, as he pulled out his huge silver sword.
He was about to strike. The crowd drew backwards; as if afraid they would be splattered by the dirty blood of the young man. At that moment, the tall dark haired man shouted, “Stop!” Everybody turned to look at him in shock. Determinedly, he walked forward and people made way for him. Whether it was out of respect or because he intimidated them, Salazar Slytherin did not know.
He stood face to face with the Mr. Grimalkin, the Village Head. “Do not kill him, he is innocent,” Salazar said calmly and when Mr. Grimalkin snorted, he went on, “That little girl you were talking about is a witch. She cannot control her magic. Do not punish this man for something he has not done.”
“A witch?” sputtered Mr. Grimalkin in anger. “How…how do you know? How many actually are there in our village?”
“That is none of your concern,” replied Salazar coolly.
“Very well.” Mr. Grimalkin’s tone was icy as he told Zerus to proceed with the beheading, all the while glaring at Salazar, who was already prepared for this moment.
The moment Zerus raised his sword, Salazar pulled out his wand and shouted, “Stupefy,” and “Wingardium Leviosa” one after the other. The huge man fell to the ground, stunned, and his sword neatly flew to the lake and plopped in.
People cried out in fear and Mr. Grimalkin’s roar of anger almost went unheard amongst their cries. “YOU!” he shouted, pointing an accusing finger at Salazar. He was busy picking up the young man, who was so happy to live that he had lost consciousness. “You are one of them…and all this time…”
“Yes. I am also taking the others with me. They shall not live here anymore.” Salazar daringly looked at him in the eyes, once more, and then, gripping tightly onto the young man, turned on the spot, disapparating out of the clearing.