Chapter 6 : Nature
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There was a mass of thoughts running through the young Godric’s mind as he left Lord Hufflepuff’s office. Many things now made perfect sense. This explained why Helga had looked so tired since the King’s arrival and why some things around the castle behaved the way they did. Like that door on the fourth floor that was there sometimes and absent at others.
He had heard stories of witches and wizards but he never thought he would actually see one. He continued walking oblivious to those around him and where he was going until he found himself outside at the big oak at which he and Helga usually met after they had snuck out.
As he approached it he noticed a pair of legs sticking out past the tree. Sitting around the other side of the tree, reading a rather large book, was Rowena.
She looked radiant with the bright morning sun glinting off her shiny hair as the gentle breeze made it dance about her face. Godric grinned as managed to continue reading despite the many distractions that would have had him chasing them around.
“Hello,” he said startling her out of her single-minded focus on the text in front of her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“That is alright, I will go if this is your spot.”
“No, please don’t go. It would be nice to have someone to talk to.” Godric pleaded.
“Sure I’ll stay. What is your name?”
“I’m Godric. Godric Gryffindor. I live in the castle, Lord Hufflepuff is training me as his apprentice.”
“Really? That sounds like it would be great. I am usually forced to stay inside and study all day.”
“Well it is good but there is a lot of study I have to do too. But I do get to do a lot of interesting things to. Hey do you want to see something?”
“Definitely. My name is Rowena by the way.”
“Oh I know who you are,” Godric blurted.
“Excuse me?” inquired Rowena looking confused.
“Well I ah, saw you arrive the other day.” Mumbled Godric.
“Ah yes I remember you now. You’re Helga’s friend. Where is she?”
“Helga had to go to her tutoring. She should be out again soon. She will probably find us. Come on.”
Godric lead Rowena around the castle toward the large meadow where the workers lived. However just as Rowena thought they were going to the workers hut Godric quickly looked around and led her over toward the forest that skirted the meadow. As they reached the forest he stopped abruptly and turned to Rowena.
“You can’t tell anyone about what I am going to show you. You must promise that before we go any further.” Godric stipulated.
“Of course. Are we going in there?” she inquired pointing toward the forest.
“Yes. It’s not far in though. And nothing in there will harm us. Now follow me closely. I don’t want you to get lost.”
With that he slowly pushed past the first ring of trees and moved into the forest.
They walked straight into the forest for several minutes before stopping.
“Wait here a moment.” Godric instructed. “I just need to make sure we are in the right spot.”
Rowena stopped next to the biggest tree they had seen since entering the forest and watched as Godric disappeared from sight. Suddenly she heard strange footsteps. It sounded like an animal approaching. Rowena began to get very scared and started to wonder where Godric was. The noise came closer and closer until she could swear they were on the other side of the tree.
Suddenly she felt something on her arm and she screamed as she turned to see her attacker.
“It’s ok Rowena, it’s just me.” Said Godric, once again looking very distressed at having scared her. “Here give me your hand and close your eyes.”
She slowly stood up and took his hand. Then very reluctantly closed her eyes. This time however she wasn’t scared at all. It was like Godric was calming her down by just holding her hand. He gently led her through some more trees until he stopped and she felt him lifting her hand. She felt what felt like a horses pelt underneath her fingers and it felt like it was warming her up as he told her to open her eyes. She gasped at what she saw. Standing in front of her was a family of unicorns.
“Oh my lord.” She breathed. “Are they what I think they are Godric?”
He smiled broadly at her before nodding and asking “Do you like them?”
“Oh yes.” She replied instantly, “but are they safe,” she asked, again feeling slightly afraid again as Godric let go and walked towards the smallest golden one.
“Of course they are, especially towards girls.” He reassured her, beckoning her towards them.
She slowly allowed her feet to carry her toward the small one Godric was now petting gently. Slowly her hand stretched out and landed gently on the soft glowing fur. The moment her hand touched the unicorn she felt happy and safe, and she could feel a strong energy running through her fingers.
“It’s incredible.” She mouthed.
“They really are fantastic. Helga and I found one out in the meadow when we were about eight. It had been chased from the forest by a wolf. Thankfully we had brought the bow with us and I shot the wolf. The unicorn played with us for a while before leading us back here to its family. Now anytime we want we can come here and see them. You are the first person we have ever told.”
She looked at Godric dumbstruck. He seemed so mature and brave even though he was only a year or two older than her. She felt so comfortable around him, like something about him radiated peace.
Then a large white unicorn walked over towards them.
“This is Galfur.” Said Godric walking over and patting him on the nose. “He is the one that we saved from the wolf. And the one you are patting is called Ulwing. The other two foals over there are Havern and Firclax. And the mother over there is Wrentu.”
“They are all so beautiful.”
“Yes.” Said Godric looking at Rowena. “Everything here is beautiful.”
Rowena blushed at his comment and turned away.
They spent most of the day sitting around in the unicorn’s clearing talking and laughing together. The clearing seemed to have become magical just at the presence of the unicorns. Soon Godric found himself sitting next to Rowena watching her gently snuggle up to Havern.
She looks so beautiful, he thought to himself as he slowly reached out and held her hand. She turned to him and smiled.
“Thank you for bringing me here Godric. It’s lovely.” She giggled as he blushed at her statements.
“Don’t mention it.” He felt himself strangely drawn to her, but he didn’t know why. He had never felt this way before. He liked her just like he liked Helga, but something was different with Rowena.
All of a sudden she turned back towards him and kissed him deeply on the lips. Godric was too stunned to do anything for a moment but he soon began to kiss her back. It was the most incredible thing he had ever felt. Her lips were so soft and warm. Everything else around them seemed to vanish. Nothing mattered but what he was feeling right now.
Suddenly they heard something else approaching and they broke apart. The unicorns didn’t appear to notice anything. Godric stood and moved toward the edge of the clearing. His only desire right now was to protect Rowena from whatever was coming. Then the figure of Helga popped through the trees and he breathed out relieved.
“Here you are!” she exclaimed looking at Godric. She hadn’t noticed Rowena sitting over near Wrentu. “I have been looking everywhere for you.”
“Well we were bored and so we came here to talk to Galfur.” He said as Rowena stood up and walked over behind Helga.
“What do you mean we?” she inquired.
Godric laughed before pointing Rowena out to Helga. Helga nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw Rowena standing behind her.
“Oh my. Hello Rowena.” She said politely. “Godric can I speak to you please.”
She moved over to the edge of the clearing as Rowena went back to patting the unicorns.
“Godric you can’t bring her here. Her father is a muggle!”
“So, we both know that her mother isn’t.”
“Yes but she has shown no signs of being magical either.” Retorted Helga.
“Neither have I yet your father believes that I am.”
“That is different. Look at your parents, they were two of the greatest magical beings in history.”
“Well I don’t care. I like her and I wanted to show her. She promised that she wouldn’t tell.” He stated crossing his arms and just staring at Helga until she gave in.
“Oh Godric. You are too trusting. I suppose that there is nothing we can do now anyway. But it’s on your head.” Helga grumbled knowing that when he got like this you could never change his mind.
Godric smiled and walked back over to Rowena.
Helga walked over and sat with them. She didn’t seem to notice Rowena holding Godric’s hand.
“So Rowena what do you think?” Helga asked.
“They are wonderful. Are there more unicorns in your forest?” she exclaimed excitedly.
“What do you mean my forest? My father may have a deed that claims ownership, but he gave the forest to the animals. I don’t think he realises that there were unicorns in here though.”
Godric just laughed at this. “There are more than unicorns here though. The other day I was in here with your dad and we came across a pack of centaurs. And I was sure I saw a dragon fly overhead.”
The two girls seemed shocked at the thought that there might be dragons in the forest.
“I think we should head back to the castle.” Said Rowena looking a bit scared.
“It’s ok,” said Godric gripping her hand tighter. “We are perfectly safe here.”
As he gripped her hand Rowena again felt the fear leave her as though Godric had pushed it from her.
“That may be true Godric but it is very late. Father will be worried if we stay out too much longer.” Helga pointed out.
“Alright we will go,” he mumbled dejectedly, “Bye guys.” He said to the unicorns.
Then they all started walking back through the trees towards the meadow. Galfur walked alongside them until they reached the edge of the forest then he turned back and galloped off.
Only once they were walking across the meadow did Helga notice that Godric and Rowena were holding hands.
“What is going on there hey Godric?” she whispered in his ear.
“I will tell you later.” He whispered back as Rowena smiled at him.
As they arrived back at the castle they noticed a large black carriage out the front. As they neared the front doors they could here raised voices coming from a nearby room. They snuck over to the door and listened.
“How dare you insult me like that Max. I was as devastated at his death as you were, but I couldn’t just ignore the fact that our region now had no Lord.”
Exclaimed a strange voice.
“Don’t lie to me Thomas. We both know that you were responsible for their deaths. It was the only way you could escape your brother’s shadow!” replied Helga’s dad.
“His shadow?! I am and always have been twice the wizard Xavier ever was.”
“Yes that is why you sent your children to do your dirty work for you. You knew that in a fight one on one Xavier would have killed you in moments!” retorted Max.
“I shall not stand here and be insulted by you anymore. I am leaving and don’t think I shall ever be returning.”
They heard footsteps approaching the door and they hid to avoid being seen as the door was flung open.
“You have made a great mistake this day Max.” declared Thomas.
He was very tall with long black robes and thick dark hair. As he turned and stormed out, they could see his dark hollow eyes. Godric felt a great swell of hate towards this man but he didn’t know why. Thomas marched through the front doors, climbed into the carriage and left.
“Good riddance.” Said Max as he left the room. He stopped halfway across the hall and turned. As he walked back towards the room he had just come from he saw the three figures hiding behind a large column. “Oh dear. I think you should all come in here.” He indicated the open door.
They slowly shuffled into the room and Max closed the door.
“How much did you hear?” He inquired softly.
“We heard him saying that you had insulted him somehow. But Sir, who was that?” replied Godric, inquisitive as ever.
Max sighed before continuing. “That would be your uncle, Thomas Gryffindor. He is the Lord in the neighbouring region.”
“My uncle. But why was he here?”
“He wanted me to join with him in taking another region by force so that he could rule it as well. He has always been obsessed with power. He became Lord after your parents died.”
“He was responsible wasn’t he?” Godric asked calmly.
“Yes.” Rowena and Helga gasped loudly but Godric just sat there as though nothing had happened. Max was worried about how well Godric seemed to be taking all of this.
“Very well. Do you mind if I go now?”
“Actually I would like you to stay for a moment. Girls, can you leave us please. And I mean a little further away than the other side of the door this time.”
“Okay father.” Said Helga as she and Rowena stood up and walked to the door. “We will be in the library Godric.”
Godric nodded to the girls as they closed the door and walked upstairs. Max waited until he was sure they were gone before continuing.
“So Godric you took Rowena to see the unicorns.”
At this news Godric seemed shocked. “How did you know that?”
“I saw you both talking at the oak tree then later I saw you all leave the forest and I saw the unicorn standing next to you.” He stated matter-of-factly.
“Please don’t hurt the unicorns, they are our friends.” Godric blurted. They had feared that if the others found out about the unicorns they would poach them for their magical properties.
“Don’t worry they won’t be harmed. I will promise that. Now I also saw something else.”
Godric swallowed hard at this.
“I do believe that I saw you and Rowena holding hands. You do realise that there is no way that her father will allow you to be together. It is unheard-of, an apprentice marrying a princess.”
“I know that but I can’t help it. I really like her. What can I do?”
“For now do nothing in front of her father. If he finds out he may well be head you. I will see what I can do. And another thing. If my hunch turns out to be right, and you are in fact a wizard he will hate you even more, so I want you to try your best, no matter what is said, to control your emotions around him.
“Okay. You may go. But remember, be careful.”
Max sat and watched as Godric left the room. There was no way that he could use magic to change the king’s mind on this subject. But seeing Godric like this was terrible. “If only she were a witch this would be so much easier.” He said to himself.
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