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Chapter 7 : Triumph
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Godric walked slowly towards the library to meet back up with the girls. His mind was abuzz with thoughts for the second time today. How could he possibly be with Rowena? As he arrived at the library he noticed the girls sitting by the fire chatting excitedly. He decided to creep over slowly. When he reached Helga’s chair he suddenly jumped and yelled surprise. The two girls squealed with fright before both running over and hitting him for doing that.
“That was really mean Godric.” Said Rowena playfully.
“Yeah you are such a bully sometimes.” Chimed Helga.
“Well my most humble apologies ladies,” he said bowing as low as he could before they tackled him to the ground.
The three rolled around on the floor for several minutes before they were interrupted by someone standing over them.
“Miss Rowena, your father would like to see you.” Said the servant, before bowing and backing towards the door.
“Well I guess I will see you both tomorrow. I hope.”
As Rowena left the room Helga got up and walked back over to the chairs in front of the big fireplace.
“So Godric. What happened today?” she inquired now that they were alone.
“What do you mean?” he said, playing dumb.
“You know what I mean. What happened between you two today that has you holding hands?”
“She was happy to see the unicorns.” Said Godric patronisingly.
“Come on Godric. You can tell me. I thought we were friends.”
“Now, now there is no need to resort to those sorts of tactics.”
“Well after I left your dad, I ended up at the oak where she was reading a book. We talked for a bit then we went to see the unicorns. I think that they made me happy enough to show her that I liked her and well…”
“Go on…” Helga pleaded.
“She… kissed me.”
At this he blushed and turned to stare at the fire.
“Really?” asked Helga, slightly taken aback at the news. “That is great.”
“Well I know that she liked you, we were talking about it the other day while you were asleep. Speaking of which why were you in my room the other night?”
She was now looking at Godric very strangely.
“Well I couldn’t sleep. You know how it is sometimes. Remember that time we snuck out at midnight and spent the night on the roof. Your dad went nuts when he found us.”
“Well we were only four years old at the time. I still don’t know how we got up there. One minute we were at the window and then the next we were on the roof.” She giggled at this but soon regained her train of thought. “But you skirted my question. Why couldn’t you sleep?”
He had known that she would ask this. But he wasn’t sure he could talk about it. He wasn’t even sure he could have talked about it that night.
“Come on Godric, tell me.”
“Alright. I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about; Rowena.”
“I knew it. I wasn’t sure at the time because I was a little surprised but I knew that was why. I saw the way you looked at her the day she arrived.”
“You have to promise not to tell anyone ok. If her dad finds out he will forbid me to see her.”
“Of course I won’t tell. But I don’t want you to hold back around her on my account. Is that what my dad wanted to talk to you about?”
“Yeah. And he knows about the unicorns too. But he promised that no-one would harm them.”
Helga merely nodded and stared into the flames. They both just sat there in silence for a long time before they both fell asleep where they sat.
“How could he possibly refuse me? The fool. He doesn’t know what he has just gotten himself into.”
Thomas stormed back and forth in his office in front of his fireplace. He had made many modifications to the castle since he took it over all those years ago. Instead of the red and gold that was decked throughout the place in his brother’s days, now there was black, silver, and green.
“Maybe there is some way that you could force him to agree my Lord.” Said the small child in front of him.
“Well you are the most powerful wizard I have ever met my Lord. Surely Hufflepuff would be no match for you.”
Thomas looked at the child. He had lived here for nearly eight years now. His parents had requested that he be trained here by Thomas in the ways of magic for his own parents were too heavily surrounded by muggles to do it themselves. He had only taken the child in because the Slytherin’s had a history of producing great wizards. They, like the Gryffindors, were one of the first wizarding families.
“You are learning fast Salazar. However I don’t believe that I could use magic to force him whilst the king is staying at his castle. No we shall need to use more conventional methods to achieve our goals for now. But soon we shall be ready.”
“Yes my Lord.”
With this Salazar left the room leaving Thomas to his pacing.
Godric woke with a start later as someone was standing over him. The fire had died down a lot and he couldn’t see the face of the person in front of him. Then he smelt something and knew exactly who it was. He grabbed Rowena and pulled her down onto the seat with him. Her squeal woke Helga in the other seat.
“Oh hello Rowena.” Yawned Helga drowsily. “What time is it?”
“It is nearly midnight.” She replied. “Have you both been here since I left?”
“Yeah. We just weren’t having as much fun without you.” Joked Godric.
“Oh you are too much sometimes Godric.” Teased Rowena.
“So what did your father want?” inquired Godric as she snuggled into his arms.
“I can’t tell you. You will just have to wait until tomorrow.” She smirked.
“Oh come on Rowey. Please…” Godric bated his eyebrows at her causing her to burst out laughing.
“No really I can’t tell you. But I promise you will know by noon tomorrow.”
They all fell silent for a while and just sat there in the warmth of the fire. Godric wrapped his arms around Rowena and pulled her close to him. He sat there basking in the warmth of the beautiful girl now sitting on top of him.
“How big is your library Helga?” asked Rowena suddenly.
“Um. I’m not sure why.”
“It just seems so huge. Father doesn’t believe that books are that important so we only have a very small one at home.”
“Well feel free to roam through our shelves to your hearts delight darling.” Purred Godric.
Rowena merely punched him gently in the chest and they all giggled.
“You know we all really should head to bed.” Chided Helga. “Dad won’t be happy if we spend the entire night here.”
“But I am so comfortable.” begged Godric.
At this they all began laughing again and seemed to decide they would stay here together all night.
When Godric awoke the next morning Rowena was still wrapped his arms, however Helga was nowhere to be seen. He gently roused Rowena. As her eyes slowly flickered open he stared deep into her emerald globes and soon found himself kissing her again. The kiss lasted for quite a while and only ended when Helga cleared her throat behind them.
“Oh good morning Helga.” Said Rowena blushing slightly.
“Good morning. Did you both sleep well?” teased Helga.
“Now, now Helga, be nice.” Joked Godric. “Where were you?”
“Oh I was just looking for a book. My dad was here earlier. He had a message for you but you two seemed so comfortable he didn’t want to wake you. He said that when you are ready he would like you to meet him down at the stables.”
“Why does he want me to meet him at the stables? He said we were doing theory work for the next few weeks.” Said Godric.
“Well I guess he changed his mind. Come on lets head down there.” Encouraged Rowena.
“Ok but we should get changed first. I’ll meet you both back here in ten minutes.”
“Agreed.” Said the girls.
Ten minutes later Godric stood back outside the library wearing his usual red cloak and boots over the dull golden tunic he wore when he went out with Helga’s dad. He saw Helga approaching wearing her favourite long yellow dress. He jumped though as Rowena grabbed him from behind while he was distracted and Helga and Rowena both laughed at his reaction.
When he turned to yell at her he stopped short as he saw her in a long and flowing yet figure hugging pale blue dress.
“Wow.” Was all he managed to say sending the girls into another laughing fit. “Stop it. We need to get downstairs. Come on.”
They gradually made their way downstairs and out to the stables. They saw several people standing at the door at the far end but couldn’t make them out. They headed towards the group but stopped when they saw who was there. Lord Hufflepuff stood talking to the King who was in full hunting gear.
“Ah, here you are Godric.” Said Max looking at him knowingly. “The King has a surprise for you.”
“For me sir? I am honoured.” Said Godric trying his best to remember his manners.
“I am impressed by what Lord Hufflepuff has said about you. I would like you to come with me today on a hunt. When we get back I may have some good news for you.” Said the King.
“You want me to go on a hunt with you, your highness?”
“That is correct yes. Does he have the necessary equipment Max?”
“It is all ready to go over there. I shall join you soon, but I have a small matter I must attend to first. I shall catch up to you.” Said Max.
“Very good. Hello there Helga. How are you this morning?” Asked King John, just noticing Godric’s company.
“I am very well thanking you your majesty.” she replied.
“Good, good. And there is my lovely daughter. Have you been enjoying yourself?”
“Yes father. I have made two very good friends here.”
“Excellent. Well Godric, let’s not waste the day. Grab a horse and we shall depart.”
At this King John walked out of the stables towards a small group of horses outside.
“Well I guess I will see you two later.” He said rather worriedly.
“Don’t worry Godric, you will be fine.” said Rowena kissing him on the cheek.
“Thanks. Have fun.” He replied.
He walked over to where the king was deciding which horse he would take. He wanted to ride the large brilliant white one but it wouldn’t even let the stable boy near it to place the saddle on its back.
“Come on boy don’t be afraid. Show him who is boss.” Ordered the King.
“I can’t your highness. He just won’t calm down.” Replied the stable boy looking very distressed.
Godric walked over and took the saddle from the boy.
“Here let me try.” He said as he walked towards the fiery horse.
It began bucking about and neighing in fear as he approached. He sat the saddle on the ground and walked closer to the distressed animal. It seemed to calm as he approached and when he reached out to pat it, the horse began neighing happily.
“Well I guess if he likes you so much you should ride that one.” Said the King amazed at how well Godric had calmed the beast.
Godric gently prepared the horse and mounted the saddle. The King chose another, tamer looking horse and began to ride off towards the forest. Godric caught up with him quickly. The horse he was riding seemed to obey his very thoughts. He found himself barely using the reins as the galloped across the fields toward the darker forest.
“So Godric, have you been on many hunts before?” inquired the King.
“Ah, no your majesty. Just once before this.”
“Max says you are very good with a bow though. And outstanding with a sword.”
“Well I practised almost daily with both as I grew up. I felt that I would need to know how to use both someday.”
“Very good. I like the way you think boy.”
Godric smiled at this as they continued riding. Max caught up with them just as they got to the edge of the forest.
“Well here we are.” He said as he pulled alongside Godric.
“Ah, Max. I thought you would have taken a little longer.”
“Well the matter wasn’t too much trouble to handle. So what exactly are you after today your highness?”
“I wasn’t sure actually. I was thinking that we could just go on a bit of a general hunt. Whatever we come across.”
Suddenly Godric saw a flash of brilliant white up ahead. He realised that the unicorns must be in this part of the forest today. He knew he had to think of a way to keep the King from seeing or even killing them.
“Your majesty why don’t we head further south. When I was exploring in here the other day I saw a mighty large deer down that way. It would make a fine trophy for you to take back to your castle.” He said quickly trying to distract the King.
“Very well then. Sounds good to me. Lead the way Godric.” Said the King.
Godric took the lead and lead them several kilometres south wishing that the unicorns would stay away until the King was finished. As they rode along Godric spotted some normal animals in the forest and decided that this should be far enough. He turned sharply into the forest and the two adults nearly rode straight past.
Now the King once again took the lead as they rode slowly through the forest. Up front the King and Lord Hufflepuff were discussing things for which Godric cared not when he suddenly saw a huge deer off to the side. Both the adults seemed so absorbed in their conversation that they hadn’t noticed.
Godric slowed the horse and strung an arrow on his bow. He carefully took aim and fired the arrow so closely past the King that he nearly had a heart attack.
He glared momentarily at Godric before looking to where the arrow now lay. He gasped as he saw that Godric had pierced the deer, which he had never even seen, straight through the heart.
“My god that was amazing. Did you teach him to shoot like that Max?” he exclaimed dumbstruck at the accuracy with which Godric had struck.
“Me no. I wish I could claim credit for that. Godric taught himself how to handle both a bow and a sword.” Said Max looking at Godric with an amazed grin.
As the king went to retrieve the deer and tie it to his horse Max rode over to Godric.
“You had no idea there were large deer here did you?”
“No sir. I just saw one of the unicorns and it was the only thing I could think of that would get the King away from them.”
“Very good. And excellent shot. But next time, don’t fire an arrow past the King of the whole country.” He smirked.
Godric smiled and helped the King finish tying up the deer.
Helga and Rowena again sat in the library awaiting the return of the ‘hunters’. They could see the whole meadow from the window near the fire. Plus it allowed Rowena to read some of the books in the massive library.
As Rowena stood up having just finished yet another book she noticed a shadow pass over the window. She walked over to the window and looked out to see three horses running back over the enormous meadow towards the castle.
“Helga, they are on their way back.” She proclaimed excitedly.
“Oh good. Now we can see what this big surprise is. Come on, we’ll meet them at the front doors.
They walked out and down the stairs all the way to the doors before they noticed all the servants running in from outside screaming. Curious as to what was going on they stepped outside and rounded the corner of the castle and immediately wished they hadn’t as an enormous dragon landed behind them cutting them off from the door. They ran for the back of the castle trying to outrun the enormous beast. As they rounded the castle wall Helga noticed that the hysterical servants had closed the portcullis in order to keep out the dragon. They were trapped outside.
Godric pushed the horse for all it was worth. He had long ago left both Lord Hufflepuff and King John behind as their horses simply could not keep up with him. Pure need drove him. As they had exited the forest they had seen the enormous dragon heading for the castle and Godric had immediately thought that Rowena and Helga were in deathly trouble.
Max had tried to keep up with Godric but knew that he had to stay with the King to protect him. So now Godric was charging alone about a kilometre from the castle when he saw two figures round the castle wall. One was wearing blue and the other wearing yellow. He knew straight away that they were Helga and Rowena and he began to push the horse even faster. He could see that the back door of the castle was closed. There was nowhere for the girls to go to get away from the horrific beast now rounding the corner.
As he closed the gap Godric pulled the sword he had forged himself from its scabbard and charged the dragon trying to distract it from its current quarry. His plan seemed to work as the dragon turned to face this new threat. He was now close enough to get a good look at the thing which was threatening to take away two of the most important people in his life.
The creature had pitch black scales over its whole body and bronze spikes protruding from its tail. As it turned to face him he could see long bronze coloured horns and vicious yellow eyes. He could see the eyes tracking him but the dragon made no attempts to stop or evade him.
As he got about forty feet from the dragon it struck, shooting flames at him. The horse responded immediately yet calmly moving to avoid the scorching blast. Godric slowly worked his way around the dragon, putting himself between it and his friends. The dragon suddenly rose up on its back legs and shot fire straight up into the air trying to scare Godric. He stood fast and thinking quickly he fired an arrow into the soft underbelly of the fearsome beast.
The arrow penetrated but seemed to do nothing but aggravate the beast. He realised the only way to beat the creature was to behead it. But that would require getting within range of the vicious spikes on its tail. The dragon tried to herd him around by shooting flames at him once more but Godric stood fast. As he glanced past the dragon he saw Max and the King approaching. Yet they were still too far away to help. He realised he would have to do this alone.
Godric began firing arrows to distract it. It worked. The dragon turned to the side to snap at the arrow as it shot past which was the break Godric needed to get up close enough to prevent the dragon using its breath. He was now close enough to strike at the dragons neck, but he didn’t realise the dragon had seen him coming and had swung its tail to swat him.
Godric fell from his horse and rolled left as the tail just missed him. His horse bolted now that its master had left it, leaving him alone against this enormous beast. He quickly ducked to the right as the dragon swung its tail once more and then tried to squash him underneath its body. Godric swung his sword up and across digging into the flesh just above the dragon’s right leg.
He quickly rolled out from under the dragon as it collapsed to the ground, unable to support its weight on an injured leg. It took one more swipe at him with its lethal tail which caught on his tunic ripping it off and leaving a long cut across his shoulders. Godric winced in pain but ducked to the left again and brought his sword down between the scales just behind the monsters head as it twisted up wrenching the sword from his grip and throwing him to the ground.
Godric leapt at the beast’s mighty wing as it flicked at him again and again with its tail trying to swat him into the ground. The leathery wing was difficult to hold onto but Godric managed to find handholds as he climbed onto the creatures back. The dragon started bucking and twisting trying to get this pest of its back. It suddenly launched up into the air carrying Godric with it as the King and Max arrived but could only watch helplessly as it soared away with Godric clinging to it for dear life.
He dug his fingers underneath the scales on the beast’s neck slowly working forward towards his sword which was still buried halfway into the creature’s neck. The dragon dove back towards the small group at the rear of the castle and landed with a mighty thump knocking the group off their feet but flinging Godric forward as he flailed about for a handhold. With a last ditch grasp his fingers closed around the cold handle of his sword and he dangled from the beast’s neck as it reared up shaking trying to free itself of him. Godric pulled out a handful of scales from the dragons head before searching for a better handgrip as he drew the sword back from the dragon’s neck.
The dragon stalked back towards the King and the others as Godric swung himself up onto its neck once more straddling the beast as he yelled and drove his sword with all his might through the small opening he had created. The dragon reared up once more howling in pain and causing Godric to slide down its rough back towards the vicious spikes on its tail. He rolled to the left falling several meters to the ground as the beast roared and fell towards him. Godric shuffled back as fast as he could as the dragons head fell right between his legs.
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