Okay, people, we've been through this... it belongs to JKR - I'm just borrowing it, she won't mind. Not that I really care if she does.
Two IMPORTANT things to note, now that I've got your attention with the capitals. One, the formatting, as far as dashes and enters go, is a little screwy right now - , not me - so just bear with me. Two, the Parseltongue glossary is at the bottom. (And if you're confused, just drop me a line.)
My name, as close as you can render it in any human tongue, is Nsuahskhisstahs. Stsisshanskihtstinhh is my slaissaiahiss – my mate or as close as human words come to our bond. There is no mortal fleetingness about slaissaiahi – they cannot exist without each other. If one is destroyed, the other lives only for revenge.
I found him, searching as I was about chicken coops for another of our race. Another of the Tsnihssaih. The angry, short-lived destructors called humans name us the Basilisks.
Stlhini. Humans. One day they will bring the world crashing into ruin and oblivion. Soon, even for them. Sooner for us. The Tsnihssaih are above humans – above their petty quarrels, their fleeting loves, their unstable religions, their pointless wars.
There are two types of Stlhini, each as vicious as the other. The Swiahlstlahsi are the more pitiful, the common dregs of humanity, material of mobs and riots. The Hsinaihsi are elite few, the more intelligent, destructive by choice, not by chance, and wielding more power. Magic, they call it.
Those, the Hsinaihsi, are the ones who occupy the stone castle before us. There were many a day ago, but they have left – children, all – and only four Stlhini remain. They are all powerful Hsinaihsi, though young.
It matters not. Four humans will be easily removed. They are nothing to us but an obstruction, and four less humans will improve the world, however slightly.
The castle will be ours, will belong to Nsuahskhisstahs and Stsisshanskihtstinhh, and we will fill it with our children and our children’s children. It will be the home of the Tsnihssaih.
A man approaches the edge of the forest. He is one of two, and there are two women as well. He will not see us; we are well hidden.
I can smell him. The Stlhini would call our senses ‘magic’, but there is no human word for the ksihtsaisihai granted to the Tsnihssaih.
He is a sliahissinaiss, a Hsinaihsiss who is only human in form. His true nature is one of a snake: he can speak our language, take our shape. Perhaps aid us.
He is only here to empty vegetable scraps onto a rotting pile, and I look into his mind while he does so. He is skilled both in keeping his mind safe and in breaking into others’ – Occlumency and Legilimency as he calls them – but those are the human methods, and he does not feel my mind in his.
I had thought he could help us, but he will not. He has been corrupted by the humans he is accustomed to. He considers them his friends. I believe he may attempt to stop us – may even make it difficult.
He is ill at ease, this sliahissinaiss – he may have felt my presence. He glances around.
He will prove a more formidable opponent than I had anticipated finding here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
The sliahissinaiss returns to the edge of the forest every few days. He appears to be looking for something. I know that he feels us and that we threaten him.
Today he is troubled. I look into his mind again. I care not whether human ‘magic’ is taught to the children of Swiahlstlahsi or the reasons for either side, but I do care that this is a conflict that will not be easily or quickly resolved.
It sits three to one – he may not be so quick to defend his friends in the future.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Today he argued with the other man. He was angry and torn when he slumped onto the log near the forest. I do not think he even felt our presence. He just needed space – I felt it in his mind.
But I have been led to disappointment: he may think it better to educate fewer and have them all live than a greater number and put them at risk, he may be outnumbered, and he may feel betrayed – and his feelings were easy to read – but I can see where his loyalties would lie. To him, Stlhini, even Swiahlstlahsi, are more important than the Tsnihssaih, and always will be.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Today is our chance. The sliahissinaiss has left the castle. His argument with the other man made him angry – so much so that as I touched his mind, he thought in words, as even Stlhini rarely do.
–Bastard! Does he not see it? How can he not see it? They will all die! Not only many of our students now, but many of his precious Mudbloods–
I do not know why he stopped himself, why it should matter so much, especially to a sliahissinaiss.
–No. No. But does he not see that his precious Muggle-borns will die as well? Is it a crime, to want to keep children safe?–
He is gone, and we have entered the castle.
The women we have not found, but they will be easy to deal with later. The other man…
He has a sword. Human weapons do not harm us, but this is goblin-made, and he had enough sense, once he realized what we were, to shut his eyes. But no one can battle blind, and soon we will have him.
He is skilled…
No! Stsisshanskihtstinhh – a Stlhiniss – it cannot be! But it is. My slaissaiahiss lies across the stone. Grey stone, green scales, red plume…red blood. So much blood. A human! A human! A mere Stlhiniss cannot take my slaissaiahiss from me! I will crush him, will destroy him – he will die slowly, so slowly.
But now – his friend – former friend – the sliahissinaiss is back, is here. He should not be fighting me; he should be fighting for the Tsnihssaih, for us!
I will kill him for his treachery. No human invention can save a Stlhiniss from my poison. Now the other–
Somehow, I know not how, he has backed me into a giant slide, a grey stone funnel to a dark chamber, and I hear stone grind shut.
I will wait, traitor! You will die, but that is not enough! I will outlast you, and this prison, and I will have my revenge!
The taller man opened his eyes. Yes, he’d been right – he’d gotten the male. As for the female…
He took a sideways glance at the sinks and shook his head in amazement.
“A girl’s bathroom, Sal?”
But the relieved laughter slid from his face when he saw the other man.
His friend’s face had turned chalk white, and he held the sink-edge for support, but slid slowly to the floor nonetheless.
The man with the sword crossed the bathroom in three steps, staring in horror as the second wrapped both hands around the huge fang protruding from his shoulder, and slowly pulled it out.
“Oh, God. Wait. Just wait, hold on – I’ll get… get Rowena…”
He made to leave, but, “No.” The other man’s voice was weak. “Godric, don’t … you can’t… no one can…stay…”
The warrior sunk to his knees beside his friend, stroked hair back from his forehead, watched his eyes close.
“I’m here, Salazar,” he said, voice tear-choked. “I’m here.”
slaissaiahi – a mate, specific to Basilisks
slaissaiahiss – mates, specific to Basilisks
Tsnihssaih – Basilisks
Stlhini – humans
Stlhiniss – a human
Swiahlstlahsi - Muggles
Swiahlstlahsiss – a Muggle
ksihtsaisihai – a combination of magical and sensory arts, specific to Basilisks