“He’s ghastly! He has a horrid temper and he’s entirely too old for me,” The curly haired girl argued. She was currently seventeen. Later in her life she would come to be known as the Gray Lady, and she would be the ghost to her mother’s own house, Ravenclaw. For now she was known simply as Helena Ravenclaw. Helena had long lived in her mothers shadow, and didn’t expect to get out of it anytime soon.
“Helena, he cares for your more deeply than any man has yet. He’s even begged me several times to tell him how to win your heart. I would if I could you know,” Rowena informed her daughter plaintively.
“Mother, when I marry it will be because I’m truly in love, not because someone has learned the right tricks to charm my heart,” brown haired Helena fought.
“That’s reassuring dear, but surely you must give a man a chance to love you before you reject him?” Rowena tried to coax her daughter.
“Perhaps. Mother, I need to go. I made a plan with Margaret for this afternoon,” Helena managed to escape the conversation. Margaret was the well-loved daughter of Godric Gryffindor. That was not who Helena was actually meeting, but it was a good enough plan. If her mother knew who Helena was really going to meet her mother would be angry enough to lock her back in the Ravenclaw tower like when she attended Hogwarts. Helena was actually going to meet Atticus Slytherin. Since his father had turned on the school he was not to be spoken of in the same category with the founders, much less be seen with the founders or their children.
Atticus was the real reason that Helena did not want anything to do with the Baron Maddox Hensley. Atticus and Helena had been friends when young, and spent some of their Hogwarts years together, but when his father left, so did Atticus. Atticus had golden brown hair, and he left it a little long.
“Very well,” Rowena relinquished her daughter with a sigh. Quickly Helena left her family’s quarters in the castle, and shortly she left the castle all together.
“Margaret!” Helena called to her friend. Margaret was sitting by the lake, feeding her latest project, a pet baby squid she’s named Arthur. Helena ran towards the lake.
“Helena, how are you?” Margaret asked kindly. Margaret was similar in appearance to Helena, though her hair was darker an had less curl in it.
“Very well. I just wanted to say thank you again. I’m off to see Atticus in a moment and wanted to show you my gratitude for covering for me,” Helena said breathlessly. A light was sparkling in her eye.
“Well who am I to stand in the way of love? Besides, you’ve not looked this happy since you saw Atticus for the first time after his father left,” Margaret smiled.
“I know. He just makes me so happy, and doesn’t expect me to be anything. You know how it is. The rest of the world expects us to be our parents instead of allowing us to be ourselves. He just lets me be me,” Helena explained merrily. The four children of the founders, Rylan Hufflepuff, Margaret Gryffindor Helena Ravenclaw, and yes, even Atticus Slytherin was extremely well known in Britain. Wizards anticipated them to be the mirror image of their parents. And of course, everyone wanted to see the great wizarding lines mix. After Salazar betrayal, they lost Atticus, and could only hope for one cross. It was taxing on the children, as they could never be sure who their true friends were, except for each other. Soon, they simply chose not to have friends outside of themselves. They even kept contact with Atticus after he left.
“I’m glad to hear it friend. The same is true of myself and Rylan and myself. We’ll tell our parents sooner or later. They’ll be ecstatic,” Margaret rolled her eyes when referring to her parents, however had a mischievous gleam where the son of Hufflepuff was concerned. Rylan had shorter dark hair, and devious look in his eyes at all times.
“I shall see you soon, my friend, but I must go now or I will be late,” Helena excused herself. She summoned her broom and off she flew.
Atticus was pacing. He had an important question for Helena today, but he was nervous. Helena had agreed to meet him in their favored place, the Forest of Dean. They had a small cabin there where many days they would meet. Helena would cook and while doing so she and Atticus would talk endlessly about recent events, matters in Hogwarts, and a favored subject of them both, books. Other times they would partake upon theatre, both muggle and wizard.
Helena soon was flying over the Forest of Dean. She could not have been more jubilant to see her love. She had a surprise for him that he had been working on for some time now.
“Helena!” Atticus greeted her, “You are late my dear.”
“I’m sorry love, but I did need to give Margaret our gratitude again for helping us,” Helena reasoned with him
“Of course, of course,” Atticus agreed easily. “Come in I’ve a surprise for you.”
“And I you! What a coincidence we have,” Helena laughed.
Inside Helena immediately began flicking her wand around the kitchen in preparation for a meal. Atticus, smiling at her thoughtfulness, stopped her.
“There will time for that momentarily, but do listen for a moment, so I can go about your surprise.”
“Of course,” Helena replied, loving a good surprise. Atticus knelt and launched right into his plan.
“Helena, I love you best my dear. I love your more than there are stars, more than the sun, more than life itself. I want to marry you, and travel away from Britain and our parents’ wishes. We shall go somewhere, anywhere else. There we can do as we please. Start a school, raise a family, whatever you want, but please say you’ll marry me?” Atticus proposed.
Helena’s eyes watered and she grew speechless. She only gained enough thinking ability to nod her head over and over again quickly, trying to say yes.
“You’re speechless? What horrible timing you have Helena, but I know what you mean. You want to marry me! I love you so my Helena,” Atticus smiled, slid a beautiful golden ring inlaid with a diamond onto her finger, and took Helena into his arms, and twirled her around.
“Yes, Yes I want to marry you! I love you Atticus,” Helena smiled and laughed as she finally regained the ability to speak.
They proceeded to make dinner and Helena told Atticus of her surprise. She had written a book, and finished it. She had it with her for him to read before anyone else. He held her as he read it.
“When shall we leave, Atticus?” Helena asked. They would soon have to part for the evening and she dreaded it.
“I can leave at your hearts content,” Atticus informed her.
“I’ll need to pack, and let Margaret know of our plans, and figure out how to sneak away. Do you intend to tell your father?” Helena asked. She was unsure of telling her parents.
“I intend to tell him only what we’ve done, but not where we are going,” Atticus answered.
“Where are we going dear?” Helena questioned.
“I was thinking of Vala, Albania. There is a large wizard population who are not yet familiar with Hogwarts. We can integrate in and make it harder to find us, should anyone unwelcome try.”
“I think I shall follow your lead in my mothers case. And Albania sounds lovely. We will tell Margaret and Rylan where we are, and invite them to the ceremony.”
“Of course Helena,” Atticus smiled. “You know that we are both avoiding the inevitable leaving we’ll have to do tonight.”
“I hate leaving you Atticus,” Helena murmured.
“And I you, but we must or else risk not seeing each other at all.”
“I know you are right. Very well. I love you Atticus. I will write you and tell you when we should leave, and if it is too long from now, when we should meet again.”
“Agreed. I love you Helena. Be careful with my heart, I’m leaving it with you,” Atticus gave her a chaste kiss an apparated. Momentarily Helena kicked off the ground and flew back towards Hogwarts.
The first the Helena planned to do was tell Rylan and Margaret what had just occurred.
She flew straight to Margaret’s window knowing that Rylan would be there and that the window would be unlocked.
“Rylan, Margaret, I’ve wonderful news!” Helena came through the window saying.
“What are you talking about Helena?” Margaret asked.
“Atticus and I…” She gasped trying to get her breath, “We’re going to get married.” Helena held out her hand to Margaret to allow her to see the ring.
“Helena it’s stunning,” Margaret complimented.
“What about your mother? Especially now since she’s been trying to help Maddox Hensley,” Rylan questioned.
“Do not be angered. Atticus and I plan to tell you exactly where we shall be before we leave, but for now you only need to know that we plan on moving to Albania. They have a large wizard population and we will be able to slip in unnoticed,” Helena explained.
Margaret was just opening her mouth to say something when Rowena Ravenclaw herself burst into the room.
“Helena, I heard everything. Is this where you’ve been going for months? To see Salazar’s boy? He turned his back on us! You’ll have nothing to do with him!” Rowena ordered.
“Mother, Atticus is nothing like his father, and I’m going to marry him. We were planning on letting you know what had happened once we left,” Helena tried to stay reasonable.
“Helena you will not elope off with Atticus Slytherin. Especially not when I have Baron Maddox Hensley at my door at all hours trying to get help getting you,” Rowena snarled.
“I’m sorry you feel that way mother,” Helena answered softly. With that she slipped out of the window behind her, pulled her broom underneath her, and flew up to her own window. She new she didn’t have much time. Her room was packed up and shrunken with a few flicks of her wand, but Helena was not done yet. There was something she wanted. Her mother had a special diadem that was to be Helena’s one day. Helena wanted to bring it with her for several reasons. One, she wanted something to remember her mother by. Also, it was to be hers one day anyway, at least it was before she angered her mother, and lastly, it was time that Helena paved her own way, and that required her to step out of her mother’s shadow.
She summoned the diadem, shrunk it and stowed it away safely. She barely had time to scrawl a note that simply told her mother that she was sorry and she loved her. Helena was out the window just as her mother arrived.
The Slytherin Castle was on the other side of the country. Once far enough away from Hogwarts, Helena could apparate, which is exactly what she did. The problem was, she did not know where to find Atticus.
Upon knocking, Helena received help from a house-elf. The elf led her to Atticus’ chambers.
“Thank you,” She murmured to the little elf, and entered without knocking.
Atticus was awake, reading at his desk, and didn’t hear the door open. He became aware of Helena only when she spoke.
“Atticus, I’m sorry, but we have to leave. My mother overheard me telling Rylan and Margaret the news. She could be here anytime.”
Atticus took it all in like a sponge and nodded, “Please begin packing my things while I write a note to my father.” Helena did as asked and the room was completely packed as Atticus was finishing the note. Helena had tears filling her eyes, wishing things had not gone this way.
“Helena, do not be sad. We will be wed in Albania, and we will invite Rylan and Margaret there. Okay? Now, come, we must leave.” He offered her an arm, and together left Britain, for the last time in their lives.
Eleven Months Later
Atticus and Helena had established themselves well. They had built a house in the woods just out of Vale. They had wed in a private ceremony ten months ago, and now Helena was pregnant with a little girl. They intended to name her Ella. Their peace was not meant to go on.
“Helena! Atticus!” Rylan came yelling into their house. Atticus worked at a local bookstore, but Helena was currently at home, since she was with child.
“Rylan?” Helena came from the other room.
“Helena, thank god. Your mother is on her deathbed. She’s claiming to want to see you before she dies, but I over heard her talking to the Baron. She wants her diadem, and she wants you away from Atticus. She’s sending Maddox here to kill him,” Rylan said in a rush.
“Rylan, we can’t just leave on the spot. I need you to go into town. Tell Atticus what’s going on. He works in a bookshop. By the time you get back I’ll be ready to go,” Helena ordered. Rylan ran back out of the house, and Helena began packing things up. Her mother never heard the city’s name, so there must be some time. Luckily Helena had hidden the diadem when they first settle in a tree the woods. It was meant for Ella someday, but Helena would retrieve it for her later. For now she had to make sure that Ella’s father would be alive at her birth.
She was nearly finished packing when she saw Maddox Hensley outside. With any luck she would be able to persuade him to leave. After all, he didn’t want to harm her.
“Maddox?” Helena called softly as she exited her home. The Baron turned around to face her.
“Helena, why did you steal it? It was your mother’s prized possession. And, more importantly, why did you leave me?” He spoke kindly for now, but his temper was there.
“Maddox, you are a good man. The diadem was meant for me to have. Mother told me it would be mine on my birthday. It truly is mine since my birthday has come and gone,” Helena explained.
“And me?” Maddox pushed.
“You are a good man, but you are not for me,” Helena said as softly as she could.
“How do you know? You never gave me a chance?” He grew a little angry.
“Its unimportant, please don’t be angry,” Helena tried to divert his attention.
“Very well,” The Baron looked crestfallen, “but I really must return with the diadem. Surely you don’t need it?”
“That diadem is not even mine anymore. It is meant for my daughter to be,” Helena replied coldly.
“You are with child? You loved someone before you even met me! You could never have given me a chance,” Maddox growled. He then unsheathed a weapon.
“Maddox, stop. You don’t want to be a murderer of an unborn child,” Helena tried to reason with the man.
“You have no idea how in love I was with you do you?” Maddox was now blind with rage.
“I’m sorry Maddox, truly, but I was in love with Atticus Slyther-“
“Him?! You chose that boy over me?” Baron Hensley snarled.
“He’s my age, if he is a boy than I am not a woman Maddox,” Helena argued, wand now drawn, but her complaint fell on deaf ears. Just as her husband reached the top of the hill and came within eyesight of the front lawn where the altercation was occurring, Baron Maddox Hensley nearly ended the line of Ravenclaw. He didn’t manage to end it, but he did end the life of one. Helena Elizabeth Ravenclaw was stabbed to her death right before her husband and best friend.
Seeing what happened her husband apparated to her side immediately.
“What have you done? What the bloody hell have you done?” Atticus screamed, “Rylan, I don’t know any healing spells, what can you do?” Atticus was frantic.
“What have I done? Oh Merlin, I can’t believe I- oh god I’m sorry,” Maddox began shaking when the weight of what he’d done came crashing down on him. He was crushed by it. He stabbed himself in a way that killed him immediately.
Rylan had apparated to Helena side a moment after Atticus had. He checked Helena’s pulse during Atticus’ rants, and already tears were filling his eyes.
“Atticus, it’s too late. She’s gone, he got her in the heart,” Rylan sobbed.
“She can’t be gone! She can’t be gone,” Atticus bawled.
“Atticus, I’m going to save Ella, okay, I can do that,” Rylan managed to gasp. Atticus was sobbing still, and didn’t hear him. Rylan didn’t have time to get his approval. He knew Atticus would want to save his daughter.
“Perlous Mader Ped Ora!” Rylan cast the Latin spell. Helena began glowing. Atticus was able to control himself once he saw the spell.
“Rylan what’s going on?” Atticus asked.
“I’m saving your daughter,” he answered. Soon the glowing died and rest on Helena’s stomach was baby Ella, in need of cleaning up and a blanket.
With a wave of his wand, tears still falling, Rylan cleaned the little girl and a blanket appeared.
“She’s all you’ve got now. I won’t tell Rowena, she’ll never know. Do you know where the diadem is though? I don’t want anyone coming out her again,” Rylan asked, growing calmer from shock.
“Ry-Rylan, I can’t do this alone. I’m coming back to England,” Atticus stuttered.
“Okay,” Rylan said calmly, “Gather what you need and we’ll leave.” Atticus handed him Ella.
Atticus came back and then apparated to the home of Rylan and Margaret Hufflepuff. Rowena Ravenclaw was already dead. Despite this, Atticus changed his name and Ella’s to Gaunt, at the suggestion of a rude poltergeist that felt the need to tell Atticus that was what he was, gaunt and ghostly.
Helena only came back to watch over Atticus, but could never find him, as she didn’t know he’d left Albania. She returned sorrowfully to Hogwarts, never to be reunited with her beloved Atticus. The only comfort she had was thinking that her line had died, and never knew what became of her livelihood.
Atticus never remarried. His only joy was raising Ella, who grew up happy and healthy, and went to Hogwarts.
This is not how history remembered this tale, but that is because the winners of the war write the history books. Atticus never again had the strength to stand up for himself, or his wife, so history remained wrong.
Helena Ravenclaw left her mark, but only she knew it. Her book was published, under a false name she used when she moved to Albania. Her book is still known to this day: Hogwarts: A History. It’s been changed as more information came, but the oldest versions are all hers.
All of the sorrows of Helena Ravenclaw remained silent. Even as a ghost she never told, nor did she even acknowledge the Bloody Baron. Instead, she remained silent and become somber. That is how she became known as today’s Gray Lady.