Chapter 3 : Croton Capitatus
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by: Joanne K
Four friends unite with a common goal: to make a better world for all wizardkind.
With a furrowed brow and clenched teeth the young witch tried her hardest to turn the yellow canary into a panflute. With a flourish of her wand she succeeded in turning it into a flute, although it still whistled like a canary and had yellow feathers sticking out.
"Well done, Trianna," smiled the dark-haired witch who was tutoring her, "You have made great progress today."
The tutor inclined her head to the young nobleman's daughter and took her leave. She exited the castle and walked down the path that led to her home in the glen. Along the way she saw two young peasant girls trying in vain to start a fire to warm themselves against the cool evening air. They had fashioned crude wands from sticks and were trying to imitate the wand movements they had seen older wizards use. The dark-haired witch was about to step forward to assist them when a black horse came galloping to a halt in front of them. A stern man in dark clothes leered at the two girls who cowered in his presence.
"Are you not aware that witchcraft is forbidden and that all those found practising witchcraft shall be sentenced to death?" the man snarled at them.
Tears sprang to the girls' eyes and the older witch stepped in front of the man.
"Please sir," she pleaded, "I was watching these girls and I can assure you they were not practising magic of any kind, they were simply playing a silly child's game."
The two girls nodded their heads in agreement. The man's eyes narrowed.
"Very well," the man conceded, "But be warned, young maidens, that it is not wise to play games concerning witchcraft."
With a swift kick to his horse's side, the man departed at a gallop, leaving a cloud of dust swirling behind him.
The kind witch helped the two young girls to find a more secluded place and started a small fire for them before continuing back to her home. Once there she put quill to parchment and wrote three identical letters:
Come to my home for supper tomorrow night, there is something I would like to discuss with you.
She called for her little owl, Shannon, and attached the three rolls of parchment. Shannon flew from the open window and into the distance.
It was morning when the small owl returned. She held in her claws three rolls of parchment all confirming that Rowena's friends would be there that night.
Rowena's good friend Helga was the first to arrive. She was a dumpy little witch with a kind face and round rosy cheeks. Godric arrived soon after, fresh from his latest crusade and full of exciting stories, which he told with great enthusiasm in a loud booming voice. Salazaar arrived late and apologised profusely as he scraped his muddy boots at the doorstep.
Once they had all enjoyed a hearty meal and caught up with each other, Rowena felt it was time to bring up the subject for which she had gathered them together in the first place.
"There is something that has been playing on my mind for some time and today I have realised that something must be done. I derive great pleasure from teaching the young maiden witches of the shire the magical skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. However, my heart is full of sorrow for the peasant children who will never learn to use their gifts to their full purpose because they do not have access to a proper magical education. If only there were a place of education where young witches and wizards could gather together and be taught in the ways of their ancestors; a safe place away from the world of Muggles where magic is persecuted. Dear friends, I believe that together we could achieve this dream."
Rowena looked around at her three friends imploringly, however she could see that they were not entirely convinced.
"My dear lady," spoke Godric, placing one of his hands on hers, "You are of a learned mind and possess a great deal of knowledge, but we are not so fortunate as to posses your intellect, how could we be of any use to you in a place of education?"
"Godric, are you not skilled in the art of wizard duelling? In fact, they say you may be the greatest there is. Magical learning is more than learning spells by heart. Young witches and wizards should be possessed with the skills to perform spells of defense should they need to or to perform spells in dire situations. I feel, dear Godric, that no one better than you could pass on these skills. And Salazaar, you have run your apocothery for a great number of years. Never have I met anyone so skilled in the art of potion making. Potions play a vital role in the life of a witch or wizard and you have an unsurpassed knowledge in this area. Every two years you take on a new apprentice and teach him the delicate art of potion making; those who have been apprenticed to you are said to make successful lives in this art as a result of your tutelage. And my dearest Helga, I know you to have a great love for children and would offer your whole heart to their learning. But quite apart from that, you have great skills in herbology. I have never been able to cultivate so much as a weed, and yet you have a gift in growing and tending all manner of magic plant.
"Together we have all the skills necessary to build and run a successful school for witches and wizards. Please consider joining with me to make a better world for our kind."
The room was silent for several minutes as the three friends pondered over Rowena's words. Finally Godric spoke.
"You can count on me," he boomed decisively.
"Me too," agreed Helga in her soft honey-like voice.
"It is a truly inspired idea, Rowena," Salazaar nodded, stroking his pointed beard, "I would be honoured to be a part of it."
The four friends planned and discussed the school well into the night. They agreed on many things, such as the school's location.
"Why not near Hogsmeade village, it is known to be a purely wizarding village?"
They agreed that all areas of magic should be covered, from the history of magic to herbology, from simple charms to defensive spells, from transfiguration to potion making. However, there was one thing on which they could not agree.
"I think we should restrict entry to those who are pure of blood," Salazaar suggested, "I don't think it is right that we should allow those with Muggle blood to learn of the ancient ways of magic."
"Nonsense," replied Rowena, "As long a witch or wizard shows promise and talent, then it should not matter how pure their blood is."
"Well if we are putting standards on this school then I propose we only induct those who are brave and true of heart," Godric interjected.
"Why should we not allow all young witches and wizards to attend out school," Helga asked, "I think we should allow anyone to attend who wants to learn."
The four argued for some time on this issue until finally Godric had an idea.
"What if we were to have four different houses within our school?" he put forth to the others, "We could each induct into our house those who we feel are most worthy of the qualities we value."
"A fine idea, Godric," Rowena agreed.
"But how will we decide which student should be inducted into which house?" asked Salazaar.
"It would need to be a fair test of some kind," Helga added.
"Why that's simple," Godric grinned, whipping his hat from his head, "We shall cast a charm on my hat giving it the ability to see into students' heads and choose the most appropriate house."
The others nodded and agreed it seemed a most fair and just way to choose a student's house.
"There is just one more thing to decide," Rowena said to the others, "What shall we call our school?"
It was Helga who had the answer.
"Hogwarts," she said suddenly.
"Pardon me?" Salazaar said, looking at Helga with a raised eyebrow.
Helga indicated the potted plant in the middle of the round wooden table at which they sat. Its branches were covered light brown, woolly hairs that gave it a whitish appearance.
"It's a Croton Capitatus, more commonly known as the Hogwort plant," Helga explained, " I thought that since we had been sitting around it all night planning this school it would make an appropriate name."
"I like it," Godric beamed, slapping Helga heartily on the back.
"It's perfect," Rowena smiled.
They all looked to Salazaar who looked pensive for a moment.
"Hogwarts it is."
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