A.N. I dug up this story and decided it would be an interesting one to continue. It’s the story of the Founders with a little twist, although, to my knowledge, the story is in no way historically accurate. I have never been particularly good with history so the events and situations presented are entirely for the purpose of the plot and will most likely not be accurate historically speaking. In other words, if you’re a history buff don’t read this because the errors will drive into insanity.
Disclaimer: I own the plot and that’s pretty much it. The rest belongs to J.K. Rowling, the brilliant mother of the world of Harry Potter.
A thousand years or more ago, there lived four wizards of renown. Bold Gryffindor from wild moor, fair Ravenclaw from glen, sweet Hufflepuff from valley broad, and shrewd Slytherin from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream. They hatched a daring plan to educate young sorcerers, and thus Hogwarts school began.
“Together we will build and teach.” And so they will, but as of yet... the four wizards have never even met.
Godric Gryffindor: South Africa
Inkosi-Inkosikazi stood among the men of his tribe, the men who had known him since he was nothing more than a small boy and a few of the younger men who knew him only as the leader he became in his later life. Over his shoulders hung the hide of the first lion he had killed and in his hand was the wood shaft of his spear that he turned over in his palm distractedly as he stared out across the plains. Tense silence dominated the thick atmosphere as they crouched down low in the savannah grasses waiting for the enemy to reveal himself over the horizon line. As a man and a warrior he did not find his patience drawing thin as they waited, after all he had waited much longer hunting for food, but the day was unusually hot and the sun that beat down mercilessly on his back as he impatiently wiped the sweat from his brow. Beside him his comrades were doing the same and some of the younger men were growing restless, anxious for their first fight, but Inkosi-Inkosikazi and the other older members among their group only shook their heads over the innocence of youth. A man never ran away from a fight, but still fighting should be avoided as it always ended with death.
Shaking his head he returned his attention once more to the land stretched out before him and turned his thoughts to the inevitable battle that was approaching. The white men, he knew, would be surprised because in all the other villages they had raided they had had the advantage of surprise giving the men no chance to defend their homes. Suddenly the silence was broken by the sound of heavy footsteps pounding the earth, and over the gentle slope of a hill they appeared, some on foot and some riding great beasts. Smiling coldly, he placed his spear on the ground at his feet and gestured to the man nearest him pointing to the approaching foreigners. Then closing his eyes, he concentrated, focused on the hunt, on courage and honor until he was no longer a man crouched in the waving grasses, but a fierce lion tensed at the approaching prey. Stalking silently through the tall concealing grasses he moved behind the advancing foreigners and watched with pride as his comrades did the same until the white warriors were surrounded by lions, more lions than they had ever seen, of that he was sure. Further back he knew others waited ready with their spears in hand. Only a fool depended on the first spear to bring down a large prey.
He waited following closely and maintaining the circle of lions that surrounded the foreigners who blindly walked into his trap on their foolish beasts. When they were so close that he could see the faces of his men as they prepared to launch spears into the fray that was about to erupt, a loud horn blew signaling the start of the attack. Simultaneously thirty lions rose from the grasses and roared loudly causing the beasts that they rode to rise up onto their back legs, their front paws flying through the air as they screeched with wide eyes throwing their riders to the ground before running off. Had he been human he would have laughed at their cowardly beasts, as it was though he settled for a ground-shaking roar echoed by the others as they ran inwards closing in on the foolishly proud white men who had severely underestimated them. He charged inwards ripping out throats as he went, spurred by his anger he tore through their masses and then turned heading back towards his spear. Skidding to a stop beside it he returned to his human form and picked up his spear and letting loose with a battle cry he once more charged into battle leading the others with spears raised as they attacked the white warriors, man to man.
As he fought his heart filled with pride at the sight of his men fighting for their homes and honor and the battle dragged out seemingly for centuries until the plains were empty of white men, living ones leastwise. The dead bodies of white men littered the ground while he and his own men searched among the bodies for wounded or fallen warriors had joined them in good spirits dancing and shouting songs of triumph as they celebrated their victory over an enemy that had hereto been seen as undefeatable. Not only that, but only one man of theirs had been injured, none had perished.
One of his friends walked up and slapped him on the back and behind him another congratulated him on his leadership skills, and as he turned to thank him he saw something that froze the blood in his veins. Up on the hill, hiding among the traitorous grasses that had just concealed his own men, was one of the foreigners one with a weapon he had only heard spoken of in hushed voices. The ends of the tiny little spears caught and trapped the sun and they took aim and before he could so much as shout a warning the man released the spear and it traveled so fast Inkosi-Inkosikazi could not follow it with his eyes, and he only found it again when it pierced the chest of his best friend killing him so quickly there hadn’t even been time to register the pain of the hit and the smile remained across his face as he hit the ground dead. For a moment he could do nothing more than stare at his friend whose smiling face now held blank glassy eyes and his chest barely bled so quickly had he died. Looking up to the hill Inkosi-Inkosikazi was blinded by hot rage and picking up his own spear he roared and sprinted towards the man on the hill with the others behind him and with all the might and strength the spirits had given him he hurled the spear falling to his knees with the force of the throw. Aided by magic born of emotion, the primitive projectile hurled with unnatural speed through the space between him and the whites and with frightening accuracy it landed directly between the eyes of the fool who had thought to kill his friend. Weaponless and despairing over the loss of his closest friend he watched dejectedly as the white men, more of them, more men than he had ever seen in one place coming up over the hill all armed with the sharp little spears that rained down upon his people whose screams were punctuated by the twangs of the string that sent the spears so far. Pain shot through his shoulder and he looked down to see the shaft of the spear sticking out of his skin and bellowing out his rage he leapt to his feet and met the white men who came marching towards them and fought them off with his bare hands fighting more fiercely than he ever had. White men flew at him trying to take him down but he threw them off and kept going until he stood before one, he was nearly as tall as Inkosi-Inkosikazi and broad shouldered as well with a muscular build. Inkosi-Inkosikazi and this foreigner eyed eachother warily and the white man threw down his weapons and for the first time Inkosi-Inkosikazi met a white man in hand to hand combat. Up to that point they had all tried to use their weapons against him, he a man who was weaponless, but this man showed more honor than his comrades. He would meet Inkosi-Inkosikazi as men were meant to meet in combat, the only way were strength could truly be tested.
The two men fought long and hard, each being skilled in hand-to-hand combat and being strong but Inkosi-Inkosikazi had been awake for a good part of the night keeping vigil with the other tribesmen, and was now fighting his second battle and was weary making his reactions slower. He took many hits before he fell and even got in a few of his own but the white man had the advantage of being well-rested and fresh for battle and with one well aimed hit everything went black for Inkosi-Inkosikazi.
Waking up from a deep slumber Inkosi-Inkosikazi cracked open his eyes before quickly shutting them as pain seared through his head at the sight of the unusually bright light, a pain that nearly matched the throbbing in his shoulder. It was another moment before other sensations registered in his mind, sensations such as rocking constant steady rocking back and forth, back and forth so that when Inkosi-Inkosikazi focused on it his stomach churned unpleasantly. Then there was a coolness on his wrists and his ankles and the sound of creaking and clanking that corresponded to the rocking motion.
Once again he opened his eyes, this time slowly letting his eyes adjust to the bright lighting so that when his eyes were fully open the pain in his head was bearable. Struggling he sat up creating a loud clanking noise this time out of tune with the ship’s motion and he looked down to see dully glinting bands around his arm attached to a rather unusual looking rope. He heard movement and looking up like a startled animal he saw a shadow moving closer until it entered the pool of light that he sat in and the shadow revealed itself to be a white man. This man was approaching cautiously and stopped a few feet away before doing something that caught Inkosi-Inkosikazi off guard, the strange white man offered him the traditional, formal greeting that was universal to tribes. Although it was rude, Inkosi-Inkosikazi did not respond, this was an enemy and until he stated his purpose he would trust this man no further than he could throw an elephant without magic.
After a moment the white man resumed his progress towards Inkosi-Inkosikazi and stopped when he was right beside him and said, once more surprising Inkosi-Inkosikazi for it was in the language of the tribes, “Greetings. I am called Doctor Rivera, among my people I am considered a shaman. I’m here to help you, you’ve been wounded but you are healing rather well as you’ll notice if you look down at your shoulder.”
Inkosi-Inkosikazi stared suspiciously at the man taking in his golden hair and the thin line of hair above his lip and then more on his chin which made him look very much like a lion to Inkosi-Inkosikazi’s way of thinking. This established, he decided this shaman could not be all that bad, he looked like a lion, spoke in the language of the tribes and true to his word Inkosi-Inkosikazi could see his shoulder was for the most part healed leaving only a puckered scar. Delayed though it was, he returned the greeting albeit replied bluntly, “What am I doing here? Why have you helped me?”
The shaman looked sad then and he replied in a tone that matched his expression, “The man you fought, his name is DeFortenbury, he is a man of considerable power where we come from and he demanded that your life be spared. I have spent some time among your people and know you would not consider it as such, but among our kind he has done you a kindness. You were taken aboard this ship and we are headed for Europe where you will be sold as a slave. Do you understand?”
Inkosi-Inkosikazi shook his head slowly, “Some, I think. Ship? What is that? Is it where we are? And slave? I do not know this word.”
The shaman stroked the hair on his chin and Inkosi-Inkosikazi knew innately that it was because he was thinking and after a time he replied thoughtfully, “I cannot easily explain a ship to you, but it is made of wood and it floats upon water, it is how we travel long distances. As for a slave, I do not know how it is called in your language, but it is like when you fight another tribe and capture one of theirs. When you keep him and bring him into your tribe he is owned and does work for you without payment, in our language such is called a slave.”
Inkosi-Inkosikazi looked horrified and rightfully so, he had gone from being a strong, powerful warrior in his tribe among friends with two beautiful wives he cared for and children, both sons and daughters, to a slave. Shocked Inkosi-Inkosikazi shook his head in denial, “No! What of the others? Are they also slave?”
Almost unconsciously the shaman corrected, “Slaves. You had more than one comrade so they would be slaves, but no. The others were killed for their defiance and the village was burned. DeFortenbury kept you alive because he saw what you did, how your tribe controlled the lions, he saw you fight and the spear you threw and decided you would make an excellent slave. He desired that you be kept alive saying it would be a terrible waste to kill you.”
Baring his teeth in surprising likeness to his animal spirit he growled out, “Where is this DeFortenbury? I will remove his bones from his hide for leaving me to this fate and then they will have to kill me?” Trying to rise, he found his motion halted by the ropes and for the first time that the other end of the rope was connected to the floor and hard as he pulled they would not break.
Hoping to calm the man Doctor Rivera said quickly, “Do not pull so, you will undo all my work. Besides, DeFortenbury is not on the ship, he is back in Africa continuing his work. You should be happy you are alive, life is precious and should not be taken for granted.”
Resigned, Inkosi-Inkosikazi sighed and relaxed somewhat before turning to the shaman, “Do you have friends shaman Rivera? Wives, children, a home?” At the shaman’s answer of the affirmative to the first and negatives to the last three he continued, “Then you cannot know, so I will try to explain. Life is precious because of what is in it, and yes it should be respected, but when there is nothing in it then it is no life at all. My spirit died on the plains with my friends, it cried out with my wives and children as the flames set to our homes ate at their flesh. I have no friends, no family, no tribe, no honor. My life is empty and it gives me pain to wander in this empty shell away from my spirit. It would have been kinder to let me die, to kill me so that I may be with those I love in the next world.”
The shaman tilted his head slightly in thought as he stared with renewed interest at the man before him. It was not often he met a man with deep thoughts such as this one and he wished to help him. However in the mind of this African the only help he could give would be to give him death, but that went against everything Rivera believed in and practiced as a doctor. This in mind he replied, “I cannot give you what you seek, as it is my place to fight death and give life, but I will try to help you. I cannot say I know what you feel for I have not been in your position, but I like you. You are good, strong, brave and, whether you choose to believe so or not, with the honor of a hundred good men. You say your life is empty, and if I leave you as you are it will be, but I wish to help you. Let me teach you the languages of Europe, I myself am of Spanish origin but I have traveled a great deal and can teach you French, English, Russian, Italian, Portuguese and others so wherever you go you will have the advantage of understanding. I will also teach you other skills although you must not let on that you have them at first as Europeans do not look kindly upon educated slaves, but I will teach you to read and write, to do math and the sciences. You have been wronged so let me make amends and give you this, you can use it to advance yourself in our world.”
Tilting his head much as the shaman had done Inkosi-Inkosikazi replied, “I will think on it, but for now I ask you one thing. In my village, among my people I was known as Inkosi-Inkosikazi, but my village and people no longer are and so I am no longer Inkosi-Inkosikazi. Will you give me a new name? Something by which others may call what remains of the man instead of the empty shell.”
Doctor Rivera grinned seeing the request as a promising sign that this man would be willing to take him up on his offer and replied automatically, “Of course. Godric seems suitable and to make it more personal we’ll add a last name. What of Gryffindor? In Briton they have these mythical beasts very much like your lions that are called griffins. Godric Gryffindor, it is a good name I think, certainly a strong one and therefore suitable.”
A.N. Right-o...So there's the first chapter, like I said not historically accurate, but I figured that since the crest of Gryffindor has a lion on it, then Godric must have seen a lion or picture of one at some point in his life, and since lions are native to South Africa, and not England/Scotland than what better explaination than the fact that Godric Gryffindor was a South African himself. Besides that he may have been one of the white soldiers, but making him a part of the South African culture made him more interesting in my opinion. If you find any inaccuracies in my description of the South African culture feel free to offer corrections in the little box at the bottom of the page, though there's no gaurantee I'll fix it. Most of the information such as names (Inkosi-Inkosikazi) are semi-authentic as it came from other novels based on South Africa so there's another disclaimer. Hope you keep reading.