Chapter 1 : Luck is like that
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Chapter 1: Luck is like that
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They say that some people are born under a lucky star and that the sun rises each morning just for them. As the only boy born to a family full of girls, Godric Gryffindor was showered with female attention from the very start.
Unfortunately for him, his poor father died not a month before his birth in a hunting accident, leaving Godric to take on the role of Lord of the manor at a very young age.
As Godric grew into manhood, he inherited the typical Gryffindor looks, broad-shouldered and powerful, with rippling muscle topped by a savagely beautiful face of an avenging angel. His noble bloodline also gave him a lion’s share of sexuality; a simmering, scarce-contained eroticism that shaped his very walk, influencing his every move.
By the age of eighteen, Godric was the sun, moon and the stars of Gryffindor castle and he knew it. He was a devilishly charming and a darkly seductive young man. Not to mention that he was also a wizard of immense skill and knowledge.
Godric loved being a wizard, he loved everything about it. He liked the feeling of the power as it hummed throughout his body when working a difficult incantation. He loved engulfing himself in the collection of ancient lore and artifacts of his family’s underground chamber library,studying the arcane knowledge, combining a chancy spell with a risky potion, growing stronger and more powerful with each day that passed.
He liked walking the heathery hills of the Highlands after a fierce storm saying the spells that would heal the land and the animals within the surrounding area of the castle. He liked knowing that he had the power to make his lands a safe haven for all those who happened to settled upon them.
No one ever told him no, no one ever challenged his word, and no one ever bested Godric Gryffindor in a duel. The possibility that anything or anyone might someday do so never crossed his mind. That is, until that cursed Halloween three years after the founding of his wizard school, at the momentous age of twenty-seven.
The fact that Salazar would do such an atrocious thing to one of their own, never the less to someone who had considered him a close friend, had shaken Rowena and Helga to the core. Fearing that the events of that awful Halloween night might one day cause problems for the school that they had helped to establish scared the two women even more.
Together they talked Godric’s mother and sisters into sealing off the Gryffindor underground chamber library, never to have it be mentioned again. Shortly thereafter, all records concerning Godric’s life and his disappearance were changed so that no one would ever truly know the truth.
Even now, hundreds of years later, no one knows that Godric Gryffindor still lives…, at least in a hellish sort of way.
Ireland, 26 days till Halloween
Salazar Slytherin paced before the massive stone fire place of his study. He was tall powerfully built man who looked to be in his early forties, handsome, his thick black hair dashed at the temples with touches of silver. He was a man who turned women’s heads, and who made men take an instinctive step back when he walked by.
To his right behind velvet draped windows, the sun had begun to set, providing a rustic glow to the room. To his left, seated in a black leather armchair before a wall of bookcases filled to the brim with books, one of his uniquely trained men waited tensely.
“This is crazy, Roman, what is taking so long?” Salazar growled.
Roman shifted defensively in his chair. He was aptly named, his features as classically handsome as those on an ancient coin, his hair short and blonde.
“I’ve got men on it, Sir,” the young blonde haired man replied. “The problem is that each of the artifacts went in a dozen different directions. The traitors sold the artifacts on the wizard’s black market, so it is going to take some time to...”
“Time is the one thing I don’t have, every hour, every moment that passes makes it less likely that they will be recovered,” Salazar snapped cutting him off sharply.
At first the idea of taking on a pupil to train and do Salazar's dark works had seemed like a wonderful idea. In doing so he could stay within the shadows letting the world believe that he was dead, while in turn he worked on gaining the power and influence over the wizard world that he had always dreamed of having in silence with no one being the wiser.
It had taken him decades to find the perfect pupil worth being taken under his wing. When he had first meet young Tom Riddle, Salazar saw a lot of promise within the young man. Tom seemed powerful enough and seemed to have everything Salazar needed to complete his plans. That was until the idiot got so caught up in a ridiculous prophecy that it ended up resulting in his death.
It had annoyed him to no end that all the time spent training and mentoring young Riddle had been a waste. So he had been pleasantly surprised when the news of his student’s miraculous return to the world of the living had reached his Irish home. For one glorious moment he was able to believe that Riddle had actually learned something about immortality during his training with him.
Unfortunately he was only to be disappointed once again when Riddle was defeated by the same child who had been the cause of his death the first time.
What made the situation even worse for Salazar was due to the fact that he had trusted Riddle, his pupil, in the safe keeping of his most treasured artifacts. At the time, he had believed that Riddle was more than capable of keeping his artifacts safe, but he had been proven wrong.
Those worthless, cowardly, Death Eaters of his pupil’s had stolen his artifacts and sold them on the Black Market at the first sign of their master’s demise.
Artifacts such as his were fabulous and utterly lacking in provenance, which meant that they would inevitably end up in one of two places: with the legal authorities of one country or another, or sold for a fraction of their worth on the black market.
For almost a month now, Salazar’s men had been chasing a deliberately, cunningly, muddied trail to find his artifacts, but now time was growing critical.
“We’ve been able to recover three of the manuscripts and one of the swords; we’ve learned nothing about the box or amulet. However it looks like we might have a solid lead on the mirror,” Roman was saying.
Salazar stiffened at the mention of the mirror. The mirror was the one artifact that he needed back the most. Of all the years that it might have been stolen, to have the Dark Glass taken on the year that the tithe was due made the loss even more devastating.
The box and amulet could wait a bit longer, though not too long; they were far too dangerous to have loose in the world.
Each of his treasures had the power to give the possessor a gift for a price. As long as the one in possession of the artifact has the knowledge and the power to use that gift one could in turn become more powerful than anything they could have imagined.
The Dark Glass had the power to grant immortality to the possessor without having to split your soul into pieces, as long as the possessor is able to meet its conditions. He had been doing so for thousands of years now. During that time he had been able to gather power and wealth throughout the wizard world.
Even now he was secretly in control of three international ministries: Brazil, France, and Russia. He was currently working on planting a minion into the New Zealand prime minister position of their ministry. He held controlling interest in more than 30 varying enterprises in both the wizard and muggle worlds, since he had long found that muggle technology had its uses.
So he wasn’t about to risk the chance of losing everything he had gained by letting the mirror slip through his fingers.
“A shipment rumored to fit the bill left Ireland for London a few days ago. We believe that it is headed for some muggle university…”
“Then why are you still sitting here,” Salazar said coldly. “If you have a lead, then I want you to personally take care of it, now!”
The blond man gathered his black coat and gloves, and quickly walked out of the room.
The mirror would be found, and the tithe paid; a small amount of pure gold passed through the glass every one hundred years at precisely midnight on Halloween.
25 days till Halloween
The evening started out just like every other Friday night for the past year, sitting outside on the fire escape of her third floor London flat enjoying the unseasonably warm autumn evening, studying. Occasionally Hermione would peer over the top of her book to the streets below watching the people having the times of their lives.
For the past few minutes her attention had been caught on the couple standing in the alley across the street. The dark haired young man in jeans and a black t-shirt had backed up his girlfriend up against the wall; stretching her hands above her head and was kissing her like there might not be tomorrow.
Hermione could only imagine what it would be like to be kiss like that. As if the guy couldn’t wait to get inside her, as if he could devour her soul right there and then with no regard as to who might be watching.
The couple below was a stark reminder of how lonely her life had become. There were days when she felt so sick and tired of being in school, sick of being broke, sick of constantly racing from her classes to her job as Professor Keene’s assistant, and then home to study. Those were the days when she would refocus with a hot bubble bath and a good novel.
Her demanding, tightly organized schedule left no time for a social life. It had been months since she was last able to hang out with Ron and Harry. It had been at least a week since her schedule had even allowed for a quick note or call.
Ron had recently finished Auror training and was currently planning his wedding to Luna. Even though things had not worked out between Hermione and Ron, they had both continued to stay close friends. Hermione had been excited to hear about the upcoming nuptials because she felt that Luna and Ron complemented each other nicely.
Harry was busy trying to balance his job as an Auror, having finished training six months before Ron, and his marriage to Ginny. Everywhere she turned there were couples living their lives and having a wonderful time at it.
On the infrequent occasions when she had tried to date, the guys had gotten so fed up with how seldom she could see them and how low on her list of priorities they seemed to be, that they’d soon sought greener pastures.
Still, Hermione thought, it would all be worth it soon. Although some people, like Ron, didn’t seem to think being an Archaeologist and playing with old, dusty, or, frequently dead things for the rest of one’s life was a particularly exciting thing to do, for Hermione it was a thrilling career.
In just a few more years she would have her PhD and would get to travel to far off places digging up the remnants of muggle and wizard past, and having a grand adventure doing so. There was a very good chance that Hermione’s Mr. Right might be out there waiting for her at some future archaeological dig sight.
Somewhere behind her, in her cramped little flat her phone rang, snapping Hermione out of her reverie and away from the snogging couple below. Reluctantly Hermione boosted herself off the fire escape step and climbed back through the front room window into her flat.
For the briefest of moments as her hand hovered over the phone she had the strangest feeling that maybe she shouldn’t answer it. Time itself seemed to stand still for that moment and she had the weirdest sensation that the universe itself had stopped breathing, while waiting to see what she would do next. With a wrinkle of her nose and a shrug of her shoulders, Hermione picked up the phone.
“Hello,” Hermione answered holding the phone to her ear and sitting down onto her little brown couch.
“Hermione, this is Professor Keene.” The deep voice responded into her ear.
“Good evening Professor, what can I do for you?” Hermione asked curling her legs under her on the couch.
“I was in a bit of a fender bender this evening on my way back to the campus.”
“Oh my, are you alright?” Hermione asked.
“A few inconvenient fractures and a mild concussion, but don’t you worry the doctors assure me that I will be back on my feet within the next few days.”
“At least you weren’t seriously hurt. Do you need me to cover your classes until you get back?” Hermione asked, praying that he would say no.
“I have already arranged for Matt Simmons to cover next week’s classes.” She let out a sigh of relief.
“I’ve a wee favor to ask of you, though, Hermione. I’ve a package coming. I was supposed to accept the delivery at my office this evening.”
Hugging the phone between ear and shoulder, Hermione glanced at her watch, the luminous dial indicating ten minutes past ten o’clock pm.
“What kind of package gets delivered so late at night?” Hermione wondered aloud.
“You need not concern yourself with that. Just sign for it, lock it up, and go back home. That’s all I need.”
“Of course, Professor, but what-“
“Just sign for it, lock it up, and forget about it, Hermione,” a pause. “I see no reason to mention this to anyone. It’s personal. Not university business.”
Hermione blinked, startled; she had never heard such a tone in the professor’s voice before. His words were sharply clipped, defensive, and almost well, paranoid.
“I understand. I’ll take care of it. You just rest, Professor. Don’t you worry about a thing,” she soothed hastily, deciding that whatever pain medication the doctors had him on were making him funny.
“Thank you, Hermione,” the Professor responded before ending the call.
Placing the phone back on the receiver, Hermione got up from the couch and stretched. So much for that bubble bath, she thought to herself as she grabbed her wand, keys, and purse from the coffee table at the end of the couch. Considering what time it was, Hermione was sure that it would be alright to apparate to the campus. For the chance of a muggle seeing her was quite small.
There were times when Hermione regretted her decision to attend a muggle university. It wasn’t like she couldn’t have gotten her PHD in Archeology at a magical university instead, but after all the things that she went through during the war; she had wanted to take a break from magic by attending a muggle university.
It’s too late for me to be regretting my choice of university, since I am way too close to finishing school, to consider transferring schools now.
Thinking on the conversation she just had with her professor, she had to admit to herself that the whole situation was strange. It caused Hermione’s curiosity to spike. Spinning on the spot, Hermione found herself back on campus for the fourth time that day, landing in the hallway of the North wing.
Hermione stood beneath the faintly buzzing fluorescent lights of the university hallway, looking around quickly to make sure that she was indeed alone and that no one had seen her arrive, yawning. She was completely exhausted. She had gotten up at 6:15 that morning for a 7:20 class, and she had not stopped all day.
While she stood waiting, Hermione thought about what kind of package the professor might be getting. From the way the professor had spoken over the phone, she imagined that it might be a bulky envelope, or maybe a small parcel.
She had been surprised to find out a few minutes later, when she had let in the three delivery men, that the “package” was actually a very large crate. Motioning for the men to follow her, Hermione led the men down the hallway towards the professor’s office.
Turning the key into the lock, she pushed open the office door, fumbled for the light switch and flipped it on. She inhaled the scholarly scent of books and leather as she entered the Professor’s office.
The spacious room had a built in floor to ceiling bookcase to the left of the desk and tall windows behind the desk that during the day spilled sun across an antique amber rug. The mahogany furniture gave the office a definite masculine touch. If it wasn’t for the computer with its twenty inch flat screen on the desk Hermione might be standing in the library of a nineteenth century English manor home.
“In here,” she called over her shoulder to the deliverymen, as she moved out of their way.
Carefully they entered the office and lowered the oblong box onto the rug.
“The professor said that I needed to sign something,” she said in hopes of encouraging them to hurry.
She had a full day of working and studying tomorrow, and she wanted to be at her best; which meant being able to go home and get a few quick hours of sleep.
“Lady, we need more than that. This here package doesn’t get left ‘til it’s verified,” spoke the shortest of the three men.
“Verified?” she echoed confused. “What do you mean?”
“I mean that it is worth a lot of money and the shipper’s insurance required visual verification before it can be released. See? Says so right here,” the man said while thrusting a clipboard at her.
Sure enough, visual confirmation and signed release were stamped in red across the top of the bill of lading paperwork, along with two pages detailing the shipper’s and buyer’s rights. She ran a hand through her curls, sighing in silent frustration. She glanced at the phone and then at her watch.
Hermione had not gotten the professor’s room number and she suspected that if she were to call the main desk, that they would never put her through at this time of night. In the end it was her curiosity that decided the dilemma.
“Fine. Let’s do this. Open it up.”
Over half an hour later the delivery men had opened the crate, secured her signature and were gone, leaving Hermione alone in the office staring at the contents of the crate. Deep within the layers and layers of cushioned wrapping, a mirror had been revealed.
Taller than she by more than a foot, the mirror’s ornate frame was a shimmery gold. Shapes and symbols, which looked to be some form of writing, were carved into every inch of the wide border.
She narrowed her eyes pondering the etchings but the symbols didn’t look like anything she was familiar with. Inside the gilt frame, the outer edges of the silvery glass were marred with a cloudy uneven black stain of some sort, but aside from that the glass itself was clear.
She figured the glass had to have been replaced, for no mirror of yore had achieved such clarity and considering this one’s pristine silvering it was likely less than a century in age.
Eyes narrowed thoughtfully as she studied it closely, the Archaeologist in her itched to know the piece’s provenance. Such an item wasn’t at all in keeping with Keene’s usual tastes, which ran toward replica weapons and reproductions of ancient timepieces. It baffled Hermione how he could have afforded such an artifact on his teaching salary.
Sighing, Hermione fished out her keys from her pocket and turned to leave. She flipped off the light and was just stepping through the doorway when she felt a chill.
All the fine hair at the nape of her neck lifted, tingling as if electrified. Flinching, she turned back toward the mirror pulling out her wand.
Dimly light by the pale blue glow of the computer screen, the mirror’s glass was filled with smoky dark shadows and in those shadows something moved.
Sucking in a breath, Hermione slowly moved closer to the mirror casting a silent “lumos” spell at the same time, but all she saw was her reflection staring back at her. The hair at her nape continued to bristle, icy chills rippled up her spine. Glancing around the room, Hermione could not find a thing out of place.
“See Hermione lack of sleep is causing you to see things,” Hermione said to herself.
For a brief moment there, Hermione thought she had seen a half-naked man standing in Keene’s office. A towering muscle ripped darkly beautiful man dripping with power.
Yes, she decided, she was definitely sleep deprived.
With a dismissive toss of her head, Hermione turned back around dismissing the spell on her wand and pulled the door shut behind her hard and fast without a backward glance.
In a place that was not really a place, yet was a place enough to serve as an inescapable prison to drive the common man stark raving mad, six feet five inches of caged highlander stirred. A hungry animal sound rumbled deep in his throat. Just as he’d thought: he smelled woman.
A/N: I want to give a huge thanks to Javct45 and Broken Butterfly for making this chapter the best it can be. In the box below let me know what you liked and didn't like all insights are appreciated.