Chapter 1 : One
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Godric Gryffindor had always enjoyed being outside. As a child, he had spent endless hours exploring the woods near his home, and would never get tired of seeing the way the sunlight filtered through the trees and hit the sparkling brook that ran alongside his family's cottage. He would run between the trees, and climb their tall branches, watching as the sun moved past the turrets and towers of the castle that stood above the kingdom that sat just beyond the forest where they lived.
His father was a woodcutter, and would let Godric follow him as he traveled around, getting wood and carving everything from clocks to chairs to take and sell in the village. He taught Godric, and would guide his son's small hands as they moved in slow, uneven strokes along the wood he was trying to whittle. Tiny figurines littered their cottage, and Godric would glow with pride every time he presented his mother with something he had made, and she would grin and tell him how wonderful his gift was.
"It's lovely, Godric!" she would say, smiling and kissing his cheek. "You're getting better every day!"
As Godric grew older, he would stay up late, listening to his parents talking when they thought he was asleep. He heard them talking about what work he could do now that he was becoming a man. In the past few years, Godric's mother had given birth to two more children, and now she was expecting another, and because he was old enough, Godric needed to work to help support his family. He wanted to help them, and as he looked over and saw his younger brother and sister sleeping peacefully, he decided that he would find the best job he could, and would make his parents proud.
A few more years passed, and at sixteen, Godric was tall and blonde, and had become strong and broad-shouldered from helping his father cut wood in the forest. But he knew that just helping his father wouldn't get his family the money they needed, and he decided to look for a job in the kingdom. He traveled into the village, and learned that they were in need of a stable hand up at the palace. Godric had never worked in a stable, but his family had a horse that he had saddled countless times, so he didn't doubt that he could do the job.
By eighteen, Godric was living on the palace grounds, and working in the stables there. His mother had been overjoyed when he had told her that he could work in the palace.
"But I could always find something closer to home," he had said, knowing that he would miss his family terribly if he was so far away.
"No, Godric, you must go!" she had replied, smiling up at him with dark eyes that reflected his own. "My son working for the King! You'll be going by Sir Gryffindor soon! But you must always remember, my darling, that I love you and am proud of you."
He had hugged her tightly, bending down to wrap his arms around her petite frame.
"I'll write, and I'll make sure to send money home," he had promised her.
Godric had kept his promise, and knew that his hard work in the palace stables was helping support his parents and younger brother and sisters. He would write them with news of the palace, and knew that his sisters particularly enjoyed it if he saw the twelve young princesses whose father ruled the kingdom.
And as he woke each morning to see the sun rising, causing soft pink and purple strokes to drift across the dark sky, Godric would smile and imagine the days all those years ago, when he would climb a tall tree to see the same sun passing the magnificent castle that he could still see through his window.