Chapter 1 : Chapter one: The Beginning
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Disclaimer: I'm only putting it here once. I'm obviously not J.K. Rowling, or I'd be getting paid for this. I'm also letting you know upfront that the first chapter is mainly introduction, so is a bit slower paced than the rest of the story. However, by the end of chapter two...let's just say it speeds up a bit.
Long ago, there lived four of the greatest witches and wizards of their age: the brave Godric Gryffindor from Wild Moor, the wise Rowena Ravenclaw from Glen, the kind Helga Hufflepuff from Valley Broad, and the cunning Salazar Slytherin from Fen.
Together, as you know, they founded one of the most prestigious magical schools in history: Hogwarts. Yet, that's only one part of a far larger story. Be warned, dear readers, for I cannot promise a happy tale, only a true one...
The day with which we begin was a pleasant one, the air blowing warm and gentle as the sun shone high in a blue summer sky. Birds chirped in the trees as laughing children chased each other around the village square. Yet there was one who would not be seen with the rest.
Young Salazar, a young man of fourteen, could be found in his normal hideaway that fine afternoon, far from the laughter of others and sitting quite contentedly up in an oak, his head trapped firmly and predictably in a book. A peaceful scene...for the moment.
At the sudden shout, the young man started, saving himself a split second before falling from the nook he'd wedged himself into. His book, however, wasn't as lucky and landed spine up on the ground fifteen feet below.
With a slight scowl, Salazar glanced down to see his mother, Amara, picking up the leather-bound tome. Wisps of chestnut hair had escaped the bun she'd trapped them in, and her grey eyes were tired, the heavy bags making her look far older than her thirty-five years. Yet, as she raised her face to look at him, he saw that she was smiling, and his scowl lessened.
"Reading out in the woods again, I see," she called, then shook her head and smiled. "It must be a good story. I called your name three times before you even looked up from the dratted thing."
Salazar merely shrugged and muttered a quick "Well you didn't have to yell," under his breath before beginning the short climb down, jumping the last few feet and bending his legs as he hit the grassy ground. Amara smiled as he took back his book, and Salazar frowned, cocking an eyebrow.
"Nothing," she answered dismissively, though the grin was still there. "I was just thinking how like your father you are." Amara reached out to ruffle his hair and bit back a laugh as he hurriedly shook her off.
And he really was like him, she thought. The same dark, calculating eyes, the sharp face and dark hair, their dry wit and thin frame...and the identically infuriating habit of acting far more serious than they should.
Shaking herself from her thoughts, Amara inclined her head towards the general direction of their cottage.
"Come on, lad. There are things I'd still like help with before nightfall. You won't get out of chores that easy."
As she turned and started back, Salazar nodded, contenting himself to follow without reply. It was just another day. Like yesterday, all the days before, and many other days to come. That's how it was, and it wouldn't change anytime soon.
Godric let his gaze wander around the crowded streets, fully aware that he seemed just as lost as he truly was. Though in his own defense, it wasn't as if he'd been there long enough to know where everything was, and he certainly wasn't seeing any signs.
After a hard two weeks ride, including about a dozen instances of backtracking and multiple moments contemplating how badly someone could mess up a map, it was a welcome relief when he finally spotted the town's dark clouds of chimney smoke rising over forest and hills in the distance. Approximately an hour thereafter he rode into the small village of Florin, leaving his horse with a weary looking stable boy and spending quite a bit more coin than he liked before their short conversation was done. So now he arrived, and with absolutely no clue where he was headed.
Godric looked around once more, hoping to spot someone he might ask for directions, but anyone else who might have known who he was looking for, or at the very least where he could start his search, were lost in their own business as they jostled each other about in the daily rush of the market place. Sighing, Godric picked a random direction and started his search.
It didn't matter much anyway, he supposed. Asking around wasn't a good idea for a stranger in a new town to do nowadays. Even with the guise of a common traveler, Godric already received more than his fair share of suspicious glances. Times were changing quickly, and it didn't take much to draw unwanted attention. He could only imagine the reaction if they caught him walking around with a wand instead of his sword.
Smiling grimly to himself, he kept walking, at this point half convinced he'd ridden all those miles just to turn around and leave. After all, how did he know his old mentor was even in the same town? The man could have moved a dozen times over since his informant had last seen him. Would he even recognize him? Godric had been fifteen the last time he saw him, and that was ten years ago. Who knows how much the old man could have changed.
'Blast Corial and his vague instructions. "Clear as water," he said. "Can't go wrong." he said. Master mapmaker my backside.'
Suddenly, Godric slowed to a stop. Swinging in the light breeze above him was a worn looking sign with a scroll chiseled into its surface. Godric chuckled to himself as he strode inside, a bell chiming softly as the door swung open. If anyone knew his mentor, the owner of this shop would be a good first lead.
The moment his foot crossed the threshold he was instantly assaulted by the scent of musty paper and dust, and a strange sense of comfort washed over him. Memories of long nights and lessons rose in his mind, a candlelit cabin, and more than a few headaches. His lips twitched upwards. Those certainly weren't memories he'd ever imagined thinking fondly of.
As the door shut behind him and he rounded a large shelf of merchandise, Godric's steps faltered. He wasn't sure what he'd been expecting, but what he was seeing wasn't it. Two men stood in front of him, neither seeming to have noticed his entry, and one was exactly who he'd been looking for.
Ingvar Slytherin stood calmly with arms crossed and pale face expressionless as a man at least a head taller glowered down at him. He couldn't be much older than Godric himself, maybe thirty at the most, with a head of dark blond hair tied neatly back by a strip of leather. Judging by his clothes, he wasn't a farmer or any lower status. The narrowed grey eyes, the aggressive stance, the air of superiority. Within seconds a picture was formed in his mind, and what it came together as wasn't something Godric particularly liked. He doubted the man came for an afternoon chat.
"-be careful about throwing threats at my family, Marcus. Only a fool would bring themselves to that low a level, and there's only one fool I can find here." Ingvar smiled coldly. "Now, for the last time, leave my shop."
The man's face flushed, and Ingvar leaned back on the counter with that same expression, halfway between uncaring and cold, plastered on his face. Marcus shot a furious look at the shopkeeper, and in that moment, it seemed he was about to throttle the older man. Whether this was because of embarrassment, anger, or a mix of both, even as the teller of this tale, I cannot say.
"Have it your way, but don't think for a moment this entire town isn't aware that there's something foul about you and your family. I have eyes here, and rumors spread quickly. Remember that, old fool."
That said,or more accurately snarled, the stranger spun on his heel, storming past Godric and out of the shop. The noise of the outside streets momentarily filtered in, then the door closed and all was returned to a muffled silence once more.
As the seconds dragged by, Godric finally turned from the door to see a set of dark eyes casually watching him.
"It's been awhile, lad. Seems that you finally hit that growth spurt you'd been waiting for."
Ingvar stood calmly, hands clasped behind his back as dust swirled in the space between them. The old snake was still smiling, but this one wasn't cold, and there was a spark in his eye the younger man hadn't seen in years.
A sudden feeling of nostalgia bubbled up within Godric, and it was almost as if those ten years had never passed between them, the wall of time melting away. It was so rare to see such honest casualness in a man like him, and the young wizard almost hated to ruin it. He smiled.
"It really has been a while, but whoever that man was, he did have one thing right." Godric shot him a boyish grin and laughed at Ingvar's puzzled expression. "You really are looking quite old!"
The smile on Ingvar's face vanished instantly, but Godric's only widened.
Just in the nick of time, he spotted the warning gleam in Ingvar's eyes and dropped to the floor, grunting as he landed and his sword sheath dug painfully into his leg. Not even half a second later, a thick book shoot like an arrow through the space his head had been, and a resounding thud echoed through the shop. Godric cringed, imagining how much that would have hurt. Likely, he realized, quite a bit.
Hearing footsteps, Godric turned awkwardly on his back, going cross eyed as he stared down the length of a slender wand. Ash with a core of unicorn hair, twelve inches if he remembered correctly. Funny what thoughts bubble to the surface at the strangest moments.
Despite his current position, he knew that even old Slytherin could only hold back a smile for so long. Experience held true.
"You always did say the most foolish things, boy. At least that hasn't seemed to have changed. Out of all your antics, that might have been the most annoying by far."
Godric rolled his eyes in response as Ingvar lowered his wand and slipped it back into a concealed pocket within his sleeve, holding out a hand to help pull his former pupil to his feet.
"To you, maybe," he countered. "But there have been quite a few others that called it endearing. I myself tend to consider it a compliment." Ingvar scowled, but Godric saw the small twinkle in his eyes and knew that it was an act. A good one, yes, and one that many wouldn't spot, but still an act.
Sometimes, he thought, you just couldn't resist poking at a coiled snake. Even if said snake had a famous temper.
"I'm afraid that those young girls you were so fond of showing off to don't count. They would have called anything you did endearing...no matter how idiotic."
At that, even Ingvar couldn't hold back a smile, and it really was as if he'd never left. After all that had happened it felt good to be back.
Yet inside, a cold hand tightened around his chest. If only he was just there for a casual reunion, but dark times brought even darker news. Godric couldn't delude himself of that. However, maybe he could imagine, until tomorrow night at the latest.
A/N: Fourth wall? Funny, I don't see a fourth wall. Unless, that is, you mean that piece of demolished rubble over in the corner.
Since there is an astonishing lack of stories for these characters, which there'd be neither Hogwarts nor a fandom without, I'm taking charge of uncovering their history myself. I promise that not a single chapter will be put up without an extensive amount of editing. It might be a bit slow, but I'll try and do my best. There's a lot going on in life, you know?
Also, I'm aware about the not having books thing, but it's a bit too late to change that, so I'll call on the creative liberties card just this once. After all, I can't be the only one who's ever read a published story in this time period containing books. Most chapters will also be longer, but it is chapter one, better known as a introductory chapter. It is suppose to be introductory.
I also want to thank looneylizzie on HPFF and WrenWinterSong on Mugglenet Fanfiction for being awesome betas. :)
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