Chapter 3 : The Founders
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Harry’s knees began to shake a little as he saw three pairs of eyes staring up at him clearly not noticing that Harry was not Godric Gryffindor. As Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff greeted Harry from the entrance hall, Salazar Slytherin removed his black hood from his head and gave Harry a very weird look. From the top of the stairs Harry muttered a hello to the Hogwarts founders and instead of going down to formally greet them, he fled to the nearest room he could find and immediately faced the mirror with terrified eyes.
“What am I going to do?” whispered Harry furiously as if afraid that the three founders were pressing their ears against the door. “I can’t be you. I’m not-”
“You’re in my body master Potter, therefore you physically are Godric Gryffindor.” Said Gryffindor in a very authoritative tone. “Master Potter, I suggest that you learn how to act because when you are feigning to be someone you’re not you have to convince yourself and others that you are that person. Let this be a lesson to you Master Potter. Always give the people what they want. Salazar, Rowena and Helga want to speak with Godric Gryffindor and therefore you will give them Godric Gryffindor. If you don’t and they find out you’re really not me, they will most definitely think of you of some sort of dark warlock and curse you to no end.”
Harry considered very deeply what Gryffindor had just said to him and realized that it clearly made sense. He remembered Tonks, who had the ability to change her look, and had to constantly pretend that she was an old woman or a common street person and at the same time convince those around her. Harry took in a sharp, deep breath and looked at Gryffindor with fervent eyes. “All right, fine. I’ll do it. What do you want me to do?”
“Well, first of all you have to go down there and welcome your guests into your house properly. You already made a rude impression” said Gryffindor a slightly annoyed “You will then take them to the library and show them your latest creation. The Sorting Hat. What the Sorting Hat does is-”
“Sort students to their respective house depending on their personality.” Finished Harry for Gryffindor. “Those of brave heart will go to Gryffindor. The students that are wise and have wit will go to Ravenclaw. The ones that are patient will be sorted in Hufflepuff and students that are ambitious will go to Slytherin. I know all that. Is that all I have to do?”
“My goodness no!” Exclaimed Gryffindor. “There is a lot to do before a new year at Hogwarts begins. I believe Rowena will give me-er…you- a list of those students who will start their first at Hogwarts.” Gryffindor closed one of his eyes and looked up clearly a common gesture when he was trying to solve a problem. After a few seconds of muttering to himself, Gryffindor finally seemed to have solved the problem “Look, they’re waiting for you. If you have any questions, just excuse yourself and come back to this room where you can get this bloody mirror out. I’m sure I can be of some help.”
Harry nodded to himself and tried his best to control his growing anxiety. But just like Gryffindor said, he had to put up a show for the Founders if he wanted to survive and go back to his own time. A long, desperate sigh escaped his lips before he pushed the mahogany door open. Harry tried his best to act and move just as he thought the real Godric Gryffindor would do; sure of himself, with poise and coolness. When Harry looked over the entrance hall from the top of the stairs he saw one of the woman standing by herself just outside the library. As Harry was going down the stairs he could feels his limbs shaking; he knew he couldn’t mess up or else he would be in a lot of trouble.
“Good day…er…” Harry’s urge to going back to the room came back up when he didn’t have a clue of who was the witch standing in front of him. Is she Helga Hufflepuff or Rowena Ravenclaw, thought Harry as he stared at the Aunt Petunia look-alike. “Sorry to keep you waiting…I had to…to…look over some stuff that we need to start another year at Hogwarts.” Harry didn’t know how to actually greet the woman. All he could do was stand there looking like some idiot. Do I bow to her? Handshake? No…they’re noble people, I can tell. They don’t do handshakes What do I do, damn it!
“Worry not, Godric.” She said, nodding her head slightly and smiling at the same time. It suddenly hit Harry that the only sign of respect between the medieval people was a slight head bow. Harry nodded his head awkwardly wondering whether or not he was doing what was right “We should move on to the meeting before Salazar blows up, you know how impatient that man can be.” The woman’s blue eyes were calm and waiting for Gryffindor’s answer.
“Yes!” exclaimed Harry. Hopefully I wont screw this up, thought Harry “the meeting. Well…let us go into the library and I‘ll show you.” Harry extended his arm motioning the woman and as he passed by him, he noticed that besides skinny she was very small in stature. Once inside the library--the same library he had arrived to--he saw the man he believed was Salazar Slytherin and the plump woman whom he thought was either Rowena or Helga. Somehow he had to know their names but the only way to do that was to make the others speak them.
Slytherin was sitting on a comfortable-looking chair, glaring at the floor and taping his fingers impatiently on the arm rest. As for the woman, she was sitting peacefully on her chair and looking up at Harry warmly. “Good to see you again, Godric.” Harry did the same gesture he did with the other woman but this time with a little more confidence and proceeded to the empty chair which was the one in between both women. Harry’s mouth began to twitch slightly as he noticed that the Founders were staring at him, waiting for him to begin what he had to say. Harry cleaned his throat and recalled what Gryffindor had said to him. If he had to convince the Founders that he was Gryffindor, he too had to be convinced.
“I bid you welcome to my home.” Harry started trying his best to sound confident. “I appreciate you all being here for I have something to show you.”
“Did you created something to help sort the students like you said you would, or did you not?” said Slytherin a little annoyed. “Where is that bloody girl with the bread and honey she was to bring?” Harry’s nerves twitched for he knew Slytherin was talking about Amelia but despite his anger towards the Founder, Harry kept quiet knowing that it might blow his cover. Suddenly, the door to the library flung open and in came Amelia carrying a silver tray containing pieces of fresh, cooked bread, honey, slices of ham and goblets with the fresh milk. Seeing that no one was moving, Harry immediately moved towards Amelia, took the heavy tray from her and placed it on the small table in the middle of the room.
Amelia gave him a strange but grateful look “Thank you, Sire. Anything else you may need, my lords?” Harry and Slytherin shook their heads Ladies?” The both women shook their heads as they began to take some pieces of bread and ham.
“My are dismissed” Sneered Slytherin. Harry now understood why Amelia was utterly scared of the wizard. He hated her. He despised her kind because she was muggle born and therefore the beginning of contamination in the wizarding world. He clenched his hands into fists so tight that his short nails were beginning to dig deep into the palm of his hands as he saw the man that was responsible of Voldemort’s actions and even Voldemort’s pure existence. His nails continued to dig deeper as he saw Amelia’s scared face. There is nothing wrong with being muggle born, he thought as he remembered his own mother and his best friend. NOTHING WRONG!
“Slytherin, all she did was prepare the food.” said the plump woman as she took a sip from her goblet. “She’s the only cook here because she’s the only person that’s one of us.”
“She is not one of us, Helga.” scorned Slytherin. “She’s a mudblood and a disgrace to our world. Her grandmother, who was sadly a good witch and priestess to Avalon, forfeited the right to belong in our community when she married that muggle man.”
“It’s still not her fault.” boomed Harry in his new voice. Slytherin, who was going to continue ranting against Amelia shut his mouth and glared at Harry. “I requested your presence here today to discuss the way the students will be sorted, not about who is muggle born and a contamination to our world.”
“Godric is right. We‘re about to begin Hogwart‘s third year and we need something to sort the students into their respective house” the Aunt- Petunia look alike, and who was actually Rowena Ravenclaw, said nodding her head in agreement. “So do us all a favour Salazar and sit yourself down. We’re wasting time over this foolish matter.” Slytherin sat back into his chair and still glared at Harry who only stared back suddenly feeling more sure of himself. I can do this, he reassured himself as he walked up to the Celtic-style writing desk and picked up the brand new Sorting Hat. When he faced the three Founders all of them stared at Harry with a clear doubt upon their faces.
“Your ceremonial hat, Gryffindor?” asked rather Slytherin with a plain bored tone on his voice “I surely believed you had something better when you requested a piece of our minds. But apparently the great Godric Gryffindor couldn’t think of a good way to sort our own students and decided to use his own ceremonial hat ”
“Let the man speak if you will, Slytherin.” Ravenclaw said impatiently “I’m sure Godric has a good reason for…this…hat. You do have one, do you not?”
Harry nodded. “I do. What you see here is my ceremonial hat. But what makes this hat different than others is that it has yours and my memories in it, therefore this instrument here is more than a sheer hat.” said Harry as felt the adrenaline rush. Deep down, he knew that he was doing a good job on convincing himself but as he looked at the Founders he wondered whether they were believing him or not. Nonetheless, he continued with his explanation of the Sorting Hat to the doubtful Founders “This hat is capable to enter the student’s mind and examine it carefully, then it will sort him or her into the respective house depending on their attitude.”
“How, pray tell Godric, is your ceremonial hat suppose to sort the new students?” asked Hufflepuff as she examined the hat that Harry had on his hands.
“It all depends on his or her own personality.” Harry said, simply “Those that are brave will be sorted into my house. Those that value intelligence will be sorted into Ravenclaw. Those of patience to Hufflepuff and those that are ambitious will be sorted into Slytherin.”
“Fair enough.” uttered Hufflepuff. “But how will we know where the students will be sorted?”
“Good question, Helga.” Harry couldn’t believe he was deceiving the three great Founders so easily. Don’t get too happy, Harry, the little voice that sounded just like him said, you still have to survive the entire day and what’s to come as Gryffindor until your time is up. “Let me show you how this hat works.” Harry walked up to Ravenclaw and placed the hat on her dark brown head. Once on Ravenclaw’s head, the Sorting Hat sprung to life and started speaking.
“Lady Ravenclaw,” it said “how are you, milady this lovely afternoon.”
“The hat speaks!” exclaimed with fascination Hufflepuff. “And the Hat knew who Rowena was. Godric, this is indeed a fine tool you have created.”
“A fine tool indeed.” muttered Slytherin as he stared at the Sorting Hat with narrow eyes. But despite the murdering stare, Harry spotted some intrigue and a small hint of interest on his face as he stared at the Sorting Hat that still rested upon Ravenclaw’s head. As he took a small sip of his milk Harry realized that it wasn’t milk at all but wine. Strong wine, actually. But still good…he thought as he took one more sip of his goblet.
“So, what are your opinions?” Asked Harry as he removed the Sorting Hat from Ravenclaw’s head and made his way back to his comfortable chair. “I believe this will the tool to sort our new students in their respective houses for many years to come.”
“I second that, Godric” agreed Hufflepuff. As Ravenclaw and Slytherin were nodding their heads in agreement, Harry was staring at the Sorting Hat that now rested on his lap; motionless. Suddenly a strong urge to put it on came over him not realizing that he, in mind, was Harry Potter and not Godric Gryffindor. With one swift move, Harry put on the Sorting Hat that fitted him perfectly on his head and not over his eyes as it had happen when he was only eleven. Such a long time that was, he reminisced. I was only a kid back then who knew nothing of the high price he had to pay to be in the wizarding world or to get away from his family.
Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted when the Hat gave out a loud cry when he came back to life. All three Founders stared at Harry--or Gryffindor when it came to their eyes--and the Hat upon his head.
“Who are you?” Cried the Sorting Hat from on top Harry’s head. “You’re not Lord Gryffindor but an impostor!”
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