|And in Their Triumph Die
Author: itsAmmers PM
The Hogwarts Four band together to build the first school of witchcraft and wizardry. Their trials and tribulations will forge powerful friendships, but eventually unravel in tragedy. Rated M for violence, language, sexual content.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Friendship - Godric G. & Salazar S. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 57,147 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 31 - Updated: 07-10-12 - Published: 01-17-12 - id: 7750627
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This one proved tricky!
AND IN THEIR TRIUMPH DIE
The next two days passed by quietly, which was fine for Godric and Salazar after weeks and weeks on the road. The days were cool and the evenings were spent either in the warmth of the house or around a large campfire in the yard. Helga left Leona in charge of the children—Godric and Salazar could tell Leona wasn't entirely thrilled about the idea of playing babysitter, but she was responsible and did as asked. They left on the third afternoon after an easy morning and a spot of lunch. They said goodbye to the children, and with some clothes packed (Helga had thankfully seen that Godric and Salazar's clothes had all been washed), the three of them gathered around the massive hearth in Helga's house. Helga kept some Floo powder in a small pot on the mantle. She took it down with both hands and Godric and Salazar each took a fistful.
Helga instructed them as to their destination before casting the powder into the fire. The orange flames became vibrant green, and she carefully stepped into the tall hearth. She had long black robes lined with marigold, and her honey-colored hair was pulled back in a bun. The congenial-looking badger that was the sigil of her house was cuddled on her silver broach.
"Glenhouse," she said clearly.
The green flames whooshed around her, engulfing her. In the blink of an eye, she had vanished, and the flames receded. Godric went next, throwing the powder into the fire, which flared green again. Godric stepped into the hearth, glanced at Sal and said as clearly as possible, "Glenhouse."
There was a rush, and Godric felt as though he had been catapulted through a tunnel. He landed quite suddenly, placing a hand on the brick interior of a fireplace to balance himself, and then stepped out into a small parlor. Bright sunlight spilled in from wide windows with heavy, navy blue draperies. Godric brushed himself off. He had some difficulty getting the soot out of the fur that lined the shoulders of his cloak. Helga stood in the room, hands folded as she waited patiently. A moment later Salazar appeared at Godric's back, stepping out of the hearth and brushing soot off of his deep green vest.
Then the door across the room opened and a young woman entered, slightly breathless.
She was beautiful—slender with fair skin and soft brown eyes, and plush pink lips. She had long dark hair that was presently gathered up in an elegant low bun, and she was robed in dark blue and bronze. She grinned widely upon seeing Helga and ran forward to throw her arms around Helga's shoulders. The two women laughed and hugged happily.
"Oh, Helga! I'm so glad you made it!"
"It's so good to see you, Rowena," said Helga, smiling brightly. She turned so that Rowena could see Godric and Salazar. "These are my new friends, Lord Godric Gryffindor and Lord Salazar Slytherin. My lords, this is Lady Rowena Ravenclaw."
Rowena looked at the lords and seemed to remember herself. She cleared her throat and adopted a more demure demeanor. She curtsied politely and said in her Scottish accent, "Welcome to Glenhouse, my lords."
Godric and Salazar bowed to her. "We're happy we could come visit," said Godric.
Rowena smiled and then took Helga's arm. "Come! I've told my father you all were coming. He would like to meet you, my lords."
She led them through a dark hallway and up a flight of stairs, chatting with Helga about the children, and the Muggles she had healed. It appeared as though Helga had consulted with her friend as to the treatment of the Muggles, and Rowena was pleased to hear that all had been mended. Rowena led them to a drawing room, bright and comfortable despite the fact that the manor was made of stone, as most strongholds were. Godric felt at ease, for it reminded him of the Gryffindor manor, despite being somewhat smaller.
A handsome man with silver hair and a neatly-trimmed silver beard was sitting by the large bay windows, reading. His robes were dark blue with bronze trim, like his daughter's, and he wore a bronze pin fashioned in the shape of an eagle. He looked up over his spectacles when Rowena brought her guests into the room.
"Ah, Helga," said Lord Ravenclaw warmly. He set his book aside and stood to greet Helga. He took both of her hands in his and kissed her cheeks. "I'm happy to hear you're safe; I heard about your troubles with the Dark wizards."
"Thank you, m'lord," said Helga. She gestured to Godric and Salazar. "We have them to thank for the end of our troubles."
Godric and Salazar bowed once more.
"Lord Godric Gryffindor, Sir."
"Lord Salazar Slytherin."
"Ah, yes…Gryffindor and Slytherin…I know those names. I know your fathers. You must forgive us, my lords…we are more fortunate than some, but I imagine this must seem a humble home compared to what you're used to." Godric could tell Lord Ravenclaw was sincerely apologetic, and he looked so earnest that Godric wanted to put him at ease.
He bowed his head politely and said, "Not at all, we feel quite welcomed already. Besides, Salazar and I have spent some time on the road, any bed is a treat." Godric smiled congenially, looking at Helga and Rowena.
Rowena smiled as well. "Oh! Our elf will take your coats, my lords," she said. An elf appeared seemingly from nowhere; he must have been standing by the door. A moment later, he was practically buried beneath Godric and Salazar's bulky cloaks, and he teetered out of the room.
"Would you care for some tea, my lords?" asked Rowena.
"Godric, please," Godric insisted, smiling.
"And Salazar, of course. And, I would love some tea, if it isn't too much trouble." Sal raised his brow and looked at his companions, to see if they'd be joining him.
They shared tea with Lord and Lady Ravenclaw and told them about their business with the Galts. When the tea was done, Lord Ravenclaw suggested that Rowena show them around the little estate. Helga and Rowena led Godric and Salazar from room to room. The most impressive room was the library, which was packed from floor to ceiling with books and manuscripts. Little dust motes could be seen drifting lazily in the sunlight that streamed through the windows. Salazar was quite interested in the literary collection, and he examined the shelves closely. Godric, too, was impressed. It wasn't a huge room, but it was quite a sizeable collection considering that Glenhouse was maybe a third the size of Gryffindor Manor. Godric's home had a larger library, which is grandfather frequented, but after a quick look around Rowena's library, he could tell that the Ravenclaws had some rare and valuable texts. Godric himself enjoyed reading from time to time—he would never have learned what he had about magic and combat without his share of reading—but it wasn't a pastime of his. He could tell instantly that Rowena and her father were readers.
"This is my favorite room," said Rowena, gazing around at the books with a loving expression. Godric couldn't help but smile, as she was so obviously content while standing in this room.
"I'd bet you've read them all, have you?" asked Godric.
Rowena shrugged. "Well, I've had my whole life to get through them all."
"That is true."
Helga piped in. "Rowena's quite the writer as well. She wrote a treatise on the classification of charms, hexes, and curses. It caused quite a stir recently—it was brought to the Wizards' Council."
Rowena looked askance at her friend, but Godric noticed her lips were resisting a proud sort of smile. Sal looked up from the row of ancient-looking encyclopedias he was leaning in to examine.
"You wrote that?" he asked suddenly. Rowena's brown eyes moved to meet his.
"I did, my lord."
Sal studied her as though he hadn't gotten a proper look at her yet, before saying, "It was quite good….I thought 'R. R.' was a man…. But then, that's precisely why you signed it thusly, isn't it?"
Rowena's brows lifted and she gave a small shrug. "Some men don't wish to hear what a woman has to say."
"Their loss," said Sal, who returned his attention to the bookshelves.
Godric looked between them. "Tell me about the piece," he said, feeling slightly behind. Helga was grinning as she listened to them talk, apparently happy Godric and Salazar were impressed with her friend.
"I made observations as to what distinguishes a charm from a hex, from a jinx, and so on…how the intentions of the caster play into the classification of the spell, as well as the physiological distinctions between such spells as they are cast," she explained. "I think the current classifications are a good start, but they're not specific enough."
Godric raised his brow and looked at Helga, who grinned.
"I told you, as much as you and Salazar talk magic, you needed to meet Rowena…"
"How is it that you two know each other?"
"Our fathers were close friends…they worked together to mediate a peace treaty with a clan of goblins near Inverness. Helga and I had many adventures while they were away." Rowena grinned at her childhood friend, who laughed at the fond memories. "I keep telling her to write a book about her cooking charms, but she's like an old granny with a secret recipe."
Helga waved away the suggestion, rolling her eyes. "Oh for Merlin's sake…"
"Do tell us, dear Helga, I fear I shall starve when I leave your company, and then you'll just have to live with the guilt for the rest of your days," said Godric matter-of-factly, his mind drifting to Helga's excellent meals.
"What, you mean to tell me they don't have a cook at mighty Gryffindor Manor?" teased Helga.
"Godric gives himself far too much credit," teased Salazar from behind a bookcase. "I daresay you'll find a more effective way of getting yourself killed long before you ever starve to death, Godric. Danes, Dark Wizards…"
Rowena glanced between them, unsure whether or not this was a jest, but Godric laughed.
"Salazar represses his own wanderlust. It's really quite sad," he told the ladies, loud enough for Sal to hear.
Rowena laughed this time and peered around the bookshelf. "My lord, please, feel free to borrow anything from the library while you're here," she said.
"Well if I'm taking your books, you may as well call me Salazar."
"Yes, we shall be friends!" declared Helga with an air of satisfaction. "You Lords and Ladies must drop your titles, it's most tedious to us poor peasant folk. Rowena, shall we have a go in the yard?"
The four of them made their way outside and past the stables, where a large Scottish draft horse peered at them. It was black with white socks and a white blaze, and it had tufts of longish fur by its hooves. After a moment it decided its trough was much more interesting than witches and wizards, and ignored the small group.
Glenhouse was nestled in a shallow valley in the Highlands. Godric had always considered his country to be a beautiful one, but he had spent little time in the Highlands, and he was instantly envious of Rowena's home. Mountains swelled up around them with steep slopes. Snows hadn't hit yet, but it was still much cooler here in the north than it had been in Penfryn. The grass was starting to change from a lush, brilliant green to a rusty sort of color, which was still beautiful somehow. Godric suspected that even in the dead of winter, this place would be beautiful. From the crook between two peaks above Glenhouse flowed a stream like a silver ribbon, winding down the slope to the floor of the valley. There was no town or other settlement that they could see. Glenhouse stood alone in this peaceful place. Godric took a deep breath, filling his lungs with fresh mountain air. On the far side of the glen, he spied a small herd of red deer, grazing.
Rowena led them to a yard on the side of the manor where the horses were exercised. At present it was empty, though Godric spied a farrier's station in an alcove of the house. Further behind the house was a small pen where about a dozen shaggy sheep stood huddled together, slowly and thoughtfully chewing on their cuds. Glenhouse was backed against a steep wall of thick green grass and rolling mountain rock, and a chilly wind swept steadily down the slope into the valley. Godric drew the furry collar of his cloak closer to his neck, but he saw that Rowena seemed hardly bothered by the wind. It blew the stray strands of raven hair from her face, and there was a light smile on her lips.
"Helga and I used to come out here to test our skills," she told Godric and Salazar. "We came up with many games to practice our magic. Shall we work on some transfiguration, Helga?"
Helga drew her wand and nodded, grinning. "I think that's an excellent place to start."
"How it works," said Rowena, striding quickly across the yard. "Is we take turns transfiguring an item…sometimes we follow the alphabet, or a category of sorts." She retrieved a small wooden pail from the farrier's station and walked back across the yard. She set the pail down ten paces from where the others stood, then she rejoined them and withdrew her own wand. "Shall we try an alphabet?"
"That's a good start," said Helga.
Godric and Salazar curiously drew their own wands, and the four proceeded with the game. Rowena started at the letter A, and with a flick of her slender wand, the pail became an apple, gleaming round and red in the green grass. The idea was to go down the line as quickly as possible, eliminating a player if they hesitated too long or if their transfiguration failed. Helga went next and with a small pop, the apple became a little brown bird. It fluttered into the air, with every intention of simply flying away. Godric quickly flicked his wand at the flittering thing and it dropped back to the ground as a cloak, landing in a heap. Salazar swished his wand and the cloak became a finely-carved wooden door, with elegant details. The handles were silver serpents, and Godric wondered if it was a replica of a door at Slytherin Manor. Rowena quickly had the door changed into an eagle, and she grinned as the sigil of her house flapped large brown wings. Helga continued without hesitation and produced a flag of deep blue upon which Rowena's eagle was embroidered. As the fabric fell twisting to the ground, Godric turned it into a gnome. ("Oh of course, the silent G!" laughed Helga.) Before the ugly little thing could scurry away, Salazar turned it into a hare, nose quivering and long ears pressed against its shoulders.
Before long they were trying to transfigure faster and faster, laughing as they saw each other scramble to think of something to fit their letter, and remarking on the more clever solutions. Salazar smirked when he had the opportunity to produce a snake, and Rowena impressed them with a fine-looking male elk, with a handsome set of antlers as well as a fine blue halter and harness embroidered in bronze. Helga was the first to be eliminated when she repeated Godric's cloak for C by accident. The others laughed good-naturedly and then proceeded.
Salazar went next, when he hesitated for a moment too long when trying to decide what to transfigure Godric's vole into.
"No! Too long!" shouted Helga, laughing.
"Out! Out!" said Rowena and Godric playfully.
Sal cursed and turned on his heel to join Helga, but he was smiling and shaking his head in the competitive spirit.
Then it was down to Rowena and Godric. Godric found himself frantically transfiguring to keep pace with Rowena, who hardly seemed to be without an idea for a transfiguration. They went back and forth, back and forth, quicker and quicker. What once had been a wooden pail was a snowy goose, a hawk, a sprawling line of ivy complete with beautiful red flowers…finally Godric was at the letter V and his mind was blank. He hesitated as he picked his brain for something that began with the letter V, but it was just long enough.
"Aha!" cried Rowena and Helga.
"Done!" declared Salazar.
"Rowena, you read too much," said Helga.
Godric threw his head back and groaned in defeat. "Damn! V, what would you have done for V, Rowena?" he wondered.
"No one tried a Vipertooth….though I don't know that I could have done it, I've never transfigured anything as large as a dragon before…"
"I'm glad you didn't get to V," said Salazar.
"Another round!" demanded Godric. "Another game!"
"Charms, then?" suggested Rowena with a smile.
The Charms game Rowena and Helga had invented was a slower, more thoughtful process. One player transfigured the wooden pail into something, and the next player would charm it to do something, and so on. Rowena changed the wooden pail back to its original form (it was lying in the grass in the form of an ulna bone). Helga went first, twirling her wand until the pail lifted from the grass and poured out bundles and bundles of brightly-colored flowers. Salazar flicked his wand and each flower exploded in small showers of dazzling sparks.
"My flowers, you brute!" Helga teased, giving Salazar's arm a playfully indignant shove. Sal looked surprised at being touched in such a way, but Godric was pleased to see a grin spread across his face.
"They had a dignified end," said Sal. He gazed thoughtfully at the pail, and then transfigured it into a pewter sundial.
Rowena tilted her head at the sundial, hoisting herself to sit up on part of the fence. After a moment of thought, she waved her wand. Suddenly they heard soft music, and the dial was turning like a music box. It was a lovely little charm, and the four of them stood quietly and listened to the chiming tune for a moment, before Rowena transfigured it into a small round end table. Godric flicked his wand and the table's legs began to move, dancing. It was an absurd sight, and the four of them watched it, chuckling.
They took turns exploring different charms. It was a quieter game, and gave each other a good sense of one another's capabilities. Helga seemed quite adept at charms, and the effect was always lovely and well-executed. But soon the sun was sinking behind the highland hills, and the air was growing chillier. After returning the pail to its original form, they four of them retreated back into the house, where it was pleasantly warm.
They were just in time for supper. Godric, Salazar, and Helga joined the Lord and Lady Ravenclaw in the small dining room. It would have been a dark space, but the fireplace and numerous sconces provided ample light. The mild-mannered Lord Ravenclaw shared stories of his travels with Helga's father, and of the Wizards' Council, which Godric and Salazar's families had attended for quite a few generations. They had a warm, hearty meal, with a stout beer and a rich red wine. They were all quite at ease and quite enjoying the table conversation. Rowena seemed slightly more open and talkative after having spent some time with the guests.
The wine and the tongues continued to flow well after dinner was done and Lord Ravenclaw had retired for the night. Godric, Salazar, Helga, and Rowena moved to the drawing room and gathered around the hearth, sharing stories. They talked of everything, from personal stories to magical theory, and the wine bottles were passed back and forth. They were all laughing and talking cheerily. Godric shared stories of all the varying ways in which he and Gaeralt had managed to give his parents and the household servants regular headaches with their magical blunders. Once, Godric had accidentally jinxed his brother such that his legs would not stop dancing about, and Gaeralt had destroyed half the drawing room with his uncontrolled movement before their father came rushing in to deliver the countercurse. Then Godric had run to hide from his father and quite suddenly found himself transported to the roof. It was immensely satisfying to know that his father would be going mad searching the house for him, until Godric slipped and fell two stories, breaking an arm. Lord Godfrey had forced Godric to remain in an ordinary sling for a full week before allowing his arm to be healed with magic, to teach him a lesson. Godric was, of course, back on the roof within three days of his arm being healed, just to see if he could do it again.
Rowena and Helga shared a story of how they had tried to change the color of one of the Ravenclaws' horses, but instead turned it into a duck with a horse's tail by accident. For days, the girls had hid this horse-duck in their room and maintained a story that the horse had wandered out of its pasture, before Rowena's house elf finally found the source of the mysterious quacking she had been hearing…
"You two transfigured an entire beast? At such a young age?" asked Godric.
"Oh it was quite by accident, I assure you," laughed Rowena. Her fair cheeks were flushed from the wine, giving her a warm, content look.
Godric tried to goad Salazar into sharing some of his own missteps, but Sal wouldn't say a word concerning life on the Slytherin estate.
Thus the four of them got into an animated discussion about the proper way to begin basic transfigurations, and what sort of things could and could not be transfigured. At one point, Salazar and Rowena got on a tangent about what alchemical properties carried over into the field of transfiguration. Helga and Godric listened for a few moments before loudly interrupting with a cheer for more wine and less science. They all laughed and drained their cups, and that put an end to alchemical theories. Then they each discussed their own strengths, and made observations on one another's tendencies and magical traits.
"…You're so precise! I think that makes it so much more effective…."
"…I have trouble with smaller details in my transfigurations…"
"…But Helga, you have such a keen sense for how each effects the other…"
"…You really must teach me, I never get enough practice with charms…"
They shared stories on some of the most impressive magic they each had seen from other witches and wizards, but were somewhat sobered when they realized that such experiences were not terribly extensive….Much of what each of them had displayed in the yard exceeded the skill level of most other magical folk they had each known.
"It'll all die out eventually," said Salazar. "When the old families are gone, and none of it is passed on…"
By then they were warm and drowsy and the alcohol was buzzing in their systems. Helga was yawning into her hand, and Salazar appeared to be staring into nothing. Godric was tired too, but he could hardly recall a more enjoyable evening. He had few peers…his brother was one of his dearest friends, but he was still Godric's younger brother. At a certain point, there was a level of responsibility between them. But these three with him now, Sal and Helga and even Rowena….he felt that they were friends. He felt as if he'd known them for a lifetime, and he was surprised to realize that plans to return to Gryffindor Manor hadn't crossed his mind for some time now.
Rowena was the first to rise from her chair and announce she was going to bed. The others followed suit, glad someone had brought up the suggestion. Rowena and Helga showed Godric and Salazar to the room they would share before retiring to Rowena's room.
"Sleep well, gentle ladies!" called Godric with exaggerated chivalry. Helga and Rowena laughed and Sal rolled his eyes, dragging Godric into the room.
He and Salazar were quick to fall into their respective beds, and quick to fall asleep. He felt exceedingly content, with a full belly and a full day. But as he drifted off to sleep, he was thinking about what Salazar had said.