Everyone knows the story of the Four Founders of Hogwarts. Just like they know purebloods are better than muggleborns and halfbloods. Just like Muggles know dragons are the stuff of fairy tales. We convince ourselves that we know the truth because it's been passed down for ages. Have you ever played the game telephone? That's what we called it anyway. The game where one person thinks of a sentence and whispers to the next person and it goes around the circle and the last person says aloud what they were told. How many times is it the same sentence? But everyone knows history is right… right?
Eleven year old Harry Potter left the Great Hall without his friends. He didn't usually but he really needed to use the loo. After he was finished he started to head back.
"Going somewhere Potter?" Harry turned to find a rather large boy in Slytherin robes just down the hall from him. He couldn't remember the name but he did remember he was a seventh year.
"Back to the Great Hall." He replied backing away, "My friends are expecting me."
"To bad I'll have to disappoint them then." He smirked pulling his wand.
Harry also pulled his though he had no idea what to do with it. He could levitate him, or shoot sparks but not a lot else. Halloween had just passed a few weeks ago and Harry wished he was facing the troll again instead of this large, mean Slytherin with the intelligence to actually wield his weapon.
Harry heard voices approaching and so did the Slytherin, he smirked and brought down his wand just as the new students rounded the corner. Harry was stuck. If he moved the unsuspecting students would get hit by the spell and if he didn't move he was going to get hit. Time and Harry seemed to move in slow motion. He heard the yells of the students behind him as he raised his arms and crossed them at the wrists hoping to somehow block the spell from hitting him. A flash of light disoriented him but he didn't feel any pain. There was a lot of wind though, it was a hard wind that tore at his clothes and took his breath away.
Back in the hall the sickly yellow spell passed through the spot Harry had been in and hit the wall dislodging a large chunk of masonry. Everyone froze for several seconds but when the chunk of masonry hit the floor it woke up Fred enough for him to send a stunner at the other student. The Slytherin was still staring at the spot where Harry had vanished from and never saw the stunner coming his way.
"Harry?" George called, but no response was returned.
"I'm getting McGonagall." Angelina turned and ran off.
A few minutes later McGonagall, Snape and Dumbledore all reached them. Dumbledore asked, "What happened?"
"We came around the corner in time to see the Slytherin down there throw a spell at Harry." Fred started.
"It was sickly yellow color and took that chunk out of the wall." Lee added pointing at the piece of masonry on the floor.
"What happened to Harry?" McGonagall asked looked for the boy.
"He disappeared before the spell reached him." George looked awed, "A flash of light and he was gone."
"Fawkes?" Dumbledore called. The Phoenix flashed in and landed on his shoulder, "Did you take Harry?" It shook its head but trilled a happy tuned and flashed away, "It seems that Harry flashed himself away, but he's fine."
"Albus?" McGonagall asked since she couldn't form the full question.
"Fawkes isn't worried so neither am I." he declared.
"Where do we start looking?" Fred asked.
"First let's see what we have here." Dumbledore began to wave his wand and several lights filled the hall, "Severus, see to your student. He is just stunned."
"I did it." Fred offered up, "After that chunk fell out of the wall I didn't want him to leave."
"Ten pointes to Gryffindor." Dumbledore continue waving his wand with a look of concentration on his face, "Minerva call Alistor."
"What is it?" Severus whispered.
"Very odd distortion." He sighed explaining too soft for the students then he thought to himself, "I fear Harry is more of a when than a where."
"He's not smart enough for much." Severus indicated his student.
"No but Harry is powerful enough for many things." He sighed, "We can only hope he will return."
Severus woke up his student, "What happened?"
"He bent it." The boy babbled, "And he disappeared. "
''Bent it?" Severus asked bewildered.
"I shot at him and if he moved it would have hit those coming around the corner." He looked wide eyed at his professor, "The spell hit a flash of light and bent it making it hit the opposite wall instead."
"What spell was it?" Dumbledore asked.
The boy seemed to come to his senses when Dumbledore spoke, "Tripping jinx."
Severus shook his head and led the boy off to the headmaster's office. At least he wasn't a complete idiot. The tripping jinx was yellow too. But so was a very dark spell designed to severely injure the victim with deep cuts.
Dumbledore blocked off both ends of the hall to protect the evidence. As he thought, "I do hope you are correct Fawkes."
In no time at all Hogwarts knew Harry Potter was missing and that one of the seventh year Slytherins was expelled. It didn't take a genius to figure out the two items were related.
***Some other time***
A man was shocked when a small boy with black hair and green eyes popped into being on his hearth rug. A cut on his head was bleeding profusely. The man jumped up and began to do what he could for the boy's critical condition. It seems as though he had been injured some in the past as well as the present so while the lad was unconscious the man took the opportunity to fix several other problems. The malnutrition was the only thing that would take time, and good food, to fix.
Several days later the boy stirred and the man was there ready to help, "Good morning."
"Where am I?" his bleary voice asked.
"My house, you popped in a few days ago badly injured." He stated softly, "Do you remember what happened?"
"No." the small voice answered after the groan when he tried to shake his head.
"Can you tell me you name?" he asked gently.
"I can't remember." The boy sounded odd and the man was sure he was panicking.
"Don't worry, you hit your head." He stated, "You'll probably remember it all once you've healed."
"Ok." The small voice sounded so tired.
"Sleep now." The man crooned, "You need to rest."
The next morning he woke up again and the man was there with a bowl, "Here let's see if you can eat before you go back to sleep."
"Thank you." He sat up with the man's help and began to eat, "Wow this is good."
"Glad you like it." He grinned, "Do you remember anything today?"
"No." he replied dejected after several moments of thought.
"Don't worry." He patted his shoulder lightly, "It will just take time."
"What do we do in the mean time?" the boy asked.
"Well, I could loan you a name if you want." He grinned, "My son's name was Salazar."
"I'm sorry you lost him." The boy offered his condolences, "Won't it bother you to call me that?"
"Nope." He grinned, "I'm Sanazar by the way, Sanazar Slytherin."
"And I'm Salazar." The boy stretched out his hand and the man laughed as he took it and gave him a firm shake.
"A pleasure to meet you." He grinned.
It was a few days before Salazar was up and about. He experienced a bit of dizziness but he was moving so he was happy about that. By that time Sanazar was more able to explain what he could.
"Your magical core was pretty well depleted when you arrived. It wasn't until a few hours later that it replenished enough for me to be sure you were even magical." Sanazar explained, "I was almost sure your wand was from the one who sent you rather than yours."
"Do you think it's mine now?" Salazar asked.
"Won't know until we try some magic." He shrugged, "Let's try something simple. Hold you want up like this and say lumos."
The tip of his wand lit and Salazar duplicated his action and his also lit.
"Excellent." He clapped, "To turn it off is Nox."
"Nox." Salazar repeated and the light went out.
"I'd say that's enough to prove it's yours." Sanazar grinned and clapped him on the back.
"How old am I?" Salazar asked his mentor, it was the question that was most important next to a name.
"I have a potion." Sanazar started to rummage through his ingredients, "It isn't exact but will it will give us a clue." A hour later Salazar drank the potion and turned green, "That says you're between five and nine." he nodded, "I'd say eight or nine."
Once Salazar was completely well Sanazar began his training. He knew more potions than magic but Harry was grateful to learn anything the man wanted to teach him. He spent two wonderful years training with the man and they had enjoyed a bit of a feast when he had finished all the training.
"Well done son." Sanazar clapped a larger Salazar on the back.
"Thanks dad." He grinned the first time Salazar had called him that they'd both been shocked. Then Sanazar had been so pleased that Sal was glad he'd slipped and said it.
"Tomorrow I need you to go hunt." He stabbed a piece of meat, "This is the last of our fresh venison."
"Ok, I'll head out first thing." Salazar replied with a grin, he liked hunting.
Both went to bed early and Salazar left before the sun rose. He was hoping he could be done with cleaning it and be back before the sun set. He was a good way away from home when he finally caught up to the deer whose tracks he'd been following. A short spurt of magic had the animal stunned and Salazar hurried to kill it before it woke.
He quickly proceeded to get it ready to travel. He cut off the potions they used and left the rest for the scavengers of the woods. The wolves would be happy tonight. The meat was wrapped in cloth and stuffed into his pack that had a cooling charm. Then he began the long trek back to his home. He smiled when he got close enough to smell the smoke from the fire Sanazar was preparing for his kill. They'd smoke part of the meat overnight and would store it for the long cold Scottish winter. The winter store was almost full but he thought he'd get one or two more deer before winter hit.
He cleared the edge of the trees and stopped in his tracks. The pack hit the ground as he took out running at the smoking shell of a house. He found Sanazar near the house badly beaten.
"Dad!" he fell to his knees by his side. He looked at the burned out shell and knew he had nothing to create a potion to help the man.
"Son… go to Lord… Gryffindor." He gasped with the last of his breath, "Warn him… bandits…"
Salazar wailed when he realized the man he loved as a father was gone, stolen from him by the bandits that did nothing but destroy. The sun was beginning to set when he heard horse's approached him from the south. Gryffindor castle was to the north so he knew it wasn't likely to be someone friendly. Wishing he had time to bury his father he ran for the cover of the woods and grabbed his pack on the way. He stopped far enough in not to be seen but close enough to see. Three men in black cloaks with hoods that covered their faces approached. One of the men got off his horse and checked Sanazar.
"Dead." He stood, "That's one less troublemaker we'll have to deal with."
"We didn't just come back to make sure he was dead did we?" another of the men asked.
"No we didn't." the last man and obviously the leader looked around, "We want the boy."
"Why?" the one off the horse asked.
"Because you ignorant dog he knows all Sanazar's secrets." The leader sneered.
"Why bother with him. If we hadn't killed Sanazar we could have gotten them from him." The second one pointed out.
"No one gets secrets out of Sanazar, except his son." The leader chuckled, "The son is not nearly as tough as the old man."
"That is true." The second one laughed, "What's the plan then."
"Fix the hut and bury the old man. Then we'll just sit and wait for him to get back." The leader dismounted.
"How do you know he'll be back?" the first one asked stupidly.
"What is this?" the leader pointed to the set up over a fire pit.
"A meat smoker." He answered.
"That means the boy is out hunting. He hadn't started the fire yet but it's ready for quick starting when he gets back." The second one provided the answer, "He expected him back within a couple days."
"Exactly." The leader took a seat by the smoking pit, "You get started on the hut."
"Always." He answered and brandished his wand. The stupid one picked a shovel off the pack of his horse and started to dig.
Salazar turned and ran. He wouldn't last long carrying a pack of meat so he ditched it in an old dead tree trunk. Animals might get it but the bandits wouldn't. He ran until he didn't have any breath and he stopped to walk. There were many streams along the way so drinking wasn't a problem. Fruit trees and bushes were also plentiful so he was able to keep moving. He didn't stop to sleep that night or any of the days or nights that followed. It was dawn after the third night of walking and running that he stumbled into the gate of Gryffindor castle.
"It's Salazar son of Slytherin." The guard next to the gate called up to the keeper, "Open wide enough for a boy."
The gate opened and Salazar practically fell though. Guards helped him up and put him on a cart behind a horse. The gate guard jumped on the horse and hurried the distance to the castle. He knew his Lord would want to see the lad right away. It was obvious something bad had happened.
"Excuse me My Lord." The guard bowed as much as he could and not drop the boy.
Lord Gryffindor stopped the proceeding in his hall and glared at the guard, "You interrupted."
"I thought you'd want to be My Lord." He held up a small boy he hadn't stopped advancing, "It is the son of Sanazar. I think something terrible has happened."
"Clear the room." Lord Gryffindor jumped from his chair and approached the guard who was carrying the boy, "Well done. Set him on the table. Someone fetch the healer."
"Gailen already left." Godric the fourteen year old son of the Lord approached, "What's wrong with him?"
"Exhaustion at the very least." Richard Gryffindor sighed then turned to the guard, "What is your name and rank?"
"Billings, Albert." He stood stiffly, "Guard for gate. Lower level. I should still be there."
"Well done Mr. Billings." Richard stated, "I'll speak to the commander on your behalf. Hurry back to your post."
"I'm here." The healer called as Billings left the hall. He was still half way across the hall when he started diagnosing the lad, "Exhaustion, dehydration, hunger, and a severely twisted ankle. I'd say he ran quite a while after he had done it."
"Can you wake him? Time may be of the essence." Richard asked.
"Yes but not long." The healer cast the spell.
"Salazar can you hear me?" Godric called.
"Ric… three bandits… they killed dad." He cried for a few moments before he passed out again.
"Stay with him Godric." Richard ordered, "You can move him to a bed where he'll be more comfortable."
"Yes father." Godric aided the healer in moving Salazar to one of the empty rooms.
Richard took seven men and headed out instructing the others to guard the castle with their lives. It was an order that was given and taken in extreme seriousness. They returned three days later with four horses carrying dead bodies. Godric met them near the front door.
"How is Sal?" Richard asked as he dismounted.
"He woke up yesterday. He was on foot for three days without stopping except to drink and pick a little fruit to eat." Godric answered, "The bandits were after Sanazar's secrets. They planned on making Salazar tell them."
"We'll have to protect him until he can do it himself." Richard grabbed one of the horses carrying a body, "We'll bury Sanazar here."
"Shall I get Sal?" Godric glanced back at the body.
"Give me about ten minutes." He said, "I sent a few men to dig the hole, I want to make sure…"
"Ten minutes." Godric turned and entered the house, he found Salazar by the window.
"Is that…" he couldn't finish.
"Yes, father is going to bury him in our graveyard." Ric offered, "He wants us to stay here until they're ready."
"They threw him in a grave six days ago." Salazar shuddered, "It has to be bad."
"I suppose." He didn't want to say how bad it smelled.
"Did he say who they were?" he asked
"Not yet." Ric threw an arm over his shoulder, "Let's go get a few horses."
The funeral wasn't much. Richard, Godric and Salazar stood for a few minutes. Richard said a few words about how good of a man and father he was then they returned to the castle.
"Do you know who it was?" Salazar asked.
"I do and I've taken steps." Richard offered, "I've seen missives to both Lord Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff to keep them on the lookout and to stay safe themselves."
"Who was it?" Salazar asked.
"I'm not going to tell you." Richard held up a hand to forestall his arguments, "First of all they are dead, we killed them for their crimes. Second their father is very far away and very horrible. You aren't allowed to go after him. It will take an army."