Disclaimer: All of this is based upon the lovely J.K. Rowling's work. I own nothing except Salazar's wife, son, and various other original characters. This story is an AU of sixth year, but it will contain a few spoilers from Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. However, it will still seriously diverge from canon.
"blah" : Parseltongue
Italics: excerpt from a book /newspaper or any other written form
Bold: a word or phrase that is emphasized
Italics, Underlined, and Bold: location/date of a scene in the story
For the Kaleah, who never had the chance.
Prologue: History is not what it Seems
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Late Winter, 963 A.D.
Two figures moved rapidly down a long corridor, one slightly in the lead. Their cloaks billowed behind them as they passed door after countless door. The first absentmindedly whistled to himself as he went, running his hand through his shoulder-length hair that refused to lie flat. His face sparked with amusement in the faint light, lips drawn into a ghost of a mischievous smile as he passed a flickering torch and a few snoozing suits of armor.
"Honestly, Godric!" he stated with a faint Celtic accent, smoothing his dark hair once more. "I am not saying that all Muggles or Muggleborns are evil!" He gestured for emphasis. "I just think that we need to be wary of their religion. Most of them believe that we are some kind of demon spawn that will steal their souls." He frowned, one of the portraits gazing at him oddly and then snorting.
"Really, Sal?" his companion intoned with a hint of sarcasm. He shot the offending picture a look before spelling it asleep with a wave of his hand.
"Yes, really," Sal responded fiercely, walking faster now. "They are taught that magic is… that all magic is evil." He shivered at the very thought.
"Humph." Godric made a face that his friend didn't see. His dirty, golden eyes gleamed in clear disbelief.
The two stopped at a heavy wooden door, which quietly opened with a single touch from Sal. He took a step inside but halted in front of the doorway. With a flick of his fingers, light filled the room, and he turned to his companion.
"Most Muggleborns think that they are a demon incarnate. They try to hide or – even worse – suppress their magic," Sal stated, crossing his arms over his chest defensively. "Surely, you have noticed that when we go look for students among the Muggles that there are barely any! And further, the ones who we do find are far too afraid to accept their magic. They simply pretend that it doesn't even exist. They know that if they show their powers, their own families would disown them… at the very least! Truthfully, they'd most likely be killed!"
Godric brushed a slightly shaky hand over his robes and commented dismissively, "We do not find many students because there is very little magic in their kind." He stepped into the room, eyes narrowing into slits. "That's why they are Muggles!"
His gaze flickered from his friend to the room surrounding them, briefly lingering on the desks that sat neatly in rows and at the wooden shelves on the walls. He almost seemed to be discreetly searching for something. Almost checking out his surroundings.
The dark-haired man studied Godric for a moment, a strange look flashing across his face. But he continued as if he hadn't heard the other's outburst.
"And I am worried about these attacks that have been happening at the local villages as of late. They seem to be magical in nature. This is doing nothing to dispel the locals of their fear," Sal added after a moment. "Many of them are fleeing, but there is a chance that those remaining will try to retaliate." He shook his head. "I asked Siobhan to stop visiting. It's just too dangerous anymore, but I fear that she will do it regardless." Sal's face filled with worry as he fingered the silver and gold band on his left hand.
"Well, that may be true," Godric allowed very slowly. "However, we will not have to worry about that here." His hands trembled for an instant before he quickly hid them in his pockets. The man's eyes began to noticeably water.
"Yes, Hogwarts is safe." Sal's face softened and smoothed. He glanced around the room and smiled pleasantly. "It took us years to build this place, but I am so very glad that we did, even though it felt like centuries." He paused, something occurring to him. "You know, old friend--"
"Enough, Sal!" Godric interrupted.
He glanced around nervously before zeroing in on a particular object, what appeared to be an amulet of some kind. It was a small and shimmering blue with a bizarre metallic design overlaid. The artifact was situated on a shelf in a darkened corner and was concealed by a thick book, looking to all the world as if it had been purposely hidden there.
The man allowed a tiny smile to grace his face, even as he clenched his hands tensely. "Back to the topic at hand," he ordered, "the one we were speaking of before your little tirade about Muggles."
"Oh, yes." Sal ignored the interruption as though it were a common occurrence. "Rowena said that she left here after showing it to some of the seniors. She just wasn't sure where, although it is probably on one of the shelves." His gaze roamed around the room. "We really shouldn't leave this thing just lying around. It does have some powerful defensive spells… as you undoubtedly recall. A student might be severely hurt if they attempted to even touch it." His lips quirked for an instant, like he was silently laughing.
"True," added Godric distractedly, missing the jibe. He blinked, watery eyes shifting back to Sal, who was standing beside him, still searching. He tightened his hands again, and sweat started to form above his brow, plastering blond hair to his forehead. Something in him twitched anxiously, unhappily, but he fiercely shoved it away.
"At least, it was left in a classroom, not in the Great Hall. It would be a nightmare to look for it there." Another grin tugged the corners of Sal's mouth. "Perhaps we should find a permanent place for it. Or do you think one of us should keep it?" he asked, again turning to his companion.
"I suppose," the other man answered absentmindedly, not even really listening. His belly twisted in a very unpleasant manner.
Sal nodded. He remained silent as he turned back toward the room with a pensive look on his face, momentarily forgetting his search.
Godric's already trembling hands began to sweat as well. And he repeatedly clenched and unclenched his fingers. His gaze flicked from Sal to the amulet and back again, wondering why it was taking the bloody fool so damn long. The thing was right there!
"Hm… Helga would probably be the best for the job. She has a delicate touch that won't interfere with any of its magic," Sal murmured aloud after a few heartbeats. "Or possibly Rowena," he went on. "She is rather fond of blue." He snickered to himself and idly resumed his searching, still thinking over the problem.
His friend merely nodded his head and tried to stop the shaking in his hands. His stomach twisted once more, heart beating painfully in his chest.
"Ah!" Suddenly, Sal's eyes stopped. "There it is!"
He nimbly sidestepped Godric and walked toward the amulet. As he meandered between the tables and chairs, Godric stealthily followed, right hand silently going to an inner pocket of his blood-red robes.
"Finally," Sal quipped as he approached the shelf, not even looking to see if his friend had followed.
Behind him, Godric's hand effortlessly pulled free a thin, silver object.
"You'd think that there was some kind of Invisibility charm on this." Sal laughed, even as he peered intently at the amulet.
The blue of the stone ebbed and flowed like water. Its color darkened from sapphire to cobalt, so dark it was almost black. The metal shimmered from silvery to golden and back. The engraved animal quietly yawning and stretching as though it had just woken up from a nap.
"Still, back to what I said before, I'm worried about these attacks," Salazar inserted as he rubbed his chin. "I think we should find the culprit. That would do a lot to help ease tensions." He gently took the amulet off the shelf and moved to place it in his robes.
"I already know who is responsible," Godric answered quietly, continuing to creep after his companion.
Sal abruptly froze, fingers inches from his robe. "You do?" His face registered disbelief. And a sense of dread tingled down his spine as the amulet burned fiercely in his hand.
"Yes," a voice whispered in his ear.
Sal whirled around, but it was too late. Unexpectedly, he was thrown back into the wall, pain exploding first in his back and then his head. Stars burst in front of his eyes as all the air was forced from his lungs. There was a sudden, sharp pain near his heart followed by the odd sensation of a heavy liquid flooding down his chest. His shocked eyes took a moment to focus, and he stared down as a silver blade was removed from between his ribs. The runic carvings on the surface now glittered with red. And as the room started to spin, Sal managed to glance up.
"Yes, and now everyone will think it was you." Godric sneered, casually whipping off his athame. "You didn't even see it coming… so much for Slytherin cunning and cleverness."
His face hardened completely, and he snarled, sending a wandless hex at the other man. Nevertheless, he soon decided it wasn't powerful enough, so he whipped out his wand and let loose a curse.
Sal's vision began to tunnel in as agony shot through him. And he clamped his mouth shut to keep in his screams. He flicked his fingers to put up a shield, but the move failed as his magic sizzled and abruptly died. He then tried to move his hand toward his wand, but his arm refused to obey.
The amulet flared to life in his hand, and the curse ended as Godric was hit by the magical backlash. Sal sucked in a breath, the coppery taste of his blood tainting the air around him. Unsupported, he slid down the cold, stone wall. Although his entire left side felt like ice, his right was on fire from the outburst of the amulet. And in the background, he could hear the other man groan from the floor, his hastily erected shield not enough to protect him entirely.
His mind screamed, "Why?"
And he only belatedly realized that he had asked out loud.
Godric picked himself up off the floor. "Why?" he repeated. "As if you don't know, betrayer. You know. Admit it; you do!" He paused. "As to why they'll think it was you… well, you are a parselmouth. That's reason enough in their minds." His perpetual sneer deepened. "Everyone knows that that is the mark of an evil wizard."
"But… Dark isn't evil… and they will know… that you… hurt me… that you…" Sal stuttered, his mind shutting down. The cold spread throughout his body, even conquering the fire from the amulet.
The blond snarled. "No, they won't. I will simply spell the mess away and make it look like you ran off somewhere. The mark of a guilty heart." He chuckled then, clearly liking that idea.
"But… Siobhan." Sal could hardly speak.
The amulet burned hotter.
"Oh, her! Your filthy, little wife! I will make it look like she was the reason you left. Honestly, Salazar! How could you do that to me? Betray me like that?" Godric screamed back. "How could you stoop to such a level? How could you mix her dirty, muddy blood with yours? She's nothing but a harlot! A filthy whore not fit to fill your bed! You shouldn't have ever married her! She's ruined everything!" His angry magic saturated the air, making it impossible to breathe.
"And… my… my son?" Salazar gasped.
He couldn't get enough air. A faint music filled his ears. Warmth tried to rise up within him, but it was beaten back by the cold. By the endless and ever deepening cold. It felt like his very soul was being ripped away.
Godric came back to himself. "Oh, I won't harm the child. After all, it is not his fault that he comes from filth." He smirked, a manic cast to his face. "I will raise him as he is meant to be raised. Be the father to him that you'll never be."
The music faltered, and the warmth abruptly faded. Sal saw red everywhere. On his hands. On Godric's. On the silvery athame.
Colors exploded before his eyes.
There was blue, the swirling color of the amulet. Red, the color of his blood and of Godric's robes. Green, the color of his eyes. Silver and gold, the colors of his wedding ring. Brown, the color of his wife's wonderful skin. Black, the color of his infant son's hair.
His last thoughts were of his family.
Siobhan, his beautiful wife. What was going to happen to her? Would she be harmed as well?
A single tear wound its way down Salazar's face. It dropped to the amulet clasped in his hand, only to sizzle away to nothingness.
He would never see his son again.
And several hundred miles and one thousand years away, Harry Potter awoke with a start.
AN: Salazar was killed in what now would be considered February, which is late winter. His son was approximately 8 to 9 months old at the time.
Special thanks to Hobbit-Tabby and DracoQueen for the beta.
Chapter One: Life is but a Dream
Updated and Edited: