Helga opened her eyes. Those words would just not leave her head. She sighed restlessly and turned over onto her back, pulling her covers close under her chin. She had been trying to sleep for hours, but was haunted by memories and forgotten promises. How could anyone sleep after all that had happened…
She sat up in bed, pushing strands of honey-blonde hair out of her face. Had it truly been only yesterday that he had left Hogwarts? That he had left them?
She still remembered the promises the four of them had made in their youth. How could he have forgotten them? True, they were all different, but that was what had made them strong. And now…
The whisper of his name in the wind used to comfort her, now it just seemed to deepen the scars in her heart.
She had been an only child, raised by her aunt after her parents died at young ages. She had loved her aunt, but Rowena, Godric, and Salazar had been her true family. Rowena, her best friend since the age of seven. Godric, the man she had fallen in love with. Salazar, her brother by heart but not blood. Each had strengthened her, as she them, and each had always been there.
We were the Four Founders…
It had been a shared dream. They were going to build a school where young witches and wizards could learn properly. Unlike the countless days that the four of them had spent pouring over nearly useless books and practicing with each other, they wanted the future generations to get a stronger, more structured and established education.
And they had done it. They had created such a school. Yes, their students had been divided among Houses, but there was always a strong sense of unity among them all. But things had begun to change…
Several tears were slipping down her smooth cheeks. She had not noticed them until now. Brushing them away with the back of her hand, fragments of memories flashed in front of her eyes: Salazar slipping out the entrance door – Rowena wiping her fogged classes – four sets of laughter ringing together in harmony – Godric and Salazar shouting – her own hands running over a metal snake in one of the bathrooms that she hadn't noticed before –
Helga Hufflepuff lay back down. Though she felt betrayed and angry, her loyalty and compassion shone through. Were he to return, she would welcome him right back in. That's what brothers and sisters did.
Sinking into a cushiony blue chair, she lit a small candle on the table beside her. She rubbed her eyes wearily. She was exhausted, but not from lack of sleep.
Rowena massaged the bridge of her nose, then removed her hand. By light of the candle, she observed how the ring on her finger glittered. She slid it off and examined the object, as she had done so many times before. This time though, instead of being filled with joy, she felt herself being drained of all emotion.
It was an intricate design of two gold snakes, twisted around each other. The detail was fascinating: each scale had been etched in subtly, and each snake had two colored spots for eyes. One set was blue, the other green. Slytherin and Ravenclaw colors: opposites, in a way, but still bound together.
Salazar had given it to her. It was not an engagement ring. They were teachers, and they had both agreed marriage would simply complicate their goals and career. But it was still a ring of love, a ring of promise.
Then why had dear Salazar, her Salazar, left without so much as a backward glance?
He had disappeared, just as quickly as a snake slithers across a floor. He was there one day, and then the next – gone. All his possessions had been cleaned out of his chamber. Only the furniture remained. And the other three Founders.
Didn't he care about us as more than things?
She had thought they were perfect together. He, a strong ambition for power. She, a driving thirst for knowledge. Both were equally determined to gather what they wanted, sometimes going to lengths to do so. They both were ones to let their heads rule instead of hearts, unlike their dear friends Helga and Godric; and this trait had pulled them together.
Her best friend Helga and wonderful brother Godric were still here, it was true…yet somehow Rowena Ravenclaw knew that she would never really feel whole again.
But it certainly wasn't her intelligent mind telling her that.
He was sitting on top of a desk in his classroom. He hadn't been able to sleep, and for some reason his slippered feet had taken him here.
He clenched and unclenched his hands. How dare Salazar do this, how dare he not listen to reason? What difference did blood make? Why had it become such a big issue?
But it had become about more than having 'pure' blood running through your veins, and Godric knew it even as he asked himself these things. That was what it had started as with Salazar, but gradually it had grown to something larger. He wasn't sure exactly what: perhaps a test of pride?
What does it matter, he thought, and his hands gripped into fists again. He's gone, and there's nothing you can do anymore.
He was known for his bravery, so he didn't like having such thoughts. But he had done all he could to save his closest friend, as had his 'sibling' Rowena and love Helga.
Godric had been friends with him since his youth. True, childhood friends often grew apart, but this had been different: they had been friends for longer than childhood, and he had thought they could last even longer. Why, then, had Salazar merely tossed it all out the window?
He wasn't sure what to feel towards his old friend: fury, for betraying them so? – pity, for being led so astray by poisonous ideas? – understanding, because that's simply what friends did?
Godric Gryffindor ran his hands through his brown hair and then put his head in his hands. One thing was for certain: whether Salazar returned or not, Godric would never be able to think of him the same way again.
He could stop here for the night. Dingy it may be, but a bed was all he needed for comfort.
After paying the innkeeper, he took his bag of possessions and went to find his room. Once changed into night clothes and washed up, he laid down to sleep. But something kept him awake, and it wasn't the hard mattress.
Impatient with himself, Salazar turned over onto his side. The time wheedled away impossibly slow.
Somehow, after three hours, Salazar found himself staring at the ceiling, still awake. He was tired, damn it, he wanted to sleep! He had left Hogwarts the night before and hadn't got so much as a hour long nap since.
Salazar sat up and massaged his temples. He felt as though he had just had a long nightmare. A daymare, perhaps, he thought wryly, since I never fell asleep.
His eyes were haunted with images of Godric, Helga, and Rowena: his other Founders, his co-workers, his – friends.
No, not friends. Not anymore.
They insisted they were trying to 'help' him, trying to 'save' him. He did not listen. They refused to, so why should he? His mind was made up, anyhow.
Kind Helga…she had tried to be understanding, but even her sisterly compassion could only withstand so much…. Noble Godric…well, he had been brave to argue with 'the cunning and sinister Slytherin', as Salazar knew several gossipers in the nearby village had termed him recently…. Brilliant Rowena…she was bound with plenty of intelligence, but even her love for him could not change his opinions, nor her own….
But even so, they had been his friends –
He shook his head sharply at himself.
Friends do not beg friends to change their opinions on matters. Friends should support you and always be there. Friends should not desert each other…
You mean like you did, Slytherin?
He sighed and laid back down on the bed.
Though it hurt his pride, he finally admit to himself that he had made mistakes just as they had.
Still, Salazar Slytherin knew that he was never going back. He had never really belonged there.
After all, he thought with bitter sarcasm, red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors. Green is not one of them.
And never will be.
A/N: This was vaguely inspired by my wonderful art teacher's many lectures on color, and the song It's Over from The Cheetah Girls 2 (horrid movie, lovely song :). Thank you for reading, and please leave a review. :)