Fore note: Lots of thank you-s and a lot of hugs to Seldes Katne for beta-reading Hearts and Hourglasses before it's posted on Sugar Quill! She's a wonderful person and a fantastic beta-reader!
Summary: A thousand years ago, Salazar Slytherin wanted to see how Hogwarts would turn out. So, he sealed a memory of himself and of the other Founders in the Sorting Hat. Along comes Harry who sees the Sorting Hat aglowing, and Hogwarts now has four additional professors. Though the Founders' visit is only temporary, many a mystery is encountered and secrets from the past are revealed. Visit Wvelte, where the Founders' reside. Find out more about the Chamber of Secrets. Witness Godric's first encounter with Quidditch and see how Salazar rides a broomstick. Rowena's a mindreader, and Helga is so cool
Additional note: [Added January 20, 2002 - HnH was first published on FF.net on September 24, 2001] This is a late note, but I decided to add it while going through some posts about disclaimers and such, which reminded me of something a reader told me about HnH reminding him of Cassandra Claire's HP series.
I'll lay down all the cards on table. I read Draco Dormiens and Draco Sinister before I began writing HnH. The only idea I will claim I stole/borrowed from Cassie is the Parseltongue plot device, which you will only see being used in the first 2 or 3 chapters of this story. I still feel guilty about it so after I finish HnH, I will edit out that Parseltongue bit. I had plans for it, but it hasn't been used properly. Such a wasteful use of a good idea.
I'll also add that the Salazar Slytherin you'll read in this story began as a reverse reaction of sorts to the Salazar Slytherin portrayed in Cassie's Draco Sinister. His initial personality is a mirroring. After a few chapters, he was writing himself. As for other HP fanfiction influences and inspirations, in chapter 33: Phoenix, you'll see a plot device I borrowed from RJ Anderson's stories. While writing the same chapter, I also couldn't get something, I read about in Heidi's A Surfeit of Curses, out of my mind.
In chapter 24: The Game, you'll see a game which will definitely remind you of monopoly, pick-up sticks and role-playing games such as Age of Empires. End of Additional Note
Chapter One: The Sorting Hat
Harry Potter, now in his fifth year at Hogwarts, hummed softly as he walked down the hall to the stone gargoyle that marked the entrance to the Headmaster's office. He had wanted to talk to Dumbledore about Cedric. As he reached his destination, he suddenly remembered that he needed the password to gain access.
However, Harry wasn't stumped. Knowing Dumbledore, all he had to do was go through a list of candies and sweets, and one of them was bound to be the correct password. At the twelfth confectionery delight, which was Fizzing Whizbees, (Are there actually Billywig stings in them? Harry wondered in a corner of his mind) the gargoyle jumped aside and let Harry pass.
Entering the Headmaster's office, Harry couldn't help but feel just the slightest bit impertinent. He doubted there was another student beside him who would dare impose on Dumbledore's time. Perhaps, he was getting too used to the fact that he was *the* Harry Potter, and thus was more then an ordinary Hogwarts student and was accorded extra privileges.
Harry definitely didn't like the idea and suddenly regretted coming straight here even though he truly felt that he needed someone to talk to about Cedric. He just couldn't open up to either Ron or Hermione. Even talking to Sirius about Cedric felt too hard.
Unfortunately, the Headmaster wasn't in his office, and Harry breathed a sigh of disappointment mixed with relief. Upon reaching the office, he suddenly felt that talking to Dumbledore about Cedric would be too difficult and painful.
Harry turned to leave the office when he noticed something that made him pause. Behind Dumbledore's desk, on its shelf, the Sorting Hat was glowing. Harry couldn't recall ever seeing it glow before. Naturally curious, Harry went to it, passing the portraits of wizards and witches who were sleeping as always. There was a soft squawk, and Harry jumped a little, startled when Fawkes, the Phoenix, landed on his shoulder.
"Oh, hi, Fawkes," Harry said with a smile, reaching up a hand to pat Fawke's head. The Phoenix nipped Harry's earlobe gently. He seemed happy to see Harry, who was also pleased to see Fawkes as well. The firebird was a reassuring weight on his shoulder as he walked around the desk to stand in front of the Sorting Hat, which was still glowing.
"What you think, Fawkes?" Harry asked the Phoenix, "Do you think I should put it on?" Fawkes fluffed up his feathers then began grooming them with his beak. Harry grinned, guessing that meant that it was all right since Fawkes didn't seem to think it was dangerous. But then, how could the Sorting Hat be dangerous?
Eager to distract himself, Harry reached out, picked up the Sorting Hat and placed it on his head. Not surprisingly, it was still much too large for him. The hat rim slid down over his eyes as it always did. The inside of the hat was also glowing, and Harry blinked, waiting for the hat to say something to him. Like perhaps to explain why it was glowing.
Suddenly, he froze. Words had appeared before his eyes, written on the inner side of the Sorting Hat.
Harry blinked again and after a second returned the greeting. "Hello," he said hesitantly.
Ah! Wonderful! You must be one of mine then.
One of yours? Harry wondered, but the Hat ignored his question for it wrote.
Do you have a Source?
Source? Thought Harry, bewildered. What source? When there was no reply from the Hat, Harry cleared his throat and asked, "What's a source?"
A Source, you know. A wand perhaps. I prefer wands, but a sword would do just as well though I find those things cumbersome. Quite barbaric really, but they do work though I would prefer if you have a harp or a lute, perhaps a pipe or a flute. The most marvelous of all magic truly, music. I must confess I fall very short in song making even though I wish deepest in my heart that I could hold a tune.
Harry's eyes were starting to ache as he tried to keep up with the quickly scrolling words.
Mayhaps you have a staff? Or a rod? Or a switch? Or a broom? They are dreadfully useful, those sticks. I still favor wands, but sticks are definitely better than swords, don't you think? Plowshares are better than swords, I do say, and you can still bludgeon an enemy with them. Swords, on the other hand, cannot till a field. Only good for mutilating, I dare say-
"I have a wand!" Shouted Harry, wanting the Hat to stop writing for a while. Not only were his eyes burning, his head was also aching. He suddenly heard a familiar unearthly song and sighed in relief when his vision cleared, and his headache was soothed. "Thanks, Fawkes," Harry breathed gratefully, lifting a hand to touch the Phoenix' soft feathers. Another line of words was forming inside the hat.
Is Fawkes a Phoenix?
"Yes," answered Harry, feeling surprised. The Hat could hear Fawkes?
Lovely! A Phoenix is much better than a wand. You don't happen to have a unicorn nearby, do you? A dragon perhaps?
This Hat is bonkers, thought Harry quite plainly, but he wasn't able to say anything else for the Hat had written more.
Never mind. The Phoenix, Fawkes isn't it?, will do. Can you kindly please ask him for a feather?
At which point Harry pulled the Sorting Hat from his head and stared at it with disbelief. What in the world is this Hat up to?! Harry glanced at Fawkes who had resumed preening his feathers. The Phoenix seemed to know that Harry was looking at him for it stopped at once and looked back at Harry.
"... The Sorting Hat would like one of your feathers, Fawkes," Harry said slowly, feeling a little foolish. From what he gathered, the firebirds were possessive of their feathers. Fawkes here, Harry knew, had given only two feathers. Both of them had gone to Mr. Ollivander to be made into wands.
Was it Harry's imagination or did Fawkes' eyes sharpened? For a tense moment, Harry thought he was going to get pecked, then Fawkes suddenly flew off and went back to his perch behind beside the door.
Well, that's it, thought Harry, feeling a little disappointed. Sorry, Sorting Hat. Suddenly, something shiny floated down before his eyes. Harry quickly caught it. It was a Phoenix feather. Fawkes had given him a feather, and it was magnificent. The feather seemed like pure gold, glittering in the light and dazzling Harry's eyes. It was a feather from Fawkes' tail and as long as Harry's arm.
Harry smiled widely. "Thanks, Fawkes," he whispered as he hastily crammed the Sorting Hat back on his head. "I got your feather," Harry told the Hat excitedly. He was very curious on what the Hat would do with a Phoenix Feather.
Thank goodness! I thought you had left.
"I had to talk with Fawkes," said Harry.
You have one of its feathers, correct?
"Yes," answered Harry.
Please drop it into the Hat.
Automatically, Harry pulled off the Sorting Hat and turned it upside down. Just as he had dropped the Phoenix feather into it, a cold thought suddenly occurred to him. The Hat had told him to drop the feather into the Hat, not into its self!
Alarmed, Harry tried to fish out the feather but it was too late. Bright lights shot out of the Sorting Hat and blinded him. He stepped back instinctively and yelped when his foot slipped, causing him to lose his balance. As he fell to the floor, Harry felt the Hat jerk out of his hand.
Chapter Two: The Founders
"Yes, it worked!" Harry heard someone shout, and he rubbed at his eyes before opening them to see the back of a tall thin silver-haired man standing in front of him.
"Oh no...," Harry heard someone else say, "It actually worked..." Whoever it was sounded stunned and wary.
"Hah!" The man in front of him said in a very satisfied tone of voice, "Pay up, Godric, you lost!"
Harry's eyes widened. Godric? The bad feeling he had worsened fourfold.
"And just how am I suppose to pay you, Salazar?" Said Godric, while Harry's stomach sank, "Or did you include for us to bring money in your spell? Didn't you say we couldn't even bring our sources?"
Salazar, the man standing directly in front of Harry, paused. "Oh..." He sounded sheepish, then he said smartly, "Regardless, I won the wager. Admit it, Godric."
Harry heard a reluctant consenting sound from Godric. Then someone else said, "Thank goodness, we have our clothes at least." It was a warm and an amused feminine voice.
"I wouldn't allow it otherwise," another woman said, this one stronger and stricter, "and fortunately for you as well, Salazar."
"Why are you picking on me, Helga..." Salazar, much to Harry's disbelief, actually sounded doleful. "That's Godric's hobby," he added tritely.
"That's because Godric doesn't go around bending and breaking rules," Helga said severely. "For a grown man, your behavior is worse than a twelve year old."
Salazar sniffled, making Harry choke as he said in a hurt tone, "Here, I have just accomplished something no wizard or witch has ever done before in the history of magic, and all you three do is criticize me..."
"I'm not criticizing you, Salazar," said the unnamed woman immediately, but Harry knew it could be none other than Rowena Ravenclaw.
"Thank you very much, Rowena," said Salazar affectionately. Harry's stomach cramped. He was in so much trouble.
"Oh..." Salazar paused. "Where is the one who brought us here...?"
At that moment, Harry wished he could disappear or at least turn invisible. (Why didn't I bring my Invisibility Cloak?!) His back pressed against the wall when Salazar turned and saw him.
"There you are!" laughed Salazar while Harry stared at him, utterly amazed. This wasn't the face of Salazar Slytherin he had expected. This man's face was lively and clean-shaven, not at all like the old monkeyish bearded visage on the statue he had seen in the Chamber of Secrets. And the most startling thing of all was his emerald green eyes that twinkled mischievously at Harry.
Harry's jaw dropped, and a soft strangled scream came out of his mouth. Salazar's brilliant green eyes widened with concern. "Are you hurt, boy?" He said gently, kneeling down in front of Harry. Harry quickly shook his head, still gaping at Salazar Slytherin.
"Salazar, is he all right?" Rowena asked, and Salazar glanced back to his companions. "He's all right. Just overcome with the excitement of meeting yours truly," he said blandly.
"Ye gads!" exclaimed Godric, "Your head cannot possibly get any bigger."
"At least *mine* is bigger than yours, Godric."
"Salazar!" Helga reproached, and over Salazar's shoulder, Harry could see Rowena Ravenclaw blush prettily. She noticed him staring and smiled at him warmly. No wonder the Sorting Hat referred to her as Fair Ravenclaw, for beautiful she was indeed. Slender and delicate with long straight honey-brown hair that fell neatly from her shoulders as she kneeled beside Salazar; gentle blue eyes looked at Harry with concern.
"You fell down," she murmured, "does anything hurt?"
Harry shook his head again quickly, fighting to keep his cheeks from reddening. "I f-fine," he said haltingly.
Salazar chortled. "Another conquest for Ravenclaw!" He declared, earning a poke in the shoulder from Rowena. "Stop it, Salazar, or I shan't speak to you again!" But Harry could see she didn't at all mind being teased by Salazar Slytherin. Was there something between them... Harry wondered wildly.
"Beside," Rowena said, pretending to frown at Salazar, "He's one of yours, I believe."
"Oh yes..." Salazar grinned. "Indeed." He looked back at Harry, who immediately shook his head. "No," blurted Harry, "I'm not a Slytherin." He expected an ugly look to appear on Salazar's face at this revelation, but Salazar blinked and just looked mildly disappointed.
"Not a Slytherin? Too bad. Too bad. Best House you know." He tutted then asked in a curious tone when Harry didn't then inform them which House he belonged in, "What House are you in then, stranger?"
Harry straightened and lifted his chin proudly. "My name is Harry Potter. Sir," he added the title after a short pause, "I am a Gryffindor."
Stunned silence greeted this announcement, and it was Godric who finally broke the quiet. "How can one of mine be a Parselmouth... Salazar! You cheated, didn't you!?"
"No, I didn't! The writing inside the Hat was in Parseltongue as per the conditions of our wager, and I didn't read his mind either."
"Salazar, you are a lying conniving bastard," said Godric bluntly, "you would do anything to get your way."
This time, Harry really did expect Salazar to be angered by this. What he didn't expect though was Salazar exhaling air loudly, standing up and picking up Harry by his shoulders and turning around to present Harry to Godric Gryffindor.
Harry stared at the man who was the founder of his House. Godric Gryffindor wasn't as tall as Salazar Slytherin, and whereas the latter bordered on skinny, Godric was compact and well built. His hair was as fiery red as the Weasley's and rather unruly. His face was squarish; the well-cropped beard he favored no doubt concealed a firm jaw. His clear hazel eyes were direct and focused intently on Harry, who thought of him as akin to King Arthur of Camelot. Harry could easily imagine him holding the sword Harry had used to kill the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.
Harry blinked when Salazar nudged him in the back. "Go on," the Slytherin founder said, "say something in Parseltongue." Harry almost snorted then. This was something he would never expect, even in his wildest dream, Slytherin urging him to say something in snake language to Gryffindor.
Oh... very well then. Maybe this is all a crazy dream, thought Harry, I hope. Pulling his lips back, he hissed something to Godric, who, as Harry expected, frowned, his face darkening in anger as he looked from Harry to Salazar. Of course, how could Godric tell if Harry was indeed speaking in Parseltongue since he didn't know the language himself. It was a conundrum.
"He said he is very honored to meet you, Lord Gryffindor." Harry twisted his head and stared at Rowena, who had translated exactly what he had hissed at Godric.
"... You understand Parseltongue..." Harry said in awe.
Rowena shrugged, bestowing another smile on him. "Salazar taught me Parseltongue," she said simply.
Salazar chuckled. "She is intelligent enough to learn the snake tongue. ... Oh, don't give me that look, Godric. I did try to teach you and Helga."
"This still doesn't explain why a Gryffindor can speak Parseltongue," Godric said, still suspicious.
"Perhaps," said Helga slowly, who had been quiet for a while, "Salazar channeled his power to him through the Hat."
"Oh you two," complained Salazar, finally sounding sharp as Harry expected him to be originally, "if it was that easy to teach the snake tongue, I would have made an army of Parselmouths long ago." Harry didn't have the heart to inform Salazar that power transferring was how Harry came to know how to speak Parseltongue.
"Salazar is right," said Rowena, "it took ages for me to even understand simple expressions." She blushed red when Helga looked at her beadily and said, "Was that all you two were doing during those late-night sessions? Just learning Parseltongue?"
"Helga, stop teasing me!" Rowena clearly didn't take teasing from Helga as well as she took Salazar's jesting. Harry looked at the fourth Founder, Helga Hufflepuff, and found himself being observed just as intently. Helga was a short woman, a little on the plump side with curly blond hair and alert black eyes. Those eyes twinkled when she smiled at Harry, reminding him of Hagrid's eyes.
Godric and Salazar were still arguing over Harry's ability to speak Parseltongue.
"I am telling you this only once more, Godric. I did not break any terms of our agreement. The boy understood Parseltongue before he put on the Hat."
"Salazar," said Godric dryly, "even you would admit that a Gryffindor who can speak snake tongue is very unlikely, even impossible."
Salazar sighed. "I know. I know, Godric. Gryffindors simply do not have enough brains-"
"Watch it, Salazar."
"Apologies. Force of habit, you know... Egad! I just had a frightening thought!"
"Obviously," reasoned Salazar with a dead-pan expression, "our two Houses must have gotten closer over the last millennium."
Godric snorted and so did Harry.
Chapters 1 and 2 have ended. Please go on to the next chapter.