Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter; None of the original story and/or characters are mine in any way nor do I make any money from these writings.
Warnings: Time travel, Salazar Slytherin/Harry Potter - Slash, Founders Fic, OoC, swearing and possible sexual content later on.
Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin were walking down the deserted road placing bets on how much their new recruit would kiss up to them. Well, Godric and Helga did most of the talking with Rowena adding her two cents every once in a while, as Salazar just rolled his eyes at all of them.
In Salazar's point of view, everyone aside from the colleagues walking next to him were just a bunch of ass kissers that couldn't even spell magic, much less do it with a modicum of skill. This person they were here to invite to their school would probably jump on the chance once he recognized them. He truly didn't see why they all had to come speak with this supposed expert; his reputation was probably half B.S. anyway. Still, at this point Salazar will settle for a decent magical-creatures professor, and if half of this wizard's reputation was deserved, he should at least be competent enough for their students.
"I suggest you turn around and leave, you are entering private property and you have not been invited here." Salazar's eyes narrowed and focused on the man standing in their way. He was strangely dressed with a short, tight tunic that barely reached his hips and very loose leggings with simple leather shoes.
Salazar had never seen anyone dressed in such a fashion. All the wizards he knew, himself included, dressed in tunics that reached to the knees or ankles, fitted leggings, and pointed leather shoes; not to mention that this man's hair was short! Only slaves or the clergy had short hair and this man didn't look nor was he acting like either.
The man was young, no older than 20 years; his hairstyle consisted of a short, spiky mix of jet-black and silver-white hair. The interesting detail was that his hair seemed to be this way naturally, for Salazar was unable to detect any magical residue anywhere near it and it didn't look greasy or stiff so as to suggest the use of any kind of hair product. The man was also kind of short, only about 1.6m compared to his own 1.85m and he was shorter than Godric by almost half a head.
"Please, we are the Founders of Hog-" Helga, being her usual friendly self, tried to introduce them with as much charm as possible. Unfortunately it didn't seem to have any affect on their mystery man.
"I know who all of you are. I am awaiting a guest and you have no business here. Have a nice day." The man replied with a disrespectful sneer.
"Just who do you think you are! We are looking for The Animal Charmer, so you better get out of our way before we blast you into the ground!" Godric, acting in his usual hot-headed fashion, said as he placed himself in front of the women, now standing beside Salazar.
"I want nothing with Hogwarts' founders and I doubt there is anything you could want with me, so just turn around and stop embarrassing yourself Gryffindor. It doesn't become you to act the idiot." Salazar couldn't help feeling interested. Few wizards had ever stood up to a Gryffindor's intimidating aura and none had ever rejected the opportunity to meet them, much less rebuff the chance of having an actual conversation with them.
Godric had just reached for his sword, enraged, when Rowena placed a calming hand on his forearm and stepped forward with a small bow. "Charmer, please accept our apologies if we have offended you; we only wish to speak with you…to discuss an offer that you might find agreeable…"
The Charmer gave an aggrieved sigh and muttered what sounded like a curse in a language Salazar didn't recognize. "Fine, it's obvious you are not leaving until you've had your say. What do you-Fucken me!...she's early."
Rowena and Helga gasped at his crude language while Godric just raised his eyebrows in surprise. Salazar started to glare at the man until he became aware of the increasing coldness about them: a Dementor was coming.
All four founders were reaching for their wands when they heard the Charmer address them once again.
"Don't attack her damn it! Just keep away and don't say anything!" He told them sounding irritated and his green eyes were almost spitting fire in his displeasure. He clearly didn't want them there and Salazar felt something stir in the depths of his being, something that felt suspiciously like attraction.
Salazar barely contained a scowl at the realization, but waited to see what the Charmer would do next. A few moments later they saw the Dementor approaching the Charmer and it took everything in Salazar not to raise his wand and attack. Interestingly enough, The Charmer didn't even reach for his wand; he only gave a small nod in the creature's direction and started speaking.
"So it's your turn this time…" the creature turned to look at the four standing about six meters from The Charmer. "Ignore them. They are unwanted guests but it doesn't matter, I won't back out on our deal. Does your faction accept the usual terms or not?"
Salazar heard Helga breathe out a sigh of relief when it turned back the Charmer, but then it managed to shock every single one of them by doing something they would have thought impossible. The creature nodded its hooded head slowly and astonishingly, neared the Charmer in a non-threatening manner.
The Charmer than gave another small nod and raised his right fist towards the Dementor's face. At first none of them saw anything happening, but then a white glow started to emanate from the wizard's closed fist and a moment later he opened it to reveal a small white sphere in the palm of his hand. They felt a faint magical power coming from it. It was not very powerful but it had a pure, breathtaking feel to it, undefiled and clean in a way they had never encountered before.
They saw the Dementor lean down to the sphere and push back its hood slightly to suck in the sphere with a sickening, rattling breath. Even Salazar couldn't contain a shudder of revulsion at the sight, but as soon as it all began it ended and by the time they had regained their composure the Dementor had gone.
The Charmer turned to face them once more: he didn't look good. He was swaying slightly on his feet, his breathing was labored and he looked deathly pale. "Leave, I don't have time to indulge your pampered whims anymore. I suggest you take your leave before you are thrown out." With that final proclamation he continued down the path, away from them, leaning on the trees by the forest path as he walked.
"Hey you can't just-" Godric once again lost his temper and tried to follow after him…only to be bodily thrown back by an invisible shield, a ward.
"Well this is interesting…I can detect no magic, much less a ward, anywhere near here. Yet I felt the presence of a powerful ward when Godric activated it." Rowena said in academic interest, she started waving her wand in complicated patterns and muttering under her breath as she tried to figure it out.
"So what are we going to do now? We were not expecting this at all. Not only does he want nothing to do with us, but he's even more interesting than his reputation ever made him out to be." Helga said to Godric and Salazar, since Rowena was too involved examining the ward to listen to anyone at the moment.
"I don't know…and what was that with the Dementor? I had never seen anything like it before or that weird orb-thing either. But whatever he did, it obviously weakened him; did you notice how bad he looked when he left?"
Salazar finally voiced his opinion since they had set out to get their new magical-creatures professor. "He knew what he was doing, that is obvious. He is also very powerful and will not be influenced because of our own power. He is not your typical wizard and deserves closer scrutiny."
He ignored his colleagues' wide-eyed looks and turned back to Rowena who had just gotten zapped by the ward and was sucking her finger as she sulked.
They were all in silent agreement: they were not leaving this spot without their new professor. Salazar didn't protest since he couldn't shake off the feeling that this wizard could actually be worthy of respect.
Salazar was not about to leave empty handed, he was interested in this wizard…and a Slytherin always got what he wanted.
The four founders found themselves camping by the edge of The Charmer's wards for the next three days.
No one had come in and no one had come out in that time. Rowena had placed a notification barrier around the ward, and no one had triggered it since it had been erected.
On the middle of the third day they sensed a wizard coming their way as they sat around their small campsite, so they rose from their seats to wait for whoever was coming toward them.
"Whoa…" The older man said when he saw them. He was probably around mid 50s and slightly out of breath since he'd been running towards them. Salazar waited for him to say something but he just shook his head quickly and walked right past the ward, as if it wasn't even there.
"What the hell! How come he can just waltz right in? Who is this guy?" Godric cried out in frustration.
Salazar didn't blame him for once. All the wards he'd ever researched were very limited, which is why so few people bothered with them. Wards couldn't selectively allow some wizard in and not others. It either allowed magical persons in or it did not, but it couldn't do both. At the moment most wards in use kept out dangerous magical creatures and the remainder repelled muggles away from wizarding households or communities.
About 15 minutes after the older man had gone in they saw two people approaching the ward barrier once more. One was the old man, the other was The Charmer.
"Geez, are you all still here? I had hoped you would have given up by now."
Helga tried to approach him once again. "Charmer, please-"
"Look, just save it all right. I have to take care of this at the moment, so just stuff it for a bit…and my name's Harry, not Charmer." He answered rather snappishly as he stalked by them and then started to run after the old man.
Though they were not used to being addressed in such a disrespectful manner, the four looked at each for a moment and unanimously chose to follow behind as well.
Salazar wondered what the problem was, for they were headed in the general direction of the nearby town, Honesdale.
Once they reached the small hamlet (it could be called anything else since it would probably be an exaggeration to say 100 people lived there) Harry took charge. He calmed the crowd as they mobbed him and managed to quiet them up long enough to ask: "Where is he?"
"He's hiding at the church. The priest won't tell us where he is but we all saw him that night…he'd been bitten." A young witch said as she clutched her baby to her bosom.
"I see…and what's the problem? Has he threatened any of you? Acted violently without provocation or reason? Did he try to infect anyone this last full moon, two days ago if I'm not mistaken…" Harry said calmly, looking on to the small crowd of people surrounding him.
"Well no…but he's a werewolf now...a dark creature…a monster…" Many people started talking at once, all of them protesting the werewolf's presence in their hometown.
Harry raised his hands and sighed, before calling for silence once more. "All right, I see that none of you have been educated about werewolves. Please listen carefully: A werewolf is someone that has been cursed with lycanthropy. This curse is usually transmitted through a bite, since the body fluids of a werewolf while in its transformed form carries the curse. That means that the saliva, blood, and urine of a werewolf during the night of the full moon are carriers of the curse. During the day and all other times when there is no full moon the werewolf is unable to infect anyone. The only difference is that an infected witch or wizard is slightly stronger and has better reflexes than the average person. They are not mindless monsters for the rest of their lives, or creatures bent on torture and mayhem, they are people just like you and me."
"But how do you explain all the stories about werewolves we've heard. I have heard how they rove the night looking to eat our children and spread their curse!" An incensed villager cried out, and Salazar saw how easily the crown started to get agitated again. This was why he hated commoners; they were stupid sheep unable to think for themselves or make up their minds without being influenced by every fool that crosses their path.
"Because, like I have said, werewolves are people…just like you and me." Salazar could see that this answer had confused the villagers, including Helga and Godric; though Rowena had her head tilted to the side with a thoughtful expression on her face and her right index finger on her lips as she focused on Harry.
"Everyone, absolutely everyone, has the potential for greatness. Sometimes, however, that greatness is not for the greater good. Sometimes, werewolves, like people, choose the wrong path, or embrace the darkness when they are not given any other choice. All people have to make a choice about themselves and whether they choose to be good or bad has nothing to do with whatever condition they are inflicted with.
"Now…this man you have rejected used to be one of you. You all knew him, I am sure many of you even grew up with him. Was he a bad man? Did he practice dark magic and hurt any of you in his pursuit for knowledge? Did he ever ignore someone if they were in dire need of help? Remember what he was like; truly remember him without having fear cloud your memory. I am an outsider here. I have no say on how you treat your own people, but please remember my words and heed my warning. Many werewolves are driven to desperation because they are rejected by their families and communities. Their loneliness slowly drives them mad… and now you have the choice not to be like many other ignorant people out there. You have this man's life in your hands, to help him…or to abandon one of your own to a future of loneliness and madness. It will be hard, for you will have to help him hide his condition from outsiders, not many are able to see with eyes unclouded by prejudice or ignorance and you must also take into account that you will have to safeguard yourselves during full moons. So make your choice wisely and see what is right in front of your faces. Have a good day; you all know where to find me if you have further need of my assistance."
With that Harry turned and the crowd opened up for him as he walked away. He then started leading the four back to his dwelling.
"You four…follow me, I might as well get rid of you now before you decide to resort to unusual forms of persuasion - I'm really not a big fan of torture, if you catch my drift." Harry told them quite sarcastically; well, Salazar thought he was being sarcastic, as they walked.
"Torture? Who have you been listening to? We are not-"
"Chill, Griffy, it was a joke, clearly my sense of humor is not to your tastes."
"Chill? You have the most peculiar way of speaking and none of us could place your accent or the other language you spoke the day we first met you." Rowena spoke up before Harry got Godric riled up again.
"Of course not, why would you?" None of them could see Harry's expression since they were walking behind him, but there was no mistaking the amused tone in his voice.
"Ah here we are..." Harry walked to the ward and placed his hand on it, as if it were a solid object rather than an immaterial barrier. "You may walk through now."
The founders were not sure how to respond. They wished to talk with him but he had already demonstrated knowledge of magics they did not know, this made them edgy and very uncertain if they should trust him at the moment.
"Either step in or leave, I'm getting tired of this and I'd rather go back to sleep." After that, Godric took the first step and walked through. After a moment he turned around and nodded to them: he'd felt nothing out of the ordinary – for now at least.
Once they had all gone through, they walked for about another five minutes until they reached a small hut. It had no windows and only one opening that they could see, which served as the door. Outside, there was a single comfy chair and an extinguished camp fire.
Harry took out his wand and waved it at the campfire, bright merry flames flaring to life without a word. He then performed a quick series of wand motions and four simple chairs appeared in front of them, once again, without saying a word. "Sit down, I'll be back."
The four of them looked at each other once again while he went into his hut. They didn't know what to think about this. Non-verbal casting was not impossible but it was rather difficult, only the most powerful wizards ever bothered with it. Which begged the question: what was such a powerful wizard doing living in a hovel in the middle of nowhere?
They had chosen to come to the Charmer with their offer once they'd heard the repeated stories of his knowledge concerning magical-creatures. Many of those stories had sounded like the stuff of fantasy, like the ones about him riding a hippogriff and charming a basilisk to leave its den (which had unfortunately been located near a small town). Now, after seeing him with the Dementor, they were all wondering if their assumptions hadn't been a bit presumptuous.
Harry came back with his wand still at hand, a platter floating behind him. He sat down and set the platter on his knees. They saw it had a dish with little lumps of what looked like soft bread and a bowl with a very thick looking red sauce.
"Here, knock yourselves out. I cooked these this morning so you're in luck." He then took one of the lumps of bread and dipped it in the sauce before passing the platter to Helga, who was the one seated nearest him.
They looked at him pop the weird combination into his mouth, and repressed the urge to grimace, their upbringing not letting them offend their host even if it did look disgusting. Helga smiled uncertainly at Harry before following his example, though she didn't take as much sauce. Harry just smirked at her and waited.
Salazar was handed the platter next and turned his head to see Helga's reaction as she took a small bite before getting one himself. "Oh my…this is delicious!"
Salazar almost dropped the platter but his curiosity was too much for him and he ate one whole, smothered in sauce…it was unlike anything he'd ever tasted. So good in fact, that Salazar didn't want to share, but good manners won out and he passed the platter on to Rowena.
"Of course it is: I cooked it. I don't eat rubbish."
"But what is it?" Godric asked as he passed the platter back to Harry.
"They are breakfast sausages dipped in batter and deep-fried. The red sauce is called ketchup. Let us eat, we'll talk about whatever brings you here after we're done."
For the next 20 minutes nothing else was heard but the occasional groan of pleasure and a request for beverage, when Harry surprised them yet again. Instead of the weak wine they had been expecting, Harry gave them goblets of what looked like crystal-clear water, but when they drank it tasted of strawberries. He refused to tell them much about the drink, other than that he called it vitamin water and kept on eating and ignoring their questions.
Once everyone was done eating, Harry banished the food platter and sat back to look at his guests as he sipped from his goblet.
"So what brings you all to my neck of the woods?" Rowena was the one to answer this time.
"We'd heard about your extensive knowledge of magical-creatures. As I'm sure you are aware we all have our areas of expertise, but none of have any true interest in the subject. Consequently, we decided to hire another professor." She paused, looking at Harry expectantly, but continued when he just stared at her looking bored, waiting for her to get to the point. "To elucidate, since you were the only one we all agreed on we came to meet with you personally, and if you were interested, interview you for the position."
Harry just arched an eyebrow and somehow managed to smirk in a very natural but irrefutably sensual manner if one looked close enough…and Salazar was definitely looking. Salazar almost smiled at the sight; he would have never thought such a small man could contain such an alluringly audacious personality.
"Considering you are the founders of the most prestigious learning institution of our time, I would not have thought you all so slow on the uptake."
Salazar was the quickest one to understand the slight and spoke up ignoring his friends' surprised expressions. He never spoke up unless he absolutely have to and they probably didn't understand what he found important enough about this man to deign himself to speak up for.
"We are not 'slow.' We are quite aware of your disinterest. However, from everything we have witnessed it is clear to us that you have the experience we are seeking…and much more. We founded Hogwarts as an institute of knowledge and education, not just for our students but also to expand our own limited knowledge of magic for ourselves and for the British wizarding world in general."
Salazar stopped as Harry burst out laughing so hard he was holding his stomach and was twisting around in his chair like an idiot. Salazar felt anger unlike any he'd ever felt before. No one, absolutely no one, had ever dared laugh at him in his face. He was so incensed he knew his face was flushing, but he was past caring by this point, in fact he was about to curse the impudent brat when he sat up straight once more.
Salazar narrowed his eyes as he saw Harry wipe a tear from his eye and though still smiling, actually had the audacity to look at him in something akin to pity. "The British wizarding world is but a weed in the meadow that is our world. It is a travesty of government…leaderless, and pathetic."
Salazar stiffened in indignation. "You speak nonsense, our Minister-"
"—is a blundering dimwit that can barely differentiate his head from his ass, much less govern over the isolated magical communities scattered throughout Britain. He was chosen because he was the riches pureblood willing to take the role. The justice system is a mockery of its very name and your people, and I am using the term as it should be used, know nothing of the government and the 'officials' under which they live. To make sure you understand what I'm trying to get at - your Minister is but a puppet used to put on a show in the annual European convention and that is all: there is no 'British' wizarding world."
Everyone was quiet. Not even Godric could come up with something to say, for they all knew that what had been said was indeed the truth. Noble families kept contact with each other due to necessity but there had been no true established government since the fall of the last Dark Lord almost two centuries ago. Justice only existed at the local level, with no justice system to protect travelers once outside their community's borders.
After a few moments of awkward silence Harry spoke up again. "Now, tell me why I should share my knowledge and time with any of you? What would be the point of teaching a bunch of spoiled purebloods how to hold a wand if all they aspire to achieve in life is to stay alive long enough for their parents to kick the bucket and pass on whatever is left of their inheritance when they die themselves?"
Salazar responded with fervor. "You are judging us all based off our Minister: we all not all ignorant fools. It is exactly because there are so many useless wizards running around that we need to edify our youth. We need to make our students realize that their wealth and power is more than just a pleasant turn of luck. They need to think for themselves and discover what they are capable of…they need something to aspire to…they need ambition."
Godric spoke up as well. "They need to find their inner courage and learn to stand up for what they believe."
Helga was next. "They need to realize that only by working together can we truly make resolute changes for the betterment of our world."
Finally Rowena looked Harry in the eye as she had the final word. "They need to comprehend that we cannot hide from the rest of the world indefinitely and we need to prepare them for the future they will face; a future in which knowledge and quick thinking might be their only advantage."
AN: I started this project because I couldn't focus on any of my other stories at the moment. I know what I want t write I just can't seem to get it down right. Anyway, this story will be short, probably around 10,000 but it will function to exercise my writing skills until I can go back to my main stories. Hope you guys like it anyway, and don't worry everything will clear up later on. =)
For everyone else waiting for me to update my other stories, please have patience, I will update by next month at the latest. If you don't already know, you can check out the status of my stories at my livejournal at any time (link is in my profile). See ya all again soon!