Disclaimer: Not mine.
After doing a short piece entitled "Hogsmeade", I decided to do another on Hogwarts.
It was cold for May, with a coldness that permeated the land and pushed back the warmth of the sun. It gripped all it touched and covered the valley in a shroud that lingered well into the day. It was a coldness born not just from the crisp cool nights and frosty mornings but also from something unseen and unknown.
Perhaps the chill was not in the air or in the crisp cold wind that blew down from the North Sea. Perhaps, it came from the valley itself. Perhaps it was waiting to unleash its fury or meekly fail, as it always did when it was time for new growth and the promise of spring that this year was dubious and too long in coming. Perhaps it was in the very ground and rock that held the mighty castle aloft, or perhaps it was the absence of hope that enabled it to linger.
No one knows with a certainly where the first of the blue stones had been hewn or if it had been done by the hand of man or the breath of god. They do not know the history or the name of the people that first were given the stone's secrets, or how the knowledge of their greatness was passed from mother to daughter and father to son.
There are no written records, no pictograms etched in rock to tell us of the migrations to the holy mountain from which these monoliths were chiselled and ripped from their holy place of birth. The memory of man has forgotten that eons ago women had gone, in their final hours of labour, to deliver on the blessed remainder of their magical past and as the stones had been born to the mountains their children were born to the magic held in the souls of the warm blue-stones.
The pillars were ancient when the original builders of Hogwarts had hauled them through the hidden pass and into this quiet valley over a millennium ago. They had transported them to this new place, as had many ancient peoples moved them from site to site in the distant past, none knowing why they did so, just knowing it must be done. So sure had they been that the blessed stones held magical and healing powers, that they had searched not only for four monoliths of equal size, but of equal magical residue and inborn memory with no understanding why they did.
It was fitting that the original builders, in their ignorance, had used them for the corner stones of a mighty castle and connected them with other less worthy pieces, found in the many deserted circles of worship. They did not know it was not their own magic that would hold the castle aloft on a mountain unsuited for such an endeavour, but the magic of the stones. It was the magic made of children running barefoot in the summer, loud and laughing in the halls, and sleeping somewhere over the blue watchful stones that took their magic to multiply and give it back ten fold.
The old care taker that mopped the floors and sweep the cloisters did not see the corner stones that were worn and smooth, barely discernable from the other grey slabs that had been laid over the years. He did not notice that when the wet mop slid over the speckled stone making it more vibrant with colour, it did not fade until long after it dried unlike the others that faded at once. He did not feel the energy as he walked over them. So used was he to the feeling of peace and acceptance that he did not question.
The professors did not notice as they scurried along, their noses in a book or their eyes on each other. They would not notice that the lower corridors that contained the blue stones were not as dark as the ones higher up, did not send echoes reverberating, but seemed to drink in the words and wishes voiced in their presence.
The students would gather more often in these four walkways. They would sit on the floor and share stories between lessons, not caring that only a few meters away were comfortable benches. They would not understand why in the middle of storm swept nights, unable to sleep, their feet would bring them to a place they felt safe though the storm still ranged and laying down on the hard blue stone they would fall quickly and peacefully asleep.
On rare occasions, such as the one that came upon a cold May, the blue stones would feel a coldness descend over the land that would not leave. This coldness came silently in a roar of man and if they were capable of conscience thought, they would have known her people were in danger. Unable to help, she would wait. Wait and draw back her magic, knowing that in the days to come, as the great coldness swept the land, she would survive to take her magic again and fill those that came to her.
On this May morning, it was colder than it had ever been in the base of the castle. The stones drew cold and pulled back their magic, leaving the Great Halls and twisting corridors empty and abandoned. The students woke and sombrely dressed, feeling but not knowing how they knew, that something was terribly wrong. They did not know the end had come and that something would forever change if this world were to remain the same.
A brightly coloured phoenix soared over the valley, putting the castle behind it as it winged out of sight. Every instinct told it that the castle was dead, no longer a place of the living where even its song had been long forgotten.
The hunched-backed caretaker finished his morning chores, returning to his darkened rooms, glad to be done and wanting only to hide. From what, he did not know. He only knew that he felt suddenly old and tired, and lacking his own magic, did not know to flee.
A man paced in one of the upmost tower rooms, already dressed for the day, his black robes catching up in the wake of his steps and swirling up the dust that lingered on the floor. He had long ago known this day would come, but even with his knowledge, felt oddly foreign and alone. Knowing that before the day was done he would make one final decision that would seal his fate, not allowing him to live to the end of the day.
In a tower on the opposite side of the castle, an elderly woman was up before the sun rose to begin another day unlike any other she had ever seen. She wore green flowing robes as she sat at her vanity, slowly twisting her hair and pinning it in place, wondering if this would be her final act or if she would survive and if she did, would her world be the same.
A flaxen haired child felt the cold of the castle slid over his skin and glanced over his shoulder in fear. Searching the empty halls for his answers he found none, as in a similar room, a quiet dark haired lad sat up in bed and reached for his wand. Wondering at the lack of warmth he felt, although golden flames raged in the fireplace. He rose and walked to the window, watching the Phoenix as it flew overhead, knowing that he would face his biggest fear and prayed that he would have the courage.
On the edge of the forest, on the far side of the walls, others began to gather. Dark robed men that had once had called this place their home as did those that now walked the halls. One, conspicuous by his absence, gathered them here, too soul-less himself to have ever felt the pull and warmth of the blue stones.
It was cold for May. This was a coldness that permeated the stones and made them pull back. Made them close their soul to those that would soon try to protect their halls in the name of righteousness and close their soul to those that would try to tear the walls down in icy fury. A great confusion, mixed with the cutting wind, as familiar footfalls fell on the earth. Footfalls the castle recognized and had once protected that she could not be now throw away.
There are no written records of the first massacre that was fought by men that worshiped the stones. There are no sagas or olden songs with words of praise for the supremacy of good over evil or the glory of victory over defeat. The blue stones were surely hewn before such concepts had been introduced to man. Hewn as women, who in their final hours of labour, made the journey to deliver their children on their smooth warm surfaces. Children that would now fight one another, as brother against brother, and sister against sister raised their hands against the other, no longer aware of how they came to be.
Unable, or unwilling, to choose one child over the other, unable to decide which of her children should live, the stones, the mother of magic, left them unattended and alone. The stones felt her children beginning a great conflagration, and as she did in the past, and would do yet in the future, she pulled back leaving them in their anger. Leaving them to decide the future of her life, she turned to the coldness and stillness of the ground.