A/N: Hello everyone! First off, thanks so much for clicking this story! For some reason, Founders isn't that popular so thanks so much for having a gander. Secondly, this is a plot I've been working on for quite a while and it's been slow progress (especially for a story that will only be four chapters!) so it's quite odd to be finally posting it!
I hope you enjoy it :)
The First Sorting
"If we are anxious, imagine how the students must feel!"
Godric sighed and took another swig of his mead. He didn't see why his friends were so nervous. After all, they'd spent ten years building this school and this was the day they had been waiting for, was it not? Their first batch of students.
"They will merely take it all in their stride." Salazar responded to Helga confidently. "Children do not fear the same things as we do."
No sooner had Salazar finished his sentence, the huge doors to the Great Hall were opened and Rowena led in a line of children of all ages, some looking scared, some excited and others merely curious. When they reached the front, Rowena gestured for them all to sit at the long table in the middle of the hall, opposite the Founders' table which had been placed on the higher level, allowing them to view all of the students. Rowena stood on the steps leading up to the Founders' table and placed a small three-legged stool on the stone floor.
"Upon hearing your name, please sit on the stool, facing us, and we will question you in order to attain which house you would be best suited."
Godric resisted the urge to roll his eyes; it was typical of Rowena to make everything seem grander and more complex than it was. He adored her, like he adored all of his friends, but she did have an awful tendency to go a little over-board. If it had been him calling out the names, then he would have been a little more informal to try and make them more comfortable with their new surroundings. Godric glanced at Helga and knew that she was probably thinking the same thing.
Rowena took her place next on the end next to Salazar and unrolled a piece of parchment on which they had written all of the children's names on. Or rather, Salazar and Helga had. They had been the ones that had sought out the children while Rowena worked on making the castle more teaching friendly by stocking a small library and organising the classrooms and Godric had been preparing the grounds, ensuring no animals too dangerous lived close by. So in truth, Godric had very little knowledge about the students before him. But he was excited to know more. As Rowena read out the first child's name and Helga began asking him questions while the other students watched, it hit Godric that it was finally happening. They finally opened the school.
"I think you may be best suited to Professor Slytherin's house." Helga said after asking only three questions, directing the young boy to Salazar who nodded at him and placed a green band around the boy's wrist.
The young boy sat down and Rowena called another name. Godric didn't ask this young girl any questions either. While they had still been building the school and had discussed the sorting process, he had always maintained, that when he saw a student walk towards them, he would know if they belonged with him or not. And this young girl did not.
As Godric watched her nervously answer questions from a patient Helga, Godric knew before Helga even said it.
"I think you are best suited to Professor Ravenclaw's house."
Just as he thought. Godric took another swig of mead. If they were all like this, he would end up alone in his house. Two more were called from the group of a little over fifty and Godric was still yet to say anything. Even Salazar had been asking questions, though they had mostly been about ancestry. After the third student had sat down again with a yellow band around his wrist, Rowena called out,
"Miss Sarah Clarke."
One of the tallest students stood and made her way up the stool with a confident, if a little cautious, air about her. Godric realised she was not a child like the others they had seen, she was already a young woman. She sat down, a slight smile on her face.
"Hello again, Miss Clarke." Helga said kindly, revealing to Godric that it had been her who had found this girl. "I am glad you were able to attend. Your parents did not try to prevent you from coming?"
"No, ma'am. My aunt explained everything to them." The girl said with a broader smile.
"You were born to Muggles?" Salazar piped up, studying her closely.
She nodded. Godric risked a sneaky glance at Salazar and saw that his friend had leaned back in his chair and turned his attention back to his wine, evidently not interested in getting her into his house. More fool him, Godric thought as he sat up straighter in his own chair.
"How old are you, Miss Clarke?" He asked and the others all looked at him, surprised that he had finally spoken.
"I am six and ten, sir." There was no tremor in her voice.
"Then why are you not married?" Godric then realised that his question sounded rather abrupt so he smiled kindly at her, hoping that it would not seem so harsh. Thankfully, she seemed to understand the logic in his query and took no offence.
"I was engaged to be married, sir. But then my parents, when they discovered I had magic that is, gave me a choice between marrying and having children or coming here and learning. I chose here."
"Brave." Godric said, his tone (and indeed his words) holding an obvious meaning that did not escape his fellow teachers. He left a silence in which the others could have asked her their own questions. They did not.
"So she is yours then, Godric?" Helga confirmed after a pause, raising a pale eyebrow. He glanced at the young woman again before nodding at Helga. "Miss Clarke, it seems you are suited to Professor Gryffindor's house."
Sarah Clarke leapt off the stool, beaming, and held out her wrist to Godric who tied a red band around it and smiled at her as she retreated back to her seat.
"You see?" He muttered to the others as the next student walked towards the stool. "I just know."
In the Common Room after the meal, Godric stood before his new students (who were ooh-ing at the red decor and the roaring fire) and studied at them all. Out of the four of them, Godric knew his house contained the least students. He was extremely fussy about whom he picked; to the extent that he had refused a young boy Helga had proclaimed to be suitable for his house. Helga had glared at him but, not wanting to argue in front of the students, she had pretended that she had merely said the wrong house and accepted the poor boy into hers. Godric knew he would have a roasting for that when they all gathered in their staff room later for some supper.
Out of the fifty seven students that had come, Godric only chose eleven. In his house, the oldest was a boy of seventeen who had left his private tutoring due to his parents' dwindling finances, then it was Sarah Clarke and then beneath her were two boys of fifteen who, it seemed, were already friends. Then beneath them, there were seven children between the ages of eleven and fourteen who had all stood together, nervous and excited.
After a decade of preparation, his life's work was finally ready to begin. He took a deep breath and said,
"Welcome to Hogwarts and welcome to Gryffindor House."
Godric's First Lesson
Godric tapped his foot impatiently, watching the group of students come out of the Entrance Hall and head down the lawns towards him. As far as he knew, they had been to one lesson before this one (Charms, he thought, with kindly Helga) but Godric hadn't; this was the first lesson he would ever teach. And thankfully, it was his favourite subject: Magical Creatures.
As the students all gathered in front of him, he was immediately glad that his first lesson was with a group of the older students that were a mixture of his Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs. With the older students, Godric felt more comfortable talking to them on his own level while he felt he would have a little difficulty talking to them in a way they could understand without talking down to them. Godric had a feeling he was going to have to tell a lot of stories.
"Good morning!" Godric called and the students in front of him stopped talking between themselves and listened to him. "Did you all find Charms interesting?" There was a murmur of approval and Godric was glad that Helga had managed to put them all in a good mood. "Today, I have decided to begin with something I know to be both safe and spectacular. Throughout these lessons, we shall be studying creatures of all shapes and sizes, both friendly and hostile in nature. But today, I present to you..." He pulled the fabric off the paddock he was standing in front of. "Brutus!"
They all gasped and nudged each other, watching as Godric pulled open the gate and led Brutus out.
"Brutus is my winged horse and he has accompanied me through many adventures. He has been my sole companion over my years travelling and now he is happy to have found a home in the grounds here." One of the Hufflepuff girls cooed at this and Brutus snorted loudly, puffing out his chest. "Which of you can tell me what breed of winged horse Brutus is?"
His question was met with silence.
Godric peered around to find the source of the voice. Finally, he found it. "Very good, Miss Clarke." She smiled, pleased with herself. "Now, Miss Clarke, what features does my dear Brutus possess that led you to that conclusion? Come closer and examine him."
She obeyed and the others watched with baited breath as she slowly raised her hand to stroke his mane. He neighed and she laughed, scratching his ears gently. "He has...a chestnut colouring and he has longer legs than the other breeds. He is also a little more muscular which I believe is the main reason why Aethonan horses are slower flyers than their counterparts."
"Brilliantly correct!" He said and she beamed. "Miss Clarke, as reward for your correct answers, I offer you a ride on Brutus' back."
She opened and closed her mouth a few times before nodding cautiously. He grinned and he took her hand in his large one, helping her onto Brutus' sturdy back. She fidgeted nervously and he waited for her to become comfortable before he tapped Brutus' behind. She squealed a little as Brutus' wings stretched out and she began getting higher and higher into the air. He laughed as she clung on and Brutus' almighty wings created an incredible wind around Godric and the other students. He let them both hover there in the air for a few moments before calling Brutus back down. He circled twice and then obeyed his master, his hooves landing on the grass with a soft thud.
Windswept and beaming, she slid off without Godric's help, thanked him and joining her fellow students again, still smiling. She collected her books and bag from one of the Hufflepuff girls and waited for the lesson to continue, fussing a little with her hair that had escaped from her loose plait.
Godric cleared his throat and firmly reminded himself that he had other students as well as Miss Clarke.
"Who else would like to sit upon Brutus' back?"
Hands shot in the air.
The Flying Lesson
Sarah shivered and pulled her cloak tighter around herself as she followed her fellow classmates through the Entrance Hall and outside into the frosty grounds. They had been surprised that morning when Professor Ravenclaw had announced over breakfast that, now they were in a new term after the Winter Solstice, there would be a new kind of lesson for them all to take part in at once.
Intrigued, they had all eaten their breakfast quickly, eager to find out what lay in store for them. Now they were outside, Sarah was none the wiser. All she could see in front of her was her four professors all stood facing them, holding what looked like old sweeping brushes. Once all the students were gathered, Professor Hufflepuff cleared her throat and said,
"Today, we shall be teaching you something a little different. You may have heard that there has been a new invention which allows us to take to the skies on just a broom." Hufflepuff held up the broom in her hands and Sarah raised her eyebrows. That broom looked no more secure than a branch. She wasn't sure she'd be very comfortable with the idea of it being the only thing keeping her from crashing to the floor.
"Yes." Said Professor Gryffindor suddenly, waving his own broom in the air. "These brooms are a new way for us to travel wherever we want, whenever we want. We control them with our wands – "
"No, Professor Gryffindor, we do not." Professor Slytherin cut in suddenly, looking a little amused.
"Ah...no, we do not! My mistake! We...er..."
Sarah watched, embarrassed for her Professor, as he struggled to explain something to them he evidently did not understand himself. She willed one of the other teachers to come to his aid and, thankfully, Professor Ravenclaw spoke up, more knowledgeable on the matter.
"We stand to the side of our brooms..." As she spoke, she acted out her words, stepping up to the side of her broom which she had laid out on the floor. The other professors followed; Slytherin confidently, Hufflepuff and Godric a little more tentatively. "Then we put our hand over the broom and say 'up!'" All four brooms leapt up into the professors' hands and they all looked a little impressed. "Then we mount our brooms and push up from the ground firmly, controlling the broom by leaning forwards to gain speed, sitting up to slow down and leaning side to side to direct it."
All four professors then took to the skies. Sarah watched as Ravenclaw glided through the air, peering over at Hufflepuff who was swaying a little precariously. Slytherin was low on his broom, circling Gryffindor and grinning rather mischievously. Gryffindor himself was wobbling on his broom but had an air of confidence regardless which Sarah thought was very brave...or quite possibly just very foolish.
"Then we touch back down by sitting up completely!" Ravenclaw called from the air and demonstrated by sitting up carefully and lowing herself slowly back to the ground. Slytherin followed, then Hufflepuff who looked glad to be back on solid ground, leaving Gryffindor in the air. Beaming down at them all with his usual infectious boyish smile, he decided to circle them all in the air a few more times, ignoring his complete lack of ability and relying on sheer nerve.
"How about a loop to finish?" He called down, his grin getting wider.
"Are you sure that is wise, Professor Gryffindor?" Hufflepuff asked, sounding wary.
"Of course! Who does not enjoy a thrilling somersault?"
With that, he led almost flat on his broom and gained speed before sharply pulling up at the last minute and shooting further up into the air. However, instead of completing an impressive loop, he lost his grip on the broom and slid off, only one hand clinging to the handle as his legs thrashed pathetically in the air.
Sarah was caught between concern and amusement. Her amusement outweighed her concern when she glanced at the other professors who were all barely containing their laugher rather than rushing to his aid. She heard her fellow students begin to laugh and she couldn't help but join in; the sight of her professor dangling in the air trying to hook his leg back over his broom but with no avail really was rather amusing.
After a few awkward attempts at re-mounting his broom, Gryffindor dropped from the broom to the ground and landed in a heap, his broom clattering down after him. Despite the fact that he hadn't been very high in the air, Sarah still felt a jolt of worry and was one of the few who hurried over to him, Professor Hufflepuff at the front. But no sooner had they reached him, he back on his feet, that irresistible grin still on his face.
"Well!" He puffed, pulling a piece of grass from his red hair. "At least you have all learned that you should never attempt a loop in your first lesson!"
Many of the students laughed at that, amused by their professor's honesty and his blatant attempt to impress them all.
After that, things calmed down considerably. The students were instructed to work in groups of six and were given a broom which they were meant to share between them. Sarah volunteered to go first out of her group seen as all of the other girls were too scared and kept giggling and passing it around to the next person. When she was in the air, she suddenly realised how easy it was to fall off just as Professor Gryffindor had. Thankfully, Sarah had enough sense to not attempt to perform any sort of tricks and was content to circle in the air a while, her friends squealing at her to be careful. As exhilarating as it was to be in the air, Sarah was glad to touch back down on solid ground and hand it over to Annie, a Hufflepuff girl Sarah had become best friends with since they began at the school four months ago.
It took a while for each person in each of the groups to try out the brooms and when the lesson was finally complete, it was time for lunch. Sarah volunteered to give the broom back to the professors and told the others to go on without her. Sarah waited behind the other students patiently until it was finally her turn to give up her broom. Professor Gryffindor took it from her with a wide smile and she couldn't help but smile back.
"Miss Clarke, did you enjoy your lesson this morning?"
"I think I enjoyed it more than you, Professor." She replied, knowing that she could get away with being a little cheeky with him.
He laughed heartily and nodded. "I think perhaps you are right! It seems flying on a broom is not destined to be a skill of mine."
She grinned. "If it is any consolation, I do not think it will ever be mine either. It seems very unsteady; though perhaps that was just my own inadequacies."
He shook his head. "I doubt it. I do not think we are destined to ever be skilled at something so precise...I believe that talent is reserved to those of a more delicate nature like Professor Ravenclaw."
"Professor Gryffindor? Come, we must put the brooms away! We do not want them to become damaged!" Ravenclaw called bang on cue.
"Of course, Professor! Quite right!" He called back before turning back to Sarah and winking. "It seems I must go."
"I must also. My friends have gone on without me." Sarah gave him one last smile before heading back towards the castle, hurrying to catch up with her friends.
The Duelling Lesson
After spending the first half of the school year learning all about the history and the protocols of duelling, Sarah was excited that they were finally seeing a demonstration and were being allowed to have a go themselves. They gathered around the long stage in the Great Hall, chattering to each other about who would be the ones to teach them. Sarah felt Annie nudge her excitedly and she pointed across the room to the door where Professors Slytherin and Gryffindor had entered, still grinning from some joke they had evidently shared before entering.
"Right!" Gryffindor clapped his hands and strode onto the stage, Slytherin walking more gracefully behind him. "I know you have all studied the noble art of duelling very thoroughly but I should imagine that you have all become rather bored with just reading about it so Professor Slytherin and I have decided that a demonstration is called for!"
Many of the students around Sarah began whispering at that and Annie leaned over to her and said quietly, "Let us hope that this is better than that flying demonstration."
Sarah laughed softly and shook her head. "Oh, Annie you are cruel! Besides, I do not think you give Professor Gryffindor enough credit. I have heard he is a remarkable dueller."
Annie raised her eyebrows and Sarah blushed a little, realising she may have been a little too gushing in her defence of her professor so she turned back to the scene unravelling on the stage.
"What is the first step before we duel?" Professor Slytherin asked.
"You walk towards each other." One of the Ravenclaw students answered.
Gryffindor and Slytherin met in the middle of the stage, standing two feet apart. "And now?" Slytherin asked again.
"You bow to each other!" Sarah jumped in surprise as Annie called out next to her. They watched as their professors bowed slowly before retreating to opposite ends of the stage, turning and raising their wands.
"After three beats," Slytherin continued. "We cast our spells."
The Great Hall fell into a long, heavy silence until both men launched into action at once. Sarah had never seen anything like it; neither of them cast their spells out loud, making it even harder to distinguish between the flashes of light passing between them. It also meant that it was impossible to tell who was winning a fact not helped by them grinning at each other, enjoying the competition as they attacked and blocked seamlessly. Eventually, the duel stopped abruptly when they seemed to disarm each other at once, wands flying into the air and falling between them on the stage with a clatter. Gryffindor's smile widened, lessening the tense silence.
"As you can see, it is hard to distinguish a winner when the two competitors are as evenly matched as Professor Slytherin and I."
The students all burst into applause, overwhelmed at the spectacle they had just seen and eager to try it out for themselves. They were instructed to pair off, find a space in the vast hall and begin practising their techniques while Gryffindor and Slytherin made their way around them all, correcting their postures and suggesting more powerful spells.
Sarah and Annie were just about to cast their third round of spells wondering how they could make their duelling look as good as their teachers' when Professor Slytherin reached them. He told them both to straighten their backs a little and keep their gaze locked on their opponents as it helped anticipate their next move. He watched them duel their next round before moving off, satisfied that, as older students, they had a good understanding of duelling.
Sarah's gaze had just slipped over Annie's shoulder when a bolt of light shot at her and scolded her shoulder. She winced and looked at Annie, not sure whether she should be offended or embarrassed that she had been caught off guard. Annie smirked mischievously.
"What is it?" Sarah asked, rubbing her sore shoulder.
Annie moved closer, stage whispering, "You were looking for Professor Gryffindor, were you not?"
Sarah blushed and cursed inwardly. "Why would I be looking for Professor Gryffindor?"
"Because you wanted him to come over instead of Professor Slytherin!"
Sarah snorted and hoped it sounded convincing. Annie's words were true but she didn't want to admit it out loud. Besides, Sarah was still persuading herself that she only admired him and his achievements; that sounded much better than acting like some foolish infatuated girl.
"Do not be ridiculous Annie! Why would it matter to me whichever Professor speaks with us?"
It was at that moment, when Sarah thought she had managed to convince Annie that she did not have a fondness for Professor Gryffindor, that the man himself called to her from the across the hall.
"Miss Clarke? Are you well?"
For a moment, Sarah couldn't understand his concern until she realised she was still rubbing her shoulder. She cleared her throat and found her voice.
"I am quite well thank you, Professor!"
He nodded and smiled before turning back to the pair of young Hufflepuffs he was helping and Sarah sighed. Annie's expression was one of pure amusement and Sarah felt herself going red. Annie's grin just got wider.
A Long Summer
Godric tapped his desk with his fingers, sighing. He couldn't quite believe it was the end of the first year already and a long, quiet summer was stretching out in front of him. While he knew the break was what they all needed, he was sure that he would end up being bored without the students there to occupy his time.
Godric turned to see one of his older students lingering in the doorway. "Miss Clarke." He beamed, beckoning her inside. She understood the gesture and stepped inside his office, gazing around at empty fireplace, the cluttered desk, his chair with the cloak on the back and the dark oak door that led on to his private quarters. He stood, remembering his manners at last, and offered her his seat which she took gratefully. He pushed some of his possessions off a small end table and perched on that, hoping it wouldn't buckle beneath him.
"What can I do for you?"
"I require your advice on something that has been troubling me."
Godric frowned as wave of concern washed over him. "Please, go on."
"I cannot decide where to live this summer until school begins again. I am torn between wanting to explore my abilities which my aunt has promised she will help me with and wanting to remain faithful to my family. If I want my aunt's assistance I must move away from home and I am not sure that I am brave enough."
Godric gave this a moment thought and tried not to be off put by the fact that she watched him thinking. "From what you have just spoken, it seems as though you are longing to be living with your aunt and your only concern about that is that you will unintentionally eschew your parents."
She nodded slowly and Godric felt a little triumphant that he had got it right. "This is correct, Professor. But what can I do about it?"
"Your bravery is not faltering here; in fact it is your chivalrous side that is overtaking you. You are too concerned about other's well being and less about your own. Consider what you want, otherwise you may find yourself living in regret."
"You are saying that I should consent to live my aunt?"
"I am saying that you should do whatever you think will make you happy. If that is living with your aunt in school holidays, then your parents should be accepting of that."
She nodded and her face broke into a smile. She stood and brushed her skirts down. "Thank you, Professor. That has cleared my mind."
"I am glad." Godric replied, taking his weight off the straining end table.
She walked to the door and turned just before she left saying, "Have a good summer, Professor."
He smiled. "The same to you."
She closed the door behind her and Godric was plunged into silence again. He sat back down in his warm seat with a sigh and shuffled the papers on his desk pointlessly. He dropped them back onto the table and realised his desk was in even more of a mess than before. He pushed the chair away from his desk and stood again, wandering over to the window to see the first students beginning to leave the castle and head for home.
He huffed. He was bored already.
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