DISCLAIMER: Anything you recognise belongs to JKR.

Written for the Cliched Beginning challenge on HPFC. Also my entry for History of Magic in the school subjects competition, also on HPFC.

Hopefully will be a 5-8 part fic, though I can't guarantee when updates will happen.

My name is Ignotus Peverell and I am here to tell you a tale of love, betrayal and family honour. I am here to tell you the story of three brothers.

It all began when we were children. Our parents owned a farm and schooled us in the care of lands and animals by day and in magic by night. Our grandfather was well known for his gift of wand-crafting and on the day each of us reached our tenth year he presented us with a shaft of his making.

Antioch's was aspen, polished to a gleaming white sheen. The magical core was a hair from a unicorn, from a twisted bundle grandfather had bought from a peddling trader some years back. He was the oldest of us, and the most combatant, so naturally his wand was the finest.

A year later Cadmus had his wand, a handsome affair of ebony cored with the feathers of an Augurey. Grandfather said it was a good combination for my middle brother's wild imagination and morbid curiosity of death.

Nearly three years passed before I received my gift, and both my brothers were well proficient in their magics before I had even begun. The gleaming fir shaft was absent of the ornate carvings that Antioch's held, or even the rudimentary notching to improve the grip on Cadmus' for grandfather's hands had become shaky of late, and little suited to his trade. None-the-less it was still the most precious thing I had ever owned, and the core was a plume-feather from a rare bird that some sea-faring wizard had traded in return for grandfather's custom, a bird that could make itself vanish at will. I had always been the quietest of the three of us and it suited my nature well.

Though we often felt hard worked through my years of youth, we occasionally heard tell of our non-magical neighbours far-afield from travellers and peddlers that passed through our small town. Our magic granted us many freedoms that those of our class often lacked and our community worked together to repel any greedy overlords who sought to claim our lands and labours. Antioch enjoyed such work, for his was always a combatative and aggressive nature, and he cared little for the idea of being ruled. It was not long before he was considered the finest fighter in our town by magic or by fist, and though he was but sixteen years, he stood to meet the challenge of any who would offer it.

Such prowess naturally attracted the attention of the town's few daughters, and their fathers were suspiciously blind whenever they flipped their skirts in Antioch's direction. It did them little good, though, as my brother could never love another as much as he loved himself or a good fight.

Cadmus, who was but a year younger and often stood as my brother's second in such challenges was somewhat more attentive of the girls' interest, and it was not long before Harwald, who owned five cows and the only bullock caught my middle brother fumbling with his daughter. Cadmus was returned that night well-striped from a sound belting, though it seemed his pride was as wounded as his shoulders. Father added a stripe or two of his own when my brother complained of his treatment, while Antioch laughed and I sat silent in my corner, and soon enough the incident was forgotten.