A/N: I'm back with another Founders era story! This one will consist of four chapters and each will be a different one shot focusing on each Founder and their object. We start with Godric Gryffindor and the sword. Hope you enjoy it!
Godric felt the weight and the cold.
He looked at the man opposite him. Not two summers ago, he would have been looking up but now he met his father's gaze on the same level.
"Your sword, father?"
"Aye. Mine." Borin Gryffindor clapped his son on the shoulder. The wind encircled them, blowing at Borin's red beard and Godric's new cloak. "To take with you on your travels."
Godric's eyes skimmed along the smooth metal, admiring the craftsmanship. He saw a scratch about halfway up the blade and remembered his father had done that in a tournament. His father's sword. Godric had been fascinated with it when he was a boy; watching how Borin's stance changed whenever he held it. His back became ridged, his shoulders seemed broader and his hair redder. Godric gripped the handle, feeling the metal mould his palm. He frowned.
"It is not comfortable to hold."
Borin gave a great laugh, one that was not lost even on the blustery moor. "No, boy. But I suppose that is the point."
Godric sheathed the blade at his side. "What does that mean?"
Borin's laugh dissolved quickly. He placed his hand on his son's shoulder again and this time it lingered. "Learn that for yourself, for I cannot teach you." He smiled somewhere beneath that red beard. "Now go. Off with you. Write when you can."
"I will." And he meant it.
He shouldered his pack and embraced his father. The moors lay ahead; wild and dim, even in daylight. They were isolated and difficult to navigate. But Godric had known this place all his life. It was what lay beyond that scared him, that excited him.
He reached the top of the first peak and turned back to see his father below, still watching. A thought occurred to him.
"Father!" Godric called, his voice swirling on the wind. "Why a sword? I have a wand, after all!"
Even from here, he heard his father's laugh. Yes, he would miss that. "A wand is only for magic folk, my boy! But everyone understands the point of a sword!"
Nearly twenty years later, Borin Gryffindor's sword hung over Godric's bed in his chambers at Hogwarts. Worn and a touch dull, but no less splendid to behold. But now the time had come for something new, something to mark the beginning of Godric's life at Hogwarts.
His quest took all summer but when he came back, the new sword in his hand, he knew it had been worth it.
Godric had shown Rowena first. She coveted things like this; objects that almost hummed with magic and power. He knew she would be the best out of all of them to pass assessment first.
"Oh, it is remarkably fine Godric!"
Rowena ran a fingertip down the gleaming silver sword, taking in the engraved letters of his name.
"Goblin-made I presume?" She leaned to close to it, her breath fogged the blade. Air and metal. Her hand hovered over the handle, her nails nearly touching the rubies.
He nodded his consent and she picked it up in a fluid, seamless motion. She tested the weight of it, swapping it from one hand to the other. Then she frowned.
"It must settled in your palm better than mine. It does not...it is not comfortable to grip."
"No." Godric found himself saying, the image of his father behind his eyes and old words finally clicking into place. "But I suppose that is the point. You have to feel it - you have to know it is in your hand, or else..."
"Or else you reach for it too quickly." Rowena stared at him with those all-seeing eyes. She placed the sword back on the table and turned away from it. "How true. How wise."
The light was blinding, cutting through the dusk. And yet no one could look away. No one could even bring themselves to shout, to try and stop it.
Back and forth it went. Attacking and blocking until no one could tell who was doing what or - more importantly - who was winning in this last and greatest fight.
It was so different from the other times Godric and Salazar had fought. They duelled often in front of the children as a demonstration on the art. Both of them usually wore roguish smiles and laughed, taunting each other with mock-insults. It was rare either of them ever won; Helga or Rowena usually called a draw and then the students applauded, all eager to try their hand.
But now there were no smiles. Godric's nostrils were flared and his red hair was almost as wild as the look in his eyes. He kept his jaw taut but it looked for all the world like he wanted to scream. Salazar's face was stony - he had always been very good at hiding his anger - but his eyes were glinting with malice and determination. He moved quicker that Godric. He fired spells at a faster rate. But Godric was solid. It was as though Salazar was trying to curse a mountain rather than a man.
Red, blue, purple, red, yellow. Blue again, varying shades. Then two bursts of silver. And two wands were ripped from their owners.
This was how their duels often ended: both of them disarmed. There was a brief moment where they stared at each other, as though checking the argument still lived and breathed and roared between them. Then Salazar dived for his wand which lay somewhere in the grass behind him. But as he turned, Godric stuck out a boot and tripped him. Salazar rolled over and was met with the something sharp and cold against his neck.
Godric stood above him, sword in hand. Over his shoulder, Helga and Rowena could be seen. Rowena was sobbing and Helga's face had gone chalky white. Salazar stared up at Godric, grey meeting brown; water yielding to fire.
"That is cheating!" He spat.
"Perhaps." Godric growled. "But you do not seem to adhere to rules anymore, old friend."
Salazar gave an empty chuckle and felt blood begin to trickle over his skin. "I always wondered why you carried that blasted sword."
"Everyone understands the point of a sword, Salazar." Godric applied a little more pressure, just for a moment, before taking it away completely. "Even you."
He sheathed the sword at his side and stared at Salazar. How small he looked, how different from the man he met so long ago. Perhaps that man was dead, or perhaps he still lived somewhere, buried deep under stone and metal and blood. Either way, Godric didn't want to see this stranger with his friend's name.
"Go." He croaked, his voice suddenly sounding unused. "Be gone from here. We want peace. There is no place for hatred in the hearts of children."
Then he turned and walked back to the castle. He didn't need to watch Salazar to know that he would go. Godric had won their final fight.
But, he realised as he gripped the sword at his side, it felt nothing like a victory.
Thanks for reading! Reviews are very welcome!