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Note: I know that many of you might be confused as I keep switching from the names of the Four Founders to our trio and Ginny; and vice versa. However, it was necessary to do that till last chapter as they were all making revelations and also using the names of our trio + Ginny made it easier to relate the Four Founders to them. But enough of the confusion, from this chapter onwards, I will only address them as Founders. So once again for everyone's information: Harry is Salazar, Hermione is Rowena, Ron is Godric and Ginny is Helga.
I hope this clears the confusion. If you have any more questions or suggestions then feel free to tell me about it in your review of via PM. Enjoy reading.
Chapter Six: Decisions
Having lived in this world, Dumbledore was the first to come out of his thoughts.
"We need to make a decision." Said Dumbledore gently to break their chain of thoughts
"Everyone in the Great Hall will know that some people have appeared and we will need a story to tell them. We have a few options, first being that we tell them the entire truth, I don't think that it will be a good option for various reasons."
"Yes, the entire truth can lead to many unwanted complications that we would rather not involve ourselves with." Salazar agreed
"Indeed," Dumbledore nodded. "Our second option is that we tell them that you are the Founders and have somehow stumbled into the future. This option seems the best as it will explain your lack of knowledge to some of the things and it will ensure that you gain respect and are able to unite the students of Hogwarts."
"Certainly, it will also ensure that people will have a hope that they can win this war against Voldemort." Salazar added
"Does that mean that you are willing to help us in this war?" Dumbledore asked with hope filled in his eyes.
"Indeed yes Professor, it seems that we are here for a long period of time, and we cannot just let people die when there is something we can do about it; and we will also fulfil the prophecy in the meantime." Helga agreed whilst the trio nodded in agreement.
"That is more than what I could ask for. I thank you for this. However there is one more option I can think of. I do not think it is advisable but it can certainly be considered. We have a small group of Witches and Wizards that were or are still fighting with Voldemort's rule. We are not very active but we try to keep Hogwarts and some of the residences safe. We also help in the aftermath of attacks. Maybe we can tell them the entire truth. It will boost their confidence. This group is called the Order of the Phoenix". Dumbledore suggested.
"Professor, that is a good suggestion but I wanted to inquire why you think that it is not advisable that we tell the entire truth to the Order of the Phoenix?." Rowena inquired with a confused look on her face. She couldn't understand why they cannot share this with such a trusted group. Even Godric and Helga seemed confused at this.
However before Dumbledore could reply, Salazar explained, "Because Sirius, Remus, Mr & Mrs Weasley and my parents are also a part of this group." Salazar turned to see his friends' faces before continuing.
"Think over it, they have spent almost twenty years trying to protect what is left of their family. Also they are still mourning us and are trying to get over the fact that their children were killed by Voldemort. Do you think they are likely to just accept us and be happy?"
Salazar paused for a few moments to let them think this over before he continued.
"Ric Helga, I know that your parents will happily accept us, but have you ever thought what your mother might feel?" He paused again to give them a chance to contemplate what their mother would feel.
"If I know her, then she will feel two things at one time, she will be extremely happy to see you both healthy and alive, but at the same time she will break down thinking that she couldn't save you in this world! Do you want her to go through this?"
"But Sal don't you think that they will want to know us? We are here and we cannot change that, and we cannot hide our realities from them for long, they will come to know at some time." Helga countered
"I agree but I feel that we need to let them get to know us as individuals before we tell them who we really are. This way we can know them as your parents in this world; they will have a hope to get revenge from Voldemort and they will also not stop us from fighting." Explained Salazar
"You think they will stop us from fighting?" Rowena exclaimed
"Think over it Row, Molly withheld information from us for "our own safety". Granted that she was following Dumbledore's orders in our fifth year, but what about the information that Dumbledore was willing to share? If you remember, she was the one who told Sirius not to answer our questions. Then last year, we became adults and she knew that we have some mission that Dumbledore left us. But she still did not seem willing to allow us to fight. Given her way she would have not let us fight at all. That was when she had lost her brothers in the First War. The Mrs Weasley in this world has lost our counterparts to Voldemort. Do you think she will let us face him again if she came to know who we were?"
Everyone contemplated what he said and realised that he was right.
"I agree with you Sal, mum might stop us from going out to fight, but if she knew that we are capable of fighting and got to know us as Founders first then she will respect us and even fight with us. I do not like it but I think what you are saying is the right way to do things, at least for the time being." Godric agreed
After listening to Godric, even Rowena and Helga nodded to give their consent.
While all this was going on Dumbledore was quietly listening in on their conversation. He was impressed by the way Salazar (or as he was called in this life "Harry") explained the situation.
However he was deep in thought, 'What Salazar has stated was indeed one of the reasons why it was not a good idea to reveal their true identities. However the main reason was the Potters.
He knew for a fact that they did not judge a person based on their dark background. James' friendship with a werewolf (Remus) and a dark wizard by birth (Sirius) was enough proof of that. However, all four of them loved little Harry a lot, and when little Harry died they were hurt very deeply. While Remus, Sirius and Lily might overlook the dark background of this Harry; James will not do so.'
'James will not accept this Harry as Salazar easily and be extremely rude with him.' Dumbledore thought. 'He might also become over protective of Lily and his friends and try to 'save' them from Salazar.'
'James had always hated Slytherins right from his childhood and the fact that his very precious son was killed by the heir of Slytherin has only added to his hate. No, James hates Slytherin way too much and he will not accept this Salazar reincarnated Harry as the alternate version of his son. Well his love for his son might win, but that will only be when James realises that this Harry/Salazar is not evil. Furthermore, if James will not accept this Harry/Salazar than the other three will also not talk to him as they would not want to hurt James more. They are one of the most closely knitted groups I have ever seen. Whatever their decision will be, the will not leave each other's side.'
'Now the key to this problem was that James gets to know Salazar as an individual and before telling him who Salazar really is. At least till they find out on their own or they start trusting Salazar, whichever comes first.'
However what is interesting here is that Salazar does not want to draw attention to this situation. Probably because he knows that this might be James' reaction. I will have to keep an eye on it but for now I will let it go. Yes, that seems to be the right choice for now. In any case, Salazar's reasoning is also true, Molly would not let them fight and that would only lead to a disaster.'
Whilst Dumbledore was in his thoughts, Rowena noticed that Salazar was not talking about his parents, Remus or Sirius. She suspected that this was the main reason he did not want to reveal their true identities to everyone. She also realised that if her suspicion was right then it will be very important for Salazar to first win the trust of those four people. And if it was important for Salazar then she will be with him. That was the main reason why she agreed with Salazar's suggestion.
Unknown to her, Godric and Helga had also noticed Salazar's omission of his parents, Sirius and Remus and had suspected the same thing as Hermione. It was also the main reason why they agreed with Salazar. Salazar had always been there for them when they needed him the most, especially when their parents were killed by Voldemort's Death Eaters. If they could do something for Salazar then they were ready for it. Even if that meant not being able to tell their real identities to the alternate versions of their dead parents for a while; they will do it for Salazar.
Salazar on the other hand was lost in the thoughts of Sirius, Remus and his parents and how he will not be able to take their hate, especially after knowing who he really was. He knew he was being a coward by not facing them, but he did not want to be rejected again. As that will be equal to losing them again; and that he cannot take.
Everyone was brought back from their thoughts by Hermione's question to Dumbledore.
"Headmaster, was that your reason too?" Rowena inquired as she had a doubt that this was not the reason when Dumbledore suggested this option.
"Yes, indeed that was one of the reasons. The other reason being that the less people knows about this, the better the chance that this will not be leaked." Dumbledore replied. "That will give us a distinct advantage against Voldemort; after all knowledge is power, and a very powerful one at that." He chose to omit the fact that his other main reason was the Potters.
Everyone nodded acknowledging that reason as well.
"So I will introduce you to the school as the Founders tomorrow. The story is that you were in the middle of a battle and somehow managed to land yourselves in future. Is that all right?" Dumbledore inquired.
"Yes Headmaster, that seems perfect, furthermore I think that it would be beneficial for all if we refer to ourselves as the founders even amongst ourselves. This will ensure that we do not slip up in front of others." Salazar suggested
"Yes that will be a good idea mate." Godric agreed.
Rowena and Helga nodded.
"If that is sorted then we would take your leave for the night Headmaster, we will see you at the Great Hall tomorrow for breakfast" Salazar concluded.
"Indeed, I will ask the House-Elves to guide you to your quarters." Dumbledore suggested
"That will not be required Headmaster, all of us have our own secret quarters that are hidden in this castle" Rowena informed
After this everyone stood up and the four travelers left for their quarters; whilst Dumbledore went to his sleeping quarters with a smile on his face and hope in his eyes.
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