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Chapter Ten: Introductions
The founders and the headmaster were standing in the shadows just outside the doors of the Great Hall, watching, as the last of the students entered the room. From what they had observed so far, as they stood there, unnoticed, the whole school was curious about yesterday's events and were clearly looking forward to hearing what Dumbledore had to say.
It was decided that at eight in the morning, the Headmaster would enter the Great Hall and then would introduce them as the Founders. Hence all four of the time travels were dressed in a manner that highlighted their house colours nicely. They had also decided that Helga would enter the Hall first followed by Rowena, Godric and at last Salazar. Helga was very saddened to see the reputation of her house, after she regained her memory, and thus they had all decided to let her take the lead and set the record right.
However this was not what Helga was thinking about at all! She (like all other time travellers) was still thinking about the conversation of the previous night. She had pretended to be asleep in her quarters as she knew that only then would Salazar go to their common room and share the turmoil of his heart with Godric and Rowena. If not that then he would defiantly say something that he would rather not say in front of her. He was always very over protective of her. Salazar had always been like this. He always wanted to protect her from the horrors of the world and also would not share what is bothering him just so she could have a stress free life. This was something she was really sad about as she always wanted him to share his sorrow and worries with her, just like she shared it with him; but he would never do so.
But this time she was determined to know what was worrying him and so she pretended to sleep.
Salazar slipped away from their sleeping quarters just as expected and she followed him to their common room without letting him know.
What she heard there was something she never thought she would ever hear. In her previous life she never entertained the thought that maybe the fact that Salazar, her Sal, her saviour, her knight in shining armour could die. She always wanted an explanation for his absence in the later part of her life; and when she regained her memories as Ginny, she didn't want to ask that question. She was scared that if she started questioning Harry then he might go away from her again, so she agreed to whatever he wanted her to do. She just wanted to be there for him and not bring up the past. So she stayed at Hogwarts and protected the students just as Harry wanted her to do. She followed all his orders and remained quiet, as she feared that if she became too bubbly or did something wrong then he might leave her again.
Now she wished that she had probed him, she felt her world shatter around her as she heard how he was still trying to protect all three of them as he died. How could she ever misinterpret his intention to save the residents of Hogwarts?
She clearly remembered that when he suggested that they should not bring Muggles to Hogwarts, she was outraged. She believed that every parent, be it Muggle or magical, had a right to see the place where they would be sending their children. They had a right to visit their children during the year, whenever they wish.
This view was shared by Godric and Rowena. Godric had also voiced that the selection of students should not be based on their blood status, but rather on their qualities as individuals. But now she understands that Salazar knew the ancient arts and thus by opting to teach the children who had magical parents, he was trying to retain their history. It was never about blood status, and he did have few Muggle born students that he deemed worthy to have the knowledge. How had she not seen that as Helga?
She had wanted to hug Salazar tightly and never leave him; she wanted to take away all his pain and sorrow. But she also wanted to shake him and ask him why he had not shared anything with her, why had he not shared his reasoning with her?
So when he finished his tale and seemed lost in his past, she rushed to hug him. She couldn't bear the thought of him reliving his past and also couldn't imagine the pain he must have felt after knowing that they were in danger and there was nothing he could do about it.
When she hugged him she felt him stiffen at first. And then, as he realised who she was, she felt him hug her back. Just as he did that she felt four more arms around them and just as they had done in past, all four of them consoled each other.
They spent the night in silence, hugging and consoling each other. Then, in the early hours of morning they all had come out of the room after promising to always be there for each other and try to understand each other's perspective.
After that they had all gone to their chambers to get dressed and then met outside the Great Hall, to wait for their introductions.
They had met the Headmaster there and agreed on the order of their introduction. Then they had cast the disillusionment charm on themselves and waited for the clock to strike 8.
As Dumbledore left them, each of the four was thinking about the night. Unknown to each other, they had all simultaneously resolved to not allow history to repeat itself again. Godric, Rowena and Helga also vowed to make a better effort to understand Salazar and his intentions better.
Inside the Great Hall.
Something was very, very wrong.
Severus Snape'Professor of Hogwarts, Head of Slytherin House, youngest Potions Master on record, Master Occlumens, Master Legilimens, Death Eater, Order of the Phoenix spy, and quite annoyed'had absolutely no idea what was going on. Certainly, he had been with the headmaster the night before, but he was convinced that it was either a dream or someone up there had a bad sense of humour. Of course if those four were who he thought they were, then his childhood dream would come true and the amount of knowledge he would gain was just unimaginable. But it would not do any good to keep his hopes up. They could merely be someone who looked a lot like the founders. And he, like every resident of the castle, was curious. The result of this curiosity had everyone, even the first years, and the infamous marauder trio who were known to always be late for the breakfast, present at the Great Hall. Everyone was waiting patiently (or not in some cases) for the headmaster to come and introduce the newcomers.
Severus barely had to wait at all. The school clock tower rang out eight, and the Headmaster entered the Great Hall wearing shocking orange and blue robes.
The doors were shut right after his entrance, blocking the view of everyone inside. Not that it would matter to anyone as everyone was watching the headmaster intently.
As soon as the headmaster reached the podium, he raised his arms to quiet the already soundless Hall. Though still staring at the door and wondering why it closed behind the headmaster, Severus knew from past experience that Dumbledore was beaming maddeningly at his pupils.
"As I'm sure you all remember," Dumbledore began, in a formal voice with hints of childish glee mixed in. "There was a loud explosion last night. The causes that brought about the incident are being investigated. However, as a result of the events of last night, we will have guests in Hogwarts this year. How long they will stay is undetermined as yet, but I am sure that you all will find every minute of their stay extraordinary, and will be very sad when they leave."
Mutterings broke out among the students. Dumbledore paused dramatically, and though his face remained impassive, Severus frowned deeply. Dumbledore was really presuming quite a bit in his introduction of these inexplicable outsiders. If Severus wasn't so curious as to whom Dumbledore would be willing to so vastly break routine for, he would have found 'every minute of their stay' quite ordinary, just out of spite.
"This year," Dumbledore continued now, stilling the hall. "Hogwarts will play host to four very important people. They arrived here quite unexpectedly last night, as I'm sure most of you noticed, and will be staying among us until they can find a way to return to their home. But for now, that is all quite unimportant." Dumbledore raised an arm toward the doors at the far end of the hall, and every head snapped to them. "It is my great and deepest honour to present'"
The doors swung open slowly to reveal a young woman standing in the very centre of the doorway, magic roiling around her like a storm-tossed sea. Her basic clothing was very simple; a bright canary-yellow dress. The left sleeve of the woman's dress was long and form fitting, tapering to a point above her middle finger and allowing wedding rings to show. The right sleeve went to the elbow and then fell in strips of yellow and black down to just past her hips, exposing strange black lines upon her hand and wrist. She wore a twisted rope belt about her waist, from which her wand and a long, wicked-looking obsidian blade hung. All this was covered by a black satin cloak, and the young woman's long red hair spilled down her back, a few chance strands braided with a black ribbon.
"Milady, Helga Hufflepuff!"
Severus actually heard a pin drop.
If he were not a Master Occlumens, Severus would have fallen out of his chair. More than a few of the younger year Hufflepuffs actually did. His mind completely blank, Severus could do nothing but stare at the young woman as she walked calmly up the aisle between her own table and that of Ravenclaw, her long black knife glinting evilly in the candlelight.
Everything about her, from her fierce chestnut eyes to her warrior's posture screamed that Lady Hufflepuff had clearly been misrepresented in the histories. Far from the kindly, plump and pleasing person typically depicted, the lithe, sprightly young girl who moved smoothly up the hall was anything but weak and talentless.
Severus felt a stream of warmth and comfort watching her, emotions that his training in Occlumency enabled him to realize were not his own. Severus raised an eyebrow at that. A practising Empath was a rare thing to find, especially in someone who the Wizarding world thought they knew so well. But as Severus knew even in the bare seconds he had seen Hufflepuff, the Wizarding world knew absolutely nothing.
Lady Hufflepuff had, by this time, reached the end of the hall and she came to a stop before her long House table. The small group of sixth year boys that had sat at the teacher's end of the Hufflepuff table since their first year goggled at her. She smiled lightly, sending out a wash of friendliness, and gave them a little wave.
Dumbledore once again raised his arm to the doors at the back of the hall. "I give to you our next visitor!"
This time, only one door swung open, a regal woman of impressive stature stepping nobly through. Her hair, honey-toned and curled in ringlets, framed a face with warm brown eyes that shown with wisdom and compassion and sparkled with youth. She wore a long, flowing gown, starting with royal blue at the low, swooping neckline and fading all the way to white at the hem. The sleeves, slit to the shoulder but bound together by spaced links of bronze, were full and long, almost brushing the floor, lined in bronze silk. An obviously goblin wrought, hair-thin bronze, girdle encircled her waist. An icy blue cloak, strewn with threads of bronze and matching slippers completed the ensemble. Severus knew instinctively that this woman, whose magic coursed through the room like gale-force wind, could not possibly be any other than
"Lady Rowena Ravenclaw!"
The hall burst into curious mutterings as Ravenclaw swept majestically up the hall, her cloak flowing smoothly behind her, and Severus let out a small breath, clamping down his mental shields. It wouldn't do to get his hopes up over something so obviously too good to be true, he warned himself sternly. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff could have been out on holiday and accidently sent to the future with two medieval bellhops from the local five star hotel for all he knew. Gryffindor might not even have come, which would be a blessing to be sure.
Severus shook himself from the train of thought, casting his gaze to the other teachers as a distraction. Pomona Sprout of Hufflepuff, completely ignoring Ravenclaw, had eyes only for the youthful looking Founder of her House, and Filius Flitwick was equally disregarding Hufflepuff, gazing almost rapturously at Ravenclaw. The teachers who were not Heads of any House were still in a state of shock, with the obvious exceptions of McGonagall and Dumbledore and the strange omissions of Black and Lupin. The Marauders, all of them, looked excited beyond words, though Potter still seemed a little suspicious.
Dumbledore cleared his throat as Ravenclaw came to a stop before her House table and shared a grin with Hufflepuff. "And now our next guest!"
For a third time, the doors swung open, this time for a man. And before he even stepped into the light, Severus knew instantly who this person was. There was something about the way he carried himself'not with the usual Gryffindor arrogance, but with something a little more subtle'and the way his magic blazed through the air like a wildfire that marked him as Godric.
When Gryffindor stepped into the light of the Great Hall, several things happened all at the same time. Severus flinched, squeezing his eyes shut against the veritable glow of Gryffindor's red and gold outfit; the table along the far right edge of the Hall burst into a chant of 'GOD-RIC! GRYFF-IN-DOR!'; and James Potter'ooh, would Severus nail him for this later'fell out of his chair in full view of the school and landed with a thud.
Were it not for Legilimency and stoic Slytherin pride, Severus would have asphyxiated from laughter. As it was, he allowed a grin to creep onto his face as Potter crawled back up into his chair, red-faced, staring dumbstruck at Gryffindor.
Granted, the man was impressive, though certainly not worth falling out of a chair over, especially now that the shock of the founders had passed.
Once Severus adjusted to the blatant glare of Gryffindorishness, he too turned an observant eye on the man. Gryffindor was tall, easily more than six feet, with long auburn hair pulled away from his face, and a moustache that gave his slightly scarred visage a look of perpetual amusement, even when he wasn't smiling at all. From the moment the chanting of his name began, however, his face alit with a brilliant grin, his blue eyes sparkling in his glee. Gryffindor's cloak was red, of course, over eye-shocking gold robes that seemed ablaze with their own luminescence. Around his waist there was a thick belt of gold richer in colour than his robes, and attached to this, visible through an obviously-goblin-wrought sheath'for no other smiths could achieve such finery'was the famous gold and ruby Sword of Gryffindor.
Severus' mind instantly jumped into overdrive. While the more rational side of his mind counselled himself to avoid getting his hopes up lest the Founders had been mysteriously transported forward after the split, the rest of him was positively dying for Dumbledore to introduce the last visitor. The chance to meet, to speak with, to work with Salazar Slytherin'the Salazar Slytherin'was far too fantastic to be real, and yet it simplyhad to be.
Gryffindor, reaching the end of the hall, reached out and pulled Ravenclaw into a full passionate kiss. The Gryffindors, particularly Longbottom, Finnigan and Thomas, cheered even harder. When they broke away, Ravenclaw's face turned a beautiful rose tone and Gryffindor winked roguishly at his students.
"As there is no need to introduce Lord Gryffindor," cried Dumbledore above the wild cheers of the overenthusiastic Lions. "I give you, last but certainly not least, Lady Hufflepuff's husband!"
The chanting and cheering cut off abruptly, and a few upper year Slytherins jumped to their feet in outrage. All around the hall, people were frowning, and muttering angrily under their breaths. While not very popular, Slytherin was a founder and if his absence meant the loss of the full set, Hogwarts would not be happy. Severus wasn't paying attention. He fumed, raged, seethed, and boiled with fury. How could the Wizarding world's most impossible dream have come true and left Slytherin behind in the past? Goody-two-shoes Gryffindor, and his conniving cohorts, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw simply couldn't be allowed to influence the Wizarding world without Slytherin there to balance them out. It wasn't right! Severus glowered at the hall and particularly the tall oak doors as if he could make Slytherin appear behind them.
Dumbledore, for some odd reason, was grinning.
The tall oaken doors banged open with a wave of magic that ruffled the hair of those sitting closest to the entry way, revealing a single figure completely silhouetted by the torchlight of the passage behind him. An aura with force such as Severus had never felt slammed into him, pushing him back into his seat. Severus stared. This man, Hufflepuff's husband, was the most powerful wizard Severus had ever seen, and yet not a single drop of his magic seeped into the air around him. All his strength was carefully concealed by Occlumency.
Severus reached out with Legilimency to brush by the man's shields, and instantly probed closer. Most people's natural shields were like tiny wooden garden spikes, just enough to keep thoughts from spilling out of their minds. Dumbledore's and Voldemort's minds were protected by a barbed wire fence surrounded by chimeras of Legilimency. Severus had heard his shield compared to a muggle high-voltage fence with Hungarian Horntails on the perimeter, ready to attack the shields of another at a moment's notice. But this man's mind was Hogwarts, encircled by a thousand full grown Basilisks.
Voldemort suddenly looked like an open encyclopaedia.
Severus hadn't recovered from the shock of the man's strength when he stepped into the light of the great hall and everything was blown from Severus' mind.
Hufflepuff's husband was slightly shorter than Gryffindor with longish black hair that brushed against his glimmering emerald eyes. The man was swathed from head to foot in deep forest green, his cloak glimmering with a thousand strands of silver twisting and turning on the fabric. The naked blade of a short silver sword gleamed on his hip, and a pure white snake lay lazily draped over his shoulders.
Slytherin. Severus had never been surer of anything in his whole life.
Gasps swept the hall like a sudden breeze. The snake hung around Slytherin's shoulders hissed loudly through the silence, and Slytherin laughed, low and throaty. The sound echoed, and the hairs on the back of Severus' neck stood up.
Salazar quietly conversed with his snake in Parseltongue, and Severus let out a low breath of amazement. When Voldemort spoke Parseltongue, it was all hisses and spits and wheezing. But Slytherin, the Serpent Lord himself, made the language of the snakes sound beautiful, like a song or a gust of wind. Severus had never heard Parseltongue spoken that way.
The snake hissed something vehemently, jerking its head away from Slytherin's as they glided down the hall, and causing more than a few Hufflepuffs to edge away in fear.
By this time, Slytherin had reached the end of the walk between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables, and, stepping close to Hufflepuff, he bowed low over her hand, pressing a kiss to the wedding ring glimmering on her finger. Another zephyr of gasps and whispers blew through the hall.
The four newcomers moved together in the centre of the room.
"Witches and wizards," Dumbledore announced from behind them, arms raised. "Boys and girls. Allow me to give you the Founders of Hogwarts!"
And the crowd went wild.
AN: This time I am not giving any previews so do let me know what you think the next chapter will contain. You never know, maybe you will guess it right?! ;)
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Chapter eleven: Reactions and Q&A Session
Severus Snape had just spent three minutes of his life pinching his arms, slapping his knees, stomping on his own toes, rubbing his eyes and even trying to blow bubbles out of his ears whilst holding his nose. Such behaviour was so completely out of character that even Severus himself was rather appalled at such undignified deportment, but he had decided that this occasion was well worth seriously jeopardizing his Slytherin pride over. But now, after repeatedly failed attempts to remove himself from the fantastic dreamscape he seemed to have stumbled into, Severus finally let himself believe what was right in front of him.
The Founders of Hogwarts were here.
The present day students of Hogwarts had clearly accepted the Founders' arrival with far less apprehension and suspicion than their professors. They were still wildly cheering and applauding as they had been the entire time.
Their professors, on the other hand, were trying to convince themselves that they were not delirious, under the influence of one of the various hallucinogenic curses, or staring avidly into the Mirror of Erised. The founders themselves were not helping calm the students in the slightest, as they seemed content to let everyone come out of their shocks on their own.
Godric was waving enthusiastically towards the Gryffindor table with a big grin on his face and bowing from time to time. Rowena and Helga were watching the crowd with slight grins on their faces, clearly enjoying the fact the excitement of the students. Slytherin on the other hand, took the applause without grandstanding, observing the crowd with a neutral look on his face. To the onlooker he would seem bored of the situation.
Dumbledore, who had been celebrating right along with his students, spread his arms in a gesture for quiet. The Founders somehow knew it even with their backs turned, and instantly stopped their actions. A few of the students groaned at this, but quieted as soon as they understood the reason.
"May I remind you that this is a feast!" said Dumbledore, smiling out at the school. Several students gave sheepish laughs. ""Let us eat and perhaps our visitors would consent to answer a few questions?"
Dumbledore's slight question was directed with raised eyebrows at Gryffindor, who nodded.
Food appeared into place on the tables and the students fell to without a single spoken word, desperate to finish their meals as quickly as possible to hear from the Founders (Severus for his part found this extraordinarily amusing). The Founders moved off to the sides, to get seated and start their meal.
Severus was concentrating on his meal whilst mulling over how to approach his idol, Salazar Slytherin. Just then a soft voice startled him
"Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?"
Severus moved his neck so fast that he could swear he heard something click, but that was not what shocked him, it was the fact that the person of his thoughts was standing in front of him and his idol had started a conversation with him.
In his shock all he could do was shake his head to answer the question directed to him.
Salazar took one glance at the head table and found that the Headmaster had very cleverly placed empty seats next to the four heads of houses. Thus he made his way to get seated next to Severus Snape, the Head of Slytherin house.
However, as he was making his way to his seat he noticed that Severus seemed to be concentrating on his food whilst being deep in his thoughts. So Salazar decided to let his inner marauder out and standing behind Severus he softly raised a seemingly polite question.
"Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?"
He instantly got the desired reaction when the esteemed Potions master moved his neck so quickly to look at him that Salazar could hear the neck click. After that he enjoyed watching different emotions of shock, incredulity, disbelief, awe and wonder play on Severus' face. He mentally congratulated himself for being one of the few people who could claim to have seen the esteemed potions master displaying emotions.
However, when Severus did not seem to answer his question for a long time he allowed himself to smile a little and raised one eyebrow. That seemed to have gotten through to Severus somewhat, as he hastily shook his head.
So he gracefully slipped into his seat which was right next to Helga and started with his meal.
A few moments later Severus held out a hand. "Severus Snape, Head of Slytherin House."
Salazar stared at the offered hand for a few seconds before grasping it. Severus for some reason was surprised at how warm Slytherin's hand was. Slytherin twitched one corner of his mouth. "Salazar Slytherin," he said, "Head of Slytherin House."
Severus gave a small laugh and released Slytherin's hand. Slytherin had a nice sense of humour, Severus decided.
Something hissed suddenly in Severus's ear, and Severus flinched. The snake around Slytherin's neck had wound itself up and over the back of Severus's chair, and Severus could feel the tips of its forked tongue flickering against his skin. Slytherin let out a long sustained hiss, and it took Severus a while to realize that he was laughing.
"No fear of Serpa," said Slytherin softly. "He has taken liking of you." Slytherin held out an arm, and the snake moved slowly across Severus' shoulders, winding slowly up Slytherin's arm until it was once again wrapped tightly around his body.
"He is beautiful," said Severus, and indeed, the snake was. Its long body was pure white and iridescent, with black eyes that reflected all the light that hit them.
"Thank you, not many would say that after looking at him. I am glad to know that the current Head of my House is not one of them." Salazar inclined his head to emphasis his words and continued with his meal.
The rest of the meal passed in silence. Soon the feast was over and everyone was eager to start the questions. So the Founders exchanged a look and stood as one to take the middle stage.
Godric and Salazar took a step further and addressed the crowd.
"First of all I would like to thank Headmaster Dumbledore for understanding our situation and making us feel welcome in a place that is unknown to us. I would also like to thank all of you for such a nice welcome. I know that I am speaking for all of us when I say that, it makes us feel very proud and happy to see that our school has gained such a good reputation and place in the Wizarding World.
This fact has assured us that our hard work and efforts have come to fruition. This is how we wanted our school to be and it is truly gratifying to know that our dream has come to reality."
Salazar paused for a while. Everyone was listening to what Salazar Slytherin had to say with apt attention. It was clear to all the teachers that Salazar was the speaker of the group and everyone in the quadrant listened to him. This was very surprising for everyone as they always thought that Gryffindor was the leader.
"Now I realise that all of you would want to ask us questions, but I also know that some of you will not know where to start. To add to this, the classes will also start in some time. So for this reason I suppose that for now we will take one question from each house. Be assured that we will answer all your questions during the year, if we are unable to answer them now. So feel free to approach any of us during the year with any question that you might have." Salazar began the speech and then looked at Godric
"I agree with Sal here, when we started this school all four of us wanted to eventually expand the school and have students from all over the British Isles. It is very reassuring to see that our wishes are not only fulfilled but Hogwarts has exceeded our imaginations. I mean, just look at the number of students in the Slytherin House. Sal never, and I mean never ever had that many students!"
The last statement was met with a mixture of reactions. Several of older Slytherin students almost stood up in protest whilst Gryffindor students started snickering, and Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students also had smiles. On the teacher's table, Severus was enraged at the nerve of Gryffindor and was about to voice his opinion. Other teachers were all shocked at the statement.
However, before anyone could voice their opinions, Salazar started chuckling
"That's true. It seems that the student population has exploded."
After saying that, he exchanged a look with Godric and both of them started laughing at the joke like old friends.
This scene was met with stunned silence from the Hogwarts population. Everyone who was shocked at Gryffindor's statement were even more shocked at Slytherin's reply and only had one question in their mind 'that was supposed to be a joke?' Others who were laughing earlier were shocked to see Salazar Slytherin acting so … so human.
In the end everyone had one thought on their mind, this year is certainly going to be interesting.
After a few moments of chuckling, Salazar and Godric sobered up, and Godric again started to speak in a serious voice
"Well jokes apart, it really is nice to see that our school is a home to so many students from all over the Isles. Now as Sal was saying earlier, we will take one question from each house and maximum of three questions from the teachers, for today. If you do not have the opportunity to ask your question then feel free to approach any of us during the school year. So shall we start with my house first? Who would like to ask first? Please, raise your hand."
Several hands flew in the air, so Godric chose a hand of a girl who had black hair and looked very reluctant to raise her hand
When he called her on and asked her name she seemed very shy and replied
"My name is Rose Longbottom, Lord Gryffindor, I am a fourth year student. I have heard a lot of things about the Founders and was curious to know what subjects did each of you teach."
The founders were surprised to hear her last name but composed themselves and smiled encouragingly at her before Godric started to answer.
"Well an excellent question Miss Longbottom. We do not only teach one subject but a variety of them. To the younger students, I teach hand to hand combat, basics of weapon wielding, and transfiguration. Then to the older students of the school and those who wish to get masteries, I give Animagus training and weapon crafting. Then, along with Salazar, I also teach duelling and Muggle fighting tactics, including swordsmanship and other weapon wielding tactics.
Godric paused to let the information sink in. He could see a lot of students looking interested at the mention of his subjects.
"My wife, Lady Ravenclaw, teaches Arithmancy, History, Charms and Ancient Runes to students of all ages. Then she also teaches Warding, Spell crafting and Charms to those who wish to take masteries. "
Rowena inclined her head to register here agreement. Salazar took over from here and continued to describe his and Helga's subjects.
"My wife, Lady Hufflepuff, teaches Care of Magical Creatures and Herbology to everyone. In addition, she also teaches Divination to the gifted students, and, along with me, provides healing courses for those who wish to do their masteries. Furthermore, she helps Lady Ravenclaw to teach the spell crafting and Charms classes."
Everyone was listening very intently to the explanation and was surprised to realise that the course structure had changed so much over the years. They always thought that Hogwarts had retained the traditional subjects and customs from the time of the Founders. However, as Salazar paused to let the information sink, everyone (especially the Slytherins) was sitting on the edge of their seats as ancient founder spoke about the subjects that he taught.
"I teach potions to everyone. For the older students, I also teach Occlumency, Legilimency, defensive magic, duelling magical spells and their tactics. Furthermore, as you already know, I teach duelling and muggle fighting tactics, including swordsmanship and other weapon wielding tactics; and along with Lady Hufflepuff I teach Healing. Now as you know that each of us has their own area of expertise that we share with the older students who wish to take their studies to a master level. I teach Ancient Arts and ancestral magic to the students wishing to take mastery in the subject."
Salazar paused and scanned the students and teachers. After a few moments, he addressed the crowd again.
"Can we have the next question please, this time from the Ravenclaw House?"
This caused quite a stir in the Hall. Everyone was surprised that Salazar had not called out for his own house, but had called out for the Ravenclaw house. They had expected him to favour his own house.
Nonetheless, many hands were raised and Salazar selected a brown haired boy this time.
"My name is Zac Smith, sir, I will be starting my fifth year. My question is, how long ago did you Found Hogwarts, sir, and how many students have you had?"
Salazar raised eyebrow at the boy in amusement. However, he allowed Rowena to answer the question this time around.
"Well, Mr Smith, that was two questions but I will answer nonetheless. Before we landed in this timeline, we had founded Hogwarts two years ago. To start with we had five students in total. Last year, the number was doubled and we had ten students. This year we were expecting at least fifteen students." Rowena replied with a kind smile on her face.
"Can we have the next question, from the Hufflepuff house this time?"
A few hands were raised from the Hufflepuff table, and Rowena indicated for a black haired boy.
"My name is Ted Boot, I wanted to ask Lady Hufflepuff how her last name can be Hufflepuff if she is the sister of Lord Gryffindor and the wife of Lord Slytherin"
Helga smiled at the nervous looking boy, and replied to him
"Well that is because, my mother belonged to a matriarchal family. What it means is that any daughter born to me will not carry Sal's last name but she will carry the name of Hufflepuff. However, if I give birth to a baby boy then he will carry the Slytherin name. Similarly, Godric carried my father's last name – Gryffindor while I carried my mother's last name – Hufflepuff. Does that answer your question my dear?"
Ted smiled at Helga and nodded his head in understanding. Helga nodded at him one last time before directing her next question to the Slytherin house.
"Now can we have the next question from the Slytherin house this time?"
Quite a few hands were raised in the air, and Helga chose a girl this time with curly black hair.
"My name is Astoria Greengrass, I was wondering how old you all are."
The founders all exchanged a look between them before nodding towards Salazar. Turning back to Astoria, Salazar replied to her question.
"Ah, well Rowena here is the oldest amongst all of us. She is, at this moment, eighteen years old"
All around the hall there was a chorus of gasps. Albus too raised an eyebrow incredulously. If Ravenclaw was eighteen now, than that would have put her at barely sixteen when the school opened! And to already have Mastered an Apprentice at that age! Salazar seemed to understand that his words were shocking, and waited patiently for the mutterings to subside. They soon did, and he smiled.
"My best friend Godric – " heads jerked over from both the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables at hearing the words 'Godric', 'Best Friend' and 'My' spoken in same sentence – "and I were born but weeks apart, we are seventeen years old"
Hogwarts was really getting more than its share of shocks today, thought Albus, staring around the hall. With this revelation, Albus had decided to let go of any and all perceptions that he held of the Founders and just accept everything they said as true. Nearly everyone else in the hall found this much more difficult. They gasped and gaped and counted on their fingers and whispered things like 'Ravenclaw's the oldest!' and 'They were our age when they founded this place!' Albus just sat back and let his mind do what it would with the information. He did, however, take the time to glance over and see Slytherin share an amused smirk with Gryffindor.
"My wife Helga—" said Salazar loudly, looking back over the hall, and reclaiming all attention. "- was born but a year after us."
After pausing a few moment, Salazar continued.
"Now I am sure that everyone will be eager to start the first classes of the new term, so we will finish this session here and head for our activities. I and my fellows will be attending the classes with the respective heads of our houses. So we will see each other regularly during the upcoming year. Once again I would like to assure the rest of you that should you have any questions that you would like to ask us, please feel free to approach us anytime. Headmaster?"
Salazar nodded towards Albus, indicating that he should take over from here. Understanding the indication given by Slytherin, Dumbledore stood up and addressed the audience.
"Well that ends our most enlightening but short question and answer session. I am sure you all will be looking forward to learning few things from our guests this year. Now, I request the Heads of Houses to kindly distribute the timetables to the students. Other teachers, if you could please proceed to your classes. I also request our guests to kindly stay behind and wait for the Head of Houses."
Everyone who was addressed by the Headmaster nodded their heads in acceptance and followed the instructions. Dumbledore then gave a nod towards the Founders and left the Great Hall, along with other teachers leaving the students in the capable hands of the Heads of Houses and the Founders.
No one noticed a few owls flying from different house tables carrying the news of the arrival of the Founders to their parents and a few to the Ministry of Magic.
AN: So that was the conclusion of the Founder's Introduction. Hope you all liked it. I am looking forward to hearing you opinions about it.
To all the wonderful people who took time out to review the previous chapter - THANK YOU SO MUCH. It really means a lot to me and Yes James really did fall off the chair... and Snape's reaction is still my favourite.
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ting_39, VioletFlower, harianjana, Athene, --Mahima--, bookworm-ALS--, spvd,
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