The Sugar Quill
Author: Starzie (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Bloody Baron  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

The Bloody Baron

The Bloody Baron

 

 

I have watched the mighty wizards rise and fall like the tides. For a thousand years I have walked the corridors of the castle I helped build. They come and go, the children, and the castle shelters them and teaches them. They come here to learn, they come here to fight, and they come here to die.

 

And still I remain.

 

I doubt that any of them know me for myself. “The Bloody Baron,” they whisper, and scurry by on the other side. I am a ghost, insubstantial, less than nothing. I am my memories. I am a thousand years of history.

 

I keep away from the main part of the castle most of the time. There are too many memories to be found there. In the great hall, I see Godric pushing his hair out of his eyes as he stands on a ladder, creating a painting that would last for centuries, ever changing and yet still the same painting. Rowena discusses magical philosophy with a group of her Ravenclaws in the library. Helga runs up and down the corridors, her hat slightly askew and her hair a mess, searching for a misplaced tool. Around every corner another memory lingers.

 

Not all ghosts are visible.

 

I lived in my cellars, my cold, dark dungeons. I created my spells and charms – I was once a master of charms – and I was silent. The last of the Hogwarts Four. The Parselmouth. The Dark wizard who planned to dominate the world.

 

I never bothered to correct them. True, I practised the Dark Arts, but I had no ambitions to be any kind of Dark Lord. Dark Lords are too easily unseated, and beneath every one are half a dozen ambitious underlings. The correct method of promotion in Dark circles is to step into your superior’s shoes, having previously emptied them of their occupant. 

 

No, I practised the Dark Arts because I wished to understand them. There are far better ways of achieving immortality. I wished to be remembered as the greatest of them all – the most powerful wizard of all time. Give me charms to play with, and from them I will build new charms that will make strong men tremble.

 

Avada Kedavra, for example. That was one of mine. A masterpiece, I always thought –quick, clean, and painless. I advocated its use on criminals. Perhaps you disagree, but I always felt that nothing any Dark Lord has done compares to the imprisoning of petty criminals in a building full of ravenous Dementors. Then, there was the added benefit that only a wizard of very great power could perform it, so those capable of casting the curse could always be kept under strict control. Alas, it has been greatly misused.

 

Avada Kedavra was the beginning of the argument, if a beginning has to be chosen. Godric had never liked me. He disagreed with my views on Mudbloods. I merely pointed out the essential stupidity of making it known to Muggles, who had grown up without any education in proper magical etiquette, that Hogwarts existed. Far more sensible to simply keep a watch on them, and if necessary remove them. Muggles, I have found, are rather similar to dogs. They may appear intelligent, but they have a tendency to make mistakes at crucial moments. To let loose one with mixed blood on the world is as bad as releasing a rabid dog in a hospital. I could name several people of mixed blood who committed truly horrendous crimes – Elizabeth the First of England, for example, who created storms that sank an entire fleet of ships with their crews when the Spanish Armada invaded Britain.

 

Godric, of course, was a sentimental fool about all this. He thought that if a wizard had any pure blood it would somehow nullify the Muggle taint. Current thinking, of course, states that he didn’t care about the taint, which only proves that people rewrite history for their own consumption. Godric was a noble, and very class-conscious. I will not tell you some of the things he did to Muggles who strayed on to the Hogwarts grounds in the early days. Everyone needs their illusions.

 

But then, Godric was a sentimental fool about many things. He disliked Avada Kedavra because it ‘gave people too much power’. Instant, unstoppable death – was this in any way worse than the Mortis Cruciatus, the Council’s favourite method of execution at the time?  You died slowly and painfully, and most Councillors combined it with a Wakefulness Charm, which meant that you were unable to lose consciousness even when the pain reached horrendous levels. 

 

It is odd how many things have been done in the name of good, which even the most depraved of Dark Lords would balk at.

 

Godric accused me of crimes too numerous to write here. He blamed me for everything that went wrong in the school. The fool could not see that sheer bluster and bellowing could not replace actual wisdom when attempting to co-ordinate so many young people.

 

Our quarrels disturbed Helga and Rowena. Rowena dealt with it in the manner of all the well-born, by not dealing with it; she went and hid in the library. Helga tried – and failed – to be a peacemaker. It was because of Helga that Godric and I agreed to keep our quarrels secret. Neither of us wanted to hurt her. Godric was in love with her. You might say that I was too, in a way. Helga was a very rare person.

 

So we agreed to fight it out-one final duel on All Hallows Eve, in the Hogwarts Forest.  I suspected that Godric had some foul play planned before the duel began, so I created a legacy, in case any should ever come to Hogwarts fit to continue my work. I filled a room, accessible only to a Parselmouth, with all my scrolls, books and equipment, and set a Basilisk to guard it. Perhaps this was a little extreme, but some of my work could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. I also sent an owl to my eldest son, carrying a scroll with the password to my Chamber of Secrets on it. Sigmund, alas, was not a Parselmouth, but he would pass the secret down and eventually someone worthy of the title of my heir would find it.

 

Later – much later – I realised how stupid I had been to let anyone at all know the secret. Better by far that all my work had perished with me.

 

I dressed in hooded robes that would hide my face and stop Godric from learning anything about my next move that way. When I entered the clearing at the heart of the Forest, Godric was waiting for me. He had gone for the grand look, in ridiculous golden plate armour and a red velvet cloak. Pointless. There were only the trees to see.

 

We did not bother with any of the conventions of duelling – this was no game. We did not use children’s curses either. We used Dark curses, which I shall not describe here. Many of them have now been forgotten, and it would be better if it remained that way.

 

Godric and I were evenly matched. He had more raw power than I, but he never bothered with the finesse that would have given him a quick victory. I had studied far more than he had and knew and knew a great many more curses, and far more defensive charms. Godric always relied on the sheer muscle of his attacks to protect himself, never bothering with shields.

 

We continued to fire curses at one another for several hours. I thought I was winning. Godric was beginning to use less power. He seemed demoralised and without any kind of strategy. Eventually, I managed to disarm him and bring him to his knees.

 

We had agreed on a fight to the death. I stepped forward to cast Avada Kedavra. I remember that his golden plate armour shone in the light from the end of my wand. I hesitated before I killed him.

 

Then, without warning, he jumped to his feet and barrelled into me. He was a great deal bigger than I, so I was unable to defend myself, and too shocked to use my wand. As I regained my sense and began to speak the words of the Killing Curse, he grabbed his wand from my hand and performed a single charm, the simplest.

 

Accio unicorn!”

 

I remember a huge white shape that glimmered in the moonlight coming pounding through the trees and skidding to a halt in front of me. I remember finishing saying the curse and watching in horror as the green light sped towards the beautiful creature.

 

To kill a unicorn is to destroy purity. To kill a unicorn is to destroy yourself.

 

Godric smiled at me as he raised his wand and said the words, “Mortis Crucio.”

 

I collapsed against the side of the unicorn I had killed, and watched as my blood spread out over the glorious white body in dark red puddles and soaked into my robes. The pain was unbearable. I felt as though my blood had turned to hot lead inside my veins. Godric’s smile seemed to be coming from a great distance, through a thick mist.

 

Blackness.

 

When I woke, still in my bloodstained robes, I watched from the shadows as Godric told Helga and Rowena that I had fled the country.

 

And here I have remained.

 

A thousand years have passed as I watched from the sidelines. In a way, I have achieved a kind of immortality. It is the immortality of death. The students come, the students go, and I am still here. The history of these stones is my history.

 

I am the Bloody Baron – the nameless ghost of the Slytherin Dungeons.

 

But once, I was Salazar Slytherin.

 

 

 

//
Write a review! PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of reviewing a story or piece of art at the Sugar Quill is to provide comments that will be useful to the author/artist. We encourage you to put a bit of thought into your review before posting. Please be thoughtful and considerate, even if you have legitimate criticism of a story or artwork. (You may click here to read other reviews of this work).
* = Required fields
*Sugar Quill Forums username:
*Sugar Quill Forums password:
If you do not have a Sugar Quill Forums username, please register. Bear in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your account to be approved. Thank you for your patience!
*Comment:
The Sugar Quill was created by Zsenya and Arabella. For questions, please send us an Owl!

-- Powered by SQ3 : Coded by David : Design by James --