Beta’s/Originator’s Note: To all my SugarQuill
readers, this was written by a dear friend of mine with an amazing talent. She
knows my worlds better than I do sometimes, and she asked if she could write
this. Since it’s hard to get onto SQ these days, I’ve posted it under my name.
It’s a prequel to my Founder Fic, “Quid Quid Latine Dictum Sit,” and a great
glimpse at two of the characters you haven’t seen yet. Ady is also amazingly
talented in her own universes. Check her out: http://www.fanfiction.net/~ady
Many thanks from both of us to Zsenya, for
permitting this somewhat unorthodox posting and making the story even better.
vera erant, dicta etiam credebantur”
(The things were true, and so
were believed to have been said)
Slytherin was lounging in Godric Gryffindor’s office, sick of the
conversation. Clouds rolled in across
the many windows, promising a very nasty storm.
He was certain he could promise the same thing if their talk continued
along the same vein.
can stop telling me it has to be determined today, Godric; I know that,” he
said dully. “Your constant reminders do
not seem to have produced any ideas.”
thought about it—” Godric protested through his pacing.
“Fought about it,” Salazar
corrected. “And yet we have reached
nothing worthwhile. Face it, Godric; we
need the women.”
Godric’s cheeks were instantly red. “And admit defeat? Salazar, you seem to find our situation more
hopeless than it is!”
“Auxilia humilia firma consensus facit,” (Unity of aim
gives strength to the feeblest aid) Salazar pointed out.
a good one!” Godric cried, stopping his pacing triumphantly. “Why not use that as our motto?!”
it is already the motto of the Ninazu School of
Magic,” Salazar said, closing his eyes and shifting his cushion.
“The Ninazu School of Magic, in the Mediterranean.
Really, Godric, you know very little for an educator.” Salazar smiled slightly, his eyes still
have you know that I am considered one of the greatest minds in Britain,”
Godric said, bristling.
“Nihil enim pejus
est iis, qui paullum aliquid ultra primas litteras progressi, falsam sibi scientiae persuasionem induerunt,” (There is nothing more detestable than a man
who, because he has learned a little more than the alphabet, thinks that he has
been initiated into the deepest secrets of science) Salazar replied lazily,
his smile growing.
looked ready to explode. “Now you see
here, Salazar, just… That one was pretty
temper dissolved into rolls of booming laughter. Salazar just let his own smile grow.
do think we need to rest from this, Godric,” he finally said, standing up and
walking to a window. “The mind is a
fragile thing. Si nunquam
cesses tendere, mollis erit.” (If it
be never unbent, it will lose its power)
remissio animum frangit; arcum intensio,” (much bending breaks the bow; much unbending, the mind) Godric said,
joining him with a grin.
my own weapons against me?” Salazar cried.
“And here I thought you were not my equal.”
my friend Salazar, we are both docte sermones utriusque linguae.” (learned in both
then, I suppose we’ll continue on. No
rest for learned wizards.”
were silent for a while, staring at the dark clouds that galloped through the
about, Sit mihi verna
satur; sit non doctissima conjux; sit nox cum somno; sit sine lite dies?” (Give me a well-fed slave; a wife that's not
too clever; sound sleep at night; and days from quarrels free) Godric said,
winking at Salazar.
lifted an eyebrow with a hint of a smile.
“And here I believed you wished to wed Rowena.”
Godric’s face was instantly red. “I-I was only speaking in jest. Except for perhaps about
the last two.”
“Amoto quaeramus seria ludo,” (We will try a graver tone, and lay our
joking by) Salazar sighed, turning back to look around the office.
“Omne tulit punctum
qui miscuit utile dulci, lectorem delectando pariterque monendo,” (He who, mixing grave and gay, can teach and
yet give pleasure, gains a vote from each) Godric said, patting his friend
on the shoulder.
don’t see why you got the biggest study,” Salazar mused half-heartedly,
glancing at the ceiling, five meters away.
donated the lands, thus I get first choice, and stop trying to change the
vitae, sed scholae discimus,” (We learn,
unfortunately, the lessons not of life, but of the schools) Salazar
said. “There, how’s that?”
chuckled. “The point would to keep the
students in class.”
exactly are we looking for?”
don’t know, rightly,” Godric mused. “I
guess I supposed the right one would just make itself known.”
that strategy has not worked out as one might have hoped, let us determine the
general idea we want to get across.”
men sat in high-backed chairs, determinedly getting lost in their thoughts.
should be strong,” Godric started. “And intelligent.”
containing common sense and practicality,” Salazar added.
“Agedum virtus antecedat, tutum erit omne vestigium?”
(If virtue precede us every step will be
safe) Godric said hopefully.
look was pained. “Really, Godric…”
“Nihil enim honestum esse potest
quod justitia vacat?” (Right
cannot be where justice is not)
shook his head.
“Nihil est aliud bene et beate
vivere, nisi honeste et recte vivere?” (To live well and happily is nothing else
than to live honestly and uprightly)
gave a long sigh. “Aliusque
et idem.” (Another,
yet the same)
Godric set his jaw.
“Vulgatum illud, quia verum erat,
in proverbium venit: Amicitias immortales, mortales inimicitias debere esse.” (There
is an old saying which, from its truth, has become proverbial: that friendship
should be immortal, enmities mortal)
smiled. “Better. But I’m afraid not as original as I would
like. We should make it something with a
greater truth, to teach the students about the ways of the world.”
“Acta ne agamus; reliqua paremus?” (Let us not go over the old
ground, but rather prepare for what is to come)
laughed. “What a perfect excuse not to
do History of Magic homework.”
tried not to smile. “You come up with
“Nihil enim semper floret, aetas succedit aetati.” (Nothing
flourishes forever; each generation gives place to its successor)
Salazar, do you want the students to riot?” Godric grinned.
looked taken aback. “That was a
surprisingly good retort.”
we need something more poetic.
Absentem qui rodit amicum,
Qui non defendit
alio culpante, solutos
risus hominum, famamque dicacis,
qui non visa potest, commissa
hic niger est, hunc tu caveto.”
who maligns an absent friend's fair fame,
Who says no word for him when others blame,
Who courts a reckless laugh by random hits,
Just for the sake of ranking among wits,
Who feigns what he ne'er saw, a secret blabs,
Beware him! That man steals or stabs.)
was positively rolling with laughter.
Salazar scowled at him.
“A poem, friend? Really!”
“Mediocres poetas nemo novit, bonos
poets are known to no one, good poets to but few) Salazar said haughtily.
jus liceatque perire poetis,” (Leave poets
free to perish as they will) Godric laughed.
well,” Salazar said, getting up and heading for the door. “You may find a motto on your own.”
have patience, friend,” Godric protested.
“I said it in jest. I can’t do
this without you. Besides, that thing
wouldn’t have fit on the coat-of-arms.”
“Verbum non amplius addam,” (I will not
add another word) Salazar said tersely.
“Tam bonus gladiator rudem tam cito accepisti?” (Has so great a swordsman so early accepted
the wooden foil?)
froze, his hand on the doorknob. He stayed there for a while, and then finally
turned around and took his seat across from Godric. “Pessimum
inimicorum genus, laudantes.” (Man's
worst enemy, flatterers.)
just laughed. Salazar scowled, mockingly
spouting out, “Bellus homo et
magnus vis idem, Godric, videri; sed qui bellus homo est, Godric, pusillus homo est.”
(Poor Godric tries to seem at once
a great man and a pretty, but Godric, sure, a pretty man is nothing else than
do not repeat your nursery rhymes to me,” Godric smiled. “We both know you’re not as angry as you wish
Salazar said shortly with the slight twitch of an eyebrow.
not, audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret,” (hurl your
calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick) Godric said with an inviting
audaces non est audacia tuta,” (Against the daring, daring is unsafe)
Salazar shot back.
“Very true, very true.
Hey, why not that for a motto?”
teach the students to stand by the wayside?” Salazar admonished.
I suppose not.”
“Si quid novisti rectius istis,
candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum.”
can mend these precepts, do; if not, what serves for me may serve for you.)
raised his eyebrows. “Are you saying
that to me or suggesting a motto?”
two men laughed, reclining further in their chairs. All too soon, however, they had only their
thoughts and silence again.
do not suppose we shall ever find the perfect one,” Salazar sighed, studying
where the ceiling met the room’s round walls.
could always use my Uncle Wulfric’s: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandos,” Godric said,
stifling a smile.
snorted. “That’s not even possible.”
a sleeping dragon,” Salazar said with a hint of rolled eyes. “Or any dragon, for that matter; their skin
is too tough.”
have you know that Uncle Wulfric’s motto was based on
personal experience,” Godric said firmly, as if to settle the matter.
wager good Uncle Wulfric loved to tell stretched
stories to an adoring nephew,” Salazar said with a patronising
smile. “You cannot tickle a dragon.”
wager on it then.”
“On your uncle’s lies?”
“No. I’ll wager a bag of gold that a dragon can be tickled.” Godric’s eyes were
glinting at the idea of competition.
“Care to take me up on it?”
carelessly leaned back in his chair. “It
depends; how big is the bag?”
let out a laugh. “You’d take me up if it
was for a knut as soon as my
was Salazar’s eyes turn to glint. “You
know me far too well, friend. Shall we?”
two men were headed for the door before their chairs noticed their
absence. They rushed down the moving
spiral staircase, past the gargoyle, and into the cavernous, and empty for now,
I am sure you heard the story numerous times, how exactly did your uncle learn
this bit of wisdom?”
was researching the lifestyles of Muggle knights.”
eye gave a twitch. “I suppose we shall
have to go to the armory then.”
chuckled. When they reached the entrance
hall, however, he held out a hand, stopping Salazar.
motto!” he said with a small groan, his eyes resting on the large coat-of-arms
with the individual house arms and a noticeable blank space in the center.
looked at the arms also, almost willing a motto to appear, or at least a way to
put off the creation of it.
has to be finished today, Salazar,” Godric said, shaking his head with a
sigh. “We’ll have to put off the dragon
men turned to find Rowena Ravenclaw coming out of the Great Hall, parchment and
quill in hand and an ink bottle floating beside her. Salazar seized on the opportunity
dear Lady Rowena,” he said, gliding over to her with a bow and kiss of her
hand, “how the sands of the hourglass have seemed to pour e’er
so slowly since we were deprived of your beautiful presence.”
breakfasted together, Salazar, this very morn,” she said, on guard.
be away from you but a minute is very much to mourn, milady,” he replied, his
smile positively charming.
are you doing, what did you do, or what do you want?” Rowena said, managing to
look both amused and angry at the same time.
cannot a wizard simply compliment a witch without being suspect?”
one most could, but you, my dear Salazar, are only a poet when in want of
something,” she said, unable to suppress a small smile.
that you mention it,” Godric said, popping up beside them, “we’re having a bit
of trouble with the school motto.”
motto?” Before they could answer, Rowena
spoke up again, her flashing eyes indicating that it hadn’t been a real
question. “Oh, you mean the motto that
you two insisted you come up with by yourselves? The motto that had to be thought up by two
calm, thoughtful minds, so why don’t we women go off and decide which tables
should be our houses’? Well, have you
thought that we might be in the midst of something more important than helping
you decide on your motto?”
stood frozen with shock and Salazar, not for the first time since the founders
met, wished he had a Time Turner. He had
to find a way out of this.
dear lady, we recognize the folly of our words now. We, most sincerely, beg your apologies.”
my aid, you mean,” Rowena said haughtily.
not your aid, my dear lady; we are willfully handing the honor to you,” Salazar
said, inclining his head slightly. “And the Lady Helga, if it be your pleasure. We know now we took on a task above our
looked instantly suspicious. “And what
shall you be doing while we decide on a motto?”
Godric’s eagerness got the better of him. “We’re going to find a dragon and sett—ow!”
came across some interesting theories about dragons in our search for a proper
motto,” Salazar quickly said, acting as though his foot had been nowhere near Godric’s shin. “We
have some experiments we’d like to conduct, and they must be done with the
utmost of speed.”
considered them a moment, then gave a slight sniff. “I am not sure. The business Helga and I are attending to is
Rowena,” Helga said, bustling in from the Great Hall, “I think I would prefer
the mid-right table instead of… oh, Godric, Salazar.”
tried very hard to act as though there was no color coming to her cheeks while
Salazar tried very hard not to laugh. He
had them. Swiftly stepping on Godric’s foot to prevent any further digging of their own graves, he plunged on.
good Lady Helga,” Salazar said, kissing her hand, “Godric and I were just
begging Lady Rowena’s pardon for acting so rudely on the subject of the
motto. We must beg your pardon as well.”
Helga said, looking pleasantly surprised.
Time for the hasty retreat.
“We thank you good ladies for taking on the task of finding the
motto. Good eve.”
a swift bow, Salazar headed out the door, Godric quick at his heels.
don’t know whether or not to be insulted,” Rowena muttered.
wear good traveling cloaks,” Helga called after them. “It looks like a nasty storm is about to
not exactly rain we’re worried about, milady,” Godric laughed, waving a
said Salazar the moment they were out of earshot, “who shall attempt to
titillate the sleeping beast?”
“What? You, of course. You’re the one who thinks it won’t wake up.”
the sleeping dragon turns out to not be sleeping, I would rather not be the one
served up for tonight’s supper.”
goes for me.”
shrugged, walking on. “Very well, then;
I guess we will just have to call off the wager.”
stopped, watching him go and trying to figure a way to continue the bet without