The Sugar Quill
Author: Elucreh  Story: Quia Vera Erant  Chapter: Quia Vera Erant
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Quid Quid Latine Dictum Sit, Altum Viditur: Anything Said in Latin Sounds Profound

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.

 

“Quia vera erant, dicta etiam credebantur”

(The things were true, and so were believed to have been said)

 

 

 

 

            Salazar 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.

            “You 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.”

            “We’ve 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.

            “That’s a good one!” Godric cried, stopping his pacing triumphantly.  “Why not use that as our motto?!”

            “Because it is already the motto of the Ninazu School of Magic,” Salazar said, closing his eyes and shifting his cushion.

            “The what?”

            “The Ninazu School of Magic, in the Mediterranean.  Really, Godric, you know very little for an educator.”  Salazar smiled slightly, his eyes still closed.

            “I’ll 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.

            Godric looked ready to explode.  “Now you see here, Salazar, just…  That one was pretty good, actually.”

            His temper dissolved into rolls of booming laughter.  Salazar just let his own smile grow.

            “I 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)

            “No, remissio animum frangit; arcum intensio,” (much bending breaks the bow; much unbending, the mind) Godric said, joining him with a grin.

            “Using my own weapons against me?” Salazar cried.  “And here I thought you were not my equal.”

            “No, my friend Salazar, we are both docte sermones utriusque linguae.” (learned in both tongues)

            “Well then, I suppose we’ll continue on.  No rest for learned wizards.”

            They were silent for a while, staring at the dark clouds that galloped through the somber skies.

            “How 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.

            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.

            “I don’t see why you got the biggest study,” Salazar mused half-heartedly, glancing at the ceiling, five meters away.

            “I donated the lands, thus I get first choice, and stop trying to change the subject.”

            “Non vitae, sed scholae discimus,” (We learn, unfortunately, the lessons not of life, but of the schools) Salazar said.  “There, how’s that?”

            Godric chuckled.  “The point would to keep the students in class.”

            “What exactly are we looking for?”

            “…I don’t know, rightly,” Godric mused.  “I guess I supposed the right one would just make itself known.”

            “As that strategy has not worked out as one might have hoped, let us determine the general idea we want to get across.”

            Both men sat in high-backed chairs, determinedly getting lost in their thoughts.

            “It should be strong,” Godric started.  “And intelligent.”

            “But 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.

            Salazar’s look was pained.  “Really, Godric…”

            Nihil enim honestum esse potest quod justitia vacat?” (Right cannot be where justice is not)

            Salazar 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)

            Salazar 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)

            Salazar 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)

            Salazar laughed.  “What a perfect excuse not to do History of Magic homework.”

            Godric tried not to smile.  “You come up with one then!”

            Nihil enim semper floret, aetas succedit aetati.”  (Nothing flourishes forever; each generation gives place to its successor)

            “Really, Salazar, do you want the students to riot?” Godric grinned.

            Salazar looked taken aback.  “That was a surprisingly good retort.”

            “Thank you.”

            “Maybe we need something more poetic.

            Absentem qui rodit amicum,
            Qui non defendit alio culpante, solutos
            Qui captat risus hominum, famamque dicacis,
            Fingere qui non visa potest, commissa tacere
            Qui nequit; hic
niger est, hunc tu caveto.”

(He 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
.)

            Godric was positively rolling with laughter.  Salazar scowled at him.

            “A poem, friend?  Really!”

            Mediocres poetas nemo novit, bonos pauci,” (Mediocre poets are known to no one, good poets to but few) Salazar said haughtily.

            “Sit jus liceatque perire poetis,” (Leave poets free to perish as they will) Godric laughed.

            “Very well,” Salazar said, getting up and heading for the door.  “You may find a motto on your own.”

            “Oh, 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?)

            Salazar 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.)

            Godric 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 petty.)

            “Oh, do not repeat your nursery rhymes to me,” Godric smiled.  “We both know you’re not as angry as you wish to appear.”

            “Perhaps,” Salazar said shortly with the slight twitch of an eyebrow.

            “If not, audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret,” (hurl your calumnies boldly; something is sure to stick) Godric said with an inviting grin.

            “In 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?”

            “And teach the students to stand by the wayside?” Salazar admonished.

            “No, I suppose not.”

            “Si quid novisti rectius istis, candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum.”  (If you can mend these precepts, do; if not, what serves for me may serve for you.)

            Godric raised his eyebrows.  “Are you saying that to me or suggesting a motto?”

            Salazar grinned.  “Either/or.”

            The two men laughed, reclining further in their chairs.  All too soon, however, they had only their thoughts and silence again.

            “I do not suppose we shall ever find the perfect one,” Salazar sighed, studying where the ceiling met the room’s round walls.

            “We could always use my Uncle Wulfric’s:  Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandos,” Godric said, stifling a smile.

            Salazar snorted.  “That’s not even possible.”

            “What’s not possible?”

            “Tickling a sleeping dragon,” Salazar said with a hint of rolled eyes.  “Or any dragon, for that matter; their skin is too tough.”

            “I’ll have you know that Uncle Wulfric’s motto was based on personal experience,” Godric said firmly, as if to settle the matter.

            “I wager good Uncle Wulfric loved to tell stretched stories to an adoring nephew,” Salazar said with a patronising smile.  “You cannot tickle a dragon.”

            “Let’s 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?”

            Salazar carelessly leaned back in his chair.  “It depends; how big is the bag?”

            Godric let out a laugh.  “You’d take me up if it was for a knut as soon as my entire inheritance.”

            It was Salazar’s eyes turn to glint.  “You know me far too well, friend.  Shall we?”

            The 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, corridors.

            “As I am sure you heard the story numerous times, how exactly did your uncle learn this bit of wisdom?”

            “He was researching the lifestyles of Muggle knights.”

            Salazar’s eye gave a twitch.  “I suppose we shall have to go to the armory then.”

            Godric chuckled.  When they reached the entrance hall, however, he held out a hand, stopping Salazar.

            “The 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.

            Salazar looked at the arms also, almost willing a motto to appear, or at least a way to put off the creation of it.

            “That has to be finished today, Salazar,” Godric said, shaking his head with a sigh.  “We’ll have to put off the dragon experiment.”

            The what experiment?”

            The 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 instantaneously.

            “My 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.”

            “We breakfasted together, Salazar, this very morn,” she said, on guard.

            “To be away from you but a minute is very much to mourn, milady,” he replied, his smile positively charming.

            “What 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.

            “Why, cannot a wizard simply compliment a witch without being suspect?”

            “Yes, 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.

            “Now that you mention it,” Godric said, popping up beside them, “we’re having a bit of trouble with the school motto.”

            “Motto?  What 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?”

            Godric 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.

            “My dear lady, we recognize the folly of our words now.  We, most sincerely, beg your apologies.”

            “Beg my aid, you mean,” Rowena said haughtily.

            “No, 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 skill.”

            Rowena 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 settow!”

            “We 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.”

            Rowena considered them a moment, then gave a slight sniff.  “I am not sure.  The business Helga and I are attending to is quite—”

            “Oh Rowena,” Helga said, bustling in from the Great Hall, “I think I would prefer the mid-right table instead of… oh, Godric, Salazar.”

            Rowena 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.

            “My 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.”

            “Oh?” 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.”

            With a swift bow, Salazar headed out the door, Godric quick at his heels.

            “I don’t know whether or not to be insulted,” Rowena muttered.

            “Do wear good traveling cloaks,” Helga called after them.  “It looks like a nasty storm is about to strike.”

            “It’s not exactly rain we’re worried about, milady,” Godric laughed, waving a farewell.

            “So,” 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.”

            “If the sleeping dragon turns out to not be sleeping, I would rather not be the one served up for tonight’s supper.”

            “Same goes for me.”

            Salazar shrugged, walking on.  “Very well, then; I guess we will just have to call off the wager.”

            Godric stopped, watching him go and trying to figure a way to continue the bet without sacrificing himself.

            “…We’ll draw sticks.”

//
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