The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: The Sorrow of Slytherin  Chapter: Chapter Two: The Slytherins
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The Sorrow of Slytherin

Disclaimer: This is all Jo’s!  I’m not delusional!  I know the difference!


Thanks to Lockie, who read this fic at midnight and insisted I send her the next chapter immediately. 


The Sorrow of Slytherin

Chapter Two

            “A basilisk.”




            “A kill-by-glare, live basilisk.”




            “And you have to hatch one?”






            “I had hoped you would have an idea.”


            Eren shook her head, blue eyes wide.  “I may have been able to help Danick hide those doxies he simply had to have, but…a basilisk is very different.”  She frowned, fingering her bread but not eating it.


            “Whose toad will you use?” she asked suddenly.


            Sorrow shrugged and bit into an apple.  “Longbottom  is always losing hers; she won’t notice.”


            “But how will you  steal it?” Eren asked.  “You have no access to Gryffindor’s House, and she doesn’t-” She stopped suddenly, seeing the pleading look on her friend’s face. 


            “Please, Eren,” Sorrow whispered.  Please.”  She watched silently as the older girl debated with herself.  To steal from a fellow Housemate was wrong, but it wasn’t as if the toad would be hurt, or even missed.  And it had to be done.


            “I suppose…” Eren began hesitantly, her eyes glancing around the Great Hall at the other students.  “It certainly wouldn’t be hard…”


            Sorrow grinned at her friend.  “Excellent.  Is there any way you could bring it to breakfast tomorrow?”


            Eren nodded.  “If I can find it.  Last I saw, it was hiding in one of the Potions dungeons.”


            A bell tolled far above, and Eren jumped.


            “I’ll be late for Astronomy,” she said, gathering her books.  Around them, the other students were hurrying from the Hall, talking loudly.


            “We should meet in the Library when you’ve finished with Astronomy,” Sorrow remarked, taking another bite of her bread.  “Then you can bring the toad.”


            Eren nodded reluctantly, then hurried from the Hall.


            Sorrow watched her friend leave, knowing that she would come to the Library, that there was little need to worry.  Eren was loyal to her friends. 


            As the Hall emptied, Sorrow remained in her seat, a frown on her face.  She would need a safe, secluded place to hatch the basilisk, somewhere far away from curious students.  It would not be good if the birth of this basilisk was followed by a death.


            “Sorrow?  Are you waiting for someone?”


            She looked up as the familiar voice interrupted her thoughts.  The smiling face of Rowena Ravenclaw looked down on her.  The Hall was silent, Sorrow realized.  Everyone else had departed.


            “No,” she replied quickly, standing.  “I was thinking.”  She felt her face turn red and did not quite know why.


            Rowena smiled at her, her blue eyes twinkling.  “There is nothing wrong with thinking, my dear.  I am afraid we are all caught doing so every now and then.  But I am glad to have found you.  I was hoping for a bit of help.”


            “Oh.”  Sorrow nodded.  “Of course.”  She loved helping Rowena.  Unlike Helga, the woman did not badger her or become angry if she soiled her robes.  Rowena was more interested in hearing about Sorrow’s day, or going with her to the forest to see the animals.  The two had spent hours discussing the secrets of the forest.  Unlike the others, Rowena did not come from a magical family, so every bit of information about the magical world fascinated the woman.  Sorrow enjoyed her time with Rowena, and considered her a close friend. 


            “I hear you spoke with your father earlier,” Rowena remarked as the two started up the stairs that led from the Great Hall to Ravenclaw Tower, where Rowena’s students lived, and where her study was situated.  “Might I inquire as to what he said?”


            Sorrow’s thoughts returned to the dark study with the glaring snake, her father’s hissing voice in her mind.  He had not said anything about telling the others, but something in her told her he would not be pleased.  His snake-talk frightened Helga, and many times Godric had expressed concern for the ability.  If the two discovered that he wanted a basilisk, he would be most displeased.  And Salazar Slytherin had his ways for dealing with those who displeased him.


            “He spoke to me of my Sorting,” she chose to tell Rowena.  “He is determined that I be in his House.”


            Rowena nodded as they came to a landing, both breathing deeply.  “I had guessed as much.  If I had a child, I would wish them to be in my House as well.  However…”  She stopped climbing for a moment and turned to look at Sorrow with a frown on her fair face. 


            “What is it?” Sorrow asked, confused.  But the woman did not reply.  She had retreated to her thoughts, as she did every now and then.  Her blue eyes were stormy and unseeing as they continued to stare at Sorrow.  Who knew what thoughts were crossing through the woman’s mind?


            Sighing, Sorrow took a seat on the cold stone floor.  There was little she could do until the woman came back to the real world.  She wished she could tell Rowena about the basilisk.  If anyone had the ability to help her, it was Rowena.  Though not born of the wizarding world, the youngest Founder of Hogwarts had spent days emerged in books and scrolls, determined to learn anything she could about the world.




            Startled, Sorrow leaped to her feet as a man her father’s age came onto the landing.  He was handsome, with dark auburn hair drawn into a tail at the nape of his neck, and sharp grey eyes that watched students’ every move.  His scarlet and gold robes billowed around him as he walked over to the girl.


            “She started it again, Godric,” she told the man, glancing at Rowena, who still stared into nothing.  “I was waiting.”


            Godric Gryffindor approached Rowena and gently touched her shoulder.  Instantly, she returned to life, jumping as her eyes fell on the man.


            “Godric!  Pardon me, I didn’t see you there,” Rowena said, her eyes wide.  She crossed her arms across her chest and stepped back, seeming frightened.  Sorrow watched her, confused.  She had never seen Rowena act like this, like a child caught spying.  Sorrow glanced at Godric, concerned.  He frowned.


            “Rowena, what is wrong?  Is something troubling you?”

            But Rowena shook her head and did not reply.  Sorrow watched from her corner of the landing, frightened yet curious.  Rowena had realized something while in her thoughts, something that scared her.  Sorrow recalled her words to the woman, of her father’s wishes, then of Rowena’s reply… “If I had a child, I would wish them to be in my House as well, however…” However what?  Rowena had not said, and did not seem to care to finish. 


            “What were the two of you doing?” Godric asked Sorrow, turning to look at the girl.


            Sorrow shrank back at the stern look on his face.  “She…she said she needed help with something,” she replied, her voice shaking.  “We were going to her study and she just stopped.”


            Godric ran his hands through his hair and shook his head.  “You should return to your room,” he told her.  “I will accompany her to Helga…hopefully she will know what to do.”


            Sorrow watched as he took the woman’s elbow and began leading her down the stairs.  As she turned to go her own way, she heard a whisper that made her stop and look.  Rowena had turned her head to stare at Sorrow, her blue eyes bulging.  She opened her mouth, and a harsh whisper came out.


            “Secrets,” she whispered as she was led away.  “Secrets of Slytherin.”




            “-dead, I heard-”




            “-just ill, Helga told us.  She’ll be fine-”               






            Salazar’s sharp voice broke over the whispers of the students in the Library, startling everyone into silence.  Sorrow glanced up at him, thankful, but he did not look at her.  With an ill feeling in her stomach, she returned to the scroll she had been reading.


            -as the Great Serpent turned to him, his body froze and he fell to the ground.  Three men ran to him and shouted that he was slain, yet no blood streamed from his body.  A wail was heard from the nearby hut as his beloved learned of his fate.  As she was calmed, the men attempted their own luck on the creature who had killed one hundred men…


            Sorrow put the scroll down, frustrated.  In the entire library, none of the books or scrolls told how to create a basilisk.  All were tales of valor, of the ferocious King of Serpents who killed with one glance…


            Why did her father want this terrible beast?  The scrolls told her they could grow to be fifty feet, and lived impossibly long lives.  None could control them, save those who spoke to snakes, and even a few of them had been killed as they accidentally looked into their pet’s eyes.  Why would anyone want to have such a deadly creature?


            It was the one thing she wanted to know the most, yet the one thing these scrolls would not tell her.  Something in her mind told her she knew the answer, but it did not come to her. 


            “There you are.”  Eren fell into the chair next to Sorrow, dumping an armload of books onto the table.  “I couldn’t find the toad, but did you hear-”


            “Yes,” Sorrow said in a low whisper.  “I was there.”


            Eren stared at her with wide eyes.  “I heard in the hallway, but I thought perhaps-”


            “Miss Croupet, do you not understand the meaning of silence?”


            Eren’s round cheeks turned bright red as Salazar put his hands on the table and glared at both girls.


            “I…my apologies, sir,” Eren whispered.  “Perhaps…I’ll just leave.”  Flustered, she ran from the Library, leaving her things on the table.  Sorrow bit her lip and looked at her father, suddenly very frightened at what he would say.


            But Salazar’s eyes were almost kind as he opened his mouth to speak to his daughter.


            “You are wise to enlist help,” he said, “so long as she does not tell others…”  His eyes flashed, and Sorrow felt her stomach churn, understanding what he meant, hoping that by bringing Eren into this she wasn’t leading her to an accidental death…


            Salazar sifted through the scrolls on the table, nodding and smirking every few moments.  “Excellent, you are doing your research well.”  The praise made Sorrow smile happily.  She was doing it right, he was pleased with her.


            “What is this I hear of Rowena?”  A lethal sweetness had crept into his voice, and Sorrow watched cautiously, her happiness evaporating.  “She is ill in the hospital wing, and the students whisper your name through the school?”  He raised his eyebrows and his voice turned to a hiss.  You bring attention to us, daughter.  This is not the time, nor is it the place.  Be quiet, be small.  Do your job and make me proud. 


            “Yes, Father,” Sorrow whispered.  “I’m sorry.”  Us.  He had said us.  She was with him now.  Father and daughter.  Salazar and Sorrow.  The Slytherins.



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