The Sugar Quill
Author: Jim McGuffin  Story: The Red Flame  Chapter: Chapter 1 - Salazar Slytherin
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

It was a cold, dark winter's night, with a light snow beginning to fall

It was a cold, dark winter's night, with a light snow beginning to fall. Salazar Slytherin couldn't quite describe the feeling, but he'd felt the urge to travel to this spot, an open, barren field, on this particular night. Indeed, as far as he could tell from the expressions of the wizard and two witches who were standing right before him, all four of them had the same feeling that this location was a particularly magical place.


Of course Salazar knew their names, for they were among the most powerful mages in Britain. Standing across from him was Godric Gryffindor, the tallest among them; Salazar respected his magical abilities, but had disdain for Godric's habit of carrying his sword around him wherever he traveled. These were trying times for the wizarding world, because Muggles, who had always co-existed with wizards, were now beginning to show contempt for them. Godric always had his sword, and sometimes even carried a shield and rode a white horse, in order to appear as a Muggle knight, and the Muggles left him alone. Salazar believed that no proper wizard would ever want to fight or dress, or do anything like a Muggle at all.


Rowena Ravenclaw was the witch standing on Salazar's right. She was famous for her intellect and her excellent wand work. Salazar, on the other hand, preferred the use the magic that didn't require a wand, such as brewing potions. So he mainly regarded Rowena as a bit of a show-off.


Salazar then turned towards the witch on his left, and saw the prettiest witch he'd ever seen. He'd heard of tales of Helga Hufflepuff's beauty, but this was the first time he'd seen her face-to-face. As soon as he saw her, Salazar knew that he desired nothing but her heart. Everything about her, from her reddish-brown hair that extended down to her shoulders to her long slender legs stunned him more effectively than any spell could. He stared into her bright brown eyes and could barely see the reflection of the moonlight struggling to break through the clouds. He knew little about her save that her specialty was Divination, a subject for which he himself had little respect as he believed the future was much too unpredictable. Nevertheless, he felt that he would die a happy man if only he could find a way to make her love him.


As for Salazar himself, he was known for his unique ability to communicate with snakes. Indeed, he was, as far as he knew, the only living Parselmouth in the world. He had spent many of his youthful years trying to teach them to do his bidding, and because of this, many wizards feared that Salazar would command an army of venomous serpents to attack them.


But then had come the untimely death of Salazar's parents. A group of Muggles had discovered their secret, that he and his family were wizards, and rather than attack them, his parents had decided to destroy their wands and live the rest of their lives without magic. Salazar had thought this to be foolish; he would have had the snakes bite the Muggles in a heartbeat had the decision been up to him. Instead, the Muggles ended up burning down their house. Only Salazar had managed to escape with his life. He'd returned to their home a few nights later to discover the only object to survive the fire, namely the silver locket his father had given his mother at their wedding. He kept the locket, which bore the Slytherin family emblem, as a reminder of the tragic demise of his parents and his promise to himself to avenge their deaths by killing all the Muggles.


After his parents' deaths, Salazar became an apprentice to the famous wizard Merlin, and it was he who taught Salazar taught Salazar such power. But not even wizards knew the secret of immortality, and soon Merlin ended up passing away as well. It was less than a year later that Salazar found himself in the middle of a clearing as part of this quartet, waiting for something miraculous and extraordinary that was about to occur.


None of the four spoke a word as several silent moments passed. Then suddenly the snow stopped falling. A red flame appeared at the center of the four mages. The fireball seemed to jump around them for a few seconds, then it divided into a red flame and a green flame. They danced around for several more seconds, then the two became four, blue and gold flames joining the pair. The red flame then moved northward, passed straight through Godric Gryffindor, and came to rest several paces behind him. The other three moved likewise, the blue flame eastward towards Rowena Ravenclaw, the gold westward towards Helga Hufflepuff, and the green southward towards Salazar Slytherin. After a minute it was all over. The fireballs stopped burning, but narrow beams of light in each color remained, forming columns from the cold ground up skyward.


"Pray tell," Godric now spoke, "dost thou recognize this sign?"


"Yes," Rowena replied. "It is here that we shall build the school."


"I believe that thou art correct," said Godric.


"I have prophesied this," Helga explained. "As sure as it is the Feast of St. Sylvester, when the date changeth from nine hundred and ninety nine to one thousand AD, the flames reveal the most magical place in all Britain, the place where we shall build the school."


"And all the young wizards and witches of Britain will go to this school," Godric continued, "and they will learn magic free from Muggle interference."


"Each of the four lights marketh where a corner of the castle will be," Rowena realized.


"All in favor of building the school here, say 'aye,'" Godric told the others.


"Aye," Helga called out.


"Aye," Rowena followed.


Salazar paused. A new school just for young wizards was exactly what he wanted. He knew that the schism between Muggle and wizard was beginning, and a school far from any Muggle settlements was exactly what they needed.


"Aye," said Salazar.


"The four of us agree to build the school here," Godric concluded.


But there were several things that even magic couldn't do, including build a castle overnight. Therefore the four wizards would spend the next few months on the new school's construction.





A/N: I wish to thank Mysterious Muggle for the beta work, as well as Arabella, co-founder of the Sugar Quill and originator of the Salazar/Helga ship. I recommend her one-shot "Before the Beginning," which is one of the first Founder fics that I've ever read. Indeed, I will try my best throughout this fic to give credit where it is due, and by the end of this fic, I expect the names of many 'Quillers to appear in these Author Notes. I only hope that you will enjoy reading this fic as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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