Astronomy Tower
Action Slash
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 01/21/2005
Updated: 01/21/2005
Words: 1,793
Chapters: 1
Hits: 359



Story Summary:
Salazar returns to Hogwarts, half-sane and raving about Dementors...


He should have known better from the start; Salazar was a traveler, he had the blood in him for it and he would never be happy living inside four walls, living where there were doors and windows, living where he couldn't smell the fresh clean grass, the decaying leaves, the snow, the summer-scorched harvest. For the short few years Salazar had remained at Hogwarts, he'd always kept his windows open, even in the chill of winter, and burned fires on the floor of his rooms if he grew cold. There were char marks on the floor where the fires had been set.

Salazar was not meant to die in a bed, was not meant to live in a room, was not meant to be a teacher. He had only joined in because Godric had asked him to. And he stayed for years beyond what was tolerable to such a man, he stayed until he would go mad if he didn't leave. But leave he did, when he could no longer survive the same home year after year, the same-faced children -- they were each different from another, and Godric saw and loved this, but all Salazar saw were children, so many children making the same mistakes, learning the same spells.

Salazar was a wanderer, a mercenary, and the stone walls could hold him only so long.

Godric had a little knowledge of why he was thinking of Salazar, this night; it was dark outside, and Salazar loved the storms, loved to climb to the rooftops and sit in the rain and work his own magics then, magics that not even his close friends were privy to. As a boy Salazar had been wild; violent in his emotions as a man, he was perhaps not the best to be a teacher of children. He was too reckless, especially when one kept him penned in.

I never kept him penned, Godric thought, rebellious at his own ideas. He chose to stay.

Outside, the storm was still gathering, the clouds riding in from the horizon, the rain just beginning to fall. Inside, no doubt, the children were running to Helga for comfort -- they went to Rowena for advice, and they came to him to learn who they should be when they were grown, but Helga was the one the children were drawn to when they missed their mothers or needed someone who would let them cry. Godric did not tolerate tears in his quarters, but Helga loved the children in ways Godric would not be allowed to.

Perhaps Rowena, so young herself, would also be there, gathering with the others to tell stories and pass around sweets while the rain fell and thunder crashed.

But he would stay here in his high, airy rooms, with the fire burning on his hearth, and let the storm come. Godric Gryffindor needed no comfort. He was more than a wizard; he was a warlock, a soldier, and if it could not be kept back with magic or swords then it could not be kept back by fearing it.

The rain broke then, across the wide forest, across the castle, falling in violent sheets cut by lightning and the wind. It rattled his windows, and Godric felt his heart swell as Salazar's always had, with the violence of it. There was something beautiful about the storm, Salazar always used to say. But Godric had only seen the beauty in the way the castle's strong walls resisted it. And telling that to Salazar had always made the other man scowl underneath his golden mop of hair, and mutter things Godric couldn't hear.

He was pouring himself a glass of wine -- he preferred ale, but had none in his quarters -- when Helga burst into his room.

"Godric," she gasped. "Come and see."

He stood, taking down his sword from the rack on the wall. "What is it? Something in the castle?"

She gestured breathlessly, and he followed her down the stairs, past the old tapestries, into the front entranceway of the school. A thin figure lay, covered in rags, soaking wet, the water running down the fabric in rivulets to puddle on the floor. Students stood around, looking wide-eyed at each other, as Godric knelt and rolled the body slowly.

So that's why he'd been thinking of Salazar this night. Because Salazar was coming, and they had always sensed each other's presence, even if they hadn't always known they were doing it. Godric stared down at the drawn face, the high Nordic cheekbones, the thin, fine, and at the moment roughly disarrayed golden hair. Rowena gasped.

"Is it him?" she asked. Godric looked up at her.

"A warming spell, if you please, DeLuc," he ordered, and one of the older boys stepped forward, uncertainly casting a spell that caused Salazar's robes to steam. "Keira my darling, bring hot water and mead from the kitchens." One of the younger girls turned and ran for the kitchens, followed by two companions. "Lupinar, give me your cloak."

"My cloak?" the boy asked, doing as he was told, his face curious. Godric wrapped it around the thin, bony frame, gathering Salazar into his arms. The unconscious man choked and his eyes opened briefly, emerald green and staring up at him.

"Danger," he hissed.

"You're safe, the storm's come," Godric answered.


Godric tensed. "Cavile, D'Artur, Ameleth, Ellain, are you here?"

Two of the oldest students came forward, and one girl who looked nearly twenty.

"Where's Cavile?"

"Outside, sir, the gentleman came on a horse, he's taken it to -- "

"After him, Ellain, as you value your life and ours, and -- do you know, have you learned the Patronus?"

"Aye sir," D'Artur said quickly. "Learned it last -- "

"Then go to the entrances of the castle and defend them to the death against all comers. Helga, the children, down into the dungeons and lock the door. Rowena, aloft, and watch the Forest closely. Speak to the Centaurs if you're able."

He looked down at Salazar, who was watching him muzzily, through slitted eyes.

"Four and thirty," he said. "I'm sorry, Godric..."

Godric did not wait for his eyes to roll back in his head again; Keira and her friends had returned, and they followed him swiftly up the stairs to his quarters, leaving the mead and the water on the table.

"To the dungeons," Godric ordered. He glanced out the window; Rowena flew past, eyes keen on the outskirts of the school's grounds.

Dementors. Salazar and Godric had fought them in one of the tribal wars that had been the first ten years of their friendship together, and they thought they'd driven them back to the continent...

Until now.

He could feel, as connected as he was to the children and the school, that others were leaving the dungeon, joining the three he'd sent out to defend the castle. He could feel that D'Artur was already fighting, and closed his eyes briefly against the idea that D'Artur, his own bastard son, might die tonight.

Then again, if it hadn't been for Salazar...

"Godric," Salazar said hoarsely. "Godric, I'm sorry..."

"Lie still," Godric commanded. "Take some of the mead," he added, thinning it with the hot water. "I'm leaving you. I'll return."

Salazar watched him go, eyes sparkling emerald against the darkening storm.


When he returned, soaked but triumphant, Godric found Salazar had crawled under the blankets on his bed, and was sleeping, the empty tankard of thinned mead on the table nearby.

They had triumphed, and driven the Dementors into the forest, and the Centaurs had destroyed them there. D'Artur had done splendidly. So had the others.

"Godric?" the voice was so soft, he almost couldn't hear it. Salazar tried to sit up, and Godric helped him -- Helga, he thought, would have told him to keep Salazar lying flat, but Helga was a mother, and Godric was a warrior.

And so was Salazar. "You're alive. I guess you won," he croaked.

Godric smiled, tiredly. "No thanks to you, sleeping in bed while I was out saving the castle."

"Sorry. I've been running for four days, trying to get here in time. A dark wizard...very dark...this is his first attack but oh, Godric, there will be others -- "

"You're agitated. Be quiet," Godric ordered. Salazar obeyed, but Godric could see the tension in his shoulders. "Did you not stop to eat?" he asked. "You're skin and bone."

"I had no money," Salazar muttered.

"Yes, I saw the state of your clothing." Godric pulled a chair forward, and grinned. "Life not so easy on the outside, eh?"

"I'm too old to be a soldier, and too stubborn to be anything else," Salazar answered. Godric put out a rough, calloused hand, tugging on the golden hair gently.

"You were never one to admit defeat, Salazar," he said quietly. Salazar leaned forward, covering his face in his hands.

"They followed me," he said, his voice breaking. "For four days they tormented my dreams...I feel as though I've lived...years...as though I was back in the wars..." he seemed to break a second time, and lapsed into Parseltongue, incoherently.

"Hush, now, I told you," Godric said sternly, but Salazar had always been the one he could not be stern with, not after they had fought and traveled and taught together. Salazar turned his face up to his friend, imploring.

There were new lines around his eyes, on his forehead, and a new scar running diagonally across the bridge of his nose. His eyes were sharper than they'd been, his face more angular.

"All I could think of was finding you," he said. "And that was my Patronus, but I wasn't strong enough to fight thirty of them alone."

Godric stared at Salazar, inches from his face, hand still twined in the shaggy golden hair.

"I'm here now," he said reasonably.

Salazar moved quickly, like the snakes he loved, and Godric felt the hands slide around his jaw and neck, felt the pressure as Salazar kissed him, desperately, drowningly. He leaned forward, eager for it, feeling Salazar hiss words he couldn't understand into his mouth. He'd known Salazar was a soldier and soldiers sometimes resorted to this, but he also knew that even if Salazar hadn't been a soldier, he still would have done this -- for Godric, at any rate.

"You," Salazar whispered. "You, you, you, all I could think of was you, all I touched, tasted, breathed was you, all that kept me sane, I should never have left..."

"Hush, now," Godric repeated, and moved to silence him with his mouth, his tongue, his body. And Salazar fell silent, hands tangling in Godric's curling black hair, green eyes drowning in Godric's blue.