The Greatest School of Magic
Four Years Later
Helena ran around the finished halls, chased by her tutor. She ducked under raising scaffolding, leaped over stacks of stone and slid down ramps used for debris. The young witch was fast, she was grabbed by a hand and swung around a corner to hide behind a sheet hung on the wall that displayed the Anexus colors. Armand held his finger up, telling her to hush as the tutor bolted past. Helena hit the boy in the arm with a giggle before peaking to check if the coast was clear. Helena was in her thirteenth year and Armand his fourteen and soon, when the school opened, they would be admitted as what her mother called third and fourth years.
“You scared me Armand! I thought you were--”
“Me?” Avalon stood, leaning against the wall with a smirk on her face as to how far she made the two jump.
“Actually yes.” Helena sung happily, almost skipping to the alchemist’s side, “You are the only one who can convince my tutor and my mother to leave me alone.”
“I believe the words you are looking for are: ‘you are the only one who can get me out of trouble’.” Avalon rolled her eyes, “Avoiding your studies again I see. Armand--” She looked passed Helena to the young man, “I take it you have finished your own?”
“I did, I came to look for the twins when I decided to save Helena.” Armand smirked.
Avalon lightened up, “They are back from London already? I thought they would not return for a few more days?”
The young wizard shook his head, “Elene sent an owl two days ago about their early departure, did you not receive the letter?”
The alchemist shrugged, “I have been over-seeing the final stages of construction and helping where I can. I have not left the grounds for a few days, I heard some commotion coming down the hall and came to find you two.”
Helena stood on her toes to match Avalon’s height and leaned forward to place attention on herself.
“I want you to help me study, I already know more than my tutor and mother always says she is too busy and never has time for me.” The younger version of Rowena pleaded earnestly.
Avalon sighed, “What are the components of a spell?”
“Energy, conduit, incantation, and projection.” Helena recited with a grin.
“What dragon is native to the isles?”
The elder rubbed her chin, “Let me ask then what is the difference between an inferius and a ghost?”
Helena had a lump in her throat that stopped a fast and correct answer, “Well--ghosts are--transparent?”
Armand put his head against the wall as he burst into a gut-wrenching laugh.
“It is very good to see all your years of private tutoring have not been wasted.” Avalon gave a disapproving repeat, “Ghosts are transparent.”
Helena grew red with embarrassment and puffed her cheeks out at being embarrassed by Avalon, “No fair that was a hard one!”
Armand continued to laugh.
“Life is not fair.” Avalon shrugged with sass, “That is why you make your own luck.” She touched Helena’s shoulder, “If you behave and finish your lesson I will bother your mother to give you a lesson or two in new spells.”
The young witch’s face lite up and she raced off in the direction she fooled her tutor. Armand managed to collect himself and stood beside Avalon, whipping the tears from his face.
“Inferius are the animated dead corpses correct?” Avalon leaned over and asked.
“Yes.” He chuckled, knowing he was the one who taught Avalon different creatures in the wizarding world her people had not come across. The Inferius was one such creature she learned about yesterday.
“Do you remember what a Dementor is?” Armand asked.
Avalon cringed, “Those are the ones who are cloaked corpses...they suck out your magic?”
“Life force, happy memories; your soul, but close enough. They can be deflected, but certain shielding charms, but your best best is to avoid or try to outrun them.” The wizard explained, remember the ones present in Castle Walpurgis.
“Hm.” Avalon folded her arms, “You mentioned Elene and the twins were back?”
The realization of his intended purpose clicked in his mind, “Ah yes, they said they were to come find you. This castle though...I do not suppose you have a map?”
Avalon nodded, “Somewhere, though since I designed it, I know every inch of this castle.”
She held out her hand and Armand took it, the two apparated to the Grand Hall--her proudest accomplishment was having the approval to have this massive hall where students and staff would eat the meals, cooked by Helga’s house elves, together. It was one of the first sections of the castle to be designed. After that was a matter of designing around what the other four envisioned that should be included. They sought to make the school as self-sufficient as possible: owlery, green-houses, dueling halls, towers; the castle was many levels, with courtyards, classrooms, bathrooms, offices; places for students to have residence during their stay. Though it would be possible to modify the school with magic, it would not be an easy task--this castle was embedded with magic, in a sense it even had its own ‘life’ to it.
Four years of construction and they were nearly done. In those four years, Godric, Rowena, and Helga all came to Avalon individually with the desire to give the school and its students gifts of learning. The most troubling was certainly Rowena’s request: grand staircases. Avalon did not understand the reason for this, but obliged her and it was not until the Enchantress called her from the ground to the first floor that she understood and sincerely disliked the witch’s gift. Being frightened of heights was a problem in itself, but adding moving staircases had the alchemist apparate back to the ground in panic and land on her back. The witch found that particularly amusing. Wit and learning are a man’s greatest treasure. These stairs would keep students on their toes, forcing them to be aware of their surroundings and to learn to manage their time when traveling to their classes. Avalon refused to be part of that and said she would apparate or take the long way to a classroom any day.
That gift was the only one Avalon was currently aware of, Godric seemed to be off on his own finishing his addition to the school and Helga was happily secretive about her own. Avalon thought about what she could provide for the school, but decided on a different approach: something for them, the five of them, deep within the school where the only entrance was secret passages accessible by the what they were now referred to as ‘The Founders’. Avalon kept this to herself, out of the blueprints of the school, away from the knowledge of the other teachers...this place would be for them five of them and their direct decedents alone:
Ius meum quasi conditor
My right as founder.
It was a simple, but meaningful phrase. It would connect them, to this place and to each other beyond this life. One day, at some point in a time long after this they would meet again and it would be here that they would come together and start their lives anew. This place was where the Ley Lines converged, where deep inside the castle, its ‘breath’ could be truly felt. This place--the Sanctum--was also where Avalon intended to leave artifacts of the Anexus, places to keep them for safety until a time would come when the safety of the school and students would come. It was here as well she intended to leave her blades and armor when her time came, where relics of this time they live in would be kept to have their decedents remember what their ancestors did. Avalon ensured that her decedents would be the Weasley family.
"Ah yes, Lady Rowena asked me to remind you of the portrait you are scheduled to attend tomorrow." Armand said as they entered the Great Hall.
The Anexus rolled her eyes, "I will never understand your people's obsession with immortalizing yourself in a moving painting."
Armand rose a brow, "It is just how your clan immortalize themselves in stone, we do it on parchment an canvas."
"Yes but stone stands the test of time better than parchment." The alchemist growled, truly not wanting to stand for hours for a group painting.
“Avalon!” Yelled unison boys as they ran towards their aunt.
“We finally have our wands!” Osmond said as he held his wand up.
Eskil showed his drastically different wand, “I have a dragon heart string core!”
The boys were over the moon and began waving them, but were without knowledge on what spells to use. They were ten now, nearly eleven and Avalon still remembers holding them in her arms when they were first born. She grabbed the two and lifted them into those same arms--she still can and she was more than happy she would be able to for a long time soon. They certainly took after their mother’s curly and untamed hair, but they were still the spitting image of their father. Elene and Avalon were happy and saddened by this, but bother knew Falcon was with them in one for or another, but nonetheless with them, always.
“The castle is almost done right?” Eskil asked looking around.
Osmond gave the next question right after, “Will we be learning magic here with you?”
Avalon smiled, “Yes to both.”
Elene entered the Great Hall with Fenrir who rammed into Avalon, “This reminds me of what Falcon used to say about the Anexus hall.”
“I modeled it after ours, I wanted it to be a place where everyone got together and shared meals together. It was always what brought the clan together and I believe the same could be done here.” Avalon explained.
Elene and her hugged, “Its a wonderful idea, I am glad we were able to arrive in time for its completion.”
The alchemist looked at the hall watching as the sorcerers were putting the finishing details on the hall’s murals and moving furniture into place. The castle was set to be finished in three more days, all that truly remained was the decorative details and furnishing and all their efforts the last four years will have come to fruition. In three days there would be a celebration and the grand opening of what people were calling the Greatest School of Magic in the World. Though there were a few more details, the celebration was to be held here in the Great Hall and the announcement of staff and the division of students were to also be announced.
What came most as a surprise was the insisting of the entire Anexus clan to relocate its members into the school, during the construction and to even relocate the entire village on another side of the lake. Godric and Helga’s explanation for this was their desire to teach the entire clan at once the basic components of the wizarding world. They believed this would allow an ease of acceptance between the two people and to dispel the ever-existing fear of the Anexus as ‘witch-hunters’. Avalon was of course reluctant, in fact at first she refused entirely, but it was not her decision, but the clan’s that had her agree to this. They believed in this school and this idea of understanding now when Avalon herself was starting to pull back from her iron trust in it. It was not the magic itself that concerned Avalon now, but the eerie premonition Antares gave that she knew was not meant to simply drive a wedge between the alliance. If the Dark Lord had desired that...she would not have given Avalon her magic to live. For the meantime though, until the school opened to students, the Anexus resided inside the castle in the southwest wing across from the Great Hall.
“How many student do you expect to be admitting?” Elene asked when moving out of the way of a floating table.
Avalon rubbed her head trying to pull the explanation she was told, “Salazar mentioned something along the lines of how many young ones against how many will actually attend. The letters will be sent by owl at the end of the month--I believe Rowena said that was around...a couple hundred perhaps? From the clan I am sending twenty-one who are ages eleven to seventeen.”
Armand was calm and composed around Elene and the boys, he wanted to display pride and responsibility in front of them because he felt that was how he would gain responsibility. Avalon told him he did not need to do such things in the presence of family, but he was adamant about maintaining the traditions from his family for when he crosses the sea and reunites with his sister. That was the wizard’s plan, he would learn from the school and trust in the woman his mother left him to, the woman who killed his mother, and would take this knowledge to continue his line and one day return in glory. Avalon knew this plan, she accepted that was what he wanted to do and even asked if it was revenge that he sought against her because if that was such she would prefer he not involve others and respect his mother’s wished of that. The alchemist doubted he had the inclination for revenge, but did in his quest to regain the glory of his family and their name.
“Will we be here everyday with you?” The eldest twin asked.
Elene answered, “Yes, that is right, but she will be your teacher and you must respect her as such because she will be responsible for many other children.”
The twins looked at each other with jaws dropped, they would see their aunt everyday. In one year, they would see her more than they had in their entire lives combined. They brought that point up and Avalon felt an arrow had stabbed her in the chest--children are indeed brutally honest. Armand went with the boys to explore the castle and Elene and Avalon were joined by Rowena, Helga, Godric and Salazar.
“Ah, I had forgotten I was meaning to tell you Elene was arriving today.” Godric said apologetically.
Salazar rolled his eyes, “It is not as if you could have found her, as I recall, she could not be found for over three days when she was working for one, fell asleep in the railings and worked for another day without telling anyone.”
The alchemist acted as though she had no idea what the man was referring to. Elene laughed and gave Avalon another hug before dismissing herself, knowing there was likely a counsel meeting.
“Ah, Helga, the suits of armor from the goblins arrived this morning and I am almost finished with the golems you requested. You should be able to enchant them all tomorrow if you are available.” Avalon reported as another Anexus handed her scribbled on parchment.
“Golems?” Rowena asked, “What ever for?”
Avalon scribbled on the parchment as Helga answered, “The Anexus will be responsible for security and safety of the castle and the glen for many years, but eventually I would like to hand over that duty to the teachers and free the Anexus to take positions as guards in Hafan.”
“Though I do not believe a hand-off is necessary, Helga insisted and we all know its hard to say no to her.” Avalon signed.
“Whenever I suggest anything of that sort you always told me no!” Godric said in disbelief.
Avalon rolled the parchment and handed it to an owl to carry it to another section of the castle, “It sounds more convincing coming from her.”
A cloud formed over Godric’s head and rained on him, “You can be so cruel Avalon.”
“And you care thick-headed and oblivious. Has Madison said anything yet?” The alchemist asked the rest of the group.
The women shook their head and Salazar folded his arms refusing to respond to that. After more teasing of Godric, the five walked towards one of the main staircases on the northeast of the courtyard where the clock tower was. There she guided the group to the lower quarters of the tower and came upon a blank wall. For a moment the four sorcerers were confused and Avalon allowed them to think that as she paused before placing her hand on the wall. In Latin she spoke the words aloud:
"Ius meum quasi conditor.”
The door rolled in on itself, in something that could thought alchemy and magic had the wall transform into a doorway and open to a series of stairs where the walls were lined with torches that flickered to life with the opened door. The others were surprised and unsettled slightly by the lack of knowledge of this and how closely it resembled the one from the Dark Lord’s castle. Still, they knew better than to judge. At the end of the hidden staircase they arrived at a large area that became illuminated by their arrival.
“Welcome to the Sanctum.” Avalon introduced.
The walls were lined with carvings of their lives, the battles they fought together, their own deeds, even Fenrir had a depiction of himself within his companion's mural. At the center of each of their carvings was a mirror, decorated with their family colors; the room was positioned in a manner that reflected the center carving--the where the crest of the school protruded, unfinished on the wall. This was Avalon’s gift to them, to her friends, these mirror were for communication, what Master Kloog explained that they are a version of two-way mirrors that if the desired person’s name is uttered from any mirror they can talk and see that person no matter where. When their time passed their decedents would also be able to do the same, but the true hope was that one day the original five would be together again in another life.
“Those words you spoke, what do they mean?” Salazar asked.
Avalon smiled, “My right as founder.”
Helga went to the crest carving and asked why it was without detail. The alchemist wanted them to decide together, what this school should represent, what its goal is to be known as and who it is that should be allowed gain its knowledge and enter thru its doors. At the table in the center of the Sanctum, the five conveyed the remaining details and final decisions for the future of the school. The topics of the conversation, mainly revolved around final staff decisions, residence, the dividing of students into Houses, the celebration, the designs of the crest and the controversy begun by Salazar.
"I thought we had moved past this." Godric sighed, hating this being brought up over and over again between he and his brother, but to bring it up now in front of everyone was unreasonable.
"You have said yourself that we must decide together and as we are teaching the future of magic we must be careful of whom we teach it to." Salazar stated.
"Muggle-borns." Helga translated into the term.
"Mud-bloods." Salazar growled, "We cannot possibly give our knowledge of magic to those who have persecuted and killed our people--no offense to my Anexus friend--"
Avalon rose a hand for a silent 'none-taken'.
"To essentially the enemy of our people."
Godric shook his head, "Magic is found in few people as is and with how many loses we suffered in the war that number is even lower." He looked to the others for help, "Muggle-borns will be persecuted no different than Purebloods, what example are we setting if we deny knowledge to control a power they will not understand alone? How are we to be any different than muggles if we allow them to suffer for what is out of their control?"
The elder brother was firm in his belief, "And what if we teach these mud-blood our ways? What is to stop them from using our knowledge for their own gain? To throw the muggle world into chaos and expose our world openly to them? What is to stop them from becoming the next Dark Lord for their thirst for power?"
"The thirst for power is not defined by whether one possess magic or not, it is the choice of how once uses it." Rowena added.
Helga was concerned about the escalating argument, "I will accept anyone who is willing to learn, who treats all fairly as equals."
Fenrir whined as Avalon stroked his head, "Salazar is right." She said, her words silencing the room, to the point even Salazar himself was caught off guard, "As an Anexus, these muggle-borns are not people to be trusted. Until we understand more of how none-magical bloodlines are coming to posses magic I do not believe it is wise to omit them to our school."
"You cannot possibly--!" Godric was interrupted by her raised hand.
"The Anexus do not trust muggle-borns without knowing that their existence is not malevolent...however, if the majority of this counsel votes to allow them attendance I will treat them as fairly as I can." Avalon looked to Fenrir, "But the clan will not accept muggle-borns for a great deal of time, long after we are gone."
As a three to two ratio Salazar and Avalon were outvoted, but Salazar was more vocal of his disapproval than his counterpart. The wizard and alchemist went together from the meeting place and walked the around the castle to inspect the final details. He and Avalon's relationship improved these past four years and though to call them 'friends' would not be correct, they would certainly agree on comrades.
"I refuse to allow mud-bloods to taint the lines of magic, to learn our secrets." The monkey-faced man mumbled in frustration, "But I must admit I am surprised you took my side on this matter."
Avalon rubbed Fenrir as they walked, "I still possess values from my clan, some of what you consider 'old-way' are very much a part of our teachings and lifestyle. Though I believe sorcerers should be given a chance to learn the truth of magic and where it comes from, the increasing number of muggle-borns is disturbing."
They went to the dungeon, to where Salazar decided would be the residences of his assigned students.
Avalon continued, "I do not know how it is possible for those outside the lines of magic to be born; there are decedents of half-bloods who have indeed gone generations without producing magic-bearers, but to those who have never had magic in their lines I will not believe, until prove otherwise they are safe to have within our ranks."
"If the others are to go forward with their admission may I make a suggestion?" Salazar offered, "Dispatch our people to watch the mud-blood during their time away from here."
The alchemist nodded, "It is already being arranged."
Sixteen years ago the Anexus Clan and sorcerers battled a war against another for time beyond measure. Eight years ago that war came to an end at the hands of Godric Gryffindor and Avalon Anexus. Four Years ago the war against the Dark Lord was claimed victorious by the union of the Five Great Houses of the Isles. And now, after years of working toward the dream made so many years ago the two friends who knew nothing more than each other's names are at last standing in the midst of the impossible. Dreams that they told were a farse, that were nothing more than an impossible illusion, now these two stand before those who have helped them realize all they could ever hope for.
Avalon stood beside Godric, the warmth of his presence, his brilliant light and the pull people feel to gravitate to him and listen to his words. She felt it as the others did, but now all they see is the great, courageous hero he is. Avalon sees the boy she knocked from a tree, who she almost killed that day had Fenrir not judged him a friend. How far they have come, how much they have sacrificed, but so much more has been achieved. The Great Hall was filled with hundred of people, from members of all different covens and walks of life. The creation and completion of the isle's first official place of learning. This was also to unveil the crest that was at last finalized: with a wave of Helga's wand the vial was removed from the carving revealing the crest of this mighty school.
Divided into five sections, each possessed the animal that corilated with one of the founders and their Houses of Gryffendor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slythern and Anexus. The center of this crest was a raise 'H' to represent the school's almost prophetic name. Surrounding, protecting this 'H' was from the top left, a lion decorated with scarlet and gold, clockwise was followed by a serpent of silver and green, then flew a hawk imbued with blue and bronze hawk. Beneath the 'H' was a violet and black wolf sitting patiently beside a climbing badger colored in black and yellow. At the bottom of this crest were the wisest words for two best friends to live by:
Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillendus
Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon
Loudly and proudly the five called out: "Welcome to the Hogwarts School of Magic!"