The Web of Lies
Godric sat at the head of the table in complete silence. It was the first time the four of them at returned to the Sanctum, the first time it had been the four of them. Two days ago the entire Anexus Clan had been massacred and still there was no evidence as to the culprit of this. Salazar racked his brain numerous times, recalling Avalon specifically mentioning a woman. She had to be close to the five of them, for Avalon to know her specifically, why then did she not say the name? The wizard wondered silently across the table from his brother, thinking at the possibilities of Avalon’s words.
The chaos that followed after residence of Hogsmeade found the remains was unbelievable. People blamed and pointed fingers at different culprits, their anger and rage particularly at the four for their secrecy and silence on the entire matter. Three bodies continued to be unaccounted for: Fenrir, the Dire Wolf, the Volva, and the Chief of the Anexus, Avalon Anexus. None saw any evidence of any survivors, but the scene they arrived almost entirely put down any hope of their being any. Though this was apparent in every person’s mind, rumors began to spread as to where these three could be. Rumors about their involvement, rumors about their whereabouts, rumors about the other four’s involvement, rumors about the damage to the school and clear signs of alchemic transmutation.
Those rumors were progressively becoming more and more dangerous for the four’s safety, their credibility, and the future of Hogwarts. It did not help that Helga held onto Caliburn like a child to hip the entire time since their battle. She would not let it go, not allow it to go to another and had not spoken a word to the other three. By her thoughts, no doubt, the three were responsible for Avalon’s death--by Avalon’s last words...Godric had already begun twisting the truth in who was suppose to be his best friend’s last moments. What had the world come to that they would turn to enemies like this? Was this not what they fought against? Was this not what they had suffered and many had died; to create a lasting peace between their people?
How far would this set them back now? Their allied, their comrades, their friends, every single member of the Anexus clan was now gone from the world and the only clues left were the last words of a vengeful chief who bore witness to the death of her family. It must have been unbearable to be forced to helplessly watch as one’s own family tore each other apart. What were they to do now? How was one to collect the pieces from something that would otherwise be impossible. Helga looked to the others, all deep in thought at last, the witch had enough:
“We must’ tell the truth!” She slammed her hands into the table.
Salazar crossed his arms, “We have yet to learn the truth ourselves.”
“Avalon told us! Someone cursed her clan, controlled ’em to turn against another!” Helga clenched her teeth.
Salazar wanted to believe that true, but after witnessing Avalon’s reaction and appearance it was hard to believe she did not have anything to do with at least some of the clan’s death. The elder wizard averted his eyes from Helga and flipped thru another page of books salvaged from Castle Walpurgis. There had to be something, something he was not remembering. A lapse in memory had taken him unexpectedly, whenever he tried to recall a type of spell, he knew existed, he could neither come up with a name, nor a use. What spell could be used to control over four-hundred people to kill each another, especially a clan as willful as the Anexus?
Rowena stood, “There is only one thing we can do.” She suggested cold and calculating, “This catastrophe has not only called into question our loyalty and intentions, but also has compromised the credibility of our school.”
Salazar and Helga looked up to the Enchantress.
“What are yer sayin’?” Helga looked at her suspiciously.
“We cannot allow this to tear apart all we have sacrificed to achieve.” Rowena clenched her fists, “No one can know. Not of what happened to the Chief, not of what happened to the Anexus Clan--no, none can know about the Anexus at all.”
“Have yer lost yer--!”
“Are you suggesting we Obliviate the memory of the Anexus from our forces?” Godric asked loud.
Rowena nodded, ”Obliviate everyone’s memory, the entire isles. I am saying we must erase the existence of the Anexus Clan from history. No parchment, book, or stone containing the Anexus name must be destroyed.”
Salazar spoke up, “That is eccentric, even from you, to erase the Anexus clan, who played an unparalleled role in everything we have accomplished these last twenty years is--”
“Rowena is right.” Godric interrupted, “If it becomes known that one of our own was involved in the massacre of an entire clan, not only would we lose most if not all our support, the peace we have created would return to chaos and Hogwarts will have vacant halls for the rest of its days.” The wizard looked to Rowena, “We must protect the school and the peace it will bring no matter what. How do you plan on erasing the memories of every person in the isles?”
Helga spoke up, but was ignored.
“If Salazar assists, we can have a memory potion cast into the skies in a week that would be injected with rainfall for the next few months, depending on weather it may take up to a year or two to reach every person.” Salazar nodded to the Enchantress when shutting his book.
He did not agree with erasing the Anexus from history in the slightest, however he did believe in protecting Hogwarts. Though he was willing to protect their school, it would not stop him in his own goals and it would not stop him from finding the one responsible for the clan’s fall. Not for the clan’s vengeance, not for the notion of what is right, but for Avalon he respected and considered a friend--she deserved that justice in the very least. He would not forget her. Even if they were to be subjected to a pitiful existence as a myth, the Anexus would continue to be remembered and continue to be alive by the story pass down in history...even if that story was far from truth it is better than being forgotten. Salazar trusted Helga would do this and in her own way ensure the Anexus memory was preserved in some way, shape, or form.
Godric concluded the decision as final and asked Helga along. He needed her to understand this was necessary, this was the only way this school could have a future. Allowing such an unspeakable truth to taint the school before it has even opened will corrupt everything they have sacrificed, everything people have given their lives for. She must understand this, all four of them must come together and go forth with this plan. In the clock tower, overlooking the reconstruction and construction of new sections of the school, Godric and Helga stood.
“When Avalon and I first met, it was because she had thrown a stone at me and made me fall from a tree.” The wizard began with fondness, “She almost killed me that day, if she had, none of us, none of this would be where it is at today.”
Helga clenched her fists, “Then why! If she is yer friend, why are yer trying to erase er’ and er’ clan!”
Godric’s smile dimmed, “It is because we shared the same dream that I am willing to accept the burden of this.”
Godric rose a brow, “That is right I do not think her and I told anyone: the idea that made Hogwarts come into existence...was one her and dreamed of when we were children. Back then, we knew not the other’s family name, not what our families had done to each other, not the understanding that alchemists and wizards were suppose to be enemies--we were only two children and a wolf playing in the woods together.”
“I don’t understand why yer doing this then.” Helga frowned.
The wizard leaned over the railings, “Helga, if people are to know what has happened, then the lives lost to get here would have been in vain.” Godric watched the people below, “Are you truly willing to let those sacrifices mean nothing? The peace we create here will echo thru the ages as the foundation to create something even greater than where we are now.”
The witch mumbled, “The Anexus--Avalon, are necessary sacrifices then?”
Godric paused to think of his answer to her, “Yes.”
Helga frowned angrily, but kept her frustration from reaching her voice, “A brok’en foundation will falter a structure later.”
She descended the stairs.
“Yes.” Godric said, holding the leather bracer he rescued from the smoldering camp, “But to repair what is broken is better than not having at all.”
Helena quickly hid behind the wall to avoid her mother and Salazar. The two sorcerers were approaching and the young witch did not know where to go and then suddenly she was grabbed from behind. Armand rose his finger to her lips to have her keep quiet as he pulled the two under an invisibility cloak. Rowena and Salazar passed without noticing them, but to draw care they waited nearly ten minutes before revealing themselves to general sight.
“Have you found anything?” Armand questioned as they hurried to the woods to meet with their informant.
“I broke into my mother’s quarters, however I cannot make much of what she wrote.” Helena explained, “What I did suggests they are nearly complete with the mass-scale one. More and more people are having their memories erased and just the other day I saw my mother and the others disappear with countless documents and I have yet to see them again. The library is also missing books and parchments, all involving the Anexus or any mention of them.”
Armand frowned, “It is just I feared, they are trying to erase the Anexus and Avalon from history. They are trying to cover up the clan’s demise and any mention of them they will ensure no one questions them or the school.”
The young Ravenclaw clenched her jaw, “How could she? My own mother--Avalon and her were so close!”
Avalon was an irreplaceable friend to Helena as well, the one person who connected her and her mother together since her father’s passing. Until Avalon, Helena feared she would never win her mother’s eye, but like a heroin of legend there the alchemist was, saving her village from the ravages of the dragon’s fire. Now they wanted to destroy that legend and erase her and her clan’s deeds from history.
“We do not have the entire story, but we do not know how the founders are or are not involved in what happened either.” Armand said coolly, “What we do know is that the entire Anexus Clan has been massacred and we know neither the causes of death, nor who were involved.”
And yet Armand heard there were three bodies unaccounted for. With over four hundred members of the clan, missing three of its most prominent among the body count would indeed arise suspicion. Armand recalled how his mother used methods to create and diminish rumor and suspicion to her own identity as the Dark Lord, but they were on a subtle note, nothing to this extent. He thought as to what she would do in this situation, what she would to for Avalon--his answer: ensure they would not be forgotten. To be forgotten in the magical world is to truly be dead, that is the lesson learned from his time with the Weaselys and with Avalon.
The young witch and wizard arrived in the selected location in the Dark Forest. There a hooded witch apparated, greeting Armand and Helena with embraces.
“Are you ready?” The hooded witch asked, holding her hands out to the young ones.
The two looked at another and nodded, taking the witch hand side-along apparating to an unfamiliar place. In another wood, far from Hogwarts, far from the watchful eyes of the Founding Four, the three traveled down a hidden path and arrived on a hill where in the valley below, the vacant village of the Anexus silently stood to be taken back by nature. Armand and Helena were shocked by the size of the village, not at all what they were expecting of the secretive and mysterious Anexus--it was more like their own homes than they expected. Helena herself admitted to fantasizing the Anexus home quite a bit and she held a mix of emotions for seeing the Anexus as no more human than themselves, but also to know they possessed the same fragile lives as humans do. The witch often thought of the Anexus as an invisible and unstoppable force that had always been and would always be. Death has proved this false.
The hooded witch dropped the cloth from her head when they arrived on the outside of the village and readied her wand.
“Ready?” She asked the other culprits.
Armand and Helena rose their wands together and at once the three of them chanted:
"Oculis abscondere enim suscipiet illa oculis indignis superando."
From their wands spewed silk strings of white light, webbing together and gliding over the length of the village, covering all within its boarders. Outsiders would not enter here, the forest would not claim these monuments, these proofs to the existence of the Anexus Clan. No wand would destroy this place, would erase this place from existence. Though Elene had been here only once before, she had an excellent memory and would always know how to find this place from her cottage. Very few would know how to find this place and none would have the skill or power to destroy it--not even the Four Founders put together.
“Will it be enough?” Helena asked, suddenly sluggish from expelling such a large amount of magic.
This particular spell was powerful in its own right, but to cast it required a mass amount of magic. Armand, Helena, and Elene entered the village, though it could be considered sacrilege to enter such a place as outsiders, by right of marriage, Elene nor her sons were outsiders.
“The spell we have cast will conceal this village for as long as magic will allow. It will look no different than the rest of the forest to muggles and no witch or wizard may destroy this place without being destroyed first. But there is a reason the Anexus village remained unknown for so long--the forest itself protected them. Though they maybe gone, the forest, its Guardian will never forget them and will protect them.” Elene answered, walking the empty roads of the village, cutting to the house Falcon, Avalon and the rest of their family had lived for untold generations.
Armand was on guard, though this village was without a soul, save for the three he felt eyes upon him. Those same eyes he felt at the cottage--as though the trees themselves were watching them, not with ill intent. Nonetheless it was an unsettling feeling he would not grow used to. As Elene entered the house, Helena followed then Armand, finding the house much larger on the inside than they expected. The elder witch went to the room on the right, were bookshelves covered with years of dust were lined with an assortment of books, most of which were no older than a decade or so. Much of these books were created and bought by Avalon, but there were some that were passed from parent to child, one in particular was a book both Falcon and Avalon grew up with their mother and father had read to them each time they were sad or scared.
Avalon had told Elene of this book long ago and promised to bring this book to the twins as a present for their attendance to Hogwarts. She wanted the twins to know this book was their father’s and the small axes she was to bring were also possessions of their late father. She wanted the sons of her brother to know where it was they came from, but also to understand why they could never go back to their origins, but rather to keep moving forward and go further than their father or aunt ever did. She wanted them to stay away from the Anexus, but Avalon never wanted them to have the truth of their birth hidden: their father was a brave and proud man who died for the sake of his family and because he loved them more than life itself.
Elene held the book in her hands, the weight of generations of Anexus, their thoughts and feelings all kept within the pages of something as simple as a fairy tail book. Armand and Helena looked at the book, wondering why it was this book that had the elder witch weep with such tears. Armand was to ask, but Helena pulled him away, asking to go outside for a time.
“We cannot stop the Founders from erasing the memories of the people, but we can protect ourselves.” Armand began the discussion, “Even if it means we must lie, protecting their memory is what matters.”
Helena nodded as they sat on the steps of the Anexus Great Hall out of the pouring rain, “My mother, she will suspect, she will find out if she does not know what we are up to already.”
“Then we will go somewhere they cannot reach, to a land far from here and tell every person we meet the Legend of Avalon and the Anexus Clan.” Armand smiled, “If that is what you want, we can go anywhere, to the horizon and beyond.”
The young witch blushed, “As long as it is with you, I will go anywhere.”
Elene held her wand up, using a deflecting spell to keep the waters off of her, “You are always welcome in my home, the both of you, but I fear if you are gone too long this day it will arose suspicion.”
All agreed and under the witch’s umbrella of magic made their way back to the cottage.
“I cannot tell you the depth of my gratitude for what you two are doing for them, for her.” Elene said on the edge of her clearing.
Armand looked to the cottage where the twins kept dry and inside.
“Do they know?” He asked his adoptive mother.
Elene spoke quietly, “Godric came to visit us shortly after it happened. I know I grieve my loss of her, but the twins...Avalon was as the father they never knew.” The witch choked, “I do not know if it is better for them to forget Avalon as the others, or to live knowing they can never speak of her.”
Armand and Helena held different opinions.
“My mother would never allow her or her people to be forgotten.” The wizard said.
“Mine understands the dangers of knowledge and as we have seen...she has no limits to the lengths she will go to stop dangerous knowledge from reaching light.” Helena added.
Elene did not know whether to do what was right or to do what was best. To take the memories of her own children to protect them was a burden she was willing to bear, but such is a dishonor to the memory of not just the Anexus or Avalon, but their father as well. Armand and Helena returned to Hogwarts leaving Elene at the edge of her clearing. The Guardian, a small blue mouse crawled to the witch, stopping at her feet. The witch knelled, offering her hand to the spirit; the Guardian stepped on top and allowed itself to be lifted by its protected resident.
“You have done so much for us.” Elene teared, cradling the mouse in her palm, “You have welcomed us into your home, allowed us to live and protected us all this time...and yet it is my people who have brought ruin to the Anexus...”
The mouse crawled from Elene’s palm, up her arm and to her shoulder. Waiting a moment for the witch to be without alarm, the Guardian nestled its head against the witch’s neck, hiding under her long, braided hair. There was no need to hold blame onto herself. That was the wisdom the Guardian passed onto its protected. There was nothing she could have done, nothing that would have foreseen such a tragedy--this was the work of one, not of an entire people. Avalon herself expressed this--in a visor, a memory of Avalon meeting with the previous form of the Guardian. She respectfully explained her intentions when asked upon her taking the mantle of Chief of the Anexus: protect them, give them a home; a life worth living; to love and learn, to accept and be accepted. It was Avalon who swayed the Guardian to accept these sorcerers as one of its own, sway a Guardian who has existed for as long as the forest has stood to change its view of the Betrayers.
Honor their memory, their sacrifice for the sake of a better world. Do not allow them to fade, to be erased; their history; their legacy must not be lost. Protect their descendants, live on as she wanted them to and live a full and happy life. Continue this cycle, though half-bloods, the boys possess the blood of the Anexus and with it their ancestors will walk beside them so long as that blood flows. It will fade in time yes, it will thin until it is nothing of what it once was, but it will still continue. Their stories, their lives, will not die, so long as a single person lives to remember them. That is the Anexus way, that is what Avalon Anexus wants.
The day had come when all that bore the name Anexus was gone. Not a parchment, book, or stone within the possession or knowledge of them escaped destruction. The crest of the school was changed to omit a House that ended before it could begin. In a mass fire, Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin watched the ashes of the Anexus Clan blow into the east wind. From memory was the Anexus gone, an entire kingdom; their memories altered to never know the whisper and history of the alchemists of the Anexus. How they lived and died fighting sorcerers, how they slaughtered people by the thousands in pursuit of their Great Balance; how they found peace with their enemy and fought along side them to confront an even greater enemy. None will know of their bravery, of their loss, none will know of how they perished upon the grounds of the very school their built.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was safe at last. Their reputation without stain, their Founders without suspicion, their motivations and intentions clear: to create the greatest school of magic in the world. There was one thing the Four allowed to pass thru their grip and that was to properly bury the Anexus in their ancestral cemetery, but even that was ripped from sight as a spell was cast to keep every human from laying eyes upon it. Though their village was never discovered, the ravages of time they trusted would see to its destruction. There would soon be nothing and no one left to remember this clan...or even its chief.
The Four made an unbreakable vow to never speak of the Anexus, of anyone associated with or of what they had done. If the very name Anexus was ever spoken aloud then such would be the last word ever spoken of that Founder. This was a secret to be taken to the grave, not to be passed from child to parent, from friend to friend, from one generation to the next. The alchemists will never exist, they will perish with the Four, never to live in this world again. The chief’s last words however, were every present in their mind. She had cursed them, cursed that she would find vengeance for the betrayal of her people. They were damned and they knew this. It was a burden they were willing to bear.
History will be written that Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry was opened around 990 Common Era, but such is only because of the destruction of records. History will be written the school was founded by four of the greatest witches and wizards of the age and the Sorting Hat will see to it this is the story told throughout time. History will be written that these four were brought together by their desire to create this place on education.
If one asks, none will know nor recognize the name Anexus; there will be no spelling, no dictionary, no meaning to an otherwise imaginary word. If one searches the libraries of Hogwarts, the term ‘Alchemy’ will be refereed to philosophy; dominated by mystical and metaphysical speculation, were that the study is symbolic of a spiritual journey, leading one from ignorance to enlightenment.
However the years go by the efforts of the four are in vain. History may have be altered to omit the Anexus, but they shall never die, for despite the Four’s attempts death did not come to every member of the Anexus. Three bodies were not accounted for. Though they would never understand the reason for this, they burned it away before they could understand what it was that happened that night. The Four greatest witches and wizards of the age were no match for the will power of the Anexus, of a single Anexus and as they lived their lives they lived in ignorance of what lay beyond the walls of the castle.
Deep in the Dark and forbidden Forest that kept a strong border between the worlds of Wizarding and magical beasts lay the Guardian. Reborn from the actions of the departure of the Elder Dragon, it stood in the celestial form of that which it lasts saved. Beside the blue figure of fur and bone, stood its saved--a creature not of anything the likes of which have walked this world. It was a creature neither of magical beast nor of mankind, it was an abomination and it was the perfect coexistence of natural magic and the human soul--all four-hundred and thirty one two of them. This creature was one that should not be and yet was the first to be able to make it this far. Beast, magic, and human coexisting within that of a single form. None would know the identity of such a creature for there was nothing else, but if one was to compare it would certainly be nearest to that of a Spinx and a Chimera. The identity of this creature would be recognized by none, but those who truly knew of the original self. But it was a form that would not be forgotten, most characterized by the lighting-bolt shaped scar traveling from above its right eye, sharply turned toward its nose then down its jaw.
The two beings stood together, on all fours, in wait, in watch of the castle where generations of sorcerers would be corrupted by the lies of their predecessors. She would not forgive and she would not forget the betrayal of those she thought her friends. They may have destroyed the existence of the Anexus, but legends never die and they will be forever remembered by their living legacy.
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