Title: Twenty Random Things about the Founders
Author: [insanejournal.com profile] eaivalefay
Rating: PG-13?
Summary: The events of history always look different at a distance.
Warnings: Abuse of what little history we have on the founders of Hogwarts.
Word Count:3077
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter books, characters, world, what-have-you belong to J. K. Rowling. No infringement is intended, and no money is being made off of this story.
Author's Notes: A late response to [insanejournal.com profile] iulia_linnea's Harry Potter Random Facts Fest! This is the longest "Twenty Things" list I've ever done, and I enjoyed every minute of twisting the founders' history to my own machinations. I hope it's as fun for everyone who reads it. Endless thanks to my lovely beta, [insanejournal.com profile] incognito, who could not have helped or encouraged me more.


1. It was Helga who first envisioned Hogwarts. Without her, the other three would have never come together under one cause. Salazar eventually created a model for Helga, then drew the blueprints at her urging. Godric was the one who funded the project, investing almost all of his family's fortune. Rowena planned everything; she organized the money, the schedule, and began the development of the school rules, classes, and admittance requirements. It was Rowena who gained resources and support from outside their own group, and later wrote the Hogwarts charter.

It took them nearly fifteen years, but the last stone, spell, and blessing were finally in place. (Getting Hogwarts furnished and agreeing on curriculum were entirely different matters.)

2. For ten of the fifteen years it took to construct Hogwarts the four lived as close to the building site as they could. The laborers ended up living in the same area as them. The Hog's Head was the first building aside from basic lodgings to go up, and it happened to be entirely Godric's fault. The tavern became the unforeseen beginning of Hogsmeade.

3. Over the entire fifteen years of building Hogwarts, Salazar, Helga, Godric, and Rowena fought over what to name their school. The matter was never quite settled, even to the end of their days, due to one night when a drunken Godric took the naming of the castle upon himself and dubbed it Hogwarts. (It happened to be the same night Godric suggested building a tavern: "w'should put up a ta--tav--inn next t' the place. What's it called? The place, w' sheep an' hogs, warts an' all. . .over the hill. . . . What? As soon as wiz--warz--wizarnly-- humanly poss--poss...fer god's sakes, ye know what 'm sa-- . . .I don't feel s'good.") Once named, it became irreversible; no spectator ever forgot Godric's choice, and despite their efforts, no one else took to any name except Hogwarts. The other three never forgave Godric for it.

4. It is true that the founders built many quirks into Hogwarts: their own private rooms such as Salazar's chamber of secrets and Rowena's private library; the moving staircases; secret passageways and escape routes; the formerly long-lost Room of Requirement.

However, many other quirks of the castle were added by others; headmasters added additions, such as the astronomy tower and the owlery, both of which weren't originally in the school's design; students over the ages had magical accidents, causing alterations to specific locations, such as the various invisible or missing steps throughout the castle.

5. Despite popular belief, Salazar's Chamber of Secrets was not in fact where he kept all of his private documents. The chamber was a secret, but it was a secret kept by all four founders.

The chamber was created for Salazar's carefully raised pet basilisk, which was a beloved friend of his and a well trained guard of Hogwarts as a last defense against an invasion.

The basilisk was never meant to be used against the students or teachers of Hogwarts, but after a time she went mad from age and loneliness.

6. Salazar kept his personal and private documents in his truly secret room; a study. Not even the other founders knew where it was, though they knew of it, and it was too small in size that they could not place where he'd had it built. Salazar only told one person where the study was located, one of Rowena's girls, who Salazar looked at as the daughter he'd never been given.

She never went into the room without Salazar, though she could, and after she moved out of Hogwarts she never saw the room again. She did tell her daughter of it when she was old and Salazar long passed away, and her daughter told her own daughter, and so it went on; a family tradition continued all the way to the current living heir.

7. Despite popular belief and implication in the history books, the four never courted any of the others, let alone engaged in marriage or even sex. Not even when they had their many sodding drunk nights together. (There were a few heated kisses between them all on those drunken nights, but they as a general rule pretended such instances never happened.)

They did contemplate and discuss marriages of convenience and friendship at several points in each of their lives, but in the end always rejected the proposal. The closest any of them ever came to marriage within the group was when Rowena was trying desperately to get suitors and critics off of her back, and Godric was trying to be a gentleman. Rowena laughed at him and told him he was sweet. Crazy, but sweet.

8. Salazar and Helga were always a smidgen closer than they were with Godric and Rowena. Rowena and Godric were a smidgen closer to each other than with the other two. Even saying such a thing seems wrong, because they were all four too close for words. They were family, and loved each other deeply.

9. They may have loved each other, but they didn't always agree on everything. They -- almost frequently -- had castle-shaking rows about school policies, social beliefs, and politics.

However, not all of their fights were worth fighting over. Quite a few of their fights often started with something as simple as a spoon, and made little to no sense by the end of the row.

One of their most famous fights happened to be famed because of its stupidity.

10. One of their other most famous fights was the "secrecy versus open invitation" dispute concerning Hogwarts students. History books claim the fight was largely between all three founders and Salazar, or Godric versus Salazar. In truth, the arguments were largely between Salazar and Rowena. Godric and Helga enforced certain opinions on the matter, but kept their heads down in the face of their normally quiet friends' wrath. It's almost guaranteed that Helga coined the phrase, "It's always the quiet ones."

The dispute was never quite settled as the battle of ethics raged throughout the slowly developing centralized wizarding society. (It's an issue that has been debated over through all of wizarding history even to current day.)

Godric and Helga finally held an intervention and forced Rowena and Salazar to call a truce. They reluctantly agreed and swore an oath to never discuss the matter with each other again; perhaps a good thing, as they never did come to agree on the topic.

11. Salazar grew up only ever remembering being an orphan. His parents left him on an orphanage's doorstep when he was an infant. He hated the place and spent most of his time on the streets. When he was nine he ran off and stowed away on a large ship moored at the local dock.

The crew took him on and trained him to be a sailor. He lived on many ships since then, moving to a new ship every time one ended its voyaging for more than a month. It was a hard life, and he loved it.

He met Helga at the end of one voyage when he was fourteen. She'd come to the docks with her merchant father, who wanted to buy goods straight off the boat. They became fast friends and he met her every time they came into that port. When he was seventeen she told him about her dream of Hogwarts, and asked him to stay and help her. Salazar refused. Only when he was nineteen did he see her again, and agreed to join her in her effort to create the school she imagined.

12. Rowena grew up an only child with her widowed father in a small home ten miles from anything resembling a town. Because of this and other extenuating circumstances she was stubbornly independent for longer than even she could remember.

Due to her independence, Rowena would often take trips to the distant town alone even at a young age. One such trip was how she met Godric, who she disliked on instinct. Godric however found her and the book she was carrying fascinating, and followed her home, much to her and her father's dismay. It was only months after their first meeting that Rowena discovered Godric was the son of the man who owned the land they lived on.

Much later in life she explained her initial dislike of Godric had been something about the way he sat on his horse. (When he found out, Godric was stunned that she barely tolerated his hand of friendship for nearly two years because of the way he sat.)

Rowena didn't meet either of the others until she moved to the nearest harbor city, which happened to be Helga's own.

13. Godric met Rowena first, riding along a muddy road and grimly determined to distract himself from his least favorite weather: hazy sunshine, watery. . .everything. He spotted her walking along, feet ankle deep in the mud, clutching a thick book to her chest as though her life depended on it, a large basket locked around one arm, and a decidedly distracted expression plastered across her face.

He hailed her. He was traveling home from one of the many cities Godric was inevitably dragged to for, his father said, a well rounded education, and he told Rowena so. After making sure she returned to her home safely -- and attempting to carry her basket for her, but being firmly denied -- and being politely kicked out he returned the next week. After a month's worth of painful debating, he finally managed to convince her he could accompany her to the local town market and home once again, but she tried to dodge him nearly ever week anyway.

The only reason Godric's father allowed the contact was because Rowena's father eventually agreed to let Godric study from his admittedly impressive library.

Godric still had to travel, and during one of these trips he met Salazar, whose ship happened to be docked next to the very one Godric was planned to sail out on. Godric and Salazar traded insults every time they ran into each other for the first week. In the second week they began getting lunch with each other. By the third week they were discussing tentative ideas for staying in touch, even if they both thought the other was a complete arse.

14. Helga never left the port city she was born in. Her father was the one who did all of the traveling. She preferred to remain in the place she knew, coming to run a small stall on the market street and study discreetly with a shady magician. It was only after she met Salazar that the idea of travel occurred to her. Even then she could not fathom why he enjoyed it as much as he claimed.

Only with the dreams of Hogwarts did she begin to want to leave, and then it was only for the school she knew she was meant to build. At its completion she had every intention of staying in one place; her home in the school, which would be as true as any home if her dream vision spoke true.

Not long after her sixteenth birthday Helga found she'd exhausted every magical education source she could tap in her city. It was then she let Salazar, who she knew to be another sorcerer, in on her dream, and attempted to talk him into being part of the project.

15. The discovery that they could perform magic came to all four of them in drastically different ways and inspired equally drastically different reactions.

Godric was born into it, his mother being a witch and his father accepting what he considered an eccentric trait in his beloved son and heir. However as soon as he realized it could be done, he insisted Godric's power be bound until he was old enough. This demand was perhaps not uncalled for, since Godric's first act of magic was to call his father's sword to him to play with. It may be necessary to note that Godric's second, third, fourth, etc. performance of magic consisted along the same lines.

Helga dreamed the first instance of her magic when she was seven years old. She had vivid dreams of her father getting trampled by a horse in the street. She woke up screaming and begged him not to leave on his trip. Her father believed she'd merely had a nightmare and left to the streets, eager to get to the docks to receive one of his shipments. Helga ran after him, pulling him back out of the muddy streets moments before a horse went galloping by. It was rare for Helga to have such dreams, but when she did, she never ignored them. Hogwarts was the first vision dream she ever had more than once.

Salazar's first magic happened when he was ten. Spending his nights out on the streets where he felt safest, he found it wasn't overly comfortable. One freezing, starving night he'd been staring intently at a pile of garbage across the street, wishing desperately it was something useful, when it suddenly burst into flame. He had no time to enjoy its heat, because the resident of the house came running out with a bucket of water, and Salazar ran before he could get blamed.

Rowena learned about magic long before she ever performed a magical act. She did not even suspect until she was thirteen, when she read an incantation from one of her father's dusty, cherished tomes to inspire growth in her wilting garden. She was amazed when after the next rain not only was her garden overflowing with herbs and blossoms, the plant life for twenty yards had all gone wild. If that was not enough, every passerby whispered in awe how the entire land was just that much greener for miles around. Rowena's father made her promise to never read the incantations from books ever again. She obeyed his wish until his death only a few years later, but her love for her father as well as her plain curiosity brought her to read and practice every book in her father's collection, as well as many more as she could get her hands on.

All four of them quickly learned that sharing the secret of their gift with others was not a wise idea. Until the four met each other, they rarely spoke of their magic to anyone at all.

16. Salazar never left Hogwarts. It was his son who was essentially kicked out. Salazar did not live to see this, nor did any of the founders. It would have broken their hearts, though perhaps it was not unforeseen. Salazar's son, named Salazar (hence the confusion in the history books), was not leading a promising life in the way of goodness.

Salazar's grandson made up for his father's callous approach to life.

17. However Salazar did go on trips, sometimes for half a year at a time, He tried to keep the trips short and between the school semesters so he could continue to teach at Hogwarts. This lifestyle of his almost certainly added to the confusion in history.

18. Creating a device to Sort students of Hogwarts was Rowena's idea, which she presented to the other four after working out a few tentative spells through arithmancy. They were growing older and at that point had debated several times on how students would be chosen for their Houses when they could no longer pick the students themselves.

The use of a hat came from a drunken Helga, who claimed she saw it in a dream, much like she first envisioned Hogwarts. After some thought, the other three agreed it was a practical idea, since the hat would have to penetrate each child's surface thoughts to Sort them. It wasn't their most ethical decision, but they agreed it was better than leaving such things up to unknown future headmasters of their school.

Despite popular belief, the hat does not possess a piece of each founder's mind, as Rowena's journals clearly state. It has been believed that the hat was imbued with the founders' thoughts because the hat was made to observe and imitate their favored traits.

Rowena's journals also detail that the Sorting Hat is a delicately spellworked magical item created to simulate a sentient being and Sort by necessity. It does possess an item from each founder which each thought described their House, and their House's ideals best, but it is not known why the founders chose to leave such items within the hat.

19. Salazar had two sons. One died when he was nineteen while the other grew to be power hungry, and his ambitions brought him to be a symbol of darkness in his time period.

Helga had a son and a daughter. Her son loved Hogwarts with all of his heart, and when his mother retired he took over her position. Her daughter, on the other hand, did not like the school, and married and moved away when she was seventeen.

Godric had two daughters and a son, who was the youngest of the three. One daughter became a knight, determined to follow her father's example as an honorable defender of the innocent. The other daughter took Godric's place in Hogwarts when he stepped down from his position. Godric's only boy took over the family lands and other assets when Godric passed way.

Rowena had six children, four boys and two girls. One of her girls and two of the boys branched out to start schools in different parts of the world. Her second eldest, another of the boys, began a secondary magic school. The last boy and girl grew up to live happy, relatively normal lives, and melted into history. It is only those two of Rowena's line who have heirs remaining alive and well even today.

This doesn't take into account how many young children the four lost throughout their lives, which totals at ten.

20. All of the founders lived to ripe old ages. Godric was the first to die, at one-hundred and ninety-six. Rowena was the last, passing away at two-hundred and twenty-three. They were ready to leave, tiring of a world that didn't need their presence anymore. Rowena especially moved on with happiness, despite her great love for her family, because she missed her brothers and sister dearly.
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eaivalefay

dreaming memories

What you can do with your life has little to do with what's going on in the world and everything to do with what you see as possible.

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