Greetings, readers! It’s not a legacy chapter that I bring to you today – it’s a drabble that turned into anEPIC mini-tale. Lily prompted me with “Choose four Bradfords and have them play the roles of the fourFounders of Hogwarts” on the Sort Your Sims Fest. What I give you today is the results of that prompt. AsI was writing, images kept popping into my head, and I just had to take pictures to match them. It was awelcome fun distraction from the big legacy plots that I’m trying to hammer out for the next generation, andI hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.I offer my humblest apologies to JK Rowling. It’s her universe; I’m just playing in it.
“My dear friend, Philomena,” Alexander boomed. “Thank you for coming tonight. I trust that your journeywasn’t too hard?”“It was simply dreadful. You know what the spring storms in the highlands can be like. Of course, I onlyhad to step out into it for a few moments before apparation here.”“Come into the drawing room. I’ve got a fire going and it’s rather cozy.”Alexander gestured through the stone archway, and followed a step behind his guest.
Upon arriving in the drawing room, Philomena let out a cry of delight. Seated upon the bench before thefire was her dearest friend, Henrietta. The later rose from her seat and crossed the room to embrace thenew arrival.“Alexander didn’t tell me he’d invited you as well,” they said in near unison, both turning to face him withaccusatory eyes.“I thought you’d both appreciate the surprise,” he replied.
A fourth person cleared his throat from a dark corner of the room. “Now that we are all assembled,perhaps you can explain to us why you have summoned us here, Alexander. I know that I am simply dyingof curiosity.”“Of course, Matthew. Please, join us by the fire and I shall explain everything.”
The small group assembled themselves by the fire, and with a wave of his wand glasses of wine appearedbefore them. Alexander took one of them, and raised it in a toast.“To my good friends, who have traveled from far and wide on this most inhospitable night. Cheers!”The four raised their glasses and clinked them.
“Now, we can get down to business. First, I have a question for you, my friends. Have you noticed, as yougo about your daily business, that the young witches and wizards of today do not seem to be upholding thestandards that they could?”
Matthew made a noise that fell somewhere between a snort and a “hmpfh.” “They certainly do not. Why,in Diagon Alley the other day I was shocked to see that a young wizard of nearly seventeen could notVanish the ice cream his younger sister spilled on the street. One would think that by that age, a simpleVanishing Spell would be common knowledge.”
Philomena also nodded her head. “I have been called upon to make attempts at teaching so many of theyoung folk who live near to I. Their transfiguration skills are simply horrible, and their potions work left me,quite literally, speechless.”
Henrietta smiled sadly. “It is very much the same for me as it is for you. But what can one expect, whenthe only source of education these poor children have is their parents, who only learned from their parents.Not all of the witches and wizards out there were as fortunate as we were. Not all parents are as gifted andskilled with magic as our parents.”
“Precisely!” boomed Alexander. “I knew I couldn’t be the only one feeling as I was. I had a thought, myfriends, as I was teaching the art of dueling to my neighbor’s daughter. What if there were a school youngwizards and witches could attend, where they would learn skills such as transfiguration, charms, andpotions, from those who were experts? Would that not be a wonderful thing?”
Philomena’s eyes shone. “Oh, what a marvelous idea! But who would be willing to undertake such amonumental task? They would have to decide upon a location, curriculum, how to keep the Mugglesaway…and that would not even be the half of it.”“It is rather daunting to think about,” agreed Henrietta. “But it would be wonderful.”“What do you think, Matthew?” Alex asked. “You have been rather quiet.”“I am in agreement with the ladies,” he said, respectfully nodding his head in their direction. “While theidea is admirable, I cannot imagine a single person being up to the task.”
“Then we are all in agreement. I have come up with an excellent idea that cannot be accomplished by oneman or woman alone, even if they are a wizard or a witch. Therefore, I would like to suggest that the fourof us undertake it, for the good of all wizard kind.”The ladies gasped. “Do you really think we could?”“Of course. The four of us are, without question, the greatest witches and wizards of our time. Why canwe not build a school of magic, so that the next generation can carry on our great traditions? What do yousay, my friends? Shall we?”
Philomena was the first to rise. “I must be a part of such a wonderful project. I shall help you in whateverway I can, Alexander.”“Wonderful,” he replied, reaching out to take her hand. “I knew you’d be behind me, Philomena.”“I am intrigued, I will admit,” Matthew said. “While I think this will be more work than any of us couldimagine, I too will join you.”“As will I,” Henrietta said, getting up and looping her arm around Philomena’s waist. “We, as the giftedones, must do our part to ensure that our knowledge is passed on to future generations.”“My friends, we shall found the greatest school of witchcraft and wizardry that anyone has ever seen!”declared Alexander. “Now, another toast.”
Matthew was the one to waive his wand this time, and the four goblets levitated and were then caught bythe friends.“To our school!”
The four friends were very busy over the next few months. Alexander was determined that the schoolshould open in the fall, as the Muggle schools did. “After all,” he pointed out, “It will be easier for us toblend in if our school schedule mirrors theirs.” The others saw the wisdom in his statement, and quicklybegan working on plans for the school and figuring out where it would be located.
Matthew’s beloved Fen was ruled out, as it was too close to the Muggle population. Henrietta’s valleyswere deemed “too inhospitable,” and Alexander’s wild moors would not suit either. Whist meeting inPhilomena’s glen home, they found a perfect location for their school. Situated on a lake and miles fromany prying Muggle eyes, they built their castle. There were classrooms, a great hall for meals, and aninfirmary for any students that might fall ill or injured.
The only hitch in the process was when it came time to figure who would attend the school. Each of thefour had vastly different opinions on the matter, and every discussion about the topic became heated andended in someone, usually Matthew storming off. As September grew closer and closer, all four knew theyhad to settle upon some sort of admissions criteria, and sat down to resolve the issue once and for all.
“We cannot let just anyone attend, Alexander,” Matthew stated again. “It will not do! We must restrict theattendance to those who come from magical families. We simply cannot trust those witches and wizardsborn into Muggle families – if they say the wrong thing in front of the wrong person, it could spell disasterfor wizarding society.”
“I do not think you are giving Muggle-borns enough credit, Matthew. They understand as well, if not better,what is at stake when it comes to revealing too much. In fact, I feel it is our duty to educate them, as if wedo not, no one will. What we need to consider is their bravery. Courage is the mark of a truly goodwizard.”
“Are you mad, Alexander? Courage and bravery are fine things, but they do not guarantee success inmagic. From my experience, it’s what’s up here,” Philomena said, tapping her temple with her index finger,“that matters the most. If a wizard does not have intelligence, any attempt to teach them would be in vain.There is no point in accepting any students if they are not clever. Do you not you agree, Henrietta?”
“Well, I am certain it plays a part,” Henrietta replied, trying to be diplomatic as she always did. “But if achild proves to have magical ability before their eleventh birthday, they should be given the opportunity toattend our school. As long as they are willing to work hard, I do not see why they should not besuccessful.”
“We have been over all this a thousand times, and we are still arguing the same point. At this point, we willnever be able to agree upon who to allow into the school before our desired start of term,” Alexandergroaned.The four sat silently around the table, each lost in their own thoughts. They’d completed far too much workto simply give up on their project, but if they couldn’t agree on who to admit, the school would never get offthe ground.
“Houses,” Philomena said.“I beg your pardon?” replied Matthew, the beginnings of a sneer on his face.“We each have our own house full of students, hand selected of course. That way, we can each teach thesort of students that we prefer. They will live together in dormitories and attend their classes together.”
“I like it,” Alexander replied. “And it would certainly solve the problem we have been having of what type ofstudents to allow to attend the school.”“If we implement this ‘house’ idea, you are saying that I would be allowed to accept only students frommagical families?” Matthew asked.Philomena nodded. “And I can take those who are the smartest…”“…I shall teach the bravest…” Alexander stated.“And I shall take whoever is left,” Philomena smiled. “I think we have finally settled upon our admissionscriteria.”
“Finally!” boomed Alexander. “Now, what shall we call our school?”The four looked at each other, and all smiled at the same time.“Hogwarts,” they said in unison.“At last,” Alexander sighed. “Something we can all agree upon without a fight.”
1st September arrived, and the castle that now bore the name of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft andWizardry was ready. Parents who wanted their children to study magic brought them to the remotelocation, and dropped them off with worry in their hearts. Magic was, after all, a dangerous thing, and therewas no guarantee that their children would be unharmed during their studies. Alexander, Philomena,Matthew, and Henrietta spoke with all the children as they entered the Great Hall, and selected those theywanted for their house. Alexander took those who were brave at heart, Philomena those who had readyminds, Matthew took the cunning ones from magical families, and Henrietta took those that were left,pulling promises from them to work their hardest.
After enjoying a feast created by the house elves that Henrietta brought with her, the Hogwarts four guidedtheir new students to their dormitories. Alexander and Philomena took their students to two differenttowers at opposite ends of the castle; Matthew and Henrietta took theirs downstairs towards the dungeonsand kitchens respectively. After settling the students in for the night, the girls dormitories protected byspells from intrusion of the boys, the four assembled in the staff lounge to discuss the events of the day.
“It went as well as can be expected,” Matthew remarked. “Though I still believe that some of your students,Henrietta, will prove themselves to be most inept.”“I disagree, Matthew,” Henrietta stated. “They have all promised to work their hardest, and I cannot askthem to do more than that.”“You are both wrong, as usual,” Philomena replied. “My clever students will outshine both of yours.”“Of course, I still think my brave students will come out on top,” chuckled Alexander. “Perhaps we canmake this into a friendly competition?”
“What are you thinking of?” Henrietta asked.“A tournament of sorts. Students will earn points for their house by doing well in their classes and will losethem for infractions and bad behavior. The house with the most points at the end of the year will bedeclared champions.”
“I love it,” Philomena replied. “I cannot wait to see the looks on your faces when I win.”“Wrong, of course, as my students will prove victorious,” Matthew smirked. “Your idea is an excellent one,Alexander. Of course, we shall all have to vow to be fair in dealing with students whether they are in ourhouse or not.”“It is settled, then. We will celebrate the winner with a feast at the end of the year,” Henrietta smiled. “Maythe best house win.”
The first year went better than anyone could have imagined. The students, old and young, spent their dayslearning about potions, transfiguration, charms, and herbology. Part way through the year, they found ahealer to join the staff, to assist when the students inevitably got strange potions on their hands when theymelted a cauldron or their charms spell accidentally hit a classmate. Competition between the fourfounders and their houses was stiff. After much discussion, Philomena charmed four hourglasses to keeptrack of house points, with colored jewels moving up or down depending on whether a student gained orlost points for their house.
At the end of the year, there was a great feast provided by the house elves as Henrietta promised. Thefour houses had been neck in neck with each other for most of the year, and when the point were tallied up,Matthew won by the slimmest of margins. The banners around the Great Hall proclaimed his houses’victory, and Matthew continued to gloat when the four assembled in the teacher’s lounge after all thestudents had departed.
“Did I not tell you that magical blood was the most important indicator of success in a wizard?” he said.“And have I not proven that I was right?”“The margin of victory was far too slim to prove that fact definitively. You won by ten points, Matthew.That’s two bad potions, or a mispronounced incantation. If it hadn’t been for those eleven-year-olds whocouldn’t pay attention in transfiguration…” Philomena moaned.
“And I was behind you by only five points, Philomena,” Alexander reminded her, “and our dear Henriettajust ten points behind that. I think it will be a few years before any one of us can proclaim victory.”“So how many years will I need to win before you all realize I am right?” Matthew asked, his smirk growingstronger.“At least ten,” Alexander boomed, laughing.
The years went by, and Alexander, Philomena, Matthew, and Henrietta continued to educate the youngwitches and wizards of their homeland. As time went on and more and more students applied, they hiredprofessors to teach the various classes, leaving each of them to focus on their own specialties. Theyadded onto the castle as was necessary, and expanded the curriculum as well.
Still, all was not well. The issue of who to allow to attend the school continued to nag at the friends.Alexander, Philomena, and Henrietta soon came to see that there was a place for all young wizards andwitches at Hogwarts. Matthew, on the other hand, became more and more convinced that only those withthe proper lineage should be admitted, and took every opportunity to press his opinions on the rest of thegroup.Everything came to a head one stormy evening the night before students were due to arrive.
“Do you not understand? The Muggles are getting worse with their persecution of those they believe to beguilty of witchcraft! Unless we restrict the school to magical families only, we risk exposing the entirewizarding population!! Its future depends upon it!!!”“The Muggle-born students have just as much to lose, Matthew!” retorted Alexander.“In fact, admitting them helps the students from wizarding families learn how to blend in better,” offeredPhilomena.“You agree with me, do you not, Henrietta?” Matthew said, turning to face her.
She lowered her gaze to the floor. “I understand your concerns, Matthew, but I do not share them. I agreewith Alexander and Philomena. We should…nay, we must continue to allow Muggle-born students toattend Hogwarts. I feel that is what will ensure the safety of the wizarding world.”
“I do not believe you three,” Matthew spat. “Wizardry and magic is a sacred thing, and it must beprotected! How can we do so if we continue to dilute our blood with that of Muggles?”“If we had not started marrying Muggles, Matthew, we would have died out long ago,” pointed outPhilomena.
“I see what this is about,” Alexander said, rising from his comfortable seat before the fire. “Our friend herehas become a pure-blood elitist. He thinks that the majority of our students are not fit to attend our fineschool, simply because of the circumstances of their birth!” Alexander’s voice grew louder as he continuedto speak.“And what, may I ask, is wrong with that? It should be clear that certain people are born to certain stations.Some people are not fit for magical learning. I am simply trying to keep order!”
“Says you!” Philomena replied with venom in her voice. “You know as well as I do, Matthew, that some ofour best students come from Muggle families. Would you really deny the wizarding world their talentsimply because of who their parents are?”“They should not be part of the wizarding world in the first place! Magic is passed from parent to childthrough their blood. How do these Mudbloods get their magic in the first place, if not through somenefarious means?”
“How can you use such language?” asked Henrietta in a soft but firm voice. “It is vile.”“Oh, shut your mouth, woman! You are the worst offender of all – your house is full of Mudbloods.”“That is enough, Matthew,” Alexander stated, his wand hand twitching.“And just what, pray tell, are you going to do to stop me?” Matthew sneered.
Alexander was not a noted duelist for no reason. Before Matthew could react, Alexander drew his wandand fired a spell that knocked the older man backwards.
“Was that really necessary?” Matthew spat as he got up from the floor slowly.“You should know better than to give me cause to duel,” was Alexander’s only reply.
Matthew shifted his eyes to each of the three people standing in the room with him. “It is clear that wehave come to an impasse. I will never believe that wizards who are not of pure blood should be allowedthe privilege of magical learning, and you three will never believe they should not. I see no other optionthan for me to leave the school.”The other three all spoke at once, and all that could be heard were exclamations of protest.
“Silence!” Matthew shouted. “My decision is final.”He turned on the spot, and vanished into thin air.
After Matthew had dissapparated, the room remained silent. Henrietta sobbed quietly, as Philomenapatted her shoulders sympathetically. Alexander sank down onto the bench by the fire, head in his hands.“What are we going to do now?” Philomena wondered aloud.“We continue the school, of course,” Alexander replied. “Matthew’s knowledge of occlumency is a loss, forcertain, but I never felt it was proper to teach such a skill to the masses.”“We shall find someone to take his place as head of his house, so the students have someone to guidethem,” Henrietta reasoned.
“That brings up another issue,” Philomena groaned. “We have a new batch of first-year students showingup tomorrow. How will we know which ones to place in Matthew’s old house? It does not stand to reasonthat those the three of us do not choose would be suitable for his house.”“Actually, I had already been thinking on that matter,” Alex said, the ghost of a smile on his face. “After all,we shan’t live forever. I was thinking that this,” he reached into his robes and pulled out a tattered wizard’shat that he promptly put on his head, “would be the way we sort out who goes where once we are no longerhere to do it.”
“How exactly will a hat decide where the students belong?” asked Henrietta, skepticism in her voice.“Simple. I shall give it some brains, and the power to see into the minds of the students. We shall try it thisyear, and see if the results are to our satisfaction. We can keep tweaking it until we get it right.”“It is a crazy enough idea that it just might work,” Philomena agreed. “It should also make sorting the newstudents go a bit faster than each of us having to ask them questions.”
“Do you truly suppose that we can continue on without Matthew?” Henrietta asked.“Indeed I do,” Alexander stated. “In fact,” he said, reaching out to embrace his companions, “I believe thisis the beginning of a wonderful new era at Hogwarts.”
And that’s the story of how four members of the Bradfords’ generation four “founded” Hogwarts. As youcan see, it went completely AU from what I’d originally planned, and I didn’t get bonus points for puttinga Chamber of Secrets in the farmhouse. In case you didn’t pick up on it, let me introduce you to thecast.
Alexander Bradford, in the role of Godric Gryffindor.
I hope you enjoyed this little diversion from the regular legacy. I had a lot of fun with it, and it’s made merealize how much I miss playing these four (yes, even Matthew). Hopefully, there will be another regularlegacy chapter very soon.