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Your queen is dead

You watch as they carry her body in a stately procession through Hogwarts. You watch as the other students fall to their knees, turn away, weep in the open or in quiet corners they think unseen.

You know better than that, to think anything is ever hidden, but you also know better than to allow yourself to feel pain.

She is, after all, not your mother. She is not your flesh, your blood, even the leader of your house. Yet she is the only parent you have ever known, and as you look upon her still grey body, you curse the man you called father for all that he has done.

He should have realized, he should have recognized, as he did in every other, the power that was contained in that short, rotund woman. She had always been there of course, a part of the scenery, essential to complete the quartet. She added balance and symmetry but offered no brilliance of her own to compete with Rowena’s radiance, Godric’s fire and Salazar’s ambition. She took the leftovers, the unwanted dregs, and if she could not turn them into Merlins and Morganas, it was not for lack of love.

And now that patient, kind, wise Helga is gone, it was as if the heart of Hogwarts; the comforting, warm embrace of its spirit has died also.

 Her worn, calloused fingers had knitted together the fabric of their society, smoothed out all the creases and held the whole safe in her capable palm.

It was, in the end, Helga, not Rowena who was queen. It only took her death, the display of her corpse, to show that to you.

 Your queen is dead, and no one knows why. Except perhaps you.

Your king is through

He is your father, you lord, your house leader. He is your king, and it is for him that you have struggled all these years. You have pushed yourself past every human limit, sweated tears of blood to win a hint of a smile, a nod, an acknowledgement of your hereditary.

You are not the son he wanted or the child he wanted; you do not have it in you to continue his work. You are a failure by default, unable to do more than mother the future heirs of Slytherin.

 Yet despite his indifference, despite his disappointment, his total disregard of your upbringing, you love him. He is not a rugged warrior like Gryffindor, or a beautiful prince like Ravenclaw’s consort, he is without compare. He is a king, with majesty written on every inch of him. He sees things mere mortals cannot comprehend, for he is a dreamer, a visionary, a prophet. It was his will and dream that led the first four here, if it was Hufflepuff who kept them together. He remains your last hope against the taint of impurity, the threat of the subhuman masses who have kept your brethren in hiding for all of time.

But despite his power, the aura of authority that exudes from him, the petrifying power of his agate gaze, he has been broken like a reed, and a mere shell of the high king stands before you.

You wonder what happened last night. No one knows. You felt the castle quiver from its foundations, heard the unmistakable sounds of a duel. It has not, truth be told, been uncommon these last months, and you assumed that you might have to be especially careful around other territories in the next week, avoiding relashio happy Gryffindors.

You were wrong.

 The worst part of it is that you knew. Buried deep down, beneath your carefully constructed façade of a perfect pureblood, below your conscious thoughts, there had been a niggling uncertainty. Something had been amiss, the day eerily quiet, the Founders out of sight. You had welcomed the sounds of a duel as a return to normalcy, yet you also shivered and could not explain why.

You are no Seeress. You do not have the power to predict the schism between houses will only widen with the centuries. You cannot see what your future children, Blacks, Selwyns, Gaunts, and one Riddle, will wreak on the world.

 You cannot know that your own father will abandon you, steal away from the castle before the funeral service is over. You will never know that he did not burden you with the knowledge of his Chamber, either out of a lack of faith or a love he hid for sixteen years.

You will go about your business, picking up the splintered fragments of your house, piecing them together in your lily white hand, clenching your fist and merging the shards of your broken crown with your own blood. You will dispel nonsensical myths about a Chamber, you will stand up to Godric and not permit the dissolution of your house. You find that now you have crawled from your corner, it can never hold you ever again. You find that sunlight is heady mix of glory and agony, an intoxicating brew you do not want, but rather need. You lift up your head, grow into your reign, and ensure that there will always be a place for pureblood children to be taught the old ways and blossom.

 But you will always wonder just what happened. Why Ravenclaw shut herself away from the world afterwards, why Gryffindor and Slytherin never spoke again. Why Helga died.

 Was her death at the hands of one of the three? You have never asked out loud. Does her blood stain their hands, and will Hogwarts ever repay that debt? Does she haunt them, a reproaching spectre reminding them of just how far they fell? Did Salazar leave because Helga, rather than you, was his anchor?

You will never know. But one thing you do know, you will never see him again. He is through.

She’s not coming back to you

 He is gone, but you no longer care. The only thing you can think of is that the women lying on a bier, past all saving, can never come back. Not even for you, the child she dandled on her knee and treated as one of her own.

You questioned her motives, wondered if she was secretly in love with your father. You wondered if she was the mother they told you died in childbirth, even if that meant you were disowned twice over. You thought perhaps she took you in, like she took the other unwanted waifs, for her own sake. Her only child was estranged and far away while every other founder had an heir, if not a spare, a miniature to groom. You find it easy to lie to yourself, but you cannot believe it fully, cannot scratch the image of the beaming queen from beneath your eyelids.

In the end, it doesn’t matter why she loved you, or how she died. Your queen is dead, your king is through, and she can never come back to you.

Lyrics from Evita. A slightly strange venture into angst.
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