As he walked away from the castle, he did not just walk away from his pride and ambition, he was walking away from his friend.
But was it he to be blamed for severing their friendship? He chose to believe not. If Ric would not stand by him, and would turn against him just because of his own morality, then Ric is to be blamed, not him.
And though it was embarrassing for him to admit, he secretly regretted having to have it end like this. He wished all of it was just a dream, but it was not. And the pain he felt in his heart was much worse than the Cruciatus curse, for it was the pain of a broken heart.
Just as he pulled out his wand, ready to conjure a fiery exit, a ruby fell from his cloak. And as much as he tried not to remember the story of the rubies, it flashed through his mind inevitably.
“Find myself a maiden you say?” Sal laughed as he made a quick jab at Ric’s stomach. “How about you my handsome friend? Don’t you need a maiden yourself?”
“A maiden I do not need for I have my horse!” Ric replied with a cheeky smile, as he stroked the brown horse he loved dearly.
But before Ric could utter a change of topic, Sal spotted something worthy of town gossip.
“Look, your mother is talking to the town’s match maker,” Sal pointed out.
Ric’s mother was talking to an old lady who wore gold from head to toe. She must have made a fortune from match making the King’s daughter with the prince of France. Of course, she must have used magic as well, for no alliance between Britain and France could be sealed off so easily by the marriage of two under-aged muggles.
“Oh great, this is just great,” Ric said as he started off towards the little cottage by his family’s farm.
“Mother! What’s the matter?” Ric shouted as Sal hurried to catch up with him.
“Oh, no matter my boy. Just catching up with Lady Gwenlyn, that’s all,” Ric’s mother replied, trying to hide the suspicion in her voice.
“Run along now you two,” Lady Gwenly said immediately as she waved for the young men to leave.
“Ric, go set the table ready for dinner,” Ric’s mother ordered. As he patted Ric on the shoulder, she smiled at Sal, who immediately became more suspicious as he was usually offered to join them for dinner.
But even with curiosity pulsing in their veins, the two of them parted ways.
That night, when the moon was at its fullest, Ric sneaked out of his home to look for Sal. They had agreed to meet at a creek to talk about Lady Gwenlyn, but when Ric found Sal, he wasn’t at the creek, he was by the narrow pathway, leading to Lady Gwenlyn’s cottage.
“I thought you said to meet at the creek?” Ric asked.
“Ric, she’s blackmailing your mother!” Sal went straight to the point.
“After I left, I waited for her to come home, and that was when I heard her talking to her mirror about taking your father’s rubies in exchange for your life,” Sal said softly as he led Ric into the forest quietly.
“What grip does she hold upon my mother and I?” Ric quickly asked.
“She knows your father is a wizard Ric!”
“My father is dead. She can’t do anything.”
“The king does not believe in magic and if he finds out you are a son of a wizard, he will kill you! Don’t you see? Magic is prohibited, even if it is in your blood!”
“But she can’t take my father’s rubies, they are all we have left of him, Sal. And they are magical!”
“That’s why she wants it. She’s evil, she always has been,” Sal said.
Silence started to build up between the two of them, that even the birds in the trees joined in. But it was in that silence that Sal thought of a plan.
“Give me your rubies. I know some Goblins from out of town who can conceal theor powers into a weapon. Once they have done that, the power of the rubies cannot be used by any other besides its true heir,” Sal suggested.
“Then what? If she doesn’t get those rubies, she’ll still come after me. She’ll still tell the king about me!” Ric said with desperation in his voice.
“We run away then. I’ll come with you,” Sal said.
“Run away? What about my mother, what about YOUR family?”
“Your mother will be safe, and she’ll have the rubies with her. My family, well, they won’t even know that I’m gone. Don’t worry Ric, if we stick together, we’ll be safe,” Sal assured.
And Ric agreed.
It wasn’t a brilliant plan, but it worked, and before they knew it, they were on the run from Lady Gwenlyn and the King’s men. But it was their friendship that kept them alive, and the little ruby that Ric gave Sal to keep, was a pledge to stay loyal to each other.
Their journey started there, but it ended here, where the Goblin made sword sat in a casing in Godric Gryffindor’s chamber, and Salazar Slytherin is left with the pledged ruby, of which they have both broken their promises to each other.
It was the end of their friendship, but a beginning to the war for blood purity.