Helga immediately stopped as both men spun to look at her. Their eyes lit a fear inside her that made her footfalls flutter.
Godric moved to sweep her aside by putting a hand on her bared shoulder, and Salazar hissed in warning. Helga brushed off her irritation – he still thinks I’m someone he can control
– and straightened her back.
“Salazar, please,” she said, meeting him stare for stare, “stop this before it tears us apart.”
Salazar spat, “Did I start it? No, Helga, it was you that started it. Magic has never been passed to those not of our blood! There is a reason for that, and you violate all natural laws that have ever –”
Helga shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. There is a better way to solve this than with wands.”
Helga gestured at Salazar. “Put it away, Salazar.”
“I will not,” he asserted.
“You ask for this foundation to crumble if you hold your wand against friends.”
“When that ring on your hand stayed and your husband left, it began to crumble.”
She turned white. “Godric, leave.”
He was scarlet with rage. “Helga, he goes too far.”
“Leave,” she commanded. He did.
Salazar turned his back. “You’ve done this all, not I. If you had not chosen to take my bed, perhaps I could have overcome this. ”
Helga took a shuddering breath. I have this kindness in me yet.
“We can disagree, Salazar. It does not mean that we should attack each other on the grounds that we have created!”
Salazar turned to her. “You betray me, Helga – with every move that you make to put Godric and Rowena on your side.”
Helga breathed, “It’s not about sides
. None of us are taking sides!”
“Aren’t we? Didn’t Godric come here to defend your honor?” He laughed bitterly. “Your husband left and you took my bed, and now your honor
must be preserved.”
Helga slapped him and his mouth froze in the middle of that terrible laugh. “I did not take your bed alone, Salazar,” she spat. “It was comfort. Do not hold that against a friend.”
“A friend,” he mused. “Is that what you would call yourself?”
Her eyes blurred but she stepped back. “I will always love you as much as I love Godric and Rowena, no matter what you think.”
The rage left Salazar’s face, leaving flushed cheeks and raw edges. “And I only love those who I trust. You have betrayed me, Helga.”
Helga reached a hand out. “Will you see it no other way? Can you not see it as one night of comfort instead of a romance, or as a compromise for the school instead of betrayal?”
Her hand was left in the air, unanswered. She pulled it back and Salazar’s face took on a hard mask that made him look a stranger. My poor, poor boy. He cannot see.
Rage left her, leaving only the hollow space of regret.