The Secret of the Founders: Book 1 in The Founders Descendants Trilogy

Barrett Ross wishes to find out the secret of his parents life, death, and who is responsible for their passing.
Leila Moore wishes to find out the secret of the man she always sees in the shadows no matter how far she runs.
Cornelia Sawyer wishes to find out the secret of the visions she can't control of a battle at a mysterious castle in ruins.
Saber Thomas wishes to find out the secret of the dark power his sister always said he had and how he can stop it from hurting others.
They are all the Descendants of the most powerful witches and wizards in history -- the founders of Hogwarts and they are now part of a prophecy that could bring glory to the Wizarding World, or destroy it.
Will they find out the Secret of the Founders before it's too late?

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7. Cornelia

"ABBY!" cries a voice from the other side of the room. 
          "Oh, shut up!" yelled another. "Some people want to actually sleep!"
         Home, sweet home... Cornelia thought to herself. She was now seven and it had been a few years since the incident that brought her to the orphanage. Over the years, she'd gotten taller, her dark hair had gotten longer, and her face had just gotten dirtier. 
         She had hoped when she first came here that this whole situation was just a huge nightmare; that she would wake up any second on her father's lap with a history textbook in hand. But instead, she woke up to this every day.
        She was cleaning and cooking and fed slop and basically lived what the older kids liked to call, "bell"? Something like that...Anyways, life wasn't exactly great. Especially ever since the strange one came.
          For the last two months, Cornelia and every other kid who slept in 2A never got any sleep from the occasional outcry about some girl named Abby. The boy never talked to anyone either. He just seemed to be very solitary in his actions. But to be honest, in this orphanage, there wasn't much time to socialize.
         If you even muttered a single word in earshot of one of the adults during work hours, you would spend a night in the “grudge”. What was this grudge you ask?
         The grudge was a dark and murky room with so much dust, one would think they were breathing in nothing but dirt. It was always so cold that one could get frostbite, or hot enough that they would sweat themselves to death. A leaky pipe in the corner had a continuous drip pattern that made the floor damp and slippery. Not to mention that the carpet that covered most of the floor space was spiky and rough which scratched up children's’ skin to the point of bleeding. 
         Cornelia liked to compare it to the chokey from Matilda. 
    The young girl had never spent a night in the torture chamber of a room herself, but the descriptions that she heard scared Cornelia plenty enough that she had barely said a word to anyone over the years. So it was no surprise that the strange boy with the bright green eyes hadn’t said anything but “Abby” since he came to the orphanage.
    After the last outcry, Cornelia began to slowly fall back to sleep, hoping for once that she would get a good night’s rest. Since she left the home she once had, Cornelia’s visions had only gotten worse. Every night she began to have more detailed dreams of the mysterious nighttime battle at the castle.  But as she started to dream, Cornelia realized that she was in the same repetitive nightmare she lived through every night.
    “No, no, no… NO!” Cornelia cried  as she looked at the chaos around her. 
    Everything was so out of focus and unclear, but Cornelia always knew that people were being hurt badly in the pandemonium that surrounded the young child. 
    But all of a sudden, as if someone had twisted a camera lens, everything she saw began to become crystal clear. Something was different. This was not the nightmare she had become accustomed to.
    All of a sudden, a boy with flaming red hair ran towards Cornelia and shot a bright blue light behind her. A name popped into her head as he dodged an oncoming flash of light. “Barrett Ross, both the best and worst thing in my life.” 
He continued running past her until he reached a young girl with dark hair far behind Cornelia. He grinned and took the girl’s hand as he said, “When am I going to stop having to save your ass, Neil?” The young girl pushed him playfully and followed the boy as he led her through one of the stairways in the castle.
Cornelia was more confused than ever, but followed the pair as they shot lights out of the sticks that they held in their hands.
    “Come on,” Barrett said. “They told us to meet them in the hideout.”
    As they continued downwards through the staircases, Cornelia began to hear the whispers of voices speaking in a strange poetic tone.
    “They will defend what they can…” one whispered raspily.
    “... DURING THE ONCOMING INVASION!” another continued as if they were in pain.
    The strange phrases continued to speak at different volumes and intensities as Cornelia followed the boy and girl deeper into the castle.
    At one point the red-headed boy stopped in his tracks and yelled out, “Hey, you need to hurry! Get her over here!”
    A tall boy with scruffy black hair came out of the shadows, his face turned towards the injured girl who stood next to him. She was wincing and held onto the pale boy for support because of the pain. The names of the boy and girl popped into Cornelia’s head as if she had known them for many years.
    “Leila Moore, the most optimistic and kind person I would eventually come to know after living almost ten years in destitution.” 
“Saber Thomas, the one who would eventually do the most good for the world without anyone expecting it.”
“Are you alright?” the dark-haired girl said as she came over to examine her wounds. Leila stopped her and quickly began to wrap up her hand with some extra bandages from her pocket.
“Oh come on,” Leila said with a winced laugh. “I’ve had worse. For now we need to
focus on getting to the hideout.”
    And so the four continued their way through the elaborate maze within the castle. Eventually they stopped at one of the many long brick walls and they each took out a key. The red-headed boy quickly held his key up to the wall and a small doorknob in the shape of a lion’s head formed on the bricks. He shoved the key into the lion’s mouth and turned it with a click.
    The injured girl did the same and the put her key into the mouth of the badger. As did the scruffy-haired boy next to her causing a slithering snake to appear. He slid his key hurriedly into the snake’s hissing mouth making three of the four locks unlatched.
    The dark-haired girl then held her key up to the wall as well and a doorknob in the shape of an eagle appeared. She shakily started to put her key into the eagle’s mouth, but dropped it on mistake. The key fell to the floor towards Cornelia and the girl with the dark hair quickly scrambled to get it.
    When she put her hand on the key, the girl looked up making her face finally visible to Cornelia. They both eventually made eye-contact which made Cornelia realize who she was looking at.
    “Cornelia, come on!” Barrett said tentatively. “We have to hurry…”
    The seven year-old then realized at that exact moment that this nightmare which she had lived time and time again was her future. This was something Cornelia never forgot.
    The older Cornelia then stood back up and quickly shoved her steel grey key into the eagle’s mouth. The younger Cornelia then slipped further into the shadows, hoping not to be seen by the others. 
    The elaborate lock made a loud click and the bricks rapidly began to rearrange themselves. Leila, Saber, and Barrett ran into the opening that had appeared leaving the two Cornelias behind. The older Cornelia grabbed the four keys out of their locks,turned back around, and quickly made her way to the little girl.
    “No matter what happens over the next ten years, never forget who you and the other descendants are. You will never be truly alone.” the young girl said as she slipped the small key into the child’s hands.
    “Corny! We don’t have all day!” Barrett’s voice echoed from the hallway. 
    Cornelia laughed to herself as she stood up and said, “Oh and a little warning… Barrett may seem like a jerk at first, but I can promise you that he really does mean well. He’s just not very good at expressing it.”
    The older girl then started to walk away before she turned back around and said, “Oh! In fifth year on the Defense Against the Dark Arts exam, all the answers are C!”
“Before we grow old Sawyer!” Barrett’s echoed from the hallway.
The older Cornelia sighed and said with a small smile, “Good luck kid…”
As the young girl hurried into the dark hallway, the younger Cornelia looked at the newfound object in her hand and shoved it into her pocket. 
The voices began again and became louder than ever before. Cornelia clutched her head as it throbbed with pain. More and more voices joined in crying, “A POWERFUL FORCE IS BEGINNING TO RISE!”
This voices went on, reciting a strange poem for what felt like hours before it suddenly stopped as if a conductor had stopped an orchestra of chaos. But a chill went down Cornelia’s back as one single voice recited the last line of the verse.    
“But the Founders’ Descendants will forever be remembered…” raspily whispered the voice that Cornelia knew all too well.
All of a sudden, Cornelia woke up screaming, “NOOOO!” The children around her moaned in frustration as some shushed her in fear of what would happen if an adult heard her. Sure, it wasn’t the middle of the night, but who knew what would happen if Cornelia had woken up Mr. Farrow.
The young girl slowly sat up and breathed heavily from the experience she had just gone through. Cornelia felt something freezing cold buried inside of the thin sheet that covered her and threw the cover to the side. She gasped when she saw a small metal key with blue sapphires set into the silver design. When Cornelia warily tried to pick the object up, it began to spread frost onto the tips of her fingers before she dropped it onto her musty mattress in fear. On the key, the word, “Ravenclaw” was engraved in fancy letters she could barely read being seven years old.
This had to of been the key from her dreams. But if the key was real, that meant that the voice was… that she was back. Another chill went up Cornelia’s spine just as a large clanging sound echoed across the room. Cornelia turned to see the back of the strange boy, sitting up in his mattress. His pale hands reached down to grab what he had dropped, only to start lightly vibrating.
The strange boy struggled as he tried to lift the object off of the ground. He began to shake more and more as he put more strength into lifting. All of a sudden, Cornelia eyes widened as she could see the unusual object. 
    Cornelia took a deep breath before questionly whispering, “Saber?”
The shaggy-haired boy spun around in the direction of the odd voice only for his green eyes to lock with the girl’s startling grey. He held an emerald-incised key which was vibrating as if it held so much power that it was going to explode any second. The boy recoiled in pain as he dropped the pulsating key to the ground.
“How do you know who I am?” Saber spoke softly, confused about his current situation.
Cornelia tried to recall the verses she heard from the voices in her dream as she wrapped her blue key inside of her pillowcase. She brought the pillowcase over to the green-eyed boy, unwrapped it, and placed it on the ground. Cornelia then tentatively reached over to the vibrating key and plopped it onto the pillowcase as well.
She hesitated slightly before she looked up at Saber and said, “Have you ever heard of the Founders’ Descendants?”
Saber’s eyes widened before he tried to say something, but no words could come out his mouth because he was so speechless.
“I’m guessing we have a lot to talk about…” Cornelia said with a small yet reassuring smile.
Right across the street, a very similar event had happened. Both Barrett and Leila had woken up with strange keys in their beds. Barrett’s ruby-red key had nearly burned his skin off when he tried to pick it up, while Leila’s key lined with amber healed his burns when Leila handed him her newfound key.
These keys were the next step of many in unlocking the secrets behind the descendants lives that were unfolding before them.

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