"What should we do? Should we wake him?"
"No he's still out cold."
"Wonder if he'll tell us what happened, anyways."
The weak spring sunlight had begun to creep through the thick tapestries of the Hospital Wing, to find Godric, Rowena, and Helga all huddled around a small camp bed. Unlike the time before, when Godric had been injured, the three now sat around Salazar instead.
As Salazar began to stir, Helga made shushing noises. As she had somewhat fought with him the other day, Rowena and Godric suspected this behavior was only out of remorse, not out of care. He sat upright, rubbed his eyes like a small child, and looked wildly around the room.
"What happened?" Rowena demanded immediately.
They looked intently at him as he opened his mouth to say something. Nothing came out.
"Well?" They were beginning to doubt ever asking him.
Again, Salazar opened his mouth, took a deep breath, and instead of a story, something strange came out. It was a tangle of hisses and sounds. They all leapt back from him in alarm. Salazar gave them a questioning look. He continued making the weird noises, evidently convinced he was speaking English and still telling his story.
"Salazar?" Godric asked tentatively.
Salazar closed his eyes, let out a long sigh, and said, "What?"
The three gave a sigh of relief, but then exchanged an uneasy glance. What had happened to him? "I-you-" Godric struggled to find words. "What was that?"
"What was what? Why are you three acting so weird?" Salazar retorted angrily.
"You-you did something. Like-spoke a different language," Rowena said quietly. "It was like a bunch of spitting and hissing."
At first Salazar's face was blank with surprise. Then understanding spread across it. "I think," he said uncertainly, not looking at any of them, "That a snake-I've no idea how he did it- taught-gave-translated-I don't know! I think a snake taught me his language. It's hard to explain." He told them the story of what happened in the Slytherin Common Room.
"So what you're telling me," Godric said slowly, "is that you can talk to snakes?"
"I suppose so, yes."
"Ooh!" Helga seemed excited. "When I was younger, there was this woman in our village that would tell us stories. One day she told us the legend of the Parslemouths."
When they looked confused, she explained, "It said that a long time ago a snake gave a man this power. It was kind of what happened to you, Salazar. But that was a myth. I think this is real. I think you're the first real Parslemouth, Salazar."
He gave them a shifty smile. "Am I-Is that a good thing?"
His face fell when they looked uneasily at one another. "I suppose you think me strange?"
"No," Rowena said carefully, avoiding eye contact. "It's just-when has being attacked by a vicious snake and given a myth-like power ever been a good thing?"