Disclaimer: The wonderful world of Harry Potter is not mine.
Note: Hello! Looks like I'm writing yet another Founders fic… this is going to be a series of oneshots focusing on the Founders and their friendships. So this chapter is about Godric and Rowena, while future ones will focus on Godric and Salazar, Rowena and Helga and so on until I'm done. Hopefully that makes sense! :) Also, I should be updating my Helga x Salazar drabble series soon, too. Enjoy and please do leave a review!
The winters were hard and relentless, but Rowena was used to them. She had been born in Scotland, had married there, brought forth her daughter there in the midst of a howling storm. And all too soon she had buried her husband in the frozen, snow-strewn earth. The north was part of her; her veins flowed with ice rather than blood.
The snow fell now, as it had for days and would for further days to come.
"I'm afraid we'll have to cancel this evening's lesson." Godric's voice was typically gruff, like stone scraping against metal. He arrived at her chambers as the snow grew thicker, blurring against the windowpanes. Rowena was sat at her desk draped in a thick wolf-skin cloak. A fire burned fiercely in the hearth.
"I agree," she said. It went without saying that an astronomy lesson at midnight would be an impossibility in the middle of a snowstorm. They would only incur Helga's wrath should any of their students succumb to frostbite.
Godric smiled ruefully. "It's coming down heavy. Could be days before it clears. Maybe weeks."
Rowena knew this, too. "We'll have to move the lessons indoors. There's much we can teach through books and charts alone."
Godric was not a fan of reading charts when he could be watching the stars. She knew that well. But they had little choice. "I'll find us a suitable classroom," Godric said before he left her office. "Goodnight, Rowena."
Rowena was the first founder to reach the Great Hall for breakfast the next morning. A bright, dazzlingly white light filled the room, thanks to the enchanted ceiling above. She took her seat at the empty High Table, but did not start eating immediately. She watched the students as they chattered and yawned over bowls of steaming porridge. Many were shivering beneath thick, outdoor cloaks despite the fires burning along the walls. They looked wretched. Rowena took out her wand and aimed it squarely at the clouds drifting across the ceiling. There was a crack and a burst of purple light. Suddenly, the air was alive with glittering enchanted snow that vanished seconds before it landed. The students' gasps at the sound of unexpected magic turned quickly to cheers and laughter. The widest smiles came from her own students sat at the Ravenclaw table. Rowena allowed herself a small grin as she tucked away her wand.
Moments later, Helga came bustling into the Great Hall. She was wrapped in heavy brown robes and beamed at the sight of the enchanted snow. "Ooh, this is lovely, Rowena," she said, taking her seat. "Impressive work."
"I thought the students could do with a little cheering up."
"Couldn't we all!" Helga sighed and pulled a bowl of porridge towards herself. "After this, I'm going to see if I can salvage any of my plants. I've had to move them into one of the second floor classrooms. And Salazar isn't coming to breakfast at all. He's hiding in the dungeons, huddled around a cauldron and brewing endless Warming Draughts. He's in a foul mood. Fouler than usual, if you can imagine such a thing."
"And what of Godric this morning?"
Helga shrugged. "I've no idea – though I don't think being snowed in is agreeing with his temperament."
Godric didn't turn up until moments before the end of breakfast. He strode up to the High Table just as the food was vanishing from the tables. Reaching Rowena and Helga, he quickly snatched up a bread roll before it disappeared. "I like the snow," he said, holding his hands out beneath the swirling flakes. "Very realistic."
"Rowena's work," Helga told him.
"Just like being outside," Godric mused.
Rowena smiled. "I thought you would appreciate it."
"Why are you late?" Helga asked him, standing and moving around the table. "It's not like you to turn down food, Godric."
"I've been sorting out a classroom for our astronomy lessons." He turned to Rowena. "Seventh floor corridor, left-hand side, fifth door down." He grinned. "I can trust you to remember that, can't I?"
Rowena sent him a measured look before following Helga's example and standing. "Always," she said.
That afternoon, Rowena headed to the seventh floor corridor on the left-hand side – a room situated at completely the other end of the castle from her office. She could only assume Godric had chosen it as a joke at her expense. She was surprised to walk through the door, arms heavy and leaden with books and charts, to find him already there.
She dropped the books onto the nearest desk with a thump. "You're early!" she said.
Godric chuckled. "Shocking, I know. We're both early – and a good thing too." He beckoned her over. "Come here, my lady, if you would. I've something to show you."
Rowena could not help but feel suspicious as she crossed the room. She loved Godric dearly, but they were very different people. Ice and fire, Helga had once joked. Still, if one thing could turn Rowena's head it was curiosity. "What is it?" she asked.
Godric pointed towards the high, arched window. "Look. The sky has cleared – "
"It won't last," she said quickly.
"I know," he agreed, "a mere break in the storm. But isn't it beautiful?"
She looked. The sky, as he said, had cleared slightly and turned a shade of soft, pale blue. The mountains surrounding the castle were visible for the first time in days, glistening under a thick covering of snow. "Beautiful," she echoed. Suddenly the classroom on the seventh floor made perfect sense. "It makes you feel trapped, doesn't it Godric? And up here – it's a kind of freedom."
"It's not quite stars," he admitted. "But it's close."
Rowena understood him completely in that moment. Sometimes she longed for freedom, too, just as she longed for knowledge. The sight of the mountains, the trees, the wide blue sky… she felt her chest tighten with longing. It was no coincidence that both she and Godric had chosen towers for their common rooms.
Ice and fire. Two sides of the same coin.