Title: Never His Wife
Character(s): Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw
Word count: 1,511
Summary: Godric and Salazar are going to duel.
Author's notes: Shameless Godric/Rowena.
"What are you going to do, Godric?"
The moonlight was streaming through the open window of his bedchamber. They each had their own rooms, in different parts of the castle, and he chose to place his in Gryffindor tower. It was a clear night, free of any clouds, allowing for the moon to highlight her face. Fear was written in every dearly-loved line. He'd spent years with her, watched every one of those lines appear one by one, and yet he'd still never seen her this scared before.
He forced a smile. "Do about what, my love?"
She scowled in response. Goddess, Mother, did she love this man but the way he tried to make every situation into a joke annoyed her. There were times that just didn't allow for humor, and at fifty, he ought to be able to tell the difference between them. "Godric, this isn't funny. You know what."
Godric abandoned the smile, nodding grimly. Yes, he knew what she was scared about and truthfully, he couldn't judge her her fear. It was a scary prospect, not only for them but for their students and the school. She'd always been the peaceful one, and would've tried to work out the problems with Salazar with words, not a duel by the lake.
But that was why she treasured intelligence in her house over bravery like he did.
"Rowena, my dear, I'm going to fight that duel tomorrow morning, that's what I'm going to do," he answered moving his hands up to cup either side of her face.
Glaring, she wrenched herself from his hands. "You're going to fight him," she repeated and he nodded. "In front of all your students? Is that the message you want to send to them? Solve all of your problems with violence?"
Leave it to a woman like Rowena Ravenclaw to think of that way. She valued peace and diplomacy over magical brawn and as a woman, wouldn't see the need for this duel. The fights between him and Salazar were becoming too nasty as of late. Their pride wouldn't let them leave this animosity unsettled for long, and what better way to bring it all out, than in a duel. And it was more than that; he was fighting for half-blood, and Muggle-born wizards and witches. If he won, then it proved that they weren't of the lesser race and deserved to be taught as much as any pureblood.
"I have to do this, my love," said Godric softly. "You must understand that."
"All I understand is that you're going to fight with a man that could very well kill you if given the chance, and you've handed it to him on a silver platter."
Was that was she was scared of? She was scared that he would perish in the duel tomorrow? That Salazar would overpower and kill him? "You have that little of faith in my dueling abilities?" The smile on his voice gave away any chance of being taken seriously.
Rowena glared. Oh, how this man infuriated her! Always letting his pride and arrogance get away with him. He never took the time to think something through. It was always right now or never at all with him. "Godric, my love," she bit her lip, almost ashamed of her weakness for him, "please don't do this."
"I have to, darling."
Silence so thick their wands undoubtedly could've cut it hung between them. They had nothing to say to each other, she lost in her anger and desperation, and him in his pride and stubbornness.
"Will you come tomorrow?" Godric asked after several long minutes.
Rowena blinked. "Will she be there?"
He hated this. He hated his wife coming between them. He hated himself for being so brash in his youth and marrying on a whim, only a year before he met this wonderful, beautiful woman standing in front of him. If only he'd waited, if only he hadn't given into his lust, if only he'd thought… they wouldn't have had to hide their feelings for each other for more than twenty years now. They wouldn't have to sneak around Hogwarts, snatching moments together only once in a great while. His wife didn't live at his school (she chose to stay in Dore with their two sons) but she might as well have lived at the great castle, for all the times she came in between him and his love.
"It's unlikely word'll have reached her by then."
"And if it has?"
"Then… then you're my colleague, come to observe the duel."
Rowena started to laugh softly, amazed at how quickly the topic had changed. "Godric, my love, we can't keep doing this," she shook her head, biding her tears to hold until she left his company. "I hate sneaking around, I hate lying to everyone I know. And someone's bound to find out eventually, anyway."
"Then let them," Godric said firmly.
She gasped. No, no one could find out about them. It would stain his name forever. Gryffindor was a name highly respected and loved for a wizard so young, and every year, that respect only grew. If people were to know that he'd kept a mistress for the last twenty years, he'd be ruined. Not to mention her own name's honor would be dragged through the mud.
No, no one could ever find out.
"My marriage to my wife is coming to a close, Rowena, my darling," Godric said firmly. "Everyone knows it, even her. I think she might even expect me to announce someday soon that I wish to divorce her."
"And if she doesn't?"
"Then she'll have to accept that she isn't the great love of my life, and never has been."
Rowena shook her head, dropping her eyes to the floor. If she looked at him, she would cry and she could not cry in front of him. She'd give in too easily if she let that happen. "My love, Godric, please… don't divorce your wife, not for me. You have children together, they need a family… a father."
"My sons are nearing the age when they are going to leave their mother's house as it is," Godric said, holding himself back from comforting her apparent grief. "I want a new family… with you, darling."
She gave dry sob, turning away from him. No tears, Rowena, she commanded silently. "I can't let you do that. Not for me."
"You aren't letting me. I'm doing it with or without your consent."
"You stubborn fool," she whispered, hating how her voice shook. "Damn you to the depths of the Afterlife for doing this to me."
"Don't you do this," she commanded. "If you leave her for me, then I'll leave this school, I swear I will."
Godric stared at the back of her head. She was threatening him with leaving Hogwarts. Salazar had done the same thing, and it hadn't persuaded him any. But when she did it, it was like something inside of him died and left him no choice but to abandon the notion of divorcing his wife in a heartbeat.
"Why do you do this to me?"
He said nothing in response, unable to bear not touching her anymore. One step forward, and his hands were on her, in her hair, on her cheeks, brushing her waist. His lips everywhere, on her forehead, clearing what tears had already escaped, touching her lips and throat and... oh, that was good. More, she wanted to beg but found her mouth unable to respond to the command to speak. It'd much rather moan, and pant when it wasn't kissing his salty skin.
"Rowena," he whispered once more. The sound of her name on his lips was the sweetest thing in the world and she could feel herself giving into him. She always gave in in the end, she realized wryly.
Silently, she raised her head, offering her mouth to him, and he took the offer without question, feasting on all the love she offered him, pouring all of his own love in her. Eventually his hands found the ties of her gown, undoing each one with practiced hands, and she didn't protest. Just this one last time, she told herself, raining kisses on his jaw.
He kissed her again soundly, swinging her up into his arms and without a moment's hesitation, heading for the bed. She sighed when he lay her down on the soft covers, his body hovering above hers, teasing her with his closeness. Mutely, she ripped his shirt out of his pants, and over his head, delighting in the shiver her fingers brushing against his bare chest elicited. Surprise only lasted for a few minutes and then he was back again, kissing and touching and oh, Goddess, Mother… this is what she craved. This feeling of love and lust and falling and contentment that only he knew how to bring her.
Though she'd never tell him, she could content herself with being Godric Gryffindor's concubine, but not his wife.
Never his wife.