Written for a prompt set by s i l v e r a u r o r a at the Hogwarts Online forum. Hope you like it, Ellie!

An Ending

"She takes the back seat to oblivion
the quiet type of emotion
and God I wish her well."
Isabelle, Thriving Ivory

It is a bleak day. The weather has been hovering on the brink of storm for days, and today it has finally broken. The grey-black sky is split with lightning, the rumble of the thunder never quite dies, and the rain lashes in torrents against the walls and high windows. It is noon, but it is so dark in the castle that the lanterns and torches make little impression against the gloom.

It is cold too. Rowena shivers as she makes her slow way up to her room. She cannot face the other two now. Not when they should be three. She knows where they will be: none of the four have secrets from the rest, they know each other too well for comfort sometimes. Godric will be pacing the roofs, oblivious to the wind and rain, looking out over the grounds – and beyond, he has that power – in the vain hope that his friend will return. Helga will be immersing herself in her work, probably tutoring one of the slower students or marking a pile of scripts. But – and this is rare for her – her heart will not be in it. They are all three – Rowena herself too – lost, broken, their faith at least temporarily shattered.

In her own room, Rowena lights a candle and lies on her bed. Memories engulf her, and she lets them play through her mind. Salazar laughing, his head turned towards her, his arm round Godric's shoulders. Salazar working, his head bent over his parchment as he scribbles a correction to a list of potion ingredients. Salazar in her bed, above her, his face solemn but his eyes merry, his head thrown back, his black hair tumbled over his bare shoulders. Salazar angry, fighting his corner, but knowing he has lost. And Salazar leaving, and not looking back.

He will not come back. Rowena knows better than to hope. She crosses to her desk and lights her wand to read his final letter, although she knows it by heart already. The phrases are meaningless in his absence. "Always yours"… "sorry it has come to this" … "regret the hurt I know I have caused you"…"I have no choice"… "I wish you all possible good"…

Anger overtakes her, and she screws the parchment up, crossing to the fireplace and throwing it into the heart of the fire. Words mean nothing now. She rests her head against the cold stone of the mantel and strives to master herself. She is Ravenclaw: she will not let this break her. She will not let other two see that it has broken her.

She splashes cold water on her face, ties back her hair and shakes the creases from her skirt. She will find Godric and Helga and they will talk and plan together. They have work to do.

Inside her, unknown as yet, the seed that will be her child – hers and Salazar's – is growing.