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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor do I own any of the characters in this story. Sadly, they belong to J.K Rowling.

Spoilers: Contains a very tiny amount of Deathly Hallows spoilers.

A/N: This one-shot was written in response to LostMaeblleshire's ‘Founders’ Romance Challenge’. It’s very out of my realm, but this plot bunny would not leave me alone, so I decided to try my hand at the Founders. Hope you like it.


Reckless Games

He had lost track of time. With the warm sun on his back and crisp winds ruffling his long auburn hair, he’d forgotten himself. The sun was setting now, splashing an array of colours across the canvas of the sky. He’d been pacing the castle grounds with Salazar for almost an hour, discussing a multitude of subjects furiously, bouncing ideas off one another. It was only when he’d heard the students emerge from Helga’s Herbology lesson, did his memory trigger. He’d excused himself, muttering something about taking a stroll before sunset.

“Be careful,” Salazar said with a frown. “I know you Godric. Like she always says, you let your heart rule your head. Do you think it wise, this reckless game you’re playing?”

“I don’t know what you mean, Salazar,” Godric replied shortly, irritated by his meddling ways. He was worse than Helga. They should let his business be his own. He strode away from his friend, moving at a brisker pace because he knew he was late. His sturdy, long legs carried him across the grounds and to the edge of the thick forest. With a wary glance he made sure Salazar had retreated back to the castle, and then carried on. Just beyond the first line of trees, a glimmering white light shone through. As he stepped over roots and broke away branches, he could clearly make out the illuminated wand, as well as the owner who wielded it.

She was tall and slight, her ebony hair never seen out of its tight knot. And she was irritated, he could tell, for she stalked towards him with a cold stare, her head held high and her nose turned up.

“You’re late.”

He nodded, taking her arm in his and attempting to lead her further into the seclusion of the forest. “My sincerest apologies.” But she resisted his pull, and narrowed her eyes at him. She was a curious creature, easily offended and a master of passive aggressiveness. His unpunctuality had not been forgiven.

“I’m afraid I cannot stay,” she said, with a delicate sniff.

“We need to talk.”

“And we could have, had you arrived in a more timely manner. Now I have a lesson to attend.”

“Rowena.” He held onto the slender crook of her elbow. Reluctantly she hesitated. “Lessons can wait.”

Rowena reclaimed her arm, folding her hands together behind her back. “I do not like to have my time wasted by arrogant young men.”

It was her favourite assault to throw at him, the fact that he was five years her junior. He acknowledged this with a cocky nod. “And if I see any, I shall be sure to inform them.”

The corners of Rowena’s pursed lips curled upwards, mixing her grimace with a smile. “Where were you?” she asked lightly, but her fixated gaze gave away her interrogative intentions. She was a woman who liked, nay demanded, to know everything. Perhaps, Godric thought, it was the reason why she and Salazar clashed so greatly – he was a man of secrets. But, oh, how they clashed too! How he thirsted for their collision of personalities, heated arguments that they got so caught up in it was a constant struggle to contain his feelings inside his pounding chest.

“I was with Salazar,” he answered vaguely, knowing well it would only stir her temper further, but he could not help himself.

“Perhaps, Godric, you need to reconsider where your priorities lie. You ask me to meet you like this,” she waved her hand in a sweeping gesture around the dense forest, lowering her voice as though she were worried they would be overheard. “And then you expect me to linger whilst you take your time in arriving?”

“And yet you waited. Surely that proves something.”

She considered him indifferently. “You search too deeply for meanings in simple matters.”

“Perhaps,” he said, twirling his wand between his fingers. Her hostile façade did not fool him. “You know what I wanted to speak to you about, do you not?”

“I told you last time I wished to never dredge up this topic again.”

“So why did you come?” he asked, gazing into her almond eyes. Those eyes. The windows of her shielded soul. Rowena’s fury faded and her angular face reddened. She avoided his gaze, locking her stare into a nearby tree.

“I shouldn’t be here. Not like this…”

“Like what? We’ve broken no rules. We’re simply two companions conversing.”

“Meeting in a forest?” she hissed, her dark eyes darting around wildly. “What if someone saw? They would think…”

“They will think what they want to think, and we can do nothing to change that. Forget them. Forget everyone for once in your life.”

“If you wish to profess your affections toward me again, I will remind you now of what I told you last time. It is impossible.”

Their game had been going on for many months now. She would throw up her defensive walls whenever they were in the company of others, speaking to him in airy tones and often avoiding him altogether. But if he ever had the chance to speak to her alone, her guard would slowly come down … until he said something that she considered too bold and the cycle began again. Many other men would have grown tiresome of this infinite game, but Godric, with his unrelenting ways that frustrated Rowena so, did not lose heart.

“But you admit there is something between us?”

She sighed, exasperated by his doggedness. “I am a married woman, Godric. I have a daughter – at this school, no less.”

She had always been that way - unwaveringly loyal. And to a husband that barely acknowledged her existence. But her most prized possession was her pride. She guarded her family’s honor like a mother dragon watching assiduously over its egg.

She often called Godric a fool. In their heated discussions she argued that bravery was useless if one rushed in and met an untimely end. Logic and reasoning however, never failed to achieve favorable results. And every move of hers was calculated, thought through with every inch of her intelligence. At that very moment he could almost see her thoughts turning like the wheels of a cart. The last word to describe Rowena Ravenclaw by was reckless.

“You’ve gone through life, Rowena, but I don’t believe you’ve truly lived it.”

She stepped backwards, an icy coldness settling upon her face. “You have the nerve to tell me what my life is lacking? Tell me, Godric, what do you know about life? What have you done?”

He smiled, the words escaping his lips before he had the chance to think about how audacious a statement he was making. “I have loved a woman. And a great one at that.”

“Stop,” she commanded, straightening so she was standing at full height to him. As tall as she was, he still towered over her. “You must stop this nonsense.”

He took a step towards her, his movements slow as not to startle her. “Is that what you want?”

She pressed a single hand against his chest, pushing him away. “This cannot happen, it cannot be.”

“Then why did you come?” he pressed. She did not respond. He removed her hand from where it had splayed across his heart, taking it in his own callused palm. “Rowena…”

She was blinking fast, trying to pretend that tears were not welling up in her eyes. Her voice was barely a croak. “I daren’t. The shame I would bring upon my daughter.”

It snapped him back to reality to see her on the verge of tears. Suddenly he felt selfish putting her in this delicate position. “I apologize. It was foolish me to think…I shan’t bother you again, Rowena, if that’s what you truly want.”

A twig snapped under his feet, the only sound in the unnaturally quiet forest. The silence made the tension between them all the more uncomfortable. He meant to utter an excuse to leave, something about a boggart in a classroom that needed taking care of, but before he could say anything, he found he’d completely lost his train of thought. For Rowena was moving towards him, bringing her face only inches from his. He was close enough to see the softness of her skin, feel the nervousness of her uneven breaths. She tipped her chin up and caught his cheek in her palm. Her lips found his, and it was the slightest touch, gentler than a butterfly’s. And then before he had the chance to react, she drew back, blushing at her own actions.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

He let the taste of her linger on his lips. “For what?”

“Godric,” she said, shaking her head. “I can’t offer you what you want.”

“And what do I want?”

“Marriage,” she said simply. Both knew she was right. He had loved her for years now. “And I can’t give you that.”

It tore at his heart to hear that. He should have married her the moment he met her, thirteen years ago when they were young and bursting with dreams of beginning a magical school. It was unusual for him to feel intimidated by a woman, being the cocky young man as he was, but Rowena, she was different from other young ladies: strong, intelligent, argumentative, and second to no man. So he’d keep his affections to himself. And she’d gotten away, married another man. It was too late, he’d thought. He’d missed his chance. But now … now new hope sparked alight, refused to be extinguished. He gently laced her fingers within his own. “Then I suppose I must settle for this.”

“Is that what you want? Stolen moments, whispered words?”

“Any time with you is better than none.”

Rowena had opened her mouth to respond, but she was quickly cut off. “Mother?” a voice rang out through the grounds. It was Helena. Rowena paled at the sound of her daughter nearing. “Mother, are you out here? Professor Hufflepuff said she thought she saw you. We have our lesson on Charms now. Mother?”

Torn, she looked desperately from the open grounds to Godric. She made to hurry away, and then doubled back, an invisible force drawing her back to him. Rowena grasped his wrist tightly and bent towards his ear. Her words were perhaps the most magical ones that had ever graced his ears.

“Tomorrow. Meet me here again tomorrow.”

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