Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, I do own this story.
Author's Note:So I wanted to play with the foundersand fun, in-depth will be a GodricRowena fic, showing small snapshots of their lives. This won't be extensive… three to five chapters at the most.
The Lion and the Eagle
A Tale of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw
by Fiyero Oberon
The castle appears to everyone but Rowena to be plain and dull, as regular as any other castle that has been built in the last century. But to her, each enormous stone of the castle, built one upon the other, seems to have a story written through the cracks and stains and she feels the urge to jump out of the carriage and run her fingers through the patterns created by the gaps between. A heavy iron gate bars the way to the cherry wood door, carved with pictures of trees and apples and angels and birds, a tale that Rowena is determined to discover.
The black carriage stops; it is a small entourage, considering her father was Lord Ravenclaw. Only four black horses. The carriage has a thick decoration of red and blue flowers, arranged among decaying leaves and fresh ferns, sitting on the roof. Rowena had begged her father to let her take a blue flower, as they were so rare, but he scolded her for asking.
"Don't ask again, One," he had said.
One. That is her name. To him, at least. She had never quite figured out if the nickname was a derivation of "Rowena" or if it was truly a number, as she is the first of seven Ravenclaw children.
But Henriette, the cook, had plucked one of the blue flowers off the top of the carriage and tucked it into the thick black braid that ran down Rowena's back. "Don't tell him 'twas me," she warned Rowena, "or he'll have my head!" Lord Ravenclaw had already dismissed two servants for disturbing his wife's chambers in her absence and at this point, no one is willing to take risks on a widower.
The day had started pleasant enough. Not sunny, as Rowena would have preferred, but dark and gray. But at least it had not been raining. Now, the wet comes down in grave sheets, dripping off the noses of the servants as they usher her quickly out of the carriage and up to the castle doors through the sticky mud. She decides that tonight, she isn't going to be One, Heiress to the House of Ravenclaw. Tonight she is Princess Rowena, Heiress to Europe.
Rowena looks down at her dress – it is blue silk, designed to match her father. She wears a bronze circlet round her head and a matching ring of bronze circles her neck.
"Countess, I am so pleased to make your acquaintance." Avery Ravenclaw speaks with his thick Scottish accent, the warm voice that used to make Rowena run into his arms for a hug and a kiss. He is holding a woman's hand, clad with scarlet, and he bends to brush his lips against it. Rowena would have fumed in anger at her father if she had not seen him practicing with Henriette – and Henriette is so scary that she is sure that a kiss on the hand cannot be a sign of true affection.
"Please, Sir Ravenclaw," says the woman. "We are of equal status, so treat me as an equal." The woman's accent is decidedly French and Rowena chuckles at the oddity of it – her Scottish father and a French woman, both living in the country of England. She decides to keep her ears open for more colorful accents. Will there be a Spaniard here tonight? Or perhaps an Irish woman juggling a dozen babes in her arms will beg the Princess for help?
Rowena tugs on her father's navy jacket, playing with the brass buttons. "Papa?" she asks. "Are there to be any other children my age here?"
"Hush, One," Lord Ravenclaw hisses at her. "The Countess does have a son by her divorced husband, but I have no idea of his age or if he is to be here tonight."
"What's the Countess's name?"
"Alexandrine Lesauvage," he says. "Now be quiet."
Rowena follows her father into a high-roofed room filled with swishing gowns in rainbowed dyes and gentlemen in clacking heels and button-up coats. Rowena feels already horribly misplaced at the gathering and makes her mission one to find Countess Lesauvage's son tonight, whether he is here or not.
"What's the Countess's son's name?"
"I don't know," says Avery Ravenclaw. "It's not Lesauvage though, she remarried after her divorce."
"Oh." That would only make things ten-fold harder.
"Go sit in a corner, One," her father says. "I don't want to be bothered by you."
Rowena separates herself from her father, only half-hurt by his words. He has been distant and neglectful ever since the Lady's death and after six months, Rowena is almost used to his bitter words. She finds a bench that has been pushed against the wall and squeezes herself onto it next to a boat-sized woman in pink. The plush of the woman's dress tickles Rowena's arms and she leans to one side to try to avoid the bulk of the woman.
Princess Rowena, Heiress of Europe's eye falls on a woman dressed in gray satin. Her face is decidedly pretty and she has brilliant red hair scooped up in a snood. A tall peacock feather stands up from her head, the threads of color bouncing as she giggles in a lady-like fashion as a gentleman, a Baron by Rowena's guess, spills red wine down his front, creating the morbid appearance of blood.
And there! Behind the Gray Lady's skirts, Rowena swore she saw a boy. Or maybe it was a midget or, better yet, a dwarf. There he is again! Rowena stands and the fat lady shifts, adjusting to the expansion of room on the bench, how little it may be. Rowena's thoughts flee from Fat Lady and the Gray Lady and the Bloody Baron.
"Sir Gryffon d'or, how pleasant to see you this evening," the Bloody Baron said to the dwarf. "I hope you'll forgive me, but I can't recall your first name."
"Godric," says the boy. "Godric Gryffon d'or. And if you'll excuse me, I need to go relieve myself among the rose bushes." The Gray Lady's jaw drops and the dwarf bobs his head politely and leaves the small group.
Rowena hurries after him as he leaves the ballroom, headed for an exit to the outsides. "Dwarf! Hello, Mr. Dwarf?"
Godric Gryffon d'or turns around. "I am no dwarf!" he spits. "I'm a boy."
"I thought so," she says, catching up with him. "But my mind often gets carried away with me and I accuse boys of being dwarfs and men of being giants and lanterns of being fairies and – I'm Rowena Ravenclaw."
"Godric Gryffon d'or."
"Pleased to meet you, Godric. Are you parents here tonight?"
"One and a half," he says. An unpleasant grin spreads across the boy's face. "Would you like to guess how I only have half a parent?"
"Are his legs chopped off at the waist?" she asks eagerly. The boys eyes go wide and round, and he is clearly not used to meeting girls with minds half as morbid as Rowena's is at times. "I'm joking."
"Oh. Well, if you'll pardon me, I need to pee in the rose bushes."
"I heard you use that excuse already," she accuses him. "At least think of something original."
"No, Miss Ravenclaw, you misunderstand. I really do need to pee." And with that, the Gryffon d'or boy hurries out the glass door, his hands clutching his body in a way that Rowena considers to be inappropriate for a boy she assumes to be about ten years old.
"Did he not learn any manners?" she mutters allowed, turning away from the glass door.
When the dwarf-boy returns, he makes an announcement to her: "I hate parties."
Rowena smiles. "Why? The dresses are so elegantly colored and everything is so fashionable and beautiful."
He wrinkles his nose and walks away, the opposite direction of the party. "I believed that you might not be as girly as you seemed, Rowena. I'm afraid I was wrong." Rowena scurries up to walk besides him, staring at him. He has a round, upturned nose with freckles sprinkled light across and curly golden hair streaked with red. His bright green eyes flicker back and forth constantly, alert and watching Rowena out of the corner of his eye. He is dressed in a yellow vest and white shirt, and he scratches often at his collar, plainly uncomfortable. At last he stops and turns. "I don't especially like being stared at."
"I'm sorry," she says. "I just find people terribly fascinating, don't you?"
"Not really." He pushes on a heavy door and admits Rowena into another high-roofed room.
Rowena gasps at the space laid out before her. It is a library, but one of such a size that she has never seen before. Every wall is lined with thousands of volumes, thick and thin, clad in leather bindings of every color she can imagine. Lamps hang from the ceilings on long black chains, casting a warm glow on the entire room. Chairs in red plush and brown leather dot the carpeted floor and a massive tower in the center of the room is lined with book as well, twisting upward until it disappears into the ceiling. An immense fireplace is set into one of the walls, golden flames dancing away, casting eerie shadows on Godric's face and hair.
A tawny cat with lime-colored eyes jumps down off a shelf, blinking its eyes sleepily. "Hello, Oliver," says Godric, picking up the cat. "Did we wake you from your nap?" The cat's tail twitches back and forth as the boy pets the orange fur. The Gryffon d'or boy looks at her simultaneously with the cat and Rowena is startled by the striking resemblance between the two. "Do you like books?" he asks.
"I would die without reading," she confesses, taking a few more steps into the room. "I could lose myself in here tonight and never notice if the ball had ended and twelve years had passed."
Godric laughed – his laugh is not ridiculing, but warm and sincere. "Go on, then," he says. "Read. Mother will find us when the party is over."