Where: The kitchens
When: Mid-afternoon, a couple days before this.
Summary: A brief interlude.
"The men are bickering again," Helga announces, and pours them both tea. She hands Rowena one of the cups and holds on to the other, cradling it carefully in her hands so as not to spill as she takes a seat.
Rowena appears nonplussed by the pronouncement, but then, not much seems to ruffle Rowena. "What about?"
"Whether marble floors in the great hall are unnecessary and overly ostentatious."
Rowena sips her tea. "They are impractical. Marble is much harder to keep looking nice than rougher stone, and easier to slip upon in wet weather." She pauses. "I have never much cared for marble," she adds, almost as an afterthought. "It is a dead stone."
"Dead?" Helga queries. She knows this will likely only end in confusion (most conversations with Rowena do), but she always asks anyway.
Rowena nods absently. "Raw stone has a particular quality of vitality to it. Texture, and complexity. Marble is a wax-moon face, too perfect. It has no pores, it is not real in quite the same way."
Actually, it makes an obscure sort of sense, though Helga does not know why. She takes a long drink of her tea; it scalds her tongue, but she does not mind. "Tell them that."
"I may," Rowena murmurs. A long stretch of companionable silence falls as the two ladies continue to drink their tea, and Rowena's gaze drifts off into the distance, lost, as usual, in some mysterious contemplation that she does not deign to share. When the tea is gone, Rowena swirls the leaves around in her cup with precise, practised motions, gazing at them intently.
Helga watches her. She has never had any gift for divining, but she nurses an interest in the art, one which her long friendship with Rowena has only encouraged, though Rowena rarely deigns to peer into the future for others. Sometimes, though, Helga will watch her, watch as Rowena reads hidden signs in tea leaves, in crystals, in scrying pools, in flames, in the fall of seashells or small bones.
Rowena frowns slightly at something and swirls the leaves again, erasing whatever she had seen there. She sets aside her teacup and rises with a rustle of her skirts. "I must retire to my tower," she says.
Rowena disappears, not with the sharp cracking sound of most mages, but with merely a soft inrush of air to fill the space she has abandoned, and Helga is left to her own devices once more.