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Heavy is the Head (Astrid)
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#1
After the staff meeting, Rowena retired to her rooms and stripped off the diadem. She placed it in a velvet-lined box and closed the lid. It was late enough that Helena was already asleep, one arm looped around her precious beast of a dog who was asleep beside her. She adjusted the covers over her daughter before sighing and departing the sanctity of her suite. 

The headache was intensifying and she knew that if she didn't get some assistance in taking care of it she was going to be in for a rough night. Something to help with the pain and a good night's sleep was exactly what she was in search of as she made her way through the corridors to the infirmary.

Carefully she pushed open the doors and looked around at the large room filled with beds. The moonlight was shining through the large windows as she walked further into the room. "Astrid?" she called out into the darkness. There were a few people she was informal with and the healer was one of them.
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Professor

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#2
Astrid exhaled a sigh of accomplishment, setting down the last of the labeled jars onto the shelf in front of her. She had spent the last few hours setting up and labeling the cozy sized storage room for the various potions and medical supplies for the coming school term. As an older sister she was hoping to not burn though much of the supplies as people kept safe but the healer and secret knight inside her knew it was to common of an occurrence for people not to hurt themselves so it was better she was well supplied now then worry about running out right away. Thankfully the room was the same size as her family's down in the village so making it nearly identical in organization would help get her the needed remedies a lot sooner.

She lightly dusted off a small side table and put out the candle she had been using for light before exiting back out into the main room of the infirmary. Astrid still couldn't believe the size of the room, grand with tall ceilings, plenty of room for more than a dozen beds, and windows that brought in both natural sun and moon light. She supposed its what an official healer or medic would be wanting to work in but given her roots it was a little overwhelming on and off.

Hearing her name and a familiar ring of the voice, Astrid raised her late father's wand and quietly muttered the illumination spell. The tip of the wand lit up as she stepped across the room. "Lady Rowena?" she asked as she came to a halt. Thankfully the windows provided some light with the addition of her wand and she was able to see the raven haired woman well enough. She offered a light warm smile once she was close enough for the other woman to see her clearer in the wand light.

 "Good evening Lady Rowena. Please excuse the darkness of the room, I wasn't expecting any late night visitors until tomorrow." Astrid continued but as she spoke she was studying her face, the tell tale signs of something not quite right. Not wanting to jump to anything just yet, she waved her empty hand out towards the row of beds as if offering Rowena the option to sit down and get a little more comfortable should she want to. At the moment it was all she had as far as places to sit. She hadn't thought about getting some chairs but the idea was speaking up a bit in her mind to look into getting some before things picked up with the start of school.

Pulling herself out of her own thoughts, Astrid focused on Rowena knowing there was more likely a reason for her visit so late into the evening. "Was there something I could be of help with? I've got nearly everything set up should you be interesting in looking it over and giving me your opinion on if anything needs to be adjusted or changed." she said.
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#3
Rowena waved her suggestion off as she took a seat at the foot of one of the beds. Her face was drawn slightly in pain, dark circles beginning to appear beneath her eyes. "I trust that you have everything well in hand, Astrid," she said with a little frankness. "I came here of my own need. I was wearing the diadem again and it has caused a mental strain, leading to my head aching. I was hoping you had something that might ease the pain enough for me to sleep?"

Squinting as she looked up at the blonde, Rowena hoped her judgment wasn't misplaced. The woman had shown herself to be quite capable in the past and this wasn't the first time Rowena had consulted her about headaches. She felt dreadfully worthless when her most prized possession was causing her discomfort.

The cure was a simple potion that Rowena often overthought carrying on hand. It would ease the muscles in her neck and head, and slowly get the pain to lessen and cease over time. She had taken it before but not since they had officially moved into the castle so she didn't know if the woman had the potion on hand or if she had to brew up a new batch.
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Professor

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#4
Astrid followed Rowena to the bed and listened as she explained that she was here more so as a patient then as leader checking in. While it was a relief she was being trusted despite her background, she wasn't thrilled to here the other woman was in some distress and pain. 

She gave a small nod of her head and realizing she would need to take her wand light with her when she walked away, Astrid muttered the incantation to remove the light from the tip of her wand. A moment later she gave it a small flourished movement towards several candles carefully pinned to the wall above the row of beds. Just in case she had any late night patients there was the availability for light to free up her wand. three candles above the bed Rowena sat on flickered to life only to extinguish a moment later. Astrid furrowed her brow and muttered something about overuse of the old wand before trying again and this time the small flames seemed to remain burning lightly. It was light enough to see and hopefully not to bright to cause Rowena any further pain or discomfort with her head ache.

 "I have just the thing. Make yourself comfortable and I'll be right back." she said as she illuminated the tip of her wand again with a small flick. It took a moment for the light to glow then it had the first time causing Astrid to give her had a small shake as she calmly crossed the room to the doorway at the back of the room. She had let her brother borrow the wand earlier that day while she was visiting and could only assume the poor wand had been put through a workout of some kind. She wasn't using it as much as she used to and figured like with people the old wand of her fathers was simply getting along in age and was starting to dim in strength. 

After a few minutes Astrid was walking back across the room holding a tray in her hands. Her wand was sticking out of one hand helping to light up the path ahead of her and help avoid knocking into any of the beds along the way. That was the last thing she wanted to do just before the start of the new school. 

 "Here we are. I've got a small healing potion for one head ache and a steaming cup of Chamomile and dandelion tea with a drop of a calming draught to help ease you to sleep tonight. I myself haven't been too fond of the taste of some potions no matter how good they are so if you would like to pour it into something else to drink I've prepared a goblet of mild juice to mix it in or we can add it to the tea. Which ever your comfortable with." she explained as she paused beside Rowena and lowered the tray down low enough for her to reach what she wanted comfortably. 

If the dark haired woman didn't show the physical signs of her distress, Astrid wondered if this was possibly a test of her ability again. While there were several ways to help ease the pain of a head ache, some of those ways weren't always known to everyone. Thankfully from her adoptive viking culture she had managed to learn a few varieties of ways to help when it came to certain ailments and injuries. Though the problem was that they were not always accepted given the reputation of the source regardless of it the claims were true or false.
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#5
Rowena watched as the girl struggled with her wand a bit, curious until she heard her mutter something about it being an old wand. Perhaps a hand-me-down she considered, that just wouldn't do for the healer of the entire school to be using a wand not matched to her. She had so much potential that was likely not being realized by using someone else's wand.

When she brought back the tray with the potion, juice, and tea, Rowena gave her a pained smile. "I'll take the potion with the juice and then drink the tea if you please," she said as she studied Astrid for a moment.

"Pardon my intrusion, Astrid," she began carefully, pursing her lips slightly. "Have you considered getting yourself a new wand? One that is better matched to you and your skills?" She took the vial of headache potion and quickly knocked it back before chasing it with the goblet of juice. She shuddered slightly, not caring for the taste but the chilled pumpkin juice did a bit to change the flavor profile.

She then set the goblet back onto the tray and then picked up the cup of stewed herbs and sipped gently as she waited on her answer.
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Professor

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#6
Astrid focused on Rowena first, making sure as she did that her patient was given her attention before anything else and that included a personal though important question. She had heard it before, several times in fact included a few times from her late mother but for one reason or another she still continued to use her fathers wand rather than look into getting her own. Maybe the biggest of them all was its connection to her late father, taken far sooner than he should have and for the selfish reasons of another. His life hadn't been the only one taken that night but she had made sure the cost of those lives had been paid for from the one who had caused it.

Setting down the tray on to the bed across from the one Rowena sat at, she glanced at the wand in her hand then exhaled a small sigh. "I've considered it, perhaps many times but with raising my siblings it often drifts from my mind as quickly as it comes. They depend on me so their needs I usually put first then with my work. With the eldest of my younger siblings able to take care of our little stall, I felt ok with taking this position with the consent should they need me I would go to them." Astrid explained calmly. Her gaze took a mild pained look as she further studied the old wand in her hand. "Perhaps I'm just making an excuse to remain stubborn about change. This was my late fathers and the only thing I have of him other than my siblings. In a way I guess its helped keep him close to me as well as my mother whom we lost as well not to long ago. I know I should go about getting one better suited for me and my work would no doubt be increasing better than it is but its hard to let go whats helped you through some tough and painful times. When you have no one to lean on for support because you are offering yours to those that need it more."  
 
She wondered if this was too much personal information tied to her answer. The question was a simple one but Astrid's answer perhaps was more detailed than needed. She could only hope at least it wouldn't give Rowena the impression she had asked the wrong person to come work for the school. Hopefully her answer hadn't just cost her the job not just she wanted but the one her siblings had been proud she had been offered and voiced their approval for her to accept as well.
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#7
Rowena resisted the urge to nod as it would take the potion a while to work its magic, but there was understanding in her eyes. "Change is often difficult but in order to move forward we must let go of the past," she said. "That doesn't mean you forget where you've come from or what you went through, it is simply the realization that you don't have to carry it on your shoulders anymore."

"Sometimes that means giving up physical reminders," she said gently as she reached out and patted the back of the girl's hand softly. 

"And as our resident healer, I feel I must make the observation that your magic won't meet its full potential with your father's wand, and should the worst happen when we need to depend on your skills, having you working in a diminished capacity simply wouldn't do," she said, looking thoughtful. "Perhaps if you didn't have to face such a change alone it might make it easier to handle? If you would like, I can spare some time before the students arrive tomorrow to go down to Ollivander's with you."
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Professor

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#8
Rowena was right, as was her mother and extended adopted family on the matters of a wand. She knew that herself, knew it but hadn't quite understood it or else she was ignoring it. Perhaps because it hadn't been with her fathers wand she had gained her revenge. She hadn't satisfied that piece of her past by not using his wand but her own sword instead. Astrid wasn't all that sure on the matter of revenge and anyone she asked didn't give her a clear enough story when they felt comfortable doing so. It was simply a mystery on what she should be feeling after getting revenge for her father and fellow villagers murder but at least now she was able to set it aside and not hamper her day to day life. Not this part of her life at least, it was another matter for her other half. 

"There is a great deal I carry on my shoulders, some of it of my own doing be it both good and harmful to myself but its what drove me to get to where I am now. Maybe because of the past is why I can't let go though I know full well it only holds me back from climbing any higher for myself. You'd think after having that sort of lecture drilled into my head several times would get through but perhaps its too thick and the message hasn't penetrated fully yet. Wouldn't be the first time I struggled with some form of life lesson" Astrid replied, gently gripping her fingers around the wand before lowering it to her side. 

She looked up and gave Rowena a light warm smile. "My apologies Lady Rowena. I hadn't meant to bother you with personal matter when you came seeking what I am stationed here for. You make a valid point and if I want to do my job properly, I need to not only be at my best but I should equip myself with the tools fitting my growing skill. It might be time to put my father to bed and see to making my own from the step onward."    

Astrid paused, considering Rowena's offer. The idea sounded good but at the same time bad. She couldn't possibly think to take time away from the raven haired woman to see to getting her a wand. She like the other founders had a list longer then the height of the tallest tower of things to do and no doubt felt the stress of it all. Then again, if she went with Rowena it would save her the difficult weight of trying to get herself a wand later by herself or with her siblings. Having them even see a hint of the weight or pain she had carried since their father's murder on top of the loss of their mother a few years ago was something she couldn't let happen. She was their guardian, their protector, and support until they were ready to leave the nest they had built here. They had always seen her as strong and dependable so having them know she had hid this from them all this time would make them feel guilty she had done so for them. Things were good for them right now, everyone was happy, healthy, and beginning to find their own spirit, the last thing she wanted to do was do something to rattle that to an unstable state.

 "I appreciate the offer Lady Rowena, thank you. But only if your sure you have the time for it, I understand you and the other Founders have a lot on your shoulders right now with the school. My siblings and I share this wand, those that have the magical gift present at least, so it would do me good to make sure they get wands as well, perhaps not right now but at some point in the future and we can instead put this one to rest in our father's honor instead where it belongs. Its long overdue a good rest after all the work it has done for us after all." she said, then turned slightly to pick up the tray from the bed a moment later.
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#9
"It is no trouble, consider it me ensuring that you have the proper supplies to do your job," she said as she waved off the other woman's concern. "A wand is yet a tool that we utilize like a knight might use a sword. Without a proper one, we are ill-prepared for battle."

It was the best analogy she could come up with at present as she was starting to feel a wee bit dizzy thanks to the two potions in her system. She looked at Astrid and offered her a slight smile.

"I should probably get back to my rooms in case Helena wakes," she said sadly. "She's all that I have left of Luan, the greatest gift he could have given to me before he disappeared."

Rowena sighed and carefully stood, closing her eyes until the dizziness passed, her grip on the edge of the bed tightening for a moment. Once it was over she opened her blue eyes again. "Thank you, Astrid. I shall see you first thing on the morrow," she said before turning slowly toward the doorway.
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Professor

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#10
Astrid gave a gentle nod of her head, fully understanding the occasional struggles that came with children having been through a loss such as a parent. Her youngest siblings often craved their mother's embrace and it was hard to explain to them she was no longer there to give it. No matter how hard they tried, she and the elder of her siblings couldn't fully fill that effect. With time and lots of love they would be able to move on, something else that reminded her often she was holding on to a part of her past still. Her father was dead and her revenge served, that should have been the end of it when they sailed away and came to live up here in the mountain village. It should of but some things just weren't as easy to let go or maybe it was just her.

Before she got too far in her thoughts, she realized Rowena was preparing herself to leave. "They are the warm reminders of our loved ones no longer living beside us but will always have part of themselves with us to remember as they live and grow. Though they are my siblings and not children of my own, that's at least the message I've come to understand when it comes to loved ones no longer with us" she said calmly. It was easy to see some of her parents in her siblings as they began to grow. The smile similar to her mothers and the faint glow that hovered in her father's eyes when he laughed. They were the positive reminders of them and as their children, they were the legacy they had set into play to continue forward and make of the next part of the story themselves.

 "Forgive me for keeping you, no doubt the potions will be affecting you shortly and I dare not keep you from your daughter a moment longer. Goodnight Lady Rowena and thank you, I shall meet you in the entrance hall on the morrow first thing." Astrid said warmly, holding the tray securely in her hands. She waited for her to step out first from the bed then followed escorting her politely to the door and waiting until she was gone before turning and heading for the back of the infirmary to clean up after her late night patient.
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