It is the winter before the nuke mars the Earth.
Rythian likes the calmness of Blackrock in the morning hours. The castle creaks and moans against the snow piling down outside, and he can hear Teep’s snores even from his Magic room.
He works by candlelight, and the only sound in the room is his own breathing, and the scratching of his quill.
He smiles as he comes across Zoeya’s loopy writing in the corners of his journal as he writes down potion recipes in his own scrawl. He writes in such a way when Zoeya wakes and manages to whisk the book out of his long and thin fingers, she’ll claim that even if Lalna somehow got into the castle, he’d never be able to read it.
Eventually he tires of listening to his own writing and closes his journal, forgetting that the ink is still wet and it will bleed. He will curse himself later for it, but it only took little magic to fix.
Rythian stands and stretches, pulling on his cloak as he steps into the kitchen. He leaves the kettle on for Zoeya when she wakes, and he knows he’ll forget and it will boil over and he’ll have to clean it later but he knows it will only take little magic to fix.
His breath billows in the morning, and the snowflakes (all different, unique and startling beautiful), stay in his hair and won’t melt until he returns two hours later to inside of the house.
He does his usual morning rounds. He says hello to the mushrooms, and to the dogs. He doesn’t know that Zoeya is lying awake, laughing quietly to herself as she hears him through the window.
He has to unfreeze the water and unfreeze it again as he goes to pour it on their crops. Teep rumbles, catching his attention. The dinosaur steams with heat in the cold, his nostrils snorting fire, blackening the edge of the giant blanket Zoeya had made. (Rythian did help a little, but he was more a hindrance than a helper.)
When he eventually returns to the inside of the castle, the fireplace is crackling merrily and the water that boiled over has already been cleaned. Zoeya stands in their kitchen, bustling about making the usual breakfast of bread and carrots.
They’ll stay in the house till Zoeya announces that she would like some snowberries. Rythian obliges, as he always does, and they spend the afternoon up in the hills picking snowberries while Teep snorts and comments silently on things. He will see Lalna from afar as Zoeya knits one of her many stories, and he will raise his hand in a farewell or greeting, which will be mirrored by the other.
A/N: I had much fun with this one! Thank you for requesting it, aspookynarwhal! Hope you enjoy. - Maes
Word Count: 426
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