After a few bites to eat, Rowan notices Severus is gloomily poking at his food. "What's wrong?" Rowan asked with a mouthful of food.
Severus shakes his head as Rowan narrows her eyes knowingly. "If it's about Lily, you still have a chance. I mean you're her childhood friend, after all, you already have an advantage over everyone else. But like I said, you better show her or else, you're going to lose her," Rowan mumbled with food still in her mouth.
Comforted by Rowan's words, Severus digs into the food. Dinner steadily progresses as deserts appear, before finally the table is magical cleared away. With dinner finished, Dumbledore rises to his feet once more as the entire hall grows silent.
"Now that we've been fed and watered, I've a few more words to say. I would like to speak about the start-of-term rules for a moment," Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. "First years take extra notice of the Forbidden Forest as they are forbidden grounds and no student is allowed therein. A few of our older students would do well to remember that." Dumbledore said with emphasis.
And please be wary of the newly planted Whomping Willow on the lawn a gifted specimen from a notable botanist. As you are all aware the Whomping Willow is quite territorial and will in effect attack swiftly and most violently. You are all advised to remain a good distance away from its moving branches." Quite a few older students' wince having studied the plant in Herbology with Professor Sprout. They knew that the Whomping Willow was no laughing matter and could prove to be quite deadly.
"Our caretaker, Mr. Filch, has asked me to remind you all to not use magic between classes in the corridors," Dumbledore carefully added. "Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch." This causes a spring of excited whispers to fill the Great Hall.
"And now, before we head for bed, let us sing the school's song!" Some of the Professors sigh, while some other professor's faces turned into Noh masks. With a flick of Dumbledore's wand, a golden ribbon flies forth from the tip as it begins to twist and form words above. "Now, off we go!"
The entire student body sings as Rowan and Severus merely glance at each other in understanding and mouth the words with their lips, but absolutely refuse to sing the lyrics.
"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling
With some interesting stuff,
For now, they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So, teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot."
The song ends with everyone off tune at different speeds. Rowan idly thought to herself. "That was an abomination for anyone with an ear for music!"
Dumbledore claps the loudest as the rest of the students clap in following. "Ah, music-," Dumbledore said with moist eyes.
"Maybe if your utterly tone-deaf," Rowan utterly scoffed to herself.
"Magic that is beyond all that we do here! And now, bedtime, off you trot now!" Dumbledore carefully instructed.
Lucius Malfoy elegantly rises to his feet and says, "I am this years', Slytherin Head Boy, Lucius Malfoy, please follow this year's Prefect, S.R. Wilkes." Lucius Malfoy points at a dark-eyed boy with curly dark hair, who waves cheekily at them.
With a confident air about him, Wilkes leads the 1st years past the right side of the entrance hall, before leading them down a set of stone steps into the cool depths of Hogwarts. "This is going to be terrible during the freezing cold months of winter, but at least it will be nice and cool during the warm months," Rowan cheekily thought to herself.
The 1st years quietly chatter as they follow Prefect Wilkes, before coming to a stop in the dungeon. Wilkes pauses before a bare stone wall with a tiny snake symbol engraved on the floor down below. "Memorize this spot kiddies, because this here is the entrance. The password is changed every fortnight."
Wilkes pauses dramatically at seeing the majority of the 1st years pale at his words. With a smirk he continues, "But not to worry the password is always posted and located on the common room board. Anywho, the current password is Black Licorice." The wall silently creaks open to reveal an inner passageway. "C' mon now, step lively!" Wilkes called out as the 1st years hurriedly step inside, before the passageway closes.
"Make sure to remember the password or else you will be stuck outside. And if Filch catches you at nightfall, you don't want even to know what will happen," Wilkes wickedly added as the last of the 1st years step inside causing the majority of the 1st years to fervently memorize the common room's password.
The first year's gape as they glance at the rough stone walls and ceiling that hold elegant green lanterns aglow. A warm fire crackles under an elaborately carved mantelpiece as an elegant area filled with luxury leather chairs and sofas, and luxury carved tables with marble gob stone boards for playing or simply for studying are neatly placed throughout the common area. Stylish cupboards hold items for common use such as quills and so forth, while grand tapestries hang as decorations demonstrating valiant Medieval Slytherins. Strangely enough, there are window-like areas that reveal the outside lake as the occasional fish darts past.
Rowan gloomily stares and mutters, "Da*n, giant squids and mermaids." She shivered unhappily at the thought of being watched from the outside cold waters.
"Oh, by the way, watch out for Peeves, he's the local prank-loving poltergeist," Wilkes commented. "Luckily, the Bloody Baron is our Houses' ghost and that's the only thing Peeves actually fears. So, for the most part, he tends to leave us Slytherins alone."
"Alrighty then, the boy's dorms are on the left and the girl's dorms are on the right," Wilkes pointed to the staircases. Rowan winks at Severus who glares back and staunchly marches off. Rowan smiles knowing that her actions had worked to irk Severus and cause him to have a bolder stance. Hopefully, that would serve him well.
Rowan heads up the stairs after a gaggle of girls into the female dorms. She reads the names on the dorm doors and finally spots her name and three other names engraved on a silver tag. Rowan steps inside to see elegant dark and silver furnishing's inside. She whistles with delight at finding her things had already been placed on the bed nearest to the door.
Without any embarrassment, she begins to undress and change into her pajamas as the three other girls already inside bashfully cover their eyes. Rowan rolls her eyes and mutters, "For heaven's sake, we're all girls."
Ignoring the other three girl's chattering voices, Rowan climbs into bed and rolls over to ignore them. Tomorrow would be a long day, and she was going to need all of her energy to get through it. And just like that Rowan fell sound asleep to the soft chatter of the other girls.