Early the next morning, Rowan wakes up and dresses before the other girls even get up. She steps into the common room area and takes a seat in deep thought. It was the middle of the night when a perturbing thought had occurred to her and awoken her. "Just how did Tom Riddle gain access to so many young impressionable Slytherin minds?" Rowan thought to herself.
The fire crackles warmly as if in reply causing Rowan to furrow her brows that much more. According to the timeline that she knew, Tom Riddle attended Hogwarts from 1938 to 1945. Surely had he made friends with that generation via subtle brainwashing. But Bellatrix or Lucius didn't attend Hogwarts until the 1960's and even then Tom Riddle would have zero access to them given the fact that during that same period he would be missing from 1957 for the next ten years until 1967, at which point, he requested the position of the dark arts post and is denied by Albus Dumbledore.
So, given that Tom Riddle was not in a position to teach said characters in person such as Bellatrix, how on earth did he gain access to them? Because no matter how ignorant the pure bloods might be, they wouldn't just let anyone associate with their children without some sort of background check. Why on earth wouldn't a regular wizard private eye be unable to unearth Tom Riddle's past and prevent their children from contacting Tom Riddle? After all, no matter how much of a purist Tom Riddle may claim to be the truth of the matter is that he was still only half. But better yet, if Tom Riddle had been introduced somehow to these children in secret, who would be powerful enough to warrant an introduction without causing Tom Riddle to be investigated?
Rowan taps her fingers impatiently against the couch. That was the one piece of item that had always bothered her about the Potter universe. Sure, it was a plot hole in the books, but for her in the real world it was a very vital detail for her. And if so, then, just maybe, she was dealing with a master puppeteer as well. With Tom Riddle as the unwitting evil puppet of the true puppeteer hidden somewhere in the shadows.
Because that would certainly explain a lot, after all, a puppeteer would casually mention the idea of soul splitting and by doing so successfully plant the idea of creating Horcrux's into Tom Riddle's ambitious mind. And frankly speaking, it would have been so much easier to use the philosopher's stone to obtain the same effect of immortality than a Horcrux. But more importantly, the entire reason, why was Tom Riddle was never caught?
Given his evil personality, why wasn't Tom Riddle killed by other Dark Wizards? Surely not all Dark Wizards would have sided with him in his thirst for power for they wished to be the next Grindelwald themselves. And naturally, in the process, he would have naturally made scores of enemies. And if so, then just who had suppressed the countless enemy Dark Wizards the entire time?
"I thought you would be up," a soft voice said from behind Rowan causing Rowan to leap up in surprise.
Severus grins ruefully at Rowan. "Heh, got you."
Rowan snorts and raises an eyebrow. "What's your excuse?" Rowan grunted.
"It's the first day of classes," Severus loftily said. "One must be prepared."
Rowan rolls her eyes and says, "C' mon let's head down to the Great Hall."
The two of them head out with their school things and take a seat at a nearly empty table with oatmeal, toast, milk, and juice for breakfast. Rowan grabs a bowl of oatmeal and a slice of toast as she begins to eat. To their surprise, a figure suddenly clasps them both on the shoulders. The twins turn to see, Perfect Wilkes standing behind them. "You two are early risers, eh?" Wilkes cheerfully said.
"You're quite cheerful for a Slytherin," Severus grumbled as Rowan added, "Or for a Perfect for that matter."
"I just strive to show the world that Slytherin's can be just as charming as any old Gryffindor," Wilkes said with a twinkle in his eye as he takes a seat next to them. "Well, have you got any questions on your first day?"
"Who should we avoid?" Rowan instantly asked.
Wilkes chokes and says, "Well aren't you direct?" Wilkes paused to spread butter on his toast, before replying, "For first years, you're in pretty good hands. The professors can be strict, but they tend to be a fair bunch. The only teacher that is a real bore is Professor Binns, but that's because he's a ghost. It's a shame really, Professor Bagshot was rather interesting and enthusiastic about the subject, but she retired several years ago. And since then, we've all been stuck with good old boring Binns for History of Magic. As for the new Dark Arts Professor, Professor Strives, I have no idea as he's new this year. Other than avoiding last year's new Caretaker Filch and his cat, Mrs. Norris, you'll be fine."
Wilkes strategically takes a bite of his toast and mumbles, "But I got the feeling that you two may cause quite a few disasters of your own." Rowan innocently smiles back as Severus snorts in reply.
By the time the majority of students begin to arrive, Severus and Rowan are long finished. Severus peers around before happily spotting Lily and hastily says, "I'll meet you back at our first class."
Rowan shrugs and takes a short walk on the grounds after breakfast to at least get some exercise before heading to their first class, Transfiguration with Professor McGonagall. Given that Hogwarts had 142 staircases of which some that moved or had vanishing steps or led to different places on a Friday, Rowan made sure she had ample time to get to class. And with the aid of a few portraits, she was most successful in being able to find the Transfiguration classroom.
Having arrived early, Rowan takes a seat in the back and saves a seat next to her for Severus. Severus arrives sometime after in a rush and looked like he had possibly been chased by Filch at some point. Rather cross at this point, Severus stomps over to Rowan and glares at Rowan. "Why'd you keep a seat all the way back here?" Severus snapped as he took the seat next to her.
"So, I can sleep better," Rowan shamelessly replied.
Severus vehemently resists the urge to bash Rowan in the head with his book and gruffly says, "I think I'm going to pretend; I don't know you."
"Tough chance, we're twins," Rowan cheekily muttered.
Severus grumpily takes a seat next to Rowan and says, "I'm picking the seat next time."
"If you can get here first," Rowan cackled causing Severus to roll his eyes as the class quiets down as Professor McGonagall arrives.
The room turns quiet as Professor McGonagall says, "Transfiguration is one of the most complex and dangerous magic's to be learned here at Hogwarts. I will not tolerate misuse of it, you have all been properly warned." With a wave of her wand, Professor McGonagall turns her desk into a pig and back as everyone lets out ohh's and ahh's of awe.
Rowan, as usual, doesn't react as Professor McGonagall begins the class and begins to explain the proper first steps on how to use one's wand. The students hurriedly take notes as Rowan dozes with her eye's half-closed. Severus carefully leans away least he be associated with Rowan's ill lapse of judgment.
Afterward, Professor McGonagall explains that they will start with matches causing quite a few to sigh in disappointment. Professor McGonagall hands out matches to the students and tasks them to transform the match into a needle. All the students urgently try except for Rowan who is still dozing off with her eye's half-closed but still managing to appear as though she is intently paying attention.
Rowan suddenly startles awake after a painful nudge from Severus causing her to wince in pain. "What?" Rowan unhappily grumbled.
"You're supposed to be turning this match into a needle," Severus hissed.
"Oh that," Rowan dully said as she rolled up her sleeves and stared at the match for a minute. Pursing her lips, Rowan waves her wand and suddenly the match turns into a neat needle. "There done," Rowan cheerfully said causing Severus to choke.
"I clearly saw you; you were dozing off!" Severus growled.
"I read all the textbooks before coming to Hogwarts," Rowan proudly said.
"So, did I!" Severus countered back.
"Sheer talent, I guess," Rowan shamelessly replied.
Severus snorts in disbelief, "As if I'll believe that."
"No, it's true," Rowan honestly commented. "I can tell you right now, that you will be a great potions master one day, while I will probably be passable if at all."
Severus opens his mouth to speak, before quieting down. He knew that this was Rowan's strange way of saying, she was bad at things too. Severus turns back to his match and furrows his brows. "Anything Rowan can do, I can do too," Severus thought to himself. "After all, we're twins." Feeling that much more confident, Severus flickers his wand as the match also turns into a needle. Maybe not as good as Rowan's, but still a needle.
By the end of the class, only Severus and Rowan have managed to turn their matches into needles. Professor McGonagall carefully shows the class, before saying, "Slytherin twenty points!"
Rowan and Severus blink in surprise as Professor McGonagall gives them a rare smile. "You both did an excellent job on your first try, I thought you each deserved a well-earned ten points," Professor McGonagall exclaimed.
"Huh, she's sweet in her own way," Rowan idly thought to herself. Not that she would ever voice out loud lest anyone consider her mad or worse, Professor McGonagall heard her!
With that, the class ends as the students sigh and head to their next class. With a beaming smile, Severus turns to Rowan and confidently says, "I'm just as good as you are!"
"Of course, you're my twin," Rowan sincerely said in praise.
Severus blinks and flushes at Rowan's sincere statement and hastily says, "We better hurry to our next class, we don't want to be late!" Rowan smiles as she too hurries after Severus lest she misses grabbing a seat in the back to take a nap!