The next day, their class is combined with the Hufflepuff's as the Slytherin's attend Herbology together in the greenhouse. Professor Sprout is a squat little witch with wry hair and dirt-covered clothes. After taking roll, Professor Sprout clears her throat and says, "Herbology is a field that is both useful in cultivation, but in potions. You shan't just be reading from books, but ye will all learn how to tend and care for these plants. Good, then I shall begin to show you how to care and properly trim the leaves on a Moly."
Professor Sprout gently grabs a pot filed with white petaled flowers and black stems. "Moly is a powerful plant that can even be physically eaten to counter enchantments and is oftentimes used in potions or to protect against Dark Enchantments," Professor Sprout said as she took a pair of leafcutters.
"All of you will be using the Moly eventually in your potions class this year specifically, the Wiggenweld Potion. The Wiggenweld Potion is a powerful potion used to heal injuries or reverse the effects of a sleeping draught," Professor Sprout instructed as she gently sipped at a few crooked leaves.
Rowan intently pays attention to Professor Sprout's instructions to Severus's utter shock. The entire class period Severus is rather distracted as he not only finds that Rowan sincerely pays attention to the entire lecture but actively participated in the class by pruning the leaves of a few pots of Moly.
After class, Severus in shock says, "You actually like this class, don't you?"
"Does it show?" Rowan muttered back as they made their way across the lawn. Severus rolls his eyes in reply as the Whomping Willow in the background sways to a nonexistence breeze as it's thick leafy branches sway on their own. The thick tree trunk is quite large and provides an effective cover for its intended secretive purpose.
With ease, they make their next class in the dungeons, Potions with Professor Slughorn. Severus excitedly waves to Lily and drags Rowan over. Lily happily obliges as Rowan warily eyes the pickled animals floating in glowing like glasses against the dungeon walls. She doesn't have time to dwell on the creepiness of the Potions classroom as Professor Slughorn appears, a well-dressed man with a very wispy crown of more silver than strawberry colored hair and gooseberry colored eyes. His great velvet-covered belly filled the space before him, but as large as it would get in the future. His presently still strawberry colored mustache was nicely brushed out brightly as he twiddled with his golden buttons on his waistcoat
Professor Slughorn begins to call out names and paused at the name of Sirius Black. "Mm, Mr. Black, you wouldn't be related to Phineas Nigellus Black, now would you?"
Sirius's face tightens as he replies, "Yes, Professor. He was my great-great-grandfather."
"How interesting," Professor Slughorn said with glee, no doubt adding him to the list of potential candidates to enter his Slug Club. Professor Slughorn continued to do this as he paused at various other names down the list including that of James Potter, due to his wealthy father.
Surprisingly, Professor Slughorn does not comment over the Prince surname, which caused Rowan to raise an eyebrow. After doing a bit of math, Rowan concludes that Professor Slughorn must have been in Slytherin together and had a run-in. And if so given that Reginald at the time would have still had his duelist temper so to speak, it is highly likely that their relationship did not end on good terms. Rowan neatly tucks away that detail away in her mind as Professor Slughorn neatly finishes rollcall.
Standing in front of them with his thumbs in his striped waistcoat pocket, Professor Slughorn importantly says, "The art of potion-making is an incredibly subtle science and art itself in the making. Some of the greatest wizards of all time have been excellent potion masters."
Professor Slughorn paused as he eyes them carefully, "Ladies and Gentlemen, potions is not a measly art to be trifled with nor dabbled in for mere entertainment. Not only can one cause serious harm to oneself, but to others as well! I will not abide by any troublemakers in my classroom! Do you all understand?" Even the most mischievous bunch such as James and the rest of the Marauders solemnly nod their heads in understanding.
"Now we shall start with a simple potion, please team up into three teams and we shall work on creating a simple boil potion, I shall demonstrate first and please take note as I shall test your potions afterward," Professor Slughorn carefully instructed.
Professor Slughorn carefully and most gracefully showed them the simple steps for the boil's potion, before having the students do the same. Lily and Severus easily crush the dried needles and snake fangs as they expertly weigh them. Rowan on the other hand merely stares suspiciously at the ingredients until Professor Slughorn says, "Is there something wrong, Miss Prince?"
Rowan glances up and solemnly says, "I think I'm allergic." It wasn't that she was afraid of the dried herbs or chopping up creatures, it's just she wasn't very good at handling still living specimens.
Professor Slughorn blinks and glances at Severus for confirmation. Severus drily replies, "It's all in her head, Professor. She can be rather neurotic about the strangest things."
Professor Slughorn turns to eye Rowan with reservations in his eyes. After a second or two, he carefully says, "Might I suggest you try, Miss Prince. This is a required course after all."
Rowan grudgingly nods and begins to with great distaste do as she is told. At least she was doing better than James and Sirius as those two were somewhat goofing off with Pettigrew in tow. On the other hand, Lupin is steadily working with two other Gryffindor's. Professor Slughorn nods with joy at seeing the perfectly stewed horned slugs by Lily and Severus. On the other hand, Rowan turns slightly green and with trembling fingers tries to keep the rising nausea down as she can smell the sizzling burning flesh of the slugs.
After some time, Professor Slughorn with pride sticks his hands in his waistcoat pockets. "Class, please take a look at Miss Evans and Mr. Prince's potions. Not only are their potions the right color and thickness, but the ingredients have been expertly prepared!" Professor Slughorn confidently said. "The two of them are well on their way to becoming excellent potion makers." Professor Slughorn's sincere flattery caused Lily and Severus to beam with confidence.
"Slytherin and Gryffindor, each 10 points!" Professor Slughorn loudly announced causing Lily and Severus to beam with pride and joy. The surrounding classmates call out in congratulations, before hastily turning back to their potions lest their potions burn or worse, explode.
Professor Slughorn tragically halts next to Rowan's cauldron to only see a dim, dull-colored, lukewarm potion, barely acceptable by any standard. Professor Slughorn purses his lips, before tactfully saying, 'Though terrible and barely passable, it's still a good first attempt."
Rowan snorts and doesn't reply as Professor Slughorn continues his inspection. In fact, Rowan's potion was far from the worst as another first-year managed to cause their cauldron to release a burning smoke smell.
Professor Slughorn smoothly moves his wand as the smoke disappears and Professor Slughorn warningly says, "Next time, Mr. Pettigrew, please keep both of your eyes on your cauldron at all times." Peter Pettigrew sheepishly shrugs as James and Sirius innocently gaze at Professor Slughorn. Professor Slughorn checked their potions and finds that their potions are marginally acceptable, before moving on to the next student.
Finished inspecting all of the student's potions, Professor Slughorn says, "Don't forget to read and study for the next class. We'll be studying the ingredients closely and discussing them, before brewing another potion." Seeing the 1st year's attention starting to wander, Professor Slughorn dismissed them with a wave of his hand.
With sighs of relief, the 1st years hastily finish packing up their school bags, before hurrying up the stairs. Severus and Lily cheerfully chatter until they reach the stairs, where they separate. The Gryffindor's head upstairs, while the Slytherins head back to their own common room.