As the weeks went by, Rowan had only received one other letter from Moody subtly stating that he was begin watched. Possibly Death Eaters, but at the same time, Moody had made many enemies as an Auror. It was impossible to truly be certain unless Alastor caught the spies. And though the situation did make Rowan feel rather useless, however, the truth of the matter is that everything is out of her hands. No matter, how much she wanted to help, she is still just a child and needed to rely on Alastor Moody to fulfill his part. She could only hope that Moody and his two aides would be enough to at least deter part of Tom Riddle's plans.
Cranky, Rowan sighs as she pokes the food in front of her. "What not to your liking poppet?" Wilkes cheerfully murmured from his seat.
Rowan ignores Wilkes for a moment before a brilliant idea comes to mind. "Say Wilkes did anyone attend of your family attend Hogwarts in the 1940's?" Rowan innocently asked.
"Why ask?" Wilkes asked with some curiosity.
"Because Rowan is strange and particular about the strangest things," Severus commented with a mouth full food.
"What he said," Rowan chimed in agreement causing Severus to choke. Rowan none too gently pounds Severus on the back to help him breathe again.
Wilkes wrinkles his brows and says, "Well, I'm the oldest child of my parents and they roughly attended Hogwarts back in 47 and 48 and graduated in the 50's, so I guess so."
Rowan eyes flicker at the response with a resigned expression to suddenly shudder and think, "Ick gross." It was quite a nasty shock to realize the large age difference between Tom Riddle and Bellatrix. In the wizarding world, it wasn't that all that strange, but still, EW!
Wilkes thoughtfully interjects, "Well, I guess that other than my dad, Uncle Roger also attended Hogwarts from 1938 to 1945. But why the sudden interest?"
"Well, I was just wondering as I've developed an interest in past members of the Slug Club. I thought it might be interesting to follow up with anyone who might have been there."
"Well good luck with that," Wilkes said as he got up. "I've got to get back," and promptly left.
"Just what are you planning?" Severus suspiciously said.
"Can't I just be curious about our past seniors?" Rowan innocently replied.
"No," Severus flatly stated.
"Shows what you know," Rowan said with a huff. "I'm a woman of many talents!"
Severus snorts and says, "We better get going, we wouldn't want to be late because of your delusions."
Rowan makes a rude gesture behind Severus's back, who growls, "I saw that!"
Rowan clicks her tongue against her mouth and gets up to follow him. The two of them head to Charms where she is a bit more distracted than usual. Afterward, Professor Flitwick gently asks that Rowan stay behind. Severus worriedly glances over at his twin who gestures to him to save her a seat in Professor Strives classroom.
Once Severus and the last of the class leaves, Professor Flitwick says, "Is anything troubling you, Miss Prince? I noticed that you seemed rather absentminded today, unlike your usual self."
Rowan grimly smiles and says, "Thank you for your sincere concern, Professor, but I'm just stuck on a tricky puzzle that I can't seem to solve."
"Oh, then why not explain what the problem is, perhaps, an attentive ear can be of aid," Professor Flitwick suggested.
Rowan purses her lips, before hesitatingly replies, "I am wondering how an ordinary wizard without a teaching position gain access to children of pureblood families would if he wasn't in their year or in another year at the time of their stay at Hogwarts?"
Professor Flitwick sagely nods his head and says, "Well, if I were to suppose, it would make sense if it was someone of their year or within their stay at Hogwarts. But are you saying, that it is a student not present while their time at Hogwarts? Hmm, that is indeed a tricky situation.
Normally, I would say that a figure like Professor Slughorn would be a likely candidate. But, Professor Slughorn would never violate the oath of a professor and introduce a graduate student to a present student in attendance at Hogwarts until said student graduated."
"That makes sense," Rowan mused to herself. But that didn't quite work with the idea that some of the Death Eaters were indoctrinated while attending Hogwarts. And Professor Slughorn had on one more than occasion betrayed his own morals for a clever student. The best example is Riddle's questions on the Horcruxes and Slughorn being stupid enough to answer them in the first place.
"Of course, you could also be looking at someone in higher circles who took a liking to said individual and extended themselves to make the introductions," Professor Flitwick suggested. Which only served to coincide with one of Rowan's personal theories on a possible puppeteer influencing future generations. But that still didn't solve the question about how said puppeteer would have access to Tom Riddle as he was an orphan.
One logical explanation is that in some manner said puppeteer would have to have been a student at Hogwarts. Either being a student in the same year as Tom Riddle or older with the unlikely possibility of being younger. But then again, it could also be a now-retired professor or an acquaintance of Professor Slughorn. Honestly, nothing could be ruled out for now.
"Thanks, Professor Flitwick," Rowan said. "I'm not sure how to go about solving this tricky puzzle quite yet, but it's nice to have someone listen to one's thoughts."
"Always a pleasure, Miss Prince," Professor Flitwick said as Rowan gratefully smiles back at him. "But Miss Prince, should you ever been in trouble, please don't hesitate to call."
"I will, Professor," Rowan truthfully replied over her shoulder, before heading out in thought. Not paying attention, Rowan suddenly slams into someone and roughly falls back against the cold stone wall. "Blimey, watch where you're going," Rowan snapped.
"Sorry, Rowan," Mary MacDonald anxiously said as she scrambled to gather her things from the floor.
Feeling guilty, Rowan quickly knelt onto the cold stone floor to help Mary gather her things off from the floor. "Sorry, it was my fault, really, I wasn't paying attention as I should have," Rowan apologetically said as Mary smiles in acceptance of her apology.
Making small talk, Rowan remarked, "Mary, aren't you supposed to be in Transfiguration?"
"I know, but I accidentally left one of my books in the girl's dorm and had to go back to get it," Mary sighed in resignation as she stood back onto her feet.
Rowan brushes the dust of her pants as she stands up. "Alright, well, we better hurry up or we're going to be really late to class."
"Thanks for your help," Mary gratefully said, before running down the hall.
Mary sighs and heads to the Dark Arts classroom when she suddenly sniffs cat hair. "Ah, crap," Rowan muttered to herself knowing that would be in trouble if she was caught by Mrs. Norris. Sprinting down the corridor, Rowan prays that she doesn't crash into anyone else. From behind her, the faint figure of a cat with dust-colored fur, bulging yellow lamp like eyes can be seen as it's scrawny figure hurriedly paced down the hallway.
Out of breath and slightly sweating, Rowan gasped as she pulls around the corner and hurries inside the Dark Arts classroom. Professor Strives doesn't even notice Rowan is late as he continues to read in a monotone voice the present chapter. The other students dully gaze at Rowan as she slides into the seat Severus saved for her. "What took you so long?" Severus whispered under his breath.
"Our conversation ran a bit longer than I thought," Rowan muttered back.
"Next time don't be late!" Severus warningly whispered.
"That's what I have you for," Rowan shamelessly whispered back. Severus rolls his eyes and makes a rude gesture back at Rowan in reply. Rowan doesn't react as she may have deserved that just a tiny bit. By the end of the classroom period, Rowan had already finished her homework as the cogs in her mind begin to churn.