Time trickles by until it is time for dinner. With a happy sigh, Sirius says, "It's getting late, we better head down for dinner or we won't get a bite to eat!"
"Yes!" Pettigrew gratefully said as he finally let go of his aching head, having learned more in one afternoon than an entire class period.
Lupin carefully packs up his things as do the rest until James says, "Aren't you heading downstairs for dinner, Rowan?"
"No," Rowan mumbled as she waved them off with one hand to go on and leave her be.
The four boys' glance at each other, before James importantly declared, "Well, in that case, we'll come back after dinner."
Rowan hand paused as she glances up at them with a resigned expression. "If I head down to dinner with you, will the four of you me leave alone after this?"
"I can't promise anything," James loftily said as the rest of the smirked over at her. Rowan groaned in reply, before reluctantly gathering her things and heads to the Great Hall with them lest they come up with more ways to bother her.
They politely wave goodbye to Madam Pince, who somewhat mollified nods her head at them. The moment they leave the library, Sirius stretches out and lets out a holler in relief. "Uh, I thought I was going to suffocate in there!"
"Mm, it can be quite dull," James agreed as Lupin ruefully shakes his head.
However, Pettigrew on the other hand unhappily glared at Rowan, who sneered back at with as if saying, "The feelings mutual, buddy."
Noticing the silent standoff, Sirius intervenes and wraps a playful arm around Pettigrew. "C' mon, Pettigrew, where's your smile?" Pettigrew wrinkles his nose as Sirius drags Pettigrew a few feet away from them and pokes general fun at him. James laughs mischievously at Sirius's antics and follows suit as they mercilessly tease Pettigrew.
Rather than trailing after them, Lupin remains a step behind. "By the way, thanks," Lupin softly said.
"For what?" Rowan snorted in reply. Lupin grins knowingly at Rowan's attempt to feign innocence, before rushing off after his three friends. The four boys tease each other until they get to the Great Hall, where they hurriedly head over to their Gryffindor table.
Rowan takes a seat at the Slytherin table to find her roommates already at the table. Taking a seat, Rowan grabs a plate for herself as Silvia grins with a wide knowing smile at Rowan. "What?" Rowan finally snapped unable to stand the smirk on Silvia Flint's face.
"Nothing," Silvia ruefully said as her blue-gray eyes had a rather annoying familiar twinkle to them.
"Nu-uh!" Tiffany Topsy protested; her strawberry blond hair bobbed in protest as well. "We were just talking about how Rowan entered the Great Hall with four boys!"
"Merely a coincidence of that I'm sure of," Bethanie Fawley sternly interjected causing her freckles to twitch on her nose. Rowan gratefully stares at Bethanie, who gives her a nod as if saying, "Girl, I've got your back."
Tiffany shakes her head in disappointment causing her strawberry blond hair to bob all around. "Aw, I finally thought I had some good gossip," Tiffany lamented out loud.
"Oh, I don't know about that," Silvia retorted with gleaming blue-gray eyes.
"Be quiet and eat already, you too," Bethanie chided them in a maternal tone. The two girls obediently do as there are told as if unable to disobey Bethanie's command.
Rowan swallows a mouthful and sincerely says, "If I were a boy, Bethanie, I would definitely marry you."
"Wait, why not me? I'm the cutest!" Tiffany shrieked indignantly. "Or Silvia, since she's got the most money out of all of us!"
"It's because Bethanie's the sweetest," Rowan frankly said causing Tiffany to sputter indignantly and Silvia to pensively say, "I have the feeling that Bethanie shan't lift a finger and that the boys will come to her like bees to honey."
"I'll drink to that," Rowan said holding up her goblet in the air for emphasis. The four girls burst out into laughter and continued to tease each other for the rest of the meal. It was so nice that Rowan decided to not head back to the library and take a break for the evening.
Having passed through the inspection checkpoint at the Ministry of Magic Fabian and Gideon Prewett with great startle receive a bouquet of red prickly roses with a big black teddy bear with a simple sign that reads, "Hallows Eve!" Fabian frowns and accusingly glares over at his brother as he says, "Is this a practical joke, Gideon?"
"I would certainly think so except it wasn't me!" Gideon hastily protested his innocence. "And there's nothing on the message except for a date." The two of them stare at each other for in heavy silence, before quickly destroying the flowers and everything including the fluffy bear. Finished tossing everything into the trash bins and having thoroughly incinerated the message, they put on their cloaks.
"I'll be the decoy," Gideon said as they each headed to the floo fireplaces on the main lobby floor. Gideon goes first, while Fabian goes next before emerging in an open chimney area. From there, Fabian apparated elsewhere in the city, before making his way to a small flat on foot. Fabian carefully knocks thrice and whispered to the door knocker, "Acid Pops."
A soft click is heard as the door unlocks itself for Fabian to swiftly steps inside. The sleeping figure of Alastor Moody is half-asleep in an armchair and despite being half asleep Alastor viscously points his wand at the intruder. "It's me, Fabian!" Fabian shouted as he removed his hood and frantically held his hands up in the air.
"Oh, it's just you," Alastor murmured as he sat back down in his chair. "Why have you come? I thought we agreed to not meet unless it was urgent."
"It is," Fabian said as sat down across from Alastor. "We received an anonymous message of prickly red roses with a black teddy bear with a single message that of a date, Hallows Eve."
Alastor eyes widen in recognition of the teddy bear symbolism of a child and the red prickly roses as something ominous with the added factor of a date. "So, that's the day the hit will be taken place," Alastor worriedly said as he jumped to his feet.
"Hit?" Fabian asked.
Alastor points to the map on the wall and says, "I've been watching them as they've been trying to watch the Ministry. There's been a sudden increase in their movements that just stopped a few days ago."
"They're putting all their ducks all in a row," Fabian smartly concluded as he took a step closer to the map. "But where?"
Alastor points to the red circle mark on the map. "They're going for a preventive first strike, the Ministry of Magic."
"They wouldn't dare, would they?" Fabian said in disbelief.
"They can, and they will," Alastor confidently stated.
"Then we must immediately inform the Minister of Magic!" Fabian hurriedly said.
"No, there is no need, they're not going for the head, but rather for the belly of the beast," Alastor grumbled.
"If not the Minister of Magic, then who?" Fabian asked as he furrowed his brows.
"The Department of Mysteries," Alastor growled.
Fabian shuts his mouth with a snap as Alastor says, "Do you still remember the names on the list?"
Fabian mutely nods his head as Alastor gravely says, "Then if need be prepared to destroy them in cold-blood. We cannot allow for the Department of Ministry to be taken."
Fabian fists clench as he quietly, but staunchly replied, "We shan't hesitate."
"Good," Alastor said as he put on his cloak.
"Wait, but where are you going?" Fabian asked as Alastor paused before the fireplace to travel.
"To gather reinforcements," Alastor commented. "I know one or two Auror's that can still be trusted."
"Good luck," Fabian called out as the flames turned green and Alastor passed through to only vanish. Fabian quickly puts up his own hood back and does the same as the fire quietly crackles in the empty house to die a few minutes later leaving nothing but ashes.