The next morning with dark eye shadows, Rowan gets up as Severus is already impatiently waiting for her on his bed. Rubbing her rather tangled head, she reminds herself to at least find a brush to untangle her long unruly hair. Heading quietly downstairs, the twins paused at the rickety top of the stairwell at seeing the stiff and rare quiet atmosphere of their parents, Tobias and Eileen sitting down at the kitchen table without an argument.
Eileen wears a rather patched shop clerks' uniform as her dark gloomy, sharp face purposefully keeps quiet as she stirs a chipped cup of tea with a bent spoon. In a factory worker's gray uniform, Tobias crankily reads the tabloids and pauses at seeing Eileen quickly glance back down. Tobias glance reveals midnight black indigo colored eyes that are rimmed red accompanied by a waxy, unshaven face that had a tinge of yellow from all his drinking.
Tobias loudly sets down his paper onto the rickety kitchen table and barks, "Did the two of you clean all of this?"
Severus remains silent as Rowan frankly replies, "Yes, we did."
"You mean all this time, the two of you could have cleaned this entire house, but you haven't?" Tobias roared in irritation as he sends his chair flying back as he stands to his feet. "What have your lazy arses been doing all this time!" Eileen flinches but remains silent as Severus remains stiff and slowly inches over to grab Rowan by the hand.
Rowan boldly narrows her eyes and growls back, "We're just children, it's not our job to do so."
Eileen hunches down as Severus grabs onto Rowan's hand too late to stop her from speaking. "What did you say to me?" Tobias bellowed dangerously.
Rowan narrows her eyes and says, "If you hit us again, I swear I'll go to the bobbies. Our mother may be a witch, but that doesn't change the fact that you will go to jail for hitting your wife and children. And besides, the bobbies will never believe that mother's a witch and will probably lock you up in an insane asylum!"
Tobias sputters in fury, "Are you threatening me?!"
"And what if I am?" Rowan dauntlessly roared back.
Tobias enraged slams the table onto the ground causing the teacups to shatter loudly onto the ground. "I'm going out for a pint!" Tobias bellowed as he stormed out. Eileen sighs with relief as the door closes, before bending down to pick up the shattered glass pieces.
Rowan gently squeezes Severus's hand in comfort. "It's okay, Sev," Rowan whispered as Severus's tight handgrip loosens in response.
Eileen rises to her feet as she throws the broken pieces into the trash. With mixed feelings, Eileen furrows her brows and stiffly says, "You shouldn't have done that Rowan. He'll only return that much angrier after his drinking stint."
"Sorry mother," Rowan quietly replied.
Eileen's face softens for a moment, before reaching down to turn the rickety old worn table upright. Seeing Eileen's forlorn figure, Rowan quietly says, "Mother, we don't have to continue living like this."
Eileen glances up to see a determined expression appear on Rowan's face. "Mother, why don't we return to the Prince family?" Rowan carefully suggested.
Eileen blinks in shock and confusion as she stutters back, "They, they won't take me back!"
"Maybe, that was before, but now you have two children. And given that you're the last of the line, maybe, after all, these year's they've finally changed their minds. And despite our being half-muggle, we still carry the last of the Prince bloodline," Rowan persuasively reasoned.
Eileen trembles as she slumps back into her seat in thought. "I don't know," Eileen flatly said.
"We don't stand to lose anything more if you don't at least try to send an owl," Rowan steadfastly replied.
Eileen raises a wary gaze to her once soft-spoken daughter. Rowan, despite always being rather studious and quiet, she knew no fear when it came to her twin brother, Severus. It did not matter how drunk, Tobias, her husband was, Rowan would always without any hesitation shield Severus from any danger. And that even included school as more often than not, her daughter returned home battered and bruised, but victorious.
After a minute, Eileen pensively says, "You seem different." Not able to understand where her soft-spoken daughter had suddenly gone.
"Even small animals will eventually bite back," Rowan retorted as she raised the left side of her unruly hair to reveal a bloody, hideous scarring wound. Eileen's eyes filled with guilt as she presses her lips together in guilty understanding. "I'll be back," Eileen stiffly said, before grabbing her purse and rushing out.
The house is silent for a moment, before Severus unhappily says, "Wait, why do you want us to leave?! What about Lily?!"
Rowan seriously turns to face Severus and says, "It isn't safe to stay here anymore, Sev. You saw what father did just a day ago, after his drunken stupor. It won't be long before he escalates and that is highly likely given the fact that he felt no remorse this morning when he saw me."
Severus opens his mouth to protest as guilt crosses his face as he recalls how Rowan took the blow intended for him. The scene of his twin sister suddenly going limp in a pool of blood flashes before him. Severus hadn't even able to do anything as their father left without a word nor much less even pausing to check if Rowan was still breathing.
"And besides, Lily will be attending Hogwarts this year too, you'll see her then," Rowan persuasively added.
Severus ignores the guilt felt within him and crossly narrows his eyes at Rowan. "How can you be so sure?!" Severus fiercely snapped.
"I just am," Rowan truthfully answered.
Through gritted teeth, Severus stammered, "I, I- won't forgive you, if that's not the case, Rowan."
"That won't happen," Rowan confidently replied.
Severus brushes past Rowan in annoyance and heads outside leaving her to ponder her next course of actions as she took a seat in the old velvet green armchair. After much thought last night, Rowan had deemed that the wisest and safest course of action would to be to return back to the Prince family. Even if the Prince pure-blood household turned to be distant and cold towards them that would still be far better than remaining in poverty with an abusive, drunken father.