A neat research journal zooms out of the dorm room and flies down the stairs to land in Rowan's outstretched hand. Rowan puts her wand away as she looks through her notes and stops. "Here it is!" Rowan said as she showed a journal page with a picture of a young Tom Riddle stuck to the page. Rowan points to the orphanage muggle clippings and says, "This note is a copy of the muggle Wool Orphanage registering the date of Tom Marvolo Riddle's birth, his birth mother, Merope Gaunt and his father, Tom Riddle Sr." Rowan paused again and points to another clipping and says, "And this here is when Tom Riddle's paternal side was killed by his Uncle Morfin Gaunt. Although-."
"Although what?" A Slytherin fourth-year said.
Rowan rubs her chin as if in thought. "I can't be certain, but I do believe that the true murderer is Tom Riddle himself. I mean, if he truly is the conman that I believe he is, then he would have had to destroy his past muggle identity to create a new pureblood identity for himself. In all those past years, Morfin Gaunt could have easily avenged his sister as he lived in the same village as Riddle Sr. However, Gaunt did not even attempt to avenge his sister as he believed her death and abandonment were retribution for her vile act.
I would not be surprised to find that those so-called memories of Morfin were actually implanted by Tom Riddle himself. And as Morfin confessed at his trial, no one even bothered to verify nor check if his memories had been tampered, to begin with."
Rowan confidently glances over at Lucius and says, "I apologize if this is embarrassing for you, but like I said before, I will only be loyal to pure-blood, but I will not follow a conman and much less one with such a repulsive past."
Seeing the seeds of hesitation and doubt being born in the staunchest supporters, Rowan continues, "Personally, regardless of his ancestry, I would still never follow him for he is no Grindelwald. Grindelwald, now that is a true leader with such might and power that powerful wizards and witches flocked to his side rather than a conman who seeks aid from mere Hogwarts students? Where are his magical armies? Why is his name not spoken in fear? But more importantly, what need is there for his to hide? Was Grindelwald ever such a coward?"
"No, he is the greatest dark arts wizard of all time!" Cried out a Slytherin 4th year with pride.
"Exactly," Rowan said with satisfaction. "This-, I'm not sure what this is, but it seems like a clever ruse to con us into becoming his minions, while your precious, Lord Voldemort reaps all the glory."
Maybe convinced by Rowan's words, but more than a few fervent Slytherin believers seem furious at being coned and hatefully decide to cut off all ties. While those that had already steeped back or were still on the sidelines firmly decide to cease to be members of these so-called meetings nor much less continue to side with such a conman.
Seeing Narcissa bite her lip in anxiety and Lucius trying to think of a way to make the notes less damaging, Rowan sees her chance. "Fine, I will give your precious, Lord-, one last chance, if we bet on the outcome of tomorrow," Rowan purposely said causing Lucius and Narcissa to narrow their eyes at her.
"Why would you so foolishly make such a bet?" Lucius suspiciously murmured as Narcissa nods her head in firm agreement.
"Clearly the evidence I have presented, nor my words seem to be enough to convince you, and actions do speak louder than words. Therefore, following that logic, if the so-called attack of tomorrow is successful, I won't speak another word on the subject and I will even join this fruitless endeavor," Rowan matter-of-factly stated. "But, should it fail, dissolve this pesky club as it is only a conman's ruse to gain power and drag us all down with him when it undoubtedly goes wrong."
The Slytherin members all turn to stare at Lucius Malfoy, who carefully ponders the proposed bet. If Rowan's words proved to be true then indeed it was a folly on his part to continue to entangle himself with the D-, with Tom Riddle. However, if Tom Riddle was who he said he was, then he would succeed on the morrow. Either way, he would stand to win.
"Very well, I see no harm in making such a bet," Lucius boldly said with a cool smile.
"Excellent," Rowan said. "Now, then I'm off to bed until tomorrow." Rowan only pauses to grab her notebook, before setting off for bed right away as there was an anti-listening spell in place.
The Slytherin members disperse extremely quickly this time around without a formal ending as they quickly abandon the common room. Even fierce loyalists like Vern Crabbe seem irritated at the thought of being conned by a half-muggle wizard. In the end, the only remaining members are Narcissa Black and Lucius Malfoy.
"Lucius, you don't believe her, do you?" Narcissa quietly asked.
"And what if I did?" Lucius snapped. "Do you have any idea how embarrassed I am to find out that the Dar-, that Tom Riddle has muggle blood! I seriously wonder what your sister was even thinking when she joined him!"
"He's going to change the world," Narcissa protested in defense of her elder sister, Bellatrix.
"I wonder," Lucius coldly said.
Narcissa almost flinched at the icy tone and softly murmur, "Lucius?"
"I'm not blind nor stupid, Narcissa, and I hate to be made a fool," Lucius flatly stated. "And despite being married, Bellatrix shows no interest in Lestrange. But on the contrary, the way she fawns over Riddle like a lovesick puppy. I have no doubt that Riddle can do no wrong in her eyes."
Narcissa gaze becomes downcast as her blond hair covers her face. A mixture of emotions flashes across Lucius's face until he finally softly says, "I shall see you tomorrow," before heading to his own quarters. Narcissa glances with some hurt at Lucius's retreating back, before retreating to the girl's dorm rooms to lick her wounds in private. Empty the common room flickers with shadows and crackling as shadows seem to move on their own with an unknown purpose.