"Bloody Lollipops," Rowan huffed in the icy dungeon air that showed her breath. The dungeon wall swings open as Rowan hurries inside and heads over to the fireplace. To spot Severus and Terry back from an early dinner and playing wizarding chess. Unaware, Severus suddenly stiffened at finding the cold figure of Rowan hugging him.
"Get off of me, Rowan!" Severus snapped, certain that this was Rowan's way of getting back at him for her help during Defense Against the Dark Arts.
"Sorry, Sev," Rowan genuinely said, but still didn't let go. What had made her cross wasn't the callous comment of Lily, but rather the fact that it might just be too late for Severus. From the looks of it, James was already interested in Lily with Lily feeling mutually the same. Despite knowing that the chance of Severus being successful was slim, Rowan did sincerely hope that for her brother's sake that he would at least have a fighting chance.
"I will bite you," Severus growled in threat.
Realizing she'd been hugging Severus for far too long; Rowan lets go and lies, "You were warm."
Terry snickers and says, "Figures." From under the table, Alchemy lets out a soft meow of agreement with his owner but wisely remains hidden underneath.
Narrowing her eyes, Rowan walks over and hugs Terry from behind causing him to yelp at the cold. Severus snickers back, "Payback."
A meow from Alchemy below seems to agree, "See stupid human, I told you so."
Terry shivers and crossly says, "Say that when you take my King until then, you're the loser here." Severus glowers back as sparks fly between the both of them.
Feeling a bit more cheerful, Rowan let's go and says, "Well, I'll be heading upstairs now. Have fun you two." And loudly snickered as she headed up the girl stairs into the girl dorms.
"You don't think she incited us on purpose, do you?" Terry drily remarked as he watched her go.
"Frankly, I hadn't thought of that," Severus truthfully said. "But given that the two of you share twisted souls, I wouldn't be surprised that is the case."
"What can I say, great minds think alike," Terry ruefully said, before ruthlessly taking Severus's Queen. Severus winced and somberly pondered on how to attack because truth be told, he was losing.
"By the way, Happy Very Late Belated Birthday, Severus," Terry added. "And sorry, I truthfully didn't know it was on January 9th. If I'd known I would have gotten you a gift in advance."
"Mm," Severus said with the frown. "It's fine, Rowan and I don't really like celebrating our birthday. It's never been a pleasant time for us. And please don't spread the fact around, we'd prefer that our birthday be kept low key." Severus narrowed his eyes most pointedly at Terry. "By the way, how did you know, we never told anyone?"
Terry purposefully ignores the question as answering may possibly incriminate himself as he may have read a certain letter that had been used by Alchemy to play. Instead, Terry picks up on the solemn tone in Severus's voice as he says, "I take both of you've never had a good experience."
"That could be correct," Severus flatly said as he furrowed his brow at his rook being taken.
"I'll keep your secret," Terry solemnly said as he held his hand over his heart in emphasis. "After all, what are friends for?"
"Thanks," Severus muttered as he did his best to concentrate on the game.
"By the way, who else knows?" Terry curiously asked as he watched Severus try to think of a single move which would put him in checkmate.
"No one other than you," Severus crisply replied as he reluctantly finally made his move.
"Not even Lily?" Terry said in bewilderment as he easily put Severus in check.
"Tch," Severus said at Terry's move. "And no, not even Lily."
"But isn't she, your childhood friend?" Terry asked in confusion.
"And that's precisely why," Severus softly said. "All Rowan and I've ever had was our pride and I would feel rather unwell at receiving a gift from Lily and being unable to return it." Severus moves his king in sigh knowing full well any move would put him in danger.
"But you at least know when her birthday is, right?" Terry said as he took Severus's last knight.
"It passed some time ago on January 30th," Severus grumbled as he sighed in defeat. "You win," before slumping in his seat.
Terry cackles as he takes Severus's king, before saying, "And did you give her anything?"
"Just the usual gift, a small trinket," Severus dully replied being a sore loser.
Terry shakes his head and mutters under his breath, "No wonder, Rowan looks at you with such pitying eyes. Even I feel that's too weak of a move."
Sighing, Terry leans over and says, "Don't worry, even if you get dumped one day in the future, I'll make sure to set you up with one of my cousins, they're real beauties."
"No thanks," Severus flatly retorted.
"It's alright, mate, I've got your back," Terry said with an exaggerated wink, which only caused Severus to roll his eyes in exasperation.
"Let's go get dinner," Severus gruffly said as he changed the subject and rose to his feet.
Terry loudly grins causing to Severus to growl under his breath, "I think I prefer Sirius." That merely makes the Cheshire grin on Terry's face to get wider as they head to the Great Hall. Either way, this wouldn't be the first time nor the last time.
Elsewhere in the girl's dorm, Rowan studies her few notes while huddling under a warm fur quilt, a gift from Aunt Georgine from Christmas, who frostily said, "Those blasted dorm rooms are iceboxes." Which was true and for which Rowan was profoundly grateful for the very thick quilt.
Back from an early dinner, the other three girls blink in surprise at finding Rowan in the dorm room. "Well, that's unexpected. So, what brings you here to our lovely dwelling?" Silvia teasingly said.
"I sleep here too, you know," Rowan huffed.
"I only jest," Silvia muttered. "Jeez, what has your panties all up in a wad?"
"Nothing," Rowan grumbled as she put her notes away.
The three girls share a look as Bethanie says, "Well, we thought as much so we saved you a few rolls and a slice of ham to make a ham roll."
Rowan lets out a groan and thinks to herself, "I want vegetable masala, sushi, Peking duck! Just one such meal would be nice!"
"Not hungry?" Bethanie worriedly asked as Rowan numbly took the rolls.
"No, I just don't have much an appetite this evening," Rowan sagely answered. "But thanks, anyway," before taking a bite of the soft rolls.
"Well, just in case, make sure to at least have a snack," Bethanie suggested.
"She knows, Bethanie," Tiffany interrupted.
"I know that, but it can't hurt to remind her," Bethanie commented as she curled up inside the thick, warm blanket. "Brr, I hate this lasted weather."
"I think we all do," Silvia drily said from her own bed. "And we just had to get stuck in Slytherin, who happens to reside in the dungeons."
"So, do the Hufflepuffs," Tiffany chimed in.
"The lucky ones are the Ravenclaws and Gryffindors," Rowan growled. "They've got their cozy towers."
"But during the warm months, we are the ones, who are better off," Bethanie commented.
"Maybe, but I'd rather face the heat than be frozen all during winter," Silvia muttered.
"That's definitely true," Tiffany said in agreement.
After that, the room becomes quiet as the four girls did their homework or in Rowan's case, reviewed all her notes looking for connections and anything she might have missed. Nevertheless, it soon became time for bed and the girls curled up for the night.