After written exams, there were practical exams as well. Professor Flitwick called them up one by one to his desk to have them make a pineapple waltz across the desk. Professor McGonagall watched them turn a mouse into a snuffbox with points being given based on how pretty it was and deducted if it had whiskers. Professor Slughorn merrily peeked at all of them in a rather distracting manner as they tried to brew a Forgetfulness potion.
Professor Sinistra exams were rather enjoyable as it was all about being able to chart as many stars as possible. And given that it was now in the nice cool open-air everyone was able to relax as much as possible as one is capable during n an exam. Herbology was a breeze for Rowan as it was merely properly pruning and explaining the various properties of plants such as Molly. And not but least the very last exam History of Magic. One hour of answering questions about batty old wizards who'd invented self-stirring cauldrons, before finally being free, free for a whole week until exam results came out!
Everyone eagerly awaited with bated breath for the ghost of Professor Binns to speak. Finally, Professor Binns says, "Put down your quills and roll up your parchments." "Yes!" Everyone cheered as even Rowan grinned in relief.
"Freedom," Terry exclaimed as they joined the crowd flocking out onto the sunny grounds. "Now what am I to do with all the space in my days and evenings? Shall I take up music, art, or become a painter?"
"Physical exercise might be a good idea, you're rather scrawny," Rowan bluntly replied earning her a glare from Terry.
"I'm just glad that it's all over," Severus said with a sigh. "Although I wished I hadn't bothered to memorize the 1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct or the uprising of Elfric the Eager." Terry snorted under his breath and muttered something about overachievers earning him a swift glare from the twins as they wandered over to a shady tree out on the grounds and flopped under a tree.
Many others were doing the same as they watched a few of the older Gryffindor years tickling the tentacles of the giant squid, which was basking in the warm shallows. Yawning loudly, Rowan tiredly closed her eyes and rubbed her tired stomach. It was her last day, thank goodness and soon she would be free for another 28 days of this unfortunate monthly pest. She must have dozed off, because the next thing she remembered was Severus gently shaking her awake and saying, "C' mon Rowan, it's time to head back inside."
Rowan sleepily opens her eyes and rubs the sleep out of them. Holding out his hand to aid her to her feet, Rowan takes Severus's outstretched hand. With a grunt, she climbs to her feet as Terry stretched and says, "Well, I don't know about you two but I'm starving."
"Yes, well, I believe that is a common side effect after taking such strenuous exams," Severus drily murmured as they crossed the lawns and stepped into the castle for lunch. Taking a seat, they begin to eat hungrily eat the light spread of sandwiches and other such items. Not long after, Rowan wipes the crumbs from her mouth and rises to her feet. "I'll see you, both later."
"And where are you headed?" Severus said with a raised brow.
"The Library," Rowan resolutely chimed back causing Terry to shake his head in disdain as she walked away.
"You know, I think there's something wrong with Rowan," Terry huffed under his breath. "Even the Ravenclaws are taking a break," and vividly gestured to the relaxing, seated Ravenclaws.
Severus could only sigh as he took another mouthful of his sandwich. "That's Rowan for you, she's simply unexplainable." To which, Terry grunted in agreement as the two boys continued to stuff themselves with food.
With some surprise, Madam Pince glanced up at spotting Rowan in the library so soon after the exams were done. Madam Pince gave one of her favorite patrons a brief nod of respect, before returning to her work. Tired and ready to be finished with the project, Rowan rolled up her sleeves and grabbed the last journal in the archive. In her haste, she accidentally knocked a loose journal to the ground.
The book thankfully falls onto her foot causing her to grunt in pain and relief at the sound of its falling being muffled. Rowan hurriedly grabs the book off the floor least Madam Pince notice or worse. In her haste, a thin notebook slips out from inside the archive causing her to freeze in surprise and suspicion.
Glancing around, Rowan returns the fallen journal back to the shelf and cautiously grabs the thin notebook. Taking a seat, she warily opens the notebook to find an old written letter inside. Carefully unfolding the crinkled page, she begins to read.
"If you've found my notebook that means that I've failed in my duty to bring the truth to light. I make no excuses for myself for I know that I am a weakling and a coward."
The rest of the message is rather blurry unreadable as the ink had stained into the page. Carefully folding the letter, Rowan turns to the first page to see the name of Tom Marvolo Riddle in large letters circled with a tiny muggle photograph of him from the orphanage. The next few pages are filled with information about Tom Riddle's stay at Hogwarts, such as his achievements and friends. The next pages are handwritten interviews with four individuals related to Wool's Orphanage, the orphanage where Tom Riddle was born and resided for the first 17 years of his life. Not realizing she was breathing rapidly, Rowan skims through the interview as snippets of Tom Riddle's true character shine through.
Billy Stubbs remarked, "He was awfully quiet, but you know that if you made him mad, he'd get even." Billy paused. "There wasn't ever any proof and I think it's rather silly now, I mean he was only a boy of our age."
"Well, my rabbit was found hung from the rafters a day after Tom and I fought."
Mrs. Cole flatly stated, "There was always something off-putting about him."
"He frightened the other children. I never saw any proof mind you, but the children were all terrified of him especially Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop."
With great fear, Amy Benson whispered, "He can't know!"
"I promise, I shan't speak of this a word to anyone."
"Hehe took us to a cave."
"And then what happened?"
"He hurt us."
The last interview was only a single statement from Dennis Bishop, "He's Evil."
Uneasy, Rowan flips through the rest of the pages that show handwritten dates and times but have no notes next to them in explanation of said written events. All to suddenly, the notes cutoff to the last page only showing a single phrase circled several times, the Knights of Walpurgis. Clear tearing in the bind reveal that the rest of the notes had been clearly ripped away removing any further clues.
Furrowing her brows, Rowan wonders, why of all places such a notebook had been hidden in the archives of all places? But more importantly, if there was an investigation done on Tom Riddle, who was the original author? And what happened to the rest of the notebook and the author? But she needn't have wondered long as a sick unease feeling crept across her with absolute certainty. Whoever the original author was, they were very much dead.
With great care, Rowan put away the notebook and numbly returned to taking her notes. By the time dinner rolled around, she had finally finished copying out of the last archive journal, but instead of feeling triumphant, a feeling of unease prevailed. The unknown death of the mysterious author had revitalized the thought of her own mortality. She was a just a child fighting against a fatally dangerous madman.