The evening air sweetly held the fragrance of pumpkins as Rowan and her dorm mates stepped into the Great Hall for the Hallowe'en Feast. The giant carriage sized pumpkins that Hagrid had grown are neatly carved and placed throughout the hall. Glancing up at the thousands of fluttering bats, Tiffany remarks, "Do you ever think a real vampire could be hiding up there? Wouldn't that be so very exciting?"
"I doubt it," Rowan drily said. "Dumbledore would probably get fired if the vampire bit anyone not to mention what the ministry would do."
"You've been reading those gothic romance novels, again haven't you?" Bethanie chided as Tiffany wilted as they took a seat. "And what did I say about those novels being nothing but rubbish for suspectable minds?"
"That they implant witches with unhealthy notions about dangerous creatures," Tiffany dully replied.
"Exactly," Bethanie said as Silvia muttered, "Really should have been a Ravenclaw."
"What was that?" Bethanie pointedly said with a smile causing Silvia to blanche and shake her head refusing to repeat the comment.
Rowan wryly smiles and turns away to spot Regulus sitting with two 1st year girls. It had come as a relief to find that Regulus finally began to spread his wings. Though he sat with them at breakfast or in the common room, he tended to sit with his other house friends for lunch and for dinner with the two female friends he'd made in Slytherin.
Turning her attention back to her friends, Rowan finally rescued Silvia. "And how's music going?"
Bethanie beamed as she had been found to be rather talented at playing the harp. "The Professor says, I should join the Hogwarts Orchestra next year and I just might," Bethanie happily said.
Rowan sagely nods her head as Tiffany says, "Where's Terry and Severus the feast is about to start?"
Rowan stiffens as Silvia and Bethanie glance about before both eyes come to rest on Rowan. Seeing the inquiring gazes Rowan sighs and finally says, "They're attending some sort of Deathday party."
"Deathday party?" The three girls said.
"Yes, Deathday," Rowan drily said again. "It's celebrating the death of their physical body and the birth of themselves as a ghost."
"Why would anyone want to attend that?" Tiffany wrinkled her nose.
"Because of Lily," Rowan said as if that answered her question.
"OH," Tiffany said as her gaze filled with pity.
"He's such a lovesick kneazle," Silvia huffed as Bethanie flashed her another glare, before kindly saying, "Well, I suppose that is young love for you."
Their conversation is cut short as Dumbledore rises and says, "And let us welcome and enjoy another Hallowe'en feast!"
The students let out a cheer as much like at the sorting hat ceremony food appears onto their golden plates and pumpkin juice or cider appear in their golden goblets. On the plates, before them, there are candy-filled pumpkins, candy apples, black cauldrons filled with lollipops, carrot cake bats, orange streamers, goblets made of colored candy, and so much more to feast the eyes on.
The girls quickly fill their plates with food and grab an occasional sweet or two in-between every other bite. Rowan was quite pleased to see that in addition to the regular sweets there were new sweets added by the house elves, Tiramisu and Crme Brulee. On that note, she really should stop by to see them. Given the new changes in the Hogwarts's diet, the house elves must have gotten out in the world to gain some experience, that or bought several new cookbooks.
Rowan wasn't yet full when she flinched a few lanterns from the table. Being rather nice and considerate she fills the lanterns with sweets for herself, Terry, and Severus. Glancing up from her task, Rowan freezes at seeing that there was a missing Professor from the front table.
"He couldn't have-," Rowan quickly shook her head trying to convince herself otherwise. "No, he wouldn't have. But it's professor Adric."
"Can you take the sweets back to the dorms for me?" Rowan asked as she shoved her lanterns at the girls.
"Wait, where are you going?" Tiffany called out too late as Rowan had already scrambled out of her seat leaving the girls with puzzled looks.
Combing through her mind, Rowan tries to remember exactly where in the dungeons the party was supposed to be held. After a moment, she has an idea and teleports outside of a corridor filled with long, thin, jet-black tapers, all burning brightly blue, yet casting a di, ghostly light. Letting out a sigh of relief, she dashed down the hall ignoring the music that sounded like thousands of fingernails scraping across a blackboard.
Sliding into the room, Rowan tries to not throw up at the sight of the rotting food. Trying not to breathe, Rowan ignores the hundreds of pearly-white ghosts drifting across the floor or waltzing to the dreadful music and searches for six black-robed individuals. One would think the task would be simpler but the chandelier hanging overhead blazing midnight-blue everything seemed gray and dim.
Unable to spot them, Rowan knows she has to try one more place. Turning slightly green she approaches the stench filled table. Large, rotting fish were laid across silver platters; cakes, burned charcoal-black are heaped on salvers; there was a great maggoty haggis, a slab of cheese covered in green furry bold, and an enormous cake in the shape of a tombstone, with tar icing forming the words, Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington, Died 31st of October, 1492, 480 years old.
Sure, enough hidden in a dark corner, the boys were gathered around the ghastly display in fascination. A short way's away, Lily seemed to be rather pale with a tint of green to her complexion as she conversed with a cheerful Hufflepuff ghost. Fully avoiding looking at the table, Rowan scrambles over and grabs Severus by the arm. "We have to go," Rowan hissed as she dragged Terry with her other arm.
"But!" Severus protested as Rowan cut him off and hissed, "Professor Adric is coming!" Terry instantly ceased his struggle as Severus said, "But Lily!"
Shoving them forward, Rowan said, "Head back to the common room, I'll get them." Terry taking his cue grab's Severus by the sleeve and quickly drags him away as Rowan heads to Lily and hisses, "Professor Adric is coming."
Lily blinks in understanding as they both darted over to the boys and each grabs a boy and rushes forward. They rush past the ghosts and out into the corridor filled with flickering blue torches. Suddenly, Rowan pauses and hears sharp footsteps. "Not that way!" Rowan said as she shoved Lupin and Pettigrew after Lily in the opposite direction. Not waiting for them to protest, Rowan turns back the way she came and darts over to a gaunt ghost covered in silver bloodstains being given a wide berth by the other ghosts.