Valentine's day arrived with a bit of fanfare as couples exchanged kisses or gifts. Rowan was one of those who happened to be grimacing all through their meals as she firmly kept her eyes glued onto the plate before her lest she sees another couple with their tongues down each other's throat. Those were the least of the horror stories told that day as more plenty of couples received detention and lost points by the dozens.
The worst tale by far was witnessed by Terry later that evening. Pale and gagging, Terry recounted the grotesque tale at having witnessed the apish Gil Goyle, a 5th year exchanging spit with, Hortense Sicca in their year. Needless to say, several more individuals were visibly traumatized at spotting other such grotesque couples throughout Hogwarts.
Though much to Rowan's surprise she did find a single, rare large Snowdrop flower on her pillow that night. Rowan quickly hid the flower out of sight of the girls and searched for an attached message but found nothing. Still, she wasn't able to force herself to throw the flower away and instead pressed it between one of the pages of a book to keep. It would at least make for a nice memory.
Making her way to the library, Rowan almost crashed into someone and instantly jumped as she profusely apologized. "It's alright, Rowan," a teasingly voice said.
Rowan glanced up at the cheerful figure of Wilkes and narrows her eyes at the coincidence. "It was you wasn't it?"
"I did what?" Wilkes feigned innocence.
"You're the one who left the snowdrop on my bed," Rowan pointedly said. "But boys aren't allowed in the girl's dorm. How did you do it?"
"I have my ways," Wilkes said with a wink, but at seeing Rowan's stoic face, he quickly added, "But if I'm honest a girl in my year owed me a favor and paid up."
"That seems more like it," Rowan observed. "But why the flower?"
"Why not?" Wilkes said with a serious gaze.
Feeling that fluttering feeling again in her stomach, Rowan grimaces, "I don't like flowers very much." It wasn't a lie; she didn't like cut flowers.
"Sorry then," Wilkes quietly said as Rowan ignored the sad gaze on his face.
"But thank you, I suppose," Rowan finally said with a bit of remorse in her voice.
"Your Most Welcome," Wilkes said, before looking at the time. "Well, I better be off, I have a class next."
"Mm," Rowan muttered before quickly going on her way leaving Wilkes behind.
With a sigh, Rowan took a seat at her usual place of study as Lupin glanced over but didn't make a comment. Pettigrew firmly ignored Rowan as Sirius stuck out his tongue in frustration trying to complete his current potions essay. Not at Quidditch practice, James softly asks, "So, why the sigh?"
"It's nothing," Rowan said as she shook her head and putting the memory away.
"If you say so," James muttered apparently not entirely convinced, but quickly returned to his own essay.
Rather gloomily Rowan finds that she only had one page of names which left to compare to before she is done. At this rate, she'd be done by the time the night was over and once more be left without a single clue. Rather than allowing herself to fall into depression, Rowan continues to work. And so, by the end of the night, she'd crossed off her list with zero matches or connections between said dates or numbers.
"I suppose it's useless now," Rowan muttered to herself. "I'll have to start from scratch again looking at it from another angle." Rubbing her head, Rowan began to put her things away as did the rest of the boys.
"I'm pooped," Sirius whined as he got to his feet.
"At least you finished your essay," Pettigrew gloomily said.
"I'll help you, Peter," Lupin kindly said as Pettigrew shoot him a smile of relief.
"Well, I got mine done," James proudly said as he puffed out his chest.
"SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY, MR. POTTER!" Madame Pince hissed at them as they left the library.
James snorted and kept silent for a moment, before finally speaking the minute they were out. "Sheesh, I wasn't even that loud," James huffed.
A bit curious, Rowan asked, "Did any of you give any of the girls anything for Valentine's day?"
"Ew, no!" Pettigrew said with a disgusted face. "The girls are annoying!"
Sirius shrugged and said, "I did, however, get some chocolates. What about you, James?"
"Same," James c.o.c.kily replied with a grin. "I even got some love letters too." Sirius looks a bit envious at that as Pettigrew violently shudders.
Glancing over at Lupin, Rowan blinks at seeing Lupin look a touched embarrassed. "And who did you give a gift too, Lupin?" Rowan said with a knowing glance.
The other three boys' openly gape at Lupin, who shyly says, "I gave Mary, a chocolate bar. But it's only because she always shares her sweets with me. I thought it might be nice to gift her something back."
"Well, color me impressed," Rowan honestly said. "Who knew you'd be the smoothest one out of the bunch, Lupin."
"Wait, I'm smooth!" James indignantly protested as Sirius chimed in, "Me too!"
Rowan merely arches her eyebrow in response as if that says it all. Turning to gaze back at Lupin, Rowan carefully eyes him and sees that he is being sincere. Maybe, there will be something there in the future. After all, originally maybe there was something there that wasn't allowed to flourish due to his condition. For his sake, she could always hope for the best if not there was always that girl waiting for him in the future. Come to think of it was Dora Tonks even born yet?
Shuddering, Rowan says, "Well, that was nice of you, Remus. I'm sure, Mary liked it."
"Lily and Willa said that was nice of me," Lupin innocently said causing James to blink a bit that and furrow his brow.
Being kind as usual, Lupin politely asked, "Did you get anyone anything, Rowan?"
"No, I did not," Rowan firmly declared as Lupin noticed her glancing at her bag.
"Are you sure?" Lupin further pried with some evident interest in his eyes.
Ignoring the question, Rowan said, "Did you know that your father came to Hogwarts, Remus?"
"Really, when?" Lupin blinked in surprise not having been told nor seen his father.
"Professor Kettleburn invited him at the beginning of February as a special guest given that he is a world-renowned authority on apparitions," Rowan tactfully said.
"Really, dad didn't say anything in his last letter," Lupin said with a frown.
"I'm sure, he just forgot," Rowan said not regretting at all changing the subject to such a delicate one.
"Must have slipped his mind," Lupin admitted as he relaxed. "It happens all the time when he's busy with research."
"Your dad's famous, Remy?" Pettigrew said in utter astonishment as James and Sirius shrugged.
"Mm, a bit in the apparition community," Lupin said with a bit of embarrassment.
"That's incredible," Pettigrew said with some awe as Sirius began to fidget. "C'mon, we better hurry down or the best bits of dinner will be gone!" Starving as only teenage boys can be the boys hurried down as Rowan at a much more leisurely pace walked to the Great Hall. Because honestly speaking even if the food ran out, she could always visit the kitchens.