With her present line of research at an end, Rowan could no longer put off taking care of the basilisk. Finally, she began to study the spellbook from the marauders. In the privacy of an empty classroom, she practiced said spells and produced a rooster call from the tip of her wand.
"Well, isn't this just embarrassing," Rowan grumbled as she flipped through the pages to the prank spells pointed out by the marauders.
There were charms to change the skin or hair color of others. Bogey hexes, slug jinx, and other spells, which Rowan did not find the least bit entertaining nor funny. The only three other potential spells that she found interesting was a giant stick tar pit, which could potentially slow down the Basilisk and one that allowed her to turn an object into a rooster. Useful given the fact that she couldn't very well steal Hagrid's roosters without it being noticed by her dormmates.
The last spell was a curious one as it allowed the caster to see another's aura with their eyes closed. It'd be a bit like seeing at night with infrared vision goggles. Even more importantly, it'd allow her to see the Basilisk without risking gazing into its eyes. Because she had no idea if a parselmouth was immune and Potter certainly wasn't. But then again, he wasn't a natural-born parselmouth.
Either way, Rowan wasn't about to take any risks with a giant magical killer snake! And as she highly doubted, she'd be as lucky as to be healed by a fiery magical bird and have a magical hat with a magical sword drop right into her hand... She needed all the help she could get. But honestly speaking, really Gryffindor's have all the dumb luck.
It was nearly curfew when Rowan headed back to the dungeons. "And just where have you been, Miss Prince?" An arrogant voice snapped at her.
Rowan turned to face the lean, sharped eyed man with lips curled in displeasure. "I was studying, sir," Rowan truthfully replied.
"This late?" Professor Stricken said clearly not believing a single word coming from her mouth.
"Yes, Professor," Rowan firmly answered. "I was just heading back to the dorms before curfew." Professor Stricken sniffs unable to counteract the polite reply. "I beg your pardon, sir, but I best be going now."
"Carry on," Professor Stricken growled, before storming away with displeasure.
Warily shaking her head, Rowan returned to the Slytherin quarters. The girls were already in bed as she quickly undressed and tucked herself in. Well, it was not to meant to be as she kept tossing and turning, before sitting up in bed feeling a bit peckish so to speak.
Certain that the girls were sound asleep, Rowan slipped off to the bathroom and teleported away just outside of the gigantic silver fruit bowl painting. Stretching out her forefinger she gently tickled the giant green pear on the paining. The pear squirmed and chuckled, before turning a large green door handle. Carefully seizing the handle, she pulled the door open and stepped inside.
Despite having been here before, Rowan still marveled at the size of the kitchens filled with heaps of brass pots and pans. Glancing at the four empty tables positioned exactly beneath the tables above, Rowan snorts before her mouth flopped open. The house elves before her seemed quite different than before.
All the males still wore their traditional spotless tea-towels, but now they wore neat little black buttoned-up jackets with a darker gray vest underneath. With spotless white cuffs at the end and shiny button cufflinks with a gleaming H on them. The female house elves, on the other hand, wore neat little French maid uniforms including a little cap on their heads. Their aprons were spotless except for the engraved H in the corner of their apron. The females all wore black stockings with tiny black slippers.
There was a long pause of silence as Rowan tried to wrap her mind around the drastic change. She knew she couldn't take the credit for the sudden change. No, this was entirely the result of the house elves own hard work. All she did was prod them in the right direction or rather show them the doorway and they just dived right in.
Finally closing her mouth shut, Rowan weakly said, "Well, if I didn't know any better, I'd say I walked into the wrong kitchen."
"It's all thanks to Miss!" The watery-eyed female exclaimed as the rest of the house elves nodded their heads causing their ears to flap and create a small breeze.
"Er, I rather certain that this was all of you, Toppy," Rowan said as she eyed the watery-eyed house elf before her.
"Is not true, Miss!" Toppy protested as the other house elves hummed in agreement. "Toppy and rest of house elves would have never discovered that we had fallen behind in the art of serving! There are entire muggle schools dedicated to the sole art of perfecting serving! Oh, Toppy and rest of house elves so ashamed at finding the bitter truth!"
Toppy whimpered as the other house elves cringed in reply. "But we learned, yes, we did! We learned we must be neat and posh to better uplift the masters. Yes, we are proud to serve again! Yes, we are!"
"I see," Rowan carefully said, before glancing over at a male elf with rather pointed ears. "Sorry, I don't mean to be rude when I ask this, but I did all of you go to Japan. I mean the Daifuku, which you gifted me for my birthday was most excellent. And it didn't seem like the recipe was out of a simple cookbook."
Habbey beamed and leaned over to whisper, "Yes, Miss. But don't tell other wizards. We house elves can go to many places."
"Huh," Rowan said rather intrigued and disturbed all at the same time. Well, it wasn't her problem to deal with. Turning a blind eye to the subject, Rowan asks, "Well, in that case, I was feeling a bit like having milk tea with a dessert. Do you have any suggestions?"
Habbey proudly stood up and said, "Yes, Miss! Habbey recommends pairing Milk Tea with a light tart or sponge cake."
"Let us go with the second option," Rowan murmured as the house elves dragged over to be seated and promptly brought out the food and expertly plated it before her. Taking a bite of the excellent sponge cake, Rowan murmurs sin approval as she sips the fine tasting milk tea. "Most delicious," Rowan said as she took another bite of the cake.
"Thank you, Miss!" Habbey and Toppy said in unison. "We only live to serve!"
"I know," Rowan drily thought to herself. For a moment, her fork paused causing the elves to tremble. It wasn't that she was displeased she just wondered what would happen if she introduced Tadbey to them. Suddenly, imaging a rather violent civil war in her mind, Rowan quickly stuffs the forkful of food in her mouth to the house elves extreme relief.
"Yes, best not do that," Rowan solemnly promised to herself, before enjoying the rest of the dessert.
Satisfied, Rowan licked her lips and said, "You all have truly upheld the art of service. I hazard to say, that all of you now could easily give a Michelin a run for their money."
"Michelin?" Toppy asked.
Rowan freezes on how best to answer the question. "They are a group of individuals who rate the art of preparing food from a scale one to five. But they do not rate the art of service, which I believe is a terrible faux pas on their part."
"Of course, we would be first," Habbey proudly said as the other house elves hummed in agreement.
"Of that I am certain," Rowan honestly declared as she rose to her feet. "Well, I best get back," Rowan said as she tied her robe about her.
"Food for later, Miss?" Toppy asked as dozens of house elves appeared with snacks in their hands.
"How about I just take a basket for later?" Rowan successfully negotiated as a dozen whirled away to prepare the said basket. "And by the way, I really have to thank you for all the wonderful food you've added into the meals. It really is nice to have a bit of variety."
"No, need, Miss! We only live to serve!" The house elves chorused.
"Yes, of that I'm sure," Rowan drily mumbled, before taking the heavy-laden basket from them and waving goodbye to them.
With the portrait safely shut behind her, Rowan simply apparated away back to the bathroom, before placing the basket of sweets on her trunk. This way the girls could have some even if she wasn't awake to tell them so. Satisfied and full, she went right to sleep as her body drifted off into a deep slumber.