The day is rather sunny as Rowan yawns lazily in the cool shade and leans further up against the comfortable tree nook. Glancing away from her book, she gazes over at Severus, who is re-reading Lily's letter for the hundredth time. Rolling her eyes in annoyance, she says, "Sev, you must have read that letter a thousand times. Just hurry up and reply back already!"
"I'm thinking of an appropriate response!" Severus snapped as he glared over at his twin sister.
"It's not that complicated of response," Rowan yawned. "Besides you've already finished your summer homework and know the answer to every single of her questions. Stop being such a ninny and get on with it." Severus grumbles something about odious sisters under his breath and stomps away.
"Stupid two-legged! You almost stepped on me!" Said an angry voice.
Rowan automatically startles and glances around to see no one standing nearby.
"May you break one of your flimsy legs, two-legged!" The angry voice cursed again.
With eyes darting around, Rowan doesn't spot anyone and begins to suddenly question her own sanity. "Have I been out in the sun too long? Maybe I should go lie down inside," Rowan warily thought to herself.
Still hearing the grumbling from nearby and against her own common sense, Rowan decided to find the source. Slowly climbing onto her feet, she steps in the direction of the sound. The grumbling grows louder until she spots a common olive-green grass snake slithering nearby. Upon noticing her nearby, the grass snake crossly hisses, "And here comes another one! Go away! Leave me alone!"
Staring in utter bewilderment at the snake, Rowan glances around once more to make sure no one is nearby, but all she sees is the hissing grass snake from before muttering about stupid two-legged, disturbing sun-bathing time. Somewhat queasily, Rowan weakly slumps to the ground as her mind attempts to wrap itself around the impossibility occurring before her.
"Touched any weird mysterious artifacts lately? No. Touched any snakelike artifacts? No. Touched any dark artifacts? No. Went and explored somewhere I shouldn't? Yes. Questioning my own sanity? Yes." Rowan privately thought to herself as she rather lightheaded got back onto her feet. Making sure that the snake had slithered away, she somewhat in a daze crossed the neatly trimmed grounds and somehow managed to make it back to her bedroom without walking into a wall.
Rowan laid on the bed for some time, before finally pulling herself together. Though a most unexpected complication, it was something she could most certainly work with. Climbing to her feet, she stops to wash her somewhat pale face, before heading out to get some answers. Her immediate first stop is the attic, where Sir Knight Prince is engaged in a wizarding chess match against his ghostly body.
The handsome young ghost in the prime of his youth grins happily at seeing her. "Up for another match, Rowan?"
Rowan shakes her head and casually says, "I was looking at the family tree and I noticed that during the 10th Century, we not only changed our original surname to Prince but migrated over to France for a time, before returning several generations later. That wouldn't have had anything to do with Salazar Slytherin, now would it?"
The main ghost body of Sir Knight Prince flinches as his eyes wildly dart around. "No, no, ah, we moved because most of the family died in battle and the last male heir was in danger from enemies at the time. As such, France was deemed as a suitable place to dwell in until the family had grown again," Sir Knight Prince somewhat honestly replied.
Staring down her nose, Rowan retorts, "Yes, but that does not mean that we are not related to Salazar Slytherin, now does it?"
"Well, you just look at the time?" Sir Knight Prince stammered. "I best be going, I promised Reginald that I would have a chat with him." Not even waiting for a reply, Sir Knight Prince's main body grabs him, before fleeing from the room and through the wall.
Frowning at not having gotten a response, Rowan heads off to her next destination, an elegantly furnished parlor in light blues and beige colors. As usual, Aunt Georgine sits at the bench of the grand pianoforte as the keyboards play on their own, while Sirsa Prince embroiders.
Aunt Georgine is the first to spot her in the doorway and instantly stops playing. "To what do we ow this unexpected visit?" Georgine sarcastically murmured.
Sirsa glances up in surprise before worry crosses her eyes. "Is there something wrong, Rowan?"
"No grandmother, but I do have a question," Rowan solemnly replied as she took a seat before them.
"A question for us? Oh goody," Georgine deadpanned.
Sirsa gives Georgine a warning look, before saying, "Well child, what is it?" Seeing Rowan taking a moment to compose her thoughts, Sirsa hesitantly says, "Is this about your becoming a young woman? I was informed by Madam Pomfrey and had Dawn order all the necessary items. Is there anything missing?"
Rowan's ears turn red in embarrassment as she exclaims, "No, grandmother, everything is fine!"
"Oh good," Sirsa said with some relief as Aunt Georgine snickered with unconcealed glee.
Seeing their obvious discomfort, Georgine impishly says, "Well, I suppose that it is time that we have the TALK."
"What talk?!" Rowan sputtered.
Sirsa hastily looks away as she reaches for an elegant hand fan. With a practiced snap, she unfurls the fan and hastily fans her reddening cheeks. Georgine smirks at Sirsa's reaction and says, "Now that you are a young woman, we must have the talk about the birds and the bees, my dear."
Rowan almost flees in embarrassment as her ears flush even brighter at the thought of having the s.e.x talk with her grandmother and great-aunt. "That's not necessary!" Rowan protested. "I understood the concept and how to go about protecting myself if necessary."
Sirsa's hand ceases to fan herself with some relief as Georgine raises an eyebrow of disbelief. "Oh, does Madame Pomfrey start giving the talk now so early on? How strange, I thought the head of the infirmary typically waited until the student's third or fourth year. But I suppose children are getting more and more promiscuous these days. More than likely it is a tactic to ensure there is no unexplainable error in case of an early bought of mischievous youthful impulses on the matters of the body," Georgine solemnly concluded.
Quickly changing the subject, Sirsa clears her throat. "And so, what was the question, dear?"
Seeing her escape, Rowan says, "I have been studying our family tree and I noticed that during the 10th Century, we not only changed our original surname to Prince but migrated over to France for a time, before returning several generations later. That wouldn't have had anything to do with Salazar Slytherin, now would it?"
Sirsa and Georgine share a glance as Sirsa carefully words her reply, "Rather it has to do with who the Prince family once was." Sirsa paused to glance over at Georgine, who sighs as she reaches into her pocket for an unlit cigarette. Sirsa glares at Georgine, but Georgine raises an eyebrow as if to say, "I'm the one who is going to be explaining this tricky situation. Put a sock in it!"
With a practiced motion, Georgine lights her cigarette and takes a puff. After a moment, Georgine says, "Do you know what the Percussor's are?"
Blinking in surprise, Rowan replies, "I read about them in a history of Hogwarts, they were small, but powerful wizarding clans trained in the deadliest arts of assassination. They were all said to have been destroyed down to the very last child by the Hogwarts founders."
Blowing a puff of smoke, Georgine drily says, "Well, they weren't exactly all killed off. Most of them, yes, but Salazar Slytherin owed our clan a life debt. And though the life debt was called in, Salazar couldn't allow for our clan to be pardoned quite so easily. Therefore, an unbreakable vow was sworn that day, that the clan would never again take money to kill again.
But the irony is by that point in time there was not much left of the clan to save. All that was left were three old men, one old crone, two teenage girls, and the last surviving male heir, a mere babe. Despite the vow from Salazar for secrecy, it was much too dangerous for the family to remain in Great Britain as the clan had made far too many enemies. Instead, the family chose to flee to France in order to protect their last hope."
Georgine paused to let out another puff. "To further protect the sole male heir, the family took a new name, Prince in remembrance of our past, of our present, and of our future."
Rowan slowly nodded her head and says, "That certainly explains some things. Is that why dueling and the dark arts come so easily to us?"
"Mm, a gift or rather proof of our family's origins," Georgine hummed.
"Thank you," Rowan thoughtfully said as she rose to her feet. "On that note, before I forget, I saw Merlin Ambrosius on our family tree as a side branch connected to the wife of the first Prince. Was she Merlin's illegitimate daughter?"
Georgine glances over at Sirsa as if to say, "I'm done. It's your turn now."
Sirsa nods her head and says, "Merlin Ambrosius never did marry in his lifetime, but he was far from chaste. Magia Prince was the product of such a folly, whilst Merlin was still under the tutelage of Salazar. Her mother, a young witch died in childbirth and as the child was conceived out of wedlock, the newborn daughter was sent to France to protect the pureblood wizarding family's name.
To this day, we aren't even sure who Magia's mother was as Magia was not granted her mother's family surname. Alas, it was all too common in those days and I fear that we will never really know. As for any other illegitimate children, well, King Arthur was rumored to be one. But one can't know for certain as Merlin was most active in the muggle community."
Seeing Rowan's face, Georgine snorts, "What Sirsa means to say that it is very likely that Merlin spread his seed throughout muggle society as well. He certainly traveled enough too."
"Georgine!" Sirsa protested as Georgine merely shuddered in response. It wasn't as though it was a lie. Seeing her grandmother Sirsa glaring so indignantly at Georgine as though she had her tail stepped on, Rowan smartly beat a tactical retreat. She still had questions and she had one more place to visit.