Rowan let out a tired sigh as she finished polishing the latest metal worked item, a silver candle holder. Her grandparents had been quite generous in not sending her a howler, while she was still at Hogwarts. But they certainly hadn't forgiven her for the fright she had caused the professors, her twin brother, and the girls in her dorm room. However, it was a mixed blessing of sort as they had not further pried into exactly the reason why she was out so late nor why she had sleepless eye shadows for some time after being home.
After a rather long and lengthy discussion, her grandparents settled on a detention like punishment. Manually polishing a good stack of family heirlooms that had been stored in the bas.e.m.e.nt for some time. And as Dawn was soon to give birth, it was quickly agreed that this would be the best use of Rowan's time.
Exhausted, Rowan placed the candle holder back in its now clean wooden box, before snapping it shut. Glancing over at the boxes still left to go through she let out a soft m.o.a.n. But not one ever to give up halfway, she stubbornly opened up the next one to see a dusty golden jeweled vase. Carefully taking the rag and polish in hand, she gently began to clean in smoothing motions. Her mind tended to drift away at times like these as her body worked on autopilot.
For better or for worse, Rowan was able to sleep now at night. She still woke up from nightmares towards the end, but nothing her usual meditation couldn't fix. Still, a part of her was rather appalled at how quickly she had moved on. But the pragmatic side of her vastly approved as she did have more important priorities.
Rowan's mind wandered over to the most important topic on hand that of Charlus Potter Jr. and Fogey Artemio. In some fashion, she felt validated at knowing that there were others before her. And at the same time, she felt a bit of despair at knowing that the prior truth-seekers before her had not only failed but died under rather tragic murderous circ.u.mstances. Because that was the only ending awaiting her should she be discovered.
Still she couldn't very well go about asking about the two of them in the open. Look how well that worked out for both of them. No, she'd have to be a lot sneakier than a Ravenclaw and a Gryffindor. And she was a Slytherin and that's what they tended to do best.
Rowan let out a hiss and sucked on her finger as she saw that rather jagged gem had scratched her finger. Sucking on the bleeding scratch, she winced at the metallic taste in her mouth, before removing it from her mouth. It was bleeding a bit, but nothing that a band-aid wouldn't fix. Wait, she didn't carry one on hand. Sighing, she could only suck on it every now and then to stop the bleeding until it fully stopped.
Grimacing, Rowan much more carefully returned to polishing the vase. Making sure to keep her mind from wandering off, she found the task rather dull and repetitive. It must have been another half hour before she finally finished and retired for the day. Wiping the dust from legs, she headed off to the kitchen for a quick wash and a bite to eat.
Tadbey or maybe even Dawn must have known she was coming as there was a stack of sandwiches with some juice on the counter with a plate of tarts for dessert. Humming in thanks, Rowan quickly dived right in and began to eat. Glancing out of the kitchen window as she ate, she saw Fidel proudly stomping out on the lawns. As if sensing an evil presence, Fidel whirled his head around to meet that of Rowan's. Letting out a shriek, Fidel hastily rushed away from the bird-killer!
A bit disappointed at the lack of scenery, Rowan quickly ate, before taking the plate of tarts upstairs with her. Instead of heading to her bedroom, she made her way to the bedroom across from her own bedroom. Severus's bedroom door was wide open as he worked at his desk with his head bent over the large leather-bound book, A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot.
"Need some help with that?" Rowan asked as she lay down on the bed to watch him work.
"No, I'm fine," Severus grumbled. "It's just an essay on writing about the Witch Burnings in the Fourteenth Century."
"Yes, rather pointless, wouldn't you agree?" Rowan mumbled with a mouthful of tart.
"Of course not!" Severus snapped as he turned around to reach over to take one of the tarts. "It only showcases the stupidity of muggles and their view on all wizardkind."
"Well, most of those killed were really innocent as witches and wizards simply cast a basic Flame Freezing charm and pretended to shriek in pain as they enjoyed a gentle tickling sensation. There was that one witch, what was her name?" Rowan paused as she thought about the answer for a moment. "Wendelin the Weird, who enjoyed it so much that she was caught and burned no less than forty-seven times in various disguises."
"Yes, well, her name was certainly appropriate," Severus huffed as he reached for another tart. "Wait, you're already done with the essay?"
"Hm, I'm mostly done with almost all of our summer's homework. I just have to fact check a few things more than I will be done," Rowan said, before reaching for another tart.
"I can't believe it!" Severus exclaimed. "We've only started summer break and you're already done!"
"Yes," Rowan drily said, before taking another bite of the perfectly soft, flakey pastry.
Severus rolled his eyes as he sighs, "Are you able to spawn multiple versions of yourself when I'm not looking? Because I know for a fact most of your day is spent polishing heirlooms down in the bas.e.m.e.nt."
"No, but that would be rather neat," Rowan said as she reached for the last tart at the same time as Severus did.
They both narrowed their eyes at each other as Severus says, "You're eating in my bed."
"But I brought the tarts up!" Rowan argued.
"You're leaving crumbs in my bed, which I will later sleep in."
"Dust them off before you do so."
"I'm the youngest."
"Well, what happened to ladies first?"
"You're not a lady, yet."
"Wait, what's that supposed to mean?" Severus sputtered.
Seeing her opportunity, Rowan sneaks the tart off the plate and stuffs it into her mouth. Severus snort in disgust at seeing her bulging cheeks and scoffs. "You better not choke on that, because I'm not about to perform first aid on you."
Rowan merely smirked despite looking like a squirrel with her cheeks bulging with food. After chewing and swallowing for a bit, Rowan breathlessly said, "So, have you picked out a name for Dawn's baby yet?"
"And why are we picking the baby's name again?" Severus asked without glancing away from his essay.
"Apparently it's a tradition for the family to name the house elf child," Rowan carefully answered not wanting to say, owners. "But truthfully speaking, Dawn asked that you and I do the naming. So, any good ideas?"
"No, I don't have any, what about you?" Severus snapped as he pointedly glanced over at his twin.
"I thought Laldey or Lalry might be nice." Severus merely arches his brow, but before he can think of anything to say, a loud popping sound can be heard as a rather tense Tadbey appears and says, "It's time!"
Severus almost gulps as he says, "What's time?" Tadbey doesn't wait to answer as he grabs both of them and apparated with them away.
Severus and Rowan both appear in an unfamiliar part of the manor to see a tired looking, but rather beaming Dawn holding a small blue bundle in her arms. "Young master and little mistress, Dawn has borne the Prince's a loyal retainer, please name him," Dawn asked as she held out the tiny, scrunched up little house elf, who was a bit of a red prune at the moment.
Peeking to glance at the house elf baby in the soft blue blanket, Rowan lips twitch into a soft smile at seeing the cute large ears. Severus personally seems a bit out of sorts, but wisely does not make a comment on the subject. "Laldey," Rowan whispered. "That will be his name."
"Laldey," Dawn reverently said as she gently placed a kiss on her baby boy's head. "Dawn thanks the young master and little mistress for the glorious name. Laldey will serve proudly under the Prince's name." A binding like string of magic seems to appear around the baby, before curling around Rowan and Severus and extending to the other three Princes above.
And just like that, the glowing strings disappeared as Dawn happily said, "The Prince's have accepted, and we shall remain as thine humble retainers."
Tadbey didn't quite look on the scene in approval, but he hadn't been able to dissuade his wife from binding their newborn son to the Prince family. And though the Prince's treated him well and even accepted him as a free elf, which was rather scandalous to any Pure-Blood family, Tadbey could never find in it himself to fully trust them. But his wife did and that would have to be enough. He could only hope that if his child ever wished to leave that the Prince's would keep their promise and allow the child to do so.
"Come now, young master and mistress," Tadbey finally said as Rowan and Severus pulled away from the baby. "My wife and child must rest."
"Of course," Rowan and Severus chorused in unison as Tadbey apparated them back to their rooms, before returning to his wife and child.
Back in their bedroom, Tadbey climbs onto the bed to stare down at his beautiful son. "He's perfect," Tadbey said as he leaned over to press a kiss to his lovely wife's cheek.
"Dawn certainly thinks so," Dawn tenderly hummed. "My Laldey is Prefect."
"Yes, that he is," Tadbey said in agreement as the two parents watched over the still sleeping son. And house elf babies, unlike human babies, were much quieter. Perhaps, it had something do with their magic or that of their mothers. But house elf babies were often carried on their mother's back as they worked.