Rowan was eating a cookie while lying on top of Severus's bed as she watched him read Terry's letter. "So, what did he get you?" Rowan mumbled with a mouthful of cookie.
Severus frowned his brow as he stared at the miniature glass spinning top, spinning and glowing on his desk. "Terry says, that this is a Pocket Sneakoscope. If there's someone untrustworthy around, it's supposed to light up and spin." Severus paused to glance at the sneakoscope with a smirk.
"Either it's utter and complete rubbish or it knows that you're untrustworthy." Severus lets out a muffled cry as a pillow slams into his face with full force.
Rubbing his face, Severus growls, "It was right!" Before throwing the pillow back. Rowan easily catches it in her arms and puts back at her side as she continues to eat another cookie.
"Stop eating on my bed!" Severus hissed. "You always leave crumbs behind."
Rowan pauses mid-bite and thinks for a moment about the comment, before deliberately popping the rest of the cookie into her mouth in reply. Severus lets out a huff as a soft pop causes them both to glance in direction. Dawn beams and says, "Hogwarts's letters, young master and mistress!"
"Thank you, Dawn," they both chorused as they each took a letter from her hand. The tiny house elf baby, Laldey, beamed at them from over his mother's shoulder, before they both vanished.
Rowan and Severus each tore their letters as Severus says, "We've got quite a few new books this year, The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 3 by Miranda Goshawk, The Essential Defense Against the Dark Arts by Arsenius Jigger, Intermediate Transfiguration by Emeric Switch, and The Finesse of Goblin Language by Balgok."
"That's what we have for our regular courses," Rowan muttered as she eyed all the needed textbooks for Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. At least Arithmancy only had one textbook, Numerology and Grammatica. While Ancient Runes had four textbooks, Ancient Runes Made Easy by Laurenzoo, Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms, Rune Dictionary, and Spellman's Syllabary by Spellman.
"What extra texts books do you have, Sev?" Rowan asked without looking up.
"Thankfully nothing except for the Complete Compendium of Magical Creatures by Newt Scamander for Care of Magical Creatures," Severus paused to make a face. "And the ridiculous two textbooks that we need for Divination, The Dream Oracle by Ingio Imago and Unfogging the Future by Cassandra Vablatsky."
"Not to mention the crystal ball and tea leaves," Rowan scoffed under her breath earning her a swift glare from Severus. "At least there's Hogsmeade to look forward too. We'll have to have grandfather or grandmother to sign it for us."
"Mm, I'll ask Lily to go with me on the first outing," Severus happily said.
"As if Lily will consider it a date," Rowan unconsciously murmured as Severus turned to darkly scowl at her. Before Rowan could think of anything to say to appease her twin, Owyn arrived clattering against the window and to her rescue. Silently praising the bird in her mind, Severus opens the window, while Rowan promises to feed the wonderful bird a treat later.
"Who's it from?" Rowan asked at seeing Severus blankly staring at the envelope.
"It's from Sirius," Severus said in surprise, before opening the letter.
With a surprised expression on his face, Severus says, "Sirius says, that his parents are fine in allowing him and Regulus to spend the last week of summer with us, before leaving together to Hogwarts.
According to Sirius and I quote, 'he is taking you up on the offer from the past Summer, Rowan."
Rowan resists the urge to slap her own face as she dully says, "It was a joke at the time, but I didn't think he'd actually take it seriously nor remember it for that matter."
"Well, I don't mind," Severus said with a dark smirk.
"I have little doubt of that," Rowan drily said as she shuddered and imagined what those two could up too. At least she'd have Regulus to quietly chat and discuss books with.
"I'll go and inform, grandfather or grandmother to make sure that is fine, before writing a reply," Severus said with a pleased expression, before heading quickly out of his bedroom before Rowan could stop him.
Sighing Rowan finished stuffing the last of the cookies into her mouth. Glancing at her list, she at least sighed in relief at not having to buy anything else for Arithmancy or Ancient Runes beyond more parchment, ink, and quills. Grabbing her letter, she dropped it off in her bedroom, before heading downstairs.
Severus with a pleased expression rushed past Rowan as she strongly resisted the urge to stick out her foot to trip him. Murmuring things under her breath about annoying little brothers, she headed over to her grandmother, who was currently having a pot of tea in the main parlor room with Aunt Georgine.
The moment Rowan stepped into the elegant cool parlor room usually reserved for guests, Georgine says, "Really, child? What were you thinking about when inviting a Black here? I thought you had more common sense than that."
"It was a joke," Rowan drily muttered as she took a seat on of the armchairs. "I didn't think he'd actually accept, nor much less remember my words a year later."
"Well, it is too late now," Sirsa coolly said as she generously poured Rowan a cup and floated it over to her. "The Black couple is under the impression that we have extended the invitation. I already formally replied to them as of a few minutes ago in agreement."
"I know," Rowan mumbled as she took a sip of the black tea. "I saw Severus on the way down." Georgine didn't bother to hide the slight upper twitch of her lips at the mention of Severus's name. Even after all this time, the two of them still did not like each other.
"And besides, Regulus isn't so bad," Rowan admitted.
"Well, he's a Slytherin," Georgine muttered under her breath. "I can only imagine what the Black child is like in the house of lions. It's like giving a pack of kneazle's wings and yarn. It is no surprise that the ending result will be complete and utter chaos."
"You have no idea," Rowan said under her breath as she accepted a colorful macaroon from the floating plate before her.
"Well, either way, they're both Blacks," Sirsa huffed. "They'll have been taught how to properly comport themselves in other old households. I'm sure that for the duration of their short stay they shouldn't cause too much trouble."
Rowan is unable to meet her grandmother's eyes at that last statement as she quickly swallows her hot tea, slightly burning her tongue. Wincing she quickly changes the subject, "Our Hogwarts letter came in today."
"Good, it was getting late," Sirsa said with a frown. "I suppose that you'll wanting to go and meet with the Evans in Diagon Alley again."
"I'm sure that Severus has already written to Lily and is just waiting for a reply," Rowan said as she bit into her tasty macaroon.
"Mm," Sirsa said with a bit of a frown. "He is a tad too close to that girl, don't you think?"
Rowan almost spits out her mouthful but manages to choke it down. With eyes watering, she says, "Ah, well, we're just childhood friends." Georgine merely raises an eyebrow, but doesn't cause Rowan trouble by saying, that was a blatant lie.
"The both of you are thirteen now," Sirsa slowly said. "It is about this age that boys begin to look at girls and vice-a-versa. I'd hate for him to fall in love with her."
"Because she is a muggle-born?" Rowan hazard to declare.
Sirsa's brows furrow as her lips twitches into a frown. "I would not make that same mistake, twice, Rowan."
Rowan nods her head in apology at the reprimand as Sirsa takes a sip of her tea to sort her thoughts. "That girl is rather lovely and quite charming. She'll be a looker, no doubt, but I've seen plenty of beautiful women before and she is no more outstanding."
Sirsa pauses to set her teacup on the silver tea platter. "Rather it worries me on how close they are. She is his friend and if she does not return his feelings," Sirsa paused.
"That alone will not break, Severus, but rather her kindness will. And kindness like that drowns the soul in sweetness. I fear that he may never recover if he lost her friendship or he would rather cling to that friendship than ever lose her."
Sirsa gazes up at Rowan and says, "Severus must marry to continue the Prince line. There is no other choice for him. But any girl that we arrange for him to be with will not pay second fiddle to his heart.
Any pureblood girl worth her good salt does not expect love out of a marriage partner, but certainly, respect and to be valued by their partner. But if that partner is always bem.o.a.ning the past, I'm afraid she'd not be able to bear it. For you see, a lover or a mistress has a proper place, out of sight and out of mind. But such a treasured friendship would not allow anything else in its place to grow even in the public eye."
"I'm afraid of that too," Rowan confessed with a weary expression. "I fear that he will lose her in the end, and it will break him."
"But does he stand a chance?" Georgine interrupted. "If he does then we need not worry, but if he does not-." Georgine's voice trails off as she gravely eyes her niece.
"I think Lily sees him as a good friend," Rowan admitted. "But I don't know if she will ever see him as anything more than that and therefore there lies the problem. However, if she can grow to see him as a man, I do believe she will choose him in the end."
"And if she does not?" Georgine voiced all their thoughts.
"Then I fear that our worst fears will come to pass," Rowan tragically said knowing full well that was the complete and utter truth. Because Severus would always love Lily to the end. But whether Lily would, well, she'd chosen James Potter once before, what was to say, she wouldn't do so again?"