The week went by rapidly as they played in the creek with Sirius almost drowning in the deep end. Or while Regulus and Rowan read a book on the grounds to only see Sirius and Severus mercilessly chasing Fidel on the grounds and through the enchanted maze. It was amazing how much energy two boys together could produce.
Of course, both boys, Sirius and Regulus were utterly fascinated by Sir Knight Prince. They both eagerly chatted with him and listened to him regale the tales of his exploits as a knight in the service of the crown. It was fairly obvious both boys were immensely enjoying themselves.
Either way, Rowan gifted Regulus the beginner's volume on how to master Occlumency as she was no longer in need of it. And the freak of nature that Severus was a natural-born Occlumens and had mastered the subject in a matter of days, where it had taken her months to achieve the same result with the aid of magic! Nevertheless, Regulus was thrilled and happily accepted the gift promising to immediately begin working on the subject.
On the final night at Prince manor, Rowan was finishing packing up the last of her things. Thinking it better to leave most of Salazar's books behind. She hid them in a hidden compartment in her desk, before taking only two of the unread books with her. She'd already finished one volume, but still had several more to go. Not that she had learned much beyond the general history of the world and famous characters of ages past. Interestingly enough there was a lot more written on Herpo, The Foul, but thankfully it was merely a historical record and was not related in any form or manner to Salazar.
"Rowan, can I come in?" The soft voice of Regulus could be heard asking.
"Of course," Rowan said as she swiftly closed her trunk. "Are you already done packing?"
"Mm, it's Sirius, who always packs at the last minute except for this time around," Regulus said with a chuckle as he stepped into her room.
"Have a seat," Rowan said as she climbed onto her bed and motioned for him to do so as well.
Regulus studied the elegant room as his eyes stared with envy at the star painted ceiling. "It's a lovely room," Regulus observed.
"So, you've said, before," Rowan said with a chuckle. "Is there anything wrong?"
"Mm, just excited, I guess," Regulus admitted.
"Well, I'm sure that everything will go just fine tomorrow," Rowan comfortingly said.
Before Regulus can reply, Severus and Sirius burst in as they sing, "Here comes the sun-!"
Rowan instantly retaliates with a thrown pillow at Severus as Regulus quickly follows suit with a pillow of his own at Sirius. "I should have never given you that cassette player," Rowan huffed as Severus rubbed his face, where the pillow had hit him.
"But they're really good!" Sirius beamed with pride having dodged his brother's pillow. "How come I've never heard of them?"
"Because they're muggle singers," Rowan deadpanned as Regulus rolled his eyes.
"I know, but still, I would have liked to know," Sirius huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest with a sulky pout.
Sighing, Rowan gets up and walks over to her desk to grab a pack of batteries, two tapes, and her cassette player with headphones. "Do you know how to use this?" Rowan asked with an arched eyebrow.
"He's been using mine all week long," Severus grumbled at having to share the gift his sister had given him. He rather secretly enjoyed listing to the music, but not that he'd ever admitted that to his twin.
"Here," Rowan said as she shoved the items into his chest. Surprised Sirius blinks at her in confusion as she says, "You can have them. I won't likely use them again until next summer. And I can always buy them again. For you, on the other hand, it won't be quite so easy. So, consider it a very belated birthday gift."
"I always knew you liked me!" Sirius said with a beaming smile as Rowan rolled her eyes.
"I like Regulus much more than you, Sirius," Rowan confessed as she flashed the blushing Regulus a wide grin.
"Well, I know plenty of girls who like me!" Sirius huffed as he gleefully clutched the gifts to his chest.
Rowan doesn't reply as she instead says, "Go off and put it away! Then we'll tell each other some ghost stories."
"Ghost stories?" Severus suddenly gulped.
"It'll be fun, Severus," Rowan said with a light smile.
Sirius innocently says, "Okay, I'll be right back," before rushing away.
Regulus being a bit smarter of the two catches the abrupt pallor on Severus's face and hastily says, "Maybe, this isn't such a good idea."
"Nonsense, it will help us bond closer together," Rowan persuasively said not comforting Regulus whatsoever.
Sirius turns and happily jumps onto the bed pulling the pale Severus to sit next to him. "Okay, who goes first?"
"I will," Rowan said with a sinister purr as Regulus reached to hug a pillow to his chest.
"There once was a father, who was putting his little boy to bed. He heard something outside in the hallway and left just a minute, before coming back. Strangely enough, his little boy was climbing back onto the bed, but the father thought nothing of it as he thought his little boy might have dropped something and had gotten out of bed to pick it up." Severus shivers as Sirius eagerly leans forward, while Regulus hugs the pillow tighter to his chest.
"The father then proceeds to tuck his little boy back into bed and tells him a story. Once the story is over, the little boy asks him to check under the bed for monsters. Chuckling good-natured the father does," Rowan dramatically paused as they all take a deep breath.
"But instead he sees another tearstained version of his son under the bed. The tearfully little boy whispers, "Daddy, there's somebody on my bed."
Sirius falls off the bed and lets out a high-pitched shriek at suddenly finding himself staring into the blank abyss under Rowan's bed. Scrambling back onto the bed, he clutches the bed covers in panic as he gasps in fear, while Regulus also terrified clutches his pillow with all his might. Severus was expected some sort of twisted ending merely edges away from the edge of the bed and scoots closer to the center of the bed.
"Who wants to go next?" Rowan cheerfully asked. "Or should I go again?"
"NO!" All three boys cried out as Rowan said, "Okay, well, hurry up then" Needless to say, the rest of the scary stories were rather lame. And a bit of a letdown as everyone quickly went to bed afterward.
Later that night, Sirius crawled into bed with Regulus. And neither breathed a word as to the reason why. Sirius wasn't the only one as Rowan found Severus huddling in her bed as well. She found it rather cute and endearing, while Severus cursed his twin sister under his breath. Oddly enough, Rowan slept rather well, while the boy's night was full of turbulent dreams.