Rather pale-faced, Rowan returned to the compartment much sooner than expected. Seeing her pale face, Terry asks, "What happened to you?"
Rowan mutters one word, "Boys." Before grabbing a bar of chocolate from her snacks and begins to stuff her mouth as if to cleanse it. Terry seems genuinely intrigued by the response, but seeing as Rowan seemed rather out of character, he just made a note of it.
The rest of the train ride went by rather quickly as Rowan stared out of the window in a daze as she absentminded patted the purring figure of Alchemy in her lap. Soon enough it came time to dress as Alchemy sadly meowed, before climbing into his basket. With three of them continued to chat as Rowan shuddered every now and then reliving the terrible memory.
Shaking her head, Rowan followed them out onto the Hogsmeade platform. As usual, Hagrid was bellowing for the first years as the now wiser second year shook their heads in pity. The older, wiser students had transfigured items into umbrellas as dark clouds overhead began to thunder as the rain began to pour down.
They were lucky as they came prepared with Lily and Severus sharing an umbrella, while Rowan and Terry did the same. They all hurried forward as they all ran down the muddy track towards the waiting carriages in the field. Hurrying forward they dived into a carriage as Rowan murmured a cleaning charm on her clothes to rid herself of the mud. Before pointing her wand at her clothes as hot air blasted out to dry her clothes as the other three did the same.
With a soft rattle, the carriage moved forward as they watched other scrambling students jumping into carriages squeezing up to six people in some of them. Ignoring the familiar scent, Rowan says, "Well, at least we're not out on the lake."
"Mm, we were lucky it didn't rain and pour that year," Terry said with a violent shudder as he finished drying his clothes. Even Lily and Severus nodded their heads in agreement. They quietly chattered every now and then as they watched the rain steadily continue to fall.
Finally, the carriage rolled to a stop before the great front door as they all ran out into the brightly lit hall. Brushing some of the droplets out of their hair, they made their way into the Great Hall. Waving goodbye, Terry said, "I wonder who the new DADA professor is?"
"Well, last I heard they still haven't found Professor Adric," Severus remarked as they took a seat.
"Who's this years, head boy and girl?" Rowan loudly asked, changing the subject.
"Some Hufflepuff boy and Ravenclaw girl," answered, Silvia as she sat down across from them.
"Huh, were all of you in the carriage behind us?" Rowan asked at seeing Tiffany and Bethanie have a seat as well.
"Mm, and you didn't even notice us," Tiffany pouted.
"Yes, well, I don't tend to stick my head out of the carriage, when it's raining cats and dogs," Rowan drily countered.
Bethanie laughs and says, "Well, that's true enough."
The girls and Rowan make small talk about how their summer trips went, while Severus and Terry discuss some boy in the year above them. Apparently, the boy had gotten into some trouble over the summer. And as a result, had been transferred over to Durmstrang.
From the corner of her eye, Rowan spots Regulus sitting with his two friends, two girls in his year. Hiding a smile, Rowan returns to their conversation to only seem them become silent.
Glancing over to the front hall they all wait for Professor McGonagall to be seen. Unlike the year before Rowan noticed a certain sad air about her. But it did make perfect sense given the fact that the love of her life and been killed by the now-deceased Fenrir Grayback over the summer. But at least this time around both of McGonagall's brothers were still alive with their families.
Turning away, Rowan from the pale line of nervous 1st years, she eyes the dark ceiling above. Lightning can be seen brightly flashing amid the dark clouds as endless rain seems to fall. Soon enough the sorting hat begins to sing, but she drones out the sound instead enjoys the scenery up above. Finally, the Great Hall is silent again as the 1st years go up one by one.
Rowan reflexively claps at hearing those around her clap but doesn't really pay attention beyond a single name that of J. E. Prewitt. The boy was sorted into Ravenclaw thankfully. But according to Molly Weasley herself, she said that she and her brothers were the last of the Prewett. Possibly a distant cousin, who died in the war? It wasn't until she realized that it was PREWITT and not PREWETT. There was a one letter difference, how embarrassing.
After some time, finally, the last name is shouted as the hall once more falls silent. At the head of the table, Albus Dumbledore stands with his gleaming white hair and beard. Wearing his usual exorbitant styled robes, he beams at all of them from behind his half-moon spectacles. "Welcome to Hogwarts on this rather fierce night!" A soft rumbling chuckle is heard at the accurate remark.
"As we are all aware, Professor Adric still tragically remains missing. He shall be missed, I am sure," Dumbledore said as more than one face disagreed with the statement as that was not the case at all. "As such the Dueling club is once more discontinued until further notice."
There is a loud collective m.o.a.n from this year's 5th and 7th years. Professor Adric was an utter git, but at least he knew how to teach. And more importantly, he had been an excellent dueler. The 5th and 7th years could only desperately hope that the latest professor was more like Professor Adric and not like Professor Stricken.
Seeing the depressed faces of the 5th and 7th years, Dumbledore's eyes twinkle as he eyes, "On that note, please welcome our newest professor for the post, Professor Pollen."
Everyone claps as they crane their necks to gaze at the new professor. Professor Pollen was a straight, almost flat-chested woman with curly hair to her shoulders and a sprinkle of freckles over the bridge of her nose. And unlike the professor before her, Professor Pollen had a warm inviting smile on her face. This more than anything caused a sigh of relief at the normal sight.
Seeing their hungry impatient expressions, Dumbledore says, "And let us eat!" The students cheer and happily turn to face forward as the golden goblets and plates filled with food.
With care, Rowan picked that which she liked and served herself. Enjoying the lovely meal, she managed to eat two plates plus a plateful of dessert. Satisfied, she cleansed her pallet with raspberry sherbet. "I must say, they really outdid themselves this year," Rowan privately thought to herself with gratitude towards the Hogwarts elves.
As usual, the Great Hall fell silent once more after a time, where Dumbledore gave his usual speech, before leading them off into a song. Clearing his misty eyes, Dumbledore says, "Well off to bed!"
Stretching with a groan, Terry and Severus followed with huge bellies. "That's what you get for eating four plates and two plates of dessert," Rowan chided them.
"But it was so good," Terry m.o.a.ned.
"I regret nothing," Severus said under his breath.
"So, you say now," Rowan said with a dubious glance. Ignoring them, she followed the rest of the Slytherins that were heading towards the dorms.
Climbing up the stairs, Rowan read the name tags on the doors until she found theirs on the third floor. Apparently, they'd finally been moved to leave the lower levels for the younger 1st years. It was tradition, they'd not be moved again until their sixth year.
Stepping inside, Rowan was the first one inside as the girls were still several doors down from her. Seeing her find their dorm, they eagerly surged forward as Rowan once more found her bed next to the door. "Well, at least we're up higher now," Rowan muttered not knowing if that was a good thing or not.
"Ah, I'm so tired," Tiffany groaned as she flopped down onto her bed that now had bed curtains. A handy feature to keep the cold out and to give the sleeper some privacy.
"Well, as soon as you undress, you can go to bed," Silvia said as she began to ready herself for bed.
With a loud groan, Tiffany got up to put on her pajamas, before crawling into bed. She wasn't the only one as everyone else did the same and fell fast asleep including Rowan. And honestly speaking, they were going to need it as this would not be an easy year for them.