Later that evening, the Great Hall quickly filled for dinner. However, it was a rather strange affair as the third year Slytherin girls were all blankly staring at their still empty dinner plates. There was such an empty look in their eyes that the older Slytherins gave them a rather wide berth and ensured that the younger Slytherins did as well. For the older years knew exactly where that look came from and tactfully gave them plenty of space recalling their own traumatic experience.
The older Slytherins weren't the only ones to notice as the older years of Gryffidnor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff did as well. Rather mutely, the older Hufflepuff's patted the 3rd year Hufflepuffs on the back to the utter bafflement of the third year Hufflepuffs. The older Gryffindor and Ravenclaw's merely stared at their own third years with pity and sympathy. They knew that tomorrow would be their own third years turn.
After the longest period of silence, Rowan dully croaked, "Well, at least the boys had it worse."
Tiffany raises her dead gaze from the table and mutters, "How?"
"They got Slughorn," Rowan numbly replied.
Instantly Silvia covers her mouth as she turns green at imagining the horrific scene. Gulping rather loudly Silvia tries to breathe through her nose, while Bethanie slowly pats Silvia on her back in an attempt to comfort her and help with the nausea. "I suppose there is always a silvering lining," Bethanie muttered rather ill-looking herself.
Tiffany looking vaguely green herself, gurgles, "I really, really, don't want to know!"
All four girls shiver as with only a minute to spare before the start of dinner the third year Slytherin boys begin to weakly stumble into the Great Hall. They resembled pale zombies as their gazes were completely blank and filled with an inexplicable void. Not one of them could nor wanted to speak of the horrors that had transpired in the last hour. The boys merely shuffled into empty seats and slumped down onto the benches. Their heads were resting on the table, while others had their hands covering their faces.
Terry and Severus had somehow managed to stumble to sit down next to them as per usual. The instant they did so, Severus covered his eyes as if he were blind, while Terry's head with a loud thump fell to rest onto the table. In a muffled voice, Terry says, "Please OBLIVIATE this evening's horror from my brain! I don't think I'm ever going to get over this trauma."
"It couldn't be all that bad," Bethanie kindly said in a weak attempt to cheer them up.
Severus uncovers his turns dead eyes towards the girls. "Trust me, we heard all about Slughorn's exploits."
"EW!" Rowan and the girls exclaimed as they tried not to gag as dinner began to appear onto the table. Silvia actually claps her hands over her mouth, before lurches away from the table towards the nearest girl's bathroom. Tiffany is following right behind her as Bethanie rather unsteadily rises to her feet and closely follows after her.
Swallowing rather loudly herself, Rowan remains silent until urge to gag is finally gone. When she is finally able to trust herself to speak, she says, "Well, I was wrong apparently, your evening takes the cake."
"Mm," Terry mumbled as he finally raised his haunted gaze.
"According to Prefect Travers, apparently we got off easy. According to Prefect Travers, his third-year lecture was infinitely far worse." Terry shuddered in emphasis.
"Yes, well, at least we're not the only ones who have suffered," Rowan muttered. "I'm sure that the other houses will be shortly getting the talk as well."
They all wince as Terry chokes and says, "So, if McGonagall gives it to the girls in Gryffindor, who is going to give it to the boys?"
Three pairs of eyes subconsciously flicker back towards the Head Table at the Headmaster. Instantly they all have the urge to gag as Severus whimpers, "I'd rather take Slughorn any day."
Rowan energetically nods her head and says, "Ug, then I pity Gryffindor and Hufflepuff if that's the case."
Any desire to eat at this point had completely faded away as the three of them hurriedly left the dinner table. They weren't the only Slytherins to do so as various other, similar conversations were happening around the table. In fact, almost all of the Slytherin third years swiftly retreated to the Slytherin quarters without haven eaten anything for dinner.
It was a rather quiet evening for the Slytherin third years as they swiftly retreated to their own dorms and climbed rather early into bed that night. As for the following morning, none of the third-year boys and girls could meet each other's gazes without flinching. It would take a few days for everything to back to how it was. And even if it wasn't, the power of denial is a wonderful thing.
However, needless to say, there were more than several throwing up incidents later that evening by some of the Hufflepuffs. And which in turn were swiftly followed the following day by the Ravenclaw and the Gryffindor third years.
Madam Pomfrey found herself supplying Pepperup Potions like she did every year to those with weak stomachs. She herself did not understand the issue as the transformation of the body was a glorious thing to behold. However, even she was forced to admit that in her youth she had not appreciated that fact the least bit. Not that she would ever admit that bit the least bit out loud. She was the Matron of Hogwarts and had to maintain absolute calmness in the face of her patients.
Luckily, after the first day or so, the mass epidemic of sickness faded away. However, for the next following weeks, the third-year girls pointedly avoided the infirmary unless it was a matter pertaining to life and death. And even then, after that very few of the third-year girls were able to meet the Matron's eyes with a steady gaze.