On the last weekend of October, Rowan awoke with the rest and down to breakfast feeling a bit annoyed. For the last few weeks, Wilkes paramour had taken to flouncing her romance with Wilkes in view of everyone else much to all their annoyance. To be honest Rowan wouldn't have cared that much if not for the unsightly display she and everyone else kept seeing EVERYWHERE.
Even Professor Slughorn hadn't been able to take it anymore as the Prefects had reported their actions to him. Professor Slughorn was even treated to such a view and a result had given them a stern lecture on proper decorum and propriety. Though that hadn't helped anyone very much as the two continued out of sight of the Prefects and Professor Slughorn. But the 5th years and 7th years were starting to get awfully twitchy with their wands when those two were around. It was only a matter of time until one of them finally snapped and attacked the shameless couple.
Thankfully this time no one else's eyes were assaulted at breakfast as Rowan finished first and left before anyone else. Dressed rather warmly, she set out to the great hall where the first carriages were rolling up the path towards Hogsmeade. Stepping out into the cold frozen leaves crunched under her feet. The grounds were frozen every morning as the trees had long since turned bright colors and had begun to lose their leaves. Some of them had lost a good bunch of their leaves after the fierce storm a few days ago and were rather bare.
Though downcast it didn't seem as though it was going to rain this afternoon. Rowan glanced around as she tucked the warm scarf her grandmother had knit for her after losing her last scarf from her the year before. Making sure she had her gloves in her pockets, she watches her breath transform into clouds in the cool morning air. "You're here rather early," a voice could be heard from behind her causing her to glance back.
Rather rosy cheeked in the early morning chill, James Potter lazily grinned at her causing Rowan's own lips to twitch into a faint smile. "Well, I thought it would be easiest to avoid the morning rush to get to Hogsmeade if I got there first."
"Same," James flashed her a grin as the two watched the first of the carriages roll up to a halt before them. "Ladies first," James offered as Rowan soundlessly brushes past him and climbed into the musty carriage. James glanced back and at not seeing anyone else quickly climbed in.
The carriage quickly set off at a steady trot as James murmurs, "I've always wondered what kind of invisible steeds carry the carriages."
"Thestral's," Rowan muttered as she stared out at the quiet morning scenery. Even the birds weren't about yet still cuddling in their warm nests. The inky black lake had already begun to freeze but wasn't anywhere near completely frozen to skate on and to stay away from the frozen edges. As such there were large signs staked into the frozen ground by Hagrid warning all the students that the lake yet to freeze and was not suitable for any sorts of winter activities.
Clearing his throat rather loudly, Rowan turns to stare rather piercing at James. Flashing her an awkward grin, James says, "Er, sorry, we've been busy with Quidditch that we haven't had much time to talk."
Seeming Rowan's unmoved face James quickly adds, "First off, thanks for having Lupin join Terry and Severus, when we're not around. I had gotten the distinct feeling he was feeling a bit lonely at times."
"It's of no matter," Rowan dismissively gestured with her hand. "Terry is rather on good terms with Lupin ever since last year. I'd hazard to say, they're rather good friends at this point."
"That's true enough," James mumbled to himself, before saying, "Anyway, onto the second matter about becoming Animagus-."
Rowan again cut in and said, "Have you all managed to convince Severus yet?"
"No," James sullenly said as he carefully eyed Rowan. "But couldn't you lend a persuasive word or two?"
"No, I've only agreed to help you with the process," Rowan grumbled as she knew it was her fault. "But I refuse to become an animagus nor craft the potion." Though she technically could try to brew the potion as the potion didn't require any living ingredients. Not that she was ever going to tell them that!
"Fine, we'll keep at it," James muttered, before awkwardly saying, "About the train ride-, er, I didn't mean anything by that! I mean, not that you're not okay for a girl! I mean, -!"
"James!" Rowan said as James blinked as she continued, "I know it was an accident. And though I never imagined you'd be my first kiss; it is what it is."
James appears a bit guilty at that remark as he moves his mouth to speak, but Rowan doesn't let him. "And as for this changing our friendship, it hasn't. I don't like you whatsoever in that manner and I have a distinct feeling that the sentiment is returned."
James sheepishly smiles and ducks his head. "Sorry, I mean, yeah, you're right."
"Good, then please stop awkwardly prancing around me all the time," Rowan rolled her eyes. "It's not like you took my maidenly virtue and now have to marry me."
James chokes as he sees the mirth in Rowan's eyes. "You've gotten a kick out of it, haven't you?" James said through narrowed eyes as Rowan innocently shrugged.
"Girls," James grumbled under his breath as Rowan let out a low chuckle in reply.
Before Rowan can say anything else, James bolts up and stares in awe as at the already rising town just below the ridge. The picturesque cottages had smoke trailing from their chimneys as Halloween decorations were out and about the village. Carved pumpkins for the children, hung lanterns in black and orange, and many more other decorations.
Turning to Rowan as though Christmas had come early, James eagerly says, "Let's go to Honeydukes first and then Zonko's."
Much to James' surprise, Rowan says, "That's fine."
James must have been rather startled by Rowan's easy agreement as he slowly says, "You're sure about Zonko's?"
"I'm interested in a costume of sorts," Rowan replied as the carriage steadily rolled down the slope and came to a halt on the side of the road just a bit of a distance away from the town.
James eagerly climbed out, but not before remembering his mostly unused manners and offering his hand for Rowan to take. Feeling in a kind mood, Rowan accepted his offered hand and jumped down. The instant the carriage door closed the carriage made a U-Turn and trotted back up the slope the way it had come. Walking on the frozen dirt road, James says, "Do you think they're even open at this hour?"
Rowan doesn't even have time to respond as all at the same time the shop doors opened and removed the sign that said closed. "I think that answers your question," Rowan drily said as suddenly Hogsmeade residents burst out onto the streets as if about to sing a choreographed musical. "Well at least there's no singing," Rowan was clearly heard muttering under her breath.
James stared at her rather strangely. Why by Helga's rear would there be singing?