With her next location in mind, Rowan headed off to the location that would be most full in thirty minutes or so, Spintwitches Sporting needs. Wrinkling her nose at the scent of broom polish, she quickly heads to the nicely decorated supply boxes designed to be given to quidditch players. Not even hesitating she brought three, one for James, Sirius, and Pettigrew.
The wizard at the counter a freckled young man blinks at her at how quickly the purchases had to been selected. In all the three years that he'd been working there, he'd never seen anyone select an item under ten minutes. This was done in the matter of two minutes or less. Quickly rung up, Rowan takes the packages and shoves them into her pouch, before darting off to the next place.
Her next stop was that of Tomes and Scrolls, a lovely bookshop run by an elderly old witch. Taking some pleasure, she scoured the shelves for books of interest, but recalling she was short on time, Rowan quickly got back down to business. With sharp eyes, she selected a book on charms for Lily and Remus, while a book on rare or usual potions for Severus that was not in his collection. Both Pandora and Xeno, would be getting a copy of the Mysteries of the Beyond. And she even procured a book for herself on medical spells for the mind and the body.
By the time, Rowan got back out into the streets were full of cheerful students and those still arriving. Trying to keep ahead of the crowd, she ponders where to shop for the girls and Andrew Abbot. There was Dominc Maestro's Music, Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop, Gladrags Wizardwear, and Devish and Banges.
Quickly Rowan crossed off Scrivenshaft's Quills as that was a bit too impersonal. As for Gladrags Wizardwear, a quirky store full of clothes and lurid socks. Thinking better of that option, she swiftly ponders on Dominic Maestro's Music or that of Devish Banges. Trying her luck, she heads over to the tiny shop with glass windows that hold an array of items.
Opening the blue door, a bell musically twinkles overhead as Rowan steps inside. The shop is largely empty at this hour beyond an old witch in the corner who is carefully studying some glowing marbles in a glass container. The wooden floors with polish as the air is clean with a faint smell of old parchment and pine. There are items neatly placed throughout the store with neat little handwritten notes explaining what they are.
Rowan spots a few magical items like sneakoscope or a bright red eraser, a Revealer intended to reveal hidden writings. After glancing about she stops at a musical box that says, "Open to play your hearts desires."
Curious, Rowan opens the box as a cello and piano could be heard playing from within. The melody was full of hope, pain, and a bittersweet emotion that couldn't be named. The melody rises and higher like a phoenix, before dying off with a final faint cry.
A loud sniff could be heard as Rowan glances up to see the old witch in the corner wiping her eyes with a worn handkerchief. "It's been many years since I've heard such a beautiful and sorrowful melody," said, a suave voice.
Glancing to her side, Rowan sees an older silver-haired man with a neatly timed mustache with a goatee. "How much?" Rowan asked thinking to gift it to Bethanie.
"Consider it a gift," the silver-haired gentlemen said.
"For me?" Rowan visibly startled.
"Yes, I've said before I've never heard such music played before," the silver-haired owner said. "I promised my brother, Devish before he died that I'd never sell it, but rather gift it away once I heard the right song that moved my heart."
"Thank you," Rowan lamely said as she put the gift away into her pouch. Feeling a bit guilty now, she says, "I was looking for a gift for a couple of friends."
"Oh? Tell me about them," said, the silver-haired owner that is known as Banges.
"Three of them are girls and one is a boy," Rowan confessed. "Of the three girls, one of them likes music, the other jewelry, and the third enjoys adventures. As for the boy, he's a good, loyal friend who is rather talented in Herbology and Ancient Runes."
"Well, I've got just the thing," Banges said as he walked to a closed glass counter and grabs a bronze key to open the glass case. With swift fingers, he unlocks the case and reaches in for a beautiful golden hairpin in the shape of a gorgeous silver flower with emerald flower petals. "I believe this would suit your friend with the taste for beauty."
"That will do nicely," Rowan said as Banges placed the pin on the counter and reached inside for another music box. "This one is not quite as special as yours, but it will play any music the person has ever heard."
Placing the second item on the counter he reaches for the third item, a small wooden box. With care he opens the box to reveal a pink pearl bracelet. "When worn at night the owner will dream of exotic and faraway places. An adventure in its own way without leaving the scope of one's bed nor home."
The last item, Banges reaches for is a male pendant with a jade Centerstone. "Jade is considered to be good luck by many cultures and said to keep evil away. But this one has been carved with an ancient rune on the back. This truly is a safekeeping pendant."
"This will do nicely," Rowan said with a pleased expression. Bangles locked the counter once more, before ringing her up. She physically winces at the cost and with some reluctance from her stingy side, she forked over the payment. However, Banges was a profession and with a whirl of this wand the gifts were all neatly wrapped up with blank tags attached to be filled with the gift receiver's name.
"A pleasure, young lady, please come again," Banges said as Rowan hurried out the store lest she be persuaded into buying other gifts. And for once, she was convinced that she would be on the losing end. While in the store the snow had picked up as freezing wind caused her to keep her head bowed against the wind. Which makes it incredibly difficult to see where one was going. After bumping into several people and wither her hands freezing, she decided to stop at the Three Broomsticks.
Shivering, Rowan rushed into the tiny inn. She wasn't the only one as the inn was rather crowded, noisy, warm, and smoky. Wrinkling her nose at the smell, she made her way to the bar where a freshly young witch out of Hogwarts only a few years ago was serving. The curvy young woman with a pretty face was presently serving a bunch of rowdy warlocks up at the bar who are futilely attempting to flirt with her.
"A cup of hot cider, please," Rowan cried out over the flirting of the warlocks.
"Coming right up, dear," said, Madam Rosmerta with a smile. The warlocks choke at a female student earning the pretty witch's favor, while they didn't even so much merit a single glance.
With a swift hand and a whirl of her wand, Madam Rosmerta returned with the steaming tankard. "That will be 5 knuts, love."
Rowan places the coins onto the counter, before taking her drink and trying to find a seat. Trying to not slosh her drink, it takes her quite the while, before finally spotting a small, vacant table between the window and a handsome Christmas tree, which stood next to the fireplace. Sipping her still steaming drink, she sighs in relief to only suddenly find herself staring at the glaring half-frozen face of Severus.
Almost spitting her drink all over him, Rowan chokes and says, "By merlin's beard, Severus! I almost choked because of you!"
"Are you dating James Potter?" Severus roared as Rowan, who was taking a sip to smooth her throat ended up spewing the mouthful all over the table. Severus wrinkles his nose in disgust as Rowan wipes her mouth clean and then the table with her wand.
Before Rowan can reply, four more frozen figures join them as Terry pants and points at her in accusation. "I always knew you were always too close with those four Gryffindor's!"
Rowan makes a disgusted face and says, "I'm not dating any of them and most especially not James Potter." Gesturing for them to have a seat, they all scramble for a chair as Tiffany and Silvia are forced to share a chair as neither boy was going to give up their chair. So much for chivalry.
"Now, I admit that I might have something to do with the rumor," Rowan explained as gleaming interest appeared on four of their faces with the fifth face fixed in a fierce glower.
"James and I encountered, Wilkes and his paramour, Jezebel at the front entrance. Accusing us of being lovers, James and I teased them a bit, before jumping into the carriage as we were bursting with laughter. That's all there is to it." Seeing them stare dubiously at her, Rowan rolls her eyes at them. "I mean it, he's not my type. He's much too cheerful."
"I told you so!" Tiffany triumphantly exclaimed. "Rowan likes them older and blond!"
The other three girls nod their heads in agreement as Terry sighed and took out some galleons and forked them over to Silvia. "Here, take your blood money!" Silvia snickers as she eagerly claims her winnings and shoves them into her pocket.
Severus privately lets out a sigh of relief as Rowan narrows her eyes and seeks her revenge. "And where's Lily, Severus?"
Everyone turns to stare at Severus, who turns bright red. "Er, we already went to Honeydukes together and then she went off with Mary and Willa."
"Goodman," Terry whooped as he slapped Severus on the back. "I didn't actually think you would have the guts to do it," earning him a dark glower from Severus.
The three girls privately reevaluate Severus, before Silvia leans over to whisper to the two other girls, "My money's still on that Lily falls for one of the Gryffindor dorks."
"Don't let Severus here you say that!" Tiffany hissed.
"True, but according to girls in our year, they wish that Rowan was the boy as she is much more of a gentleman. Apparently, Severus is much too scary according to them. Which is true, he tends to glare, scowl, and be prickly all around," Silvia whispered in argument. "If Rowan had been born a boy, she'd hands done already wooed Lily in a heartbeat and won her heart."
"Shush, you two!" Bethanie hissed. "Do you know what Severus and Rowan will do if either of them overhears you both?"
Both girls shiver as they clearly recall to Quyen and her gang last year. After the whole, Black affair at the start of the year, Quyen and her gang kept finding creepy crawling snakes in their bed. No one even knew on they got in as they were all real snakes and not transfigured ones! To this day, Quyen and her gang snarled at Rowan but didn't actually dare to harass her anymore.
And not to mention what Severus and Terry did to Evans and Rosier. It made Rowan's beating seem weak after what those two did. And though everyone down to Professor Slughorn knew exactly who was responsible for the terrifying pranks, there was never any proof tied back to the two of them. Professor Slughorn had no choice but to turn a blind eye to the situation and pretend nothing abnormal was going on. Obviously after that, Evans and Rosier never so much as sneered in the direction of Severus or Terry nor much less turned towards their direction without there being a very haunted, terrifying gleam in their eyes.
Both Silvia and Tiffany made the mistake of glancing up at the same time to see Rowan innocently flashing them a smile. Gulping, Silvia jumps to her feet and says, "I'll get us some Butterbeer!"
"I'll help!" Tiffany squeaked before rushing off. Which was all fine and well as Rowan hadn't actually heard them. But still, life is funny like that full of coincidences and miscommunications. And what is life without some spice? Boring.