With Severus gone, Rowan closed her eyes a tentative probe and winced at the result. Although her pathways had managed to absorb the conflicting energy from the Philosopher's Stone, here pathways were severely damaged, and extremely sensitive. She knew she wouldn't even be able to use a speck of magic until at least her return to Hogwarts. Which was fine by her, she was utterly exhausted and needed the time to recover.
However, that had her worried at the same time. Why on Earth had she been able to absorb the energy from the Philosopher's stone? It should not have occurred at all since she had destroyed the stone with Basilisk poison and there was no interference from her wand. Then again, the release of energy from the Philosopher's stone at the time of its destruction, much like lightning searched for the nearest vessel to become a viable conductor. And already still in the process of digesting the energy in her pathways, the two conflicting energies met like cats and dogs, with the ending result being neither getting the upper hand over each other, but rather neutralizing each other at the expense of her body.
A loud cough causes Rowan to glance up to see a rather relieved looking goblin. "Hello Ragnok, are you here to tell me, what I earned? Or how much I owe Gringotts for my life?"
Ragnok flushes and shakes his head. "We were to blame for the attack as we were meant to protect you!"
Rowan is still for a moment as she puts two and two together. But not about to fight against fate, she says, "Worry not, it was an accident. I presume that the culprits were found?"
"They were," Ragnok darkly said in such a manner that Rowan had the distinct feeling that the four Death Eater's had died at the hands of the goblins.
"Now what were my final earnings?" Rowan changed the subject. "Regardless of what happened, we have a contract and we will abide by it."
A professional air comes over him as Ragnok says, "15% was deducted from the total earnings as per contract and the deduction of the final amount deposited was 1,814,738 galleons and a single knut. The sells transaction record as well as the Starry Night gift will personally be delivered by a representative of Gringotts to Prince Manor upon your return."
"Please thank, Grok Gringotts for the excellent services provided," Rowan said as she hid her expression of relief. That was two things down. Her face went still as recalled what that implied.
Clenching the blankets in her hand, Rowan couldn't help but recall the scene of the blood-red stone shattering before her. If she was honest with herself, she knew that she could have taken the stone instead and hidden it away. But the heart of the matter was rather simple, she didn't trust herself with the Philosophers' Stone.
She'd proven how easy killing came to her. And she'd rather not be put into a position one day, where she wouldn't even be able to recognize herself. For even the devil started as such, it was only a tiny slip here and there until he'd transformed into unrecognizable beast. No, it'd been better to nip the temptation of immortality right in the bud. For what is man, if not mortal?
Feeling sadness and guilt at seeing her expression, Ragnok says, "I best be letting you rest now."
"Thank you for seeing me," Rowan said as Ragnok bowed deeply to her, before departing out the door to inform Grok Gringotts of the child's awakening.
Rowan hadn't even settled back down, when Severus burst in with three a.d.u.l.t figures in tow. Reginald and Sirsa looked older as clear dark eyeshadows can be seen under their eyes including that of Georgine. "Sorry," Rowan lamely said as her grandmother pulled her into an uncharacteristic hug.
"Oh, child," Sirsa murmured into her granddaughters' ear. "Don't frighten us so."
Despite the hug hurting her still rather tender body, Rowan didn't pull away as her grandfather merely ruffled her head. Georgine loudly sniffed and looked away. "Idiot child, were you not taught this year on detecting poisons? How in merlin's name did you manage not to notice?"
"Because Rowan's worst subject is Potions," Severus muttered under his breath earning him a scowl from Aunt Georgine.
Sirsa finally let's go and says, "We've not yet opened the presents. We'll all get to them once your home."
Rowan blinks as the tips of her ears turn slightly pink. "You didn't have too," Rowan protested.
"It's not Christmas if the family is not together," Sirsa stubbornly said as she smoothed the wrinkles on the bed. "Now, then I'll see that dastardly healer about getting some food into your belly."
Turn to stare at Georgine, Sirsa adds, "Come now, Georgine. Those horrible healers only seem to be afraid of you." Georgine flashes a pleased smirk and happily follows her sister-in-law out to terrorize a couple of healers.
Reginald says, "Severus, please go and get me a cup of hot tea from upstairs."
"But-," Severus isn't able to finish his sentence as a fierce glower sends him on his merry way.
With Severus out of sight, Reginald casts a silencing spell around them, before sitting down in the seat closest to her on her right side. "Rowan, what did you do?"
"Something that needed to be done," Rowan tiredly answered.
Reginald closes his eyes as he says, "Which was?"
"I destroyed the Philosophers Stone."
There is a long bought of silence as Reginald reaches over and gently pulls her into a hug. "Oh, child," Reginald whispered into her hair. "Why must you be burdened by both of our forefathers' gifts?"
"Nicholas Flamel and his wife, Perenelle are dead by my hands. They were innocent-," Rowan's voice broke off as she closed her eyes to keep the moisture at bay.
Reginald is silent for a long time, before slowly saying, "And if it had not been destroyed?"
"Immorality to a monster that is already a danger to all."
"Then you did what needed to be done. For sometimes there are no easy choices only hard ones, for the world is not black and white, but rather gray."
"But they were innocent."
"Yes, but the Flamel's have lived over six-hundred years," Reginald argued back. "They had lived plenty, and though tragic, a mixed blessing to them. Death came to them just as swiftly and unexpectedly to them as to any of us. A proper ending, I believe."
"Thank you," Rowan whispered as she leaned her head against her grandfather's shoulder.
Reginald must have realized she was tired as he cleared his throat and ignored the flush that began to rise on his pale cheeks. Not having sung since his Eileen had been a wee babe, he softly sang, "Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green, When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen-."
Rowan dozed off to the lullaby that she had not heard since her mother sang to them when they were still very small. Before their father had lost his good job and before they'd ever performed their first accidental magic. Back when, they were still their parents, little peanut and almond. And for a very brief moment, she dreamed of warm, happier times when she was nothing but an innocent child.