By the time Rowan awoke, it was just in time to change her robes as the Hogwarts Express pulled into the station. Alchemy protested at being put back into his carrier and firmly turned his back on his owner in sulk. Terry merely rolled his eyes, before closing the lid shut lest Alchemy decide to escape.
It was lightly beginning to snow as they carefully wrapped their scarfs around them, before venturing out into the snow. The poor first years were being taken by Hagrid to cross the frozen lake with tears in their eyes. While Severus stuck closely to Rowan, Terry rang up ahead through the muddy snow trail and grabbed a carriage for them. The three of them climbed inside as Rowan owlishly blinked as the cold slowly awoke her.
Severus and Terry quietly chattered until the carriage finally rolled to a stop before the front entrance. Being a gentleman, Terry offered a hand to help Rowan down and to both boy's surprise, Rowan genuinely accepted the aid. This along caused Terry to stare wide eyed at her including Severus who bore a similar expression.
The three of them headed inside and took a seat. Terry and Severus began to chat, while Rowan blankly gazed ahead. The girls not long after arrived and tried to chat with Rowan, who only replied with single-word answers. Casting worried gazes at Severus, Severus shakes his head as Terry mouths, "We'll explain later." The girls frowned but had to accept the answer in the meanwhile.
Dinner was a blur to Rowan as she mostly poked at her food and only ate a bit. By the time they were allowed to leave the Great Hall, she was almost stumbling in exhaustion like a drunken wastrel. Somehow, she made it all the way down to the dungeons, before only kicking off her cloak and shoes, before crawling into bed fully clothed. Before the girls had even begun to put on their pajamas, Rowan was sound asleep and out for the count.
The next morning, Rowan woke up rather later for herself as she was awoken by Bethanie to get up alongside Tiffany. Tiffany for once wasn't the last one to get up as she sleepily, but gleefully pointed at Rowan in triumph. "Ha! I finally beat you!" Tiffany excitedly cried out.
"I don't believe that's anything to be excited about," Silvia grumbled as she began to brush her hair in front of the mirror hung on the inside of her wardrobe door, which was presently open.
Rowan stumbled out of bed and heads to the washroom, before coming back more awake having washed her face in icy, cold water. Feeling better, she quickly dressed feeling the bitter cold of the dungeon air. Making sure, she had everything, Rowan left with the girls and headed to the Great Hall.
Everyone was chattering about their winter breaks except for Rowan who only ate a bit of porridge and a single slice of toast. Severus kept coaxing Rowan to eat one more spoonful until she finally managed to finish her bowl. Feeling rather pleased with himself, Severus says, "Did you remember to take your potions?"
"I'll take them right now," Rowan mumbled as she pulled out the nutrient potion and chugged it down. Wincing at the taste, she pulled out the second one, a restorative designed to heal that which was still healing and hopefully give her a bit of energy to last the day. Grimacing at the taste of having eaten old socks, she says, "There, done."
The three girls at the table don't question the incident except to glance at Terry, who mouths, that he'll explain everything later. Not long after they all headed down to Potions. Freezing like always, there wasn't much of a change except that Severus kept a firm eye on Rowan lest she accidentally causes an accident to occur.
Despite Rowan slowly working, she still managed to finish her potion and present it to Professor Slughorn who was most pleased by this year's improvement. She'd been showing herself as exceptionally talented this year.
Thankfully Charms was on the second floor, while the DADA classroom was on the third floors Though a bit tired, it wasn't too bad. Rowan was even able to concentrate and take notes in all three classed. Exhausted, she was too tired to make it all the way down to the dungeons and instead made her way down to the library.
Rowan had to blink several times, before stumbling into the library and slumping down into her usual seat. Taking a short break, she closed her eyes for just a second to only startled awake at hearing, Sirius Black shout, "We did it, Rowan! Severus said, YES!"
"Oh good," Rowan yawned as the four boys paused to stare at her.
"Are you alright, Rowan?" Lupin asked with a frown as he studied her dull gaze.
"I'm just tired," Rowan tiredly said as she began to pull out her homework.
"You certainly look it," Pettigrew grunted earning himself a sharp jab from Lupin and letting out a hiss of pain.
Sirius shrugs the words off and says, "When can we start?!"
"You'll first need to gather the ingredients," Rowan grimaced as she stifled a yawn. "I'm sure, you'll clever enough to find a way."
"Naturally," James gleefully answered. For Christmas, his dad had given him an old family heirloom. An actual, invisible cloak! He couldn't wait to try it out!
Somehow, Rowan managed to complete her homework, before heading to dinner. At dinner, she at a bit more which made Severus sigh with relief. The girls having been explained the situation all secretly adding a bit of food to Rowan's plate trying to get her to eat a bit more. It worked as she managed to at least finish her plate of food.
Too tired to study, Rowan heads down to the common room area and slumps down into a comfy couch. Barely awake she flinches in surprise at seeing a white furball leap gracefully onto her lap. Staring down at the Turkish Angora kitten that began had to clean its little furry face, she glanced up to see Alchemy stride over and leap onto the couch to sit down next to her.
Rowan warily glanced down at Alchemy, who glanced up at her as if to say, "We have an arrangement. There are too many slaves, and I need some space. Besides, I'm a King, and he's just a Prince. My kingdoms' large enough for the both of us to reside in."
As if having understood, Alchemy, Rowan reaches down to rub behind his ears. Alchemy begins to purr as the white kitten lets out an indignant meow at being so rudely ignored. With her other hand, Rowan gently rubs his back as the kitten lets out a satisfied purr. "Oh, good there you are Bram."
Rowan glances up to see Regulus as she offers him a sincere smile. "Did you like your Christmas gift?"
"Yes!" Regulus said as he happily took his protesting kitten into his arms.
"Mother and Father couldn't say, no," Regulus chuckled. "You should have seen the look on Sirius's face, when he saw Bram."
Leaning over as to whisper a secret Regulus begins to giggle, "Bram really frightened Sirius, when he got into the warm bathtub with him. I've never heard him scream so loud!"
Rowan chuckled at the image. "Turkish Angora's like to play in the water and are rather good swimmers."
"Well, I know that now," Regulus said, before reaching over to give his royal highness, Alchemy a scratch behind his ears as was his due. "I thought for sure, Alchemy would be jealous, but as it turns out, Alchemy is a rather magnanimous ruler. He just scented Bram, before pulling him over and started to lick him clean."
"Well, Alchemy is a wise ruler," Rowan wryly commented as they watched Alchemy give a loud meow in agreement.
Chuckling, Reginald says, "Well, I best be going. I've got to feed this little thing." Bram meowed in protest but was swiftly carried away to no avail.
Alchemy smugly swished his tail as if to say, "If my human tried that, I'd scratch his face off with my claws." Too tired to stay any longer, Rowan politely petted him goodbye before retiring early for the night. And once more like before she was out within a minute of lying down.