The rest of January quickly passed as Rowan caught up on her lessons. She was rather busy as they were now doing arithmancy charts and translating portions of ancient rune scripts that she had a rune dictionary on her at all times. On the last weekend of January, Rowan found herself in the company of the four marauders and her rather cross twin brother, Severus.
"Why have we gathered here again?" Severus grumbled in the empty stone corridor. "I've got plans and places to be." Which all of them knew meant that he was missing out on being with Lily.
"We need to start gathering the things," Sirius excitedly said as Lupin shushed them and glanced around.
"We need to find a good hiding spot," Pettigrew grunted. "And we can't use any of the unused classrooms as the teachers and Prefects check on them at random intervals."
"That was actually rather well thought out and proposed," Rowan commented.
It earned her a scowl from Pettigrew that said, "I'm not an idiot!"
For some reason, everyone turns to glance at Rowan as she says, "Why are you all looking at me for?"
"Because you're the only one of us who managed to sneak out of the castle without getting caught," Lupin wryly explained. "And even if you were caught because of your roommates you were still only in our second year. So, you must have some sort of inkling."
Severus studying his twin sister's calm demeanor rolls his eyes and says, "She already found a place. Hurry up, Rowan! And let's get this over and done with. I'd like to be free for the rest of my afternoon."
"I knew you'd come through for us," James flashed her a beaming confident smile.
Stifling the urge to smack his smug face, Rowan snaps, "Hurry up and follow me." They all trailed after Rowan to the second floor, where they paused outside of the girl's bathroom.
"What are we doing here?" James said in confusion as Rowan snickered and stepped around the OUT OF ORDER sign. "Why we're going inside," Rowan said as she stepped inside.
"But it's the girl's bathroom!" Both Sirius and Pettigrew whined.
"Let's get this over with," Severus grunted as she shoved his way past them and entered the murky bathroom. James shrugged and also went inside as Lupin firmly grabbed Sirius and Pettigrew by the collar and dragged them inside.
"This is seriously gross," James muttered under his breath as he studied the gloomy bathroom. Under the large, cracked, spotted mirrors are a row of chipped sinks. The floor is damp and reflects the dull light from the few stubs of candles, burning. The wooden doors of the stalls are flaking and scratched as one of them dangles off its hinges.
Lupin finally releases Sirius and Pettigrew who both rub their red necks and glare at Lupin, who merely innocently smiles back. Severus impatiently taps his foot and says, "Well?"
"No one comes down here," Rowan paused as she pointed her wand at the door and cast Muffalito. "And as long as we don't all come and go at the same time; we should be fine."
"So, when do we start?" Sirius eagerly said as he still rubbed his red neck.
Rowan pulls out two identical sheets with instructions and a list of ingredients needed for the potions. She hands the first to Lupin and the other to Severus. Severus snatches the sheet out of her hand and begins to read. Interest slowly begins to appear in his eyes as Severus says, "The potion is simple enough to brew. But the tricky part will be getting the mandrakes leaves and keeping them in our mouths for an entire full moon.
And we can only spit the mandrake leaf back out under the light of the full moon if not have to start the entire process all over again. Not to mention that once the potion is completed, we have to wait to chant at sunrise and sundown, Amato Animo Animato until the next electrical storm, before chanting the spell one more time before drinking the potion. At which point, anything can go wrong as we will be transforming without being under supervision. Are you all barking mad?!"
"Well, you'll be participating too," Rowan drily said earning her a dark glare from Severus. "Anywho, I'm sure you will be able to come up with the means to secure said items from Professor Slughorn's storage. Just makes sure to grab enough for four."
"You're not going to do it, Rowan?" James blinked in surprise.
"Goodness, no," Rowan sniffed. "I'm already an accomplice and I've no desire to end up as a snake in real life."
"That would be fitting," Pettigrew smirked.
Rowan narrows her eyes and says, "I know for a fact that you'll end up as a rat of some sort."
"Excuse me!" Pettigrew puffed out indignantly.
"Let's make a deal," Rowan persuasively said. "I'll guess what the three of you will be and if I'm right in the end, I want the free usage of James's cloak, three times with no questions asked."
"Deal," James instantly said as he cheekily grinned. "Go on, now, tell us what we will be?"
Pointing a James first, Rowan says, "A Stag." "A Black Dog." "And, A Rat."
Sirius pensively purses his lips as James mutters, "I always thought I'd be a hawk given that I'm a chaser." Pettigrew on the other hand mutinously glares at Rowan no doubt swearing revenge.
"And what about me?" Severus said with a raised brow.
Rowan feels a dash of cold sweat on the back of her neck, before gathering all her know psychology on her brother. "A black creature of some sort. I'm thinking of a black leopard."
"That would actually fit," Lupin pensively said out loud. "Severus is rather dark and does have a powerful, sleek gait."
"Oh, and before I forgot," Rowan muttered. "Oh, Myrtle, dear as promised I brought some guests to visit you."
"Guests for me?" Said a squat girl with pimples and thick glasses, who suddenly sprung out of one of the stalls causing Sirius to leap backward as Pettigrew quaveringly reached for his wand. James, on the other hand, began to roar with laughter as Lupin merely shook his head.
"And you are?" Severus said staring down his nose at the pimpled ghost.
"Oh, my!" Myrtle blushed at seeing all the boys in the bathroom. "I'm Myrtle Warren."
"You're m.o.a.ning myrtle?" Sirius curiously said to only receive a glare from the ghost.
"Don't listen to him, Myrtle, dear," Rowan airily said. "He's doesn't appreciate your charms as the others do."
Myrtle shyly blushes as Severus flashes Rowan an annoyed look, before loftily saying, "I expect that the ingredients within the next two weeks." Stomping out the door slams behind him as everyone stares at his retreating back.
"Well, that was rude," Myrtle said as Rowan sighed, "What can I say, he's my twin brother."
Myrtle immediately begins to chat with the boys and to Rowan's amazement, James quickly charms the female ghost. Shaking her head, she wryly left them to only be followed by Pettigrew closely behind her. A short way away, Pettigrew solemnly says, "You really think, I'll be a rat?"
Rowan pauses to glance at the forlorn expression of Pettigrew. "Rats are nothing to scoff at Pettigrew," Rowan explained. "Rats are brave often many times challenging creatures much larger and ferocious than they are. Rats are cunning able to find and enter places that others can't. Rats are survivors, who survive against miraculous odds.
And you, Pettigrew, are no less than James, Sirius, or Lupin. The biggest difference is that James and Sirius are not only good-looking and wealthy, while Lupin, on the other hand, is brilliant. But you've more than proven their match as you've gotten on the Quidditch team and have beaten Sirius on the exams. What you may lack in wealth, you more than made up for it in cunning and courage."
Pettigrew stares at Rowan and says, "I think that's the nicest compliment you've ever given me."
"Hmm, don't get used to it," Rowan smirked, before leaning over to brush her lips against his cheek.
Pettigrew turns bright red as Rowan's lips twitch upward. "As I said, you're brave enough in your own way, Pettigrew. I haven't forgotten what you did for me that day. And I suggest that neither do you. Because you're most certainly a lion." Rowan turns away and leaves as Pettigrew is left dumb folded holding his flushing cheek.
"That's the second time, she's done that," Pettigrew whispered, before dumbly heading to the common room area. Despite snorting afterward, there was a smile on his face the whole day. Because whether Pettigrew admitted it or not, it still was nice to be appreciated by a girl.