The rest of January faded imperceptibly into February with no change in the bitterly cold weather. With the start of February romance began to blossom among the students as many couples began to spring forth as they all eagerly awaited the blessed day. To their delight, Professor Pollen was a fan of the holiday and as such after dinner, there will be no classes held for the students to mingle and talk. There would be food and drinks even small games with prizes for couples to win for their beloveds.
Naturally, as the rest of the professors had been roped in the games consisted of some sort of test according to their professions. Though it was whispered that Professor McGonagall was not fond of the date and as such her tasks would be impossible to complete. And even the headmaster had thrown himself into the festivities as there would be a kissing booth. Though who would be at the kissing booth was still a mystery to all.
When Valentine's day finally arrived but Rowan found herself rather distracted despite the kissing couples all around her. She'd been rather perturbed after reading Secrets of the Darkest Art by Owle Bullock. It wasn't the content that bothered her but the detail about the two apprentices of Herpo, The Foul.
Rowan had gone back to reread the chronicle of history written by Salazar Slytherin himself. Salazar had dedicated an entire section to Herpo, The Foul, but despite his obvious enthusiasm, not even Salazar had known that Herpo had two apprentices. So, how had Owle Bullock known about that detail? Owle Bullock was born thousands of years long later after Herpo and Salazar. And timewise Salazar, would have been much closer to Herpo's time frame only some mere hundreds of years difference.
"Miss Prince, do I have your attention?" Rowan startled to find herself staring at Professor McGonagall. "It would seem that you're a tad distracted today. It wouldn't have anything to do with the day's festivities now would it?"
"No, Professor," Rowan hastily said. "I was just thinking that my transfigured teapot into tortoise looked more like a turtle than a tortoise."
Professor McGonagall sharply gazes at the transfigured teapot that had been turned into a tortoise. Staring gravely at the moving tortoise she says, "It does look a bit like a turtle. Nevertheless, please pay attention."
"Yes, Professor," Rowan meekly replied as Severus stared at Rowan as if to say, "Liar."
Professor McGonagall quickly goes back to explaining on how to make their teapot. Not long after the bell rings and the entire class scrambles to get to lunch. They all head down to lunch as Rowan along with Severus and the others head over to the Gryffindor table to eat lunch. Terry takes his usual seat across from Lupin, while Severus sits at his side to tentatively peek at Lily sitting with the other girls.
Rowan lets the chatter of Lily, Willa, and Mary wash over her as they chat with Bethanie, Tiffany, and Silvia. Tiffany being the rascal that she was giggles and says, "So, did anyone get anything this year?" Bethanie, Mary, and Willa flush as everyone stares at them in surprise including Rowan.
"So, who's it from?" Tiffany clapped her hands in delight as her cute bobbed hair shook.
Bethanie glances down and mumbles, "Regulus gave me a chocolate box with flowers. I thought it was rather sweet really."
"Especially given the fact that there was a note asking her to accompany him tonight," Silvia wolfishly grinned as Bethanie turns scarlet.
Rowan turns and glances further down the table at Regulus, who was eating with his friends frankly impressed at his daring. At this rate, Regulus was going to steal Bethanie right out from under Sirius's nose. Good, because Sirius was a complete and utter arse to girls. And this was coming from her and she considered him a friend.
Turning back, Rowan hears, Tiffany says, "So, are you going to accept the invitation?"
Bethanie flushes and says, "But he's a year younger than me!"
"So," Rowan said with a roll of her eyes. "He's cute, a pureblood that even your mother can't protest, and he's nice to boot. Unlike Sirius, who an absolute jerk, Regulus adores you, Bethanie. And ever since last year despite his newfound fame this year, he only has eyes for you. I don't think you could do any better."
Bethanie flushes even brighter as if glowing like a cherry before shyly glancing down the table to meet the gaze of Regulus. Regulus flashes her a warm smile causing butterflies to flutter in her belly. Bethanie hurriedly turns away as Silvia snickers, "I do believe that is a most definite yes."
"Yay, for true love," Tiffany dreamily signed, before gloomily poking at her own food.
Only three of them were aware of Tiffany's situation as Silvia quickly changes the subject. "So, what about you, Willa?"
The chestnut curly-haired girl with tan skin flushes as her hazel eyes glance over to the Hufflepuffs table. "He's in my muggle studies class with me," Willa muttered as the girls all turned to gaze at the table.
Lily and Mary, who were both in muggle studies carefully eye the second-year males in their class. "Is it, Hopkins?" The dark-haired, Mary asked as her golden-brown eyes scanned the seated crowd.
"No, I am betting it's the Hufflepuff chaser, Thomas Bell!" Lily exclaimed as her green eyes flashed with impish delight.
"Oh, you, mean the cute Hufflepuff, who started as a chaser this year?" Tiffany remarked as they all turned to study the fair-skinned boy with dark brown hair and a bright smile.
"Oh, he is cute," Mary hummed in agreement at seeing those gorgeous olive-colored eyes of his.
"Mm," Willa shyly said. "He asked me to go with him to the party tonight as friends for now."
"Oh!" All the girls chorused as even Rowan joined in unison.
"Shh!" Willa said as she fought off the nudges from Mary. Quickly turning the tables, Willa says, "And what about you, Mary?"
Mary stiffens and instantly stares down at her plate. "I don't want to say," Mary mumbled as Willa returns the nudges.
"I bet I know," Rowan smirked causing them all to glance at her. "Lupin."
Tiffany lets out a squeal before clapping her head on the mouth. "I never thought he had it in him!"
"He doesn't," Rowan drily said. "But Mary here got chocolate from him last year. I'd say this was just a step in the right direction."
"He gave you chocolates!" Tiffany scandalized said as she gaped at the blushing Mary.
"He was just being nice!" Mary protested as she nervously clenched her napkin in her lap.
"And what about this year?" Silvia snickered as even Bethanie chuckled at the comment.
Seeing all their smug glances and smiles, Mary sniffs and says, "You guys are so mean."
"Fairs, fair," Willa sniffed back as she teasingly stuck her tongue out at her.