In the following days, Terry kept loudly snickering at Severus during mealtimes. Severus would often glower back but couldn't really do anything to stop Terry. They both knew that Terry found it incredibly funny that there was a mandrake leaf stuck to the roof of Severus's mouth.
Not that Rowan cared enough to dissuade Terry nor did the other girls. Bethanie mostly told Terry to try to be quieter, while Silvia and Tiffany largely ignored Terry's actions. They knew that Terry must be mocking Severus for some matter between them. And whatever it was, it was none of their concern since Rowan didn't seem to care enough to protest Terry's actions.
After dinner, one evening, Rowan was sitting down in the common room reading, while watching Terry and Severus play wizarding chess having finished their homework early that day. Sitting in an armchair next to them she'd periodically glance up from her book to check on their ongoing match.
Suddenly, Rowan begins to shiver causing her to glance behind her. There standing in the shadows of the staircase to the boy's dormitory is a handsome, sleek golden-haired figure, Damin Mulciber. Mulciber smirks rather coldly at her, before disappearing up the stairs.
Rubbing the back of her neck, Rowan feels only slight goosebumps on the back of her neck. Frowning she glances up to see Terry staring rather intently at her. He had not missed the exchange that had transpired between Rowan and Mulciber.
Rowan flashes Terry a faint smile expressing that she was fine, and it was nothing. However, to her surprise, Terry says, "I'll forfeit the match, Severus. You're going to win anyway."
"Really?" Severus suspiciously asked as he carefully eyed Terry for any sign of a trap.
"Really," Terry promised as he held up his hand in solemn gesture.
Severus immediately brightened up and said, "Great! Then I expect you to hold to our bet!"
"I will," Terry muttered as he shooed Severus away with his fingers. "Now go away, I want to play with Rowan, next."
Severus proudly smirks and vacates his seat as he happily heads towards where Bethanie, Silvia, and Tiffany were discussing the present popular topic of discussion regarding the Ministry of Magic. There were wild rumors that the Ministry of Magic had won the bid to host the Quidditch World Cup given that their Quidditch national team was playing so well and might just be one of the two final competing teams for the World Cup. And as such Slytherin's and the other pureblood's in the other three houses were paying very close to said news.
Rowan slightly narrowed her eyes as she put her book away and took the vacated seat across from Terry. Terry begins as he commands his pawn to move forward a single square. Rowan reacts by moving one of her pawns two squares forward.
The two of the play in silence for a few minutes, before Rowan finally broaches the subject. "What's wrong?"
Terry's lips press tightly together into a thin line. "How long has Mulciber been like that with you?" Terry quietly asked.
Rowan carefully eyes Terry as she knew that Terry did not like Mulciber the least bit ever since their second year. "It's nothing to be worried about," Rowan finally answered. "He merely did not take it very well to his advances being turned down."
Terry angrily growls causing Rowan to stare at him in surprise. Keeping his voice quiet, despite his anger, Terry says, "You should take care around him, Rowan. Mulciber isn't someone you should ever turn your back to, EVER."
Instead of replying immediately, Rowan moves her rook forward. After the slight pause, Rowan says, "I know that you very strongly dislike Mulciber, Terry. Why?"
Terry sighs and leans back into his seat as he glances away from the chessboard. "It's not very polite of me to say as a gentleman, but Mulciber is the worst kind of cad."
Seeing Rowan's blank expression, Terry more bluntly answers, "He is the kind of wizard, who is pretty on the outside, but is rotting on the inside."
Rowan slowly nods her head and says, "Yes, I know what you mean by what kind of wizard he is, Terry. But what I want to know is just what did he do?"
Terry abruptly rises to his feet and rather elegantly offers her the crook of his arm to take. "Shall we take a stroll through the dungeons for a minute or two, Rowan?"
"It'll be freezing," Rowan huffed, but still took Terry's arm.
From where Severus and the girls were sitting, they watched Terry and Rowan stroll through the common room with baffled eyes. Silvia especially as she unconsciously bit her lip in unease at seeing Terry leave. However, neither Bethanie nor Tiffany missed Silvia's reaction and shared a pointed glance. The two girls merely patted Silvia on the back in silent comfort as the Slytherin common room door closed shut with a soft clunk.
The air is rather chilly as their breaths can be faintly seen in the dungeon. Shivering, Rowan says, "Well, what needed to be said out here that couldn't be said in the common room?"
"It's not my place to ruin anyone's reputation," Terry softly whispered.
Rowan furrows her brows with worry and asks, "Terry, whatever do you mean?"
Terry didn't answer until they finally stopped in a shadowy corridor. Leaning to rest against the wall, Terry releases her arm and says, "It was the summer after our first year. Several of the Greengrass branches had come together including other pureblood families.
And like the previous summers before I tagged along with my male cousins. As we are rather few in numbers when in comparison to the girls, we always tend to stick together despite our age differences. We were laughing and chatting about as usual, when someone remarked that we should raid the kitchens for a snack to keep us going until dinner. Naturally, we all drew sticks and I happened to draw the short stick."