Terry paused in his tale as he wrapped his arms around himself as if cold or in unease. "Mulciber and his family were present, but last, I'd seen him, he'd been flirting with some of the girls. And given that they're pretty and part Veela, they tend to flirt back.
On my way to the kitchens, I passed the stables, where my uncle keeps his fine breed Abraxan's. I thought nothing of it until I heard what sounded like a sob. Thinking that maybe one of my younger female cousins might have snuck in and were now afraid of the giant magical winged horses, I went to take look."
Terry swallowed loudly as his barely visible Adam's apple bobbed up and down. "It was Mulciber and Rosie," Terry's voice faltered for a moment. "Out of all many female cousins, Rosie is the only squib in the bunch. She's just as pretty and more so in my opinion as she is warm and kind. She'd been a Hufflepuff for sure."
Terry solemnly raises his gaze to meet with that of Rowan's. "Mulciber had her pinned forcefully the door as he hiked up her skirts. She cried for him to stop, but Mulciber told her that she wanted it, because she was nothing but a Veela whore."
Rowan eye's fill with coldness and sympathy as Terry unwraps his arms around himself and folds them across his chest. "Long story, short, I launched myself at him and beat him with a nearby shovel. I got into loads of trouble for beating Mulciber to a pulp, but I kept quiet about the truth behind the incident for Rosie's sake. They'd married her off to him, because my aunt and uncle would have ignored Mulciber's actions and instead would have been rather proud that a pureblood would wanted to marry their squib daughter."
Terry sneered out loud to himself, "As if being a pureblood made Mulciber any less of a beast. Pureblood or not, he's a budding rapist."
Pulling himself out of his reverie, Terry says, "I mean it, Rowan. Mulciber isn't like Malfoy, who's a gentleman, but the worst kind of cad. And given who Mulciber's father is, I doubt he'll ever be caught and punished for his crimes."
Rowan gently pats him on the arm and murmurs, "I'll keep a closer eye on my back from now on, Terry."
Terry nods and sniffs as he shakes Rowan's handoff. "Anyway, I'd appreciate it, if you kept quiet about Rosie," Terry solemnly requested. "Her circ.u.mstances are difficult as it is enough as it is, and I won't be the one to add another burden to her already heavy-laden shoulders."
"I won't speak a word of this to anyone, Terry," Rowan vowed, "I promise."
Satisfied, Terry leans away from the wall and offers her the crook of his arm to take. Haven't realized how cold they were, their teeth loudly begin to clatter as they stumble back into the Slytherin common room half frozen. They ignore the suspicious gazes from the other Slytherin's in the common room and rush back towards their own dorms to warm up.
Rushing up the stairs, Rowan darts into her dorm room to find all the girls already ready for bed and warmly wrapped in fluffy robes and covers. Only stopping to kick off her shoes, Rowan leaps into bed still in her clothes. Tiffany bursts into giggles and asks, "So, just what took you so long?"
Huddled under her warm blankets, Rowan rather muffled replies, "Terry was just warning me about something."
"Really? Like what?" Silvia suspiciously asked trying to be nonchalant about the entire situation.
"Mulciber, if you must know," Rowan huffed.
"Mulciber?" Silvia asked with a disbelieving expression on her face.
Bethanie on the other hand tentatively says, "I have heard more than one unsavory rumor regarding Mulciber."
Rowan peeks out from under her blankets as Tiffany and Bethanie all turn to stare at her in surprise as well. Bethanie purses her lips into a thin line as she carefully says, "Father is a frequent visitor of the well to do houses of pleasure. Several times I've heard him boast to mother that the young Mulciber had already begun to visit said places during the winter break of his first year. Already a man according to my father and his likewise thinking friends."
Tiffany gapes in utter shock as Silvia coves her own mouth in surprise. "Only eleven years old!" Tiffany squawked in revulsion and shock.
"I believe mother replied to something of that effect as well," Bethanie muttered. "I know that my father wishes to do the same for Spurgeon and Esmond. But thankfully they are still just boys and will not be eleven for some years to come."
"Bethanie, just how many siblings do you have?" Rowan finally asked the question that had been bothering her since their first and second year.
Bethanie flashes Rowan an enigmatic smile as she replies, "I am the eldest and the only daughter. I have two younger brothers, Spurgeon and Esmond. Spurgeon will soon be turning nine years old, and Edmond, as well, eight years old."
"And you, Tiffany?" Rowan asked.
Tiffany proudly shakes her short strawberry blond bobbed hair. "I only have an older brother," Tiffany happily explained. "And here's to hoping, I will finally be an aunt in a year or two!"
Glancing at Silvia, Rowan asks, "And what of you, Silvia?"
Silvia cheekily grins and says, "I'm the youngest of three. My two older are happily married. I'm at present the proud aunt to a little boy and a little girl."
"See that's just not fair," Tiffany pouted. "My older brother is older than your brothers, but you're already an aunt!"
Silvia shrugs and says, "What can I say, the Flint men get married quick."
Tiffany sulks at the reply as Bethanie says, "Now, now, Tiffany, you know that's not something that we get to decide. Sometimes babies can only come when they will it so and other times babies just come without much planning."
A bit mollified by Bethanie's response, Tiffany wrinkles her nose, "Still, I'd like a cute niece or nephew to dote on before I have any of my own."
"You're only thirteen," Rowan drily remarked.
Tiffany arches an eyebrow at Rowan as if she was the one being silly. "I'm already promised to Vasco Vespucci," Tiffany matter-of-factly proclaimed. "It will be expected of me that I bear a child within the first three years of our marriage. And should I marry a year or less after our 7th year, I shall still only be eighteen. That is only five or so years away, Rowan. I'd at least like to practice with a niece or nephew before I have any of my own."
Rowan can only study Tiffany's cool disposition. No matter, what Tiffany might personally feel about Vasco, she would do her duty. It seemed cold, and maybe callous even, but pureblood's saw the world differently. Tiffany despite all her mirth is well aware that she was raised in the lap of luxury by rather doting parents, and like all things, there is always a price to be paid for said privileges. And like a Slytherin, she would make the best out of the situation, no matter what cards were dealt to her by fate.
Rowan finally breaks the silence and says, "In that case, I wish your brother and you, Tiffany good fortune." It was all she could really say. After all, Slytherins survived how they could. And there was nothing shameful about Tiffany trying to survive via pragmatism. Lesser women had gone mad for lesser reasons.
Tiffany flashes Rowan a sassy grin as Silvia rolls her eyes. Bethanie claps her hands to get their attention and says, "Now time for bed, ladies."
Silvia and Tiffany call out their good night's as they pull their bed curtains shut. Bethanie says, "Goodnight," before pulling her own shut.
Rather grudgingly Rowan climbs out of her warm cocoon and hurriedly changes into her pajamas before slithering back into her warm bed. This evening's conversation had been rather enlightening in its own manner. And through more on the pessimistic side, she had to admit that Silvia, Tiffany, and Bethanie were all rather strong and forthright in their own manner.