After leaving the pub, Rowan did not tarry in Hogsmeade and made her way back straight to Hogwarts as carriages full of students were still making their way down to Hogsmeade. By the time she made it back to Hogwarts most of the student body had already left for Hogsmeade with a few last-minute stragglers still making their way to the carriages. The only ones still left at Hogwarts were the first and second years. With the quidditch pitch empty most of the second years were off playing a game of quidditch or simply flying around on their brooms, while the first years enviously watched vowing to ask their parents to buy them a broom for them to use next year too. The rest of the first and second years were lounging about in their common rooms chatting and playing games such as wizarding chess, exploding snap, or gobstones.
The Slytherin common room was devoid of any first or second years, who had gone in search of fresh air. Half of them were by the quidditch pitch flying, while the rest were playing games with their friends from the other three houses in the Great Hall or in one of the many courtyards at Hogwarts. Why even Alchemy and Bran were missing, no doubt curled up somewhere relatively warm. The two cats could be anywhere including the offices of some of the Professors. Not that Professor McGonagall would ever admit such a thing, but Alchemy and Bram were most often spotted in her office by her Gryffindors. They were even considered defacto Gryffindor house members, which had caused Terry and Regulus to regular wince ion more than one occasion. The utter horror that a Slytherin could ever be considered a Gryffindor was too horrifying to even contemplate without fierce shivers and heartfelt terror! It was a disgrace!
Making sure the door to her dorm room was firmly closed shut, Rowan quickly crept into bed and pulled the curtains shut around her bed. Unable to hide her eagerness her hands rather clumsily scrambled to open the envelope from Alphard as she pulled out the written content found within. Taking a deep breath to calm her racing heart, she began by reading about the first name, Oswald Bulstrode, and so forth.
Half an hour later, Rowan had finished reading all five of the reports. Not certain that she hadn't missed anything of importance she read them all over again with the exact same result. There was absolutely nothing here that screamed murder or even suggested a manipulative culprit to her.
With a sigh, Rowan flopped onto her back and closed her eyes. Of course, it wasn't going to be that simple. She should know by now that she was dealing with a mastermind. Whatever detail or clue that is ever found is always immediately erased or the individual found to possess such knowledge is always found dead within days. Whatever the dead friend of Alphard had come across must have been of some importance as she'd been killed. That or it was a loose end that had yet to be taken care of and finally was.
Sitting back up, Rowan glanced at each of the profiles again in serious thought. Then just what should her next step be? However, absolutely nothing came to mind to her own frustration.
Putting that thought away, for the time being, Rowan climbs out of bed and gathers the sheets. Heading to the common room fireplace she tosses a single sheet into the flames one at a time until they become nothing but ash. There was a rather burnt smell permeating through the common room afterward, but she frankly didn't care.
Finished, she returned back to her dorm and pulled back the bedcurtains. Taking the initiative at seeing a valuable opportunity of free time before her, Rowan grabbed the remaining volume of Salazar's work that she had brought with her and had yet to finish reading. Fluffing up her pillows first, she finally leans back to read from where she had left off on the discussion of the soul.
Rowan lets out an unbelievable gasp as she actually pauses to blink unable to comprehend what she had just finished reading. Shaking her head, she rapidly blinks several times again, before bending her head back down again to reread the entire page she had just finished reading.
"It has long been thought by some researchers that an obscurial is a type of Horcrux in its own manner. Unlike, a Horcrux that is a physical torn piece of the soul an obscurial is the soul's magical manifestation of its own existence. Created only under rather dire circ.u.mstances from either abuse or trauma, a child's magic separates itself and becomes an entity much like an apparition. But unlike an apparition, much like a Horcrux the obscurial cannot separate from its vessel much like that of a Horcrux. Most children under such possession die before their 10th birthday and with them, the obscurial, for once the vessel is destroyed and much like a Horcrux, neither can live without a vessel."
However, Rowan was not convinced by Salzar's statement as there was obvious proof in contradiction of that very same statement, Credence Barebone. Credence Barebone did not die when he was killed the first time while in obscurial form. His body had somehow reformed via magic as the obscurial had preserved the soul of the human host.
And secondly, there was Newt Scamander, who had somehow preserved the obscurial of a Sudanese girl within a bubble of some sort. Who is to say, that said Sudanese girl's body could not have reformed itself much like Credence's did with sufficient motivation. Naturally, it did not occur, but it served to prove a point, the obscurial to an extent takes on characteristics of the original host for it is, in fact, a recorded type of magic or even memory, and would even dare to suggest a soul much like a Horcrux is. An obscurial just like a Horcrux is part of the original, but at the same time, it is its own entity. Riddle's Horcruxes had proven that especially the first Horcrux which had the mentality of Riddle's sixteen-year-old version, and not his mad, crazed version of himself of the future.
Following that previous idea, what if like a witch or wizard of great power like in Potter or Riddle's case, what if said obscurial was powerful enough to leave it's dying host or even survive long enough to find the closest host at hand? The best proof was Riddle's soul as despite being unintentional the fragment of his soul attached itself to the nearest source, Harry Potter, a living breathing child. And if that was possible, why couldn't something like an obscurial that is already parasitic in nature, be capable of the same manifestation, if it belonged to a powerful enough witch or wizard?
Rowan's mind flickered for a moment to Arian Dumbledore, before moving further down that train of thought. And more importantly, what if on purpose somehow an obscurial could be transferred into another? What then?
Somewhat disturbed by that her last train of thought, Rowan returns to reading the next paragraph.
"The second apprentice of Herpo, The Foul theorized prior to his fleeing that it would be in fact possible for a soul to live on forever by being transplanted into another. Utterly preposterous as living beings cannot house a living Horcrux. Nor can an obscurial be transplanted into another. The sheer process of becoming a Horcrux is already dangerous enough as it is. I'd attempt it myself, if I deemed one worthy enough to entrust my vessel too. But I've made much too many enemies in this lifetime to ever trust anyone with such a vital piece of me. I'd rather die whole than as some half shallow living thing."
Instantly Rowan's mind races as she begins to see a horrifying image being painted in her mind. What if the second apprentice's theory was true? What if there was someone vile and powerful enough to separate their soul or even an obscurial and be placed into a child on purpose? Like in Potter's case, he was his own person and at the same time not as he had a portion of another within him. What if said individual at the end of his life did so once more? And by doing so is effectively being reborn again and again, never to truly die nor taste death?!
Trembling Rowan closed her eyes as a feeling of utter dread overcame her. It made sense why the Horcrux Riddle viewed that person as his goal. But why hadn't said puppeteer revealed his secret and allowed Riddle to continue to make Horcruxes? The answer brutally struck her in the face.
Riddle in his younger years was the most dangerous person she had ever seen. Unlike the Riddle at present who was mad with power and the destroying of his soul, the younger Riddle was pure evil in its truest form. Brilliant and charismatic, he could charm the birds out of the sky and even fool the most powerful wizard of all time right under his very nose, Albus Dumbledore.
No, the younger Riddle would have been a most serious threat. Not that he wasn't now, but nowhere in the capacity of his younger years. Plus, she had a rather distinct impression that the present Riddle couldn't recall the puppeteer's existence. Never did Riddle refer to a master as an a.d.u.l.t only the younger Horcrux did. Somehow, she didn't know how, but the puppeteer had erased his existence out of the present a.d.u.l.t Riddle's mind. Cleverly tying up loose ends, while still having to Riddle himself.
Rubbing her aching head, Rowan decides it's time for a break and puts the volume away in her trunk. She decided to head down to the kitchens to where at least the house elves would be nice to her. And most importantly feed her to take her mind off things. Which was rather nice.