With Eileen gone, Reginald merely nodded at the two male Filch's before walking inside. "Offspring?" Roderic finally croaked as if not still understanding what was going on. Was Eileen, the old Prince's bastard?
"Hello Caretaker Filch," Rowan kindly asked, the Hogwarts caretaker. "How goes your summer?"
"Restful," Argus admitted as he glanced at his brother. "And-." Argus paused as his cheeks turn splotchy red. "My apologies, we don't mean any ill intentions."
"I know," Rowan truthfully stated as she eyed the husband of Eileen. The man must be a thick given that he still hasn't put the pieces together. What was with Eileen's taste in men? It would appear that neither of Eileen's husbands seemed to possess much intelligence, to begin with. Eileen really would have been better off marrying Alphard Black.
Rowan winces imagining being related to Walburga or Bellatrix Black. That was not a pleasant image whatsoever in the end. Perhaps, being a Snape had been better in the end.
Roderic finally says, "Little lady, how is my wife related to the Prince's?"
"She was once the only daughter of Reginald and Sira Prince," Rowan distantly answered. "Then she was disowned."
Roderic snorted and said, "Merely because I'm a poor pureblood? How crude and vile of the old Prince!"
Argus had the rather strong urge to slap his own face and scream at his brother to shut his bloody pie hole! "I'm sure that is not what Miss Prince is referring too," Argus hastily interrupted.
Roderic sullenly quiets down before eyeing the tall, slender girl that greatly resembled the Old Prince. Though strangely he felt that there was some resemblance to his wife there as well. But then again, the old Prince had said this girl was his granddaughter.
"Are you the product of one of the old Prince's sown wild oats?" Roderic asked as Argus finally bit his lip unable to keep silent anymore.
"My parents were married, I can assure you," Rowan flatly retorted, not quite believing just how thick this guy was.
"Ah, then whose child, are you?" Roderic naively asked.
"I can see, why Eileen likes you," Rowan changed the subject. "You must love her and your son very much."
"I do," Roderic swore with all his might.
"Then be good to them," Rowan softly said, before turning to Argus. "I suppose that we will be seeing you again in September, Filch."
"Likewise," Argus inclined his head as he watched the girl head inside. The front doors closed rather softly as if sighing. Argus let out a breath of relief that he hadn't know he'd been holding in.
"I knew she was a good one," Argus muttered under his breath knowing full well, that the girl could have said the truth. But did not out of consideration for his brother and him, rather than for her mother.
Argus sighed to himself as he listened to his younger brother mutter things under his breath. Argus always personally thought that despite having magic, Roderic had secretly been dropped on his head by their parents when he was just a baby. There must seriously be something wrong with him! Because despite being a squib at least he could still put two and two together!
Inside Prince manor, Rowan makes her way to her twin brother's bedroom, before climbing onto his bed to lie down next to him. "Are you sure, you don't want to see her? She hasn't left yet," Rowan asked Severus, who had his back pointed towards her.
"Did you know?" Severus sharply asked as his back became rigid and stiff.
"Know what?" Rowan feigned innocence.
"That she had a son with her new husband."
"Ah yes, Filch, let it slip during detention one evening. Amazing, what you can learn in the strangest of places."
Severus whirls around with vivid anger in his eyes. "Then why didn't you say anything?!"
"Would that have changed anything at all?" Rowan said with a shrug. "That boy is a Filch and you are a Prince. And our chances of meeting him are ever so slim. We are, after all, roughly thirteen years older than him."
Severus opens his mouth, before closing it in an angry line. Flopping back onto the bed, he stares at Rowan's long braid strewn across the bed. "Why didn't she ever say anything?" Severus hoarsely said unable to hide the underlining hurt in his voice. "We wouldn't have said anything. So, why Rowan?"
"I don't know," Rowan gently replied as she reached up to touch Severus's cheek with her thumb. "People can be complicated, Sev. Some things appear to be relatively simple and aren't and there are things that appear to be quite difficult but are in fact simple."
Severus leans into Rowan's gentle touch for just a moment, before pulling roughly away. "We already said our goodbyes, didn't we?" Severus rather quietly murmured refusing to allow himself to be weak-minded on the subject.
"We did, indeed."
"Then, in that case, I don't want to see her again. Let this be our last goodbye."
"Are you sure, Severus?"
"Why are you always asking me that?!" Severus whirled around and snapped in irritation.
"Because I know where I stand, but the question is do you?" Rowan solemnly stated.
Severus slowly breathes out and whispers, "It hurts. But yes, I don't want to see her again. I don't think I could bear it again."
"Alrighty then," Rowan said as she leaned over to place a kiss on his forehead. "Now go to sleep."
"In our day clothes?" Severus grumbled as he contradicted himself by snuggling deeper into his bed.
"Yes, in our day clothes," Rowan said with her lips twitching in mirth. Closing her eyes, she snuggled into the warm bed as she closes her eyes and tries to sleep. But before she can, she hears Severus rustling about as if anxious about something.
"You'll always stay by my side, won't you?"
Unable to make that promise, Rowan instead answers, "I'll always be on your side, Sev. Always."
"Good," Severus said. "Or else, I'd cast some forbidden necromancy ritual just to bring you back."
"Oh, the sheer and utter terror," Rowan mockingly said. "Look, I'm absolutely quaking in my boots!"
Severus lets out a rather indignant huff and snaps, "Make sure to stay on your side of the bed! I better not wake up and have you snuggling up against me again!"
"It's actually the other way around," Rowan loftily said causing a curse to be muttered by Severus, who firmly made sure to scoot a good way from her.
Fainting smiling, she slowly closed her eyes after their long day. All too soon, they were sound asleep as they dreamt of comforting hands and warm hugs. Though come morning they wouldn't be able to recall either of their dreams except for a faint familiar rose scent that their grandmother had loved to wear.
Downstairs in the study, Georgine finds her brother drowning himself with a bottle of fire whiskey. "What are you doing, Reginald?" Georgine asked as she watched her older brother down another glass.
"Drowning my sorrows, what does it look like I am doing?" Reginald snapped as he moved over to pour himself another glass to only be stopped by a firm hand.
"This will not bring Sirsa back nor do the children any good," Georgine firmly said as she removed the glass from her brother's hand. "Come now, brother, tell me, what is bothering you?"
"Eileen stopped by not too long ago to say her goodbyes, before departing with her husband and his brother," Reginald croaked as he buried his head in his hands.
"She still had the audacity to return!" Georgine roared to only hurl the glass in her hand with full force into the fireplace. The glass instantly shattered as the fire roared higher as the flames consumed the drops of alcohol from the shattered glass.
"I would not have allowed her that right," Reginald gruffly said between his hands. "But Rowan asked that we allow her this single time boon. And I found myself quickly agreeing with my granddaughter. At least just once even if it is in death, my Sirsa should see Eileen again."
Georgine's lips twitched into a snarl as she slumped into the chair to watch the dancing flames. "I was told that she and Roderic Filch had a son, some time ago," Georgine distantly said.
"I thought that if she had at any integrity left, she'd have sent Sirsa, a photo of the child. But Eileen never did and Sirsa was much too proud to ask when she learned of the child's birth-."
Georgine's voice broke off as she closed her eyes. "I still keep expecting to see her every time I enter the parlor room. And yet her knitting and embroidery needles remain exactly, where she left them. And I can't bring myself to smoke, despite knowing that she is gone."
"I awoke this morning and I reflexively put my arm on her side of the bed-," Reginald's voice broke for a moment there. "-Only to find her side of the bed cold and empty."
The two of them fall silent for some time each lost in their own thoughts until the clock begins to ring at the new hour. Glancing at the time, Georgine says, "But we have burdens to shoulder and children to take care of brother. This will be the last night that I will allow you to drink."
Rising to her feet, Georgine conjures another glass before her brother, before walking away. Reginald stares at the glass before him with temptation in his eyes, before shoving the glass away and rising to his own feet. What his sister said was all true. He had grandchildren to care for and a vengeance to fulfill. Both of which would require full use of his faculties.
With that in mind, Reginald sat before the fire and thought. And oh, the things that he pondered, could have frozen a man's blood in a second. For such terrible were his thoughts that even the fire seemed to grow dimmer and the shadows grow thicker.