Strangely enough, the three of them were given ample room inside the lift possibly due to Reginald's icy glare, which spoke of an instant, painful death should any of them be approached. Despite the curiosity of the wizards and witches in the elevator they pointedly kept their eyes away from them as the correct floor buttons were pushed. The grilles slid shut with a crash and the lift ascended slowly, chains rattling until the same cool female voice from the telephone box rang out again.
"Level Seven, Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, and Ludicrous Patents Office."
The lift doors opened to reveal a rather untidy-looking corridor with various posters of Quidditch teams in a pile as office members were running around like their heads were cut off. But it made sense given that the World Quidditch Cup was nearly upon them. In fact, there was a small fire burning in the hallway that no one seemed to have yet noticed reminding Rowan of some sort of future apocalyptic setting. A haggard witch in the lift let out a fearful shriek at the sight of the burning blaze and rushed out as the doors closed shut and the lift juddered upward again.
They paused and stopped at several floors as several paper airplanes swopped inside the lift. The paper airplanes idly flapped above their heads before getting off at their correct floors. They were the last ones to get off as they got off on the first floor and did as they were told.
Severus stared the windows with sunlight streaming through despite their being underground. "Er," Severus starts to say, before Reginald replies, "The windows are enchanted by the Magical Maintenance department every day."
Severus nods and turns towards Rowan, who still had her perpetual look of disinterest on her face. Muttering under his breath, Severus says, "Sheesh, at least act a little bit surprised." And either Rowan hadn't heard him, or she simply didn't care to answer.
Reginald stopped before the door that read, "C.S.A.E., the Comprehension Student Apprenticeship Exam Office." Reginald moved to open the door when a very old witch by wizarding standards, who had presided over Reginald's own N.E.W.T exams stood before. The old witch's eyes were still bright as she said, "Prince, I remember your Charm and DADA scores. Top marks, they were."
Reginald flushes in discomfort as Madam Professor Griselda Marchbanks, (also an elder of the Wizengamot), says, "But you did absolutely terrible on your Divination and Transfiguration exams." Both Rowan and Severus turned to eye their grandfather as Reginald rather fl.u.s.tered glanced away.
As if satisfied at causing a former student examinee to blush in embarrassment, Madam Marchbanks turns to stare at the two young examinees. Severus warily stares back as Rowan maintains her usual cool demeanor. Slowly nodding, she finally understood the abrupt rush for the apprenticeship and why the Minister of Magic had personally approved the sudden testing. Only fourteen and the two Prince grandchildren were already crackling with power. They were a potential danger to themselves and others.
"You are no longer needed, Reginald Prince," Madam Marchbanks sniffed. "Run along, you cannot accompany them any further than this."
Reginald glares at the old witch, but despite his towering height, he was the one who felt rather small before her. Rather reluctantly, he turns to the twins and says, "I'll be back as soon as you're both finished." Too embarrassed to give them kiss or a hug, he ruffles their hair, before he rather irritably strides away.
Madam Marchbanks lets out a sound of satisfaction as she says, "That boy always thinks he's so clever. He needs to be brought down a notch or two, every now and then." Severus chokes, while Rowan smirks at the remark.
Despite her being much shorter than Rowan and Severus, Madam Marchbanks seemed rather imposing. Madam Marchbanks motions for them to enter the small office, where a single middle-aged clerk with cropped hair sat behind one of the desks, while the other desk held the head of the office, an elderly wizard carefully reviewing the few applications they had. The office was rather simply decorated with only a plant and some plain decorative furnishings hung inside the tiny office.
Sitting in chairs against the wall are three older figures, a witch and two wizards. "This is Master Linnaeus," Madam Marchbanks pointed to a solemn wizard. "Master Linnaeus will be administrating the Potions and Herbology portions of the exam."
Pointing to the next seated occupant, a curly silver-haired witch, Madam Marchbanks says, "This is Madam Berk and she will be administrating the Astronomy, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and Divination portion of the exam."
Pointing to a rather tanned man with a scholarly air, she says, "Master Strauss, will be administrating the Care of Magical Creatures exam portion and that of the History of Magic written exam."
"I myself will be administrating the exam portion for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, and Transfiguration," Madam Marchbanks firmly declared. "Are there any questions up to this moment?"
"Excellent," Madam Marchbanks said at seeing that neither of them had raised their hands. "The written portion of the exams will solely consist of questions rather than any essay questions. And since this is a comprehensive exam to see what knowledge has been acquired and what is lacking. As for the practical exams, they will all be administrated by the assigned proctor with one of us serving as a witness to be certain there has been no tampering nor cheating during any of the exams."
Madam Marchbanks had paused in a emphasis of her last statement, before adding, "The entire exam process should take no more than a week. I trust both of you have been duly informed?"
Rowan and Severus both nod as Madam Marchbanks says, "Now if we may a take a look at your bags?" Madam Marchbanks casts a spell but nothing happens to reveal that there is no contraband nor anything that was forbidden on the list of instructions.
"Good, now if you would hand over your wands to Madam Berk to be checked," Madam Marchbanks instructed. "Then we can be on our way to the first written exam."
Severus hands his wand over first to Madam Berk, the curly silver-haired witch checks the wand in her hand. Peering at the wand, she finally says, "Blackthorn with a silver dragon's heartstring. 13 1/2 inches. Firm, but flexible."
Satisfied she hands the wand back as Rowan hands her wand over. Madam Berk's eyes narrow into points as she slowly says, "Elder with a Thestral core. 13 Inches. Powerful."
The a.d.u.l.ts are rather stunned as Master Linnaeus mutters the wand lore phrase known to all wizarding children, "Wand of elder, never prosper."
Madam Marchbanks flashes Master Linnaeus a warning glance as Madam Berk quickly hands the wand back as if she'd been scalded. There had been an unnatural presence to that wand. As though there was a snake coiling around in her hand ready to strike back.
"Now that has been taken care of, we shall start with the first of the written exams followed by the astronomy exam to be held later at midnight," Madam Marchbanks said, before leading them out of the office and down the corridor. A nearby room had been specially prepared for those applying for the C.S.A.E examination.