A sense of excitement began to be felt as the afternoon came and went. By dusk, the still summer air seemed to be quivering with anticipation as darkness spread over like a curtain over the eagerly waiting wizards. The ministry members finally gave up at this point and simply turned a blind eye to everything.
Salesmen were apparating every few feet with trays and carts full of extraordinary merchandise. There were luminous rosettes blue for England, red for Norway which squealed the names of the Quidditch team players. There were hats with small moving Vikings representing Norway, while England's held moving knights in shining armor.
Norwegian scarves with a long sea serpent's that moved across the entire train of the scarves. Flags from both countries which played the national anthems as they were waved. There were tiny models of brooms that really flew, and collectible figures of famous Quidditch players, which strolled across the palm of one's hand, preening themselves.
Rowan didn't hold much interest in any of it except for buying a pair of Omnioculars that seemed rather useful. And a program as to least know the situation and know when to flee, if need be. Severus, James, and Sirius on the other hand each were dr.a.p.ed in their quidditch teams' colors. Severus quickly choose to support Norway claiming they had far superior tactics, while the loyal Gryffindor's, James and Sirius stuck faithfully to England.
Personally, Rowan thought Norway had the upper hand, but she didn't want to get into an argument with the boys. She was already sick and tired of listening to the three of them talk about quidditch. In fact, if she never had to attend a Quidditch World Cup again, she would consider herself heavenly blessed. She'd rather watch the Football World Cup any day, now that was a game of cunning tactics, surprises, and simply a joy to watch.
Rowan is tragically forced to wait until Severus is done shopping until at long last the three boys quite cheerfully return to their own tents. Reginald and Aunt Georgine were waiting outside of the tent for them as they pulled up. As were, Fleamont Potter and his wife, Euphemia. Though Fleamont looked rather nervous as he didn't dare glance in Reginald's direction. Which was strange really, considering the fact that Fleamont was older than Reginald by six years.
Sirius and James eagerly rushed over to his parents as Georgine said, "So, which side are you joining dear. I'm on Norway's side and Reginald is sticking to England."
"I choose not to participate," Rowan drily answered. "I'd rather have watched the football world cup."
"That strange muggle sport where they kick the ball around?" Georgine exclaimed.
"That one," Severus snorted. "She's always liked Pele. She'll go on and on about his incredible Brazilian player prowess and football moves."
"He's won four football world cups and is simply INCREDIBLE!" Rowan huffed as she crossed her arms over her chest. "Plus, he does it all without the aid of magic!" Severus rolls his eyes as Reginald actually looks mildly intrigued.
They aren't able to speak more the subject as a deep, booming gong sounded somewhere beyond the woods, and at once, blue and red lanterns blazed into life in the trees, lighting a path to the field.
"It's time," Reginald sternly instructed, "Stay close."
Clutching their purchases, Rowan and Severus followed their grandfather with Aunt Georgine at their side. They followed the lantern-lit trail as the sound of thousands of people moving could be heard. There were shouts of laughter, singing, and general feverish excitement.
After a twenty-minute walk, they emerged in from the woods in the shadow of a gigantic stadium. The walls were golden-colored, and the stadium was large enough to drop over ten cathedrals inside and still have plenty of leftover room. "It seats over a hundred thousand," Georgine muttered at seeing their faces.
Reginald handed their tickets at the nearest entrance as the wizards and witches were at the entrance were being swarmed. "Prime Seats!" Said the tired witch when she checked their tickets. "Top Box! Straight upstairs as high as you go can go." Rowan paled as usual, while Severus looked delighted. Clearly, the two of them had very different priorities.
The stairs into the stadium were carpeted in rich purple. The four of them quickly made their way up until they reached the top of the staircase and found themselves in a small box, set at the highest point of the stadium, and situated exactly halfway between the golden goal posts. There were about thirty seats that stood in two rows.
Reginald quickly sat them down as Severus gawked at the hundreds of thousands of witches and wizards that were taking their places in the seats, which rose in all sorts of levels around the long oval field. The field looked as smooth as velvet from their lofty positions. At either end of the field stood three goal hoops, fifty feet high. Right opposite from them at almost eye level is a gigantic blackboard. Gold writing kept dashing across it, before being wiped off.
The advertis.e.m.e.nts read as: The Bluebottle: A Broom for All the Family safe, reliable, and with Built-in Anti-Burglar Buzzers.... Mrs. Shower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Removers: No Pain, NO Stain!... Gladrags Wizardwear London, Paris, Hogsmeade...
Rowan who safely already plugged in her trusty reliable magical earplugs glanced over to see who else was sitting in the box. There was the Minister of Magic, Master Belby was sitting at her side. Though every now and then he'd glance over at Rowan and her grandfather. Knowing that there must be a story there, she didn't react as she kept seeing the Top Box fill up.
After some time, Rowan glances down at her velvet-covered, tasseled program and says, "The team mascots will precede the match."
"It better be soon," Severus muttered as the Minister of Norway wearing splendid red robes trimmed in gold happily shook the hand of Master Belby. Master Belby most quickly wrenched his hand from the Norwegian Minister's crushing handshake. Soon enough the last of the seats were filled as Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa, his wife took the seats directly in front of Rowan and Severus. The Prince's as a whole nodded at them as the Malfoy's did the same.