Rowan was rather subdued upon their return to Prince Manor. Rather fearful, she'd put the egg in her hidden trunk compartment. She couldn't put a living object into the moleskin pouch of hers, but the hidden trunk compartment could expand to hold one-meter worth of items. The egg would be perfectly safe inside there as only she could open the hidden compartment.
The following week was largely spent reading, but Rowan would often find herself distracted by the name Hydra. Was there a significance to that name? Or was it simply the name that the puppeteer liked to call himself? She was fairly certain that was in fact who that mysteriously named dot was.
And what of the spotted dots who'd all died at the coils of the mother snake? Why had their disappearance not been reported at all nor mentioned in the papers? Or had the mysterious puppeteer obliviated the minds of friends and relatives to make their disappearances seem a mere coincidence or have occurred long ago? Whatever the case, there wasn't a single article in the Daily Prophet mentioning any of the said individuals who'd appeared on her mapscape that night.
The arrival of Rowan's course list provided a welcome distraction. The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 4 by Miranda Goshawk, Defense Against the Dark Arts by Galatea Merrythought, The Art of Alchemy by Nicholas Flamel, Advanced Numerology and Grammatica and Ancient Magic and Powers of the Forgotten Past by Howard Cartier.
The good news that Rowan had already gone over this year's standard book of spells. The bad news is that dress robes where on her course list. It was strange given the fact that she needed plenty of items for her new courses. But she didn't think much of them as it was possible, they might be needed for some sort of apprenticeship even. But still, time went rather slowly in the remaining days that were left.
With only a day left before her return back to Hogwarts, she puts her book away and went to find Sir Knight Prince, who had been actively avoiding her since learning he was a parselmouth. Heading upstairs to the attic, Rowan paused in the corridor that now held a locked door.
The parlor room that was once belonged to her grandmother had been locked away by Reginald, their grandfather. Aunt Georgine said that's how Prince's mourn by locking the pain away. Unhealthy, yes. But it is a terrible tendency that the Prince's tended to inherit every single generation. Neither were Rowan and Severus, the exception.
Turning away, Rowan went upstairs to find the handsome ghost playing against his own body. She watches him for a moment, before saying, "I'm not angry with you, Sir Knight Prince. I won't bite, but please stop running away from me."
Sir Knight Prince's face freezes as his body slowly takes his head and rests it on his body's lap. "I suppose that I have been avoiding you, a bit," Sir Knight Prince confessed. "But I didn't think you needed any more distractions given everything that had occurred over the summer, child."
"True enough," Rowan admitted as she leaned against the doorway. "So, is there anything I should know since I'm the present living parselmouth in the family?"
"Try to hide it as long as you can," Sir Knight Prince confessed with a bit of a sad smile. "It's more of a curse than a blessing. You'll have to learn to live with the full consequences when the time comes. And believe me, it will come."
"I know," Rowan drily muttered recalling grandfather's last outing to Diagon Alley.
Reginald Prince had been particularly been besieged by the reporters. Unlike the previous years before where they went shopping for their things, this year, Aunt Georgine had done the shopping for them. Not that Aunt Georgine wasn't besieged by reporters, but unlike grandfather she threw stinging hexes left and right without any embarrassment whatsoever. The reporters quickly got the message and left her alone.
But still, it had been nice to go to Diagon Alley to buy school supplies or in Rowan's case hunt down some fine books. Though she must admit she was rather disturbed at finding a silver long sleeve dress with matching robes among her newly fitted robes from Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. She had a rather distinct impression that this did not bode well at all for her.
"And I suppose that I'll only become that much more popular since I am female parselmouth," Rowan sighed sarcastically. For Slytherin pureblood's that was an ideal trait to have and made her suitable wife material, no matter the fact that she was considered a half-blood by wizarding society.
"In our family females breed true," Sir Knight Prince softly stated as Rowan's eyes widen as the ramifications of that simple sentence. "My mother was the sole female parselmouth in the family and only bore me. She would have had more children if not for her fear of bringing more parselmouth's into this world. I fear that should you ever bear any young more than likely at least one will be a parselmouth."
"Fat chance of that," Rowan scoffed out loud.
Sir Knight Prince's lips twitch into a smile. "I've heard that answer countless times before, but the heart if a fickle creature, Rowan. Why even Georgine succ.u.mbed most tragically to that fate and she was twice as hard-hearted as you are. And you, my dear are nowhere near as hard-hearted as she was."
Rowan's eyes pensively flicker to the cut on his neck. "Was that the case for you?"
Sir Knight Prince smiles a strange little smile and says, "The present is for the living. Let the past lie in the past, Rowan."
Rowan sagely nods and turns to go as she says, "Will you tell me about her someday?"
"When you fall in love," Sir Knight Prince softly promised.
Respecting Sir Knight Prince's request, Rowan leaves Sir Knight Prince to his own devices, before wandering downstairs to the kitchen. Little Laldey sits on a soft blanket in a tiny square pen. Laldey beams at her showcasing his one big tooth and the other tiny teeth that were coming in.
Smiling Rowan sits on a stool and coos to him. Laldey squeals happily and tries to help. Suddenly a wobbly plate flies over to Rowan just Dawn, who'd just popped into the kitchen bursts into tears. Rowan stares blankly at Dawn as Dawn tearfully says, "Oh, Dawn is so lucky to see her Laldey serve the little mistress his first meal plate!"
Realizing that this might be some sort of a significant event for a house elf, Rowan says, "Shouldn't then, we celebrate Laldey's success this evening?"
Dawn blinks and claps her hand to her heart. "Dawn has never heard of a master celebrating house elf babies first serving magic! Dawn is not sure if it is appropriate!"
"Why not?" Rowan said with a shrug. "Tonight, we'll all sit at the dining table and eat. I think it would be fitting."
Dawn gapes as her ears excitedly flap on their own. "Dawn would be so honored! No house elf has ever sat at the master's table! Dawn would know!"
"Good, I'll let grandfather know," Rowan muttered as she sliced open a soft biscuit to eat with jam for a snack.
Dawn happily runs off to inform her hubby, while Laldey returns to his work. Of trying to fold a tiny towel. For every house elf baby was first taught to fold a towel, it was tradition.
Then again, the Prince's were strange in many ways. At times, they were trs modern and at other times rather traditional. But in the end, it didn't matter as the Prince's always did what they felt like. And yes, that night for the first time in wizarding history three house elves dined with their master. And so, from that day forth it became a Sunday tradition for the masters to dine with their house elves. Maybe it was not that world-changing to the masses, but to three house elves, it was certainly life-changing.