The next few days Rowan kept teleporting to the hidden chamber once per day and once later in the night to check up on Nadira. But Nadira was sleeping each time Rowan came by recuperating her strength. The good news is that she looked less pink than before and could open her eyes a bit more each time. Probably by the end of the week or next week Nadira would be shedding her first skin. And at which point, Rowan would have an entirely new problem to which to deal with. But that could wait until then. No, sense in prematurely panicking.
Friday found Rowan and Severus heading to their last course of the day, Mermish with Dumbledore. They'd had Charms and Transfiguration earlier that day. Professor Flitwick personally was rather proud and often pulled them aside to demonstrate the spells. While Professor McGonagall now held them to an even higher standard than before. (Which only made Rowan want to throw up as Transfiguration was her second-worst subject after Potions. Not that she would ever admit out loud nor much less to her twin.) Needless to say, they were both tired and couldn't wait for the week to end.
The two of them stood outside of the door to Dumbledore's office as Severus knocked on the door this time around. The Griffin door knocker as usual just stared at them as Rowan glared back. The door wordlessly opens as the two of them enter inside. Too tired to stare at the whistling silver instruments nor at the half-awake staring portraits. They both slumped into the opposing seats from Dumbledore.
Albus Dumbledore chuckles at seeing their tried faces and says, "The first week is always the toughest. I'm sure both of you will soon enough become used to the schedule." Of course, they would, but they didn't have to like it.
Fawkes in the corner on his golden perch lets out a sad little screech as if in understanding as he'd begun to wane and look quite dreadful. His passing would come soon and then rebirth. For that was what all phoenixes did.
Turning a bit more businesslike, Dumbledore asks, "Did the both of you study as I requested?"
"Yes, Dumbledore," Rowan and Severus dully answered.
Hiding a smile, Dumbledore's eyes twinkle as he rises to his feet and motions for them to follow him. Stepping deeper into the Headmaster's private chambers they found themselves in a rather large bathroom. There was a pool of water with a trickling waterfall that could be changed to warm or cold by simply telling the fountain lion. There was an open rock like nook filled with all sorts of bath soaps, bath salt, shampoos, bubbles and so much more.
"Now, then our first step is to hear what Mermish sounds like inside the water and outside," Dumbledore said as both Rowan and Severus made a face. "There are some brand-new swimming suits in the cupboard there for each of you to take."
Rowan almost bursts into laughter at seeing the Victoria era swimsuits. It was a cute sailor's top with matching knee-length pantaloons. At least all her choices were in dark colors, but Severus's choices were dismissal. They were all striped and looked like what a prisoner would wear. Severus was not pleased whatsoever as he preferred to swim in his swim trunks. But understanding the need for decorum with a loud snarl he grabbed the black and white striped knee length long swimwear.
Both of them glanced around and found two shower cubicles in place for them to change behind in. The two of them quickly changed as Rowan emerged to only snicker quite loudly at the sight of Severus. Severus snarled at her to only see Rowan's mouth flop open.
Turning around, Severus's mouth does the same at seeing Professor Dumbledore in a full length to ankle swimming suit. His rather boney ankles can be seen as his long stark white foot peeks at them. Strangely enough, his long white hair and beard were neatly tucked around a belt-like pouch across his waist.
"Good they fit," Dumbledore said with a pleased expression as the twins snapped their mouth shut. "Now, jump in, the water should be fine." The three of them enter the water that is at perfect temperature neither cold nor hot. Just right.
Dumbledore quickly reaches into his pouch and pulls out what looks like an old diving helmet. Handing one to both of them, he says, "They've been enchanted to hold air for up to three hours. But we shan't be in the water that long."
Rowan and Severus put on the somewhat heavy, clunky helmets, before striding over to the deep end. They can clearly hear each other as Dumbledore says, "Now I begin to speak in Mermish." Sure, enough all they heard was spoken English with a strange-like accented voice.
Motioning for them to rise, they did at which point, Dumbledore spoke again. All they could hear was screeching, harsh and raspy sounding. At least it was no worse than gobbledegook. Though the high-pitched screeching sounds might give Severus a bit of trouble. Which immediately brightened up Rowan's day.
"Good now, let us get out," Dumbledore instructed as they walked to the shallow end of the pool. The good news was that once Rowan and Severus got out not only did, they feel refreshed and wake, but less tired.
After changing, Rowan and Severus each sat at a new desk which Dumbledore had the elves bring in. "This will be your own desks to work on and for your own use during the full length of your apprenticesh.i.p.s. They can only be accessed by myself and yourselves. Anyone else even attempting to break in will receive a rather nasty shock."
"Now then, let us begin to overview the basic Mermish alphabet," Dumbledore said as he began to screech out the first letters. Rowan and Severus took notes on the pronunciation as they attempted to copy him. By the end of the evening, their throats hurt. They would have to stop by the infirmary for a smoothing potion for their throats again. And just when they thought they were rid of it; they were back to chugging it again.
With a bright smile, Dumbledore says, "I expect both of you to be able to properly pronounce the entire alphabet by the end of next week. After which, we'll just jump in!"
"Yes, Dumbledore," Rowan and Severus hoarsely croaked unable to keep the emotion out of their voices, which was absolutely none.
With a chuckle, Dumbledore watches them go. His two apprentices were rather bright and eager to learn. They practically soaked everything in and hardly ever needed to be told twice to repeat the same effect. He had no doubt they'd be able to complete their assignment.
He wasn't the only one as Professor Boas was utterly delighted with the two of them. He was highly confident that by the end of their 4th year, they'd have mastered the full sixth-year alchemy formula's. If they did then by their 5th year they'd be working on the seventh level N.E.W.T. formula. And if that was hopefully the case by their 6th year, he would be able to have them begin working on their journeymen mastery projects.
To be honest they were progressing at a frightful pace that would leave anyone else flabbergasted. But Dumbledore was confident that he could keep them occupied. With a hum, he returned to his desk as he finalized the last touches on the Triwizard Tournament. No doubt, it'd be a most interesting year.