The following week went rather quickly as Rowan worriedly checked on Nadira. Less but still a light shade of pink, Nadira was still sleeping all the time and had yet to shed her first skin. But according to everything Rowan had been reading it was normal for magical snakes to sleep for long periods of time until they were ready to shed their first skin. She'd merely have to patiently wait until Nadira either said she was hungry or shed her first skin.
Most of the Slytherins complained about their lessons becoming more and more difficult. But since Severus and Rowan didn't feel the difference, they wisely chose not to comment on the subject. Especially when they were the only two able to turn their hedgehogs into pincushions in their Transfiguration class. Severus had done it for the first time, and so had Rowan. But what Professor McGonagall and Severus didn't know is that Rowan had practiced the spell over a dozen times before class to get it just right. (And where she had even found a hedgehog to practice on? Well, that is what Hagrid is for.)
On the other hand, Rowan also disliked Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Lye. At every turn, it seemed as though she and Severus were always signaled out by the Professor. Not that the other Professors didn't do so as a visual aid, but there was something about Professor Lye that rubbed her in the wrong way. Even Professor Adric had never made her feel a cold shiver of unease at a mere brush of a touch.
Later in the week, Professor Lye announced that he would be putting them all under the Imperius Curse to show them what it felt like and teach them how to throw it off. The Gryffindor's unlike the two Slytherins in the classroom are rather excited to be put under the spell. Rowan and Severus, on the other hand, eyed their professor with blank faces.
Professor Lye began to beckon students forward one at the time and put the Imperius Curse upon them. Willa Sands twirled around like a ballerina, Mary MacDonald sang a rather pretty jig, while Lily imitated a duck. There were bursts of laughter as no one really seemed to be taking the lesson seriously but rather wanted to see what the professor would have them do.
"Miss Prince," Professor Lye said with a dimpled smile. "You're next."
Rowan moved to the center of the classroom, where the desks had all been pushed against the walls for this exercise. Professor Lye raised his wand and pointed it at her. "Imperio!"
Unlike with Madam Marchbanks, Rowan could feel the sheer power off of Professor Lye's spell. She actually felt a floating sensation as every thought and worry in her mind was gently being erased leaving nothing but vague untraceable happiness behind. That stopped her short as instinctually she'd never been that at ease.
Those watching couldn't see the internal struggle going on inside Rowan as Professor Lye says, "Jump onto the desk."
"I'd rather not," Rowan icily said as she moved back towards the gathered crowd.
Professor Lye's eyes widen as he slowly says, "That is most impressive, Miss Prince. It only took you a mere few seconds to throw off an Auror level curse. Twenty points to Slytherin!" Most of the Gryffindor's gape at Rowan rather impressed at her incredible feat.
Turning to the class, Professor Lye says, "And that is why those with strong wills can throw off the curse. Most of you are strong-willed as well but don't know how to channel it yet. Remember the key is being constantly aware!"
The marauders go next and James does much better than those prior before him except for Rowan, of course. He manages to fight off the curse mid-way causing him to fall to the ground, but he still did it. The rest of the marauders managed the same thing including Lupin and Pettigrew. Which came as a bit of a surprise to Rowan with mixed with feelings of satisfaction. The two of them had most certainly grown a backbone over the years.
When it came time for Severus to be called out, the entire class stared. Professor Lye once more pointed his wand at Severus and said, "Imperio!" Severus's entire face relaxed as Professor Lye instructed him to hop around the room three times.
However, before Severus could take his first step his face contorted. His lips pressed together, and he remained still for mere moments, before moving forward back to his previous spot next to Lily. Professor Lye flashed another smile and said, "Ten points to Slytherin!" Severus's lips curl in satisfaction from his spot at Lily's side.
When the bell finally rang, the Gryffindor's happily filed out of class with a few of them still semi-performing their instructions. It'd fade over lunch, but still, some of those were awkward. One girl every tenth word quacked like a duck, while another boy skipped every alternate step almost tripping down the stairs each time. The poor bastard would develop a fear of skipping as a direct result.
Sitting down at the Gryffindor table as was per usual, Rowan sits across from Lupin as James and Sirius prattle on about their lesson. Pettigrew on the other hand softly says, "Do any of you think that there's something off about Professor Lye?" He had noticed the particular attention Professor Lye had been giving Rowan and Severus, and it filled him with a sense of disquiet.
"He smells strange," Lupin softly answered causing Rowan to pause mid-eating.
"What do you mean?" Rowan asked as she put her fork full of pasta down.
"He just doesn't smell right," Lupin said with a sheepish shrug. "I can't explain it."
Before Rowan or Pettigrew can further inquire into the subject, Terry arrives. With an eye roll, he flops down next to Rowan and complains, "Ug, I hate divination homework, Anyway, what were the three of you talking about so seriously, when I sat down?"
Pettigrew sniffs and murmurs, "Lupin, Rowan, and I don't much like Professor Lye, there's something creepy about him." Which was even more true know after Remus's comment.
"Good, I'm not the only one," Terry said with a shiver. "The girls agree with me as well and that includes Bethanie and she likes all the professors including Professor Binn's!"
"Slytherins should have had him earlier this morning," Rowan asked. "Did he also have you practice throwing off the Imperius curse as well?"
"Yes," Terry said with a proud sniff. "Naturally after three times, I was able to throw off the curse. Though you'll never guess who threw it off on their second try?"
"Bethanie," Rowan instantly replied as she took a mouthful of her pasta.
Terry gapes at Rowan, before narrowing his eyes at her. "Who told you?! Was it, Tiffany?!"
Rowan merely stares at Terry like he's an idiot. On Thursday's they don't have a single class together. And Tiffany is not sitting with her, but further away with Lily, Mary, and Willa.
Terry coughs and says, "And just how did you guess that?"
"Bethanie must have a strong will to still remain that cheerful despite being a Slytherin," Rowan pointed out as Terry nodded his head in understanding. Pettigrew looks like he's going to ask on the subject, but Lupin firmly jabs him in the ribs in a warning. Some subjects were simply best left alone.
"Tsk," Terry clicks his tongue in annoyance. "Well, Silvia and Tiffany also threw it off after their fourth try. How'd you and Severus do?"
"Well enough," Rowan replied, before purposefully stuffing her mouth with pasta.
Pettigrew chokes at Rowan's curt reply as Lupin hides a smile. Rowan never did much like to be the one in the spotlight. Lupin kindly decides to go to Rowan's rescue as he says, "What did you do for divination? I'm afraid Professor Zephyros might fail me for our crystal ball reading."
Terry happily begins to exclaim as Pettigrew shakes his head and mutters, "It's more of a miracle that Severus passed Divination than anything else. He must have been channeling Professor Zephyros's spirit himself."
Rowan hides a smile because that was exactly what she thought along all. That or Severus cheated somehow. And if he did kudos to him, because he wasn't caught.