When Monday morning finally came the Great Hall was filled with bursts of whispers, the instant Rowan and Severus set foot into the Great Hall. They were openly gawked at and pointed at as the two of them firmly kept their gazes on their breakfast before them. The Slytherin table wasn't much better, but at least they weren't pointed at there.
Much of the rest of the week was the same with only the volume of the whispers and gawking dying down a bit. But still, more than one person from the other three houses had come up to them to try to chat with them or introduce themselves. The poor fools had been lucky that Terry and the girls had been nearby when Severus and Rowan finally reached for their wands.
The only good bit of news in the whole thing was that at least now they weren't just considered Slytherin heirs, but that of Godric Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff. The Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs felt that it wasn't very fair to them that the Prince twins had been sorted into the same house, Slytherin. In their humble opinion at least one of them should have been sorted into theirs.
But still, it had gotten to the point where Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout were forced to give a stern lecture to their house members. Stating that not only were the two Prince children still in mourning after their grandmother's death but for that of their father as well. And that if any of their house members were caught bothering them again, they'd not only be given two months' worth of detention but fifty-point a piece per student. That quickly dissuaded the worst of them and caused the profoundly grateful Rowan and Severus to finally be able to breathe in relief.
With the start of October, the bitter chill began to set in as house scarfs popped up all around. Rowan and Severus couldn't bear to wear their grandmother's knit scarfs and instead wore their own house colored scarfs. With it one fine morning, a large sign was erected at the foot of the marble staircase. The sign read as:
THE DELEGATIONS FROM BEAUXBATONS, AND
DRUMSTRANG WILL BE ARRIVING AT 6 O'CLOCK
ON FRIDAY THE 30TH OF OCTOBER. LESSONS WILL
END HALF AN HOUR EARLY.
STUDENTS WILL RETURN THEIR BAGS AND BOOKS
TO THEIR DORMORTORIES AND ASSEMBLE IN FRONT
OF THE CASTLE TO GREET OUR GUESTS BEFORE
THE WELCOMING FEAST."
"Thank goodness, it's Mermish," Rowan muttered as no doubt Dumbledore could cancel that day's lesson as he was the Headmaster and had to finish any last-minute touch-ups.
The rest of the day passed rather quickly as the students whispered in excitement over the upcoming Triwizard Tournament. Personally, Rowan wondered how the 7th years would fare. After all, if it was the 7th year and he or she was chosen to be the champion for Hogwarts. Just how on earth would they while studying for their N.E.W.T.'s and trying to figure out the clues for the tournament? She wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the reason for the high mortality rate.
Rowan's thoughts are interrupted by Professor Flitwick, who says in Gobbledegook, "Now that we have advanced thus far. I expect all of you this year to attempt to conduct all your affairs while at Gringotts in Goblin. I can assure you that the goblins of Gringotts will not laugh. But please be polite and full of decorum, we don't want a slip of a word to cause any future problems."
"Yes, Professor Flitwick," the entire class coursed in goblin.
The bell rings saving them from anything further as Professor Flitwick calls out to them in English. "And please remember to have a study conversation with your partner! I want a written copy to be turned in by the next class!"
The cheerful round face of Andrew says, "Meet me up in the study hall tomorrow?"
"Sounds good," Rowan replied, before heading off to the library. To be honest this year, she hadn't spent much time in the library usually either studying in one of the study halls or in Dumbledore's office. Despite the presence of Dumbledore, it was quite relaxing to work in his office.
Madam Pince was thrilled to see one of her favorite patrons and smiles at Rowan politely greets her in turn. Already sitting at their usual spot were the forms of Sirius, James, Lupin, and Pettigrew. Her seat was left empty between James and Sirius. With a sigh, she took her seat as Sirius and James beamed at her.
"We haven't seen much of you lately, Rowan," James complained as he furrowed his brows as he stared at his potions essay. They were presently studying antidotes and he had the bad feeling that they might actually be tested in class with Slughorn.
"I've been rather busy," Rowan replied as she began to take out her homework from yesterday, Alchemy and Ancient Studies. She was to write an essay for Ancient Studies on how ritual magic worked, while for Alchemy she was to write an essay on the assigned formula which would be tested on Thursday.
"Well, since you've become an apprentice that is not at all surprising," Lupin commented looking much better than ever. The long dark eyeshadows were gone as his cheeks were a rosy glow. Clearly the cure was working and with only one more potion to be given later during the month, Remus Lupin would finally be fully cured!
Though Lupin did exchange pointed glances with Pettigrew. Since that tragic day, there was always some form of dark eyeshadows underneath Rowan and Severus's eyes that denoted their lack of sleep. But they couldn't very well comment on the sensitive subject since it was most likely a product of their father's death. Even they knew better than to poke that rather sore subject.
Sirius sighs over his History of Magic essay on the goblin rebellions of the eighteenth century. "Please Remy, let me just take a quick peek at your goblin history essay! I'll never finish by dinnertime!" Sirius pleaded.
Pettigrew snorted under his breath, "Fat chance of that."
Lupin sniffs with a wide grin. "No, it'll do you much better in the long run to do your own assignments. And if you really want to be an Auror someday, you'll have to write your own reports. Consider this fair practice for the future."
Sirius pouts as James leans over to whisper, "I'll help you, Siri."
"Don't help him, James!" Lupin adamantly protested. "He'll ever learn that way!" They all become silent as they wait to hear if Madam Pince is coming their way. To their relief, there is no sound of loud footsteps stomping over to their place.
Lupin flashes James another pointed stare but James innocently shrugs. Rolling his eyes, Lupin says, "Prongs, really?"
"Moony really," James flashed back. "And besides, you know you'll be running with us come this time next month!"
Remus blushes as he tries to hide his excitement. He was so eager to be cured that he could hardly wait! But more importantly, he'd finally have animagus form too! A wolf! Now that he didn't need to forcibly transform into a werewolf, the thought of turning into a wolf wasn't so scary nor quite as bad.
"Oh right!" James said as he recalled something important and pulled out a slip of folded parchment.
Rowan's eyes bulge as he recognizes the ridiculous piece of enchanted paper. It was the one and only Marauder's map. But the Marauders weren't supposed to create it until next year! What on earth had gone wrong?!
Rowan resists the urge to slap herself. Of course, with Lupin now being cured and all their combined energy put together produced the final product in only a month's time rather than the full year it took them. She immediately regretted teaching them, how to study and helping them with their studies. It was all coming back to haunt her now.
James lightly touched the parchment and whispered, "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
Rowan refrains from rolling her eyes as she sees thin ink lines begin to spread like spider webs from the point where the tip of James wand touched. The lines joined, crisscrossed, fanning into every corner of the parchment. Words than began to blossom across the top, great, curly green letters that proclaimed:
Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, Prongs, and Bramble
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
Are proud to present
THE MARAUDER'S MAP
Of course, Severus was now part of the show. Holding back the urge to scream, Rowan stares at the map that shows every little detail of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. But the truly remarkable thing were the tiny ink dots moving around each labeled with a name in minuscule writing.
"Well, for better or for worse, I must say I'm impressed with the charms and spell work," Rowan admitted out loud despite her inner turmoil. "And I am somewhat disturbed to find that the four of you can produce such work and yet have trouble with a simple potions essay." Rowan gestured at Sirius with that last part.
Sirius flushes as James proudly says, "It was all of our efforts combined. And we got a lot of help from Bramble. He's really brilliant at creating spells, you know!"
"I am vastly aware," Rowan drily said as she cursed Severus in the back of her mind. No wonder the four of them had gotten the work done in little over a month. It was all Severus's doing! But then again, the map just might prove useful in the future. Unlike her world mapscape which had been revealed to have flaws, the marauder's map shouldn't be fooled by Polyjuice or self-identity issues.
"Just try not to lose that thing," Rowan said with a sigh as James beamed up at her.
Tapping his wand against the parchment, James says, "Mischief managed!" Putting the parchment away, James proudly smirks. "No chance of that ever happening. Severus enchanted the map to return to the nearest one of us if ever dropped."
"Of course," Rowan flatly said, before starting on her work. It proved to be a rather product evening before finally leaving for dinner. And dinner was quite the treat, to say the least, curry and ramen, yum.