The door behind them opened as a large group of people in: Professor Dumbledore, followed closely by Stephen Flint, Professor Vulchanova, Madame Maxime, Professor Slughorn, and Mr. Amundsen.
Jean Delacour turned with concern to his headmistress. "Madame Maxime iz it true zat zis poor girl will compete for 'ogwarts? She iz merely fourteen!"
Madame Maxime drew herself up to her full height as the top of her handsome head crushed the candle filled chandelier. Her gigantic black-satin bosom swelled indignantly. "What iz ze meaning of zis, Dumbly-dorr?" She said imperiously. "Iz it because she iz your apprentice?!"
"I'd like to know that answer as well, Dumbledore," Professor Vulchanova coldly said. His sharp pale features only seemed that much colder and harsher than before. "I thought there was an age line in place."
"There is," Mr. Amundsen came to Dumbledore's rescue. "Flint and I personally checked the circle, after it was cast, and just now again. It was never broken into."
Professor Dumbledore turned to gaze at his apprentice with rather grave eyes. "Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Rowan?"
"No," Rowan angrily spat out. "But Severus and Terry had something to do with it. They both looked incredibly guilty and weren't able to answer my question on what exactly they had done, before I was called way."
"I see," Dumbledore said as a bit of warmth returned to his eyes. "Professor Slughorn will you kindly go and retrieve the two boys?"
Professor Slughorn hurriedly trots out as they wait for him to return. Not long after the pale ashen-faced figures of Terry and Severus can be seen. Turning to face the two boys, Dumbledore says, "Mr. Greengrass, and Mr. Prince, exactly what did the both of you do?"
Terry's flaxen hair even seems to even wilt under the headmaster's gaze. His brown eyes are murky for once as he hangs his head in guilt. "It was my idea, sir," Terry softly said. "I thought it would be funny given that it was impossible for Rowan to be chosen, Professor Dumbledore."
"And how did the two of you circ.u.mvent the age circle?" Dumbledore pointedly inquired.
Terry slightly raises his gaze as he says, "Well, in olden times apprentices were considered as the mark of a.d.u.l.ts. I thought that since the Goblet of Fire is ancient despite the age circle, it'd accept Rowan or Severus crossing the age line and entering the tournament.
I convinced Severus to transfigure into Rowan and wrote her name on a slip of parchment, before dropping it into the goblet. And since the two of them are twins, I thought that the Goblet of Fire would certainly accept the parchment on behalf of Rowan. But I never dreamed it would actually work, I just wanted to prank Rowan and never actually thought Rowan's name would ever be called out." Terry hung his head miserably down as he awaited his punishment.
Amundsen wryly says, "My, my, the children of now seem much cleverer than in my time."
"It's not funny," Rowan snapped not caring if she was rude. "I don't have to be the champion for Hogwarts, do I?"
"Unfortunately, you do, Miss Prince," Stephen Flint flatly replied. "Despite you being the innocent party here, the Goblet of Fire recognized your twin brother's act as real. You are legally and magically bond to participate in the tournament. And the Goblet of Fire has gone out and has been enchanted to not relight itself until five years from now."
For the first time in a very long time, Rowan was seriously angry. "Idiot!" Rowan spat at Severus as he flinched as though she had gutted him. She couldn't even stand to look at him as she stared into the flames in utter fury.
Severus raises his haunted sincere gaze as he remorsefully says, "I'll take any punishment you want, Professor Dumbledore. But please don't make her participate. It was all my fault; Rowan would have never wanted to participate on her own recognizance. She called the tournament a stupid death trap of doom." Amundsen chokes at the last part as the a.d.u.l.t's glance at each other.
Flint sadly shakes his head and says, "I emphasize with your inner turmoil, but this is a binding magical contract which you knowingly signed on her behalf. The only good bit of news is that your both being apprentices proves that your sister can handle that which will be thrown at her in the tournament. And as the Goblet of Fire did select her that must mean she is the best choice for Hogwarts." There is a bit an awkward silence as no one seems to really believe his last statement.
Dumbledore's piercing blue eyes gently study the two ashen-faced youths. "I won't punish either of you," Dumbledore firmly stated earning glances of disbelief from the rest of the parties in the room and a dark glare from Rowan.
"I believe your parents, Mr. Greengrass, and your grandfather in your case, Mr. Prince, will soundly take care of that," Dumbledore announced to everyone in the room. "And as for the two of young men, the both of you will explain to the entire school and our guests exactly what the two of you did. Professor Slughorn if you would please make sure to escort them to the Great Hall and make sure they can be heard in the Great Hall; I would greatly appreciate it."
Terry and Severus turn a bit green at that. That was worse than any number of detentions being served or even a Howler. This time the entire school would know exactly who was to blame for their champion. Their displeasure was most certainly to be known by everyone except for Slytherin. And well, it'd been a long time since Slytherin had been a champion. They'd take whatever they could get, no matter how dubious the circ.u.mstances might be.
Green faced, the two boys are led out by Professor Slughorn. Severus kept glancing in Rowan's direction, but not once did she glance up at look. The door firmly closed behind them one more leaving the room in an awkward state.
Clearing his throat, Amundsen says, "Well, it's best we get on with it, no?"
"Ah yes," Mr. Flint softly said, before straightening back up. "The instructions for the first task are as follow. The first task is designed to test the champion's daring. Therefore, we will not be telling you what it is. Courage in the face of the unknown is an important quality in a wizard and is very important.
The first task will take place on November the twenty-fourth, in front of the other students and the panel of judges. The champions are not permitted task for or accept help of any kind from their teachers or in Miss Prince's case from an apprenticeship Master to complete the tasks in the tournament. The champions will face the first challenge armed only with their wands. They will receive information about the second task when the first is over.
Owing to the demanding and time-consuming nature of the tournament, the champions are exempt from the end-of-year-tests except in the case of Miss Prince as she is serving an apprenticeship. Miss Prince will be exempt from her regular courses except for Alchemy, Advanced Arithmancy, Gobbledegook, and Ancient Studies as well as a final exam on Mermish to be conducted by Professor Dumbledore and an official from the Ministry of Magic."
Jean Delacour stares at Rowan with pity, but as Rowan is still very ANGRY, she doesn't even notice. Igor Karkaroff, on the other hand, is unable to hide a triumphant smirk. But not that Rowan cared about what the toothpick weasel thought, but she'd be sure to get even later on.
Mr. Flint turned to Dumbledore as he says, "That is all, Professor Dumbledore. I must be getting back to the Ministry along with Amundsen." Amundsen made his goodbyes to the champions before departing from the room as both men made their way off the grounds to apparate back to the Ministry.
Professor Vulchanova sniffs and beckons Karkaroff after him who looks as though he's already won. Jean Delacour hesitantly pats Rowan on the back and given her height she was already that much taller than by more than a head's length. "Cheer up, Mizz Prince," Jean Delacour said. "It 'ill be okay."
Rowan credits herself enough to briskly nod at him before he follows Madame Maxime half listening to them speak in French. Only Rowan and Dumbledore are left inside as without glancing up at him, she says, "I think its best I go to bed now."
"Of course," Dumbledore said as he moved aside and watched her go and slam the door behind her.
Rowan stomped her way downstairs with the only mercy being that she didn't meet a single person on her way down. The moment the Slytherin common room opened the blast of chatter fell silent as the Slytherins gave way to her. They'd all heard what had happened and knew for a fact that she must at present be furious.
Still, there was a cheery smile on their face that couldn't be wiped off. What Greengrass and Prince did was appalling. But it was also both, sly and clever and those were the embodied traits that all Slytherins admired.
Rowan stomped past them and ignored the cheering faces. She stomped all the up way upstairs and slammed the door open. To only slam the door shut with enough force hard to cause the door to tremble.
Bethanie, Tiffany, and Silvia warily watched Rowan undress and shut the bed curtains with a snap, all without a single word of goodnight. Tiffany warily whispers across the room, "I think she's really angry this time."
"You think?" Silvia sarcastically whispered. "It wouldn't have been so bad if she'd put her name into the goblet. But Severus and Terry did it without her knowledge and permission. I thought she was going to punch them right there and then in the Great Hall."
"Really?" Tiffany softly said in disbelief. "Because that looked like she was going to murder them to me."
"Enough," Bethanie gently said. "She's tired and had a very unpleasant ending to what should have a very nice evening. Let's not make it any worse." Tiffany nods her head and pulls on her face mask. The girls close their bed curtains to fall asleep. But sleep was a long time coming for Rowan and when it did, it was once more filled with her usual train of nightmares.