With much reluctance, Rowan was called out of Alchemy to make her way to an empty classroom. Knowing full well what this was about she might have dragged her feet in getting there. It was a fairly small classroom most of the desks had been pushed way to the back of the room, leaving a large space in the middle.
Three of them, however, had been placed end-to-end in front of the blackboard and covered with a long length of velvet. Five chairs had been set behind the velvet-covered desks, and Dano Amundsen was sitting in one of them, talking to a witch in magenta robes. Despite never having met the wretched witch, Rowan knew exactly who she was staring at, Rita Skeeter.
Igor Karkaroff was proudly standing in a corner of the room, while Jean Delacour happily read a book to pass the time. A paunchy man, holding a large black camera that was smoking slight was staring at Rita Skeeter. From his lovestruck gaze, the man had a bit of a crush on the witch.
Amundsen spotted Rowan finally and got up. "Ah, there she is our Hogwarts champion. Will all the champions please come forward as it is the wand weighing ceremony next. The rest of the judges will be here shortly."
Karkaroff proudly steps forward as Delacour closes his book and puts it into one of his pockets. Rowan caught a glimpse of the title and waits for him to come up. Standing next to her, she says, "You wouldn't have been reading the thesis on Advanced Arithmancy Calculations by Hypatia Germain, would you have?"
"Why yez!" Delacour excitedly said as the two of them began to happily chat and bond over the subject of Arithmancy.
While Delacour and Rowan happily chatted, Rita Skeeter approached them from behind Amundsen. Her hair, as usual, was set in elaborate rigid curls that oddly contrasted with her heavy-jawed face. She wore jeweled spectacles. While her thick fingers clutch her crocodile-skin handbag ending in two-inch nails painted crimson red.
"I wonder if I could have a little word with Miss Prince before we start?" Rita Skeeter asked Amundsen without removing her gaze from Rowan. "The youngest champion apprentice will add a bit of color to the article, don't you think?"
"Certainly," Amundsen naively said.
Rowan didn't hear the question as she turned to glance up at them. "Lovely," Skeeter said and in the next second her scarlet-taloned fingers had Rowan by the upper arm. Rowan reflexively twisted her arm back and jabbed her arm downward. Rita Skeeter let out a cry of pain as Rowan broke her grip.
Amundsen and the rest of the champions stare at Rowan, who says, "My apologies force of habit. I don't much like being touched by strangers."
Rita Skeeter's eyes glint with anger as she clutches her sore arm. "Very well, Miss Prince," Skeeter spat. "Please come this way."
Rowan warily follows the reporter into a nearby room, the broom cupboard. Remaining standing she leans cautiously against one of the walls, while Skeeter sits down on a large turned bucket. Snapping her crocodile-skin handbag open, she pulled out a handful of candles that burst into flames with a wave of her wand that hung in mid-air.
Skeeter reached inside again and pulled out a long acid green quill and a roll of parchment, which she stretched out using a crate of Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover. Putting the tip of her green quill in her mouth she sucked on it, which caused Rowan to wince. That was simply just plain gross.
"Testing.my name is Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet reporter," Skeeter said as the green quill began to scribble across the parchment.
Rowan snorts at reading what was being written: 'Attractive blonde Rita Skeeter, twenty-three, whose savage quill is at present puncturing many inflated reputations .'
"Lovely," said Skeeter and ripped the top piece of parchment off, crumbled it up, and stuffed it into her handbag.
"So, Miss Prince," Skeeter said, "What made you decide to enter the Triwizard Tournament?"
Refusing to be distracted by whatever Skeeter no doubt was already writing, Rowan firmly replies, "I didn't."
"Oh? And how did that occur?" Skeeter raised a heavily penciled eyebrow.
"An unfortunate practical joke played by my brother and his friend resulted in my name being entered into the goblet," Rowan grumbled. "Naturally, they could never have guessed the goblet would ever have chosen me."
"Really?" Skeeter said with a devilish grin. "There is no need to play coy with me, Miss Prince. If you wanted to enter the tournament, why not just be more forthcoming and say so."
Rowan doesn't deem a response as Skeeter quickly moves ahead. "How do you feel about the tasks ahead? Exited? Nervous?"
"Utterly revolted," Rowan flatly answered. "If I die because of this, I'll come back as a ghost and haunt all of them."
Skeeter clearly wasn't expecting that answer and instead wrote, Nervous.
"Onward, then," Skeeter said. "Do you think that the death of your father has anything to do with your desire to enter the Triwizard tournament?" The air suddenly turns chilly as the candles seem to flicker to an unseen breeze.
"This interview is over," Rowan said as she stood up and towered over the sitting witch. Leaning over she whispers, "Miss Skeeter, I'd hate for a curious beetle to be accidentally caught or worse crushed underfoot."
Skeeter flinches backward falling onto her backside. Rowan ignores the sprawled witch and makes her way out of the broom closet. She blinks at the light and makes her way over to Amundsen, who seems surprised. "Well, that was quick."
Rowan comes to sit down next to Delacour as Skeeter emerges rather pale from the broom closet. Straightening her clothes, she firmly puts Amundsen between her person and Rowan. They didn't have to wait long as a few seconds later the rest of the headmasters arrive including Stephen Flint. They all take a seat in the five seats while, Rita Skeeter settles herself down in a corner. Her parchment was out of her bag and spread across her knees as she sucks on her green acid quill.
"May I introduce Mr. Ollivander?" Dumbledore said, "He will be checking your wands to ensure that they are in good condition before the tournament."
Rowan stared at the old wandmaker with large, pale eyes standing quietly beneath a window. Mr. Ollivander stepped forth into the empty space in the middle of the room. "Monsieur Delacour, if you would please."
Jean Delacour stepped forth and hand him his wand. "Ten and a half inches...firm, but springy...black walnut.and unicorn hair. A good loyal wand," Ollivander pronounced with some satisfaction.
Mr. Ollivander ran his fingers along the wand, apparently checking for scratches or bumps. Finally, he muttered, "Orchideious," a bouquet of flowers burst from the wand tip.
"Very well, it's in fine working order," Mr. Ollivander said, scooping up the flowers and handing them over to Delacour. Jean happily takes the bouquet of flowers and presents them with a bow to Madame Maxime, who nods her head in approval.
"Mr. Karkaroff, you're next please," Mr. Ollivander said as the dark-haired, rail-thin wizard with a weak chin approached him. He thrust his wand at Ollivander and curled his lips in a haughty sneer.
"Hmm, yes, Gergorovitch's creation," Mr. Ollivander muttered out loud. "A fine wand-maker though the style is never-." Ollivander cut off as he lifted the wand, and examined it minutely, turning it over and over before his eyes.
"Elm and dragon heartstring," Ollivander glanced at Karkaroff, who seemed rather proud. "But a tad crooked and thinner than usual.9 inches and three quarters...Avis!" The elm wand let off a blast like a gun as a number of small twittering birds flew out of the end and through an open window into the watery sunlight.
"Here you are," Mr. Ollivander said, handing Karkaroff back his wand.
"And now yours, Miss Prince," Mr. Ollivander said as his pale eyes began to gleam. "Oh, yes, I remember the wand quite well." And so, did Rowan for that matter.
Rowan handed her wand over as Mr. Ollivander spent much more time examining her wand than anyone else's. At one point he stared at her as if knowingly on how the wand had grown in power. But for one reason or another Mr. Ollivander only muttered that her wand was 13 inches long but didn't announce the wood nor the core as he mumbled the words all jumbled together.
With a wave of Rowan's wand, a fountain of wine shot out, before gushing off. Ollivander handed the wand back and announced that the wand was in perfect condition. But for a tad moment longer, Rowan and Ollivander stared at each other, before Ollivander released her wand back into her possession.
"Thank you all," said Dumbledore. "You may all return to your lessons now."
Rowan eagerly makes her way to escape until Amundsen says, "Ah yes, the photos! Miss Prince, we need to take a commemorative photo of today!"
Grinding her teeth together, Rowan gives a thin smile, before trotting back. The photos take a long time. The photographer had to keep stepping back to make sure Madam Maxime was in the frame. After that, they all took separate shots, before they were free to go.