Suddenly, the Horntail raised its head and moved forwards. The girls in the crowd shrieked in fear as everyone's hearts dropped into the pit of their stomachs. To everyone's utter shock the Horntail gently lowered its head to touch Rowan's upheld palm. No one could hear what Rowan was saying, but the Horntail began to purr.
More than one mouth flopped open as Terry was one of them. "How in Merlin's name is she doing that?" Terry whispered in awe.
"I don't know," Severus truthfully whispered. "But ever since we were children animals always seemed to find her. They knew she'd take care of them. I can't count the number of broken wings, tails, or limps she fixed. Even Bowtrunkles seem to like her and will come out of their hiding spots to play in her hair or simply curl up on her."
"Huh," Terry sounded rather distant as he said, "I'm sure that Professor Kettleburn right now must desperately be regretting that she never signed up for Care of Magical Creatures." Those next to him dumbly nod their heads in agreement.
Tragically, Terry's comment proved true as sitting further away, Professor Kettleburn looked like he wanted to cry. How by Helga's rear did he manage to fail getting his hands on a student that had Newt Scamander's affinity with magical creatures? He'd lost the rare, valuable opportunity to raise the next world-renowned Magizoologist!
The crowd is utterly silent and awestruck as they watch Rowan simply waltz into the Horntails nest and pluck the golden egg, before walking out like nothing had happened at all.
Suddenly someone shouts, "She did it!" Everyone wakes as the cheers begin to fill the arena. The Horntail that was previously calm begins to roar as the dragon tamers pour at as the dragon spews flames at them. And that was just as exciting to watch in its own way.
Professor Slughorn seems to be in utter shock as Rowan merely waits at the entrance for the dragon to be taken away. At last the Horntail is taking away as Rowan emerges back into the enclosure to receive her scores. The five judges were sitting on the other end in raised seats dr.a.p.ed in gold.
"How cunning of them," Rowan thought to herself. Of course, they'd be where it was safe. Yes, let's have the students remain seated behind the dragon. Nothing will happen. Not until the dragon starts flaming!
Madame Maxime raises her wand in the air. What looked like a long silver ribbon shot out of it, which twisted itself into a large figure eight.
The crowd applauds as Mr. Flint went next. He shot up a number nine into the air.
Dumbledore also gave a nine as the crowd cheered louder than ever.
Dano Amundsen gave her an eight.
And Vulchanova raised his wand in the air to give her a six.
Rowan couldn't find any fault with Vulchanova's assessment. Thorough impressive and daring, she hadn't used her wand nor the least bit of magic. It was still a fair score with a total of forty points.
Rowan was sent back out to wait in another tent, while the rest of the contestants went forth. The crowd could easily be heard from where she was sitting as well as the commentary from Amundsen. From what she understood is that Jean Delacour somehow managed to switch the eggs with a bit of clever magic. He earned a total of forty-two points.
Igor Karkaroff, on the other hand, stabbed the dragon in the eye causing the poor dragon to smash some of its eggs. He lost points for that and ended up with a total of thirty-eight points.
When all three of the champions were back in the tent, Dano Amundsen said, "Excellent work all of you! Now a quick few words. You've all got a nice long break before the second task, which will take place at half-past nine on the morning of February the twenty-fourth."
Pointing to the golden eggs in their hands, Amundsen further explains. "The golden eggs that you've all won holds the key inside. You will need it to solve the clue for the second task. Now off you go then! And congratulations!"
Rowan left the tent and walked back to the castle when a witch jumped out. All it took was a simple glare, but Rita Skeeter fled back into the tree line. Hiding a smirk, she wondered if she should make sure to catch the nosy beetle. It might be a bit of fun.
Rowan hadn't even made it halfway to the grounds when Terry rushed at her. She may have extended her foot which caused him to faceplant into the grass. "I deserve that," Terry painfully croaked as he got up and rubbed his sore nose.
Trailing behind him was Severus and the marauders. Rowan sighs as she turns to face them. "Look I'm unharmed, Severus."
Rowan isn't even allowed to finish her sentence when Severus hugs her. More than a couple of their friends blinks as Rowan and Severus rarely ever showed such public displays affection. "Don't ever do that again!" Severus growled into her ear.
"I won't," Rowan promised as she had no intention of ever facing down a dragon again. Let the professionals do their job. That's why dragon handlers exist.
Severus pulled back unconvinced and quickly gave her a quick look over. "I'm fine," Rowan snapped with a playful edge to her voice.
Glancing at the golden egg, Sirius says, "So, what's inside there?"
"I don't know," Rowan lied as she pulled the golden egg open. Everyone clapped their hands on their ears as almost horrible, loud, screechy wail filled the air.
Rowan snaps the eggs shut as Pettigrew whined, "What the heck was that?!"
"It's Mermish," Rowan and Severus said in unison.
"Mermish?" James said in disbelief not able to believe that horrible screeching was associated with mermaids.
"Severus and I are learning the language as part of our apprenticeship," Rowan replied as Lupin looked rather impressed.
"Well that's useful," Lupin commented as they began to once more walk back to the castle. The seven of them chatted for a bit as they recounted the other two actions so the champions.
The seven of them went their separate ways as Rowan, Severus, and Terry headed down to the dungeons. The minute the Slytherin common room door swung open Rowan almost bolted back the way they had come. Severus and Terry quickly captured her by the arms and dragged Rowan inside as the Slytherins wildly cheered for her. There were mountains of food, deserts, flagons of pumpkin juice, butterbeer and all sorts of other drinks.
Not one to miss a free meal, Rowan ignored the chatter as she served herself a nice big plate of food and began to eat. Plenty of Slytherins tried to get her to tell them how she did it, but all it took was a glare from Severus to get them to leave her alone.
Overall, it'd been a rather tiring day and Rowan went straight to bed. She'd have plenty of time to listen to the egg given that she was learning Mermish. And did it still count as cheating if one asked their apprentice master to aid them in the translation? Well, it wasn't her problem. It was the judges who hadn't factored that detail into the tournament.