All too soon, it was the next day, Monday with the start of the new term. The day went by quickly except for her last class, Advanced Arithmancy. Rowan was already dreading the class given the fact that both Barrett Boone and Darcy Travers were in the same class period. But to make matters worse off ever since the Yule Ball, Darcy Travers had taken to making loud, rude snide comments about her in the Slytherin common room area.
Normally, Rowan would have felt pity for the guy, but given that some of the comments were just plain rude, all niceties were thrown out the window! If Darcy Travers kept at it, she'd hex him soon enough! And if not, she'd at least punch him in the gut. Never in the face though, because that always leaves incriminating proof.
Rowan had sat down and begun to pull out her things when as usual, when the hard-faced, Parsley Parkinson entered the classroom accompanied by Darcy Travers. The scholarly young man glares at her as he slams his things onto a desk. Parkinson makes a face at Rowan as if to say, "I know, he's out of line. But he's my best friend."
Thankfully the glossy russet haired, doe-eyed, Matilda Madley arrived next. The curved witch sat one seat over from Rowan as was customary. Despite Madley's presence, Rowan could feel daggers being stared at her back. If looks could kill, Darcy Travers would have already stabbed her to death.
Things start to get weird when the three Ravenclaws enter the room. There is an awkward air as Darcy Travers glares at Barrett Boone, who boldly stares back. Darcy Travers is the first to glance away while some deep emotion flashes across Barrett's face before fading away. The short-haired, Brandon Ackerley must know what's going on as he pats Barrett on the back. Cadmus Quirke, on the other hand, hasn't got a clue as he merely smooths out his robes to take a seat.
And then the round-faced, cheerful short-haired witch, Alice Yates arrives. Alice happily waltz's over and sits in her usual seat between Madley and Rowan. "How come you're not sitting with the cute Barrett over there?" Alice leaned over to whisper as she tried to play matchmaker.
Rowan feels a cold shiver run down her back. Why can't anything nice ever happen to her without any strings attached? Really!
"It was just the right mood," Rowan sputtered. "Nothing else!"
"You sure?" Alice teasingly said. "I was told that it was a rather passionate kiss."
The last part was said a bit too loudly as Rowan can feel a cold wisp of air coming from behind her. "I'm fairly certain that it was merely a brush of the lips," Rowan steadily replied. "I was there, I think I would know. And I can clearly tell the difference!"
"Just checking, darling," Alice impishly said, before turning to chat to Medley.
But despite Rowan clarifying the Yule incident, the situation didn't improve. Not even when Professor Vector came in and began the class. To be perfectly honest, it was probably one of the worst class period in her entire life. And arithmancy is one of her favorite subjects!
The moment, Professor Vector was done, Rowan was the first person out the door. She was quickly walking away when she heard a voice calling out her from behind. She turned around and to her surprise saw that it was Barrett Boone.
"Is something wrong, Boone?" Rowan asked.
"In a manner of speaking," Barrett sheepishly confessed. "I wonder if, I can ask a favor out of you, Prince?"
"It depends on what it is," Rowan wryly replied as she shifted her bag on her shoulder.
"I'd like for you to pretend to be my girlfriend," Barrett awkwardly asked.
Rowan begins to choke, before, through watery eyes, she rasped, "Is this a joke? Because it's not funny!"
"My parents are just trying to set me up with a girl," Barrett admitted as he rubbed the back of his neck with one hand. "But I'd like to at least wait until after next year. And you already know my secret so as long as you don't break up with me until the end of term, I'll have plenty of time to refuse as I'll to be too heartbroken."
"But my grandfather might take this seriously," Rowan warily answered. "No offense, Boone, but just because I'm accepting of your lifestyle, I'm rather possessive. I wouldn't be able to stand to be sharing my spouse with anyone else no matter what their gender."
"No offense taken," Barrett said with a smile. "So, is that a, yes?"
"Do I have to accompany you to that ridiculous tea shop within Hogsmeade?"
"And do I have to do something nice for you on Valentine's Day?"
"What I mean is that would be nice, but no, I'll take care of that."
"...It won't be anything embarrassing, will it?"
"No, just some flowers and chocolates."
"No, on the flowers. Yes, on the chocolates."
Rowan hesitates, but she still asks, "How physical do I have to pretend with you? I mean, is it the occasional holding hands and peck on the cheek? Or is it I have to eat with you at lunch every single day?"
"More of the first one," Barrett steadily replied. "But I think, you should eat lunch with me every now and again."
"Oh, good," Rowan said in relief at hearing the simple terms. "So, how do we go about doing this?" And this would ensure that she too be left alone by some of the foolhardier males that had begun to look at her as a female ever since the Yule Ball. That and she had no intention of being courted at this point in time. Hopefully, this would also buy her at least a year's worth of time at least. After that, she would deal with the situation, when it popped up again, and which it would without a shadow of a doubt.
"Easy enough, we just need to find Bertha Jorkins," Barrett flashed her a confident smile. "And I know just where she studies."
Barrett offered his hand as Rowan warily takes it to find that his hands felt rather nice. "I better not end up regretting this," Rowan muttered under her breath to herself. Boone must have heard her because he gave her hand a comforting squeeze.
The two of them were given plenty of startled glances as they made their way through the stone, cold corridors. More than a couple of individuals burst into whispers as no doubt before the dinner the news would be all over the castle. Barrett slowly leads Rowan past one of the smaller study halls. Bertha Jorkins, who sat next to the door gasped as her mouth flopped open.
Certain that Jorkins had seen both of them, Barrett tugged her away as Rowan said, "You do know that Severus will hate you, right?"
"I'm fairly certain that he will," Barrett said with a smile that made Rowan's heart jump for a moment. "I myself have two younger sisters and I already hate their first boyfriend. And they haven't even started Hogwarts yet!"
Rowan warily chuckles as Barrett finally lets of her hand. "I'll see you later, love," Barrett said with a twinkle in his eye, before making his way to the Ravenclaw tower.
Shaking her head, Rowan chuckled to herself as she made her way to the library. At least, that ought to cause Bertha Jorkins to choke on her spit. And that alone was worth it.