One of the best things about the second task being over was that Rowan wasn't being continuously asked whether she had solved the puzzle of the blasted golden egg. Thankfully she didn't have to recount the tale of her adventure over and over as everyone had witnessed the event.
Rather it was Jean Delacour, who had it tough as he'd become vastly popular with the ladies. On the other hand, this caused Apolline to finally lay a claim on her man and proudly announced the fact that they were dating to the vast disappointment of the combined, female and male population. Naturally, Jean Delacour was thrilled by the sudden announcement and didn't protest the least bit to the previously unknown news that was news to him as well.
As they entered March the weather became drier, but cruel winds skinned their hands and faces every time they went onto the grounds. There were delays in the post because the owls kept being blown off course. The next Hogsmeade trip was announced to be held later in March. Everyone was simply excited, thankfully Barret and Rowan agreed that it would be best for the two of them to stick with their friends during this outing.
To her surprise, Rowan found herself alone with James that day. Everyone else had paired off except for Severus and Sirius. But Merlin knows what those two were up too as they rushed off together after Honeydukes leaving Rowan and James alone. The two of them glanced at each other wryly at being so suddenly abandoned causing Rowan to drily says, "The Three Broomsticks then?"
"Sure, why not?" James said with a shrug. "I'll pay for our butterbeer's."
"I'd rather have a cider," Rowan disagreed.
"Suit yourself," James muttered as he said, "You get us a table and I'll get our drinks."
Rowan smirks knowingly causing James to blush. The pretty young witch, who called herself, Madam Rosmerta served the wizards at the bar. But she tended to wear tight-fitting clothes and low-cut shirts that revealed her ample bosom. The curvy young woman had half of the school in love with her and the other half l.u.s.ting after her.
The Three Broomsticks, as usual, is crowded, noisy, smoky, but at least it's warm. It took her a bit of maneuvering but at last, she found an empty booth. Taking a seat, she stares at the dancing shamrocks given that St. Patricks day was just around the corner. She waved James over as he carefully made his way over.
James carefully put the drinks on the table, before sitting across Rowan in the booth. James had to pause to wipe the steam off of his glasses as he sighs, "I swear this is what I hate most about wearing glasses!"
"Mm, maybe, Severus and I will one day invent a potion that fixes eyesight," Rowan murmured as she took a sip of her drink.
"I'd pay you a fortune too," James grunted as he took a sip of his butterbeer.
Glancing around James pauses at seeing several students glancing at them and whispering furiously. "Uh, oh," James said as he turned to face her. "You're not going to get in trouble with your boyfriend for drinking with me are you, Rowan?"
"What boy-," Rowan stops midstance. "Right, don't worry about him, James. He's not the jealous type, trust me."
"All right if you say so," James muttered as he began to turn pink. "Er, Rowan, can I ask you a question?"
"Er, Severus likes Lily doesn't he."
"Yes, very much so."
"It's the kind of like, like I like her too, isn't it?"
Rowan is silent for a moment before saying, "He's always loved her since we were children."
James pales as he miserably says, "Oh, I guess he was there first then."
Rowan sighs and says, "It's not a matter of who was there first, James. It's a matter of who she likes. It doesn't matter how much both of you may like her. If she doesn't like either of you back, it won't really matter."
James looks up at Rowan and says, "So, you'll help, Severus win her heart then?"
"I won't help either of you," Rowan truthfully replied.
James looks slightly cheered at her answer as he says, "I guess that's fair."
"Yes, well, but matter's of the heart are often far more complicated than they seem," Rowan muttered as she took a sip of her hot cider. "But will you promise me just one thing, James?"
"What? That Severus and I will stay friends no matter what happens?" James ruefully said.
"No, that if you confess to Lily first will you ask her to wait before receiving an answer," Rowan solemnly said. "I'd at least like to give the Severus the chance to confess his feeling to her. But the same rule would apply to you, I'd make sure to let you know if Severus confessed his feelings to Lily first."
"I know it sounds silly," Rowan paused as she touched the rim of her drink. "But I think she'd be lucky to have either of you. And Severus is my brother, and you're my friend."
James widely grins and says, "Heh, it's nice to hear you admit that out loud, Rowan."
"Oh, sod off," Rowan grumbled as she rolled her eyes at him.
James chuckles and says, "Anywho, you never did tell me. How'd you hook up with Boone?"
"Ah, that," Rowan drily said. "Let's just say one of us was in emotional distress and the other helped them out. And after that everyone spiraled out of control."
"Huh, so was he your knight in shining armor? Get it?" James joked with twinkling eyes.
"Hahaha, very funny," Rowan muttered as she gulped down her drink.
"Well, he's a nice guy, I can't think of anyone better for you," James happily said.
"Really, you don't think Sirius and I should make a run at it?" Rowan said with a wicked gleam in her eyes.
James chokes and through watery eyes says, "Are they insane?! You'd kill him before the week was out! No offense, Sirius is my and Severus's best friend. But you're on better terms with Lupin and Terry. In fact, if you were going to marry a Black, it'd be Regulus!"
"True, but alas the cutie is already taken," Rowan regretfully mused out loud.
"I know, that's why I said it was utterly crazy," James sniffed with a violent shudder. "Or like the people who said that you and I would make a good couple."
This time Rowan is the one who chokes at James's smug expression. Breathing harshly, she says, "Why? No offense, Prongs, but you have the attention span of a goldfish. It'd be like dating a child."
"None taken," James said with a brisk nod. "I know that despite our being friends, we truly don't see each other that way."
"I thought the train incident that we never speak of proved that point."
"Yes, well, there's no telling people, otherwise. The more we deny it, the more they'll think it's true. Thankfully the rumors have mostly gone away with your dating Boone and everything."
"Well, I'm glad that my dating has at least alleviated some of the harsher rumors."
James and Rowan chat until their drinks are done, before walking around Hogsmeade for a bit. The mostly explored the shops with James buying something in every shop. The poor boy had a terrible shopping addiction. Thankfully, the Potter family was loaded.