The homework and workload increased higher and higher in the days before the Easter Holiday. Rowan and Severus were profoundly gratefully they had in an unexpected bout of wisdom at the start of their school year dropped several of their fourth-year courses. Unfortunately, the other remaining courses were sixth level courses, which still did little to ease the piles and piles of homework. In fact, the sixth level courses gave twice as much!
Sadly, enough the fifth and seventh years upon realizing that they the twins that had passed the exam equivalent to their N.E.W.T's were dragged into aiding them in their study. Rowan and Severus had taken to not returning back to the dorms unless it was nighttime. On the weekends, they'd flee the dorms and hide elsewhere lest they are dragged into another study/teaching session.
That is until Rowan and Severus finally snapped one evening and started hexing everyone left and right without any prejudice. It turned into a full fist fight with everyone going against everyone. Though Rowan may have purposefully aimed at Prefect Traver's seeking vengeance for everything he was putting her through due to his absurd jealousy.
Not that Rowan and Severus got out intact. They were sporting painful bruises, a bloody lip, a broken nose, a cracked rib, and a black eye, but they'd won. Mostly.
When Professor Slughorn finally showed up in the Slytherin common room most of the fifth and seventh years were on the floor having been physically beaten by Severus and Rowan. Professor Slughorn was utterly speechless and could only gawk at the sight, before quietly walking out. No points were taken, no detentions were given, and the common room was set to rights in silence.
None of those involved in the fight resorted to seeing Madam Pomfrey instead of some of the seventh years and those seeking to be healers like Terry set everyone to right. Those with the worst injuries made their way to Madam Pomfrey with the excuse that they had been playing Quidditch. Not that Madam Pomfrey believed them, but she couldn't well force any of the Slytherin's to confess.
However after that incident the rest of the Slytherin's viewed Rowan and Severus with quite a bit of pride and respect in their eyes. They were proud to have been beaten at the hands of Salzar Slytherin's heirs. And more importantly, despite haven mostly been beaten by physical means, it still showed the prowess of the Prince family. In fact, it became a source of pride for all those who participated in the brawl. It had become a twisted badge of honor of sorts, which confused Rowan to no end, while Severus felt right proud by said fact, (must be teenage testosterone).
Thankfully the Easter Holiday's arrived giving everyone a short break. This year to their surprise, Rowan and Severus received chocolate eggs full of an assortment of things, fudge, caramel, brownie, etc. According to the letter from Aunt Georgine, it was to remind them that they were still thought of back at Prince Manor. It did their heart's right good as the twins felt all fuzzy and warm on the inside. Not that they'd confess that to anyone else nor much less utter those words out loud!
The start of spring meant that the third and final task in the Triwizard Tournament was rapidly approaching. Finally, in the last week of April, Professor Slughorn pulled Rowan aside in the dungeon corridor. "You are to go down to the Quidditch field tonight at nine o'clock, Miss Prince," Slughorn instructed her. "Mr. Amundsen will be there to tell the champions about the third task."
And so, at half-past eight, Rowan made her way out of the library and onto the grounds. She slowly made her way across the dark lawns to the Quidditch stadium, turning through a gap in the stands and walked out into the field. She wasn't surprised to find that the Quidditch field was no longer smooth and flat. But rather looked like hedges built in every direction, a maze.
"Hello there!" Dano Amundsen said as he beamed at them. Igor Karkaroff looked as proud as usual while Jean Delacour smiled at Rowan waving at her as she waved back. At this rate, it looked as though she and Delacour would become pen pals. Not that she minded really as he was a rather sweet young man.
"Now I imagine, you can all guess, what this here is?" Amundsen said.
"A maiz," Karkaroff grunted.
"That's right!" Amundsen cried out. "A maze. The third task's really very straightforward. The Triwizard Tournament will be placed in the center of the maze. The first champion to touch it will receive full marks!"
"We simply 'ave to get t'rough the maiz?" Jean asked.
"There will be obstacles," Amundsen said with a bounce. "Professor Kettleburn and Hagrid are providing a number of creatures. Then there will be spells that must be broken...and all sorts of things, you know. Now, the champions who are leading on points will get a head start into the maze."
"Mr. Delacour and Miss Prince, will both enter at the same time followed by Mr. Karkaroff." Igor Kararoff snorts at the indignity of it all and begins to sulk.
"Very wellif you haven't got any questions, we'll go back up to the castle, shall we, it's a bit windy."
Jean Delacour and Rowan chatted, before each of them, split up and went their different ways. Delacour towards Hagrid's cabin and Rowan back to the castle. Suddenly, she stopped and stared in the direction of the Forbidden Forest. "Is something the matter Miss Prince?" Amundsen asked from a short distance from behind her.
"Nothing," Rowan lied as she made her way back to across the grounds. But still, the feeling didn't go away. Whatever it was, it was something dangerous. She didn't dare to close her eyes to view her mapscape until inside the castle. But by the time she did she found nothing strange lurking in the forest.
Rowan almost half convinced herself it was all in the head if not for feeling the traces of cold sweat on the back of her neck. Whatever it was, it truly had frightened her. Rather than heading back to the common room she instead walked all the way up to the Owlery. It was still a very good cardio.
Once there in the circular stone room, Rowan penned a quick letter to her grandfather requesting that he and Aunt Georgine please attend the final task. She didn't mean to jot it down, but she did. She said, "I think there's someone or something watching me, grandfather. It frightens me."
Rowan almost scribbled the line out, but something forced her not to. In the end, she quickly sealed the letter shut and put her things away into her schoolbag. The owls are hooting as they come awake and flutter their feathers. Gingerly crossing the straw full of owl droppings and regurgitated skeletons of mice and moles, she searches for Owyn. But given that he's a huge Great Horned Owl it wasn't that hard to miss him as he was perched next to Nibby, Lily's female owl.
"Good boy," Rowan said as she rubbed his smooth beak as he gently nipped her fingers. "I've got something for you to deliver to grandfather."
Owny being the sweet owl that he lets out a soft hoot as he stretches his leg for Rowan to tie her letter too. Carefully doing so, Owny gives one last hoot, before spreading his wings and flying out into the cool night sky.
Nibby lets out a loud hoot causing Rowan to chuckle and say, "All right, a scratch for you too. You're a good girl."
Nibby closes her yellow eyes in pleasure as Rowan scratches Nibby under her chin. Feeling a bit like a tease, she says, "So, when are Severus and I going to be owlet grandparents? I thought you and Owny are a nesting couple?"
Nibby lets out a hoot in embarrassment as she flutters her wings around her. "Ah, that soon, aye. Shall I prepare a proper nest for you both?" Rowan further teased causing Nibby to loudly hoot at her in protest.
"Ah my mistake, you're taking things slow, I see," Rowan sagely said. "Of course, Owny would do a proper courtship. He's a gentleman after all."
Nibby decides to ignore Rowan and turns away to flutter into the night. Still chuckling to herself, Rowan makes her way downstairs. She had to admit that it'd been fun to tease the poor owl. But hey, all Slytherins have a bit of a mean streak. Admittedly some miles longer than others.