Professor Slughorn cleverly hid away from Reginald Prince for the time being as Reginald rather purposefully with an evil smirk scoured the castle in search of Sluggy. For once, Rowan felt pity for her plump head of their house. If her grandfather was like this in his old age, he must have truly been hateful in his youth. She probably would have beat the living sh*t out of him had they attended Hogwarts during the same time period.
There were many more courses at dinner than usual, but Rowan didn't eat very much, but it was not from nerves. Rather than if, but when she had to run, she'd like to not have to throw up afterward because of it. On the other hand, Hagrid and Madame Maxime kept glancing at each other during this dinner. At this rate, Hagrid was sure to marry Madame Maxime in the next few years. It'd be nice to see Hagrid happy even if he left for Beauxbatons. But she'd rather he be happy than a lonely bachelor with too much time on his hands with the said result being the abomination of magical creation, a Blast-Ended Skrewt.
The enchanted ceiling overhead finally began to fade from blue to a dusky purple, when Dumbledore rose to his feet at the staff table, and silence fell upon the Great Hall.
"Ladies and gentlemen, in five minutes' time, I will be asking you to make your way down to the Quidditch field for the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Will the champions please follow Mr. Amundsen down to the stadium now."
Rowan got up as everyone wished her good luck. Reginald shows a rare smile in public and says, "Be safe, that's all that truly matters." Aunt Georgine fiercely nods her head in agreement with her brother's words.
"Yes, grandfather," Rowan replied, before leaving to applause from all the house tables. Waving goodbye to them, she headed out of the Great Hall with Igor and Jean.
They walked onto the Quidditch field, which was now completely unrecognizable. A twenty-foot-high hedge ran all the way around the edge of it. There was a gap right in front of them, the entrance to the vast maze. The passage beyond it looked dark and creepy.
Five minutes later, the stands had begun to fill. The air was full of excited voices and the rumbling of feet as hundreds of students took their seats. The sky was a deep, clear blue now, while in the night sky stars had begun to appear. From behind the stands appeared Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, and Professor Lye, all of which were wearing large, red, luminous stars on their hats.
"We are going to be patrolling the outside of the maze," said Professor McGonagall to the champions. "If you get into any difficulties, and wish to be rescued, send red sparks into the air, and one of us will come and get you, do you understand?"
All three champions nodded their heads in understanding as Dano Amundsen happily jogged over. "We ready then?" Amundsen asked with a twinkle in his eye. Seeing their faces, he points his wand at his throat and says, "Sonorus!" Suddenly his voice is magically magnified and echoes all over the stands.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin! Let me remind you how the points currently stand. Tied in the first place, with eighty-nine points each Miss Rowan Prince, from Hogwarts School, and Mr. Jean Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy!" The crowd roars sending birds from the Forbidden Forest fluttering into the darkening sky.
"And in third place Mr. Igor Karkaroff, of Durmstrang Institute." There is more of applause than cheers, and nowhere near as loud as the first time.
"So. on my whistle, Miss Prince and Mr. Delacour!" Amundsen said. "Three two one !" He gave a short blast on his whistle as Delacour dashed into the hedge, while Rowan leisurely followed afterward.
The towering hedges cast black shadows across the path, and whether because they were so tall and thick or because they had been enchanted the sound of the surrounding crowd was silenced the moment, they entered the maze. Rowan raised her wand and said, "Lumos," as Delacour much further ahead did the same.
A fork appeared in the distance as Rowan stopped and closed her eyes as the entire map appeared before her. She saw Delacour take the right, but instead, she traced the quickest path to the center in her mind. The left it was.
Rowan walked forward and took the left path as in the distance she heard the whistle blow. Not in a hurry, she continued at her calm strolling pace. She might as well take her time and enjoy the maze. Whistling as she walked, she took the next fork and went north.
Right away, Rowan came across a scorching fire that stood between her and the path forward. Pointing her wand at the fiery blaze she says, "Augamenti!" A jet stream of water appears putting the flames out until nothing, but muddy ashes remained. With a wave of her wand, the water turned off as not even a drop of water emerged from the tip of her wand.
Moving forward Rowan went on as and turned at the next two forks, before coming across the a.d.u.l.t bleeding figure of Severus. Severus sadly looks at her and whispers, "How could you fail me, Rowan? You promised to change everything, but you haven't changed anything at all."
Clenching her wand, Rowan shouts, "Riddikulus!" With a loud crack, the shapeshifter exploded in a wisp of smoke. Frowning she went forward again and came across a golden like mist. Sighing she stepped into the mist as the world turned topsy-turvy. Walking through the illusion she emerged unscathed on the other side. The golden mist in the moonlight twinkled at her as she soon left it behind.
Pausing at the next junction, Rowan turns left to see a hairy clicking giant spider. The acromantula and her stare at each other for what seems like minutes as its pincers clatter in annoyance. Finally, it takes a step back for her to pass through. Nodding her thanks at it she went forward and left the acromantula behind.
After two more junctures, Rowan merely stares at the magical creature before her. It was a gorgeous unicorn that merely stared at her and she back it. Smiling she walked forward and held out her hand to it as it eagerly sniffed her hand and allowed her to pet it. "You're a good boy, aren't you?" Rowan cooed to the happy unicorn. She spends a few minutes petting the happy unicorn before leaving the prancing unicorn behind.
Well, so far, her luck had been holding out, which is rather worrisome, actually when she thought about. She had never been very lucky before, and when she was the bill always came due. ALWAYS.
Suddenly red sparks go up in the distance causing Rowan to glance up. Whoever it was, they were out. She rather hoped it was Karkaroff rather than Jean. But she was just being biased to be truthfully honest.