The maze area is silent as the last of the students are escorted back to the house dorms accompanied by their House of Heads and other professors to ensure that is the case. The only ones left behind on the grounds is that of Dumbledore alongside with the Prince family members. The figures of Mr. Flint and Dano Amundsen had both long ago quickly left to summon the Auror's to Hogwarts.
The student body of Hogwarts is full of unconfirmed whispers as they begin to wonder and think that something terrible has happened to Rowan Prince with her abrupt disappearance and having yet returned. The situation is not helped as each of the House Heads have ensured that their entire house is on full lockdown. None of the students will be able to leave their house quarters and are to remain inside their own private rooms or in the common room at all times since the entranceway has been locked only able to be unlocked by the House Head, the Deputy Headmaster or Headmaster himself.
Leaving the Prefects to guard the common room and ensure that none of the students leave, the four House Heads each depart swiftly in peace. The Prefects are left behind to try to maintain control of the situation, all the while calming the fears of the younger years. It was a difficult feat that wasn't helped by the older year students making up horrible stories about what had occurred to Rowan Prince. (The irony of that situation is that some of them weren't too far off from the truth. But life is at times stranger than fiction.)
Surprisingly, the most tumultuous of tales were being spun in the Ravenclaw tower thanks to Bertha Jorkins. But even more shocking it was not Rowan Prince's boyfriend, Barrett Boone who came to her defense but the third year Ravenclaw, Dirk Cresswell. He was accompanied by the fierce Pandora Ravine, and the surprisingly vehement vindication of Xeno Lovegood. Unable to withstand the intense defense of the three Ravenclaws, Bertha Jorkins sulkily retreated to a corner of the common room to continue to gossip with her likeminded friends.
In the meanwhile, the rest of the Hogwarts Professors in residence are assigned to patrol and check the grounds. As for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, Madam Maxime and Professor Vulchanova had been firmly asked by Professor Dumbledore to stay the night within the Great Hall with their students due to the present and rather unexpected circ.u.mstances. And to which the two other Headmasters had agreed to the request finding the entire situation disquieting themselves.
The Great Hall is quickly, but temporarily transformed into a male and female dormitory with a great wall like structure separating both sides. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore had specifically asked that Igor Karkaroff's statement be given again to the Auror's once they arrived. Professor Vulchanova found no reason to disagree. And personally, promised that he would ensure that Igor Karkaroff remain wide awake for the entire duration of the Auror's interrogation.
A kind, but stern woman in her mid-thirties walks onto the night grounds in her red dress with a white apron, and matching white matron cap fluttering around her, Madam Pomfrey. Pomfrey studies the tense situation with a practiced healer's eye. Staring at the pale figure of young Severus Prince, she says, "Young man, how about a cup of hot chocolate. Some sugar might do you some good, why I do believe you're in a bit of shock. And might I add for all of you as well. If you'd not like to come down to the infirmary with me then I'll have the house elves bring some hot chocolate out here."
"That would be just lovely, Madam Pomfrey," Georgine graciously accepted on behalf of herself and her family. Reginald did not say anything in reply to the Matron, because he had not simply heard or did not care for a cup of Hot Chocolate. And if he was honest in the grand scheme of things a cup of hot chocolate was not that important, when his granddaughter was still missing!
"Good and that goes for you as well, Professor Dumbledore," Pomfrey said in a rather practical manner as Dumbledore gave her a half-worried smile.
However, before Pomfrey can ask the house elves to bring some hot chocolate, suddenly a loud crack is heard from the middle of the maze as Dumbledore and the rest of the Prince family whirl around. The professors on the grounds run across towards the sound as Madam Pomfrey surges forward alongside them. There lying right in the middle of the maze is an ash covered, rather muddy figure on the lawn. "Rowan," Severus cried out as he moved forward but Madam Pomfrey beat him to it.
"Stand back all of you!" Madam Pomfrey briskly said as Georgine reached out and pulled Severs back.
Waving her wand, those watching hold their breaths as Madam Pomfrey waves her wand. Everyone seems to be holding their breath until after a long minute that seemed an eternity, she says, "Miss Prince is fine, but she has a bit of smoke inhalation, and light burns on the back of her neck with light swelling on the palms of her hands. Thankfully, there are no serious health related concerns at the moment."
There is an audible sigh of relief that can be heard as Reginald, Georgine, and Severus slightly relax at the infirmary matron's pronouncement of Rowan's condition. But the matron did not appear to be finished giving her medical verdict yet. The three of them all intently wait to listen to the matron's following statement.
"However, Miss Prince is almost completely magically depleted for the time being, which is a bit of a concern, but with a bit of rest, she will make a full recovery. I have no doubt that the magical depletion is a direct consequence from having to apparate under such dire circ.u.mstances," Madam Pomfrey said, before muttering, "I don't even know how she managed to do so in the first place without even learning how to do so in the first place nor much less how she managed to break through the school's wards. But then again, Hogwarts wards must have let her in or otherwise she'd be dead."
There are more expressions of relief at Madam Pomfrey announcement as she waves her wand and levitates the unconscious form of Rowan into the air. "Please do not worry Miss Prince is in merely need of one or two days of full rest and she'll be good as new. And as for all of those of you would like to accompany us to the infirmary may, but I do not want any short of loud voices much less shouting! I have patients that need to rest."
The Prince's docilely follow after the infirmary matron as Dumbledore sighs again in relief. Professor Kettleburn in the background is heard saying, "That is jolly good, I'll let Hagrid know. The poor man was rather overwrought and practically in tears, when I left him." Kettleburn rushes off leaving Dumbledore gazing solemnly at where the Triwizard Cup had been previously located at.
Someone had purposefully enchanted the cup, but who? Dumbledore was still going over the culprits in mind, when he hears Professor Salah say, "And where is Professor Lye?" A loud click suddenly goes off in his mind as he hurries off towards Professor Lye's quarters.