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Two Steps From Hell by thesinandthesinner
Chapter 5 : Magic is Power
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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A/N: Thank you so much for the amazing support and reviews! So this chappie is more about Rowan and is a flashback towards their Sixth Year as a heads up. Also, some important groundwork about her character is established here that'll play an important part in Part II of this fic. Enjoy and let me know what you think. Stay awesome people!

Rowan was terrible at Astronomy. She was dreadful at History of Magic. And she couldn't for the life of her, divine anything from the practices of Divination. She struggled with Potions and Herbology often became a life or death situation on a daily basis when she was studying it.

But she was, by all means, a brilliant witch.

In magic, there were different types of smart. You could be book smart and become an accomplished Witch or Wizard by studying and memorizing principles and then pronouncing incantations. You could be logically smart and understand how exactly the magical principles and properties worked so as to be able to apply them in different forms, and truly understand the power of magic. You could be smart from experience and practice and having a knack for learning.

Then you could be innately smart when it came to magic.

Rowan liked to create. She enjoyed drawing, especially diagramming technical things, but it wasn't something she was passionate about.

She liked to create magic.

All spells had come from someone. And so, she had reasoned, why not try and make up her own spells?

It made her toes curl with the potential of expanding her magical capabilities, of broadening magic itself. The possibilities were endless and there seemed to be no limits in sight once you understood the limitations imposed on certain practices such as in Transfiguration. She got an adrenaline rush when it came to conjuring up new concepts and then experimenting in the tangible development of it. When she finally perfected a spell or a charm, she felt a power trip surge through her.

It was the idea that the there was no horizon to the potential that appealed to her the most.

She had a clever and strange mind. Abstract material came easily to her, but she couldn't map out a star chart, even though it was quite straight-forward. She liked to read philosophy because it was so abstract and it helped her understand how to interpret material.

Sirius often teased her and called her a geek, but she knew he joking, most of the time. Not many people knew about what she liked to do. She kept it to herself, preferring to exude the image of the perpetually lost in a daydream kind of student.

Spell creation was highly dangerous and one tended to suffer through many injuries and there possibility of death wasn't a joke either. Over the years Rowan had sustained a numerous amount of injuries through her experimentation and had developed quite a good rapport with the Hospital Wing.

It took her professors six years to figure out why, exactly, she kept landing up in the Hospital Wing. Then one night when she had broken her ribs after being blasted backwards from a force of spell she was developing, Dumbledore himself came to visit her.

"You appear to be a great patron of the Hospital Wing," he said mildly.

"Erm…yeah. I mean, yes, I suppose I am." She replied. She wasn't sure she why she chose to use proper grammar now. It must be because the Headmaster himself had come to see her. After all, he still was a teacher. Or something like that.

"Would you care to tell me how you sustained this injury?" He asked after a moment.


That was her first thought. Her second thought was that her mind needed to shut up and choose her words very carefully because she didn't want to be kicked out of school.

"I was practising some magic." She finally answered.

Dumbledore's eyes studied her. She squirmed a bit and then winced remembering her still healing ribs. She felt as if she was being X-Rayed.

"I see. There were several scorch marks on the desks. And the blackboard was shattered." He commented.

"I'm very sorry about that." She apologized.

"Miss…Forlani I'm going to go out a limb here and assume that you weren't practising magic that you knew," he finally said. He leaned back in his seat and folded his hands.

Rowan stared ahead of her at the opposite site of the room. Snapping her eyes to him she admitted, "No I wasn't."

"Miss Forlani… you know the rules. The practice of Dark Magic is strictly prohibited. If you were engaging the Dark Arts,"

"I wasn't practising Dark Magic," she brusquely said. Her eyes stared hard at her Headmaster.

"I see. What was it then?" Dumbledore asked.

"I was practising something of my own. I was experimenting." She said tonelessly.


"I like to…develop…magic…however stupid that sounds." Rowan finally said. She looked defiantly at him.

"That's highly dangerous." Dumbledore said after a moment.

"It is," she agreed.

"You could die," he solemnly added.

"I know. Don't worry, I do not have any suicidal tendencies. This is not a cry for attention." Rowan said.

"Then why do you do it?"

She looked up at the ceiling and played with her wand. "Because, I like that fact that there are all these possibilities…waiting to be found and brought to life."

"Possibilities?" Dumbledore echoed.

"Yes. There's so much potential in magic Professor…my mind…it's kind of weird I guess. I just…I think of things, and then I try to envision how it could be applied in the magic form. I mean, I understand the concepts, principles and limitations of magic, but it excites me, getting to bend and apply those rules in order to expound limits…" she rambled.

Dumbledore studied her for a moment. "You seem very passionate about…developing magic."

"It's the only thing I truly care about," Rowan said in a strong voice.


"Because…I just told you….there's…just so much to be discovered and brought to life. It's the process and act of creating that excites me. I just…can't sit still and not think of magic." She said in a fervent voice.

Dumbledore digested this. He hadn't come across a student like this in quite awhile. The last student who had talked so passionately about magic turned out to be the darkest wizard in over a century. He treaded carefully.

"And…what kind of things do you enjoy developing?" He asked.

"Defensive spells mostly…Transfiguration is a bit tricky since there are so many rules…but right now I'm better at developing Charms and hexes."

"So the Dark Arts does not interest you?"

"I wouldn't say it doesn't interest me. I am interested in it, but for a very different reasons. I feel that in order to fully understand magic, I need to understand all types of magic. I read up on the Dark Arts because it's important to know what already exists and whether or not I may be able to develop something to counter it if something doesn't exist." She replied.

"I see."

"Plus," she continued. "There's the whole ethical side of the Dark Arts. Generally speaking, the Dark Arts has always been considered wrong, or corrupting because people often use it to inflict pain or harm on others.

But, this is the thing Professor. At the same time, the Dark Arts aren't wholly considered "evil". I think, theoretically speaking of course, dark magic can be used for good as well as evil. Even the Killing Curse, theoretically speaking, may be used for good under some contexts. Again, the Dark Arts have a reputation for being bad, but it lacks the definition of evil tacked on to it." She said in a candid tone.

Dumbledore stared at her and she squirmed again. She was surely going to be thrown out of school for this.

"Miss Forlani I believe you received seven "Outstanding" O.W.L.s" he suddenly said changing subjects.

"Erm yes. I believe I did…" she replied taken aback.

"Madam Marchbanks commented on your Transfiguration exam…she said you performed some complex magic…"

Rowan shrugged. "I just focus my energy and mind professor…can't really tell you that much…I don't even know myself."

"Have you always been so interested in magic?" he asked.

"I've always been interested in creating…it wasn't until Third year where we came upon practising Switch Spells I became seriously engaged in studying the concepts of magic in order to invent it. Until I just read a lot about it."

"I see. You'd do well to consider trying out for the Barnabus Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting during your seventh year. Just a thought."

"That what?" Rowan asked confused.

"It's an award for young witches and wizards who show an exceptional talent for spell casting. You might want to consider entering the competition. It takes place at the end of the seventh year at the Wizarding Courts."

"Oh. Well. Um. Thanks. Perhaps I will." She said a little confused.

"And might I suggest you be a little more careful when you're alone practising your magic? Perhaps get a partner whose nearby to aid you in case something goes wrong?"

"I'll think about it. But to be honest Professor I think it'd be safest if I was the only one who continued to be the great patron of the Hospital wing."

Professor Dumbledore had left her alone since then and she had a strong feeling that he might have told the other teachers about her extracurricular activities. Since the last half of their Sixth Year her teachers had started to overlook the mishaps or minor explosions that occurred on a daily basis in class or whenever she was practising magic. James wondered why she seemed to be getting less detentions, even if she was still causing scorch marks to appear on surfaces and causing objects to combust randomly.

When he had asked her this, she was at a loss for words. Rowan had never told anyone exactly what she liked to do. Her mates knew that she loved to read, fiction and non fiction and that she could, she spent an awful amount of time in the library, for fun, which shocked Sirius.

But she had never explicitly told them that she developed magic.

Perhaps because James was her close friend and maybe it was because they had become mates by sharing so many detentions, but Rowan had quietly confided in him that she invented magic.

"You invent spells?" he said awestruck.

"I try and invent spells," she corrected.

"What have you invented so far?"

"Um…baubillious," she said off the top of her head. James toppled backwards to avoid getting his hair singed by the bright white lightening bolt that had suddenly erupted from the tip of her wand.

"Good god!" James exclaimed. He cautiously got up.

"Sorry, first one that came in my hand," she replied sheepishly.

James looked at her with bright eyes. "What are some other ones?"

"Um..I decided to upgrade the bombarda spell…so now it's bombarda maxima…"

"Oooo that sounds devious!" James said gleefully. "Bomba—"

"DON'T." Rowan snatched his wand out of his hand."

"What?" James exclaimed.

"Believe me, that spell is not to be used lightly. The regular bombarda creates a minor explosion, bombarda maxima creates an explosion that can take down entire walls."

"ENTIRE WALLS?" James shouted.

"Will you shut up you great big prat?" Rowan said in an exasperated voice.

"Oh no, what did James do now?" Sirius asked coming down the Boy's Staircase.

The pair of them whipped their heads and stared at their mate. Sirius looked suspiciously at them.

"Was James hitting on you?" Sirius asked.

"What? NO." James exclaimed. Sirius bit the inside of his cheek and lightly rapped his mate's head with his wand.

"Okay so what's up?" Sirius asked.

"Rowan was just—" James lost his voice. He glared at Rowan. The girl put a silencing charm on him, non-verbally. Bitch.

"Rowan was what?" Sirius asked narrowing his eyes.

"We were just talking about magic." She said.

"If something is going on between you two I'd like to know right now!"

"Ugh Sirius, nothing is going on between us, believe me. Right James?" Rowan rolled her eyes.

James however did not deny or confirm this. Rowan's eyes cut through him.

"Well seems like James isn't denying this…" Sirius flicked his wand at his mate and James began to talk.

"Nope. We were actually talking about going on date," James said sliding a retaliatory glare at Rowan.

"Oi! You know that's not true." Rowan said loudly.

"What's not true?" another voice asked.

Lily had climbed through the Portrait Hole after studying in the library. She found her roommate engaged in a heated discussion with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. James was Tweedle Dum. Sometimes, she honestly wondered why Rowan was friends with them. No, actually she wondered why Rowan was friends with James. Sirius wasn't as bigheaded as James.

"Nothing. Apparently, James asked Rowan on date." Sirius said sliding a look at his red-headed mate.

Silence. Lily looked at the pair of them. Rowan shook her head. "Uh huh. Well if that's what floats your boat then," she said in a neutral voice.

"LILY! You know I'm not dating James nor do I have any intention of dating the egotistical, dumbass!" Rowan threw her arms out exasperated.

"Oi!" James said miffed.

"YOU'RE THE ONE WHO STARTED THIS FARCE!" Rowan shouted turning on him. She slapped her hands on her hips and Sirius began to laugh. Lily plopped down in an armchair and watched the pair. They were a great source of entertainment.

"Will you quit being a baby and just fess up? It's so cool!" James ran a hand through his hair.

A pregnant pause followed this.

"I despise you James Prongs Potter!" Rowan growled.

James snorted. Sirius just looked at her. "Prongs Potter?"

"All right so I don't know his middle name!" Rowan gestured with a hand.

"What is it?" Lily asked before stopping herself.

Sirius glanced at his mate. James hadn't told anyone his middle name. Ever. Not even Sirius knew it.

But since it was Lily who had asked, Sirius had a feeling that he was about to inform them of it now.

"Ignotus." James finally said not looking at Lily.

Rowan stifled a laugh. "Ignotus?"

"It's a family name," James mumbled. He looked at Sirius defiantly.

"What?" Sirius asked raising his hands up. "I'm not laughing!"

"Neither am I." Rowan chimed in.

"Nor am I," Lily added. James collapsed in an armchair. "Don't you dare go around telling people that!"

"James Ignotus Potter….man…what a name," Sirius decided.

"Shaddup you git."

"Okay so what were you two fighting about? " Lily shook her head in effort to get back to the original argument.

"We weren't fighting. We were talking." Rowan replied shortly.



"Fess up!" Sirius prodded Rowan with his wand.

She swatted at it. Then James nodded encouragingly at her. Sighing Rowan said, "James asked me why all of a sudden, I wasn't getting in detention that much anymore even though I still create a lot of collateral damage to the castle."

"'Collateral damage?" Sirius snorted. "Is that what you call blowing holes through people's classrooms nowadays?"

"Annnnnddd?" Lily said over him.

"And so I told him that it was because the professors leave me alone because…well….I guess…I try and develop spells."

"You guys, she invents magic!" James said proudly. He looked at her as if he had single-handedly created her out of clay himself.

Rowan flushed at the pride that was bursting from his voice. He was such a good mate. Sure sometimes he was bigheaded prat and pissed her off to new heights, but at the end of the day, he was a good mate and she was lucky to have him.

"Wait…you invent magic?" Lily asked a little confused.

"I try…" Rowan reiterated placing an emphasis on "try".

"But that's really dangerous! And complex! And advanced and you have to be really WHOA!" Sirius exclaimed. He looked at her with a stunned expression.

"It's not so much as inventing, it's more of upgrading if you will, and creating magic… it's a little difficult to explain."

"Show them the lightening bolt again!" James encouraged.


"DUCK!" James shouted just as another lightening bolt shot out of her wand. Sirius dived to the floor.

Lily looked at her mate with wide eyes. Rowan shrugged.

"That's bloody amazing mate," Sirius said from the ground. His hand popped in the air as he gave her a thumbs up.

A/N: Ok so I have no clue what James' middle name was so I just slapped one in there. I also wanted to name this chapter 'Magic is Might' but then realised, oh wait, Rowling already did. More to come soon. Please review. :) xoxoxo

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