The term had been tumultuous so far with quite a few ups and downs. While Rose's focus had initially been taken up by one Harold Prendergast, she'd grown to appreciate another new colleague even more. Warm, friendly and outgoing Talia Bryce had been a gift. They were close enough in age to have common ground beyond a shared occupation. What had started out as casual chats about flowers, lemonade recipes and teaching methods had grown into a fledgeling friendship between the two women. It was nice. Rose had been so isolated for the last few years that having a fellow young woman around felt like coming up for fresh air. It was amazing to have a person on the team who didn't look at her with a benevolent grandparent kind of twinkle in their eyes.
Even better was having somebody to go shopping and decorating with. She still needed a few Christmas presents and, in addition to that, she fancied tying one of the spiced hot chocolates that the local cafe in Hogmeade was serving. That definitely wasn't something she could have talked Professors Montgomery or Slughorn into. Not to mention that it would have been weird to go out with a man thirty to forty years her senior, even if it was just for hot chocolate.
It was therefore with a sense of genuine excitement that arose stepped out of her quarters to meet Talia. Except, almost the second she poked her head out of the castle gates she was almost assaulted by a mail owl flying so close to her head she could feel its wings touch her cheek. What the...? Then a noise. Rose spun around only to see that the bird had impacted the castle wall.
"Oh, Bubo," she sighed, turning around to check if the heap of feathers was okay. The bird looked at her sheepishly turning its head. Okay, probably no serious damage had occurred. Still, she picked up the owl carefully just to be sure. Aside from some ruffled feathers he seemed alright.
"Go find Hal," she told the owl who now looked at her with apparent confusion. "Hal, you know. Mr Teacup. Owl treat provider, he who ignores you in favour of books." Her explanation didn't seem to help the bird in figuring out what it was supposed to do. Rose helplessly set it down beside the gate to the castle. "Come on, in with you. Go, go, go." Bubo looked at her with his giant black eyes, blinking at her in that way only owls could.
"Bubo, I'm gonna be late," Rose wailed. "Go in, find Harold. Okay." She turned around and started walking away, hoping the owl would return to its owner if she pretended to no longer pay attention. Except, when she cast her head over her shoulder the idiot bird was following her, hopping along the path. Rose groaned.
"Bubooo, go away." She was just about to launch into another attempt when she heard Talia calling out to her.
"You did that?!," Rose cooed as soon as she saw the sled, Professor Prendergast's mentally challenged owl momentarily taking the backseat in her list of priorities. "That's so adorable. How did you get that glitter effect?"
"Where to first? Well... Except ...." Rose turned her head over her shoulder again to see Bubo closing the gap between them. "I seem to have a fan today. Lemme try to get rid of him again."