Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 142

AN: Today is my birthday, so I thought as a present I would post another chapter.

Thank you for all the support! It brightens my day to know people enjoy this story!

"So it's decided then," Headmaster Longbottom scanned his faculty, searching for signs of dissent. "We will release an official endorsement of Draco Malfoy tomorrow morning."

Each Hogwarts professor nodded with the exception of Professor Vector, who raised her hand.

"Yes?" Neville asked.

"What do we plan to do about Molly and Lucy Weasley?" She asked.

"What do you mean, what do we do about my cousins?" Scorpius answered. "Why would they need to be dealt with in any way?"

"Well, up to this point, we have remained neutral on the issue of politics, with the exception of Headmaster Longbottom, who made it clear his endorsement of Draco was his alone."

The Headmaster steepled his hands.

"Still if we all openly endorse Draco Malfoy, then we are going against Molly and Lucy's dad. How will that effect their educational experience?"

Rose whispered in Scorpius' ear, "They may need to learn to stop being brats and appealing to Daddy every time they so much as stub their toe."

Scorpius covered his mouth and choked back his laughter.

Across the table, Professor Sweeney gave them a look. Professor Rose gave her the most innocent expression she could muster while Scorpius snorted.

"That is a great question," Headmaster Longbottom glanced up at the portrait of Albus Dumbledore on the wall. "It is an issue very few headmasters have faced, though a few have had similar issues with students."

"What do you propose we do then?" Professor Vector asked.

"Well, I trust we can all remain neutral in regard to their education," Headmaster Longbottom began. "I know each of you are professionals. You know how to remain impartial when dealing with rival houses. If you remember that Molly and Lucy are students who have nothing to do with this political endorsement, then it should not be difficult to teach them as you always have."

"No, I suppose it should not be," Professor Sweeney answered.

"I trust everyone can remain neutral and treat the young Weasley as they would anyone else, correct?"

One by one, the professors answered "yes."

"Then it's decided," he intoned. "We will make our official endorsement, and give no thought to the fact that two of our students are the daughters of the opposing candidates."

"That sounds reasonable," Scorpius replied.

"Agreed," Professor Vector answered.

"Good," Headmaster Longbottom scanned the room. "Are there any further issues which need to be discussed?"

The professors shook their heads.

After waiting a few seconds, Headmaster Longbottom smiled. "Then I believe our meeting is adjourned."

The professors stood up from their seats. Rose stretched out her back and winced. Someone needed to invest in chairs with better cushioning.

A few of Rose's colleagues scurried out of the headmaster's office while others milled around and spoke about the upcoming semester. Rose took a deep breath before sneaking towards the door.

"Rose?"

She turned around. "Yes, Headmaster Longbottom?"

He approached her. "How is your mother faring?"

"She is as well as can be expected."

"Did she begin treatment yesterday?"

She nodded.

Headmaster Longbottom hummed. "I see. Is she feeling well."

"Mum seems to be taking everything in stride. She was conscious when I left, and seemed to be in good spirits, especially upon hearing that Draco has exposed Percy for the corrupt charlatan he is."

"I am glad to hear she is doing well."

Rose wrung her hands. "Indeed."

Headmaster Longbottom put a hand on her shoulder. "How are you holding up?"

Rose took a shaky breath. "I feel as if I have been a horrid daughter to her lately."

"How?"

"When I found out Ron was my biological father, I yelled at her. While I did apologize to her, I was still more distant than usual. I did not heed her advice when she told me not to meet him, and this has caused her a great amount of stress. I cannot help but feel as if I played a major role in her condition."

"I would argue that you played little, if any role in this at all."

"How can you say that? I have caused her nothing but stress for these last few months. As much as I wish I could take everything back, we both know I cannot."

Headmaster Longbottom grinned. "I can assure you that you have caused her no more stress than usual."

Rose frown deepened. "Are you attempting to comfort me, or are you saying I am nothing but a stressor?"

"I am not trying to insult you," he continued. "I just know as a headmaster how the stress and joys of children even each other out."

"What does that mean?" Rose asked.

"It means that some days I would love nothing more than to travel to a secluded place in the Andes and pick chuquiraguas all day long. There are days when I would love nothing more than to never see another student again. Just as I feel as if I am about to explode like one of your father's many cauldrons, well," Headmaster Longbottom's eyes glistened. "A student will sing some song they wrote about how much they enjoy their time at Hogwarts, or another student will thank me for helping them solve a problem. A few even come in just to chat about herbology."

"I understand exactly what you are saying," Rose answered. "I feel the same towards my Slytherins. Some days it feels like I am completely surrounded by dunderheads, until one of them tells me how much they enjoy the house, or someone writes a brilliant potions essay."

"Exactly. You would not give up being Head of the Slytherin House because of the stress it causes, would you?"

"Of course not, at least not without good reason."

"Then think of how much more your mother feels towards you. She has always loved you fiercely, just as she loves all of her children."

Rose opened her mouth.

Headmaster Longbottom held up a hand. "I can guarantee that at your worst, she would still say that overall, you have given her more joy than pain."

Rose whispered. "Do you truly believe that?"

"No," Headmaster Longbottom answered. "I know that for a fact."

"I still wish I had treated her better over the last few months."

"There is nothing you can do about that now. All you can do is enjoy the time you have with her now."

"I suppose that is true."

Headmaster Longbottom's lips curled up.

Rose lowered her head. "On the subject of students though, I do almost feel guilty."

"How so?" Headmaster Longbottom asked.

"I want nothing more than to help Mum, and I need to cure her. I could never forgive myself if she died and I didn't do everything possible to save her. Still," She choked. "I do care about my students, and do not want their education to suffer due to my absence."

"I would not have hired Professor Khan unless I was absolutely certain she could do a decent job. She may not be you, but then again, nobody is."

"With the exception of Dad. He could teach a course far better than I could."

"If you consider teaching to be yelling at students because they blew up a cauldron then yes, he is a better teacher than you in every way."

Rose laughed. "You will never forgive him for his teaching methods, will you?"

"Oh I've forgiven him," Headmaster Longbottom answered. "Still, one never forgets these things. To this day, I shudder to enter the dungeons, if only because if something goes wrong and you are hurt, I will not live to see the next day."

Rose smirked. "For the record, Dad does like you."

"Perhaps," Headmaster Longbottom answered. "But he loves his lab and his daughter more."

"I suppose that is fair enough," Rose replied.

Headmaster Longbottom embraced her. "You have support here. Never forget that. All of us at Hogwarts are ready to help you in any way we can."

She returned the embrace. "Thank you."

Headmaster Longbottom held her closer, knowing that whatever happened, he could trust his faculty to love and support each other.