Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 143

AN: Thank you all so much for the support and the birthday wishes! It's amazing having readers as awesome as you!

"Thank you again for allowing me to stay with you for the foreseeable future," Percy began.

"Uh sure," Ron set his beer on the dilapidated maple coffee table. "I'm just surprised you wanted to stay with me for a few weeks. Usually you're only here for a few hours."

"I know," Percy admitted. "But now things have changed."

"How have they changed?"

"I'm reevaluating some things and realized I need to appreciate my family more."

Ron gripped the edge of his sofa. "Get off of it Percy. You've never appreciated me. Why are you here?"

The marmalade recliner creaked as Percy shifted his feet. "I seem to have run into some trouble with the Ministry, and I need to lay low for the time being."

"What kind of trouble?"

"It's actually quite complicated."

"Believe it or not, I can handle complicated things."

"True, but sometimes the less known about something, the better."

Ron scowled.

"All you need to know is that my legal team is working diligently to make sure I remain free from prison," Percy continued.

Ron's eyes bulged. "Prison?"

Across the room, Audrey bowed her head and rocked back in her chair.

"I may have been extreme in bringing up prison," Percy squeaked.

"Oh Merlin," Ron gasped. "What did you do?"

"Nothing which cannot be undone," Percy replied.

Ron gulped

"Everything will be okay," Molly cut in. "Daddy will make sure everything is fine. This time next week, everyone will be talking about how awful Draco is and how it isn't fair that he's making up all these stories about Dad."

Beside her, Lucy picked at a loose thread on the carpet.

"What kinds of stories has Draco been telling?" Ron asked.

Flames shot up in the fireplace.

Percy exhaled. "Again, it wold take too long to explain."

"Trust me," Ron growled. "We have time. Start talking."

"Ronniekins!"

Ron cringed.

"Oh Ronniekins, it's so horrible!"

"Great," Percy groaned.

"Are you home?"

Ron stood up and trudged towards the fireplace. "Yes, Mum, I'm home."

"Oh good," Molly swooned. "At least I can find one of my children."

"What do you mean?" Ron peered into the flames.

"Oh Ronnie, it's so, so horrible. I don't even know where to begin!"

"Does this have anything to do with why Percy and his family are here?"

"Percy is with you?"

"Yes."

Molly put a hand over her heart. "Oh thank Merlin! I was so worried about them."

Ron stomped his foot on the ground. "Would someone please tell me what in Merlin's name is going on?"

"I'll tell you everything if you step out of my way," Molly replied.

Ron glanced at his brother. Percy sighed and nodded.

Ron stepped away from the fireplace, allowing a sooty Molly to materialize in front of him. Without brushing herself off, she embraced Ron. "Today has been horrible, just horrible."

"It's okay Mother," Percy began.

Molly pushed Ron aside and rushed to Percy. She held him close. "Oh Perce! I was so worried about you! I was so scared I'd never see you again!"

"I'm fine Mother," Percy began.

"We're all fine," the younger Molly chimed in.

"Oh come here! I've missed you girls so much!" the grandmother sobbed.

The younger Molly and Lucy ran over to their grandmother. They wrapped their arms around her and their father.

"Great," Ron muttered as soot flew from the women's clothes. "My floor is a bloody mess now."

"I can clean it up," Audrey mumbled as she stood.

"Thanks," Ron grunted before she began casting cleaning spells.

"You have no idea how relieved I am to see all of you," Molly exhaled. "I tried asking your father where you were, but he told me he couldn't find you, although I'm sure he'd love to see you as well."

"I will have to floo him later," Percy replied.

"Could someone please tell me what the hell is going on here?" Ron demanded.

Molly released her family. Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out a parchment and a newspaper.

"What are those?" Ron mumbled.

"These are the lies Draco Malfoy is printing about your brother."

Ron took the papers from her hand. "Why would anyone believe anything Draco jodan Malfoy says?"

"Because they've forgotten how horrid he is," Molly snarled. "They think he's such a big hero because he donates to charity, but he's nothing more than a spoiled brat!"

Audrey put her wand away.

Ron unfurled the parchment and began to read it.

"Do you need anything right now?" Molly began.

"Right now we should be well-supplied," Percy answered.

"Do you have money?"

"No, I cleared out our bank account this morning before the goblins could read Draco's report. They have no idea that I'm out of the country, nor can they chase any of my funds."

"Good," Molly shook her head. "I would offer you some more money, but it's tied up in my divorce with your father."

Percy smiled. "I don't need your money, though a few meals from time to time would be much appreciated."

"That I can do."

"This is rubbish!"

The others turned to Ron.

He threw the papers onto the ground. "How can anyone allow Draco to get away with printing this shit?"

"Watch your language," Molly barked.

Ron shrunk. "Sorry."

Molly snorted.

"Still," Ron squeaked. "Why would anyone believe Draco over Percy?"

"People's faith in the Ministry has dwindled," Percy admitted. "They are willing to believe any charlatan who comes their way pedaling a pack of lies."

"He should be under arrest for lying the German government. He should be under arrest for lying about a good man. He should be under arrest for lying about everything," Ron argued.

"Which is why we're going to prove Percy's innocence," the elder Molly vowed.

"How do you plan on doing that?" Percy asked.

"We will think of something, won't we Molly?" the grandmother announced.

The younger Molly raised a fist. "Yes, we will. I'll start by going to Hogwarts and digging up dirt on Draco. Scorpius will probably have a lot to tell me, and I can always tell when Rose is covering for her parents. After reminding her of who she is a few times I'm sure she'll crack."

"That's the spirit," the elder Molly cheered.

"No."

They glared at Percy.

"I will not have my daughter playing spy instead of getting her education," Percy argued.

"But I can learn while spying," Molly argued.

"Perhaps you can," Percy admitted. "But I do not trust the Hogwarts staff to remain neutral while teaching you."

"What do you mean?" his daughter asked.

"He means that Hogwarts is officially endorsing Draco," Ron replied.

"What?" Molly shrieked.

"It's on page 4," Ron began. "There's a large section where Neville, Professor Sinistra, and Professor Sweeney explain why the school is endorsing Draco."

"Those lying vipers!" Molly screamed.

Audrey covered her ears as the others backed away from their matriarch.

"I never should've allowed him to walk free. I should've forced the Ministry to put him in jail when they had the chance. Then there's Ginevra," nobody had ever seen Molly's face turn so red. "Ginny married that snake and turned her back on her real family. She's so interested in pleasing him that she doesn't care about us anymore."

"She does seem to take his side more often than ours," Percy grumbled.

"She always takes his side, even when he's wrong!" Ron shouted.

"Ginny is dead to me!" Molly announced. "As far as I am concerned, I have no daughter!"

"I have no sister!" Ron added.

Percy pursed his lips.

"Ginny has betrayed us one too many times," Ron continued. "She always takes Draco's side, and she lets him bully us. No more! Ginny is no longer a part of my family. I don't believe I'm related to Scorpius, Carina, Antlia, or Orion either. As far as I am concerned, they're just a bunch of no good Malfoys and always have been."

Molly sniveled. "They turned my precious grand babies against me. She made them grow up to hate me, and now they'll turn against their uncle. It's unbearable!"

Molly embraced her weeping grandmother while Lucy rubbed her back.

"I knew Ginevra was too wild of a child growing up," Percy seethed. "I knew she was headed down the wrong path, but nobody listened to me. Nobody tried to stop her from becoming such a monster."

"I'm sorry," Ron replied. "I had no idea she would marry Malfoy. If I'd known I would've treated her better and made sure she was loyal to only us."

"None of us could have known she would marry him, or would allow him to do this," Molly wailed.

Audrey rubbed her face and sighed.

"What are we going to do now?" Ron asked.

"Well, I cannot return to Britain," Percy began. "Not when I have a price on my head."

"Won't running here make you look guilty?" Ron asked.

"They want someone to blame for this amnesia crisis," Percy answered. "I'm a convenient scapegoat. No matter where I am or what I do, I'm as good as guilty."

"I know how that feels," Ron conceded.

"If I'm here I can begin to build a defense and plot a way to avenge myself against Malfoy," Percy answered.

Molly pulled away from her grandchildren. "What do you plan to do?"

Percy cleared his throat. "I will first of all find a way to discredit Healer Clinton and prove he was bribed by Draco. Then I will begin revising a Ministry budget which will allocate more funds to the amnesia crisis. Once everyone sees that I am able to do all of this from Peru, I should have no problem winning my reelection."

"Do you think you can do all of that?" Molly sniffed.

"I do not know," Percy admitted. "But I can try."

"What should we do in the meantime?" Lucy asked. "We have to go to school somewhere, and if we can't go to Hogwarts. Where should we go?"

"You will attend the Wizarding Institute of the Andes. It's a fine school, and the translation spells should allow you to take classes in English with ease," Percy replied.

Lucy choked. "I'll miss my friends though."

"Don't worry," her sister cut in. "Daddy will make all of this go away soon. Then we can go back to Hogwarts and lord it over everyone that Daddy is in charge."

Lucy's lower lip quivered.

"You'll see," Lucy's grandmother cut in. "Your father, your uncle Ron, and I are going to make everything better. Soon, your father will be Minister, Draco will be in jail where he belongs, and it will be as if none of this had ever happened."

"In the meantime though," Percy blushed. "We need to place to stay."

Molly gave Ron a pointed look. "They need a nice, big place to stay."

Ron forced himself to grin. "You're always welcome here. Just know that I go out at nights and won't come in until late."

"What do you do?" Lucy asked.

"I play some very fun games at some great casinos," Ron answered.

"What's a casino?"

"A place where you play the funnest games imaginable."

"What kinds of games do you play at the casino?" There was a spark in her eyes.

"There's a really fun one called baccarat. That is by far the funnest," Ron's smile was now genuine. "Do you want to learn how to play someday?"

"No," Percy cut in. "She does not want to play baccarat."

"But Dad…"

"No, you stay away from the baccarat table."

"Whatever your father says," Ron replied before winking at Lucy.

She giggled as Percy groaned.

"See, things are looking up already," Molly began. "If we stick together, we'll get through all of this."

"Yes, we will," Percy replied.

Please let me leave Peru as soon as possible.