Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 16

AN: Unfortunately, I won't be able to update on tomorrow or Thursday. Still, thank you all for your support! It means a lot to me!

Rose took Scorpius' hand. He flinched, but allowed her to lead him to the couch.

"What exactly is happening?"

Scorpius sat down and shuddered. "Around eight o'clock, I was patrolling the hallways. At first, nothing was out of the ordinary. Suddenly, someone was banging on the front door. I walked over to one of the windows, and saw about thirty people standing at the gates. All of them were shouting and demanding to be let in."

Rose let go off Scorpius' hand.

"I wasn't clear on what to do next, so I sent a Patronus up to Headmaster Longbottom asking for his advice. Before he could respond, the people outside began pounding on the door and shooting hexes. I decided that it was less important to figure out what they wanted and more important to get the students back to their dorms. A few of them were quite peeved with me, but when they saw what happened next…"

Rose grasped Scorpius' shoulders. "Is there a school left?"

Scorpius recoiled. He let out a whine.

Rose released him and glanced at her hands. There were traces of blood on her palms. "I am so sorry."

"There's no need to apologize. You didn't do anything to harm me," Scorpius answered.

"Still, you should not have had to go through this."

"I will be fine."

"Back to the topic at hand: what about the school? Is there anything left of it?" Rose asked.

"The building is intact, but if this fighting continues then it will take on substantial damage," Scorpius answered.

"What are you going on about?" Snape demanded.

Rose tugged at her cape. "Please tell me, what happened next?"

"The mob managed to break on inside, and they began scouring the grounds for former Death Eaters," Scorpius explained.

"Death Eaters?" Rose exclaimed.

Scorpius nodded.

"Why were they trying to round up Death Eaters?" Rose asked.

"Most of the people in the crowd were former aurors. They were convinced that You-Know-Who had recently been resurrected, and that they were fighting for the soul of the school. With most of the faculty, they were quite pleasant. When they saw the son of a former Death Eater though…"

In the firelight, Rose could see the bruise on his cheek.

"The other professors stuck up for me as best they could, which only agitated them further. Things only escalated when they noticed the other children of former Death Eaters. Before I could ascertain what was occurring, they began firing on us and claiming we were traitors to the Order."

"Are, are any of the students injured?" she asked.

"To my knowledge, no student has reported an injury," Scorpius answered.

Rose let out the breath she'd been holding.

"I tried to help as many students as I could, but the aurors were convinced that I was my father. I was able to fight back for the most part, but one can only do so much against thirty people. Once I escorted all the students out of the library, I realized that I was becoming more of a liability than a savior. It dawned on me that they may be coming for you as well, so I went to check on you," Scorpius answered.

"Thank you for your concern," Rose replied. "As you can see though, I am quite well."

"I am glad to hear it," Scorpius answered.

"This is preposterous," Snape cut in.

Scorpius swallowed, "Does he think…"

"He believes he is still the potions professor."

"Shit."

"I truly expected better of you, Draco," Snape stood up. "I expect Ms. Granger to waste my time with her inane adventures, but you are not as prone to mischief as she."

"Does he think you are your mother?" Scorpius asked.

Rose sighed.

Scorpius muttered. "I'm beginning to wish I looked a bit more like my mum. It may have saved me a little trouble tonight."

"Where is Headmaster Longbottom?" Rose asked.

"When I last saw him, he was trying to persuade two of the former aurors that he was more than capable of defending himself against his alleged attackers," Scorpius answered. "He was proving less than successful."

Snape burst out laughing. "Mr. Longbottom has spent far too much time among the mushrooms if he believes he can hold his own in any sort of magical confrontation."

Rose gave her father a look before returning her attention to Scorpius. "Where are the aurors now?"

Scorpius scratched off some of the blood on his hand. "Right now, the aurors are still upstairs. Still, I knew that if they believed Hogwarts was in danger they would find a way to come down here. I can't help the students anymore than I already have, but perhaps I can assist you in some way."

"Thank you." Rose waved her right hand. While the blood did not disappear from Scorpius' clothing, the cuts faded.

"No, thank you," Scorpius answered.

"If you two are quite done with this little affectionate display," Snape barked. "I need to see for myself what type of tomfoolery you two have gotten yourselves into."

"No," Rose argued.

Snape glowered at her. "Do not defy me. Potter and Weasley may tolerate your domineering nature, but I will not."

"Listen," Rose began. "I know you are confused and that you are uncertain of what's happening around you, but you need to remain here."

"I will do no such thing."

"Yes, you will."

"I refuse to argue with you."

"I refuse to argue with you as well." Rose stood between him and the doorway. "Please trust me when I say you need to remain here."

Snape snorted.

Rose gritted her teeth. She swore in that moment her father looked just like Violet when she wasn't getting her way.

Violet!

Rose's heart pounded against her rib cage. "Wh-where are the aurors headed?"

"I don't know," Scorpius answered.

"If they're aurors and they think Voldemort has taken over the school, then they're going to arrest all those they think are in collusion with the no-nose numbskull. There's only one house which is automatically associated with You-Know-Who," Rose replied.

Scorpius' eyes grew.

"I am through asking you nicely," Snape cut in. "Move out of my way."

"I…I," Rose stuttered.

"Do not stand in my way," Snape warned.

"Stay with Scor-Draco," Rose ordered.

"I will do no such thing."

"Damnit I don't have time for this! Teach Draco occlumency while I'm gone. I don't care what you do, so long as you stay here!"

"Why would I teach Draco occlumency when he's already taking lessons from Bellatrix?"

Rose's face went rouge.

"We can play chess," Scorpius suggested.

"I will do no such thing," Snape pushed Rose aside.

"Don't take one more step," Rose ordered.

Snape opened the door.

"Stupefy!"

Snape collapsed to the ground.

Scorpius gasped. "You…you…"

Rose gripped her wand tighter. "Please watch my father. That spell should last for eight hours. You know where the healing potions are. Feel free to ingest as many as you require. In the meantime, I'm going to protect my students."

Without waiting for him to answer, Rose charged out of the dungeons.

She reached the top of the stairs. Hexes flew around her. A cacophony of shouts flooded the hallway. Professors and former aurors darted about. Yet Rose's only focus remained on reaching the Slytherin Dungeon.

As Rose raced down the Dungeon Corridor, she scanned the area for Violet. It was unclear how good an omen it was for her presence to be lacking. If need be, Violet could fly away, provided she wasn't caught off guard. If she had been caught unaware of her situation though...

Rose's chest constricted. A mob had formed in front of the Slytherin Common Room. Pushing through them would prove impossible. Her only option was to fly above them.

Rose cringed as the ceiling scraped the back of her heels. A few times she put her hand on an auror's face and pushed him aside. Despite the minor difficulties she was able to descend before the crowd with relative ease.

She cast a sonoros spell. "What are all of you doing?"

The aurors grew silent and still.

"Do you not understand how counterproductive storming the Slytherin Dungeon is?" Rose asked.

"Hermione?" someone from the center of the crowd asked.

"Yes, I'm Hermione," Rose asked.

"Wh-why are you dressed in Professor Snape's robes?"

"That is none of your concern."

"How do we know you're really, Hermione Granger?" another one asked.

"Yeah," another noted. "You don't have the same shade of eyes as she does."

"I'm experimenting with different eye coloring charms," Rose argued.

"Why would you do that?"

"The ability to change one's appearance is quite a valuable skill, would you not agree?"

They murmured their assent.

"Returning to the issue at hand," Rose continued. "Storming the Slytherin Common Room and harassing the students will only serve to infuriate them."

"We are not harassing them," one shouted. "We're trying to arrest them."

"For what crime?"

"For being involved with the Dark Lord."

"There are better ways to go about this then to sneak in and capture them in the dead of night."

They said nothing.

"If we do not go about this properly, the consequences will be dire. Those who have no interest in the Dark Lord might join his ranks simply to avenge their Slytherin comrades, and those who do have an interest in him will only be emboldened by this attack."

The aurors stared at her.

"My proposal is to return in the morning and only arrest those who can be proven to have committed a crime. Leave the rest be," Rose proposed.

"They're going to escape if we wait until the morning," one argued.

"The school is more than capable of detaining them."

"What the hell has gotten into you?"

Rose remained impassive.

"These Slytherins are current and future Death Eaters. You-Know-Who recruits from this house. Why are you sticking up for them?" the auror asked.

"As a muggleborn, I have experienced discrimination myself," Rose replied.

"Discrimination at the hands of Slytherins," one added.

"True," Rose pointed to a Slytherin emblem. "This house has a sordid history. Still, many a great wizard has come from Slytherin. We cannot disgrace them by discriminating against an entire house."

A few backed away.

"Why are you standing up for people who have attacked you?" an auror asked.

"I am not standing up for anyone," Rose replied. "I am trying to prevent an injustice from occurring. Come back in the morning. We can work things out from there."

Three fourths of the mob strolled away.

One auror approached Rose. "Something doesn't seem right about you."

"Why would you think there was anything not right about me?" Rose asked.

"First of all, you're too old to be Hermione," he replied.

Four aurors drew closer to her.

"As stated before, I've been experimenting with various charms," Rose replied as she grabbed her wand. "Some of them may not have worn off yet."

"You," the auror's eyes were inflamed. "You aren't Hermione! You're an imposture helping the students to escape."

Rose hexed him into the wall.

The others charged at her. Before she could cast a protective spell, a hex shot up her left leg. The limb buckled under her. Blood trickled from her knee.

"Incarcerous!"

Rose flew up before the ropes could touch her body.

Another hex shot up her right arm. She winced, but somehow managed to maintain control of her wand. Another hex struck her stomach. Rose took a deep breath before shouting, "Protego!"

A shield formed around her. The hexes rebounded from it.

Rose shouted out her own hexes while dodging the aurors' hexes. One by one, the aurors scurried away. The last one fired a hex which slammed against the door.

Rose's ears rang. The room spun around.

"Let's try this again…"

"Sectumsempra!" Rose pointed her wand at his arm and made a downwards motion.

The auror dropped his wand and screamed. Seizing her opportunity, Rose fired off one more hex which pushed him down the hallway. With a yelp, he limped down the Dungeon Corridor.

"Rose?"

Rose swallowed her bile. "Violet?"

"Yes?" Violet asked.

"Is everyone in there well?" Rose asked.

"Yes, although we're scared out of our wits," Violet answered.

Rose groaned.

"What is going on out there?" Violet asked. "Why were people trying to attack us?"

"Nothing, just," Rose slurred "Don't leave the dorms for any reason. Stay inside until I tell you that it is safe to leave."

"Fine," Violet replied.

Rose panted and forced herself to stand up. Then she stared down the empty hallway. She pleaded with her mind to focus on anything other than her father's stupefied body lying on the Dungeon floor.