AN: Thank you all so much for the support! I am deeply appreciative for each and every one of you. If you celebrate it, have a happy and restful Thanksgiving!
They aren't ready.
Rose slashed through another sentence with a red ink quill. With a scowl, she wrote her corrections atop the scribbles which attempted to pass for a sentence. Afterwards she sighed.
These are my best students. Their enthusiasm for potions rivals my own, and they know their way around a cauldron. They are hopeless when writing essays though.
Are they truly this ill-prepared, are they simply nervous about the upcoming exam, or am I an ineffective instructor?
Rose buried her head into her hands. If it is my last fear, please do not let my students suffer for my inefficiency.
Rose startled and turned her attention to the roaring fireplace.
"Rose, I apologize if you are busy, but we need to talk."
"I am coming Aunt Ginevra," Rose leapt from her desk and darted to the fireplace. Then she peered at the face in the ashes. "What do you need from me?"
"Would it be okay if I came into your quarters?" Ginevra asked. "I don't want to discuss this anywhere close to Draco."
"Are you keeping a secret from him?"
"Let's just say he does not need to know this conversation ever occurred."
Rose gestured for her to enter and backed away. Soon, her aunt materialized before her.
"Are you well?" Rose asked.
Ginevra brushed the soot from her dress. "I'm doing great. How about you?"
Rose grinned. "I am doing quite well all things considered."
"I am afraid so."
Ginevra gave her a small grin. "Your mother told me you had cut back on teaching."
Rose nodded. "I only teach fifth years and higher now. The rest of my time is dedicated to helping Dad find a cure for Mum."
"How is that going?"
"We are on track to treat the amnesia epidemic," the light in Rose's eyes died. "But we are both frustrated on our lack of progress on Mum's cancer."
Ginevra embraced her goddaughter. "If anyone can solve your parents' problems, it's you and him."
"I hope so," Rose wrapped her arms around her aunt. "We are running out of time to help Mum, and we both know it."
Ginevra squeezed Rose tighter.
Rose's voice cracked. "I do not know what to do. All of my students need me, and both of my parents do. I cannot meet the needs of everyone, at least not effectively."
"It must be hard," Ginevra whispered.
"It is extremely hard to hold myself together most days," Rose admitted.
Ginevra kissed Rose's head before releasing her. "I have faith in you, as do both of your parents. All of you will find a way through this."
"Thank you," Rose choked.
Ginevra cleared her throat. "Sadly, this is not merely a social call."
"No, I suppose it is not."
"I need to discuss something which concerns you and your parents."
Rose's heart stopped. "Did Mum have a setback today?"
"No," Ginevra replied. "I spoke with her this morning, and she is doing just fine. Still, I needed to warn her of what I am about to say to you."
"Why do we not discuss what you wish to tell me over a cup of tea then?" Rose offered.
"Tea sounds like a lovely idea."
"Which kind would you like? I have earl gray, black, peppermint, and lemon ginger."
"I would not mind some black tea."
Rose gave her a small smile. "That is exactly what I planned on having."
"I know," Ginevra answered.
Rose strolled towards her kitchen. "Am I truly that predictable?"
"No, but your father is, and you are very much like him," Ginevra followed her
"I am very proud of that fact," Rose picked up a tea pot and opened it, and stuck her wand inside. "Aguamenti."
"I am so glad to hear you say that," Ginevra answered.
"Honestly," Rose removed her wand from the tea kettle. "I am happy to be confident enough to say it. I finally feel like I am truly his firstborn daughter regardless of what any Weasley insinuates."
"That is such a relief," Ginevra replied as Rose set the tea pot on the stove.
"Indeed." Rose turned on the burner.
"Yes," Ginevra stood up straighter "I actually came here to discuss the Weasleys with you."
Rose's stomach sank. "Please do not tell me Ronald has another idiotic scheme to get back into my good graces."
"I'm sure he does, but that isn't why I'm here," Ginevra answered.
"Then why are you here?" Rose asked.
Ginevra inhaled. "Recently I've been speaking with my dad and George. All of us agree that Percy needs to be brought to justice by any means possible, within reason of course."
"We've finally settled on a course of action we think will lure him out."
"What would that be?"
"Our plan is for my dad to pretend to be deathly ill."
Rose snorted. "No offense to you or your scheme, but I highly doubt that Percy will come to see his not-so ailing father. From my experience, he is incapable of caring for anyone other than himself."
"I know," Ginevra replied. "Which is why we're making it politically worth his while."
Rose raised an eyebrow.
"For the last week and a half we've been giving him skewed polls. All of them have him in the lead, and all of them say that they'd voted for the candidate who seems most loyal to his family."
Steam escaped out of the tea pot. Rose opened the kettle and put the tea into it.
"If Percy doesn't see Arthur then his political career will be over," Ginevra continued.
"It already is over," Rose noted.
There was a spark in Ginevra's eyes, "But he doesn't know that."
"He knows he is wanted for questioning in the amnesia epidemic though."
"True, but if we could persuade him to visit Dad under the cover of night, then we have a chance of drawing him out and arresting him then and there."
"He would never suspect his father capable of such a deception."
"No, he wouldn't."
Rose smirked. "I did not think any Weasley other than your children had any Slytherin in them."
Ginevra's lips curled up. "Desperate times call for desperate measures."
"Indeed they do."
The kettle hissed.
"I told your mother about this plan earlier in the day, and she gave me her blessing to tell you about it," Ginevra continued.
Rose pulled out two porcelain tea cups. "Which one do you want?"
Ginevra pointed to the one on the right. Rose set them down onto the counter.
"Why did she want me in on the plan?" Rose asked.
"We did not want you to be caught by surprise by the news that your biological grandpa is " Ginevra made scare quotes, "'ill,' nor did we want you to feel obligated to see him."
"I thank you for the concern," Rose poured the tea.
"It was only right to tell you," Ginevra replied.
Rose set the tea pot back on the stove, and paused. "H-how much about this plan does Dad know about?"
"I would imagine that your mother told him everything," Ginevra answered. "There is no reason your father shouldn't know about this."
Rose scratched the counter. "If he is confused about anything, I can fill in the blanks."
Rose handed her a tea cup. "I believe Percy is not the only one who could be ensnared with this plan.."
Ginevra accepted the cup. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that with a little cunning we might be able to nab Ron too," Rose replied.
"How?" Ginevra asked.
"There are a couple of ways of going about this, but both of them involve me behaving like an infuriated heiress desperate for my supposed real daddy's love." Rose took a sip of tea.
"Now, Ronald wants my galleons, that is clear, but our interactions have been less than positive," Rose's lips curled up. "Yet with a little feigned guilt I could change that."
Rose took another sip of tea. "Indeed, this could work. I could lure out Ron with the right manipulations. It is not as if he would be smart enough to see through it."
"No, no you cannot do this," Ginevra answered.
"Yes, I can and I will."
"You're supposed to be curing the amnesia epidemic and your mother's cancer. You are also supposed to be teaching. This is our plan, not yours."
"Like it or not, I am already involved due to my biology."
Ginevra shook her head. "Perhaps I should have said nothing."
"No, if you did not say anything then Ronald would still have asked me for money. Also, I would have wondered if it was appropriate for me to visit Arthur. Somehow, I was going to get involved," Rose replied.
"Since I am related to Arthur biologically I could use that against Ron. I could either lure him to Britain or perhaps apprehend him in Peru."
"I wouldn't advise nabbing him in Peru. After all you can't simply body bind someone and take them to another country. You will be arrested for kidnapping."
"No, but if a drunk stumbles into the fireplace while pursuing you then there is no kidnapping at all."
"Rose, please rethink this. There is no need for you to become involved whatsoever."
"I became involved the second Ronald began harassing my parents."
Ginevra sipped her tea.
"Molly and Ronald are relentless. They will not stop harassing my parents until I give into their demands for money," Rose argued.
Ginevra sighed. "That's probably true."
"Mum and Dad cannot focus on recovering if they are being bombarded with hateful floo calls. They will be unable to move forward with their lives until this issue is put to rest."
"Your parents may be sick, but they are not helpless. You need to allow them to fight their own battles."
"Not when I was the one who started the war."
Ginevra cocked her head.
"Had I not risen to the bait and agreed to take Percy's moronic DNA test, then Ronald would have little reason to harass them. Molly would not be bullying them to the degree she is either. No, I created this mess, and I need to help clean it up."
"Ronald created this mess when he abandoned you. You were an innocent child caught in the middle of a complicated adult situation."
"I was an insecure adult who did not trust in her parents love. Because of that, they are suffering. Somehow, I need to rectify that."
"Then cure their ailments and teach to the best of your ability. Don't get involved with this anymore than you have to."
"Then what should I do when Ronald contacts me, because we both know he will?"
Ginevra exhaled. "I don't know."
Rose put a hand on her godmother's shoulder. "I can do this. Somehow I can lure Ron out of hiding and end this farce once and for all."
"You shouldn't have to do anything."
"Yes, I do. I made an enormous error and need to correct it."
Ginevra grinned. "You are exactly like your father. Both of you have a deep need to atone for all your mistakes."
Rose dropped her hand. "Is that a terrible trait?"
"It is the trait that saved the Wizarding World," Ginevra noted. "It is also one of the traits that has kept your parents' marriage together."
Rose smiled. "I suppose so."
"Please be careful," Ginevra asked. "You are already doing so much. Don't overextend yourself."
"I promise to do my best to perform all my duties to the best of my ability," Rose replied.
"Fair enough," Ginevra relaxed. "Now, all that being said, have you been using that weighted blanket I gave you for Christmas?"
"I have," Rose grabbed her tea cup. She pointed to the living room. "I had no idea it could keep one so warm. Thank you again for it."
Ginevra watched Rose glide towards the sofa. For a moment, the red head envisioned Severus strolling to those quarters, a new scheme for torturing Gryffindors cooking in his head. If only he knew the kind of daughter he would raise….
Ginevra took her tea cup. "There's no need to thank me. I am always more than happy to help you in any way I can."
Rose glanced back. "I know you are. Whenever I am in trouble, I can always rely on you."