Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 19

AN: Thank you again for all the support! It is greatly appreciated!

Hermione glanced at the two suitcases on her bed. One was crimson, the other was black. She had packed the former, and her husband had packed the latter. Despite the difference in color, both of them were filled to the brim with clothing and other toiletries.

Why would Severus pack his bags, but never join me? What could have kept him away?

She picked up a handful of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. "Headmaster Longbottom's office."

No face appeared in the embers. She tapped her foot and bit her lower lip. Nothing manifested itself.

The flames sputtered out. Hermione ran her hands through her frazzled hair. It was a long shot to assume that Neville would be awake at six in the morning, but then again, he should have been awake at nine in the evening. Why is he not answering his floo?

Why can I not get in contact with anyone?

Another face popped into Hermione's mind. She grabbed another handful of floo powder, but did not throw it in.

I'm not sure if he's awake at this hour or not. I keep telling him to get more rest, but he is just as big a workaholic as I was at his age. I should allow him to sleep.

Hermione's arm itched.

No, if he understood the situation he would want to help. At the very least he'd know people who could search for Severus.

Floo powder leapt into the fireplace. "Victor Snape."

The flames erupted.

Hermione scratched her left arm. "Victor?"

Nothing.

"Victor honey, it's me, Mum" Hermione shouted. "I-I know it's early, but I must speak with you immediately."

A face appeared. "M-mum?"

Hermione released the breath she'd been holding. "Yes."

His eyes grew. "Mum, are you well?"

"I've been better," she admitted.

"Oh dear," he looked to his side.

"Victor, I need to speak with you right now," Hermione replied.

"Uh, I'm still wearing my pajamas," Victor answered.

"I don't care."

"You don't?"

"I changed your nappies. You cannot show me anything I haven't seen before."

"Fair enough," he replied. "You may enter."

"Thank you," Hermione replied.

Victor's face disappeared. Hermione waited a few seconds before leaping into the flames. Then, she stumbled past her son's hearth.

"Mum, what's wrong?" Victor asked.

Hermione brushed herself off. "I cannot locate your father."

Victor raised an eyebrow. "Dad is missing?"

Hermione nodded.

Victor's eyes widened. "Oh Merlin, what do you think happened to him?"

"Honestly," Hermione put her hands to her side. "I was hoping you had some clue."

Victor motioned down the hallway. Hermione nodded and followed him down to the kitchen.

"I don't have the foggiest clue where Dad would be," Victor replied. "The last thing I heard was that you and Dad were going to South America."

"Well apparently those plans have been cancelled," Hermione answered.

Victor pulled up one of his oak kitchen chairs. "Did he leave a note explaining his absence?"

Hermione sat down. "No."

"Did you cast a tracking spell?"

"It didn't work."

Victor pulled up another kitchen chair and moved it until he was facing her. "What exactly did he tell you before you left?"

Hermione leaned forward. "The last thing he said to me was that he would leave for Brazil the second the last potion was bottled."

"I take it he finished the task," Victor replied.

"I checked the basement myself," Hermione answered. "The potions were all bottled and put in their crates. His work desk was clear, and the potions which needed to be exposed to the full moon had been set out. From what I gather, he had every intention of going to Brazil. The only thing out of place was his packed suitcase on the bed."

Victor blanched. "What about Rose? Does she have any idea where he may be?"

"I tried flooing Rose, but I could only get a hold of Scorpius."

"Scorpius?"

"Yes," Hermione replied. "He was in her chambers."

"Why was he in her chambers?"

"He said she had asked him to watch over things."

"I see," Victor drawled. "What else did he say?"

Hermione pressed her back against the chair. "He told me Severus and Rose were searching for dragon lilies."

"The same dragon lilies Rose can buy at almost any greenhouse?"

"The one and the same."

Victor buried his head in his hands.

"I know you usually call Rose this time of week," Hermione began. "Did she mention anything at all about hunting for potions ingredients?"

"No," Victor replied.

"Did she mention any plans to meet with your father?"

"No, nothing."

"Did she mention anything unusual?"

"No," Victor answered. "We discussed my work and she teased me about Carina. There was no mention of any trips with Dad."

Hermione scratched her arm. Victor swallowed.

"Things aren't adding up," She mused.

"No, they aren't," Victor replied.

Hermione stopped scratching. "I did not mean to wake you up so early, but I was running out of options."

"No, I needed to know this," Victor answered. "Thank you for telling me."

"You were my last hope." Hermione deflated. "Nobody else will answer their floo."

"What do you mean by 'nobody?'"

"As mentioned earlier I have tried flowing Rose. After I spoke with Scorpius I attempted to contact Draco, Lucius, and Neville. None of them will answer their floo."

Victor gulped.

Hermione stood. "Once the clock strikes seven I am going to apparate to Hogwarts. Neville should be awake by then. If anyone knows Rose's whereabouts, it would be him."

"Will he let you into the school?" Victor asked.

"If he knows that Severus and Rose's lives could be in danger, then yes," Hermione answered.

"Very true," Victor answered.

Hermione slid back into the chair. "I truly apologize for waking you up at this hour. I knew it was unlikely that you knew anything, but if your father and sister are in danger I cannot afford not to follow every lead I could think of."

Victor put his hand on her hers. "If you cannot find them, then I know a few bailiffs who are adept at locating people."

Hermione's expression softened. "I'd appreciate the help."

Victor kissed her on the cheek. "We will find them, I promise."

"Yes," Hermione whispered. "We will."

"In the meantime," Victor rose. "Let me make you some tea."

"No," Hermione got up. "I should allow you to get your rest."

Victor put his hands on his mother's shoulders. "I insist."

"Victor."

He pressed her downwards. "Mum."

Hermione sat. "I suppose I am somewhat thirsty."

"Would you like peppermint or earl grey tea?"

"Peppermint."

Victor strolled over to stove. With a wave of his hand, the flames appeared.

"There's a reason you're my favorite son," Hermione noted.

"I work very hard to defend my title," Victor answered.

Hermione chuckled. She watched him pull out the tea pot and turn on the sink.

For the first time all night, Hermione's arm did not itch.

Rose crawled out of the bathtub. At the moment, it was difficult to determine if the pounding in her head was caused by the concussion, a lack of sleep, or soaking in the hot bath for too long. Then again, did it matter? So long as Rose could slip into her nightgown she would consider her night a success.

Her toothbrush dangled from the top of the sink. Rose groaned. Grandma and Grandpa may kill me for thinking this, but I'm positive my teeth will not fall out if I forego brushing my them for one night.

Rose knelt and threw her gown over her head. She took a few deep breaths before standing upright. The nausea returned. Rose gagged before grabbing her illuminated wand. Then, she hobbled out of the bathroom.

She trudged towards her bed, her body pleading with her to lie down with each step. After what seemed like an hour, she pulled back the covers and plopped onto the bed. She threw them over her head.

Here's to hoping things improve by tomorrow.

"Rose?"

She rolled over.

"Little One."

She stuck her wand into the dark. A familiar silhouette approached her.

"What is troubling you?"

Her heart began to race. A thousand emotions flooded her consciousness, but all she could mutter was, "Dad."