Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 196

AN: Thank you for all the support! It is very deeply appreciated!

If Violet was honest with herself, she thought she'd be home by now.

Not that she was in any serious danger of running out of rations. She'd brought enough food to last a week, and she knew how to make even those supplies last. If she was desperate, she could ask Rose for sustenance. Food was not the issue.

Hope was.

Her calculations had been so meticulous, so precise. In her heart she knew exactly where Fawkes was. He was supposed to be found in a day, two days at most.

It was the end of the fourth day.

There wasn't so much as a phoenix feather on the snow covered ground, not even a distant chirp. There was no proof Fawkes had even known the existence of this place, much less had lived there.

She stoked the fire and glanced into a grove of trees If she didn't find Fawkes she could return. Her family wouldn't love her any less, and their pride in her would remain undimmed. Could she forgive herself though? How could she look her mother in the eyes if she returned empty handed?

The embers glowed. She put her hand over them and shivered.

"Are you turnin' in fer the night?" Hagrid asked from within the tent.

A few snowflakes wafted by. "Not yet. I need a moment to reconsider my plans."

"What are you thinkin' of doin'?"

"I don't know yet."

"Well when you come up with something let me know. We'll resume our hunt tomorrow, unless you want to call it quits," Hagrid shifted in the tent.

"No, I'm not ready to give up, not yet anyway."

"Glad to hear."

Violet glanced into space and shivered again. Her mind wandered to her mother humming the phoenix's lament. Looking back, Mum probably wanted to groan every time Violet requested it. Yet Mum never complained. She hummed the tune as if it was the first time she'd ever done so.

Violet hummed the lament as she put her ladle into the kettle. Behind her the tent rumbled. She shook her head, picked up her wand and aimed it at the tent. Before she could mutter a silencing spell, there was a gleam of light in the corner of her eye.

She turned around. Her heart stopped.

Three meters before her was a soft, glowing light. It pulsated, shifting forms until it could be distinguished as a human.

The figure was dressed in a translucent robe which went down to his feet. His hair was ruffled, as if he had been dancing in the forest for hours. What captured her attention most were his piercing emerald eyes.

For the first time in four days she felt warmth, not simply a lack of cold. Either she was in deep hypothermia or the figure before her was not a ghost. What he was remained to be seen.

"Who, who are you?"

The figure gave her a small smile before turning around. He took a few steps before looking back. Then he gestured for her to follow him.

"I," Violet pointed to the tent. "I have to wake up Hagrid first."

The figure shook his head. Once again, he gestured for her to follow him.

"No, I have to stay here."

The figure took another step forward.

"I would love to follow you, but I need to wake Hagrid. He needs to know where I'm going."

The figure took two more steps away from her.

Violet kicked a pile of snow over the fire and ran towards him. He floated deeper into the forest, throwing glances towards various trees. At times his emerald eyes became misty, as if he was reliving a thousand memories. It was difficult to tell how pleasant they were.

"Are you a forest guardian?"

The figure slowed his pace.

"Do you talk?"

The figure kept looking forward.

"Please answer me. I would really appreciate knowing who, or even what, you are."

He turned his full attention to her. "Tell your dad we're even."

"How do you know my dad?"

The man pointed towards the top of the trees. Violet craned her neck. The breath left her lungs.

Two black dots amidst a mass of red feathers gazed upon her.

Violet's breath became more shallow, as if breathing too loudly would disturb the bird. This moment had been rehearsed. Ten minutes she was so certain of what she would do at this moment. Yet every plan was doomed to failure. One wrong move, and the phoenix would be lost forever.

In that moment, Violet realized there were no guidelines she could follow. Sure, there were methods of snagging a phoenix, but none of those methods applied to Fawkes. No, he had a mind, not unlike that of a human. If this mind was disrespected he would ensure that the offender was punished. One wrong move, and he would be lost forever.

The bird let out a caw. It took to the air.

Violet leapt towards the sky, careful not to allow the leafless branches to catch onto her clothing. Within moments, she was eye level with Fawkes.

The phoenix's eyes grew. Still, he flapped his wings, neither fleeing nor roosting.

"Fawkes," Violet began. "I need your help."

The bird curled its talons.

"My name is Violet Snape."

The bird darted due east. Violet flew after it, cursing herself for not considering that the last person he would want to help was a Snape.

"I am also Hermione Snape's daughter, or as you knew her, Hermione Granger."

Fawkes slowed, though he did not stop.

"My mum needs your help. She's dying of cancer. We don't know how much time she has left."

He stopped but did not descend.

"We think your fire could cure her. Rose, my older sister, is convinced your fire is the key to a cure."

Fawkes cocked its head.

"There is also a plague affecting the Wizarding World," she continued. "It's all very difficult to explain, but much of Wizarding Britain is afflicted with amnesia which only occurs in the full moon. Rose thinks your fire could cure that as well."

There was a spark in the phoenix's eyes, as if he was considering Violet's words.

"Wizarding Britain needs you right now. We need you to return to us, if only to give us hope that we haven't scared you away forever."

He locked eyes with her.

"Please." Violet folded her hands. "We need you Fawkes. Come back to us."

He stared at her for a moment, before letting out a screech. He flew away. Violet took off after him, her eyes not once straying from his fiery tail.

The phoenix glanced back. There was a gleam in his eyes before he ascended. Violet flew up after him. Snow barraged her face, blurring her vision. Still she could see that imperial red tail. If she could remain focused upon that she stood a chance of catching him.

Fawkes turned around and seemed to smirk. He plummeted towards the ground. Violet dove after him, the wind pounding against her face. For now she could not afford to feel the pain in her side or the growing dizziness. For now there was only the bird.

Fawkes zig zagged through the air, letting out a few cries. She kept up the pace. He spun around. Unlike the other birds she had encountered, Fawkes' eyes were afire with life, amusement, a purpose.

In that moment, Violet knew exactly what Fawkes wanted her to do. She sped towards him. Her heart was hammering against her chest. There wasn't enough air for her overstretched lungs. Every muscle in her screamed for relief. There was no time to heed her body though. She needed to travel just a few more centimeters, one meter at most.

She grabbed Fawkes' back and swallowed as much air as she could. The bird kept flying, not once bucking her. As she clung to him tighter, music filled her ears. Not a lament, but a song of triumph.

It was one of the most beautiful songs she'd ever heard.

After a few minutes of allowing her body to regain some of its lost energy, she pulled herself on his head. "Please Fawkes. Please come back to Hogwarts."

Fawkes maneuvered in the air so she could see the ground below her.

She blinked a few times as if her sight had failed her, but it had not. Below her was Hogwarts basking in the predawn light.

Her eyes grew as her body felt lighter. If her bones weren't still aching, she would have taken off flying. Instead, she settled for a cheer and raising her fist.

Once Fawkes began his descent, Violet pulled out her wand. "Expecto Patronum."

A kneazle appeared in a wispy form.

"Tell Hagrid we did it! We brought Fawkes home!"

The Patronus bounced off into the night. Violet let out another cheer as tears streamed from her eyes.

Mum and Dad could be saved after all!