Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 23

AN: Thank you so much for the support! I deeply appreciate it!

Draco slammed the newspaper onto the kitchen table. Orion dropped his spoon, splashing milk and Cheerios all around his bowl. Ginevra took a sip of tea, her expression impassive.

"I shouldn't have expected anything other than this," Draco muttered.

Ginevra set down her tea cup. "What's wrong?"

Draco held up the newspaper and pointed to the front page. "Have you seen this headline?"

Ginevra took the paper from him. She scratched her chin. "New Magical Water Filtration System Reduces Number of Squibs."

"Yes," Draco growled.

"What's so bad about fil-fa," Orion put his spoon back in his bowl. "Whatever you're talking about?"

Ginevra's eyes trailed down the article. "Other than Percy sounding like a pompous jerk again, I'm not entirely sure what's offensive about it either."

"Where is the mention of the aurors attacking innocent civilians and destroying their homes?" Draco demanded.

"Good question." Ginevra thumbed through the pages, her eyes growing with every flip.

"The aurors aren't going to arrest you, are they Daddy?" Orion asked.

His eyes softened. "No. Nobody is going to arrest me."

"Good," Orion replied. "I was really scared about that last night."

Draco went over to his son and kissed him on the forehead. "Your mother and I don't plan on leaving you alone for a very, very long time."

Orion smiled. "Good. I don't want you to go."

Ginevra glanced up from the paper. "There's nothing here about any attacks on anyone."

"Exactly," Draco replied. "The Ministry's aurors are abusing their power and nobody is saying a word about it. Then again, compared to what outfit Aaron Cobb plans to wear during the International Gobstones Tournament, I suppose an auror destroying your house is a minor story. "

"Perhaps what happened to us was an isolated incident," Ginevra suggested.

Orion took a bite of his food.

"How certain are you of that?" Draco asked.

Before Ginevra could utter a word, the fireplace erupted. She strolled over to it. Her heart stopped upon seeing the condition of the man on the other side. "Scorpius?"

"Mum!" he exclaimed. "It is so great to see you."

"What happened to your cheek?"

"I got into a bit of a scuffle."

Draco approached the fireplace.

"Did one of your students misfire their wand?" Ginevra asked.

"I wish that were the case," Scorpius replied.

"Did an auror attack you?" Draco asked.

Scorpius swallowed. "Why would you ask such a thing?"

"Because the aurors attacked us as well," Draco replied.

"I see," Scorpius drawled.

"Wait, did the aurors attack Hogwarts?" Ginevra asked.

Scorpius nodded.

"Scorpius!"

"Orion?"

The child pushed his parents aside. "Look at my tooth. It wiggles."

"Let me see," Scorpius replied.

Orion moved one of his front bottom teeth with his tongue.

"It'll be ready to come out soon," Scorpius noted.

Orion nodded. "I'll get a visit from the tooth fairy when it comes out. Daddy said she may give me twenty galleons."

"Twenty galleons," Scorpius gasped. "I only received ten galleons."

"Wow," Orion replied. "I must be very special then!"

"You are," Scorpius answered.

"Orion honey," Ginevra placed a hand on his back. "Please finish your breakfast."

"But I want to say hi to Scorpius," he protested.

"I know," Ginevra replied. "But right now Daddy, Scorpius, and I are discussing a very serious matter."

"Can I talk too?" Orion asked.

"Maybe when you're older," Draco answered.

Orion pouted.

"Finish eating so we can ride your unicorn," Ginevra offered.

Orion's face lit up. "Bye Scorpius."

Draco watched his son scurry back to the table. He shook his head. If only it were so easy to get Orion to make his bed…

Ginevra lowered her voice. "How many aurors attacked the school?"

"About thirty of them invaded Hogwarts," Scorpius answered.

"Thirty?" Ginevra exclaimed.

"Yes, thirty," Scorpius replied.

"Oh my," she exhaled.

"Did they ever give you a clear indication of why they attacked Hogwarts?" Draco asked.

"All of them believed they were in the middle of the Second Wizarding War," Scorpius replied.

"All of them?"

"Yes, all of them."

Draco hummed.

"Perhaps the weirdest thing was that Uncle Severus believed himself to be the potions professor at Hogwarts as well," Scorpius continued.

Draco's eyes bulged. "Excuse me?"

Scorpius spoke softer, "Rose wants to keep it a secret, but yes, Uncle Severus was convinced that he was still employed at Hogwarts."

Ginevra bit her lower lip.

"Rose finally had to subdue him so she could guard the Slytherins against the aurors."

"Please tell me nobody was seriously injured."

Scorpius gave them a small grin. "As far as Headmaster Longbottom can tell, none of the students was injured last night. Most of the faculty is banged up pretty good, but from what I understand nobody's injuries are life threatening."

"Thank goodness for small miracles," Ginevra exhaled.

"Did Severus ever regain his memory?" Draco asked.

"Yes," Scorpius replied. "He regained it early in the morning. When I last saw him, he was tending to Rose's injuries."

"That is great news indeed," Draco replied. "Still, it doesn't answer the question of why none of this is being reported in The Daily Prophet."

"It didn't make the newspaper?" Scorpius asked.

"Apparently the Ministry doesn't find it necessary to inform the public of why it's being attacked," Draco replied.

"I see," Scorpius answered. "What about Grandpa Lucius? Was he attacked?"

"No, he is in Marseilles at the moment along with your grandmother," Draco replied. "That being said, I should check on Malfoy Manor to see if there was any damage done, and if so, how much."

"That would be wise," Ginevra answered. "It would also be wise to contact Antlia and Carina to see how they are faring."

"They're fine," Scorpius cut in. "I flooed them this morning. They weren't aware that anything was amiss."

"Thank goodness," Ginevra muttered.

"Indeed," Draco mused.

"Anyway, I need to leave soon. Headmaster Longbottom has called a meeting to discuss the auror incident. He wanted to get all the information he could before making a concrete solution, which is one of the reasons I called you."

"I don't believe there is anything left to tell you. We were attacked, and The Daily Prophet refuses to so much as allude to it."

"Okay, thank you Dad," Scorpius answered.

"Sweetie," Ginevra began. "Do be careful. We worry about you."

"I worry about all of you as well," Scorpius replied.

"Take care of yourself, and if you ever need help we are only a floo call away," Ginevra offered.

"I know," Scorpius replied. "I'm only a floo call away as well."

"I know." Ginevra blew him a kiss. "I love you."

"I love you too Mum, Dad."

Draco gave him a small grin. "I love you as well Scorpius. Take care of yourself, and let us know if anything further develops."

"I will," Scorpius promised.

The flames died.

Draco crumpled the paper. "Those lying, conniving Ministry snakes."

Ginevra raised an eyebrow.

"Don't you see?" he continued. "They're covering all of this up. They won't publish it in the news because they are in some way responsible for this."

"How?" Ginevra asked.

"I don't know," Draco admitted. "But somehow, someway, the Ministry is tied to all this, I just know it."

"Well, perhaps you should do something about it then," Ginevra suggested.

"What exactly do you have in mind?" Draco asked.

She gave him a sly smile. "I think you know exactly what needs to be done."

Ginevra sauntered out of the room before he could respond.

"Hermione?" Severus whispered into her ear.

She did not open her eyes or make a sound.

Severus ran his fingers through Hermione's hair. It was so soft yet so wild. He pressed her body against his. It was so warm, so real.

His stomach lurched as she placed her hand across his torso. Aside from one regrettable incident early in our marriage, I have never lied to her. She is the only person who has never pressed me into service, who has never attempted to become my master. All she has ever asked in return for her love was honesty. How could I lie to her face in light of all that?

He felt her hair underneath his palms. For now, it existed.

Severus relaxed. I did what needed to be done. This incident will pass, and Hermione will be none the wiser. In no way will this little protection measure have a long-term effect upon our marriage.

He closed his eyes and settled into bed. Hermione is here with me, and she is healthy. In the end, that is the only truth which matters.