Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 26

AN: Thank you so much for the support! It is deeply appreciated!

"Professor Snape!"

Rose's heart pounded against her ribs.

"Please Professor Snape, come out!"

Beads of sweat trickled down Rose's brow. Why on tonight of all nights, did two of the most headache inducing people in Britain decide to pay her a visit?

"Professor Snape! Come out! We need you!"

Rose stood. What could these dunderheads possibly want with Dad?

"He isn't answering."

"Do you think he's gone?"

"Only one way to find out."

Rose held her breath. Perhaps if I am still they won't sense my presence.

Pound! Pound!

"We know you're in there Professor Snape!"

"We aren't leaving until you open this door."

The banging was now louder.

"I'm coming," Rose called, holding her head in her hands. Why must Arthur and Bill pester her tonight?

Bang!

She opened the door. "What do you want?"

"Hermione? Is that you?"

Rose groaned. The only thing more obnoxious than a Weasley is a Weasley with amnesia.

Arthur embraced her. "It is so great to know you're safe."

"Sure," Rose mumbled before poking up her head.

Bill scratched his chin. "Your eyes look different."

"Yes," Rose squeaked. "I've been experimenting with various eye color charms."

"Why did you choose blue?" Bill asked.

"Because I had difficulty casting the spell to make my eyes black," Rose explained.

Arthur released her and examined her face. "You did an excellent job on your eye coloring charm. Your eyes look quite lovely."

Bile crawled up Rose's throat.

"What in blazes were you doing in Professor Snape's chambers?" Bill asked.

"Dad-er Professor Snape and I are having an occlumency lesson," Rose lied.

"An occlumency lesson?" Arthur asked.

Rose nodded. "Headmaster Dumbledore believed since I knew so much about Harry Potter, my mind should be protected from Vol…He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

"That is wise of him," Arthur admitted.

"Indeed," Rose replied.

"Does he plan on teaching Ron occlumency?" Arthur asked.

"Dumbledore believes Ron's mind is safe from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," Rose replied. After all, does one need a mind in order to protect it.

"Why are you dressed in all black?" Bill asked.

Rose shrugged, "I believed that if I dressed like Professor Snape, I would be more able to mimic his mannerisms. If I can mimic his mannerisms then perhaps I can learn the secrets of occlumency more easily."

The men stared at her.

"I read in a magazine that mimicking someone builds trust. I do not know how accurate the article is, but it was worth a try."

"Whatever you say," Bill drawled.

Arthur crept towards her chambers.

"Who said you could come in here?" Rose demanded.

"I'm sorry to intrude, but we need to speak to Professor Snape about the order meeting," Arthur replied.

"He is not available at the moment."

"Why not?"

"He," Rose bit her lower lip. "He is dealing with a personal issue."

"What would that be?" Arthur asked.

Rose answered, "Let's just say last night's beef was not cooked properly."

Bill's face turned green.

"That's just great," Arthur threw up his hands. "We are in the midst of a crisis and Professor Snape is stuck in the bathroom."

"I do apologize for the inconvenience," Rose stepped between Arthur and the restroom. "But you will need to return at a later time."

"We need to speak with him now," Bill insisted.

"He is not available now."

"Then he needs to make himself available."

"Excuse me?" Rose spat. "Do you believe he's nothing more than your glorified house elf, that if you snap your fingers enough times he will obey your command without question?"

"We need to speak with him," Bill argued.

"He needs to rest," Rose asked.

"Perhaps we could speak with him, but tell him he does not need to take any action tonight," Arthur suggested.

"Now there is an improvement," Rose argued. "You will only talk to him, but you will do it in such a way that he understands that he must take action now. If you cannot order him around directly, then why not do it indirectly?"

"Don't get self-righteous with us," Bill warned. "We are in the middle of a crisis and we need Professor Snape now."

"He is not available at the moment, so you need to leave," Rose insisted.

Bill stood over her. "No."

Rose glowered at him, She smirked as he began to wilt under her gaze.

"There's no time for arguing," Arthur insisted. "If Professor Snape is out of commission then we need a new plan."

"Great," Rose answered. "You are more than free to formulate a new plan outside of Professor Snape's, office."

"Aren't you interested in helping us?" Bill asked.

"Honestly," Rose replied. "I am far more concerned with my occlumency lessons."

"Occlumency?"

She nodded.

"How could you turn your back on your friends?" Bill snapped. "Harry and Ron are out there fighting somewhere, and you're busy cozying up to Snape."

"I cannot speak for Ron," Rose lied. "But I have already seen Harry. He is quite well."

"Where is he?"

"In the Forbidden Forest," Rose replied. Please let that be believable.

Bill exhaled. "Well at least at he's fine."

"Now that you know where Harry is, you may leave the Hogwarts grounds," Rose replied.

"What about Ron?" Arthur shook. "Where is he?"

"That, I do not know," Rose replied.

"Then we need to search for him," Bill answered.

"No, you need to search for him," Rose replied. "I need to finish my business here."

"Do you not care for Ronald at all?"

"At the moment, I couldn't care less what becomes of him."

"How can you care so little for Ron after all you two have been through?"

"I do apologize if I am coming across as unfeeling," Rose replied. "Still, I have a long night ahead of me. I would like to begin my work in peace."

Arthur's eyes softened. "You're scared for them, aren't you?"

Rose bowed her head and answered in a soft voice, "I will admit to being very scared for Harry."

Arthur lifted her head. "What about Ron?"

Rose backed away from him. "No, I can safely say I am not frightened for him in the slightest."

Arthur sighed. "I know things have been turbulent between you two as of late…"

"Turbulent is an understatement."

"But I also see how you look at him. You adore him."

Rose covered her mouth and gagged.

"I know Ron isn't the easiest person to love…"

"Love?" Rose spat.

"Yes," Arthur replied. "Love."

Rose groaned. How did Dad tolerate all this "destiny duo" tripe during the first years of his marriage of Mum?

"Love is a powerful force," Arthur continued. "It can help us forgive a multitude of wrongs, can help us overcome insurmountable obstacles, and can help us become the people we want to be. You and Ron have something special. Don't throw it away in a fit of rage."

"That's enough," Rose snapped.

The men stepped back.

"I have had enough of both of you," Rose continued. "I told you that Professor Snape is not available, and I told you that I am tending to him in exchange for occlumency lessons. I have no intention of neglecting my duties, so you will need to search for Ron on your own."

Arthur took her hand. "You need to come with us."

She pulled herself away from him. "I will remain here in order to keep my promise to tend to Professor Snape."

"Hermione, it's too dangerous to stay here," Arthur argued.

"Believe me, I am quite safe here," Rose argued.

"Arthur! What are you doing?"

Rose flinched.

Arthur's face lit up. "Thank goodness you're here. I just found Hermione."

Rose buried her head into her hands. As if the night could not get anymore obnoxious...

"She's a bit upset about Ron, Mum," Bill replied. "Perhaps you could talk some sense into her."

Molly glared at the other woman. "That isn't Hermione. That's her spawn, Rose."

Bill cocked his head. "How can Hermione have a spawn?"

Rose glanced up.

Molly's frown deepened. "Have you forgotten all the pain this person's existence has caused us?"

"Indeed my existence caused all of you quite a bit of pain," Rose put her hand on Arthur and Bill's backs. "Given how troublesome my existence is for you, I would strongly suggest you leave and allow me to get on with my evening."

Rose pushed the Weasley men towards the door.

"Not so fast," Molly shouted.

Rose cringed.

"We have things to discuss."

"Why would I want to converse with you?"

Molly pointed to Rose's chest. "I've heard all about you and your teaching methods. You have been unfairly targeting my grandchildren. How can you defend your deplorable behavior?"

Rose rolled her eyes.

"Don't you look at me like that," Molly ordered.

"Molly dear," Arthur began. "What are you going on about?"

"We will discuss it later," Molly returned her attention to Rose. "As for you, there is no defense for your teaching methods!"

"As much as I would love to discuss my teaching methods, my office hours have concluded," Rose replied. "If you would like to speak with me you may do so in another century or so."

Molly's face reddened. "You won't get away with this forever! One day, you will get exactly what you deserve!"

"Just like your son has received what he's deserved for kidnapping me."

"Oh would you let that go?"

"No," Rose snapped. "I refuse to forget that I almost died at Fenrir's hands courtesy of your son's idiocy."

"You, you're just like Snape," Molly argued.

"A fact of which I am quite proud," Rose replied.

"I'm sorry Mum, but what are you and Hermione talking about?" Bill asked.

Molly glared at Rose. "We're discussing how badly she wishes she was a Weasley."

"I would rather kiss a centaur's arse than be a Weasley," Rose replied.

Molly snorted, "And to think Hermione thought she could convince Ron to raise you."

"I am very grateful she failed that endeavor, assuming she attempted it at all," Rose answered.

Molly huffed before turning to the men. "Let's go. Rose needs time to stew in how pathetic her life is."

Bill followed her out.

Arthur took one last glimpse of Rose. "Please ignore my wife's outburst. She is under an enormous amount of stress at the moment."

"From what I gather, she's been under an enormous amount of stress for the last twenty-five years," Rose replied.

"She means well."

"No, she really does not mean well at all."

"Come Arthur!"

He nodded before shutting the door behind him.

Rose slumped down into her sofa and moaned.

She'd more than earned her trip to Australia.

"I can't believe it"

"Neither can I."

"After all their efforts to break in, after all their pushing and shoving," Scorpius shook his head. "All they wanted to do is play Quidditch."

"It would appear that way," Headmaster Longbottom answered.

Scorpius and Neville watched the players whirling about the sky. The snitch buzzed around their heads before ascending into the clouds. A few players chased it while others attempted to throw the blunger into the hoop. The crowd cheered and applauded.

"Is this how people used to love Quidditch?" Scorpius asked.

Neville's eyes misted. "Yes."

For five more minutes they watched the game.

Scorpius asked, "Should we find a way to escort them off the premises?"

Headmaster Longbottom shook his head. "Right now they are causing no harm. If we force them to leave, though, a riot may break out. It would be better to monitor them and only step in if things become too rambunctious."

"What about the students?" Scorpius asked. "This game could keep them awake."

"Another battle would keep them awake as well, and would put them in physical danger."

"Very true."

Neville made his way for the staircase. "All that being said, I should go out and ensure that they do not become unruly."

"May I go with you?" Scorpius asked. "At the moment I am not tired, and I haven't seen a crowd this enthusiastic about Quidditch since I was a child."

"I suppose there's no harm in you watching for an hour or so," Neville replied. "Provided that you do not become too devastated when Slytherin loses."

"That's where you're wrong," Scorpius followed him. "Slytherin is going to cream Ravenclow."

"Is that so?" Neville asked.

"It is," Scorpius replied. "They're already up by fifty points."

There was a twinkle in Neville's eyes. "I suppose they are."