Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 43

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

To All Hogwarts Staff:

In response to recent events, a research team has been assembled to determine the cause of what ails our fellow wizards. The members of said team have requested that we share our memories of the two hours leading up to the appearance of the amnesiacs. They hope that by viewing these memories they can determine what, if anything, these victims have in common. I have every confidence that they will discover a cure, but they will need our help to do it.

If you would like to donate your memories, please come to Headmaster Longbottom's office by 9:00 PM on Wednesday, October 27. The only memories which will be taken are those surrounding the appearance of the aurors. All memories will remain confidential. No memory which could cause any physical, psychological, or emotional harm to you or others will be taken. You may volunteer to share your memories for all of the nights, or only one of the nights. All participation is voluntary, and there will be no penalty will be leveled against those who opt not to share their memories.

Thank you again for all the work you have done to ensure the safety of our Hogwarts students. Without you, our school would be nothing but rubble. Let us all hope that the worst is behind us, and that we can return our focus to academics.

-Headmaster Longbottom

Hermione rolled out a meter long parchment over the kitchen table. She stuck a quill into a nearby ink pot. "Let's start with what we know."

"Fine," Severus replied.

"As far as we know, you did not have an episode last night," Hermione began.

"Or so we believe," Severus answered.

Hermione frowned. "What do you mean 'or so we believe?'"

Severus scooted his chair closer to the edge of the table. "There are no gaps in my memory of last night."

"At least none that you are aware of."

"Fair enough, but in incident could have occurred last night while we were both asleep. We need to leave open the possibility that I lost my memory and fell back asleep."

"True, but there is evidence that you did retain your memory." Hermione tapped the table. "According to Draco, nobody attacked his mansion last night either."

"Did Neville report any attacks?" Severus asked.

Hermione muttered, "No."

Severus gave her a half grin. "Then I suppose there is no reason to believe that I had an episode."

"Exactly."

Severus relaxed.

"There was something different about last night," Hermione concluded. "Somehow the conditions were not right for triggering an attack."

"Indeed," Severus answered.

Hermione picked up the quill. "Let's go ahead and get an overview of the last few nights. That way we can more easily determine how they differed."

"Sounds reasonable," Severus answered.

"I'm going to compare last night to two nights ago," Hermione answered. "Where were you when you blacked out?"

"At home."

"Which room were you in?"

"I do not know," Severus twisted his lips. "I believe I was in the bedroom when my episodes began."

"Bedroom," Hermione hummed as she wrote it down. "What were you doing?"

"Various things."

"Various things?"

"Yes, each night I was doing something different."

"I see," Hermione replied. "Let's stick to two nights ago: what were you doing before the episode began?"

"I went home to obtain a few ingredients for some potions I knew Rose was in the process of creating," Severus paused. "I do not believe that I ever reached the basement."

Hermione set the quill down on the parchment. "That helps us very little. It's highly doubtful that everyone was in the process of obtaining a potions ingredient, nor was anyone else in our room."

"There's also the fact that you went into that same bedroom on the same nights, yet your memory is unaffected," Severus noted.

"Indeed," Hermione set the quill into the ink pot.

"Perhaps I am a poor example of an amnesiac," Severus began.

"No, you're perfect," Hermione argued. "You're easy to interview, and I have seen one of your episodes first hand."

"Perhaps, but I am too small a sample size from which to create a working theory. It may be wise to wait until Draco gives us the memories he has promised to obtain and Neville can garner more information from his staff before drawing any conclusions."

"I would like some type of working theory though, if only to determine what kinds of things I should be looking for," Hermione answered.

"Fair enough," Severus admitted.

Hermione scratched the table. "Perhaps we're going about this the wrong way."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, right now we're looking at the actions of the individuals affected by this condition, but we aren't looking at the conditions of night itself."

"What do you mean?"

"Last night," she picked up the quill. "It was rainy."

"It was."

"Rainy," Hermione muttered as she wrote the sentence: last night was rainy onto the parchment.

"It was clear two nights ago though," Severus offered.

"You're positive of that?"

"I am."

Hermione wrote down, "Two nights ago it was clear."

"Was the weather clear the night you were to leave for Brazil?"

"I believe it was."

"I know it was cloudy three nights ago since we were in the pool together, but I also remember the moonlight coming in from the windows. I was going to ask if you wanted to go back outside, but it was clear that you were not yourself."

"Indeed I was not," Severus replied.

Hermione crossed out two nights, and wrote, all amnesiac nights.

"There was a full moon three nights ago as well," Severus noted.

"What is the phase of the moon right now?" Hermione asked.

"It," Severus' eyes grew. "It is a waxing gibbous."

"Are you certain of that?"

"Of course I am. Yesterday I removed two potions I had left to sit out in the full moonlight."

"So, we know that the three nights people had amnesia were clear with a full moon. If anyone understands the power of the moon it would be us."

"The moonlight must be interacting with some other environmental factor which triggers these episodes," Severus concluded.

Hermione snapped her fingers. "That's my theory anyway."

She wrote, The nights were clear with moonlight. Then she circled it.

"Where does that leave us then?" Severus asked.

"Well," Hermione hummed. "It means we need to figure out why exactly the moonlight is bringing on this illness."

"My first theory is a potion."

"A potion?"

"Yes, a potion could be disseminated widely," Severus tapped the table. "Yet if it's a potion then I am unclear as to how it affects me yet you are unaffected."

She wrote, Potion is widespread, perhaps too much so.

"I am also unclear as to what kind of potion could create these effects."

"Perhaps it's a new potion which interacts poorly with the moonlight."

Severus scoffed. "I would never ingest a new potion without understanding its effects completely."

"True," Hermione answered. "You would not."

Severus exhaled. "Still, it cannot be ruled out."

She underlined the word potion and wrote, maybe?

"A curse could lead to devastating effects, and there are memory altering charms," Severus proposed. "Yet I am uncertain as to how someone could get close enough to me to cast it."

"I doubt anyone could. Besides, they'd have to cast it over a wide range of people, many of whom live kilometers apart," Hermione replied.

"One person could not affect this many people."

"No, they could not."

"Still," Severus drawled. "If this was some type of organization doing this…yet what would be their goal? How were their victims chosen? Why would anyone want an entire populace to develop nightly memory loss?"

"I have no idea," Hermione replied. "Yet why would anyone administer a potion whose effects could prove so detrimental?"

"How could it be administered to anyone without their knowledge?" Severus asked.

Hermione sighed. "I have no idea."

"Still," Severus noted. "We know that the amnesia is brought about by clear, full moon nights. That's more than what we knew yesterday."

Hermione grinned. "Indeed it is."