Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 45

AN: Thank you for sticking with me! It means a lot!

There has to be some way to help Dad.

"Zach, I know you'll grow to love this baby if it's yours."

Rose suppressed a groan.

"Damnit Kendall, I didn't want a baby. I never wanted my own baby, and I sure as hell don't want anyone else's."

Muriel sobbed and dabbed her eyes with a handkerchief. Rose scowled.

How does Grandma endure this inane show?

"I know you didn't want children, but this baby is a miracle. I know you're going to love it."

"Assuming that it's even mine."

Rose pinched the edge of her blanket and allowed her mind to wander to her dad's latest predicament, and how she could best help him.

When Dad says I am healthy, I will hand over my memories to him. Yet by the time I am able to do so he may have already determined the cause of his ailment, if not found a cure. Even if he hasn't found a cure by the time I am well, I was one of the last to come into contact with the aurors. It's doubtful I saw anything significantly different than anyone else did.

"I know we can get through this."

"There's nothing to get through. If you aren't pregnant with my baby then I am filing for divorce."

Rose's heart skipped a beat. Dad will have the memories of my colleagues as well as the Malfoys, but he may have difficulty in obtaining them from anyone else. I wonder if I could help with that somehow.

"You didn't just sleep with anyone, you slept with the one person I hate above all. How could you do that to me?"

Rose's eyes grew. There is someone I could interview about his episodes-someone Dad would never contact.

"Next week on Stanley's Corner…"

"I want you to perform a DNA test on my baby."

Rose's body numbed. How would Dad react to my reaching out to him? Would he consider it a betrayal, or would he see it as the attempt to help that it is intended to be? What if the amnesiac in question doesn't respond to me, or spends most of our meeting criticizing Mum?

"Can you live without her Zach?"

Am I meeting with this person for the right reasons? If I contact him, would my motives be purely academic, or would this be more about resolving some of my other recent questions? Should I trust that Dad can gather enough data, or is this interview vital for helping Dad understand the cause of his illness?

"I will always love Kendall, but I don't know if I can be in love with her."

Rose raised her chin. I cannot just sit on a couch and hope everything resolves itself. When I was kidnapped, Dad fought a pack of lycanthropes to rescue me. I need to return the favor, if only in a small way.

"Damn you Zach," Muriel muttered.

Click.

Rose turned to her grandmother.

Muriel blew her nose. "I apologize Rose. I shouldn't get this emotional over a stupid soap opera, but if you saw how these two began and how many obstacles they overcame, well, you would understand why I'm so invested in them."

"No, I somewhat understand. After all, who doesn't enjoy a good love story?"

"Indeed."

Rose stood up. "Do you have a pen and paper?"

"Sure," Muriel answered.

"Good," Rose replied, knowing full well what needed to be done.

To All Citizens of Great Britain:

I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation for your support. Thanks to our calls for action, the Ministry has finally addressed the issue of this amnesia epidemic. Despite my esteemed opponent conceding that a problem exists, however, there has been no clear solution offered. At the time of this letter, there has been no proposed widespread research project, no calls for test subjects, and no hint as to a timeline of resolving this crisis. This is unacceptable.

Many may argue that action is unwarranted at the moment. Last night there were no reported cases of nocturnal amnesia, so it would seem as if the crisis has been resolved. This could prove to be an illusion. All of us understand the dynamics behind long-lasting curses and potions which only manifest themselves under certain conditions. Until we understand the cause of this amnesia, we cannot afford inaction.

Since the Ministry has shown little interest in putting together a research project, I am calling for amnesia victims and those who have witnessed their loved ones suffering from a bout of amnesia to send in their memories of the few hours before the episode to my team of researchers. The memories will be used solely for the purpose of determining a cause of this illness. Any memories which could physically, mentally, or emotionally harm someone will not be used. Full confidentiality is assured.

I hope you will consider aiding me in any way possible. Together we will strive towards a cure for this disease.

-Draco Malfoy

"What do you think, Dad?" Victor asked.

Severus nodded. "That is quite eloquent and precise. Very nicely done."

Victor beamed.

Arthur's hands trembled as he held up the letter. A tear stained the parchment. For so long he had dreamed of this moment. Even as he reread the letter he wasn't sure if it was real...

"Arthur?"

He glanced at the woman standing in the doorway.

"Who was the owl from?"

"Nobody you should be concerned with, Molly."

"Why would you say that? If we're married then what concerns you should automatically concern me."

Arthur rolled his eyes and sat down at his desk. "Believe me when I say the contents of this letter are none of your concern."

Molly furrowed her eyebrows. "Don't, don't tell me it's Draco's latest dribble."

Arthur bit his tongue.

"It's treasonous to help him. Simply treasonous! I, I cannot believe you'd even read his awful letters…"

"Damnit let me conduct my own affairs!"

She gasped. "You, you really are considering helping that fiend!"

"Do not call the father of my grandchildren a fiend," he retorted.

"I'll call him whatever I bloody well want to."

"If you must call him names, then do so out of my presence."

"Fine," Molly snorted. "I'm off to bed. Join me when you can."

"I might," Arthur answered.

"You might?" Molly snapped.

"I, I'm not feeling well," Arthur answered. "I may sleep in one of the guest rooms tonight."

"How is sleeping in a guest bedroom going to make you feel better?"

"It will assure me that you don't catch whatever bug I've picked up."

"You can't be that sick!"

"Well I am!"

"Fine! Whatever! Good night!"

She stormed down the hallway.

Arthur took a shaky breath before rereading the letter. Then he pulled out some stationary. He thrust his quill into the ink pot before writing:

Dearest Rose,

I would love nothing more than to have lunch with you. Would Sunday at noon work?

Best,

Arthur

He folded the letter and sealed it. As he tied it to the owl he said a little prayer that perhaps he could begin to find healing.