Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 80

AN: Wow! Thank you all for the overwhelming support! It really makes posting fun!

"How could a Weasley ever be Head of the Slytherin House?"

"Unless that Weasley's name is Scorpius Malfoy, then it is impossible." Violet answered before dipping her spoon into her chicken noodle soup.

"Until now, that's what I thought too, but that isn't the case at all."

Violet turned to her friend and raised an eyebrow. "What are you going on about?"

"Your sister is a Weasley!"

Violet burst out laughing. Her companion glared at her.

"I'm sorry Rachel," Violet gasped. "But off all the outrageous things you've said, this has to be the most outlandish."

"I'm being serious," Rachel argued. "Professor Rose is a Weasley."

Violet took a deep breath. "Sure she is, just sure."

"She is."

Violet's smirk remained.

"Haven't you read your edition of The Evening Prophet?"

"I do not read rags."

Rachel held up the paper. "Perhaps you should read this one since it directly affects you."

Violet snatched it from her. The youngest Snape scanned the first three paragraphs.

"See, your sister is a Weasley," Rachel repeated.

Violet threw the paper onto the table. "This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read."

"I think it's true though," Rachel argued.

"Because Rita's stories are so credible."

"For the most part, they are."

Violet pinched the bridge of her nose. "Rita has been making up stories about my parents for decades. I highly doubt she's decided to start telling the truth about them now."

"I know Rita doesn't like your family, but this time I believe she is telling the truth," Rachel answered.

"Just because somebody wrote something in a Ministry issued newspaper does not make it true. In fact, one could argue that the fact Rita Skeeter wrote the article makes the story even more suspect."

"I know, but this story makes sense."

"How?"

"Professor Rose has blue eyes. Nobody else in your family has blue eyes."

"True, but my great-great grandfather had blue eyes. Rose probably got that trait from him."

"Then there's the DNA spell…"

"Which I'm sure Percy cast in order to manipulate the results."

"According to the paper, Rose cast a DNA spell which revealed the truth about her real paternity."

"Or Percy paid Rita to write such things."

"No, this seems legitimate."

"Every one of Rita's stories seems legitimate until you dig deeper. Then it's revealed that only a quarter of what she wrote is true."

"You have a point there."

"You'll see," Violet grinned. "After dinner we can go up to my sister and ask her how true Rita's story truly is. I'm certain that by the time this evening is over, we will all be laughing about Rita's ridiculous antics."

Rachel glanced up at the High Table "Where is Professor Rose anyway?"

"She's right there where she always..." Violet's voice trailed off.

"Where?" Rachel asked.

Violet's stomach sank.

Scorpius plopped into the seat beside Headmaster Longbottom. "Rose isn't in the dungeons."

Headmaster Longbottom did not look up from his paper. "That does not surprise me."

"Why not?" Scorpius asked.

The headmaster hummed.

"What's going on?" Scorpius demanded.

Headmaster Longbottom scratched his chin.

"If she isn't in the dungeons then where is she?"

Headmaster Longbottom turned to the young professor. "She is probably in hiding."

"In hiding?"

Headmaster Longbottom nodded.

"Why would she be in hiding?"

"Because she does not want to be hounded by the press."

Scorpius blinked

"Some important news about Rose has recently been revealed," Headmaster Longbottom began.

"What would that be?" Scorpius asked.

"It appears that Rose is your cousin on your mother's side."

"Where would you get an idea such as that?"

Headmaster Longbottom handed him the paper. At first, Scorpius smiled, but then the expression faded. His eyes widened and his face paled. Two minutes passed before he lowered the paper.

In a quiet voice, he asked, "How true is this story?"

Headmaster Longbottom sighed.

Scorpius gasped. "The story is true, isn't it?"

"I suspect it is," the headmaster admitted.

"What do you mean, suspect?" Scorpius asked.

Headmaster Longbottom took a deep breath. "This must stay between us."

Scorpius cast a muffliato charm.

"I have known Hermione since the time we were eleven. She was-and still is-loyal to a fault. She loved Ron even when it was to her detriment. Although I could envision her being exhausted by his idiotic behavior, I could never quite buy that she cheated on him."

"So, so…"

"So the story makes a certain amount of sense."

"But that would mean Aunt Hermione lied to Uncle Severus about the paternity of his child."

Headmaster Longbottom exhaled

"No," Scorpius answered. "Aunt Hermione would never do that to the man she claims to love above all others. She would never trick a man into marriage by claiming she was pregnant with his baby. That isn't her."

"No, it is not," Headmaster Longbottom admitted. "Which makes this whole situation baffling."

"Then there's a chance this story could be false," Scorpius replied.

Headmaster Longbottom ran his fingers through his hair. "I do not know what to believe anymore."

Scorpius stared at the students. The Hufflepuffs were chattering amongst themselves, while the Ravenclaws appeared pensive as usual. Meanwhile at the Slytherin table, half the students appeared to have been hit by a cannonball, while the other half were tearing their papers and decrying the story as a fabrication. Perhaps the most interesting reactions came from the Gryffindor table. One fourth of the students had bulging eyes, another half of them were pointing at the paper and explaining the story away, while a small faction looked on in triumph.

"It all makes sense!" the younger Molly announced.

"Fwhat makes sense?" the girl beside her asked.

"Professor Rose's attitude towards us," Molly replied. "All of it makes sense."

Another Gryffindor cocked his head.

"Professor Rose hates Gryffindors because she's only pretending to be a Slytherin. In reality, she is nothing more than a girl dressed up in her stepfather's clothes," Molly replied.

The boy across from her motioned for Molly to continue.

"She may not have wanted to admit it, but deep down inside she always knew she wasn't a real Slytherin. No, she's one of us."

"Are you certain of that?"

"Of course I am."

"Well, I'm not."

Molly glared at him.

"Look, I'm not a huge fan of Professor Rose, in large part because I have yet to see a single Gryffindor trait in her."

"That's because she's suppressing them."

"Sure," another one of her friends drawled.

Molly's face turned rouge. "You'll see, now that the truth has come out she'll have to be nicer to us."

"More like have to be nicer to you," one of the others muttered.

"Excuse me?" Molly snapped.

She gave Molly a small grin. "Nothing."

Molly huffed. "You'll all see. Things are going to be much different around here. My family and I will make sure of it."

George leaned back in his recliner and kicked up his feet. With the election just around the corner, it made sense that there would be more Evening Prophets. Still, this one felt different, almost life-changing.

He read the first paragraph and groaned. Why did Rita find it necessary to profit from Ron's biggest blunder? Wasn't it enough for Wizarding Britain that the man was in exile? Why feed into his delusion?

As George continued to read the article, his heart raced. By the time he reached the final paragraph, the room spun around. Finished, he allowed the paper to fall to the ground.

Rose Snape is Rose Weasley.

Rose Snape is Ron's biological daughter.

Rose Snape is George's niece.

His stomach constricted. During the past twenty-five years, he had only known of Rose through rumors. Occasionally he would get a glimpse of her when they happened to run into each other at Hogsmeade, but not a word had been spoken between the two. She had not so much as set foot inside his joke shop. Truth be told, he hadn't given much thought to her in years. Yet here was irrefutable evidence that Rose was his niece.

Tears flooded George's eyes as the truth bore down on him.

I have missed out on every part of her childhood. I should have taught her how to fly on a broom. I should have taught her how to love Quidditch. I should have taught her tell a good joke. Oh the pranks we could have pulled together! It would have be like attending Hogwarts all over again, only Professor Snape would be unable to give anyone a detention. I can almost imagine the looks he would've given Rose as she proceeded to terrorize him night and day. We would've made a fantastic team.

Now it's all gone. A dream I didn't even know I had just evaporated before my eyes.

George hung his head. It's just another thing Ronald's stupidity, sloth, and irresponsibility has taken from my family. I cannot retrieve the years I've lost with her. Still, there is always time to make new memories.

I only hope she is open to having an uncle.

Victor heard the knocking on the door. His brain demanded that he answer, it but he did not move from his spot. Instead, his eyes remained glued to the paper before him.

"Victor," the voice called.

With trembling hands, he lowered the newspaper.

"Victor," the voice called again. "It's me, Carina. Are you home?"

"Yes," he called back. "Yes, I am home."

"Good, because I'm here" she answered.

He remained seated.

"Are you going to let me in, or is this a bad time?"

"No, I'll let you in."

Victor trudged to the door. Without a word, he opened it.

"God gods," Carina noted. "You look as if you've just seen a grim."

"I would rather have seen a grim than lay eyes on this headline."

"What headline?"

Victor stepped aside, allowing her to enter.

"What is going on?" Carina asked.

Victor pointed to the discarded newspaper. Carina strolled over and picked it up. In silence, she read it.

Beads of sweat trickled down Victor's brow. His legs were little more than gelatin. How could the sister who most emulated their father not be his biological daughter? Sure, she didn't share many of his physical characteristics, but some children look more like their mother more than their father. How on earth could Rose be a Weasley?

"Do you believe any of this?"

"I don't, I mean I don't want to…"

"Yet?"

"Yet, why would Rita fabricate such a story?"

Carina shrugged. "Perhaps Percy wants to divert attention from his latest scheme."

"I suppose this story would prove quite distracting," Victor admitted.

"Indeed it would."

"Okay, good. Yes, good. I can forget about it."

Carina's eyes rested on him.

"Still," Victor deflated. "Why this story? Why would he go after Rose?"

"I don't know."

Victor groaned.

"I," Carina deflated. "This is clearly a bad time to come over. I can just leave, and we'll just reschedule dinner for another time."

"No, don't go," Victor replied.

Carina froze.

"I would like to have dinner, I really would. Tonight may still be a good night to have dinner. Still, I don't know if Rose needs me, or how Violet is reacting to this news."

"I'd imagine neither is not taking it particularly well."

"Yes," Victor replied. "And knowing Rose, she is confronting Mum. Her anger will be nothing compared to Dad's though."

"I would imagine that your mother is getting quite the earful."

"She will, er she is."

Carina remained silent.

"I want to rush in and prevent my family from imploding, but I fear my presence will only make things worse. What can I say to alleviate this situation?"

"I don't know."

"I can't think of a way to improve the situation, yet I feel like I should do something. Still, what if I say the wrong thing and make everything ten times worse?"

Carina walked over and began to massage his back. "Do you need anything from me?"

"Please stay," Victor asked. "I know I will not be a great host, but I just need to process all of this with someone, and I fear Mum will prove less than helpful."

"Then I will stay," Carina promised.

Victor gave her a small grin, while trying to hide the one thought racing through his mind.

What have you done, Mum?

Hermione burst into the bedroom. Severus jumped.

"Love, what is wrong?"

"Rose knows you are not her biological father."