Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 98

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

"So you're convinced it's only a British phenomenon?"

Severus nodded. "Hermione could not find any reports of amnesia in the American, Chilean, South African, German or Romanian newspapers."

"Those are only five countries. Perhaps there is more somewhere else."

"I highly doubt that."

Lucius leaned back in his emerald chair and folded his hands. "Why?"

"Great Britain, The United States, Chile, South Africa, Germany, and Romania were the five countries most affected by Fenrir's attacks. If we are correct in our assertion that the amnesia cure is at least partially responsible for this condition, then at least one country other than Great Britain should report some type of amnesia epidemic, or at least a few cases of it. We have found nothing."

Lucius hummed.

Severus picked at a piece of lint on the armrest of his chair. "Given that the amnesia epidemic has only occurred within the last couple of months, Hermione and I are convinced that whatever caused this happened in Great Britain somewhat recently."

"But you haven't the foggiest clue of what recent event could have triggered this amnesia," Lucius noted.

"No," Severus hung his head. "I do not."

Lucius grabbed his cane and dug it into the ground.

"You have connections in the Ministry. You know things of which even Percy is unaware. As far as you know, is there anything which has changed significantly in the last few months, anything which could bring about this epidemic?" Severus asked.

Lucius twisted his lips. "Nothing springs to mind at the moment, but I will certainly look into it."

"As will I," Severus replied.

Lucius sat up straighter, only to groan when his back popped. Curse growing older….

Severus' eyes grew. "Do you believe this epidemic could be caused by some organization outside of the Ministry?"

Lucius cocked his head.

"Have you heard any rumblings of a group unhappy with the Ministry, or one which is planning an attack to further some type of end?" Severus asked.

"No, I have heard no rumblings of any major discontent with Wizarding Britain as a whole." Lucius smirked. "Though there are plenty who are dissatisfied with the way the Ministry has handled this crisis."

"Us being two of them," Severus muttered.

Lucius frowned. "If some kind of anti-establishment organization was behind this amnesia, somebody would have taken responsibility for it by now."

"Unless this was caused by an experiment which went awry," Severus replied.

"Hmmm."

"Perhaps somebody wanted to revive Fenrir's band by returning us to our lycanthrope form, but they failed to do so, hence their silence on the matter."

"How would they have cursed so many people so quickly?"

"I do not know. Still, if it was caused by some organization trying to establish some new world order…"

"They would have tried another method by now."

"What if they are in the process of creating one?"

"I highly doubt it given how quiet things have been."

Severus raised an eyebrow.

"Usually if there is an attack of this magnitude, someone starts talking. It's a fact we should know all too well being former Death Eaters."

"True, many of our comrades could not keep their mouths closed for twenty seconds."

"Besides, if there was an organization dedicated to turning everyone into lycanthropes, they would be more vocal in their political agenda."

"Please explain."

"Draco's election platform is that he, not the Ministry, is interested in resolving the amnesia crisis. Right now, he is ahead in the polls. If some type of secret organization was behind the amnesia epidemic, then its members would be pouring resources into Percy's election campaign. This way, the status quo would be preserved, giving them more time to enact their plans."

"How do we know Percy does not already have backing from a less than savory organization?"

"Percy's campaign contributors are public, as are Draco's," Lucius answered. "From what I can tell, none of them would take any interest in reviving Fenrir's band of lycanthropes."

"It may be wise to review them though and perform a background check on the more obscure ones though," Severus answered.

"That would be wise, if only to tell Draco who he should distrust once he wins the election," Lucius replied,

"Indeed," Severus answered.

Silence fell between the men.

"If the Ministry is behind this," Severus began. "In your opinion, how far back into their policies should we go in order to determine the cause?"

"I would go back as far as six months," Lucius rubbed his chin.

"Perhaps," Severus sighed. "Then again, if this is caused by magic, it may have needed time to build up. Perhaps we have been receiving increments of it for years and have been unaware of it. The amount of magic in our system may not have been toxic until now."

"Perhaps," Lucius released his cane. "Though Hermione would be better to help you ascertain that than me."

Severus bowed his head. "I am unsure how wise it would be to involve her any further. She is under too much stress, and I do not want to add to it."

Lucius reached over and grabbed his friend's hand. "I've seen the way Hermione's eyes light up when she's researching. I believe she would love nothing then to conduct further research with you."

"She is beginning to fall ill," Severus looked at his friend. "She tries to hide it, but I see her scratching her arm more. Regardless of her protests to the contrary, she is anything but fine."

"If she is falling ill, then make her last few days of health count for something."

"How is stressing her with my problems going to be the least bit helpful?"

"Do you not believe she is not already stressed over your situation?"

Severus swallowed.

"Regardless of what you say or do, she is in this situation with you," Lucius replied.

"I should be protecting and comforting her, not creating further problems for her."

"What do you propose to do then?"

Severus bit his lip.

"Do you plan on leaving her in order to spare her the pain of your next episode?"

"No," Severus snapped. "You know I would never dream of abandoning her."

Lucius leaned in closer. "Then allow her to have some control over her situation. Share your suspicions with her, tell her the kind of digging I plan to do, and continue researching with her as if she has centuries left."

"It is not that simple," Severus began.

"I think it is very simple," Lucius replied. "Either research with her, or prepare to be harassed until you allow her back on the project."

There was a spark in Severus' eyes. "She is a persistent woman."

"She is more persistent than you are stubborn," Lucius replied.

Severus chuckled. "That she is."

"I know you're frightened," Lucius continued in a quieter voice. "Yet you cannot begin shutting her out. You need her, and she needs you."

"Yes," Severus replied. "We need each other desperately."

"Then," Lucius grabbed his cane. "Tell her everything you've told me and plan a course of action with her."

"That," Severus replied. "I will do."

Do I like Quidditch?"

Rose ran her finger over the rule for the fifth time, but it was no more sensible than the first time she had read it. The words were clear enough, but the concept behind them was murky.

Why doesn't the entire team chase the snitch? The game would end so much quicker if they did so. Why bother with the hoops and the quibble at all?

She squinted. Excuse me, they are called goalposts and quaffles, not hoops and quibbles.

Rose continued reading, but halfway down the page she yawned.

Why is this so vapid?

Rose gazed at the ceiling. There is something about this game which I am failing to grasp. My biological family loves this game. Why do I not?

She snorted. Probably because Mum and Dad see it as a waste of time, and taught me to spend my time in pursuit of more sensible things such as reading. In that sense, they were wise.

Rose closed the book. I am going about this all wrong. One needs to see a Quidditch game in order to appreciate it. There should be a few Quidditch games in the memory archives to which I could have access.

An image of her hunched over a pensieve for four hours watching a game which put her to sleep flashed in her mind. It was as appealing as stepping in thestral dung.

What am I missing? How could there be a Weasley who hates Quidditch?

Who am I?