Rose was lying on the ground in the middle of an ornate sitting room. She couldn’t remember how she got there, or why she was there. She just knew that if she moved, there was pain. There were shadowy figures standing around her, arguing. She couldn’t make out what they were saying exactly, but she knew they were trying to decide what to do with her. She knew they were going to kill her, hopefully they would do it sooner rather than later. She didn’t think she could take the pain anymore. She heard other voices too, but they sounded so far away, like they were trying to get her to listen but she couldn’t hear them. Suddenly, the figures around her stopped talking and turned to her. Their faces were getting clearer. One of them didn’t look human; he was terrifying. His red eyes bore into her and he let out a high-pitched laugh that ripped through her. Then, the woman stepped forward. She had an evil smile on her crazed face. Rose was more afraid of the woman, she was the one that made it hurt so bad. The crazed faced woman lifted her wand and pointed it at Rose. ‘Please just kill me,’ Rose thought.
Unexpectedly, she started to shake. Someone else was calling her name… where were they?
Rose opened her eyes. She was lying on the leather couch in her mother’s office, a giant book on her chest. Above her a familiar face smiled down at her.
“Jenny?” she recognized Hermione’s long time assistant. “What the…”
“You were asleep,” Jenny looked embarrassed, “I shouldn’t have woken you,”
“No, it’s fine. I was just having a crazy dream,” she looked up at Jenny and smiled, “It’s been a long time Jenny. How are you?”
“I’ve been better,” Jenny put on a sad smile.
“Yeah, I hear you,” Rose replied, “What are you doing here anyway? Do you really have stuff to do?”
“Oh I’ve been taking calls and keeping things moving here,” Jenny may not have been the brightest witch to ever live, but she was good at her job. She had been Hermione’s assistant for years, since before Hermione had become Minister. She had actually been at Hogwarts a few years ahead of Rose, with Rose’s cousin Victoire. Victoire had told Jenny about the job working for Hermione, knowing that she probably wasn’t going to get anything better. Over the years, Hermione and Jenny had formed a rather effective working relationship. “What are you doing here?”
“I was reading,” she replied, looking down at the massive book.
“At six o’clock in the morning?”
“I really haven’t been paying attention to the time, I guess. I’ve been…let’s go with distracted,”
“Well, it’s nice to have someone else here. It’s been weird being by myself,” Jenny looked sad. Rose thought Jenny had probably spent more time with her mother than she had over the last five years.
Rose looked over at the portrait behind the desk. Dumbledore must have gone to his portrait at Hogwarts, because the frame was empty. Then she had a thought.
“Hey Jenny, can I ask you something?”
“Do you talk to my mom a lot?”
“I guess so,”
“Does she ever talk about stuff other than work? Like stuff she did before she worked here, like when she was a kid?”
“Um…she doesn’t like to talk about stuff like that. Like when reporters or something ask her about the war, she gets all nervous and changes the subject. It’s like it’s too painful or something.”
“Yeah, she never talks about it to us either. So she is all about work then,” ‘Great’ Rose thought, ‘more things I already know.’
“No, she tells me about other stuff,”
“Well,” she looked at her feet, “she talks about you a lot,”
“Me?!” ok, that was just Jenny being a little slow, “Like complaining and venting about how terrible I am, right?”
“Oh no,” Jenny shook her head fiercely, “she always tells me all the awesome stuff you’re doing in America, like how well you’re doing. She is really proud of you,”
Now Rose thought Jenny might be on drugs.
“I don’t think you understood her correctly Jen, she hates the fact that I went to America,”
“I don’t think she liked that you were so far away. She missed you,”
“Um…” Rose didn’t really know how to respond to this. One thing she was fairly sure of was that her mother did not miss her. Who would miss someone you fought so severely with?
“I’ve got some paperwork to do,” Jenny walked toward the door, “I’ll be at my desk. I’m going by hospital later to make sure your dad doesn’t need anything.”
Rose smiled and nodded, “You’re too good to us Jenny,”
“That’s my job,” she walked out the door.
Rose looked back at the book in her hands. She hadn’t gotten far before she had fallen asleep. Tom Riddle had just gotten to Hogwarts. So far, it wasn’t very helpful, but it certainly was interesting, even if it did make her have that terrifying dream.
She knew she should probably go back to the hospital. She closed the book and took it with her. As she passed Jenny’s desk, she smiled, “I’ll see you later Jenny!”
Two days later, Rose was sitting in the corner of her mother’s hospital room, finishing The Rise and Fall, and Rise, and Fall of Lord Voldemort. When she got to the end, she closed the book and looked up in confusion.
“What’s the matter sweetheart?” Ginny was the only other person in the room at the moment. Ron had refused to leave for days, but Harry finally dragged him home to shower and change his clothes.
“You fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, right Aunt Ginny?”
“Um, yes, I did. What are you reading?”
“Nothing. What happened?”
“What? At the battle?” Ginny gave a nervous laugh, “Why what do you think happened?”
“Uncle Harry defeated Voldemort, right? Just Uncle Harry, cause he was supposed to?” Rose had discovered that some of the information in the book was different then the very limited information she had gotten from her parents.
“Right,” Ginny smiled, “it was a kind of happy accident really, just sort of happened.” Ginny knew she didn’t sound very convincing.
“Aunt Ginny, what’s a Horcrux?”
Ginny dropped the vase full of flowers she was holding and stared at Rose. After a beat, she quickly flicked her wand and cleaned the mess and turned, with what Rose thought was a pretty crazy looking smile, to face Rose.
“Why don’t you go and find a nurse for an update?” she walked over to Rose and pulled her out of her chair. “Go, go, your father and Harry will be back soon.” Ginny almost pushed her out the door.
“But, I mean, she’s been the same for days…”
Rose walked slowly down the hallway. ‘What, in the name of Merlin, was that all about?’ she thought.
It didn’t make sense. According to that book, there was so much more that went on during that war. Stuff she had never heard about before, why hadn’t she heard about it before.
The basic story everyone knew about the war was this: Lord Voldemort rose to prominence again, through mysterious Dark Magic. He started to gain power and stuff and took over a lot of the wizarding world, including the Ministry. He had some vendetta going on against Muggle-borns, and was rounding them up like criminals. Harry Potter, who was the only person thus far to survive a killing curse, was supposed to be the only one who could defeat him (there was some sort of prophecy or something, no one was ever very clear on that point). So Voldemort attacked Hogwarts while Harry was there, epic battle, Harry figured some crazy wand logic on him, Voldemort dies. Oh, right, her parents. They were Harry’s best friends, fought beside him, wicked brave, all that stuff.
It’s the CliffsNotes version, but that’s the idea. That’s what they learned in school and more importantly, that’s what her parents and aunts and uncles had told them.
But the book, the book made it much more complicated. Everything seemed to hinge on these Horcrux thingies, that it never explained. There also seemed to be stuff going on even before Voldemort rose to power again. Her parents, especially her mother, were mentioned much more than she originally thought they would be, and Ginny, much less. Hermione and Ginny graduated the same year, right? Even that didn’t seem to make chronological sense, because the book had Harry, Ron and Hermione together all the time. Weird.
Ginny was leaning up against the closed door, still in slight shock. They had figured if any of them would start to ask questions, it would be Rose. She was much to smart for her own good. Ginny took a couple of deep breaths and walked over to the chair her niece had just vacated, thinking about the day they had made the decision.
“We have to decide this together, because if we all tell them different things it’s going to fall apart,” Hermione was pacing back and forth in the sitting room at the Burrow.
“I agree,” Ginny responded, “But how much are they going to find out through other people? What are they going to learn at school? We can’t control that,”
“You think they’re going to learn about us at school?” Ron asked with a stupid smile on his face.
“Oh shut up Ronald,” Hermione gave him a quick slap on the back of the head, “this is serious.”
“Well the only information people know about that year and, well, us,” Harry pointed to himself, Ron and Hermione, “is was we told them. Which wasn’t a lot. I say we stick with that.”
“You mean the ‘Voldemort rose, was a bad guy, we fought and we won’ version, but its so boring,” Ron whined.
“I do not want to retell the story of that year over and over Ron. Its too much,” Hermione sat down next to him, “I can’t do that,”
Ron sighed, “Ok, no details.”
“They’re going to be well known enough Ron,” Harry chimed in, “all of them. They shouldn’t be burdened with that story too.”
Suddenly two little bodies raced into the room. “Mommy, Mommy,” a five-year-old Rose jumped on her mother’s lap, “can I show Al the new broom Daddy bought me? Please, please, please,”
“We don’t have it here. When Al comes over tomorrow he can see it, ok?”
“I want a broom Mommy,” five-year-old Albus was jumping at Ginny’s feet.
“Ha, not today. Why don’t you two go find James and help Grandma with dinner,” Ginny suggested.
“Oooooook Auntie Ginny. C’mon Al let’s go,” the two children ran from the room.
Ron watched his daughter run from the room and then turned to the others, “You’re right. I am never going to tell that perfect little girl about all that hell. We’ll stick with the boring story.”
“What about the rest of the family?” Harry asked
“They said they would stick with whatever you three decided,” Ginny replied, “It’s your story to tell,”
Ginny was snapped out of her memory by the sound of Ron and Harry entering the room. Ron went and took his place next to the bed while Harry came over and kissed Ginny on the forehead.
“Um, guys, we may have a problem,”
Ron looked terrified. “What?! Did the Healer come in? What did he say? I knew I shouldn’t have left,”
“What? No! Not Hermione, she’s, well, I imagine she’s the same,” she looked mortified at her mistake, “It’s Rose, she’s asking questions,”
“Ginny, she’s Rose, she’s been asking questions since she could talk. It’s her favorite kind of sentence,” Ron replied annoyed.
“She asked me what a Horcrux was today,” she shot back.
“You’re kidding. Where would she have heard of that before?” Harry was starting to look nervous.
“She was reading a book,” Ginny reached under the chair where Rose had put the book as she had been hurried out of the room, “This book,”
The three of them looked at the title, and then scanning the cover some more they came across the author. By: Rita Skeeter was in gold writing on the very bottom.
“That woman is still alive?” Ron asked to no one in particular.
“Either way, this isn’t good,” Harry answered.
All any of them could think was
Ok, not the most exciting of chapters. I don't really know how I feel about this one, but it's got some important stuff in it. Thanks for reading.....thanks even more for reviewing....you know you want to :)
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