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Chapter 1 : The Birthday Mystery
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Rose Weasley sat in a chair in her dad’s office. She swung her feet back and forth, wishing they could touch the ground. She looked at her new, shiny black shoes. She liked the sound they made on tile floors, like muggle tap shoes.
“Rose, sweetheart, please sit still. Daddy has just a little more work to do, and then I promise we can go home.” Ron Weasley smiled at his little girl. It was her sixth birthday, and as a treat he brought her to work with him like she’d wanted. The women in the auror office had total fits over her, and Ron was afraid no work was going to get done that day. He wasn’t completely right in that aspect; work was done, but not as much as needed to be. There were rumors of another dark wizard collecting followers. Ron’s team was in charge of investigating the truthfulness of said rumor.
However, at this moment, he needed the loo.
“Rose, Daddy needs to go to the loo. Can you be a good girl and stay right here?” Rose smiled and nodded, swinging her feet back and forth.
“Hey, Cassia, can you keep an eye on Rose while I go to the loo? Make sure she doesn’t get in trouble? Or cause it, for that matter.” Rose knew her daddy was very careful. She sat in her chair, swinging her legs, but she was bored with that. She managed to jump down from the chair and walk over to her daddy’s desk. She stood on her tiptoes and looked at the papers on the desk. Some were pictures, some were full of weird squiggles she didn’t know how to read.
She saw one picture of a lady. She was pretty and smiling and laughing. Next to her was a boy with blonde hair who wasn’t smiling. He looked unhappy. She saw the pretty lady put her arm around the boy, and she guessed they were mummy and son, just like her mummy and Hugo. Only Hugo was still a baby.
“Miss Cassia, who are these people?” Rose asked as she walked out of her daddy’s office. Miss Cassia was talking to someone, and it sounded important. She knew she wasn’t supposed to interrupt people, so she moved on to someone else.
“Excuse me, would you tell me who these people are?” she asked to a man who looked like he was older than her daddy, and certainly not as handsome. Her daddy had introduced them earlier, but she couldn’t remember his name. He smiled at her and bent over to her level.
“Sure, sweetheart, let me see.” She handed him the picture, and he lost his smile. “Where did you find this picture, Rose?”
“Off my daddy’s desk. Why?”
He smiled at her and handed it back. “That’s just a boy your daddy went to school with and his mother. Now be a good girl and go put it back on his desk where you found it.”
Rose nodded, but she wasn’t satisfied. She would ask her daddy.
When she got back to his office, Miss Cassia was still talking to that same person. She went into the office and her daddy wasn’t there.
“This place can’t be TOO big,” Rose thought as she left the auror office and went out into the hallway. She made it to the grand entrance hall with the pretty fountain. She wished she had a knut or two to toss into the fountain to get wishes.
There were people everywhere. Rose didn’t know where her daddy would be. She got on an elevator with many witches and wizards who gave her odd looks, but said nothing.
“Department of Mysteries” the elegant voice said.
Didn’t Daddy say he was going to the clue? Clues are part of mysteries. That’s where he must be!
She hopped off the elevator and skipped down hallway after hallway. She came to a room full of doors, and she heard the door slam behind her. The room started spinning. Rose was scared. When the spinning stopped, she ran to a door and opened it. It was a dark room with only a stone archway and a thin piece of fabric over it. No Daddy. She closed it and the room spun again. She opened another door. This one had weird mechanical objects, but no one was there. She checked room after room, but no Daddy.
Rose was really frightened now. She didn’t know how to get out of the spinning room, and if she did she didn’t know how to get back to her daddy’s office.
She sat down and began to cry. It was her birthday, she was lost, and she would probably never see her mummy, daddy, or Hugo ever again. The thought only made her cry harder, but soon her eyelids drooped, and she fell asleep.
Rose woke up feeling the room spin. She could hear someone yelling.
“Rose? Rose, are you here? Rose, where are you?”
She ran to the door she heard the voices coming from. It was the hallway!
“I’m here! I got lost!”
A wizard ran to her and picked her up. He looked like he was the same age as her daddy, so he couldn’t be a bad person. He looked nice.
“It’s alright, Rose. You’re safe now. I’ll take you back to your daddy. He’ll be very happy to know you’re alright. He was so worried. We’ve been looking for you for hours, you know that? You shouldn’t wander off in the Ministry of Magic. A little girl like you can get lost. You know that.”
Rose nodded and looked at the ground. She was sad she’d worried her daddy. She saw the picture in her pocket. She’d forgotten about it. She pulled it out and looked at it.
“What’ve you got there, Rose?” the man asked as he pointed his wand at the picture. She saw the picture and she saw the man’s face. It was the boy in the picture!
“Where did you get this, Rose?” he asked, his voice shaking a little bit. Why was he scared?
“I got it off of Daddy’s desk. Is that your mummy with you?” She saw him smile.
“Yes, that is my mummy.”
“She looks nice. What was her name?” Rose asked. He smiled.
“Her name was Narcissa, almost like the flower.”
“That’s a pretty name. A pretty name for a pretty lady,” Rose said as she put the picture back into her pocket. They finally made it back to the grand hall with the fountain.
“Rose! Oh thank Merlin, you’re alright! Where did you find her?” Her daddy took her from the nice man and hugged her tight. There were tears in his eyes as he kissed the top of her head.
“She was in the Department of Mysteries. That room that spins. She must have not been able to find the door to the hallway.”
Ron looked at his daughter. “Why did you leave my office? I told you to stay there. Miss Cassia was supposed to make sure you didn’t leave. Where is she by the way?” he asked the last question to another wizard who helped in looking for Rose. The man shrugged.
“I wanted to ask you who these people were in this picture. You said you’d gone to the clue, and the elevator said it was at the Department of Mysteries, so I thought that you’d gone there since clues have to do with mysteries.”
Ron was confused. The clue? Then he remembered. “Rose, sweetheart, I went to the loo, not the clue. I went to the lavatory. Let me see the picture. Did you take it off my desk?” She pulled it out of her pocket and showed it to him.
“I found out the nice man who found me was the boy, and that’s his mummy, Narcissa!”
Ron glanced at the man, who was watching. “Yes, Rose, it is his mummy.” He then turned to the man.
“Thank you, Malfoy. I know you never thought you’d hear that from me, but thank you.” Ron hugged his daughter tight again.
“It wasn’t a problem. I know you would’ve done the same for me if Scorpius were lost. And I want to talk to you sometime about why a picture of me was on your desk. I know what you’re working on, and I want to make it clear—”
“Yes, Malfoy, but some other time. It’s someone’s birthday, and we need to go home and let Mummy know that her little Rosie is alright.” The two men gave each other curt nods, and with that, Draco Malfoy disapparated.
Ron Weasley would never forget that day for two reasons: Rose was lost, but found, and that was the day that, through a child’s innocence, he realized Draco Malfoy was once an innocent child himself.
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