The first letter was from her father. He had no idea that she’d sent a letter home to her mother. He was just congratulating her on her Gryffindor status.
I’m so proud of you, my little Gryffindor!
Rose laughed and pocketed the letter. It had come the next morning at breakfast. The second letter was from her grandmother, Molly Weasley, and it was about the letter.
Of course you’re a Weasley! Dear, what would make you think any less?
It made her ashamed to have written the letters in the first place. But the letter that made the most impact on her was the reply from Mr. Malfoy. It was so unexpected that she dropped it three times before even getting it open.
I was aware that I had a daughter in the world somewhere. I know that she was Hermione Granger’s daughter. I wanted her to be named Rose Cissa, after my mother and grandmother. I was never informed if the name was given to her or not, and I was never told if she kept the child. For all I know, the baby was never born. There is a possibility that you could be my child if you meet the above criteria. You would have been born almost exactly eleven years ago. That would make you a first year at Hogwarts. I can tell you two things: if you’re my child then you are part veela. Also, if you’re my child, you are the first and only offspring of a Gryffindor and a Slytherin. Such a pairing has never existed. As such, things will be slightly different for you. Let me know if you can discover your true heritage, as if you are part veela you’ll need my guidance.
So it had been true. She wordlessly passed the letter to Albus, who read it and went white. He shook his head in silence, filling the silence with what he couldn’t say. Rose wasn’t a Weasley at all, and her grandmother knew it. Rose Cissa Weasley was a Malfoy.
Rose watched out the window later that night for the owl from her mother, but one never came. Part veela, and she never even knew. She knew that veela came into their powers by the age of thirteen, and she was two years away from that. She didn’t even know what those powers entailed. Albus was barely talking to her. Fred kept giving her weird looks, but he had no idea what was going on. Scorpius, who had been sorted into Gryffindor as well, was smirking to himself, but he wouldn’t meet her eyes anymore. Rose assumed his father had spoken with him about the seriousness of what he’d done. She didn’t know why, but for some reason Scorpius wanted her to feel out of place, and to suffer. It was working.
After two days of hearing nothing from her mother or her friends, Rose confronted Al. “Are you upset with me? Is that why you won’t talk to me? I’m still part of the family,” she pleaded. Albus smiled at her for the first time since the letter had arrived. “I’m not mad or upset at all. I told you I’d be distracted. I’m too involved in other things to be caught up in this scandal. I’m not worried. You’ll always be my best friend, whether we’re family or not,” he assured her. Secretly, Rose was hoping she wasn’t a part of his family. She’d always had odd feelings for Al and James, but they didn’t make sense because of who she was. If she were truly a Malfoy, she could stop feeling guilty about the way she viewed the Potters.
More time went by, but Hermione was either unable or unwilling to speak to her daughter. Hugo, Rose’s brother, wrote often, telling her about the way things were at home. Hermione had locked herself in her study, and she wasn’t coming out for anything. Ron spent all of his time at work, and when he was home, he was distracted. Hugo spent a lot of his time with the Potters and his grandparents. Rose was worried about it, but she couldn’t spend a lot of time thinking about her brother’s odd predicament because she had her own, as well as her studies. Albus spent most of his time on the Quidditch pitch or in the library.
Finally, two months into the term, the first Hogsmeade weekend arrived. Even though Rose and Albus were first years, they would be going into Hogsmeade with James and Teddy. Rose’s uncle George would be there to meet them in his joke shop, and they’d go over to the three-broomsticks for lunch with the family. All of the Weasleys would be there, including Hermione. It was tradition, and it wasn’t the first year for Rose to attend. Albus found her waiting by the portrait hole an hour early, ready to get by Filch and cause trouble. It was her chance to talk to her mother and confirm her worst fears. “Are you nervous?” Al asked. Rose nodded, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Well, let’s go. James and Teddy were going to wait outside of Honeydukes. Let’s take the passage, just for fun,” he suggested. Rose smiled and grabbed his hand, pulling him with her as she ran down the hall. She pulled the wand from her pocket and poked the statue of the witch as they passed, opening the passage so they could get down it easily. Then they rounded the corner and dove through the witch’s hump-like back to tumble into the Honeydukes cellar. Albus laughed out loud at the way they landed: with Rose in a heap of boxes and himself on a mound of licorice wands. They helped each other up, and raced to find James and Teddy.
Teddy was waiting right in front of the shop, but he appeared to be alone. Rose was pretty sure James was around in his invisibility cloak somewhere, probably terrorizing villagers. Hogsmeade Village was once the prettiest all-wizard village in the world, but since the final war, repairs had yet to be made. Some of the shops looked ready to tumble to the ground, and others appeared charred and unenterable. All of the shops had something or someone in them, and that was an improvement of what it once was. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was located in the biggest, brightest shop in the entire village. A large poster covered the entire front of the store, with only two words in bright purple and green: Mischief Managed. As she watched, a rose appeared to envelope the entire poster, spinning around and dancing in front of the words. Two wizards with top hats jumped into the scene, twirling canes and trying to catch the renegade flower. Rose busted up laughing as both wizards ended up on their bottoms, tangled in roots from the rose, which was becoming a bush full of roses. One of the wizards picked a rose off of the bush and offered it to her. Rose accepted the rose with a smile, and the poster cleared itself to show the words once more. Albus and Teddy had enjoyed her amusement, and it was obvious that one or both of them had caused it. Rolling her eyes, Rose pushed her way into the store. George was waiting just behind the door. He wrapped them each in a hug and then brought them out the back exit.
At the three-broomsticks, the Weasley clan sat waiting for their food. Rose sat by her mother, but Hermione wouldn’t meet her eyes. Finally, half way through the meal, she caught Rose’s eye and nodded. It was all Rose needed to know. She pushed away from the table and ran from the crowd of her “family”. She could feel her mother right behind her, and she knew she wouldn’t make it far.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner. I didn’t know that anyone knew about you but me. I didn’t even tell Draco that I kept you. And I named you what he requested because it was such a pretty name. And I knew you deserved a good family… the Malfoys aren’t a good family for you. For us. So I never told Ron, or anyone else for that matter, that anything happened between me and Draco. I thought it was necassary to keep it a secret. I didn’t know you’d find out before I was ready to tell you. I didn’t know that Draco had told his family! And I didn’t know any of what you’ve found out in the past couple of months. Sweety, I didn’t know you’d be half veela. I want to help you through this. Let me help you!” her mother begged. Rose shook her head.
“It’s too little, too late. I need to learn it from my father. My real father. I need to get to know him, and I want him to know me. I’ve written to him a few times already. Oh, and the Potters know all about this. I’d be willing to bet everyone else does now too. Why did you never tell the people who loved you, mum?” Rose demanded. She was crying, but she didn’t care.
“Oh my god. I wanted to. I wanted to so badly. I just couldn’t bear the thought of losing your… of losing Ron. I couldn’t bear the thought of rejection that I knew would come because of Malfoy. And I didn’t love Draco. I couldn’t stay with him,” Hermione sobbed.
“What happens now?” Rose asked softly.
“I don’t know,” Hermione whimpered, hugging Rose tightly. “I’m so sorry, baby. I’m so sorry.”
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