Chapter 8 : VIII. Rose's Tale
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“Why would anybody want to break into the Marble Tomb?” Scorpius asked as he threw Harry a bewildered look. Harry however seemed to have a different understanding of the situation, as he stormed out of the office and ran towards the nearby conference room, where the team was already waiting for him.
“Meeting’s postponed.” he told them in a hurry. “Get everything you need, Albus Dumbledore’s Tomb has been unsealed.” he announced to the stunned audience. Ron’s face seemed to have been drained of color and he got up quickly, dropping the papers he was holding on the desk. A few minutes later the entire team had Apparated to the front gates of the castle. In the distance Harry could see Neville rushing to meet them, his robes blowing behind him in the wind.
Neville had joined the Auror team after Hogwarts, like so many of his classmates, but after a few years he decided to change his career path completely, as Professor Sprout announced her retirement and he was personally offered her position. His passion lay with teaching and he had climbed the staff hierarchy at Hogwarts quickly, taking over for Professor McGonagall as Head of Gryffindor House after she retired a few years earlier. At first, Harry had wanted his old friend to work with him but as he watched the figure approaching, a grave look on his face, the Auror was silently thankful that somebody had come to watch over the school as well.
“Good, you’re here.” he said to Harry and Ron, distress clear in his voice. He then started making his way to the shore of the Black Lake, where the Tomb had been built in 1997.
“Have you cast any charms around it after you discovered it was broken into?” Harry asked and Neville shook his head.
“No, I decided to alert you at once. Before word got out to the students and they started coming around to take a look.”
“Maybe it was one of them?” Teddy suggested but Neville once again disagreed.
“We have protective enchantments around it, we don’t let the students come too close. Only staff can get close enough and I honestly don’t think any of them could do such a thing.” he explained as they reached the destination. “Hardly anybody comes around anymore, except a couple of us. Hagrid comes everyday though, bless his soul. Good thing too, or we wouldn’t have found out so soon.”
Harry approached the Tomb and muttered a few enchantments. Whoever was there, they were careful to seal it off when they left, save for the large marble slabs that ornated the top of the grave. Harry felt a little relieved when he saw that. The thought of seeing Dumbledore’s body after all those years made him sick to the stomach. The forensic team started analyzing the scene and Harry, together with Ron pulled Neville aside to ask him a few questions.
“Have you seen anything suspicious lately on the grounds or in the castle?” Harry asked his former classmate. Neville thought for a moment but shook his head. The school had been a peaceful place, up until now.
“Nothing out of the ordinary, though I did ask everybody to keep an eye out, after the news broke of the Killing Curse being used. I guess that basic Auror training never goes away, eh? Have you found the one responsible for the killings yet?”
“No mate, I’m afraid we’re no closer to catching them than we are to knowing who did this.” Ron said as Harry looked the tomb with a grim expression.
“I didn’t believe it at first. The Killing Curse. We wanted to move it into the History Department curricula starting next year. Provided old Binns would pay attention long enough to understand. But this… I don’t want the students to panic. We recast the protective enchantments on the castle and canceled this weekend’s Quidditch match.” Neville told them. His faced was lined with worry and he looked like an old man. A looked passed between the three men and Neville once again spoke.
“I just keep thinking, only one other ever dared to commit such an atrocity.”
“No, it couldn’t be. We made sure. We may not know what this is, or how these events are connected, but the one thing I do know is it couldn’t be that.” Harry said, almost spitting the last word, his voice baring a tone of certainty.
Neither Ron or Neville dared to contradict him. The Order of the Phoenix had removed Voldemort’s body from the grounds after the battle and Harry, along with Ron, Hermione and a few others including Neville, had traveled to the cave by the sea, the same one where he had found the fake Horcrux, to hide the last remains of the Dark Wizard. Voldemort was placed in the middle of the Inferi infested lake and all manner of protective spells and enchantments had been set up, to ensure that nobody else, Muggle or wizard, could find it, even by accident.
Their conversation was interrupted by Grantham, who had finished the analysis and came to report to the Senior Aurors, while Derek and Jeremiah were resealing the tomb. Scorpius was scribbling something down and Penelope and Simone were inspecting the perimeter while the rest of the team built up the wards to keep the students out.
“Sir, we found a partial finger print on the edge of the resealed slab. I think they slipped and touched it by accident as they fell. Other than that, the … the body is intact. There was nothing done to it.” he said, his voice shaking a little at the mention of Albus Dumbledore’s body.
“And the wand?” Harry asked as the Auror finished talking.
“The wand?” Grantham asked, surprised as he looked through his preliminary notes again. “There was no wand inside, nor was one found near the scene.”
Harry drew in a sharp breath and turned to Ron, whose face had an identical shocked look upon it. Unknown to any of the other Aurors, the situation had taken an impossible turn for the worse. The Elder Wand was now missing.
When Scorpius returned that evening to Grimmauld Place, exhausted by the day’s events, he found Rose once again in the kitchen. The door to the study at the end of the hall was ajar and Scorpius suspected that she had spent the majority of the day in there and had emerged for tea or coffee. He found her in the kitchen, fixing some dinner and humming softly to herself.
“Hello, Rose!” he said and she jumped up slightly.
“Oh, it’s you!” she replied and laughed. “I didn’t hear you get in, you scared me. So, how did the meeting go? What did Harry have to say about wands?”
“There was no meeting.” he answered. “Just as we were about to begin we got word of a disturbance at Hogwarts. Apparently, somebody broke into Dumbledore’s tomb last night.”
Rose’s face was twisted in shock and disgust as she heard the news and shook her head sadly.
“That’s horrible. Who would do such a thing?” she asked, more for herself than for him.
“I have no idea. But we have reason to believe it’s related to these other incidents. The only thing they took was his wand.” he began but before he had a chance to finish his idea, she had dropped the glass she was holding, which fell to the floor and shattered, spreading glass shards all over.
“Somebody took that wand?” she echoed, as if hoping she had heard wrong. “How could they be so stupid?” she said, her words coming out in a venomous hiss.
“I’m not following, Rose.” Scorpius replied and approached her, careful not to step on the bits of glass.
“All of them, they were so stupid. Leaving it there! It should’ve been kept safe! It should’ve been studied! Not left there where anybody could get it!” she yelled, her blood rising in her cheeks.
“Rose, calm down.” Scorpius said slowly, but she didn’t appear to have heard him, or else was ignoring him.
“But no, they insisted it’s best kept there, wasting away! I knew this would end badly, but they wouldn’t believe me!”
Scorpius was now in front of her and had grasped her shoulders with his hands and was trying to get her to make eye contact with him, by shaking her lightly.
“Rose, breathe. You’re not making any sense, I don’t understand you!” he said, his tone soothing. She looked at him and then looked at the ground.
“The Elder Wand.” was all she said and he took a step back at her words.
“The Deathstick? The one from that children’s tale?” he said flabbergasted.
“It’s not a story, Scorpius. It’s real, all of them are. All the items of the three brothers.” the woman said bitterly, her eyes darting from one corner of the room to the other.
Rose had expected him to be a little more shocked at the revelation and paused her angry rant to throw him a questioning look.
“Why do I have a feeling you already knew that?” she asked and crossed her arms across her chest, tapping her foot.
“I’ve studied the Theory of Charms in detail. Of course I know of the most powerful wand in existence. I just had no idea Dumbledore had it.” he said, but Rose was somehow unconvinced. Finally, she sat down and summoned a bottle of water towards her.
“Well, that’s the thing. He didn’t have it. I don’t expect my uncle to have shared this with you, I don’t think anybody knows apart from the immediate family, but it was his. The Elder Wand was, is, Harry’s.” she said.
Scorpius sat down across from her at the table and ran a hand through his hair, messing it up.
“He never said, no. I don’t think that went on public record after the war.”
“It didn’t. He never talks about it, either but I managed to convince my Dad to tell me when I was sixteen.” she continued with a smile. “When they went on the hunt for the Horcruxes, they discovered that the three items that were supposedly manufactured by Death were actually real. They were created hundreds of years ago by three brothers, the Peverells. Harry is the last descendent of the Peverell family, seeing as the other two died before having children, or so the legend says. He has the Cloak of Invisibility. While on their journey, he somehow managed to acquire the other two as well. They were called the Deathly Hallows and they made one master of Death. According to lore at least.”
“Only one other break in at the White Tomb was ever reported, as I‘m sure you know. Voldemort broke into it in 1998 and stole the wand, but it never worked for him. How could it? It has a core of Thestral hair, the only one of its kind. It will only answer to one that accepts and understands death. He never did, not like Harry. You know the story, of how he stepped in front of the Killing Curse willingly to save them all. It was that wand that brought about the demise of Voldemort. And they just let it sit under a piece of stone.” she finished and sighed.
Scorpius listened to her story with interest. It was part of wizard history by now, the quest of Harry Potter, how he had saved them all, how he searched for the pieces of the soul and destroyed them. Now that he knew the whole story, he couldn’t blame the wizard for not wanting to share the information on the so called Deathly Hallows. If word got out that they were real, people would be fighting tooth and nail over them. He studied the woman in front of him and decided that it was as good a time as any to ask her the one thing that had been nagging him since their return.
“Rose, what happened with your parents?” he said and she straightened her back, inhaling sharply. For a moment he was sure she would call him on overstepping the line, but to his surprised she answered.
“As I said, I was sixteen when I came across the myth of the Elder Wand in one of my mother’s books. I asked her about it but she just dismissed it. I didn’t buy it for a second. My mother was never the kind of witch to just dismiss an entire part of wizarding lore, no matter how improbable or impossible it may seem. So I asked my Dad about it and he told me the story I just told you. How they had found them and how uncle Harry left it with Dumbledore in the end. The whole idea of wands and their own branch of magic fascinated me and I kept doing research during my 7th year, hoping to understand more about it. By the time we graduated, I knew I wanted to study it as a career. Wandlore. They were thrilled at first, my parents and talked about getting me the best apprenticeship they could find. That was until I told them that what I was most eager to learn: the properties of the Elder Wand. At that moment, it’s like a switch went off inside my mother’s head and she rejected the idea of my studies altogether. Of course, I pressed on, but she wouldn’t hear of it. My dad told me that she was worried, she had seen what people become under the influence of that wand and she just didn’t want me wasting my life away searching for something I’d never find. Of course I knew that I could find it, I knew exactly where it was. Oh, but she was so disappointed in me. My brother is attending the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts but still, I was the one that was throwing her life away. “ she said, her eyes clouding up at the memory.
“Your brother is attending W.A.D.A.?” Scorpius asked in disbelief. She smiled sadly and shook her head then continued.
“I was eighteen when a nasty fight broke out and I packed my bags and cleared my vault. I was on the first train at Platform 7 and a half by the next morning. I went all the way to Romania and got settled. I didn’t speak with them for months, until finally one day I owled my father. He came, with uncle Harry and they warded my apartment and spoke with Vasile, making sure I was treated properly and stayed out of trouble. After a while I resumed correspondence with my mother, but she never came to visit. This is the first time I’ve been home in years.” she concluded and took a deep breath, making sure to look straight at her hands, which were on the table in front of her. Scorpius reached out and took one of her hands, which made her look up at him.
“It’s okay Rose. You’ll be okay. You two will be able to patch it up once everything is over.” he told her, his voice gentle and reassuring.
“No, it’s not going to be okay. That wand is missing, who knows what’s happened to it and people are turning up dead and of course my family is smack in the middle of it all.” she said and tears started coming to her eyes. For once, she had let down her guard and Scorpius could see just how shaken up she really was by the whole thing. He got up and circled the table, sitting next to her and rubbing her back gently, as tears were pouring down her face. To his surprise, her arms circled his waist and she placed her head on his chest, embracing him as she cried. He tensed up, but placed his arms around her as well, hugging her as he whispered into her hair.
“Don’t cry, Rose. We‘ll catch them and put them away then everything can return to normal.”
AN: No cliffhanger for you this time! So now we know what drove Rose away. Or rather why she left. Will she and Hermione patch things up? Will she return to Romania or stay in England? Will Scorpius ever have a free evening again? Find out this and so much more in the next chapter of this story!
Thank you so much to all those who've read, reviewed, added this to their favorites! I'm humbled by all your positive feedback and am so happy that you enjoy this story! And because you've all been amazing, here's a short preview of chapter IX.
In Chapter IX of The Mysterious Case of the Twin Wands:
“Rose, what’s happened?” he asked, his worried eyes searching for any sign of attack on her. He found none and it dawned on him that he may be becoming paranoid.
“Somebody… there’s a note.” she said in a small voice and could hear the fear in it.
“What note? What happened?” he asked and she extended a small piece of parchment she had been clutching in her hand. He took it and unfolded it to read its contents, his hands shaking.
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