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Actions Speak Louder than Words by Veritaserum27
Chapter 24 : Baffled: Scorpius and Rose POV
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 15


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“I missed you too,” I breathed out to Rose as I looked up at her, just a few short minutes after we had entered our bedroom. We were lying (half lying, my feet were still on the ground) on the bed, not having quite caught our breaths yet. Somehow, I summoned enough energy to grip her waist and slide the two of us up the bed so we could properly lie next to each other, I rested on my side so I could see her better. Okay, I admit, I wanted to stare at her. Her skin was glistening from our lovemaking and I caressed her soft shoulders, bringing my fingers up to trace around her face. She looked so different. Amazing.

“So,” I went for the obvious, “cut your hair, did you?” I knew I had a ridiculous grin plastered on my face.

“Oh, you noticed?” she played along, sweeping her hand through the soft curls and tossing her head seductively. “I couldn’t tell if you liked it or not,” she giggled. I loved that sound.

“Actually, I’m not sure if I like it or not,” I said and she scowled in confusion and adorable annoyance. But I continued, “I think we might have to ‘try it out’ a few more times before I decide.”

This warranted several blows from the pillow nearest her.

When she was done with the beating, I gently took the pillow and tossed it aside. She shivered, finally cooling off from the heat we had both just generated. I threw an arm and a leg overtop her and pulled her into me. Her head was buried in my chest and I smelled her new hairstyle.

“Better?” I asked.

“Much.”

“I missed you.”

“I think we already covered that,” she was giggling again. Her breath tickled my chest.

“Okay. I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she lifted her torso up and leaned on one arm, holding my face in her hands. “Did you have a nice weekend?”

“I did, actually. Al took good care of me. On your orders, I assume.”

“We may have struck a small bargain.”

“We went flying on the Cannons pitch at night. It was absolutely amazing. Next time, I’m taking you with me. What did you girls do – other than the obvious?” I tangled my fingers through the sexy curls springing from her head.

“The usual girl stuff – makeovers, shopping, studying for healer obstetrics finals… It was completely refreshing and I really, really needed it. Listen, Scorp-”

“You don’t have to say it. You were right. We both needed a break.” I sat up and wrapped my legs around her, pulling her to sitting between them. My chest was touching her back. I snuggled her close to me as she leaned her head back and rested against my shoulder. I knew she loved this. She leaned back into me and let out a satisfied sigh. All of a sudden it hit me, how right she was. Here we were, enjoying ourselves and each other and not letting this bloody prophecy rule our lives. Rose knew this: we needed to live, not live for the prophecy. There is still happiness and joy and love to be had, fate be damned. At every turn, this woman amazes me. I squeezed tighter around her and whispered another “I love you” in her ear.

“Do you know what the best part about spending a weekend away is?” she asked.

“What’s that, love?”

“Coming home.”

“I must say, that is my favorite part so far.” I half expected her to resume the beating in some form. But, yet again, she surprised me.

“Would you like to try out my haircut again?” She didn’t wait for an answer, but twisted around in my arms and sat on her knees. I felt my shoulders being pushed back as we fell together on the bed.

*

We tried out my haircut at least three more times that afternoon and night. That man has some stamina. We weren’t the only ones. We could hear Al and Selenia trying out her new hair as well. Apparently a few days apart makes them forget how to cast a silencing charm.

I managed to fit in a few more hours of studying by getting up early the next morning. I was so tired, my body wasn’t used to that much excitement in one weekend, but the studying had to be done. Selenia and I had our obstetrics practical on Tuesday morning, with Tuesday afternoon off to study for the written test on Wednesday. After the written exam on Wednesday, I came immediately home and fell into bed. Scorpius brought me up some dinner, but I was too tired to eat. I mumbled a promise that I would be ready for our defense lessons at Uncle Harry’s house in an hour.

I had to drag my weary body out of bed. Falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon is never a good idea. I needed to splash some water on my face. The water felt good, but I regretted skipping dinner. My stomach was rebelling furiously. I actually gagged into the sink, but at least that woke me up. Not having enough time for a shower, I threw on some old clothes. There was no need to look fancy so I can go and duel with my family members. Due to lack of time, I apparated into the kitchen and the nausea took over again. Fortunately, the table was close enough for me to grab onto. Unfortunately, Scorpius chose this moment to shove a plate of goulash under my nose.

“Hungry, love?”

I knew he meant well, and probably spent a good amount of time preparing it, but to me, it looked like something that I would empty out of a bedpan during rounds. Simultaneously, I pinched my nose and covered my mouth, taking a step back. I had to wait a few seconds before responding.

“I think I’ll just grab some bread. We don’t want to be late.”

He looked hurt, but didn’t say anything. Probably because the entire house was sitting in the kitchen and staring at both of us. Samara and Jax were there as well. We were all going over to practice. I nodded hello to all of them as I munched on the bread. Two by two, we apparated to Uncle Harry’s house.

Al, Scorpius and Dom ran the practice, taking turns showing us different basic defense moves. We started off pretty easy and everyone gave their best go – except Samara. She was never as close as the rest of us and we tried to make her feel included. I could put up with the fact that she was American, but not the drama queen. She wasn’t even trying to master the spells. If she didn’t get it on the first try, she would pout and call over one of the guys to help her. Never Dom or me.

Selenia, on the other hand, was trying really hard, it just wasn’t her thing. I don’t think Al actually minded being her personal tutor. As I was dueling James, Samara was using Scorpius as her personal tutor. She had this ultra-annoying high-pitched giggle that was only three notes and ended with a high squeak (ha-ha hee!). If I’d heard it one more time as my boyfriend was showing her how to properly hold her wand by gripping her wand hand in his, she might’ve been accidentally mistaken for one of the dueling dummies. What a shame that would’ve been.

We switched partners and I dueled Dom while James worked with Scorp. This left Jax to be Samara’s partner. She started with the same act again. “Oh Jax, I’m just no good at this. Ha-ha hee!” He would run over and show her the wand movements. “Did I mess that up? Ha-ha hee!” Dom and I exchanged glances. You could get away with playing coy around the sweet-tempered Rose Weasley’s boyfriend but you do not mess with Dominique Weasley’s man.

“Ha-ha hee! Jax, I’m so sorry. That was a complete accident. Ha-ha hee!” Dom was now seething. She sent three consecutive stunning spells right at me, followed by an impedimenta curse, all the while, her eyes trained on her boyfried and Samara. I had to think fast, but I managed to deflect the first two spells, jump out of the way of the third and completely block the impedimenta.

“Whoa – Down girl!” I was breathing hard from the training.

“Oops – Sorry Rose.” I knew she genuinely was and I knew what had made her lose her temper. We both started giggling. “You were awesome,” she tipped her head toward me. “I can tell you’re getting better.”

“Thanks! And don’t be sorry. This is the kind of practice I need.” I nodded over to Jax and Samara, who was now rubbing his biceps saying, “So how much do you have to lift on a daily basis to keep up your beater strength? You are incredibly buff. Ha-ha hee!” Dom aimed her wand at her and before she could send off her jinx, I stepped in.

“Hey guys! Why don’t we all take a break?” Aunt Ginny had left some snacks on a small table on the far side of the room. There weren’t any chairs, so we all just sat in a circle on the floor and ate.

When are we going to get to some harder spells?” Samara whined. “I don’t know about you guys, but this is pretty much fourth year stuff at Salem Academy.” This comes from the girl who couldn’t remember the wand movements for an ‘expelliarmus’ charm.

“I think we just want to make sure everyone is capable of basic spells, you know - before moving on to more difficult magic,” Dom said slowly, through gritted teeth.

“It’s alright Sam,” James put his arm around her and glared at Dom. He must have missed the show earlier. I don’t think he would’ve been too pleased, either. “We’ll catch you up, even if it takes extra lessons.”

“Thanks, Jamsie,” she deposited a kiss on his lips. Jamsie? No one was allowed to call him anything but James. I was getting tired again. Samara Tinsman was exhausting all my energy.

But she wasn’t done yet. “I was really hoping you guys, you know, being in Auror training, could show us something a little more advanced. Ha-ha hee! Like, when are we going to get to avada kedavra?”

“The killing curse?” my eyes were almost popping out of my head. “I don’t think we need to-”

“Oh, come on!” Samara interrupted me. “Isn’t that the ultimate defense? Even Harry Potter used it – on Voldemort. I figured since we were in his house, using his dueling range, it would be okay,” her whiny voice was sending me over the edge.

“He did not use it!” I stood up. This was a very sore point with Uncle Harry, and with me. I always got so defensive when someone thought that Uncle Harry killed Voldemort with avada kedavra.

“Voldemort used it on Uncle Harry. Three times, in fact. Uncle Harry used expeliarmus and Voldemort’s curse rebounded on himself. That is the whole point. We don’t have to fight with unforgivable curses. If you are a good dueler and clever, you don’t need them!” I had my hands on my hips as I was practically preaching the last part. Mostly, this was pointless because everybody else already knew all of these facts. Even the non-family members knew, because Uncle Harry would come to Hogwarts about three times a year as a guest speaker in the DADA class. He always made this argument as the theme for one of his lectures. Samara probably never got to hear him speak, being from America. I maybe should have gone easier on her, but she’d already gotten under my skin for the evening.

“We know, love,” Scorpius had stood up as well and gently put a hand on my arm.

“He didn’t use it, Scorp!” I rounded and looked wildly around at everyone. Except for Samara and Dom, they were looking at me with concern instead of being outraged along with me, which made me even angrier. Samara had her eyebrows raised, as if I’d just said something completely insane. I was just about to explode, when I noticed Dom staring at the floor. At first I thought she was trying not to laugh, but then she said quietly, “Nana Molly used avada kedavra.”

“What?!”

“No way!”

I was flabbergasted. “That can’t be. Nana Molly?” Dom must be mistaken.

“Dad told me about it. She used it to kill Bellatrix Lestrange during the final battle when Bellatrix was going after Aunt Ginny.”

“The fuck you say.”

“Merlin, James! That is our grandmother you are talking about. Have some respect.” Al was clearly offended by James’s (as usual) vulgar mouth.

“What?! That was a downright respectful ‘fuck.’ I mean, honestly, that woman is totally badass. Props to Nana Molly for killing the biggest bitch of all time. Sorry Scorp - ” he tipped his head. Bellatrix was, after all, Scorpius’s great-aunt.

Scorp just shook his head, embarrassed. He didn’t want to be associated with any Death Eaters, relatives or not.

I just rolled my eyes. Leave it to James to defend the word ‘fuck’ as respectful. I was still having a hard time accepting this whole scenario. Nana Molly. The woman who knitted us sweaters every Christmas and gave us bone-crushing hugs whenever we entered the Burrow. The woman whose fiercest quality is cooking up a meal for thirty plus relatives - murdered one of Voldemort’s closest allies with an unforgivable curse. Ho-ly shit.

“I guess it’s different when you are protecting your own child,” Dom explained. “That’s what Dad said anyway. He said he never fully understood it until Vic, me and Louis were born.” One look at Albus and James told me that they had no idea about this piece of information. We were all equally shocked.

“Honestly, how did you guys not know that?” Samara sounded exasperated. “It’s in the history books. Everyone in America knows that Molly Weasley killed Bellatrix Lestrange. I’m with James on this one. She is pretty fucking badass.” This chick was seriously getting on my nerves.

“Samara, it’s not like they talk to us about it that much. I doubt they even talk to each other about it,” Albus tried to explain. “It wasn’t exactly the ‘good old days’ for them.”

“If you say so.”  She was so blasé about the whole thing. I was just about to give her some advice as to alternative places she could shove her wand and her avada kedavra curse when Selenia stepped in. Good timing too, as Al’s face was beginning to contort.

“Samara, how would you like to head over to The Quaffle for a nightcap? We haven’t had a chance to catch up in ages.” She was always the picture of grace and composure.

“Sure Sels. This was getting pretty boring anyway.” Good riddance. She planted an inappropriately long kiss on James while Selenia and Al said their goodbyes. “Tell your Mum thanks for the snacks,” Selenia reminded Al. Dom whispered to Jax, who made some excuse that he had to be off as well and the three of them tromped up the stairs and I heard three faint cracks to indicate they’d left. It all seemed to play out too well.

“What is going on?” I was suspicious – and getting anxious again. I just could not take any more bad news right now. “Please tell me there isn’t any more prophecy stuff.” I rubbed my forehead.

“Nothing like that, Rosie,” Al put an arm around my shoulders as we ascended the stairs. “Dad just thought that you would like to have the chance to ask some questions, now that the news has sunk in and you’ve had some time to process it.”

I heaved a sigh of relief. “That is actually a really good idea.” We climbed the stairs and walked through the living room into the kitchen. Mum and Dad were sitting at the table, along with Aunt Ginny. Uncle Harry was standing at the counter.

“Selenia says thanks, Mum,” Al delivered her message.

“That girl is so sweet,” Aunt Ginny cooed. I noticed she didn’t say anything about Samara. Actually, she never says anything about Samara.

“Hello, love,” Uncle Harry walked over and gave me a squeeze. “Have a seat.”

“It sounds like you and Selenia had a nice weekend. Your hair looks fabulous, by the way.” Mom gave me a pat on the arm as I flopped down into the chair across from her, drained. A quick glance between my Dad and Uncle Harry told me that neither of them mentioned the ‘packages’ that Selenia and I had picked up. They were probably too embarrassed themselves.

Dad reached over and grabbed my hand. “We know that we kind of blind-sided you with the prophecy and all that last week. We’ve had a few months to let the information sink in. Do you have any questions about it? Take your time, love.”

I did actually have several questions, but there was one that was more pressing than the others.

“Can I hear it? I mean, the actual prophecy – can I hear it word for word? I want to know exactly what it says. Maybe there is something in there that I would find significant.”

“I thought that might be your first question,” Uncle Harry looked proud of himself. He began to fumble with some sort of odd shaped box that was sitting on the kitchen counter. It looked like it was made of wood, but it wasn’t exactly box-shaped. It had six or so sides at its base and then angled up to only three sides on the top that came to a point. There were lots of levers and knobs on each side. It looked like some weird, old wireless.

“The only people who have heard this, other than a few Department of Mysteries employees are the Aurors and trainees. As soon as we realized that your attacks were linked to a prophecy, we kept in under wraps. The other departments at the ministry don’t know. We are going to keep it that way for now, but won’t do anything in the future without your knowledge, all right?” he explained and I nodded. “So, if you’re okay with James, your Mum, and Ginny hearing this, we can proceed.”

“Of course, they can hear. Mum is the smartest witch I know. I can’t believe you didn’t show it to her first!”

“All right then,” Uncle Harry proceeded to move the box to the table and fidget with the levers. The three sides on the top opened up and a platform from inside rose up. “Thanks to some advances, we have this new machine that can play a memory to a group of people, instead of having to use a pensieve.” New? Advances? That thing looked at least 150 years old. Slowly some smoke rose out of the box, but instead of spreading around the room, it formed itself into the figure of a woman that I didn’t know. She sort of looked like a patronus, but it was not silvery, and kind of blurry.

The room was completely silent as the woman began to speak:

As a new generation of magic unfolds
There will be a child born with power untold
For only by the union of lines of evil and good
Will this power be unleashed upon the world
The child is born from a family of blood traitors
The child is born from a family of death eaters
A red-headed witch rises from the trio of defeat
A lost soul descends from those who were the Dark Lord’s retreat
When these two hearts combine as one
A child is born whose powers rival none


I was struck dumb by the sing-song voice of the woman and the realization that she was speaking about me. There was utter silence around the room, until...

“Whoa. The fuck you say.”

“James!” Ginny gave her obligatory reprimand. Though I think she quite agreed with him. As did I. It was one thing to have it told to you and quite another to hear it firsthand.

“Rosie?” Dad spoke softly and squeezed my hand from his seat to my right.

“I’m okay Dad,” but I don’t think the shakiness in my voice convinced anyone.

Scorpius, who had been standing somewhere behind me, moved next to my seat and knelt down on my left. He took my other hand and kissed it, drawing circles with his thumb. His other arm reached around my waist and pulled me protectively toward him.

“This changes nothing for us, Rose,” he whispered as he leaned his forehead against the side of my head, his lips even with my ear. His words were feather light, but everyone could still hear.

“Actually, I’m not so sure about that,” my head whipped around at my mother’s blatant remarks. I half-expected this from my Dad, but even he seemed more willing to accept Scorpius and I lately.

“Mum?” I must’ve heard her wrong.

“I said that I am not so sure this won’t change things for you and Scorpius.”

“What do you mean?” Uncle Harry sounded intrigued. Now I was getting angry. They were discussing my life as if I wasn’t here.

“I can’t say just yet,” Mum was thinking really hard. She put her hand up to her face and pulled at one of the corners of her mouth with her index finger and thumb. She always did this when she was trying to figure something out. “I need to do some research. I’ll visit the ministry archives tomorrow and get back to you. There is something about some of the lines that don’t seem to fit with the current interpretation of the prophecy.” She stopped herself, suddenly realizing she was talking about a prophecy that involved her own daughter. I was gaping at her. How could she treat this as another puzzle to solve? Her eyes softened and even watered.

“Rose, I’m sorry! I only meant that it just doesn’t fit to me. I want to know the true meaning, for your sake. But I won’t do anything unless you are all right with it,” she squeaked hurriedly, so I knew she was really upset. I pulled my hand out of Dad’s grasp to rub my head.

“No, no, it’s all right.” I massaged my eyes. “I want to get to the bottom of this and the more minds we have working on it, the better off we will be. I’m just really tired.” Scorpius, still kneeling beside me, was rubbing my back and it felt really good, relaxing.

“Uncle Harry,” I began with my next question, “did anyone determine a time when this is supposed to happen?”

“No. Some prophecies will give a general time period, but this one does not.”

“Have you looked into the possibility that it could be some other death eater? Are you still thinking it is Stannous?”

“Rose, Stannous thinks it is Stannous. We have no idea who it could be. Well, that isn’t entirely true. The department of mysteries is working on that part mostly. We have been trying to locate Stannous and see how big of a following he has. But,” he emphasized, “I want you to know that Stannous does not have any more significance to us than any other of the possibilities.”

“Okay,” I nodded my head, but couldn’t say anymore. My anxiety was returning. Scorpius had been right last week. Even if it wasn’t Stannous, as long as he thinks he is the father... I shuddered again and Scorpius pulled me even closer. My head lolled against his chest as he rested his chin on top of it. All of a sudden, it was taking its toll on me and I was too tired to think. “Is it alright if we just go home? I have some more questions, but can I ask them some other time?” The other questions that were plaguing my gut were too intense for me to ask in front of everyone.

“Of course love,” Dad stood and patted me on the shoulder. The others followed him. “See you all next week?” Everyone gave their affirmations. Mum and Dad left first and flooed home. Dom, James and Al apparated next. I hung back, with Scorpius. I was half hoping to ask Uncle Harry a few questions without the other Aurors around. As if he could read my mind, Uncle Harry said, “Scorpius, would it be alright if I bring Rose home in a little bit. I know she said she was tired, but I have a few, quick things to discuss with her.”

“Sure!” Scorpius said, a little too quickly. It almost looked like he was relieved. “I actually have… stuff to do, so I will see you at Number Twelve later on, Rose?” He sounded distracted, worried. Was I getting to be too much for him? Maybe he wanted out. This prophecy was overwhelming everyone. Before I could check if he was all right, or even kiss him goodbye, he apparated on the spot and I was alone with Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny.

She gave Uncle Harry a peck on the cheek and said she was off to bed for the night, she smiled at me and I knew that they had a way of communicating with each other that was really special. I don’t think either one of them are a true legilimens, but they seemed to always know what the other was thinking. Definitely more so than my own Mum and Dad, who still bickered most of the time.

I pushed my worries about Scorpius out of my mind as Uncle Harry sat down next to me and began to fiddle with the box. “So, Rose… do you want to hear the prophecy again?”

“Not right now, Uncle Harry, maybe some other time. I think I heard what I needed to for now, but I do have a couple of really pressing questions.” I paused, “I just didn’t want to ask them in front of everyone.”

“I gathered that,” Uncle Harry said as he closed up the box and put it back on the counter. He sat down and stared at me with his intent, green eyes. “What would you like to know?”

I didn’t know how to ask the first question without sounding pathetic, so I just blurted it out. “Why me? Not that I would ever want to pass this fate on to someone else, it’s just that… I don’t really understand what’s so special about me to have this… this… series of events – forced upon me. There are so many other, more important witches and wizards out there.”

“Ah. You have asked the one question that I do not have an answer to.” Uncle Harry sighed. “All I can tell you is that before I had a prophecy spoken about me, I was bound to be just a kid with a couple of parents, living in Godric’s Hollow. No one can say who or why events happen to certain people – even events that are not predicted.” He actually chuckled. “I sound like Albus Dumbledore; who would most likely have said ‘Why not you, Rose?’”

This did not make me feel any better, although Uncle Harry did have a point. I never thought about it before, but I guess he was just some random kid before all this ‘chosen one’ and ‘savior of the Wizarding world’ happened. Actually, except for that part of his life, he was pretty much just as boring as everyone else. Definitely more sane that most of the Weasleys. I thought about this for a long minute. Mostly because I was really dreading asking my last question – I don’t think I wanted to know the answer.

“Rose?” I must have been quiet for a little too long. “You look like you are struggling with yourself.” Was I that transparent? I took a deep breath.

“Sorry… it’s just…” another deep breath, “…the prophecy talks about the coming together of good and evil. Two blood lines from opposite sides. Also, it says the child will have great power – ‘untold’ I think was the word. However, it doesn’t say if this child…” my voice could barely whisper the next part, “my child, is… g-good… or evil.” I couldn’t even look at him. This thought had been haunting me since the first day I’d heard about my fate. How could I live with the fact that I brought the next Voldemort into the world? If these things are already decided, was there even anything I could do? I’d been tormenting myself with this for days and I couldn’t hide the furrowed brow or sigh that escaped as the words rolled off my tongue.

Uncle Harry put a warm, reassuring hand in mine, but didn’t say anything until I looked up and him and met his eyes. They were fiery and bright, while I knew mine were brimming with tears. “Rose, that is the one thing about this prophecy that I am indisputably certain about.” His voice was steady and strong. “I know, in my heart, that any child that has you and your wonderful soul for a mother will be absolutely, one hundred percent, without a doubt - a kind, warm, perfectly brilliant human being. Being an ultra-powerful wizard is just icing on the cake.” He grinned at me.

He was so sincere, so honest, that I couldn’t help but let out a huge sigh of relief. For the time being, my anxiety subsided. My hands began to relax. I hadn’t even realized that one of them was white knuckled against the side of the table and the other one was squeezing Uncle Harry’s for dear life. “Sorry,” I mumbled, embarrassed.

“Don’t worry about it, love,” he dismissed. “Now, unless you have any other questions, I think it’s time we got you home! You looked a bit tired – and peaked.”

“Thanks. I am quite tired. But, I really wanted you to know how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Using the dueling range, lifting my restrictions, answering my questions – thanks for…understanding.”

He smiled at me again, and we stood from the table. Just as I was about to grab his arm for our side-along apparition, there was a knock at the front door. It was rather late to be receiving visitors.

Uncle Harry turned his head in the direction of the sound, but not before I saw the furrowed look on his face. “Stay here a moment, Rose,” he instructed with a directness to his voice that I knew not to argue with. “I’ll be right back.” He casually drew his wand as he set for the door.

Because the front entrance was in the parlor adjacent to the kitchen, I could hear most of the conversation. It sounded like a young woman was at the door.

“I’m sorry sir, to bother you so late at night.”

“Please, Kali, call me Harry.” It was Al’s mentee, Kali Goldstein. Uncle Harry thought removing the formalities in the department would create a more cohesive unit. I’d heard him say to the recruits on the days that I visited the ministry that when they were trusting each other with their lives, there was no need to be formal with titles.

“Erm… sure,” I noticed she still wouldn’t call him Harry. “Erm… you said not to use a patronus or an owl for any information that we thought involved L’erge Stannous.”

My feet carried my body into the adjacent room before my mind could think about what I was doing. Information on Stannous? Was he found? Did they capture him?

“Oh!” Kali jumped at my presence. “Hi Rose. Erm…” She looked uneasily up at Uncle Harry, clearly not sure what to do in this situation.

“It’s alright Kali. Rose is going to be kept abreast of all information regarding this case. Please come in. What is the information?”

“Oh! Sure.” She stepped through the entryway, but wouldn’t sit in any of the chairs Uncle Harry offered to her. “Well - erm. We just got this memo from the Bulgarian Ministry.” She handed a scroll of parchment to Uncle Harry. It had a foreign ministry seal on it, which I could only assume was the official Bulgarian seal. Uncle Harry unrolled it and began reading.

Bulgaria? That’s where Stannous was from. It makes sense that he’d return there. Had he been captured? My heart thumped at the possibility that this was all over.

“I was working the night shift when that memo came in. None of the Aurors on duty recognized the name of the witch it mentions. But because of the nature of… her death, and the fact that she was murdered in Bulgaria, we thought you should know immediately.”

Uncle Harry nodded as he finished reading the letter.

“Do you recognize the name?” Kali asked him.

“I do.” Uncle Harry closed his eyes for a moment before looking at me. “But Rose knew Healer Ruthenia Vanadi much better than I.”

Ruthenia Vanadi? Ruth?! My Healer therapist was… dead. In Bulgaria.

My breath caught. No.

“There must be some mistake,” my voice cracked. “You are mistaken.” I looked hard at Kali. “Ruth was on sabbatical. She was on a leave to do research. She’s coming back next month. You need to check with the Bulgarian government. They must be confusing her with someone else.  Or... they haven't checked properly.” I let out a sob. I knew what Uncle Harry was going to say before he spoke, but my brain couldn’t accept it.

“Rose, I’m so sorry but,” Uncle Harry put a hand on my shoulder, “they’re not wrong. She was found murdered last night. Killed with cruciatus flagrate.”








A/N:  Special thanks to Emily (-bookdinosaur-) for the chapter title!

Aaaand - the actual prophecy comes out!  Ruth has been murdered.  Ugh!  What's next?  I'd love to hear what you think of everything!  Thank you so, so much to everyone who has been reading and reviewing.  I get so excited with each one!  ♥Beth

 


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