Blood of Birds

Note: Hi! The following is a 2nd generation Harry Potter fanfiction, with main characters being Rose Weasley, Scorpius Malfoy, and Albus Potter. It will be comprised of four parts, the first of which will follow Rose. There will also be seven one-shots (or side-alongs) following other characters at points throughout the series, each uploaded separately. I've also taken the liberty to include a few re-quotes, courtesy of JK Rowling and Steve Kloves of course, to pay homage to the original books and films. So without further ado, here is Chapter 1. Happy reading!

~ Lauren

Wattpad http://www.wattpad.com/user/AriannaBlack

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14. A Veritable Theorem (2/2)

As Al came in the nearly empty room from behind Rose and saw the girl she was referring to, who happened to be the only person inside, he went completely still. Rose had expected him to say that she wasn't good enough, that they'd need to find somebody else, but instead he didn't say a word. He was completely silent as Rose made her way toward the girl, who had her back turned to them.

"Hi," Rose said to her. She was sitting on a stool and had her head buried from view as she sniffed an open jar of conifers. Rose was going with her gut, as she had never actually heard anything about the girl, but she had seen her in the Potions classroom before, so she assumed that she was skilled at the subject.

Pausing for a moment, the girl took her time to return the jar to the table. Once she had done so, she turned ever so slightly to Rose, who was standing beside her, saw who she was, turned back to her ingredients and said, "Hello." She sounded annoyed, as if a person she despised had just interrupted her deepest thought. She was making it clear that she didn't want to talk as she said nothing else and began collecting her jars and carrying them over to a shelf at the side of the room.

Rose, insulted by the girl's lack of interest, looked to Al for reassurance, but found that he was still staring wide-eyed at the girl, a hint of a crooked smile making its way onto his face. The girl may not be interested in either of them, but Al was most certainly interested in her.

Ignoring him, Rose ran after the girl and said, "Er, excuse me, but I was wondering if I could have your name?"

She was dressed in a plain, black skirt and a vintage, patterned top as she placed the last of her jars on the top shelf and faced Rose once again. Pushing her dark bangs away from her eyes and revealing her bright green irises, she answered, "Ilana Higgs." Then, looking at Al, who still hadn't said anything, but had his own green eyes transfixed on hers, she nodded at him and said, "You're Albus Potter." Back at Rose, she furrowed her eyebrows and added, "And you are?"

Smiling at the chance to introduce herself, and being used to people immediately knowing who Al was, Rose held out her hand to shake Ilana's and answered, "Rose Weasley."

Ilana glanced at Rose's hand but didn't shake it. Yet again turning away from Rose, she raised her eyebrows and said sarcastically, "Pleasure."

After an awkward moment of silence, Rose taken aback by Ilana's rudeness, Al remaining silent, and Ilana waiting for something to be said, the latter finally spoke. "Look, I best be going," she said before pushing past Rose and heading for the door.

"Wait!" Rose yelled out instinctively. She didn't like Ilana very much so far, but that didn't change the fact that she needed her help.

"What?" Ilana asked when she turned back around.

Answering quickly so that she wouldn't have time to try to leave all over again, Rose said, "We were wondering if you could help us. We need to brew a specific potion, and we don't have much time to do it." She decided to refrain from telling her what type of potion they wanted to make, just in case Ilana refused to help.

Ilana chuckled and looked away before saying, "Sorry, but I doubt that you of all people would ever need my help with something."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Rose asked, her arms crossed against her chest protectively.

Brushing a hand through her hair, Ilana pointed at Rose and then Albus, saying, "You're a Weasley and a Potter. You were both born with perfect lives to perfect families, and I'm sure you both have perfect grades in every class. Why would you need me to make one little potion for you? Can't you do that yourselves?"

Rose was about to reply with an equally insulting comment, but didn't get the chance to when Al unexpectedly opened his mouth and spat at Ilana, "Hey! You don't get to talk to us like that." He had been lost in his own world before, but now he had returned, and was sticking up for Rose, since Scorpius wasn't around to do it for him. "We may have the pleasureof our famous names, but that doesn't give you the right to judge us by them. Having so-called perfect lives only means that we have impossible expectations to live up to, and it doesn't make anything easier. We walk around this school with everybody staring, wondering if we'll turn out to be as brilliant as our parents, when all we really want is to just be ourselves. Meanwhile, you get to hide in the library or the Potions classroom and go completely unnoticed. Don't you dare judge us just because we can't do the same."

Al had made both Rose and Ilana speechless, and as he glanced down at his pocket where his wand had been returned, he added, "We're no more powerful than anybody else, and we never will be. We can't do this on our own, but somehow we have to do this. So please, the least you could do is offer some advice."

In that moment, Rose was immensely proud of her friend. Not only had he acted more confidently than she had ever seen, but after she had spent such a large part of the year wondering if he was the person he claimed to be, it felt extremely relieving to hear that he wouldn't be indulging in the power of his wand. He understood what it was now, but it was clear that he wanted nothing to do with the benefits it could provide him with.

Meanwhile, Al had returned to staring at Ilana, and she back at him. It looked as if she was really taking his words into consideration, and Rose was thankful that he had somehow gotten the message across to her. After a large gulp and the release of a breath, she asked Al, "Which potion?"

Albus smiled with satisfaction upon knowing that she was willing to hear them out, and Rose answered for him, "Veritaserum. Have you ever been successful with it?"

"Sort of," Ilana answered, looking back and forth between Rose and Al. "Mind you, it was part of a lesson in class, and we were given specific instructions orally, and all the ingredients were provided. I have a recipe for it, but it's not detailed enough to produce a perfect batch. I've been trying to find out what it's missing for months, but I haven't gotten anywhere with it."

Rose was quickly disappointed, but noticed that Al was still smiling. He then held up his left hand, in which he had the Half-Blood Prince's potions book, and said, "I think I know what you're missing."

"Where did you find this?" Ilana asked Al as she flipped through the book, reading the various notes that had been written in the margins of every page. Apparently each potion recipe had tweaks and tips written in by the book's old owner that helped to give better results. Ilana seemed to be fascinated by all of it, and she and Al were having a great time searching through it at their table.

The two of them, along with Rose, had relocated to the library so that Professor Pontner, who had been sitting in her office beside the Potions classroom, couldn't overhear their plans. They had only been here a few minutes, but Rose was already afraid that they had wasted too much time. It was already Friday afternoon, and Rose still didn't have a definitive plan in motion. Albus and Ilana noticed this as she tapped her fingers nervously against their desk.

As the two looked up at her from the other side of the table, Rose said, "Can we skip the story and just go to the section on Veritaserum please?"

"Sorry," Ilana said, laughing. She then flipped toward the back of the book to the long chapter on truth serums, in which Veritaserum was the first listed. Bending down to get a closer look, she and Al started to read.

"I'm pretty sure it's all there," Al said. "I just don't know what half of it is, or how to get it. And some of the techniques in the procedure are things I've never had to do before."

Ilana nodded and commented, "You wouldn't until your sixth year. None of this is below NEWT level." Smiling, she added, "But you're right, it's all here. I've been using one beetle too many, I cooked it without enough heat… I mean, this is brilliant!"

Before Al could take all the credit for himself, Rose steered the conversation back on track and asked, "So how will we do this exactly?" She felt uncomfortable without all the control, but kept telling herself that it was for the best.

"Well," Ilana began, still reading the ingredients list. "We'll need to get hold of all this. Most of them are plants that we'd probably have here in the Greenhouses. There are a few rarer ingredients, spices and such, which only Professor Pontner would have. I'd normally be able to get some no problem, but with it being the end of the year, she'll have her cupboard locked up by now…"

"Don't worry about that," Rose said, already sure that none of what Ilana had mentioned would be a problem. Rose herself didn't like to break into places or steal things, but she knew plenty of people who did, and they happened to be extremely good at it.

Ilana looked up at Rose with intrigue, to which Rose explained, "The one good thing about being born with a name like mine means that I have a lot of contacts. They come in handy sometimes."

Ilana laughed, looking somewhat impressed as she returned to reading and said, "Alright then."

Rose smiled back with pride, but it turned into a frown as soon as Ilana's did. "What?" she asked with concern. Both Ilana and Al had their eyes locked on the bottom of the page, and Ilana was rubbing her forehead as if she had her work cut out for her.

Looking up at her, Al said, "That doesn't sound easy to obtain. It isn't, is it?"

Too curious to keep calm anymore, and beyond annoyed that she wasn't being let in on the conversation, Rose asked more loudly, "WHAT?"

Ilana looked up at Rose with wide eyes, surprised to hear her speak so loudly in a library. As her eyes adjusted back to their normal size, she whispered, "It's the final ingredient: hair of a werewolf. It's incredibly rare."

Rose, not letting herself feel defeated for even a moment, asked, "Doesn't Professor Pontner have some?"

Ilana shook her head and replied with, "Are you kidding? This isn't something you can go out and buy."

"Well, then how did your class make the potion without it?" Rose asked, trying to think logically, which was the only way she knew how.

"Our potion wasn't perfect. It was good, but it wouldn't have been usable," Ilana answered. "I'm sorry, but there's not really any way around this. If you want to have perfect results with this potion, we'll need the hair."

Al put his head down in complete defeat and Ilana closed the book, but Rose wouldn't give up so easily. "Hold on," she said. "There's got to be a way to do this. There always is." She was thinking of what Dumbledore had told her about how the truth will act, and she knew that this was what he had meant. "Let's just get hold of everything else, and let me deal with the werewolf hair."

Rose was about to leave the table to go to the Great Hall when Ilana asked, "Why is this so important?" They hadn't yet told her why they needed the potion, and a part of Rose had been hoping that she would never ask.

"Because it'll help save someone," Rose said simply. "Someone I love." She was being sincere, but noticed that Ilana gave her a look that signaled that she thought less of Rose's emotional capacity to love at such a young age.

"Isn't there someone you love, someone you'd do anything for… everything for?" Rose asked, trying to connect with Ilana in any way possible.

Ilana looked into Rose's eyes for a long moment, green grass meeting sea blue, and Rose knew before long that Ilana believed the words she said after all. "Of course there is," answered Ilana.

Then, they both went silent, and Rose continued on her way, leaving Al and Ilana to continue to discuss the potion, a language that Rose didn't fully understand.

The Great Hall was as crowded as ever, and Rose was once again surprised to find out how late it was. Students and teachers alike were all packed into the enormous room for supper, since unlike Rose, their appetites hadn't abandoned them through the chaos that their minds were undergoing. Even looking at all the food, Rose still had no desire to eat. She was here to recruit more people who could help her and Al, all while hoping that some sort of answer to the problematic werewolf hair would fall from the sky.

Standing in the doorway to the Hall, Rose searched the rows of heads for James's mouse brown hair, but was instead met with a cheerful sounding voice from behind her. "Rose!" Nigel said, now right beside her. "Look who's back!" He then motioned to someone standing behind him.

"Colin!" Rose said, shocked to see Nigel's older brother back at Hogwarts. She instantly walked up and gave him a great hug as she said, "I'm so glad you're back! When did you get here?"

After the two broke apart, Colin answered, "O - only just now. Hagrid flew me over on his motorbike. I told him there wasn't much of a point, seeing as school ends this week, but he sort of insisted."

Rose laughed. "That sounds like him," she said. "So McGonagall just let you return?" He had been on home arrest ever since his false accusation, if only because McGonagall didn't want him to get bullied by naïve and assuming Hogwarts kids.

"Yeah, well they've apparently got a new suspect, so they said they didn't think anybody would blame me if I still wanted to work here," Colin explained.

Rose felt a sharp twang of pain in her chest, since Colin had only been allowed to return because Scorpius had been accused. It didn't seem fair either way, but not much did these days. Thinking about this, Rose nearly missed Colin ask her, "Do you have any idea who it is? The new suspect?"

All three were still in the entryway to the Hall, but nobody was close enough to overhear, since all the students were sitting down, eating and talking with friends. "Actually…" Rose began to answer, but was caught off guard when loud squawking sounds mixed with flapping wings came from up toward the ceiling. Apparently the daily post was being delivered, and owls were flying left, right and center, all being careful not to land in their owner's food. Normally, these deliveries would take place in the morning, but lately the owls were coming at night, since many students didn't have time to eat breakfast before their exams.

As Rose, Nigel, and Colin all stared up at the birds, Hugo came running from the Gryffindor table to address the three of them. "Hey, you're Nigel's brother, aren't you?" he asked Colin.

Colin nodded, and then Hugo asked, "Is it true that you're a Squib?"

Rose's mouth dropped open in surprise at just how rude her younger brother was acting, but as it turned out, she didn't need to scold him herself. Instead, Pig did it for him, the miniature owl flying directly toward the back of his fire-red head and sending Hugo to the ground, with the tiny envelope it was carrying in its beak into Rose's hands. She had shot them out to try and catch Hugo, but had of course missed.

Now, Rose was laughing hard with Colin chuckling beside her as Nigel helped Hugo up cautiously. Once he had both feet on the floor again, Hugo rubbed his head where the bird had hit him and gasped in pain. "Bloody hell, that hurt!" he cried. Upon hearing this, Nigel looked as if he was about to cry for Hugo, but tried to hold back his tears.

"Serves you right," Rose said as she pet Pig approvingly, who was now perched peacefully on her shoulder. "What you asked Colin was none of your business."

"I – it's okay, Rose," Colin said, looking then to Hugo. "People are bound to know by now anyway."

"So it's true then?" Hugo asked, his excruciating pain apparently not enough of a distraction to keep him from receiving confirmation for Colin's secret.

Rose rolled her eyes, but Colin nodded. Ignoring them all, Rose took the time to open the envelope Pig had delivered. It was from a stationary she didn't recognize, but inside was her mother's handwriting, which read:

Dear Rose and Hugo,

I am happy to write of some very exciting news! Victoire gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this morning, named Remus, or 'Remy' as they call her (after Teddy's late father, Remus Lupin). Your dad and I are at the hospital now, and Harry and Ginny are here as well. I don't think I've seen Harry look so proud since Lily was born, and Teddy and Victoire are both thrilled and doing well.

Just thought you'd like to know, and I'm sure Remy can't wait to see the both of you once you get back home. Oh, and Rose, let us know how your OWL's went!

Lots of love,

Mum

Rose's thoughts were initially a pleasant surprise as she finished reading the letter, Hugo next to her and jumping up and down to try to read it himself. After the surprise wore off, however, Rose was met with yet another epiphany, and her eyes widened with delight as she handed the letter off to Hugo.

"Rose, are you okay?" Nigel asked, always concerned for the well being of those around him.

Rose didn't answer Nigel as she returned to scouring the hall for James, whom she would need to help break into Professor Pontner's cupboard. Once she spotted him, sitting with Fred and Lila at the end of the Gryffindor table, she started walking, her company following behind her.

"'Can't wait to see us'?" Hugo mumbled as they walked, oblivious to the sudden change in destination. "She's an infant. She doesn't even know we exist!"

Once they got to James, Rose tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Come with me. I need you." Reluctantly, he got up and joined the group, looking to Colin for some explanation, but he just shrugged in response.

Next, Rose approached both Lucy Weasley and Holly Longbottom from the Hufflepuff table and told them to follow her as well. She would need the two Herbologists to help with the Greenhouses, but didn't explain this yet. Instead, like James and the other boys, the girls signed on to the task blindly as Rose led them all back to the library.

Listening to some of the conversation from behind, but failing to join in, Rose heard Lucy ask James, "What's happening?"

"I suspect that Rose has developed a deep thought that must be dealt with immediately," Holly answered when James didn't know what to say. "You can tell from all the wrackspurts flying around her ears."

To Colin, Holly added, "Oh, hello there. It's good to have you back, Colin." More quietly, she whispered, "You have very nice ears, you know. Not too many wrackspurts in them."

"Er, thanks," Colin replied.

Just as they arrived at the library, Hugo asked rather loudly, "What the devil is a wrackspurt?"

Nobody answered, since before they actually entered the library, Rose turned around to face the crew. They all silenced and looked up expectantly, as Rose took a deep breath and said, "Colin, the person who was accused was Scorpius. Scorpius Malfoy."

Hugo, Lucy, and Nigel, all of whom hadn't yet heard the news, gaped in surprise as James took a step toward Rose and rubbed her arm for comfort. "It's okay though," Rose continued, "Because he's innocent. I'm sure of it. Unfortunately, we still have to prove it to McGonagall before his trial, which is on Monday."

"Hmm," Holly muttered. "I suspect nargles are behind this."

Everybody ignored her, but Hugo gave her the most outrageous look of bewilderment. "Nargles? What are nargles?" It was becoming clear that he and Holly would not be getting along very well.

"Hugo, let Rose speak," Nigel said, since he knew that he was the only one who could get Hugo to shut up. Holly wasn't going to answer anyway, since she had been distracted by the apparent beauty of Colin's earlobe, which she was gazing at with wonder. She looked as if she was about to pet it.

"Thank you, Nigel," Rose said. "Now, I would really appreciate it if all of you could help Al and me with this. I know you'd all be useful." Truthfully, she hadn't planned on bringing Hugo or Nigel into this, as Hugo would usually just get in the way, but hopefully she could find something for them to do.

"Of course we'll help," Lucy said. "Anything you need."

James nodded with her, followed closely by Colin, Holly, and Nigel. Hugo was pretending to think about it as he asked, "What's in it for me?"

Luckily, Rose was saved from having to respond when James whacked Hugo on the side of the head. Hugo tried to fight back, but realized before too long that he didn't stand a chance; James was at least twice his size.

Leading the way to Al and Ilana's table, Rose approached the two of them and said to Al, "Can you introduce everybody and fill them all in? I need to go look for something."

Al shrugged and then helped James pull up an extra table. Then, they all took a seat around it and Al introduced them, one by one, to Ilana, who looked slightly overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, Rose headed away from the Potions section that they were in and toward the row of books on Mysterious Beasts. She found one book listing all known werewolves and Animagi throughout wizarding history and searched for Remus Lupin. It hadn't crossed her mind before, but she remembered overhearing a conversation between Teddy and his father-in-law, Bill Weasley, at his and Victoire's wedding. Bill had been telling Teddy about the origins of a large scar that had torn apart pieces of flesh on the side of his face. Teddy had seemed oddly interested in the subject, and Rose could just barely recall him mentioning something about his father, Remus.

In the middle of a long list toward the end of the book, Rose found Remus's name listed just below that of Fenrir Greyback, yet another person she recognized from nightmarish tales that her father had once told her. Now that her initial hunch was confirmed, Rose moved on to another book that detailed the science behind a werewolf bite, along with its repercussions. Turning to a chapter on werewolf genetics, Rose's curiosity had now reached an ultimate high. Skimming through the section as fast as she could, her eyes focused in on the exact information she had been hoping to find. As it turned out, the werewolf gene was recessive, but it could be passed on through anyone who had in fact been bitten by a werewolf, whether that wolf had been in its transformation, or not. This meant that not only did Remus most certainly pass on part of the gene to Teddy, but that Bill had passed his on to Victoire as well. Neither Teddy nor Victoire were werewolves themselves, since their mothers hadn't had the genes. However, this did mean that Remy could receive the gene from both sides, and thus it should carry through, making her a full-fledged werewolf.

Trying not to think about what this would mean for the poor child or her family if it were true (and granted, there was a 75% chance that it wouldn't be), Rose rushed back to Al and the rest of the group, who were all seated in the same spot she had left them in. Al was telling them all about Veritaserum, showing Lucy the list of ingredients, and Ilana was sitting in silence, watching.

"Ilana," Rose said, sounding flushed. As soon as Ilana turned to see her, Rose asked, "Does the werewolf hair have to be taken from the wolf during its transformation, or can it be when it's in human form?"

"Um, the book doesn't say, but it shouldn't matter," Ilana answered. Upon seeing Rose's smile of relief, Ilana asked, "Why, did you find something?"

"Yes," Rose said as she looked around for a piece of parchment. Al offered up the bookmark he had been using, which Rose took gratefully. She then began writing, trying to think of how exactly to phrase such an odd request to her mother.

Mum,

That's great news! I'd definitely love to meet her, but be sure to send along my congratulations until I do. First though, I have a strange favor that I'm hoping you could do for me. I have one last Potions project to complete, and one of its ingredients is the hair of a human baby. I know it sounds incredibly odd, but if you could snatch a bit of Remy's hair, it'd be greatly appreciated. Also, I need it by Sunday, if it's not too much to ask.

Thank you so much, and I'll write again soon to tell you all about my OWL's.

Love,

Rose

Well, it wasn't a complete lie, Rose thought to herself as she read the letter over in her didn't want to tell Hermione the whole truth just yet, nor did she want to cause any turmoil amongst Teddy and Victoire until she had to. Her excuse sounded ridiculous of course, but she had a feeling that it would work. Potions ingredients tended to be seriously obscure, and Hermione had never been one to deny her children the opportunity to excel at school.

After she finished reading, Rose snatched the envelope from the letter Hermione had sent that Hugo had been holding, inserted the return letter, and asked Hugo to give it to his personal owl, Cow, to send to their parents. He tried to get out of it, but Hugo was just too wrapped up in this grand mission that he didn't want to miss out in any part of it, so he did as he was told.

Once he was gone, Al asked Rose, "What exactly did I miss?"

"Victoire had the baby," Rose answered, at which both Al and James smiled with pride. Before they could comment, Rose continued, "And I just looked some things up, and I'm pretty sure Remy, the baby, might be a werewolf."

Al took a minute to think about this as Ilana gave Rose a look of shock from beside him. It soon became clear that he too had known about Bill and Remus, as Rose could see the pieces coming together in his mind as he said, "Rose, you are brilliant!"

Rose smiled and said, "Actually I'm highly logical, which allows me to look past extraneous details and perceive clearly that which others overlook."

"Exactly," Al agreed. Both he and Rose were grinning from ear to ear, and even Ilana looked excited. Around the table, everybody's spirits had been lifted, and all were eager to be given their own tasks in a plan that was finally ready to be put into action.

"Alright," Rose began, "So James, do you think that you'd be able to get into Professor Pontner's cupboard?"

"We were just talking about that actually," James said, looking over at Nigel. "We're going to need a lot of ingredients, and I can't fit under my Cloak if I try to carry them all out. But I was thinking that Hugo and Nigel are probably small enough to fit under it together, so they could get all the ingredients for me and that way I can stay outside and make sure the coast is clear with my map."

"Sounds perfect," Rose said, thinking that that took care of the Hugo and Nigel problem. She then turned to the girls and asked, "Holly, Lucy, would you be able to get into the Greenhouses and identify all the right plants?"

"Well, Holly said she might be able to get hold of Professor Longbottom's keys," Lucy suggested, looking at Holly, who was sitting unnaturally close to Colin and smiling to herself. "And as for the plant identification," Lucy continued, "I think we've got that covered."

Rose laughed and nodded, before turning to Colin, whom she had a special task for. "Colin," she said, "I was hoping you could help me plan how to get Shunpike to drink the potion?" Colin didn't have any magical powers, but he of all people would want to see Filch's true murderer revealed.

"Yeah, sure," Colin said, thankful for the chance to be included.

"I think you'll be brilliant," Holly whispered then, and everybody shot their eyes at her. She sounded sincere, though Colin was trying to avoid eye contact with her. Holly was a lot to handle for anyone, and she and Colin had only just met.

Trying to redirect the attention to the plan, Rose addressed the last two at the table, Al and Ilana. "I'm counting on you to brew the potion, of course." Skeptical of their newest ally, Rose asked, "Ilana, you're sure you can do this, right?"

Everybody looked at Ilana expectantly, hoping to hear something that sounded hopeful or confident. Ilana, who was often so shy, and couldn't possibly be used to having this many people all relying on her, responded hesitantly, "Yes. I'm sure."

Note: For those of you who got through this entire chapter, thank you so much! I apologize again for its length. If you could leave a review, either on the chapter itself or Part 1 as a whole, please do so! It is always appreciated. 

 

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