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

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6. Cardinal Falcon, and Hawk (2/2)

competitive spirit, but sometimes it was too hard to resist. "But did you see how many times Al's flew around the room? It probably could have kept going all day."

Albus was beaming, and Harry merely shrugged, saying, "I mean, who knows? Maybe he's just got a better wand, that's all."

Ron shook his hand in frustration, and said "That's it," before pointing his own wand at Harry and yelling, "Stupefy!"

Suddenly, Harry flew backward against the sidewall and slid down to the floor. Everybody in the class turned toward him and started laughing as he rubbed his head in pain. Ron gave Rose a loud high-five before they both crossed their arms and looked over at Harry in triumph.

"Okay, I think it's time we all take a little break," Harry mumbled.

As everybody put away their wands and went to get a snack, Ron walked over to Harry to help him up. Rose, Al, and Scorpius stayed where they were and starting talking.

"That was incredible!" Al said, obviously proud of himself.

"Yeah, you guys were great," Scorpius said. Rose could sense a small amount of defeat in his voice though. Albus may have been power hungry, but Scorpius and Rose were normally the competitive ones. She knew Scorpius never liked to be last in anything.

"Hey," Rose said to him quietly, in an effort to cheer him up. "I couldn't have done it without you. Thanks for the memory."

Scorpius smiled, and then Ron and Harry joined the trio again.

"You okay, Dad?" Al asked his father.

"Oh, I'll be fine," Harry said. "At this point, I think I've gotten used to Ron's temper flares."

"Still, I'm sorry about that, mate," Ron said with his signature guilty smile.

Harry just waved off Ron's apology, before he suddenly turned to Al and asked, "Hey, you never replied to my letter. Did you end up getting prefect?"

Albus looked down, his previous excitement over his Patronus replaced with the disappointment of not being chosen as a new Slytherin prefect. "Uh, no, but Scorpius did."

Harry looked over to Scorpius reluctantly. "Oh, well, congrats, Scorp. That's – that's great," he said, but he patted Albus's shoulder at the same time.

For the rest of the day, everyone went back to working on their Patronuses. Harry worked mainly with those who were having trouble, particularly Scorpius, who still couldn't get the hang of it. Unfortunately, Harry's focus on Scorpius was responded with a glare from the oversensitive Albus. Rose tried to reassure him that his father wasn't at all disappointed, but he didn't seem to want to hear it.

Meanwhile, Ron was working with those who had already been able to produce the full charm, and who were now ready to practice on the boggart. This started off being just Al and Rose, but they were soon joined by a small group of Gryffindors, Pranav Patil from Ravenclaw, and Lucy. Her Patronus had taken the form of a clouded leopard, very similar to Lysander's from the other day. Rose could only assume that Lorcan, being Lysander's twin brother, also had some sort of leopard Patronus, and that this was the reason for Lucy's.

Albus was the first to approach the boggart dementor, and when Ron opened the chest and let it out, Rose fell subject to the same heavy coldness that she had felt the time before. Regardless, Al's hawk was still strong enough to drive the dementor right back into its hiding place. It seemed his memory was quite a good one, though Rose had no idea which he had chosen to use.

Next up was Rose, and she could feel the fear even before the dementor was let loose. As she approached the chest, Ron said, "Just remember, it's all in your head. The faster you produce that charm, the sooner the light will return. So let's hear your bird sing."

He then opened the chest and Rose was immersed in darkness. Just like in her dream, she was all alone, and could hear whispers of things people had already said. As the figure flew closer, she could finally make out its face. Its mouth was wide open, and inside was a black hole. She realized then that the thing wasn't just breathing; it was sucking. Flying just above her now, its face getting closer to her own, she could feel her memory being taken away, as if somebody had reached into her soul and stole it from her, like a kiss gone terribly wrong.

She knew how to make herself wake up though, so she closed her eyes and thought of the lightest and brightest thing she knew and yelled once again, "Expecto patronum!" She kept her eyes closed, but it wasn't long before she could hear her cardinal singing to her, and this perfect signal of morning pushed away the night.

Opening her eyes to see that the dementor was gone, Rose sighed in relief and Ron came up to pat her back.

"Is it my turn yet?" Rose turned around to see Scorpius, with Harry right behind him.

"Scorp, did you get it?" Rose asked with excitement.

"No," answered Harry sternly.

Rose and Ron were both confused at this, but Scorpius just sighed and said, "Look, I know what I have to do, but I can't just do it like that, out in the open, with nothing to… aim at. I have to face the fear first. Please just let me try it."

Ron shrugged and said, "It's not going to work anyway, but I guess there's no harm in trying, right?" Both Scorpius and Rose had gotten used to Ron's rudeness toward Scorpius over the years, so they didn't take direct offense.

Harry nodded, giving the official okay, and Scorpius cut through the line to stand in front of the chest. When Ron opened it, the dementor flew out faster than it had before, and got closer to Scorpius's face than it had with either Albus or Rose. It seemed to be more attracted to him, as if there was more fear and sadness to feed off of than there had been before. Rose, feeling scared for him, held on tightly to her father's arm, as he was standing with her next to the chest.

Scorpius didn't waste any time before he yelled out the incantation, but only a spark was conjured. After a groan of frustration from Scorpius, Rose could see Harry slyly making his way toward the dementor, ready to take control. Just as he was about to point his wand at the creature, though, Scorpius yelled again, louder than ever before, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

Suddenly, another silvery, full-figured bird was soaring the air, and Rose recognized it at once. The same white falcon from her dream was flying up toward the ceiling, where it made a small circle high above its prey before making the great dive down to it. As it came back down to the surface, it flew straight through the dementor and dropped it into its chest.

The falcon continued to soar through the air even after the dementor had been locked away, and Scorpius stared up at with amazement. Without even realizing it, Rose and Albus had soon made their way over to their friend and had conjured their own Patronuses, allowing the three birds to fly together for a while: Al's dark, powerful hawk, Rose's small, gentile cardinal, and Scorpius's light, fearsome falcon, united by the same sky.

Once the creatures faded away, the students began to as well. After only a few successful attempts with the boggart, Ron and Harry decided to call it a day, and all were dismissed. Rose, Al, and Scorpius, though, stayed behind for a while, enjoying their time together with their family.

Rose took this opportunity to give Hugo's broken wand back to her father, who took it and asked, "And you're sure it's irreparable? Because I got another one for him, but it won't be the same."

"I tried everything I could think of, but nothing's worked. The core is completely broken," Rose explained. She felt badly for Hugo, but with the way he was acting lately, he seemed to have had it coming.

"Did you have anybody else try it?" Harry asked curiously. "I mean, sometimes these things are just about luck."

"Can I try?" Al asked. "I've been working pretty hard in Charms class lately; it'd be nice to know if it was paying off or not."

Ron laughed at this, but said, "Give it a go. If Rose couldn't do it, I don't think you'll be able to, but as Scorpius proved, anything's possible these days."

"Dad!" Rose yelled in embarrassment. Sometimes, her father's rudeness crossed a line, and this seemed to be one of those moments. "Please, these are my best friends."

"Alright, alright. I'm sorry," Ron said, but Rose could see from Al's expression that he had gotten under his skin a little.

Even so, Albus took the two halves of the wand, placed them down on the table in front of him, and stated clearly, "Reparo." With a swish of his own wand, Hugo's was instantly repaired, its core snapped back into place and the wood with barely a scratch.

"How'd he do that?" Ron asked in surprise, as everybody else, including Albus, stared down at the wand in disbelief. "How'd he do it if Rose couldn't?"

Harry laughed and said, "It's like I said, maybe he's just got a better wand."

"Oh, like hell he does," Ron muttered before he picked up the wand and walked out of the hall, heading off to find Hugo.

The remaining four burst into laughter over Ron's uproar, Rose not caring too much about Al's success with the wand. He had always been lucky, and Rose figured he deserved to show off, after the amount of torment he had been putting himself through over the past month or so.

As the laughing died down, Harry pulled Al aside for a chat, leaving Rose and Scorpius to themselves.

"You were amazing today," Rose said to Scorpius. They hadn't been alone like this for a long time, especially with everything that was going on with Lysander, but Rose wanted to show Scorpius that that distance hadn't changed anything. She still cared about him, possibly even more than ever.

Scorpius chuckled and said, "You too. Seeing you with the dementor, I don't know, I guess it really made me want to step up. I could see how scared you were, but you did it anyway. You've been really brave these past few days, Rose, I hope you know that."

Hearing what Scorpius was saying, Rose felt as if it was exactly what she had been waiting to hear. Nobody had been able to make her fear over the other day go away; she had had to do it herself. And Scorpius, well, he was the light at the end of the tunnel, the reason she needed to fight the fear in the first place.

"Thank you," Rose said.

"But Rose, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course," Rose said, without giving much though as to what Scorpius's question might be.

"Why aren't you wearing the ring I gave you?" he asked seriously.

Rose looked away again, just as she had the first time he had asked. This time though, she knew she had to answer, and that it was only a matter of time before he'd ask yet again. Scorpius had always been determined, and he never liked to give up.

"Because it isn't fair," Rose explained. "I wanted to wear it, but I couldn't, and I hadn't realized why until today. It just isn't fair to you. But I will wear it, I promise. I just need to clear something up first, on my own." She wanted to wear the ring, but she needed to make sure that things were really over with Lysander first. She didn't want to betray either one of them any more than she already had.

"Okay," Scorpius said with a nod. "I just wanted to make sure you didn't hate it or something."

Rose smiled and shook her head. Scorpius could get so concerned over such small things, but she had always loved that about him. The way he had grown up, one small mistake and he was punished for weeks, by both of his crazy parents. He wasn't used to people accepting him, staying with him, loving him.

"I don't hate it," Rose said. "I don't hate it at all."

She then took a breath and said, "I have to go get something. Meet you back here for supper?" Scorpius nodded in response.

Then, as Rose was walking toward the door, she saw Harry hug Albus and say goodbye to his son. As he was walking out, probably off to say hello to James and Lily, he waved goodbye to Rose as well. She then made her way over to Albus, who had remained where he was, too curious to leave him be.

"Hey," she said. "What's going on?" She could tell something was off, as Al had his 'thinking' face on: his eyes straight ahead and squinting slightly, his mouth ajar.

It seemed however, that what was off was actually on, since Al only smiled and said, "He was worried about Scorpius."

"I'm sorry?" Rose asked with confusion, while at the same time checking that Scorpius wasn't in hearing distance. He wasn't, as he had started practicing his Patronus by himself at the other side of the hall.

"My dad, he was worried about Scorpius. After everything that happened with his family this summer, he was worried about how Scorp would cope with everything. He asked Shunpike to keep an eye on him," Al explained. "He said that that's probably why Scorpius was chosen to be prefect. That way, Shunpike could keep him close, since he'd have to meet with him all the time."

Rose finally understood, and it actually made a lot of sense. Heads of houses had to run all the prefect meetings, and there were often quite a few of them throughout the year. Since Shunpike was obviously a lazy man, it made sense that he would take the convenience of requesting Scorpius to be one of his prefects so that he could essentially spy on him every so often.

"Al, that's great," Rose said. "I mean, at least there was a reason, and it wasn't at all personal."

"Yeah, exactly," Albus said and smiled. "Plus, it's better this way. Now I have more time to hone my wizarding skills while Scorpius has to go to meetings with Patty Parkinson all the time."

Rose laughed and said, "And that's obviously been working out quite well for you, mister 'I've been working so hard at Charms lately'."

Al chuckled at this. "Well, what can say? I'm just a natural."

"Hey, you hungry?" he asked after the conversation had reached its end, and upon noticing all the people piling in for supper.

"Yeah, I was just going to get something from my dormitory first," Rose replied before she headed out of the hall.

Once in Gryffindor tower, Rose made her way up the staircase and picked up the black ring that had been sitting on her bedside table. Putting it on a finger on her right hand, she stared down at it and smiled. Now all she had to do was find Lysander.

This was easier than she thought, as he approached her as she was walking through the hallway outside the Great Hall.

"So," Lysander greeted her, his blonde hair a mess above his undone tie that hung around a crumpled t-shirt. "When's our next practice?"

He was referring to his and Rose's Quidditch 'dates', but Rose scoffed in response. She thought that she had made herself clear that morning, that they needed to spend some time apart, and now here she was about to break it off completely and he was wondering when their next date was. "I thought I told you to back off for a while," she said.

Lysander furrowed his eyebrows, confused. He wasn't very skilled at picking up on others' emotions. "Oh come on Rose, we don't need a break, we're just getting started. I mean, what's wrong with you anyway?"

Rose laughed in bewilderment at this. She hadn't wanted this to be difficult, but with the way he was acting, she couldn't help but let it get under her skin.

"What's wrong with me?" she asked sardonically. "Lysander, we witnessed the aftermath of a murder, first-handedly I might add! Now I don't know how you're dealing with it, because you seem completely fine to me, but I bloody well haven't been! At least not until today, no thanks to you."

Lysander gulped at this, not expecting such a strong backfire to come from sweet, innocent Rose Weasley. Seeing his expression though, didn't stop Rose. She just pressed on, "I haven't gotten more than five minutes of sleep in the past two nights; the whole school's been asking me questions that, for once, I don't know the answers to."

Rose paused at this, letting the words sink in to both Lysander and herself. It felt good to finally let it all out, but there was one more thing that she really needed to say, so she added, "And then there's you."

Lysander, who had been looking to the left of Rose's face before, was now looking straight at her, still confused, but becoming increasingly angry.

"You were there," Rose went on, more quietly now, as she was beginning to fear that people would hear. After all, it wasn't very late yet. "You were there when it happened, and you said things… things that only scared me even more than I already was. And afterward, you didn't even ask if I was okay. All you were interested in was seeing how Scorpius might react."

Zoning in on the main question she had for him, she said, "This was just some ridiculous form of entertainment for you. It's all a game, isn't it?"

"Oh, and it's not a game for you?" Lysander spat out, turning defensive. He had listened to all she had to say, but now it seemed that it was his turn to speak. "You're telling me that my intentions are somehow misguided, that I'm in this, whatever it is, for the wrong reasons… aren't you forgetting something?"

Rose looked down at the stone cold floor beneath her feet. Lysander had bent toward her, but she didn't want to be any closer to him at this moment.

"You were the one who agreed to this," Lysander continued, now pointing toward Rose's chest. "You're the one who's calling this a fake relationship. You're the one who's only worried about how Scorpius might react. And me? Yeah, I'm playing along, but only because you dealt the cards."

"It was your idea!" Rose yelled, greatly agitated at this point. When she heard her own echo, she looked around to see if anyone was there, and noticed somebody walking out of the Great Hall and looking toward them. As fate would have it, it was Scorpius. For a moment, the two made eye contact, and Rose could feel her eyes swelling up, a new habit of hers these days. After her last conversation with Scorpius, having it go so incredibly well, she didn't want to ruin anything, so she blinked away the tears and turned back to Lysander.

"You knew why I agreed, but why did you ever even suggest it?" Rose asked earnestly. She didn't want to yell anymore; she just wanted to understand. She had agreed to it, but at the time she didn't see what was wrong about it. It would have been so much easier if she had never heard the idea in the first place.

Lysander started fidgeting at this and ran a shaky hand through his hair before he said, "You really want to know why I put myself through all of this?"

Rose nodded, but what Lysander did next was something she hadn't meant to give permission for. Before she had the time to stop him, he had leaned closer and was kissing her. It wasn't violent, but it wasn't soft either. She tried to push him away, but he held her steady while it lasted it. After the short minute, he let go, leaned back, and said, "That's why."

Rose shut her mouth slowly and swallowed hard, not knowing what to say. In the background, behind Lysander, Scorpius was storming away in the opposite direction. It wasn't supposed to end this way; Scorpius was supposed to overthrow Lysander; he was supposed to be the last one there; he was supposed to find her, protect her, rescue her… he was supposed to be her first kiss. He wasn't supposed to disappear.

"He's gone," she muttered.

As Lysander cocked his head to the side to see whom Rose was referring to, Rose started to turn around and walk up the steps that led out of the Entrance Hall. Before she did so, however, she turned to hear Lysander say, "So he saw? Isn't that what you wanted?"

Rose shook her head in exasperation. She knew that Lysander wasn't the only one to blame, but at the moment she needed to believe that he was. So just as he was walking up the stairs past her, she yelled, "You ruined everything!"

Lysander looked back at her one last time, but his reaction gave no evidence as to how he felt about anything. He stayed silent, and after a moment he continued on his way.

Collapsing down onto the stairs, Rose was now alone, surrounded by the tall, stark castle walls and seeing only muffled areas of space through her tears, like the fading, red spots of an afterimage left over from a bright light. And this time, she knew that her birdsong wouldn't be able to wake her up.

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