A/N – This is a short three part story. I'll be posting part 2 tomorrow and wrapping it up on Thursday.
It was a warm spring Saturday afternoon, a few weeks before the Easter holidays, as the Herbology Professor, Neville Longbottom, headed into one of the greenhouses to tend to his magical colour changing roses. Outside he could see the students enjoying the nice weather as he tended to his roses. Cracking open one of the windows, he was enjoying his work and the nice weather when his peace was suddenly interrupted by the sound of students shouting and yelling.
Wondering what the fuss was about, Neville put down his pruning shears and poked his head out of the greenhouse. The noise was now louder, and he could tell it was coming from just around the corner of the castle. Making his way across the lawn, he turned the corner and was confronted with a group of students gathered around something. It didn't take Neville long to work out they were watching a fight or altercation of some sort, or at least that's what it sounded like.
Pushing through the crowds of students, Neville was stunned when he found four students in the middle of a brawl. Two of the students were Gryffindor fifth years, James Potter and Rose Weasley, and the other two were Slytherin first years, the Malfoy twins, Scorpius and Lyra. James and Scorpius had abandoned their wands and James had the blond boy in a headlock, although Scorpius was still fighting and Neville winced as the younger boy managed to head-butt James in the family jewels. Meanwhile Rose and Lyra were hurling insults at each other, along with hexes and curses. Lyra's left arm was bleeding severely and she looked unsteady on her feet as she tried to stop Rose from hurling yet more curses her way. Neville took in the entire scene in a matter of seconds as he strode into the middle of things and waving his wand he put an end to the four fighting students.
"What is going on here?" He demanded as he gathered the four wands off the foursome.
"They started it," James spat hatefully as he glared at Scorpius.
"Did not," Scorpius retorted. "You started it."
"Inside all of you," Neville barked, before he turned to the students who'd been watching the fight. "And the rest of you, leave now. Anyone still here in two minutes gets a week of detention."
While Neville wasn't the strictest Professor at Hogwarts, that title still belonged to the Potions Professor, Severus Snape, the students all knew that in the right situation he wasn't to be messed with. He was after all considered a war hero for his part in Voldemort's defeat all those years ago. Within a minute everyone had gone, but the fighting foursome.
"Are you okay, Lyra?" Neville asked gently as he noticed the young girl was clutching onto her arm.
"Of course she's not," Scorpius answered as he moved to his sister's side and wrapped his arm protectively around her. "That cow hexed her."
"She hexed me first," Rose snorted.
"Enough!" Neville cried. "Scorpius, take Lyra to the hospital wing, and then come straight back to my office. James, Rose, you come with me now."
"But…" James started to protest.
"No buts," Neville interrupted. "I want the four of you inside the castle, now."
Neville's tone stopped the foursome from arguing back, and silently they trooped into the castle. Once inside the castle, Scorpius took his sister to the hospital wing, with a reminder for Scorpius to come straight back to Neville's office. As the two first years headed off, Neville lead the two Gryffindors into his office.
As the two teenagers slumped into seats, Neville wondered what he was going to do with the pair. Normally he had no trouble from the pair, which was rather surprising given their heritage. James was the eldest child of Neville's old friend, Harry Potter and his wife Ginny Weasley, while Rose was James's cousin, the daughter of Ron Weasley. Despite the fact they both had fathers who'd caused more than their fair share of trouble when they were in school, James and Rose were usually very well behaved.
"What happened?" Neville demanded as he took a seat behind his desk. "Why were you fighting with Scorpius and Lyra? You are aware they're just first years, aren't you?"
"First years with a bite," James snarled. He was still annoyed that Scorpius had managed to get him in the privates. "Believe me, they knew how to fight. And that boy can fight dirty."
"And just why were you fighting?" Neville asked.
"They attacked us," Rose said with a pout. "The little Malfoy bitch just pounced on us."
Neville shook his head as he started to get the picture. From the sounds of things it sounded as though James and Rose weren't impressed to have Malfoys at the school. Neville knew things had never been great between Harry and Ron and Draco Malfoy, but he hadn't expected the pair to spread their prejudice to their kids. Of course, Neville couldn't be totally sure that was what had happened as these days he didn't see much of Harry or Ron. After the war, he'd drifted away from the pair and these days he only ever saw them if he happened to bump into them somewhere.
"Let's see what Scorpius has to say," Neville muttered.
Rose and James both pulled a face at the mention of the young Slytherin, but they remained silent as they waited for him to return. Their wait was just a short one as a few minutes later there was a knock on the door and Scorpius slouched into the room.
"Sit down, Scorpius," Neville said with a sigh.
Scorpius sat down as far away from James and Rose as he could manage, and Neville was struck by how much like his father he looked. Scorpius had the Malfoy platinum blond hair, and his father's pale complexion, but he had his mother's warm brown eyes. Lyra on the other hand had her father's piercing grey eyes, but her sleek brunette curls and cheeky smile came from her mother.
"How's Lyra?" Neville asked, genuinely concerned about the young Slytherin.
While Neville wasn't in touch with James and Rose's parents, he was with Scorpius's. In fact he was good friends with Scorpius and Lyra's mother, Hermione Granger. Neville had been at Hermione and Draco's wedding, and he'd known Scorpius and Lyra since they were born. In fact until the Malfoys had recently moved back home, Neville had spent most of his summer holidays visiting them in Australia.
"She's lost a lot of blood," Scorpius replied, glaring at Rose. "The wound was deep."
"Good," Rose spat.
"Rose, that's enough," Neville warned in a low voice. "Now Scorpius, tell me what happened."
"These two were slagging off my family," Scorpius answered, confirming Neville's suspicions about what was behind the fight.
"We never mentioned your family," James spat. "But we can if you want. We can talk about your scumbag father, and how he was a Death Eater, along with your grandfather. Let's face it, your family is scum."
"That is enough," Neville snarled angrily. "We're going to go and see Professor McGonagall. We cannot have students brawling and fighting with one another."
Getting to his feet, Neville swept the three students out of his office and up towards the headmistresses office. Instead of escorting them straight inside, he left them sitting outside in the corridor while he headed into the office to speak to the headmistress.
"And they were really fighting?" Minerva McGonagall queried with a sigh, as Neville filled her in on what he'd broken up that afternoon.
"I'm afraid so," Neville replied. "James had Scorpius in a headlock, and Rose and Lyra were firing hexes at one another. Lyra's currently in the hospital wing having a deep cut on her arm looked at."
"And did they tell you what it was about?" McGonagall asked.
"Scorpius said Rose and James were insulting his family," Neville answered. "James denied it, but then started spewing hate about Draco and Lucius."
"We need to nip this in the bud," McGonagall said with a sigh. "I'll call Severus, so he can come up and get involved. But I think we need to contact the families and sit down and have this out. We need to stop this animosity before it goes too far."
Rising to her feet, McGonagall placed a call on her floo network, and seconds later the green flames lit up and a Severus Snape emerged from the fireplace. After a brief stint as Headmaster, during the height of the war, Severus had returned to his old position as Potions Master after his life was saved in the final battle and his true allegiance was revealed to the world. These days he was more than happy to teach Potions, and act as Head of Slytherin.
"Do we really have a problem with the Malfoy twins?" Severus asked with a frown. Like Neville, he'd known the twins their entire life, and while they were pretty mischievous at times, they were ultimately good kids.
Neville nodded as he explained what had happened that afternoon. Like McGonagall, Severus agreed that a meeting with the parents was in order, and he headed off to contact the twins parents.
"I'll contact Harry and Ginny and Ron," Neville said as he made his way to the door of McGonagall's office. As head of Gryffindor he felt it was his duty to contact the parents of his students.
"Thank you, Neville," McGonagall said. "While we're waiting for them to arrive, I'll talk to the three of them. And the second Lyra is fit to leave the hospital wing, I want her here with the others."
Neville nodded, and leaving the Headmistresses office, he ushered the three students inside. He then called into the hospital wing and informed the school medi-witch, Cho Chang, that Lyra was to report to McGonagall's office as soon as she was free to leave. With that sorted, he headed back down to his office where he prepared to contact the Potters and Ron. Neville had never had any reason to contact his old friends about their children so he really didn't know how they were going to react to the news that their children had been caught fighting with the Malfoys. All he could hope was that they were going to act like reasonable adults.
Checking for the addresses of the Potters and Ron, Neville decided to try the Potters first. However, when he tried their address, he got no answer via the floo. It was the same when he tried to get in touch with Ron. Since it was a Saturday, he didn't know if Harry and Ron were at work at the Ministry, where they were employed as Aurors, but he figured that Molly Weasley might know where the best place to find them was. Even though the address wasn't wrote down, Neville knew the Weasleys still lived at their old family home, The Burrow, so he tried to connect the floo to their instead. Fortunately, the call connected and he was greeted by Molly Weasley herself.
"Neville?" Molly questioned with a frown as she realised who was calling. "Is that you?"
"It is," Neville confirmed. "I was looking for Harry, Ginny and Ron."
"They're all here, come on through," Molly replied.
Thanking Molly, Neville pulled his head out of the emerald flames. Grabbing some more floo powder he opened a full connection in his fire and headed off to The Burrow. When he stepped out into the Weasleys front room, he was greeted warmly by Molly, despite the fact he didn't really know the older witch.
"Are the children all right?" Molly asked in concern.
"It's James and Rose I've come to talk about," Neville replied.
"Wait here, I'll go and fetch Harry, Ron and Ginny," Molly offered as she bustled off to find her two youngest children and her only son-in-law.
Less than five minutes later, Harry, Ron and Ginny trooped into the front room along with Molly. When they all sat down after greeting him, Neville realised that Molly planned on staying. Not that he was totally surprised as from what he'd known of Molly she'd always been one to take a keen interest in the lives of her family.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to come up at school," Neville began. "James and Rose were caught fighting this afternoon."
"There's been a mistake," Ron said with a shake of his head. "Rose wouldn't fight."
"Of course she wouldn't," Molly agreed. "Rose is a gentle child."
Neville wasn't totally surprised that Ron didn't want to believe his daughter had been fighting. Ron was a single father and had raised Rose all on his own with the help of his mother and the rest of the family. Chances were, he didn't want to believe his little angel was capable of violence.
"I'm sorry, but it wasn't a mistake," Neville said gently. "I witnessed the fight myself. James and Rose were brawling with a couple of first years."
"First years," Ginny repeated with a frown. "Why were they fighting with first years?"
"They were fighting with Scorpius and Lyra Malfoy," Neville answered. "Draco Malfoy's twins."
"Malfoy," Ron spat. "That explains it then. Those two must have started it. James and Rose were just defending themselves."
"Professor McGonagall wants to have a meeting to try and get to the bottom of things," Neville said. "It got pretty nasty, and Lyra ended up in the hospital wing with a deep gash on her arm."
"I hope you're not trying to blame that on one of my grandchildren," Molly said accusingly.
"We think Rose threw the curse that hit her," Neville admitted. "But right now, we're not looking to blame anyone," He added hastily as Ron began to turn a nasty shade of red. "We just want to stop this before it gets out of hand."
"Of course," Harry interjected in a calm voice. "We'll come right back with you, Neville. Thank you for taking the time to come and see us personally."
"It's nothing," Neville said. "The floo is already connected to my office, so if you follow me through, we can go and talk with Professor McGonagall."
"Do you want me to come with you?" Molly asked Ron.
"No, I'll be alright," Ron replied. "Don't worry Mum, I won't let them blame Rose for anything she hasn't done."
Sensing that the meeting wasn't going to run too smoothly, Neville headed back to Hogwarts. Within five minutes, Harry, Ginny and Ron had joined him in his office, and he led the way up to the Headmistress's office. When they entered the office, James, Rose and Scorpius were still sitting in front of McGonagall's desk. Snape had also returned, and sitting beside Scorpius was Draco Malfoy.
"Neville," Draco greeted with a small nod.
"Draco," Neville replied.
"Let's get on with this," Ron snapped, ignoring Draco and plonking himself on the chair next to Rose.
"We're going to wait for Mrs Malfoy," McGonagall said as she greeted Ron and the Potters and everyone took the seats provided for them in front of her desk.
"And just where is Mrs Malfoy?" Ron sneered, spitting out the name of his hated childhood enemy.
"She's gone to check on her daughter," McGonagall replied. "She should be back any second."
As if on cue there was a knock on the door and when it opened, a young brunette girl entered the room, followed by an attractive brunette witch. Neville watched as Harry, Ron and Ginny took a second glance at the witch, before realising it was their former friend, Hermione Granger. However, Neville wasn't so focused on watching the adult's reactions that he missed the look of pure hatred that clouded Rose's features when she realised who the women entering the room was. For some reason Rose Weasley hated Hermione, but why would she hate a witch she hadn't even met?