And so it ends... ::sniff::
What can I say, it's been fun and lasted a lot longer than I ever imagined but the final major story in the 'Together Forever?' universe is complete. Saying that I may not abandon this universe totally, I like the idea of doing the odd outtake, and if you want to see a specific scene written then let me know! I can make guarantees that it will be done quickly - I have a list of fic still to write on my laptop that has been there for way to long - but I will try my hardest. ::is a tryer::
So, yes, thank you for the reviews for both this and 'Together Forever?', I've been truly overwhelmed and I'm very thankful. A huge shout out must go to my big sis Solstice Muse, who has earned the title of Number 1 Cheerleader for this and TF. Thanks mate, your input and encouragement have been invaluable. ::loves and hugs:: ::hands you pom poms::
I'll shush now, if you could let me know what you think of the chapter or the whole story I'd be very much appreciative one last time.
Oh, just one more thing about this chapter, I've swung it back round to canon (Nineteen Years Later canon to be precise) so really we're only half AU at the end. If that makes sense. lol
I'll be back soon. Much love,
Step ;) xxx
'Well at least she caught the snitch whilst falling from her broom. Has anyone ever done that at Hogwarts before?'
'Ron! She's been unconscious for six hours and all you can think about is the outcome of the match!'
'Just trying to look on the bright side, my love.'
'Bright side? Please, tell me you are joking.'
'Hermione, she'll wake up, she's just…'
'Just lost a ridiculous amount of blood and is taking far too long to recover!'
'Yes, I know, I think that's the fourth time in as many hours that you've said that. I know her condition, I'm just trying to keep my mind off it!'
Bloody typical, she thought, I've been woken up after, apparently, six hours, by Mum and Dad bickering. Still, although I can't remember it, I caught the Snitch, that's got to be something!
She opened her eyes and saw her parents at the foot of her bed, her mum pacing up and down and her dad sat in a chair, his feet up on the edge of the matress.
'Did I really catch the snitch as I was falling?' Rose said, her voice scratchy but firm.
She watched as both her parents looked at her with shocked faces.
'Rose! How are you feeling? Do you hurt anywhere? Your head? Your arm?' her mum asked, instantly moving to the head of the bed.
'Why? What happened to my head and my arm?'
She heard her dad chuckle as he put his hand gently on her head.
'How much do you remember, sweetheart?' her dad asked her.
'Um, we were quite a bit into the match, we were winning by…fifty or sixty points and…I think I'd just seen the snitch and was flying after it. Did I get battered by a Bludger or something?'
She turned her head towards her mum and a sharp pain went across her skull. She winced and swore.
'Never mind, I'll take the pain in my head as a yes.'
'There's some pain relief potion here for you, Rosie, can you sit up to drink it?'
Rose slowly pushed herself up from the bed with her dad's help. She took the bottle of potion off her mum and drank it awkwardly, trying not to move her head much. Instantly the pain in her head disappeared. She sighed contentedly.
'Thanks, that's much better.'
'Good, now I can tell you off for swearing!'
'Oh, come on, Hermione, I think we'll let her off for that.'
'Well, you gave us a bit of a fright, Rosie, you've been unconscious a lot longer than you should have been. Madam Pomfrey healed the hairline fracture in your skull, which wasn't as bad as it could've been, apparently, and she fixed your arm, which you broke because you decided to land on it.'
'Yes, Dad, because I intentionally decided to land on my arm.'
She saw him narrow his eyes but he chose to ignore her comment.
'Did you hear anything before you woke up? Hear us talking to you, or your brother telling you, you were crap at flying?'
'Cheeky sod! But no, I didn't hear anything, I was dreaming though, I remember dreaming and being in a really calming place. It was a really nice day, the sun was out, there was a warm breeze and I just lay in the grass, thinking. Was really relaxing actually.'
If she hadn't been looking at her dad, she would have missed the look he gave her mum. Both had a concerned but not quite believing look on their face, and then they both looked at the duvet.
'That er…that sounds lovely Rose. Very…very calming. Was there anything else there?'
She had no idea why her mum and dad were looking concerned and kept looking at each other, as if trying to perform legilimency.
'Er…I don't know, why?'
She saw them exchange glances again.
'Was there a tree near you?'
She was about to ask, yet again, what was going on, when she saw a full oak tree in her minds eye. She had walked past it, had seen there were marking on the bark, but had carried on and walked for a bit in the soft grass.
'Yeah, actually, there was, just one. Why did you ask specifically about the tree? What's going on? What aren't you telling me?'
'They said they couldn't find it in her blood. How has it now suddenly appeared?'
Rose was taken aback by her mum demanding answers from her dad that didn't appear to have anything to do with what she had just asked them both.
'We don't know it's appeared! This might just be a coincidence.'
'A coincidence! How could this be a coincidence?'
'Rose, have you ever heard your Mum and I talking about the place where you were in your dreams?'
She was getting frustrated that they were talking about her, while being stood right next to her, and was, therefore, taken aback by her Dad's question.
'What? No, I don't think so, not that I remember. Why would you have been talking about it?'
'Okay, well it could still be a coincidence.'
'What if it's not, Ron? What if she's inherited our…strange blood-connection cells and is going to suffer because of it?'
Her frustration and anger bubbled to the surface, she knew her mum normally had to talk through things to get thme straight in her head, but this was infuriating.
'Will someone please tell me what's going on?'
She didn't quite shout it, but she definitely made herself heard.
She watched as her parents turned to her and looked a little ashamed.
'Sorry, Rosie, we're just trying to work something out.'
'I figured that out, but if you could do it without scaring me shitless, I'd appreciate it! What the hell did I inherit off you and why will I suffer from it?'
She couldn't quite take it all in. Then again there had been a lot of information to absorb.
'So you…Uncle Harry's…and then…but…and now I-'
She shut her eyes and tried to clear her mind.
'You two were connected by blood after you accidentally swallowed Uncle Harry's exploding potion, and then you couldn't leave the room without the other, because you'd end up unconscious. You were then separated by Scorpius' Dad because, you'd broken his jaw, and that ended by you helping each other heal but once it was all over you couldn't remember anything.
'At the final battle you were injured,' she looked at her mum, 'and wouldn't wake up, because the stuff that was still in your blood had been all but wiped out and Dad had to…save you…somehow. Run that bit past me again.'
Ron took a deep breath.
'I fell asleep holding your mum's hand at the hospital one time, and during the time that I was asleep, I dreamt I was in our little sanctuary, which was pretty much exactly the same place that you described, Rosie. There was the tree that we described earlier and when I touched it, I couldn't take my hand away. Uncle Percy told me when I woke up that your mum had reacted. We managed to work out that I was transferring our weird blood cell things to her. Except no one would let me prove it, so I had to steal her from the hospital and hex myself to sleep at Grimmauld Place.'
S'o, it half worked, Mum woke up, but you were in the same state that Mum had been in, so she did the same thing you did but with the Blood Replenishing Potion that Uncle Harry, Uncle Percy and Granddad gave her, and the legilimency that you tried as you hexed yourself to sleep, you managed to bring both of you back.'
Her mum nodded.
'Something like that. We don't actually know what specifically helped bring us both back, but it must have been one thing or a combination of things that helped. Thankfully we've never had to try again so it's never mattered that we didn't know exactly what happened.'
'Luckily, neither of us has been injured and either lost blood, or managed to get an infection in our blood like what happened at the Final Battle. Touch Wood.'
Rose was slightly amused to see both her parents reach over to different bedside tables to touch the wood they were made of.
'So, because when I was healing I went to the place where you helped heal each other, you think I have your weird connection blood cells in my blood stream.'
'The day after you were born we had your blood checked, Rose, to see if the cells were in your blood stream.'
'I thought you said-'
'If they were looking for them, they were visible, but they couldn't do anything with them in the lab because the structure disintegrated.'
'Oh, right, so there weren't any there when I was born.'
'Not according to your mum's Healer at St. Mungo's, or the Department of Mysteries who took quite a big interest in our case notes.'
'The Department of Mysteries? Wow! That's impressive!'
Her dad laughed.
'So…what does this mean for me? What happens if I have your weird connection cells in my blood?'
'Well, let's think about this logically. Your Dad and me, from what we can gather may have been connected by the dodgy potion because we happened to be holding hands at the time, or it could have been because we were the only two to swallow it, or it could have been because, even though we would never have admitted at the time, we wanted to be…more than friends.'
Subconsciously Rose screwed up her nose, not needing to be reminded that her mum and dad were, at one point, her age, and going through the same things she was.
'Or, it could have been a combination of all of that, or something totally different that no one will ever know.'
'For whatever reason, your dad and me were connected and that connection grew until we finally admitted to each other how we felt, even though directly after that incident neither of us could remember anything from our connected time. We were connected by our feelings and the potion remnant in our blood, whereas you - if you do have the same cells we have – have simply got it because it's now so much a part of us that it would have been strange to not pass it on to you. Especially as both of us have it. Granted it wasn't a certainty, but we were pleasantly surprised when the Healers told us you hadn't the same cells that we do.'
'Has my blood been checked since I was born?' she asked. Surely her mum would have had her checked more than once?
'Yep!' she turned her head towards her dad. 'When you were five and then again when you turned eleven. The Healers were convinced that if the cells hadn't shown themselves by the time you had turned eleven – the time before which Magic normally shows itself in Wizarding children – then they never would.'
'Which is why I haven't been checked since then.'
'Which is why you haven't been checked since then.'
'Mysterious outbreak of Dragonpox, my arse!' she said with raised eyebrows.
'What else were we supposed to say?'
Rose didn't answer.
'I think the Healers overlooked something.'
She turned to her mum, interested in her thoughts. Her dad asked the obvious question.
Rose felt herself blush and a quick glance at her dad showed he was doing the same.
This is going to get embarrassing.
'But…I thought that…that…had started a couple of years ago…you know…'
Oh, Merlin, help me!
'Well, yes, that did…maybe it's… …Rose, do you fancy anyone at the minute?'
Oh for- and here's me thinking it couldn't get any worse!
She didn't want to answer this question because, as it happened, she had started to really like someone, she just hadn't really sorted out her feelings, so didn't want to shout about it. Admitting to her parents that she liked a specific boy in the year above her, was very low down on her 'to do' list.
She didn't need to look at her dad to know that he was looking at her, wide eyed.
'Well, if she has inherited our connection cells, then maybe her feelings of love-'
'Love!' she exclaimed at the same time she heard her dad shout 'What?'
'Well, okay, maybe not love as such, but these types of feelings could have brought the cells' development on. Maybe making a connection-'
'She'll be making no type of connection with anyone while she's still at school!'
Despite being shaken by what her mum had just said, she managed to roll her eyes at her dad's response to the idea of her having a boyfriend.
'Rose, can you remember dreaming of the field at any other time? During normal dreams, maybe?'
She started to shake her head, but then she remembered, a month or so earlier, how she had been ill with a stomach bug and had had some pretty weird dreams.
'Um, last time I was ill – that stomach thing I had that had me throwing up every twenty minutes – when I managed to sleep I think I might have dreamed of the field, but…I dunno, it was different, I think, a bit more…wild, maybe? I don't know, it was that long ago that I can't remember properly.'
Her mum sighed loudly.
'I wish I had some solid answers for you, Rose, but this whole thing was the most unpredictable thing I've ever experienced, so I'm guessing, if this is going to affect you, it will be the same. Logically though, it shouldn't affect you that much, you don't have someone who is connected to you directly, so, I wouldn't be worried. We'll get the Healers at St. Mungo's to check your blood again, and, you never know, your dad might be right. This whole thing might just be a coincidence. Maybe your relaxing place is the same as ours. You're our daughter after all, as much as it irritates you, you're more like us than you'd care to admit!'
'With this hair, I can hardly deny where I've come from, can I?'
She was glad to see her mum and dad laugh. She was still slightly concerned about what the results of the blood test would be, but they would deal with that as and when they knew what they were dealing with. There was no point in worrying about things that weren't certain. That was just a waste of energy.
She yawned and lay back on her pillows.
'Yep, definitely time you got some rest, Rosie. We'll be back later on, Harry, Ginny and Neville wanted to know when you woke up. Get some sleep okay?'
She kissed her mum and dad goodbye and settled into her pillows. As much as her mind wouldn't leave the subject of all that she had heard, she managed to eventually clear her mind and drift off to sleep.
She wandered through the long grass barefoot, enjoying the sensation of the grass between her toes.
The sun was warm and the breeze kept her hair off her face. She looked to the horizon and smiled when a large oak tree appeared to her left.
She slowly made her way towards the tree but reached it much quicker than she thought she should.
As she walked up to the tree she realised there was markings on the bark. She moved closer still and she realised the marking were hearts with letters in. She smiled as she recognised the initials of her grandparents, etched inside the two hearts at the top.
Other hearts were scattered over the rest of the bark, she could see her Uncle Bill and Aunty Fleur's heart, Uncle Percy and Aunty Audrey's and then she spotted her mum and dad's heart.
She sat down so it was at her eye level and she frowned when she saw that it looked a little damaged. There were five dark circles around the edge of the heart that looked burned, but she remembered a story her mum and dad had told her, and it started to make sense.
She stood and started to walk away from the tree. She took one last glance over her shoulder and saw something at the bottom of the tree. A roughly cut heart was forming as if it was being etched by hand. She stopped and walked back to the tree. Her initials started to take form in the top half of the heart. She held her breath as marks started to appear under her initials. A horizontal line appeared on the left, a clumsy curve to the far right and then-.
Her eyes snapped open and she sat upright in her bed.
'Oh, come on!' she exclaimed, a little too loudly for the hospital wing.
She slumped back down onto her bed and growled in frustration.
'That's just mean!'
She shut her eyes but her mind raced, trying to match possible initials with people who she knew. She was a tiny bit disappointed when the initials didn't at all match the boy who presently had her attentions, but subconsciously shrugged her shoulders.
Divination had taught her one thing – the future was not set in stone.
Deciding she wasn't going to work out the mystery initials or match them to a mystery person, she set her mind to going back to sleep.
After a few minutes of relaxing a thought struck her, one that was both concerning and unbelievable.
'No bloody way!'