The Weasleys Are Dead

I debated whether I would title this something less terrible, like "Tragedy at Hogwarts" or something, but this is a lot more... eye-catching.

Chapter 2

The News

Hogwarts was even bigger than Rose had imagined it. She saw a bunch of abandoned, rickety old boats drifting across a lake with a suspiciously large shape moving like a tentacle swimming through it lazily.

"Hey look, there are flying carriages!" Hugo said excitedly. Rose always thought he was a little over-excitable. Albus was nice, though, if not very quiet. He muttered half the words he spoke, and had oddly red cheeks whenever she'd seen him. All the students were moving in a mass towards the carriages, which were landing one after another, silently except for a mysterious breathing noise.

~

The Great Hall was brimming with even more people. Rose stared at the ceiling in awe, swearing that she would bewitch her ceiling like that someday. Her jaw must have actually dropped, because Hugo told her to stop gaping.

After the sorting hat sang a bizarre song about the greatness of the four houses and how clever he was (for a hat), Rose got sorted. She was put into Ravenclaw, which was slightly disappointing after she saw Hugo's disapproving face. Albus too looked crestfallen. She shrugged at them as she passed by the Gryffindor table. The only other surprise of the night was Scorpio. As soon as the hat hit his head, it bellowed "HUFFLEPUFF".

Not even Lily got sorted into Ravenclaw, Rose thought glumly. At least she liked the color blue.

Headmistress McGonagall stood up after the feast, giving general announcements and so on. She ended with the news that Filch, retiring from lack of sleep and increase of fragility, was being replaced.

"Everyone give a round of applause to commemorate Mr. Filch," she said with a nod at an oily, almost bald man wearing a heavy scowl which looked permanent.

A wild amount of cheering and clapping resonated around the room. Not from gratitude to him, from the look of him, but from joy that he was no longer working at Hogwarts. Rose clapped politely.

Everyone was dismissed to their common rooms to go to bed then, and that was when Rose bumped into Lucy. She didn't know the girl very well, but she did know she was Percy's daughter. She mostly remembered from the red-ness of her hair.

"Hello," she said with a grin. She was the kind of child that got one glance from a teacher and given detention. When Rose thought of her Uncle Percy, she had to think back to specific memories which proved that this glittering-eyed girl was his daughter.

"Hi," Rose replied, glumness still lacing her voice.

"Ravenclaw... Dad said he would be proud wherever I was put, even Slytherin," Lucy said with a snort. "I would burn the sorting hat if it sorted me there, though."

"Burn it?" said Rose in alarm.

"Nah, probably just... I dunno. Sew its lips shut."

Rose had to giggle at that. "Right. I think my dad would've sewn it's lips shut if I'd gotten Slytherin."

Lucy laughed. "My dad said he'd be severely disappointed if I don't become a prefect."

They arrived at the Ravenclaw entrance, and the prefect knocked on the door. A riddle about chickens was whispered from nowhere.

"A circle has no beginning," said the other prefect wearily. "Honestly, that's been repeated five times since last year."

Rose went right to bed and dreamed of ravens and lions.

~

She was woken up by what looked like a very short and colorful ghost. He was zipping around outside her window, throwing gnomes everywhere and cackling. She sat up and stared.

"You're awake? Oh good," said a voice. Rose looked around and realized that she shared a room with Lucy. "I've been waiting for you to wake up, you know," she said seriously. "I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep. Did you know the first class is broom flying?"

Rose had a feeling she'd be a terrible flyer, but came down to the great hall with Lucy anyway. Lucy was babbling about everything that was said to be in Hogsmead. Her older sister Molly was in her third year, but was in Gryffindor. Rose had a feeling that Rose wouldn't stop talking until she put food in her mouth.

Rose sat down at the Ravenclaw table, nudging Lucy. "Are you going to have breakfast?"

Lucy looked at the table, which now had scrambled eggs, toast, and an assortment of other breakfast items. Rose poured some pumpkin juice into her glass.

Suddenly a pack of owls came swooping down upon the great hall. Long packages and tiny envelopes were dropped on almost every student's table before them.

Rose looked at the ceiling, watching for an owl she recognized. Finally she spotted one. It would put be for her, it'd be for one of the Potters, of course, but she still admired the snowy owl's grace as it flew.

"Hedwig the Second!" Rose cooed as it landed at her spot and dropped a tiny, very wet envelope. Her parents must have needed to borrow an owl.

The return address said 'Harry Potter.' That was odd. Rose pulled it closer to her, giving Hedwig II a bit of her toast. The owl snapped it up but spit it out again, offended. It fluttered over to the Gryffindor table, where Rose saw it delivering a letter to Hugo, her little brother.

The dampness of the envelope became obvious as she ripped open the top: tears.

Rose had a sudden, violently foreboding feeling that she shouldn't read the letter. There was obviously something wrong. She couldn't... No, she'd ask Hugo. Craning her neck in his direction, she could see he was opening it. Albus turned to him just then, blocking view. Voldemort's nose! It couldn't be that bad, whatever it was. Last time she'd received news from a crying person, it was about a disappearing wedding ring. Her aunt had made her search for ages before realizing it was underneath a sock on top of her dresser. Yes, that was it. She was being asked if she had seen something, maybe even informed on the death of a great-grandfather or... or a pet.

Rose slid the parchment out of the envelope. Sudden hysterical crying rang throughout the great hall. She swallowed. That couldn't be Hugo, he never cried, not since he was seven.

Unfolding the little piece of parchment, Rose forced herself to read what was written. It was very short and blurry from tears, almost to the point of incomprehension. The quill had obviously trembled a lot when it was written, too.

Dear Rose,

I'm very sorry to have to tell you that your parents, Ron and Hermione Weasley, are dead. They were murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange, a deatheater who was previously thought to be dea-

Rose couldn't read on. Her own eyes were thick with tears. She was swelling up like an emotional balloon. One little needle prick and she'd pop. She didn't have the strength to rip up the letter. She didn't have the courage to move at all. Her only working mechanism was her lungs and heart, unaffected by this blow. Words on paper. A few words was all it took to break her.

Rose Weasley was escorted out of the Great Hall by Professor Longbottom to the hospital wing, each step mechanical, like she was under the imperius curse. If that was true, thought Rose through the sobs, she'd rather be suffering Avada kedavera, because that was the only unforgivable curse, if you thought about it, where you felt no suffering at all.

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