“Not the library, Mudblood,” he sneered, turning his attention back to Rose. “You have to leave the school.”
“What in the hell are you going on about, Malfoy?” Rose asked. “Why would I ever leave Hogwarts?”
“Quiet!” he whispered harshly. “No one can know I’ve spoken to you.”
“Answer the question,” Rose said as Malfoy got comfortable in the seat next to her. Her eyes searched his, ignoring the tiny pull she felt in her stomach at his proximity. It didn’t matter, not anymore.
“The Minister is dead.”
“What? How?” Hermione whispered in shock.
“How do you bloody well think? Did you really think the Dark Lord has just been sitting idly by all this time letting you all go about your lives? He’s been orchestrating his takeover. With the Minister dead-”
“He has the opportunity to insert one of his followers into the position,” Rose sighed.
“There’s no way a Death Eater will be elected!” Hermione exclaimed.
“Don’t be naïve, Granger. People are positively petrified of the Dark Lord. If they can’t be bought off, they can certainly be bribed by the threat of death.”
“I don’t understand why we need to leave Hogwarts,” Rose said. “The elections haven’t even happened yet.”
“As soon as he has the Ministry, the new Minister’s first job will be to trap you and Harry Potter at Hogwarts. A new Headmaster will be appointed, new teachers, new rules. You will be a prisoner here; you will be groomed for him to use as he sees fit,” Draco explained. “And Potter will be dead as soon as Voldemort takes Hogwarts.”
“Go,” Rose said, turning to Hermione quickly. “Find them. We leave tonight.”
“What about you?” Hermione asked, gathering the books she would need to take with her into her arms rapidly.
“I’m right behind you,” Rose sighed. Hermione hesitated, but nodded in the end—seeming to understand that she needed a moment with the man she owed her freedom to.
“Are you daft? Go!” Draco hissed.
“Come with us,” Rose said, shocking both of them into silence for a moment. Draco’s confliction was plain on his face—so easy for her to read.
“And watch you and Potter play house? I think I’ll pass.”
“If he finds out you warned me-” Rose started.
“He won’t. No one has any reason to think I would warn you. You leaving here is the exact opposite of what I want,” he admitted.
“So why tell me any of this?”
“Because you deserve better than the life I can give you.” Rose ignored the tears welling in her eyes and took his hand in hers beneath the table. “As long as he is alive we can never be together. I understand that now.”
“Draco, I-” Rose tried to say the words floating in her head, but it was all a jumbled up mess.
“I know,” he said, interrupting her. “I didn’t when you first chose him, but I do now,” he said, encouraging Rose to go with a gesture towards the door. Rose placed a quick kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you,” she said simply, because there was nothing else she could say.
“Rose,” he said when she was a few steps away. “If he doesn’t keep you safe, I’ll kill him. Chosen One be damned,” Draco warned with a venom in his voice that was much more familiar to her than the softness she had witnessed moments ago.
“I know,” she said with one last look at the steel grey eyes she hadn’t realized how much she would miss. He looked away from her as though he had never noticed her presence, and as the moment had passed, Rose made her way out of the library to find the other man she would have to say goodbye to.
She had to find her father.
Rose tore into Remus’ office a few minutes later to find him packing. “Rose, thank goodness,” he said, pulling her into a hug as soon as she was inside. “You have to go pack. The Dark Lord is coming for you. Tonks and Teddy are meeting us at the safe house,” he explained.
“You-you want me to come with you?” Rose stuttered.
“Of course I do, Rosevine. You are my daughter. It’s my job to keep you safe.” Even in his haste to get everything ready and his slight panic at the thought of them not getting out in time, Rose could see he was relieved. Going on the run meant he could be with his family.
“Remus, I-I can’t go with you,” Rose said quickly. “I wish I could.” And she did. She wanted nothing more than for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to come with them and live out their lives in seclusion.
“Of course you can. Harry and the others are more than welcome to come.”
“No one will look for you. Your connection to Harry and I is the only reason you have to run in the first place. We’ll put you in danger. We’ll put Teddy in danger.”
“Rose-” Remus started to argue.
“There’s no changing your mind is there?”
“No. We have work to do anyway. As much as I wish we could go into hiding, Hermione and I had some research we need to keep up on.” Remus planted a kiss on Rose’s forehead slowly, breathing in a deep sigh.
“You’re every bit as stubborn as your mother, you know that?”
“Be safe. Please, gods, be safe,” Remus sighed.
“I love you Rosevine.”
“I love you too, Dad.”
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