AN: Thank you all for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
Severus watched Hermione step out of her emerald ballgown dress. Even after all these years, his wife's emerald dresses made his heart race and his mouth water. Merlin this woman couldn't even begin to imagine what she did to him.
"Victor did quite nicely with Carina," Hermione picked up the dress and draped it onto a hanger. "He was direct without being too eager, the perfect mix of Slytherin and Gryffindor."
"That is to be expected, given his parents," Severus noted.
"Indeed," Hermione put the dress into the closet and pulled out her long, black satin nightgown. "He reflects our most positive attributes, just as all of our children do."
"Yes, they reflect us quite nicely," Severus put on his nightshirt.
"You gave him advice on how to handle Carina, didn't you?" Severus asked.
Hermione slipped into her nightgown. "Why would you think that, Love?"
"Victor was terrified of making himself look like a fool in front of Carina an hour before we left," Severus buttoned up his nightshirt. "I thought he was going to make himself sick. Still, he was amazingly calm once we entered Malfoy Manor."
Hermione grinned. "Perhaps I gave him a few pointers."
"Indeed you did," Severus sat on the bed and gestured for Hermione to come. She approached him. He clasped her hands and pulled her towards him.
"Sometimes a son needs to speak to his mother about how to handle women," Hermione sat on his lap. "We have a perspective that others may lack."
Severus kissed her cheek. "Your insights were perfect."
"All I did was give him a few pointers," Hermione answered. "He did the rest."
Severus whispered. "You are an amazing mother."
"I don't know if I'd always call myself amazing. I mean, I'm not like those mothers who keep an immaculate house or are always on hand to bake cookies," Hermione whispered. "I simply do the best that I can."
"Oh you succeed at being amazing," Severus purred. "I would rather have you as the mother of my children than anyone else."
"Lucky me." She pressed her forehead against his. "I wouldn't want anyone other than you to be the father of my children."
Severus smirked. "You know Love, we have yet to properly ring in the new year."
Hermione giggled. "You cannot be serious."
"I'm serious as a sectumsempra," Severus answered. "Muffliato."
Hermione burst out laughing. "Severus, you are absolutely incorrigible. What makes you think one of the children won't want to drop by and tell us goodnight?"
"We've already told them good night."
"True, but what if they wish to speak with us again?"
"I am certain it can wait until the morning."
"It seems rude to abandon our guests to their own devices though."
"As I said earlier, this is my mansion, and I can do whatever I bloody well please," Severus answered.
Hermione gave him a small smile. "I cannot argue with that logic."
"Then I ask you again," he lay her down on the bed. "Do you want to ring in the New Year properly?"
"I would love nothing more," Hermione whispered.
Severus picked up his wand, aimed it at the door, and muttered, "Pastra copii."
For a split second the door glowed green.
"That should take care of any unnecessary interruptions," Severus purred.
Hermione captured his lips and pulled him closer.
Rose reached for the doorknob. Before she could touch it though, a soft buzzing filled her ear. Then, it glowed green. She chuckled before shaking her head.
I should've known Mum and Dad would not be satisfied with giving each other only a New Year's kiss.
Rose stared at the doorway. Her stomach churned as one thought echoed in her mind.
What if this is their last year together?
She shuddered. After a few more moments, she whispered, "Good night Mum and Dad. I love you both, even if neither of you have a sense of decorum."
Wand lit, she trudged to her room. She stood in the middle of the room, but made no move to strip herself from her black cocktail dress. Instead she looked over in the far corner of the room at Madame Serpent. Although the snake's eyes were open, her tongue was not flickering, and her breathing had slowed. Rose sighed before stepping over towards her bookshelf. After a few moments of rummaging, she settled on a novel. Book open, she made her way to her bed.
"Sense and Sensibility?"
Rose peeked up.
Her brother crept towards her. "Are you really going to read that book again?"
Rose shrugged. "I have always enjoyed it well enough. Now's as good a time to reread it as any."
"I suppose," Victor admitted. "It's just weird to think of you indulging in a romance novel."
"I can enjoy romance," Rose argued. "Usually I am too busy to indulge in one though."
"Whatever you say," Victor replied.
Rose gave him a playful glare. Victor smirked. Rose's heart sank. He looked so much like a Snape, much more than she did.
"Rose?" The light in Victor's eyes died.
Rose slid over and patted the bed beside her. Victor nodded and sat beside her.
"I suppose you are not tired yet," she began.
"No," he answered.
Rose's lips curled up. "I cannot blame you. If I had just kissed the New Years kiss of a lifetime, I would be unable to sleep too."
"You did well," Rose continued. "You did not trip over yourself. I am rather impressed."
"I was nervous," Victor admitted. "I was certain I'd say something which would convince her that I wasn't worth her time."
"If she ever believes that you are not worth her time then she is the biggest dunderhead alive," Rose replied.
"Do you really think so?"
"No, I'm only telling you what you want to hear because I am your big sister. I mean the opposite of what I say."
Victor frowned. "You're incorrigible."
Rose gave him a very Snape-like smirk.
Victor relaxed. "I suppose I wouldn't have you any other way."
"I do not think I would want to be any other way." Although she was smiling, it no longer reached her eyes.
Victor's lovestruck expression evaporated. "Why aren't you asleep?"
"I am not tired at the moment."
"Am I not allowed to stay up past two in the morning without an interrogation?"
Victor furrowed his eyebrows.
Rose sighed. "I have too many thoughts running through my head to sleep."
"What thoughts?" He asked.
She fidgeted. "I was thinking about various things, none of which concern you."
"Perhaps they don't concern me directly, but since we are both awake I could make us a cup of tea and we could talk," he offered.
Rose exhaled. "I would kill for an earl gray right about now."
Victor stood and strolled out of the bedroom. Rose followed close behind.
"What are you thinking about?" Victor asked.
Rose grimaced as she passed the buzzing. "I was thinking about how much has changed in the last few months, and how I am no longer the same person I was at the beginning of the year."
"None of us are the same as we were last year," he began.
"Yes, but you did not discover you were a Weasley whereas I did."
"No, I suppose I did not."
They turned into the kitchen.
Rose continued, "I am still trying to wrap my mind about who I am. We all know that I am far more like Dad than I am anyone else, but had Mum's original plan succeeded, I would not have been raised by him. It is doubtful that my name would have been Rose given that Dad gave me that name."
Victor reached up into one of the cabinets and pulled out a stainless steel teapot.
"Who am I supposed to be?"
"I think you already are who you were meant to be."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that even if you were raised by Ronald, I think there are parts of you which would remain the same."
"Are you saying that as a Weasley I would have developed a love of potions and worn black?"
"Well if Ronald Weasley was my father, I would wear black as a sign of rebellion against all things Quidditch."
Rose tapped her chin. "I suppose Dad did say once that he wore black as a symbol of rebellion. I believe he said once that as a teenager, he hated all things joy."
"Exactly. You two think exactly alike, which is why I think that even if you weren't aware of it, you would at least somewhat follow in his footsteps," Victor put his wand over the teapot. "Aguamenti."
"I am still trying to wrap my mind around my true identity though," Rose argued. "I have spent all these years carrying on the legacy of a man who adopted me and could not have cared less about his bloodline."
"Of course he doesn't care about his bloodline," Victor placed the teapot on the oven.
"Still, I do wonder sometimes who I should have been had I grown up as a Weasley," Rose answered.
Victor put a hand on her shoulder. "You should have been my snarky sister who dresses in black and loves potions."
Rose raised her eyebrow.
"Things happen for a reason. Somehow, Mum and Dad were meant to come together, and you were meant to be raised as a Snape. Don't ever doubt those facts."
"Perhaps you are right," Rose mused.
"Of course I'm right," Victor answered. "The younger brother is always right."
"Sure," Rose drawled. "That's why you needed tutoring in herbology."
"How was I supposed to know the difference between aconite and moly?"
"If you were training to be a potions mistress, then identifying those plants should be second nature."
"You were the one who enjoyed listening to Dad reading potions journals. I just wanted to hear the Tales of Beedle the Bard."
"Dad always read us such fascinating articles. I was always surprised you were not enraptured by them."
"And I was always surprised that you were so enraptured by them," Victor replied. "At least until I remembered that you were your father's daughter in every important sense of the word."
The teapot hissed.
"Yes," Rose mused aloud. "I suppose I am Severus Snape's daughter."
"Yes, you are." Victor removed the teapot from the stove. Then he placed it on a burner which had not been lit. "The reality is that you have changed over this past year because you have had new experiences, not because you are now aware that you a biologically related to the Weasleys."
Rose opened her mouth.
Victor reached into another cupboard and pulled out two cups. "You are the same person you were this time last year. Never forget who you actually are."
Rose's lips curled up. "I will try to remember who I am. Perhaps that could even be my New Year's Resolution."
"That sounds like a very good one," Victor replied.
"Indeed it does," Rose answered. "Indeed it does."