AN: Thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!
If I could get it shut once, I can do it again.
Violet sat on her suitcase and pressed down.
Just because I put in a few more books, a few more outfits, and a few more camping supplies doesn't mean I can't shut this again.
After putting all her weight onto the suitcase, she was able to clamp it shut. She stood and held her breath.
Things did not fly out as they had done so earlier.
She turned to the doorway and smirked. "I told you I could get everything in there, Dad."
"So you can," Severus replied.
"I did it all by myself too."
"Do you think you have packed everything?"
She scratched her chin. "I may have missed a few things. Perhaps I do need those books on advanced occlumency."
"I believe you will survive without that particular book," he answered.
Violet shoved the suitcase closer to the wall. "I should be able to shrink that and carry it onto the train."
"If not, I can carry it for you."
"Do you really think you could lift it?"
"I have carried heavier."
Violet's expression softened. "Thanks, Dad."
He stepped inside the room and leaned in closer. Then he whispered in her ear. "The next time you pack, consider minimizing your bags of unicorn treats. You will find it much easier to pack your other items if you do so."
"I'll remember that for next time." She embraced him and kissed him on the cheek.
"That being said," he replied. "You should be getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day."
"I know," her eyes were distant.
Severus frowned. "What is wrong?"
"Nothing," Violet swallowed.
"Petal," he drawled.
"No, nothing. I just can't believe winter break has passed by so quickly."
"It was a bit too fast for my liking as well."
"That being said," Violet's eyes lit up. "I have something for you."
"Oh you do," Severus answered.
She nodded and ran over to her dresser. "I thought about giving it to you tomorrow, but we might run out of time."
Violet opened the top drawer and began shifting her t-shirts around. "I found this at Hogsmeade during one of our trips there. I thought it would make a nicer birthday present than a Christmas one."
"You did not need to give me anything."
"'Being with you is enough of a present, you don't need anything other than our present.' I know the speeches." She pulled out a small box. "I wanted to give you something anyway."
"Very well then," Severus answered as she approached him.
She placed the box in his hands. "I hope you like it, and not in a 'I love anything you children give me' way."
"I am being honest when I tell you that I love everything you children give me."
"I highly doubt you loved that stuffed rat I bought for you when I was six."
"Of course I loved it," Severus began to untie the green ribbon. "You saved up your allowance for weeks to buy it for me. I appreciated the gesture as much as I liked the toy itself"
"Then where is it?"
"I set it on my work desk in my office."
"Yes," Severus examined the silver wrapped box. Once he found a piece of tape, he put his finger under it. "It watches me while I draw up the formula for potions."
Violet cocked her head.
"If you wish to see it yourself you are more than welcome to," Severus put his finger under the tape and popped it off.
"I'll have to check it out then," Violet answered.
He pulled the wrapping paper off of the box. His eyes widened. "Violet."
"I found them at that potions supply store. They are fairly rare, so even though you have them, I thought you'd like more," Violet explained.
"The golden vials I have are too old and will not be useable for much longer," He set the box on her bed. "Thank you very much for these."
Violet grinned. "You're welcome."
They hugged each other.
"I love you so much, my little Petal."
"I love you too, Dad."
Severus released her. "I am very proud to call you my daughter. Always remember that."
"I will," Violet backed away. "Just like I'm proud to call you my dad."
"Good," he replied.
"Indeed," Violet whispered.
"How are those college applications coming along?" Severus asked.
Violet shrugged. "They are going well enough. I will mail most of them off when I return to Hogwarts for the semester."
"Where have you applied?"
"I'm looking into the Wizarding University of Brighton, and the Wizarding University of Sterling."
"When we spoke with the healer, I could not help but notice that you made no mention of the College of the Appalachians"
"No, I must have left that one out."
"Why would you forget to mention your dream school?"
"I did some research, and it isn't all it seems. It doesn't seem to be worth my time."
"They have one of the top five magizology programs in the world. I would say that is well worth your time."
"I know, but they require too many prerequisite courses, and I hear that the acceptance rate is quite low."
"With Hagrid's letter of recommendation and your grades I would imagine you have a good chance at getting into any school you wished."
"I know, but I don't want to waste time on applications to schools I won't get into."
"Perhaps you won't get into the College of the Appalachians, but there is no harm in applying."
"I guess so."
Severus took a deep breath. "Is the issue that you fear not getting in, or is the issue that it is across the ocean?"
Violet's expression told him everything he needed to know.
"Are you afraid of being in a foreign country?"
"No, I mean kinda, but there's more to do it than that."
"What is the issue then?"
Violet's voice was barely above a whisper. "What if something happens to you and Mum when I leave?"
Severus took a deep breath.
"If I stay in Britain I can be there quicker if something were to happen to you. That means a lot to me."
"You cannot live your life around the fact that something could happen to us."
"How can I not?" Violet raised her voice. "Both of you are sick right now. Mum could die, and you could forget us completely. Why wouldn't I want to stick around in case something happens to you?"
"I don't think you quite understand how I feel." Boiling tears came to her eyes. "I know you were eager to leave home, and there's no love lost between you and your parents. Still, I love you and Mum."
"I know," Severus replied.
"It's easy for you to say that I should leave because you want me to live life to the fullest, but how can I ignore what's happening? How can I abandon you in your time of need?"
"Do you truly think living your life is abandoning me or your mum?"
Severus put a hand on her shoulder. "I want you to listen to me, and I want you to listen carefully."
"First of all, you are wrong in thinking that it is easy for me to tell you to move to another country. There is a selfish part of me which would love nothing more than for you, your brother, and your sister to live in this mansion with me always."
"Wouldn't we begin to annoy you after a certain amount of time?"
"This is a big mansion. You would all find your own space in due time," Severus answered.
"True," Violet replied.
"The reality is though, I cannot keep any of you children at my side forever. I knew the day your mother birthed you that eventually I would have to let you go and create your own life. Granted, I was sometimes more eager for the day you became an adult than I was at others."
Severus grinned. "The reality is though that my purpose is to help you to live on your own. I cannot hold you back, nor will I allow you to hold yourself back."
"No," Severus' voice was firm. "You need to allow us to take care of ourselves and live your own life."
"What if I never see you or Mum again?" Violet choked.
Severus massaged her back. "You cannot live your life in fear of that possibility. Even if you are in Britain, we could die unexpectedly."
"What if I get too homesick?" Violet asked.
"Do you get homesick at Hogwarts? This will be no different."
"No, I was never homesick because Rose was my professor. I'll have nobody with me in the United States."
"Do you truly want to live with Rose your entire life in order to ward of homesickness?" Severus asked.
Violet chuckled. "Fair enough."
He kissed her forehead. "It will kill me to watch you leave. I will miss you every minute you are gone, just as I miss you every minute you are at Hogwarts."
"I know," Violet answered.
"Still, I will take comfort in know that you are living your life," Severus answered. "I will take comfort in knowing you aren't living in fear. At the end of the day, that's the only present I want."
"In other words, take the vials back and get into College of the Appalachians."
"I wouldn't go that far," Severus' lips curled up. "These vials are quite nice."
He kissed her on the cheek. "Please fill out that application."
"I already did," Violet replied.
He raised an eyebrow.
"I'm a little like Mum," Violet admitted. "I filled out the application this summer. I have letters from Hagrid, Professor Malfoy, Professor Sinistra, and Headmaster Longbottom. I was just putting the finishing touches on my admission essay when the amnesia epidemic began."
"When is the date to turn it in?" Severus asked.
"I have until February 15."
"Turn it in as soon as possible."
"I will." Violet exhaled.
Severus embraced her once more. "I love you, Violet. You are the best youngest child I could have asked for."
She wrapped her arms around him. "You're the best Dad I could have asked for."
Severus kissed her forehead, all the while wondering when that young child he'd taken to the zoo had become a full grown woman ready to start living her own life.