Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 148

AN: Thank you all for the support! It is deeply appreciated!

Will Dad enjoy my gift, or will he only humor me once he receives it?

Rose pulled the black bow for the fourth time in as many minutes, ensuring it was secure on the emerald wrapping paper. Then she took a deep breath.

This is a package, not a mosaic. Dad is going to pick it apart anyway. There is no need for it to appear perfect, or even presentable.

Her grandmother's ring glistened in the candlelight.

Perhaps I should be concerned with the appearance of his present. I have been far from an ideal daughter as of late. Everything he did was out of love for me, and I have taken this fact for granted. At the very least he deserves a present which reflects how grateful I am for his love.

Rose ran her finger along the edge of the box. Even if Dad pretends to hate his birthday with a passion, he has never been averse to the positive attention he receives from us. No, he deserves a day when he feels special, even if the unfortunate implication is that he has grown a year older. Whatever happens, I need to give him the kind of birthday he deserves.

She glanced back down at the bow. It needs to be straighter. Dad deserves a straighter bow, if only to demonstrate how much thought I put into this gift.

Before Rose could touch the package again, her fireplace erupted.

"Rose?"

She scowled and turned her attention to the growing flames.

"Rosie? Rosie? Where are you?"

Rose stormed towards the fireplace. "Why are you clogging up my floo?"

"Rosie! I'm so glad to see you again!"

"Yes, it is such a joy to see you once more," Rose answered, her words drowning in sarcasm.

"It's been so long, and we got off to such a bad start. I'm glad you're willing to speak with me again."

"What do you need, Ronald?" Rose asked.

"I wanted to see how you were doing," he began.

"I was well before you appeared," she replied.

Ron frowned. "There's no need to be rude."

Rose crossed her arms over her chest. "I apologize for my terseness, but I am in a hurry."

"Oh," Ron replied. "Where are you going?"

"If you must know, it is Dad's birthday," Rose answered. "We are having a party for him within the hour."

"Where is the party?"

"I am not entirely sure. Knowing Dad he will want to go out and eat, though where I do not know."

"I see."

"Anyway I need to give him his gift soon and…"

"What do you give a greasy…"

Rose furrowed her eyebrows.

"I mean, a loving father," Ron forced himself to smile. "What do you give such a loving father for his birthday?"

"I gave him a customized cauldron," Rose replied, hating the way those words sounded the second they let her mouth. It sounded so trite once she said it aloud. Was there enough time to get some dark chocolates from Hogsmeade?

"Snape would like a cauldron," Ron replied.

"I hope he does anyway," Rose answered in a soft voice.

"If he doesn't then he's a git," Ron's grin was now genuine.

"Perhaps," Rose muttered.

"Anyway, I suppose I should mention that my birthday is March 1," Ron's eyes were twinkling.

"Thank you for that tidbit of information," Rose deadpanned.

"Anyway, I should ask when your birthday is," Ron continued.

"Why do you ask?"

"Shouldn't a father know when his daughter was born?"

"Yes, a dad would know when his daughter was born."

"Then tell me, when is your birthday?"

"It is on September 24, though had you been a real father to me you would have remembered the date," Rose muttered.

Ron's face fell. "I said I was sorry for not being there."

"No apology will ever change the fact that you cared nothing for me until you needed my fortune," Rose answered.

"I care about more about you than your fortune."

"I find that doubtful."

"Look, I know I've made mistakes, but I'm here for you now. Doesn't that mean anything to you?" Ron asked.

"In all honesty, no," Rose admitted. "I could not care less about your renewed interest in me. I see little reason to allow you into my life."

Ron snarled. "I see you forgive as easily as Snape does."

"Believe it or not, I have forgiven you," Rose replied.

Ron snorted. "I don't believe you."

"It is true. I forgive you because thanks to you, I have had a pleasant enough life."

"How can you say that?"

"It is clear that even to this day you are not mature enough to raise a goldfish, much less a child. Had you attempted to raise me you would have neglected me. If Mum died from her cancer then I would have been left alone to fend for myself. I would not have known the love of a good father, nor would I have understood what a healthy relationship was between two married people. Considering that I had a stellar father who gave me an excellent childhood, I can forgive you for being an immature coward."

"How very kind of you," Ron growled.

"Now if you will excuse me, I must be going," Rose began. "Mum and Dad are expecting me within the next ten minutes. I do not want to disappoint them."

"I have to give you something before you go," Ron called.

Rose groaned.

"I know I can't give you this through the fireplace, but I want you to see it so that when you come to Peru next I can give it to you."

"First of all, I doubt anything you could give me will make coming to Peru the least bit enticing."

"Not even jewelry?"

"Excuse me?"

The ashes shifted until they formed the shape of a small diamond ring. Rose twisted her lower lip.

"This is your grandma Molly's wedding ring," Ron began. "She isn't using it anymore because, well, you know."

"Indeed," Rose drawled. "I would imagine the divorce is hard on her."

"It is, which is why she wants her family close by."

Rose huffed.

"She wants to give this ring to one of her grandchildren." Ron began.

Rose tapped her foot.

"She wanted me to give it to you."

"Why would she want a Snape to have her old wedding ring?"

"Because you aren't a Snape to her," Ron replied. "You're her granddaughter."

Rose snorted. "I will never consider that banshee to be my grandmother, and I doubt she would ever consider me to be her granddaughter."

"But she does consider you her granddaughter."

"No, she considers me a nuisance at best, a bastard at worst."

"She loves you. She even told me so."

Rose burst out laughing.

Ron bit his tongue.

"Molly does not love me. If she tolerates me at all it is because doing so annoys my parents. She is vindictive enough to forge a relationship with me just to spite them for some imaginary wrong."

"How can you say she doesn't love you? All Weasleys love their own."

"You did not love me when I was conceived, ergo not every Weasley loves the person they claim as their own."

"You said you were a Snape."

"I am a Snape because I was raised as one."

"It doesn't matter how you were raised. I've changed."

"No, you have remained the same." Rose shook her head. "I cannot believe I ever sought you out. I should have listened to Dad when he warned me what a mistake seeing you would be. I should have thanked Dad for raising me and left well enough alone."

"I have more heirloom jewelry if you want it," Ron offered. "You like necklaces and rings, don't you? Will that make you come and talk to me?"

"I would strongly suggest you and Molly give those pieces of jewelry to actual Weasleys. It would be best for you to keep them in the family."

"So are you saying you aren't my daughter?"

"That's exactly what I am saying."

"But the DNA test…"

"Only told me that Dad loved me unconditionally, Weasley DNA and all," Rose argued. "That DNA test only confirmed what kind of man he was. It says nothing of your relationship with me, other than you are a negligent sperm donor."

"Damnit Rose I am your father!" Ron yelled. "You will speak to me with respect!"

"Believe me, I am giving you far more respect than you deserve," Rose strolled towards the present.

"Where are you going?" Ron demanded.

"I am going to celebrate my dad's birthday," Rose picked up the present from the coffee table. "I am going to celebrate the life he has led, and wish him the best of luck in the future."

"He's a greasy git who hates children!"

"He's the father who stayed by my side even when I was being a selfish, ungrateful brat."

"You," Ron sputtered. "You get back over here and talk to me."

Rose pulled out an emerald potions vial. "You know how to disconnect the floo. I trust you will have done so by the time I return."

With that, she touched it and disappeared.