Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 149

AN: Thank you so much for the support! It is very deeply appreciated!

Victor leaned back in his wooden chair. Despite his attempts to remain neutral, he couldn't hide his smirk. To his right, Rose folded her hands.

"Oh Victor, you shouldn't have."

Victor slid a jar across the table.

"No seriously, you should not have," Hermione frowned as Severus took the jar from his son's hands. "Your father's teeth are going to rot out if he eats all of those."

"Now Love," Severus purred. "I thought nobody was supposed to be a grump today."

"Severus, just looking at that three kilogram jar of jelly beans is enough to give me a tooth ache. You cannot be serious about eating all of these within a month."

Severus huffed. "Dumbledore would go through a jar of jelly beans this size within a few weeks. There is no reason I could not go through them at the same rate."

"He had students to help him eat them," Hermione argued. "You do not."

"Perhaps I do not have students, but I do have children," Severus replied, emphasizing the last word.

"I would not mind a few bubblegum jelly beans," Rose cut in.

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a few jellybeans." Hermione turned to her daughter. "Merlin knows he will lose all of his teeth if he tries to eat all of these on his own."

"Why are you so obsessed with my oral hygiene? I only have a few cavities," Severus answered.

"A few cavities is a few cavities too many," Hermione grumbled.

Victor chuckled.

"In all seriousness," Hermione's face softened. "It truly is a lovely gift. You do understand I am only giving you a hard time, correct."

"Of course I do Mum," Victor answered. "I know how you feel about having so much candy. I fear though most of my gifts consist of food. I'm at a loss as to what else you would like."

"Food is a fine gift," Hermione replied.

"Yes, thank you very much," there was a gleam in Severus' eyes. "I would tell you I will cherish it forever, but a good jellybean should never go to waste."

Victor and Rose burst out laughing.

"No," Hermione twisted open the lid. "No good jellybean should go to waste."

Severus took out a piece of candy and plopped it in his mouth. He held out the jar to his children. They each took a jellybean and ate it. Then he put the jar over the Hermione. She giggled before taking one and eating it.

"Thank you again, Victor. I appreciate the candy and the cake," Severus replied before setting the candy jar down. "Thank you for both."

"Don't be too grateful for the cake yet," Victor warned. "You haven't taken a bite of it yet."

Severus raised an eyebrow. "Is there a reason I would not like your cake?"

Victor shrugged. "I did not have any problem baking it, but one never knows how it will turn out."

Severus replied, "There is no need to worry. I have yet to eat a cake of yours that I did not like."

"I suppose I am a decent enough baker," Victor answered with a gleam in his eyes.

Rose snorted. "You put everyone else to shame except for Mum, and you know it."

"I did learn form the best anyway." Victor winked at his mother.

Hermione smiled. "Yes, you were my best student."

Severus' eyes drifted towards the box in front of Rose. "As eager as I am to eat cake, I do not think it is polite to do so before all of the presents are open."

Rose blushed. "I am afraid this is not as exciting as cake of jellybeans. It will not rot your teeth out though, so I suppose that is a bonus."

"Whatever it is, I am sure I will love it," Severus replied.

Rose took a deep breath and pushed the present to her father. Severus examined the package until his eyes fell on a piece of tape. He put his finger under the tape and pulled it off. Then he undid the other pieces of tape until the paper fell off, exposing a box. Then he slid off the bow. "You did an excellent job tying it this year."

"I put more effort into it than I do most years," Rose replied.

Severus began undoing the tape on the box. "There was no need to put any effort into it at all, though I appreciate the extra thought."

"You deserve to have a nice bow on a nicely wrapped gift," Rose answered.

Severus opened the box and pulled out a black cauldron. He grinned.

"It is made of onyx," Rose began. "I know its use is limited, but there is more to it than meets the eye."

"It is very lovely," Severus replied.

"There is more," Rose began. "If you reach into your box you will find the other portion of your present."

Severus took his daughter's suggestion. He pulled out a vial. "Thank you. I have been running low on gold dust."

"This is not necessarily for your current potions endeavors."

"It isn't?"

"No," Rose replied. "Sprinkle some of the gold dust inside."

Severus popped open the vial and took a pinch of the material. He put it into the cauldron.

In emerald letters, the outside of the cauldron read, "I love you Dad."

"Oh Rose," Severus whispered.

"I charmed it myself," Rose began.

"How?" Victor asked.

"It is an interesting story," Rose began. "When I was still in the university I ran across a story about two lovers who just so happened to be potions masters. They discovered a spell which would allow them to charm their cauldrons to say whatever they wanted provided that gold dust was added. They used their cauldrons like love letters from that point forward."

"That's sweet," Victor began.

"It took some research, but before I graduated I found the spell they used. I decided to keep it in case I ever wanted to write on my cauldron without etching anything on it," Rose continued.

"I see," Severus' attention was still focused on the glowing cauldron.

"Anyway I thought of the spell the other day and realized that there is no potions master more deserving of a loving message than my dad," Rose concluded.

"I believe this is the sweetest gift you have ever given me," Severus answered.

"Truly?"

Severus nodded. "Between this, the jelly beans, and Violet's golden vials, I can honestly say this is the best birthday I have ever had."

"You say that every year," Rose replied.

"Yes," he admitted. "But that is only because my birthdays improve with every year."

Victor turned to Rose. "I suppose our gift giving has improved over the years."

"Indeed," Rose replied. "We have come a long way from giving Dad fingerprint cards he merely pretended to enjoy only to toss them later."

"I did truly enjoy them, so much so that I still have all of them," Severus noted.

"Truly?" Rose asked.

"Indeed I do," he answered. "I can show you where they are later."

"Master! Mistress!"

The family turned to the elf.

"Headmaster Longbottom is on the floo. He claims it is urgent," the elf began.

"Did he say anything else?"

"No, only that you need to come now."

Severus' stomach sank. "Thank you."

Together, they all rushed into the library. Once there, Severus peered into the floo. "Headmaster Longbottom, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

"First of all," Neville began. "I heard it was your birthday."

"Indeed it is."

"The happiest of birthdays!" Neville cheered. "I would sing to you, but I fear you would find a way to give me a detention if I did so."

Severus frowned. "Indeed I would."

"That being said," there was a twinkle in Neville's eyes. "I have a surprise for you."

Severus twisted his lower lip.

Another face appeared in the fireplace. "Hello Dad! Have you eaten your cake yet?"

"Violet?" Severus exclaimed.

"Yes," she began. "Headmaster Longbottom called me into his office. He asked me why I was spending my time studying instead of celebrating your birthday."

"You are studying because you need to pass your N.E.W.T.S.," Severus began.

"Now, now," Neville began. "I'm sure she has a little bit of time to eat a piece of cake."

Severus turned to Violet.

"I'll study extra hard this weekend if you allow me to stay for an hour," Violet replied.

"Petal I…"

"Please," she pleaded.

Severus relaxed. "So long as you study this weekend I will allow you to stay for an hour and eat cake with us."

"Thank you Daddy," Violet answered.

Severus backed away. Violet materialized before them. She ran into her father's arms.

Hermione approached the fireplace. "Thank you so much, Neville."

"Indeed," Severus embraced his youngest daughter. "Thank you."

"It's my pleasure," Neville answered. "Have a happy birthday!"

With that, the flames died.

"So?" Violet began. "Have you eaten the cake yet?"

"Did you only come for cake?" Severus teased.

"Of course I did," she teased.

Severus gave her a playful scowl.

"You must admit it is good cake," Violet answered.

Severus kissed Violet on the top of the head. "Let's go ahead and eat it then."

With that, the family returned to the kitchen.

It was a happy birthday indeed.