AN: Thank you for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"It's not fair!"
Percy rolled his eyes and bit his tongue. So help me if I have to listen to this temper tantrum all night…
"Rose is supposed to love me, not Snape." Ron took a gulp of Cristal before slamming his bottle onto the coffee table. "On all the muggle TV shows the child looks at the father and she instantly knows him. We're supposed to feel this deep connection just like they do. She's supposed to want me to be her father. Why does she keep running to Snape?"
"Probably because he raised her."
"What does that matter? I made her."
"Ronald, I want you to listen to me very carefully," Percy began in a slow voice.
Ron took the bottle of Cristal and took a gulp of beer.
"A sperm donor creates a child, but a dad actually raises it," Percy spoke as if he was lecturing his daughter on a broken curfew. "A dad raises the child, a sperm donor doesn't."
Ron lowered his bottle and moaned, "I would've raised her if Snape didn't steal her from me."
"Snape didn't steal anything from you," Percy growled.
"Yes, he did. He stole my family from me the day he married 'Mione," Ron whined before raising the bottle to his lips. When no liquid came out, he frowned and threw it across the room. Then he reached down to his right and picked up a new bottle. He twisted off the cap and took another sip.
"Hermione was never a part of our family," Percy answered.
"Yes, she was," Ron took another swig of Cristal. "She was my family, and I loved her."
"You loved her?"
"Yes, I think I may have loved her."
"I thought she was stifling."
"Well, she was, but I might have loved her."
"If you loved her so much, why would you abandon her?"
Ron shrugged. "She was kinda annoying, and I couldn't understand what she said half the time. Oh, and she was really bossy, and never let me hang out with my friends. She was so annoying about everything. If I'm honest she wasn't really that hot either, at least not as hot as my groupies or the casino waitresses."
"Perhaps you should thank Snape for taking her off of your hands then," Percy suggested.
"I mean, I am actually glad I didn't have to deal with her bitching about my women, and I really didn't want to raise a baby," Ron took another gulp of Cristal. "No, I'm not upset that Snape dealt with the crying and the shouting and the vomiting and all that nasty stuff babies and children do. I'm kinda glad he raised Rose. Merlin knows I didn't want to."
"If you care so little about Rose and Hermione then perhaps it is time to refocus your efforts on doing your job and leave the Snapes alone," Percy suggested.
"But I need their money!"
"Didn't I give you money?"
"I gave you money right after you gave me proof that Rose was your daughter. What happened to it?"
"Well, I had to pay people off."
"You said that you owed fifty-thousand galleons. I gave you sixty-thousand galleons, You should have still had ten thousand galleons left."
Ron set his beer on the table and bowed his head.
"Where are the galleons?"
"Where the hell did my money go?"
Ron's eyes watered. "First, I needed a Nimbus 5067, and it had just come onto the market."
Percy clenched his fists.
"Then I had four thousand galleons left over. I got really bored one night and…"
"You didn't," Percy hissed.
Ron squeaked, "Yeah, I did."
"How much did you lose this time?"
"Nothing the first night. At first I was winning. I was on a hot streak and won several thousand galleons."
"Well, you know how things happen, you get a couple of bad hands, and then suddenly all your gains are gone. It's weird that I did so bad the next night."
Percy punched the wall.
Ron jumped and kicked his coffee table, knocked over the beer bottle. He gasped as the liquid spilled onto the carpet.
"Why could you not stay away from the casinos for ten minutes?"
"I wanted to have fun," Ron whined as he picked up the bottle.
"So you decided to gamble your savings away?"
"Gambling is fun. You need to loosen up and try it."
"I have played baccarat with you," Percy snapped. "I found it to be vapid and wasteful."
"I have a blast doing it."
"Perhaps you need to find a different way to have fun."
"But I enjoy gambling, and I like the people I gamble with."
"All my friends are at the casino."
"Are they your friends, or the waitresses you pant after?"
"The waitresses are all very nice, and really give you all the attention you need."
Percy buried his face in his hands.
"Some of them really like me! A few have even slept with me. In fact, I think one of them is into me. I'll ask her out tonight."
"Where exactly would 'out' be?"
"I don't know. Usually I take them here and show them my broom collection. That gets most of them interested in me."
Ron glared at him. "Excuse me?"
"You are not bringing one of your whores around my family," Percy argued.
"This is my bloody mansion. I can bring home whoever I want."
"We're living here too."
"That isn't my fault. You chose to be here."
"Fine, but try to have a little consideration for my predicament."
"My children shouldn't be raised in this atmosphere," Percy continued.
"Then move out."
"I cannot do that until I procure the funds to buy a new house."
"That's not my bloody problem."
"You need to be setting a good example for your nieces."
"I need to live my life."
Percy gritted his teeth.
"Look," Ron consumed the remainder of his beer. "I'm sorry the Snapes are after you too, but it's not my problem that your political career is over."
"I will find a way to recover," Percy argued. "Somehow I will become the next Minister of Magic."
"Good for you, but in the meantime, you live with me and need to respect my lifestyle," Ron argued.
Ron stood. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to leave."
"Where, pray tell, are you going?" Percy demanded.
Ron staggered towards the fireplace. "It's free martini night at the Tesoro Incaico. I need to go now before they give away my place at the table."
"Ronald, don't you dare leave!"
"It's my mansion! I'll come and go as I please."
"You need to consider your financial future."
Ron pushed him aside. "Don't wait up for me. I'll be back when I'm back."
Percy opened his mouth, but then shook his head and closed it.
His brother was a lost cause.
She hummed before setting her book on her night stand.
"It truly has been a most pleasant day," Severus sat on the bed beside her.
Hermione smiled. "I'm glad to hear it."
"Thank you for going out of your way to make it special. I truly am appreciative of all your efforts."
"You deserve a special day."
He wrapped his arms around her. "You make every day special, but I do appreciate my birthday more because of you."
She ran her fingers through his hair. "You deserve a day when you feel special, when everyone around you shows how much they love you."
"I am very much loved, and I know it."
"Yes," Hermione whispered. "You are very much loved by you family."
He brushed his lips against hers.
"Honestly, it was nice to spend a day when we were just a man and a woman in love," Hermione whispered. "We didn't have to worry about amnesia epidemics, cancer, or any other crisis. It was just you, the children, and me."
"It seems like years since we've had a day as a normal family," Severus smirked. "Well, as normal as we can be anyway. We never were the typical family."
"I wouldn't have us any other way though," Hermione answered.
He began to massage her back. She shuddered and moaned.
"I love you," Severus whispered.
Hermione sighed. "I love you too, Severus. I love you so much."
He captured her lips. Once they came up for air, he gave her a half grin. "My birthday is not over yet."
"No, it isn't," Hermione answered.
"You said you would do whatever I wanted within reason."
"I did say something to that effect."
"Would making love to you until we cannot see straight qualify as acting within reason?"
Hermione's face lit up. "Of course it does."
Severus pressed her against him.
Where would I be without this witch in my life?