AN: Thank you all for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
It was only ash.
Rose stared into the golden cauldron. There was no remaining liquid, only azure specks of cinder.
Severus peeked inside. "Are there any traces of magic in the ashes?"
Rose muttered a spell and dipped her wand into them. It was sepia.
"I do not understand," Rose whispered. "Everything should have reacted perfectly. The cauldron should not have exploded."
"I honestly thought we were close to an amnesia cure. My research was preliminary, but it seemed to hold so much promise," Rose continued.
Severus put a hand on her shoulder. "You know as well as I do that for every potion there are at least forty failed prototypes."
"I know," Rose turned to her father. "I can accept failure; it is to be expected. Still, failure is something to learn from, which makes this all the more frustrating. I am uncertain where we went wrong."
"There are a variety of ingredients which could have cancelled each other out," Severus began. "Perhaps the lupine seeds and the dittany reacted poorly with each other. They're used so rarely together. We may have overlooked a poor reaction."
"If that is the case then I am at a loss for what to do," Rose answered. "The lupine is needed in order to prevent a physical transformation from occurring. Still, the dittany stabilizes the potion. Without it, the concoction would become too alkaline for consumption."
"Perhaps we could use peony seeds or muggle soda to reduce the alkaline in the potion."
Severus shrugged. "This is an unconventional problem which may require an unconventional solution."
"True," Rose replied. "I am just curious as to why you considered muggle soda."
"Since the amnesia potion is coming through the water system, I thought something drinkable would perhaps be the solution," Severus smirked.
"Fair enough, though I suspect there is more to the story than that."
"Well, Wilford did give me a bottle of Mountain Dew for my birthday."
Rose chuckled. "Grandpa spoils us."
"Indeed, he did go against his better judgment as a dentist for us."
"How loudly did Mum protest him giving it to you?"
"She did not protest the gift at all. She drank as much, if not, more of the bottle than I did."
"You drank the entire bottle in a day?"
"The bottle was only two liters, and we were thirsty."
"I would imagine that the caffeine rush is intolerable."
"It is the only thing keeping me awake at the moment."
Rose's voice was softer. "You need to take better care of yourself. If you are tired you need to sleep."
"How exactly am I supposed to sleep given your mother's upcoming appointment?" he whispered.
"I do not know," she admitted. "Still, I worry about you. You are running yourself ragged, and it will catch up to you eventually."
He kissed her on the forehead. "Do not worry about me, I will be fine."
"You are not fine right now, and unless we cure this amnesia you will not be fine in two weeks."
"I am well aware of that fact."
Rose embraced Severus.
He wrapped his arm around her. "We will cure this amnesia. Never doubt that."
"I hope so," Rose whispered.
"Also, do not worry about your mother or me. We are more than capable of taking care of ourselves," Severus replied.
"That being said, your mother would like to see you tomorrow after her appointment."
"I would like that very much."
"So would she," Severus took a shaky breath.
"When is her appointment?"
"It ends at four. I would wait a few hours to give her time to recover though."
"Perhaps I can stop in around seven?" Rose asked.
"Yes," Severus answered. "That seems appropriate."
Rose stepped away from Severus. "Should I call Victor and tell him when Mum will be ready for visitors?"
"That will not be necessary. I would imagine she is speaking with him right now," Severus answered. "She usually calls him about this time. No doubt she's mentioned her appointment."
"I am sure she has," Rose replied.
"All that being said," Severus turned to the cauldron. "We need to clean up the lab and play a game of chess."
"Indeed, it will clear our heads and give me a chance to defeat you at something."
"Tonight may be my lucky night. I may win," Rose replied.
"That is your problem," Severus answered. "You cannot rely on luck in a game of chess, only skill."
"Fair enough," Rose replied, her eyes glazed with tears.
Severus kissed her on the right cheek and whispered, "Do not worry for us Little One. Your mother and I survived a war. We can survive this."
"I know," Rose replied, praying he was correct.
Ron groaned and opened his eyes. His head was pounding. He glanced down at his chest. His shirt was missing.
Shit, losing my shirt wasn't a dream!
He groaned before rolling over on the couch so he was facing the hallway.
"You're finally awake," Molly trilled as she skipped into the living room. "I was beginning to think you'd never come to."
Molly stared at her son. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine," Ron groaned.
"You look like hell."
"I mean, I've looked worse, and I feel fine."
Molly tapped her foot. "When did you go to bed?"
Ron gave her a sheepish grin. "I may have stayed out later than I should have."
"What were you doing out so late?" Molly asked.
Ron squirmed. "I may have gone to a casino."
"Why were you at a bloody casino?"
"I wanted to have some fun."
"Yes, it was great fun. Everyone was so nice, and they were happy to see me."
"Please tell me you didn't drink there."
"It was free martini night. Of course I drank."
"How many drinks did you have?"
Ron glanced at the ceiling and counted on his fingers. "I would say about five."
"Please tell me you didn't lose anything at the casino."
Ron grinned. "I may have literally lost the shirt off my back."
Molly swooned and collapsed onto a chair.
"If it makes you feel better, I don't owe the casino anything. I quit while I still had ten galleons in my pocket," Ron continued.
Molly buried her face in her hands. "How could you gamble away your shirt?"
"I was having fun."
"Why couldn't you have had fun with your brother and nieces?"
"Because I was depressed," Ron argued.
She put her hands down. "Why?"
Ron sniffed. "I talked to Rose yesterday. She was mean to me."
Molly growled, "How was she mean to you?"
"I tried to give her your wedding ring, but she wouldn't take it. All she did was talk about how Snape was her father and how much better he was than me. It was bloody annoying and it hurt my feelings."
"Rose rejected my ring?"
Ron covered his ears.
"How dare she reject such a precious family heirloom!"
"Because Snape told her to."
"Yes! The Snapes poisoned her against me," Ron argued. "They made her hate me, and they think it's funny."
Molly's face was as red as her hair.
"I really tried to get Rose to like me, but Snape keeps telling her I'm evil. She won't stop listening to him, and I'm running out of ideas on how to make her like me," Ron replied.
"I knew Severus Snape was nothing but a cowardly, murdering thief the day I met him. I told Dumbledore not to trust him, but he wouldn't listen to me!"
"He stole my daughter, and now he turned her against me!"
"No, 'Mione stole your daughter," Molly argued. "She couldn't stand how famous you were or how much money you were making. I'll bet she stopped taking the potion just to trap you, and when that didn't work she seduced Snape so they could get the Prince fortune. Those conniving gold digging bastards!"
"What do we do?" Ron whined. "I want Rose in my life, but the Snape won't let me near her."
"You leave all of that to me," Molly stood. "I am going to put an end to this madness once and for all."
Ron's face lit up. "Oh thank you Mum! You are the best."
"It is my absolute pleasure." She stepped over and kissed him on the cheek. "You just get some rest. Mummy will take care of everything."
"Okay I will," Ron kissed her cheek. "You're the best mummy ever."
"Don't you ever forget it." Molly marched out of the room with renewed purpose.
'Mione and Snape won't have any idea what hit them.