AN: Thank you for all the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"Why would you not have asked me to take Mum to the hospital?"
"I did not want to disturb you."
"It would have been no disruption for me. I would have gladly taken Mum to the hospital had you asked me."
Severus flicked a piece of soot off his cape. "I know that, Little One."
"Then why did you not ask me?" Rose asked. "I was awake and could have easily taken her."
"You needed to protect your students, not tend to your mother," Severus answered.
"Scorpius was present, as was the rest of the faculty. They could have done the job just as effectively."
"Are any of them the Head of the Slytherin House?"
"Could any of them have effectively imitated your mother, thus allowing them to peacefully negotiate with the aurors, thus avoiding any unnecessary harm?"
"No, I suppose I am the only one who could have persuaded the aurors to leave without bloodshed."
"Then you needed to be here."
Rose bowed her head. "I still should have been there for Mum."
"You were exactly where you needed to be."
Rose bit her lower lip.
"I want you to view things from this perspective." Severus put his hands on her shoulders. "Were any Slytherins injured?"
"No," she answered.
Severus scanned the room. "Your living quarters appear to be in great condition as well. I don't see a book out of place."
"That is because nobody entered last night" Rose answered.
"Did anyone enter your classroom?"
"Two aurors did, but I was able to talk them into leaving by telling them I was Mum." She glanced up at him and smirked. "Apparently they truly believe Mum to be capable of subduing you without any assistance."
Severus chuckled. "I imagine they would be surprised if they knew her methods for subduing me."
Rose twisted her lips. "I would rather not imagine Mum subduing you."
There was a gleam in Severus' eyes. "I suppose no child needs to imagine her parents in such compromising positions."
She pretended to gag. "No, they do not."
Severus embraced his daughter. "You were exactly where you needed to be. Your mother and I are very proud of you for staying and fighting."
"I know, but it does not make staying any easier."
"I know, but you are needed here. Your mother and I need you here, not tending to our every need."
"I will try to remember that," she whispered before yawning.
Severus frowned. "How much sleep did you get last night."
She waved her hand. "I will be fine."
"Dad, do not worry. I can manage my classes."
"How can I not worry when you are yawning and there are bags under your eyes?"
"If it makes you feel any better, nobody got any sleep last night."
"That makes me feel worse."
"I apologize, but that is the only consolation in this situation."
"Is Neville at least allowing you some time to recover?"
"He wants things to proceed as normally as possible."
"Which means you only have two hours to receive any kind of sleep."
"More or less."
"How does anyone plan to teach under these conditions?"
Rose shrugged. "I have pepper up potions along with some strong sodas. Within an hour I will begin handing them out to the other professors. We will survive."
He sighed. "I fought in two wars you and your siblings would never have to face the threats I did. The last thing I wanted was for you to endure sleepless nights due to combat."
"We are not facing what you did," She argued. "We are facing minor skirmishes, not evil megalomaniacs and lycanthropes."
Severus hummed. "I suppose you are correct in that assessment."
She kissed him on the cheek. "Do not worry about me. I will be fine."
"Please do not say that," Severus replied.
"Because I am tired of hearing the word 'fine.'"
"I will be well then?" Rose asked.
"No, it is not the word, it is the sentiment behind the word," Severus answered.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. "Every time I ask your mother how she is, she tells me she is 'fine.' One of the reasons she is in the hospital is because she insisted that she was fine despite the fact that her body was growing weaker by the minute. Still, she was so desperate to be in my arms that she jeopardized her own health."
"You two always were hopeless romantics," Rose noted.
He looked at her. "Your mother is not a hopeless anything. She is simply a loyal Gryffindor who ignores her own needs in the name of family loyalty."
"Being a Gryffindor has little to do with it. She simply loves you and wants to spend every moment possible with you. Those are the actions of a loving wife, not necessarily those of a stubborn Gryffindor."
"I still do not know what I have done to deserve such loyalty, but I am eternally grateful for it."
"You have done a great deal to earn her loyalty, and deep inside you know it."
"I have tried to be the best husband I could be for her. Some days I succeed better than others, but I have always attempted to be the husband she needs."
"You are always the husband she needs. Never allow yourself to think any differently."
The only sounds which could be heard was the crackling of the fireplace and the footsteps of the students above the ceiling making their way to the dining hall.
"Why did you actually come here?" Rose asked.
"What do you mean?" Severus asked.
"You could have easily flooed me, yet you decided to speak with me in person. Why did you need to see me?"
"Can a man not want to embrace his daughter?"
"Of course he can," Rose hugged him. "Still, you seem to be in a pensive mood at the moment, almost as if you are doing something you fear you will regret."
Severus wrapped his arms around her. "You know me well."
"Of course I do," Rose wrapped her arms around him. "I am your oldest daughter, the child who you claim behaves the most like you."
"Indeed you are the child most like me. That is one of the many reasons you can read me so well," Severus answered.
"Then tell me," Rose released him and backed away. "What are you planning on doing?"
Severus took a deep breath and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a parchment and handed it to her. "I cannot bear the idea of leaving your mother alone in St. Mungo's."
"None of us can."
"I need to be there, even if I am not entirely my right mind."
Rose's eyes widened.
"Your mother said even while amnesiac, we have a connection. I do not know how true this is, but if there is any truth to it then I need to be with her," Severus continued.
"Dad, you cannot be seriously considering…"
"H-how do you plan on being the loving husband she needs if you cannot remember her?"
"I wrote myself this note detailing everything I need to know while visiting her. Hopefully it will be enough."
"No," Rose tossed it at him as if it was about to spontaneously combust. "No, Mum will be released from the hospital soon. You will not need to do this. There is no need to even consider this."
"There is no guarantee she will be released in the next day or so." Severus put the parchment back into his pocket. "For that reason alone, she needs me with her."
"W-why are you telling me this?"
"Because if I do not see her, then I will be here."
"If I come into the dungeons during an episode you need to either escort me to her or force me to take a sleeping draught," Severus ordered.
"You want me to subdue you again?"
"If that is what you find to be necessary, then yes."
Rose trembled. "I was horrified when I stunned you. A daughter should not injure her father in such a way."
"I was not injured," Severus answered. "I did not feel a thing when I awoke."
"Yes, but I still could not bear to see you so stiff and know that I was the cause of it," Rose squeaked. "Please Dad, do not make me stun you again."
His expression softened. "Sometimes we must do unpleasant things…"
"No," Rose snapped. "This is not a war, and this plan is sheer madness. Mum wants you in Australia where you will be safe, no running around while amnesiac!"
"What if she is released in the middle of the night? Who will take her home?"
"Then she is perfectly capable of using a floo on her own."
"If she comes home without me, then she will return to a sleeping husband. She deserves one who is awake and ready to greet her."
"So your idea is to give her a husband who will berate her?"
Severus pointed to his note. "Not if I read this."
"What if you decide not to be by her side?" Rose's voice grew louder with every question. "What if you come here and the aurors pursue you? What if you become belligerent towards me? What if I must harm you in the process of trying to subdue you?"
"Do not worry about stunning me. You will cause me more harm if you allow me to roam the hallways free," Severus argued.
"Daddy please, I am begging you to reconsider this. Do not put me in a position where I must fight you," Rose pleaded.
Severus took a breath. "The last time I was conscious and amnesiac, you saved me from the aurors, did you not?"
"I did," Rose answered.
"Then we have a connection," Severus mused. "You are someone I know I can trust."
Rose's throat constricted.
"I may be a stubborn man, but I can also be a reasonable one. If I remember you saving me, then I will listen to you. If I do not listen though, then I trust you to make a prudent decision."
"Nothing I say will change your mind, will it?"
Rose buried herself in her father's robes. "I am terrified for you."
He rubbed her back. "I am terrified for you as well."
"I have people to help me if the aurors become too combative, but if you go through with this plan, other than me who will you have?"
"I will have you, your mother, and your siblings. In the end, that is all I need."
Rose choked, "We need you though. We need you with us for years to come, not only for a single night."
"I know," Severus' voice cracked. "Still, I will be careful."
"Do you promise to be careful?"
Rose exhaled. "I suppose I have no choice but to accept your decision then."
"No, you do not."
"Promise me that you will do whatever is necessary to protect your students and me," Severus stopped massaging her back.
"I promise," she whispered.
He kissed her forehead. "Thank you."
Her lower lip quivered.
"Now," Severus began. "I have kept you awake for too long. I must visit your mother, and you must soon teach. Try to get some rest before you classes."
"I will attempt to do so," she whispered.
He gave her one last kiss on the cheek. "You are the best eldest daughter I could ever asked for. Never forget that."
"I will not," Rose answered.
Severus gave her one last look before making his way to the fireplace.
He spun around. "Yes."
Rose gave him a small smile. "I am glad you adopted me. You are the best dad I could have ever hoped for."
"The wisest thing I ever did was marry your mother, and by extension adopting you. I will always cherish that love."
"I know you will."
Severus took a handful of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. "St. Mungo's."
With that, he stepped into the flames and disappeared.
Rose stared at the fireplace for fifteen seconds before crumpling to the ground.
Please Daddy, please do not ever put yourself in a position where I must harm you.