Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 167

AN: Thank you for all the support! I deeply appreciate it!

Severus loved Hermione. His sentiments towards her motivated every action he had taken for the last twenty-six years. Sometimes it surprised him that one witch could so thoroughly invade his life, but he would have it no other way.

He was a man in love with his wife, and would be until the day he died.

Severus watched the last rays of the sun fade behind the curtain. His muscles tensed, as if to prepare for the transformation which was about to occur.

There was still time to go to Australia. Hermione would forgive him if he was absent for the night. Perhaps she would prefer him to be gone, even if it meant she would be alone.

Perhaps she could put on a brave face, but Severus knew her. She couldn't stand to be alone. He had vowed never to abandon her. It was a promise he needed to keep.

The shadows of the room lengthened until they merged into one.

Right now Hermione was sleeping, or at least she should be. Despite the stiffness of the hospital bed, her body would eventually succumb to its fatigue. Still, he knew her well enough to know it would not be a peaceful sleep. Her heart would race as she heard the mumbled voices of the Mediwitches. Every time she inhaled the scent of antibacterial potions she would tremble. Although she would be cooperative when the Mediwitches took her vitals, Severus knew there would be a hint of fear in her eyes.

She should not be without a loved one.

Severus pulled out the parchment from his pocket. Can I trust myself to be the man she needs me to be? Are my sentiments strong enough to overcome my amnesiac state? Will she forgive me if she considers my actions foolish?

The sunbeams were no more.

I cannot forsake my wife, not when she needs me so desperately. Somehow I must be present for her.

He held up his parchment in his trembling hand,

I only hope I can be the man she needs.

Rose wasn't going to insult herself by pretending to focus on a book. The words would only annoy her, and her mind would wander off the page. There was no point in so much as pulling one out.

She stared at the crackling fireplace. Do I want the flames to change color? Would it trouble me if nobody came through the floo tonight? Between the aurors and my father, will I receive even an hour of sleep?

There was a tap on the door.

Rose's heart stopped as she whipped out her wand.

"Rose?"

She returned her wand to her pocket and strolled to the door. "Coming, Headmaster Longbottom."

"Okay."

She opened the door and beckoned him inside. "What are you doing down here? Should you not be in your office?"

"I wanted to ensure that everyone on my staff is safe tonight," he stepped inside.

"You could have sent a Patronus."

"True, but I prefer a more personal touch."

"Thank you for caring."

"There is no need to thank me for doing my job."

Rose grinned. "As you can see, I am doing well enough now. I should be able to manage on my own."

Across the room, Madame Serpent hissed.

"I have Madame Serpent to protect me if things become too troublesome."

The snake slithered towards the Headmaster.

"Yes," Headmaster Longbottom chuckled. "I can imagine that you will fare just fine with Madame Serpent on your side. Aside from your father's intimidating demeanor, she is the best security system the dungeons have ever had."

The snake stopped and flickered her tongue. A few moments later, she slid towards Rose's bedroom.

"She would be an excellent security system if she was not so friendly towards guests," Rose noted. "Staying to fight on command would be another desirable trait."

Headmaster Longbottom chuckled. "I never thought I would agree with someone that a snake who could fight on command would be an asset."

Rose's eyes gleamed, "Indeed."

"That being said," the Headmaster frowned. "You barely ate anything at dinner and have hardly spoken to anyone other than your students all day. What is troubling you?"

"It is nothing," Rose began. "I am just exhausted from the long night."

"While you do look exhausted, I suspect there's more to it than that," the Headmaster noted.

Rose swallowed.

He put a hand on her shoulder. "If you don't want to talk about it, that's fine, but if you need someone I'm right here."

"Perhaps I could use some advice."

"What do you need advice on?"

She took a shaky breath. "If you knew your father was about to make the stupidest decision of his life, what would you do?"

Headmaster Longbottom released her. "What exactly is Severus planning on doing?"

"He is terrified of leaving Mum alone in the hospital, so he decided to endure an amnesia episode so he can be with her."

"Oh dear."

"He thinks that he will find his way to her because he instructed himself to do so. Nothing can persuade him to take a different course of action."

Headmaster Longbottom hummed.

"I do not know what to do," Rose's throat constricted. "If he comes in here I will need to subdue him, yet he is my dad. The first time I subdued him I panicked, but now that I can think clearly I am terrified of hurting him. What should I do?"

"The question is not what you should do, but what I should do," the Headmaster answered.

She tugged at the hem of her cape. "Do not attempt to talk him out of his plan. I pleaded with him to relent, but he would not hear of it."

"No, I know your father well enough to know that only your mother can talk him out of something like this," the headmaster straightened his posture. "The best I can do is rearrange the faculty so you do not run the risk of harming him."

"What do you mean?"

"It means you will be patrolling the library while someone else guards the dungeons."

Rose released her cape. "No, another faculty member may harm him worse than I would. At least he trusts me, but he may distrust someone else."

"Do you believe he would distrust Scorpius?"

Rose closed her mouth.

"Scorpius looks like Draco, and your father would never harm his godson. There is also the fact that Severus is Scorpius' godfather. That bond alone should be enough to prevent Scorpius from causing Severus any unnecessary harm."

"Do you think Scorpius could subdue Dad?"

"If he could not at least put up a fight then I would not have hired him as the Defense Against Dark Arts professor."

"What about Madame Serpent? It is her night to roam free. I do not feel comfortable putting her back into her cage."

"Would she be opposed to spending the night in your room?"

"No, she would not."

"Then I'll tell Scorpius to keep the door closed. I cannot think of a reason he would be in there anyway, can you?"

Rose relaxed. "No, I cannot."

Headmaster Longbottom had a twinkle in his eyes. "Then it seems we have a solution."

"Indeed we do," Rose answered.

Headmaster Longbottom extended his hand. She took it and held on.

"Do you think Dad will be able to comfort Mum?" Rose asked.

"I think your father will do the right thing, regardless of his mental state," Headmaster Longbottom answered.

"Fair enough," Rose replied.

Hand in hand, they left the dungeons, both praying Severus would not force their hands.

Snape scowled. Once again he was in the dreaded bedroom looking at the photograph of the beautiful woman. Unlike last time, he was alone.

"Hermione?"

No answer.

He furrowed his eyebrows. "Hermione, you can come out. I know you are somewhere in here."

Not a sound.

Snape made a fist, only to loosen his grip when he heard the cracking of a parchment. He glanced down at it. After cocking his head, he unfurled it and began to read.

To Severus Snape

Snape gulped. The handwriting was all too familiar.

I would imagine that receiving this letter is distressful. It is difficult to glance at your own handwriting yet not remembering a single word written.

At least this individual understood his misgivings.

I am the person you are destined to be roughly thirty years from what you believe is now. My family has told me that you understand things are not as they were, but I am unclear if you realize the degree of the changes.

At least my future self seems to be self-aware of how he would feel, or is he aware of how I would feel? Why would I write a letter to myself?

Technically, you owe me nothing. Still, I have a favor to ask. Knowing who I was at this point in time, I would be suspicious of anyone who asked me for anything, especially under these circumstances. Yet, I will ask you not to act in my best interests, but rather your own.

If this man knows how I think then perhaps he is not completely untrustworthy.

After spending years believing you are unworthy of love, you will wed an extraordinary woman. You know her as Hermione Granger, but she is destined to be the keeper of your heart and soul. While she can still be an obnoxious know-it-all, she is compassionate, tender, loving, and the only woman who will tolerate your nasty habit of stockpiling dishes in the sink.

Snape's heart froze. He had always shut the door to his kitchen. Not even Dumbledore knew he could go days without doing the dishes. This person truly did know him.

Right now, my-or is it our?-wife is in St. Mungo's with a serious illness. This is exacerbated by the fact that she is a cancer patient. Her treatments have weakened her immune system. Although she will hide her true emotions, she is frightened beyond all words. She needs you.

Snape shook.

Please go into St Mungo's and be the husband she needs. At first the task may seem daunting, but once you speak with her I assure you it will become easier. You will fall in love with her all over again. Please, I am begging you, ignore your feelings of inadequacy and be the husband she needs. Please take care of my wife in the way only you can.

Sincerely

Severus Snape

Snape allowed the parchment to fall to the ground.

How the hell was he supposed to comfort a wife he could not remember?