AN: Thank you all for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"What the hell was he thinking?"
The vein in Victor's neck bulged. His face was as red as the flames in Rose's fireplace. He dug his fingers into Rose's couch cushions, as if restraining himself from marching into Rose's bedroom and disturbing their sleeping father.
Violet sat beside him, her expression blank. There was little color in her face. She had barely moved a muscle since Rose had told her Mum was in the hospital.
"He thought he was protecting Mum," Rose began, wondering which of her siblings she should be most concerned with at the moment.
"How was he protecting her by putting her in danger?" Victor shouted.
Rose folded her hands and leaned forward in her chair. "He had no way of knowing the Weasleys were searching for him."
"The hell he didn't!"
"He knew there were aurors coming after him! He knew he was wanted! He knew he couldn't remember Mum! He knew she could be injured, if not by him then by someone else! How could he jeopardize Mum's safety like this?"
"How could the Weasleys jeopardize Mum's safety like this?"
"Who cares about the Weasleys?"
"I think we should care given that they are the ones who attacked Mum, not Dad."
Victor began to shake. "Of course you'll focus on the Weasleys. Nothing Dad does is ever wrong in your eyes, is it?"
"I am merely trying to look at this situation rationally…"
"No, you're covering for Dad because you know he mucked up and are too afraid to admit it!"
"I am not afraid of saying this was inadvisable…."
"Inadvisable, that's rich! No, you've always been a Daddy's girl and always take his side regardless of how wrong he is!"
"Listen, I can admit that staying with Mum wasn't the most prudent course of action, but he acted out of love! He did what he thought was right under the circumstances."
"Well, look how well that turned out for him!"
"I know things did not end well for him…"
Rose closed her mouth.
"What about us, Rose? What about you? How did things work out for anyone other than him?"
Rose was silent.
"My God Rose would you listen to yourself? You are behaving as if this is two of your Slytherins arguing over the last piece of butterbeer cupcakes!" Victor's voice cracked. "This isn't some petty dispute; this is our mum, the woman who gave birth to us, the woman who loved us and raised us. How can you behave as if Dad endangering her life is completely acceptable? How can you not be at least a little upset about this?"
"Do you truly believe I am not upset by this?" Rose furrowed her eyebrows and lowered her voice.
"I don't know Rose, you tell me," Victor hissed. "You seem extremely calm for someone whose mother is in the hospital due to her husband's reckless behavior."
"I am devastated by what's happened," Boiling tears filled Rose's eyes. "I have been unable to stop thinking about Mum's condition since the second Dad told me what had occurred."
Victor was impassive.
"Just because I hide my emotions does not mean I lack them. I love Mum as much as you do. I choose to show my affection for her differently."
Victor exhaled. "I know you love Mum. That is undeniable."
"Have you seen her?" Violet squeaked.
A tear trickled down Rose's cheek. "No, I have not. I wanted to talk to both of you first so we could present a united front."
"I wanted us to get our emotions under control before we see her. That way, we can focus on comforting her instead of asking her to assuage our fears."
"You're assuming she'll even wake up," Victor hissed.
"No Rose, I'm trying to be realistic."
Violet's lower lip quivered.
"We know the damage magic overload can cause. For all we know the healers are keeping her alive on machines just until we can come and consent for them to…" his voice drifted off.
Tears streamed down Violet's face. She whimpered.
"My birthday could be the last time I see my mother alive," Victor's embraced his younger sister and massaged her back. "Did that ever cross Dad's mind when he concocted this crazy scheme?"
Rose exhaled. "I am certain it did."
"Then how could he do this to us?" Victor's expression was that of a child who had just been abandoned. "How could he not think of what his actions could do to his children?"
Rose exhaled. "He thought Mum would be unable to get through the night alone. In his heart, he thought he and Mum would be visiting you this morning. If he had known this would happen he would have stayed in Australia, assuming they were not targeting Mum."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Victor asked as Violet buried her face in his robes and continued to sob.
"Molly is not amnesiac," Rose answered. "When she brought her sons into that room she was fully aware of what she was doing. I intend to find out exactly why she persuaded her sons to target Dad, and what they planned to do once they subdued him."
Violet let out a wail. Victor squeezed her. "I suppose those are excellent questions to ask."
Rose's voice softened. "We have to face the possibility that Mum was going to be a target regardless of Dad's actions."
"I do not know, but with Molly in charge anything is possible."
Violet turned to her sister. Her face was blotchy and damp. "Why can't they leave us alone?"
Rose rubbed her face. "Because they believe they should have raised me."
Violet sniffed as Victor rubbed her back harder.
"Initially, they hated me because Ron told them I was the product of an affair. Then they hated me because I had the audacity to be kidnapped by him and our parents refused to drop the charges. When the truth of my paternity was revealed, they saw me as the granddaughter who got away," Rose deflated. "They hate Mum and Dad because of me."
Violet sniffed. Victor reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief. Violet nodded before blowing her nose.
Rose whispered, "You questioned Dad's decision to stay with Mum, and it is worth debating. The truth remains though that there would be no feud between the Snapes and the Weasleys had it not been for me. The fault is all mine."
"No," Victor shook his head. "That's not true and you know it."
A tear ran down Rose's cheek.
"The Weasleys treated Mum horribly. It is doubtful they ever completely forgave Dad for being a Death Eater. They are spiteful, petty people. That is why we have such problems with them, not because of you," Victor argued.
"Perhaps," Rose squeaked. "Yet I do feel responsible. They would have no reason to target Mum or Dad if I did not exist."
"They would have found one," Victor answered. "I can guarantee it."
"I am not so certain of that," Rose admitted.
Victor untangled his right arm from Violet and extended it to Rose. "Come here."
She complied and sat on his lap He wrapped his arm around her.
"I won't lie," Victor continued. "I am infuriated with Dad and believe his plan was foolhardy."
"It kinda was," Violet whispered.
"I suppose it could have been better thought out," Rose admitted.
"That being said," Victor continued. "I do not blame what happened on you for a second. You are as innocent a victim in this as Violet and I are."
"I wish things had gone better," Rose replied. "I truly do."
"There is nothing we can do about that now," Victor replied. "You were correct in stating that all we can do now is stay united as a family."
Rose smirked. "Can you say that first part again, the part about me being right?"
Victor gave her a half smile. "Well, even older sisters must be right at least some of the time."
"I am right most of the time, and you know it."
"Keep telling yourself that."
Rose embraced her brother. "I know it must feel weird to hear, but Happy Birthday Victor."
"Yes," Violet embraced him. "Happy Birthday big brother."
"Thank you," Victor sighed. "It will feel much better if I can hear those words coming from Mum's mouth though."
"I know," Rose whispered.
"D-do," Violet gulped. "Do you think we can see Mum? I know I have classes, but I won't be able to focus and…"
Rose put her finger over Violet's lips. "I have already arranged for you to be excused from your classes today. The professors are all sending positive thoughts Mum's way."
Violet sat up. "Do you think Mum will wake up soon?"
Rose swallowed. "I do not know. She may be awake in a few hours, or she may be comatose. I know very little at the moment."
"I know that sitting around and talking will not make Mum's condition any clearer," Victor shifted. "We need to see her."
"Agreed," Rose replied.
"Yeah," Violet muttered. "We should see her if the Healers will let us see her."
With that, the siblings stood. Before they could make their way to the fireplace though, they embraced each other once more.
Regardless of what happened to their parents, they at least still had each other.