AN: Thank you for all the support and for baring with me! It is deeply appreciated!
Rose remembered the nights when Violet refused to take a bath. Their parents could spend up to an hour coaxing their youngest daughter into the tub. When negotiations broke down, they would divest Violet of her clothing and place her in there themselves. At this point, the water would be cold, leading the exasperated parents casting any mild warming spell they could onto the water while their child screamed.
For years, Rose chalked Violet's tantrums up to her being a spoiled child. Even if Mum and Dad insisted Rose had actually been worse about bath time (a statement she refused to believe), it was unlikely that it was a Snape or Granger trait to be reluctant to take a bath.
She held onto this belief until her dad refused to take a shower.
Severus paced between the door and the sofa. "There is no need for me to take a shower."
"I vehemently disagree," Rose replied. "You look like you have just been through a stampede of Hippogriffs, and were trampled by each one."
"Your mother has seen me much dirtier and grimier than I am now," Severus argued. "She will be fine with seeing me in this condition."
Rose stood in front of the fireplace, taking in the heat of the flames. "She will be even more fine if you put some effort into appearing put together for her."
"Your mother cares little for my appearance."
"I know, but she does care if you appear put together."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means she would like you to appear as if you cared something for your hygiene."
"She would like to see me period, something which you are preventing me from accomplishing at the moment."
At the kitchen table, Violet choked back her laughter.
Rose spun around and glared at her. Violet covered her mouth, but couldn't suppress her giggles. With a scowl, Rose rolled her eyes and returned her attention to their father.
"I do not need to bathe. I only need to see my wife," Severus argued.
"The two are not mutually exclusive."
"They might as well be."
"Okay," Rose put a hand over her head. "Let's look at this from Mum's perspective. When she last saw you, the Weasleys were ready to abduct you. She had just fended them off, but she was unclear how injured you truly were."
"What is your point?"
"She does not merely want to see you, she wants to see if you are well."
"No, she wants to see me before the sun sets."
"Which is all the more reason to take a shower now instead of delaying by arguing with me."
"I refuse to be cowed by my own daughter."
Rose bit her tongue.
"I understand that you are trying to help, Little One," he emphasized the last two words. "Yet I am your father, and I make the decisions, not you."
"I am simply attempting to help your reunion go as smoothly as possible."
"I do not need your help to do so. I am more than capable of communicating with my wife without you."
"The longer you argue with me the less time you will have with Mum."
"The longer you argue with me, the less inheritance you will receive."
"Does this mean I get Rose's portion?" Violet cut in.
Rose and Severus turned to her. "No!"
"Aw," Violet bowed her head.
"Dad please, we need to appear nice for Mum, which means that while you shower. I will pick up some of your new robes from the house just for the occasion," Rose offered.
Severus sighed. "I suppose I have few other options."
Rose gave him a small smile. "I am only trying to do what is best for you and Mum."
"I know," Severus answered. "Still, I am desperate to see my wife."
"She is desperate to see you too," Rose replied. "But she wants to see you in some kind of shape, not as someone barely keeping himself together."
"You are correct," he answered.
Rose kissed him on the cheek. "Feel free to use my towels and my shampoo."
"Thank you," he kissed her on the cheek in return. Then, he strolled to the bathroom.
Once the door clicked behind him, Violet burst out laughing. Rose glowered at her. "What, pray tell, is so amusing?"
"Nothing," Violet gasped. "I just never though anyone would be able to parent Dad, at least not like that."
"Compared to some of my Slytherins he was behaving downright reasonably."
"Which ones could possibly be as ornery as Dad?"
Rose muttered, "my obnoxious sister is often far less pleasant to deal with for one."
"Oh come on," Violet gave her the most innocent expression she could muster. "You love me and you know it."
The sound of running water could be heard from the bathroom. Rose's expression softened. "If Dad needs anything, please tend to him. I need to retrieve his clothes."
"Sure thing," Violet answered.
Rose glided towards the floo and took a handful of powder. She called out the address of the Snape mansion and stepped inside the fireplace.
After she disappeared, Madame Serpent slithered to where her master had been standing. She stared at the fireplace, as if willing her master to come through.
"Is someone hungry for her supplement?" Violet cooed.
The serpent glanced at her and flicked its tongue.
"Here," Violet leapt from her seat. "I know where Rose keeps them."
The snake did not move.
Violet beckoned the snake to come. "Come here, Madame Serpent. I gotta treat for you."
The snake's hood perked up as she followed Violet.
For ten minutes, the sitting room remained empty. Then, the fireplace erupted once more. Rose tripped past the threshold. She paused, only to hear the water still running. She chuckled. Despite his protests, Dad always did linger in the shower.
"Now you can't tell Rose I gave you two," Violet began. "She'll think I'm overindulging you."
The snake hissed.
Rose frowned. "What exactly have you done to my snake?"
Violet stopped and forced herself to grin. "Nothing."
The water stopped running.
Rose's eye twitched. "Tell me what you did before I deduct points."
Violet blushed. "I may have given Madame Serpent two supplements instead of one."
"Violet! I just fed her two days ago," Rose argued.
The snake glided towards its owner.
"I know, but she looked hungry."
The water stopped.
"You are not going to have a successful zoo if you overfeed the animals."
"This is a special occasion though."
"How is this a special occasion?"
"Look around! Everyone is so miserable right now. I wanted to make at least one being happy."
"Rose? Where are my clothes?"
She ran over to the bathroom. After closing her eyes, she opened the door. Steam billowed into her quarters. "Thank you."
The door shut. Rose blinked.
"Now that he's almost done, when are we going to see Mum?" Violet whined.
"Soon," Rose promised.
Violet humphed before sitting on the sofa. She picked up a brown hard cover book from the coffee table and examined it.
"Make sure you keep the bookmark in the proper place," Rose warned. "The research in that book is invaluable."
"Is it research for the cancer cure?" Violet asked.
Violet set it down.
Severus emerged from the restroom. His hair was less greasy, and the smudges were removed from his face. "Am I presentable now?"
"Yes, you are," Rose replied.
"I am glad to hear it," Severus replied.
Violet's eyes lit up. "Does this mean we can go now?"
Severus did not move from his spot.
Rose raised an eyebrow. "What is wrong?"
"Nothing," he answered.
She cocked her head.
Severus frowned. "Do not look at me like that?"
"Like what?" Rose asked.
"As if I am about to tell you something."
"Are you about to tell me something?"
Severus exhaled. "It is none of your concern."
Rose approached him. "If it affects Mum and it is troubling you, then I would like to make it my concern."
Severus whispered, "Hermione deserves so much better than a husband who brings trouble wherever he goes."
Rose put a hand on his shoulder. "That is not true, and you know it."
"I know your mother believes it is not true…"
"Then respect her wishes and keep those thoughts from your head."
"I know these last few days have been rough on all of us," Rose replied. "But we cannot allow ourselves to have such negative thoughts in front of Mum."
"I am only telling the truth."
"Perhaps you believe it is true, but Mum obviously does not. If she did, she would not have almost sacrificed herself for you."
"There is no perhaps, it's the truth," Rose argued. "You need to believe she nearly died for an amazing man-the man she married and ultimately fell in love with."
Severus nodded. "I will do my best to focus on her love instead of my unworthiness."
"Good," Rose replied.
Violet stood. "Can we please go now?"
"Yes," Severus replied. "We are more than capable of physically going to see your mother."
Violet groaned. "May we see Mum now?"
"Yes," Severus held out his hand. "We may."
Violet took his hand. Severus extended the other hand to Rose, who in turn grasped it. Together, they made their way to the fireplace.