Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 178

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

"You used to love chasing Rose around the house with your little plastic wand," Hermione pointed to a photograph on the bottom left hand corner of the album. "You looked so cute waving it around and yelling out some spell you made up."

"I think I tried to turn Rose into a toad once," Victor noted.

"Oh it was much more than once," Hermione answered. "She finally stole your father's wand threatened to turn you into a real toad unless you stopped trying to turn her into one."

Victor smirked. "Well, I did stop chasing her a month after she did that."

"Yes," Hermione's eyes twinkled. "For one glorious month we had some kind of peace in the house."

Victor glanced down at the photograph. A six year old boy was holding a golden plastic wand. He pressed a blue button, and the toy glowed red. He pointed it at his black clad sister and yelled the name of a spell. She leapt, only to regain her composure and scowl at him.

"Whatever happened to that toy wand?" Victor asked.

Hermione shrugged. "It's in the attic somewhere, just waiting for someone to pick it up and play with it again."

"I'm half tempted to find it and aim it at Rose now just to see how she'd react."

"I would respond by snapping the bloody thing in two."

Hermione and Victor turned their attention to the doorway. Her eyes lit up. "Hello Rose."

"Hello Mum," Rose gave her a small smile. "It is great to see you conscious again."

"It is great to be conscious again."

"Mum?"

The light in Hermione's eyes grew brighter. "Hello Violet. How is my little Petal doing?"

Violet beamed. "Great."

"I am so glad to hear it."

A man appeared behind them.

Hermione's throat constricted. "Severus?"

"Yes," he choked.

Her eyes misted. "You're okay."

"I am quite well thanks to your heroics," he stepped towards her.

Violet attempted to follow him, but Rose grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back. The youngest Snape glared at her, but remained in place.

Victor closed the photo album and set in on top of the table. He whispered in his mother's ear, "I'm going to step outside for a moment and get something to eat."

Hermione nodded, but did not remove her eyes from her husband.

Victor gave her a peck on the cheek before strolling out of the room. He pushed his sisters into the hallway. Violet whined, but allowed her siblings to guide her towards the cafeteria.

Hermione extended her arms. Her voice cracked, "I was so terrified. I had no idea if they'd taken you, if they had hurt you, or just what had become of you."

He scooped her into his arms. "They didn't take or harm me. You succeeded in defending me."

"I was also terrified it would be days before I saw you."

"Why did you fear that?"

"I didn't know if I'd wake up before the next episode."

"We have a few hours before dusk."

She squeezed him tighter. "Thank God, oh thank God you're okay."

"Do not be so concerned with my health when you should be focusing on your own," Severus pressed her against him. "I did not come near death at any point, whereas you did."

"I'm fine now. It's all over now. We're both going to be just fine now."

"I was so fearful when I regained my senses and saw you alone in this bed. When the Healers told me what happened," His throat constricted. "I was so ashamed of what I had done that I left for Rose's. I didn't know where else to go."

"No, no I understand," Hermione released him. "Victor told me where you were. Honestly, I would rather you be there than waiting here, if only because you could get some sleep."

"Was your concern merely that I slept?"

"No, but I do care if my husband is taking care of himself."

"Rose said as much."

"She knows us well."

"Indeed she does."

Hermione gazed at him once more. He took her into his arms and took a shaky breath. "I love you, Hermione Snape, oh God how I love you."

She returned the embrace. "I love you too, Severus Snape."

Time stood still as they clung to each other. In that moment, it mattered little that they were inhaling the monty scent of disinfecting spells or that a Mediwtich could walk in on them. Neither heard the mumbles of the Healers or the squeaking of medical carts from the hallway. Instead, their world consisted only of the other.

Severus whispered into his wife's ear, "I so deeply apologize for my lack of thought. I should have taken into consideration that the aurors were after me before I visited you during an episode."

"There is no need to apologize." She pulled away and kept her focus on him.

"Yes, but I could have harmed you not only by exposing you to the aurors, but also by forcing you to endure my nasty attitude."

"Actually your amnesiac self was actually amazing company."

"You do not need to attempt to cheer me up…"

"No, I mean it. The visit was progressing quite nicely until the Weasleys barged in."

Severus raised an eyebrow.

"Give yourself some credit," Hermione continued. "Even twenty-five years ago, you could be pleasant enough."

"I doubt that."

"No, I mean it. As an amnesiac, you were snarky yet a perfect gentleman. At times it was clear you was confused, but one thing which became clear was that you were still in love with me."

"My amnesiac self fell in love with you?"

Hermione nodded with a wistful expression. "Honestly it was somewhat cute. When you first fell in love with me I was too distracted by my own insecurities to recognize the signs. Watching you do it again though, I began to see how you behave when you're beginning to allow yourself to love and be loved."

"Oh Love, you know that I will always allow myself to love you."

"I know, but what we have is deeper than simple infatuation. I cherish our bond every day, but it was somewhat cute to watch my husband fall in love with me again, especially when we did not have to separate in order for it to occur."

"I suppose that would be an interesting experience," Severus gave her a playful glare, "Except I am far from cute."

"No, you're adorable."

"I swear if you had not just almost died I would spend the next hour proving I am far from adorable."

"How so?"

He captured her lips and did not release her until they were out of breath. "I would have gone much further than that if you had the health and I had the time."

She rasped, "At least now I have a goal for recovery."

"Indeed you do," Severus purred.

She smiled. "I am so glad you will be my only husband."

He brushed his hand along her arm. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me," Hermione clasped his hand. "You need to stay alive because I will never be married to any man but you."

"Hermione," he squeezed her hand. "There are other men out there, most of whom are much better than me. If I perish before you, then do not feel the need to live in seclusion for the sake of some misguided Gryffindor loyalty."

"This has nothing to do with Gryffindor loyalty. I've only been meditating on facts."

"You should not condemn yourself to seclusion though, regardless of what became of me."

"I would never live in total seclusion, at least not so long as I have the children."

"That is true, but I would still like to know where you reached this sudden conclusion of never being married again," he kissed her on the cheek. "Do you foresee me perishing in the near future?"

"Of course not. I foresee us living a loving and happy life together." The playfulness evaporated from her expression. "Still, during your last episode, I was watching you sleep. I wondered what would happen if an auror did capture you, or if one of your attempts to cure the amnesia went awry. I decided that I would not be remarried because I could never find a love which would rival ours."

"Please Love, I know the idea of only having one spouse for your entire life is the thing of sappy romance novels, but you should not close yourself off from any potential source of happiness."

"Gold diggers are hardly a potential source of happiness."

He released her hand.

"I am no idiot," Hermione continued. "The Wizarding World has an idea of how much we are worth, despite our attempts to downplay our wealth. Most wizards would salivate at the idea of marrying a rich widow, even if she could not give him an heir."

"Yes, from a practical standpoint I suppose remaining a widow makes a certain amount of sense."

"I also think that I would compare any wizard I met to you. Once it was clear, he was not as difficult or endearing as you, I would grow bored and frustrated with him."

"I would think that having a less difficult husband would make life far less frustrating, though perhaps less interesting."

"At this juncture I'm quite used to you refusing to admit when you like something, or failing to cooperate for the sake of riling me up. I can say for certain that my life would be deathly dull without you."

"Then for your sake Love, I will live for you."

"And I will live for you."

Severus' heart fluttered. "Does this mean you see yourself alive in fifty years?"

Hermione sighed. "Nothing is guaranteed, we both know that."

"True."

"That being said," Hermione's lips curled up. "If I could survive Bellatrix's torture, then I can put up a fight against cancer."

"I would like to think so anyway."

"Yes, I fully intend to survive this disease and live a long, happy, healthy life with my beloved husband and children."

Severus' lips curled upwards. "Words cannot describe how completely I adore you, Mrs. Snape."

"I adore you too," Hermione answered.

With that, their lips met once more in a silent promise that somehow, they would find a way to spend as much of their lives together as they possibly could.