AN: Sadly I won't be able to post tomorrow because I'll be away from a computer. In the meantime, thank you so much for all the support! It is very deeply appreciated!
Severus grunted before burying his head in a pillow. No matter how hard he squinted though, the light was still too bright.
Five more minutes. Just let me sleep for five more minutes…
His heart stopped. That couldn't be her voice.
"You can wake up now." A woman, no his beloved wife, giggled.
His heart was racing. His amnesiac self had to be smart enough to go back to Australia, he just had to be!
"I swear I've never seen a man resist waking up the way you do." She put a stray tuft of hair behind his ear. "Under the right circumstances it is downright adorable."
Severus opened his eyes.
"Good morning," Hermione was beaming.
"How, why did you let me sleep with you?" He asked.
She shrugged. "I fell asleep, then you fell asleep, and somehow the Mediwitches didn't wake you up when they came to check on me an hour ago."
"What's wrong? Did you really not think your amnesiac self would visit me?"
"I thought he would be smart enough to return to Australia once he saw you were well."
"He was going to, but I asked him to stay with me while I slept."
"Why would you do that?"
She picked at a thread on the sheet, the gleam in her eyes now extinguished. "I was terrified of falling asleep and not waking up. I asked you to stay with me until I drifted asleep."
"And my presence eased your mind?"
"Very much so."
"I am glad to hear that I helped," he swallowed. "Yet that does not explain why I fell asleep."
"You must have been tired, which doesn't surprise me given how little sleep you've had this week," she replied.
"It was selfish of me to fall asleep, especially when you were in such danger."
She raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"I was supposed to check up on you before returning to Australia. I was supposed to protect you, not fall asleep with you in my arms."
"I for one am glad you remained with me. It was quite pleasant waking up in your arms."
"You could have been seriously injured had someone come in and attacked me."
"It was not as if I was completely safe without you. I could have been seriously injured by any amnesiac who had a vendetta against Mudbloods or the Golden Trio. Regardless of who I'm with, I am a target."
"You were in more danger with me than you would have been without me."
"Obviously I was fine because I awoke next to you quite refreshed," She replied. "I even feel healthier."
He hummed before putting a hand on her forehead. "Your fever seems to have broken."
"I am now at a comfortable 36.3 degrees."
He brushed his lips against hers. "That is the best news I could have ever awakened to."
"I am happy I could deliver it." She returned the kiss.
For one blissful moment, they remained locked in each other's embrace. Once Severus came up for air he whispered into his wife's ear, "The second I find a cure for our ailments is the second we leave for Brazil."
"Yes." He cupped her chin. "This whole disaster began right before we were to leave for Brazil together. Our diseases denied us a very pleasant extended weekend. We need to rectify that."
"We do," she ran her fingers through his hair. "Yet there is a large part of me that simply wants to go home and spend as much time with our children as possible, not to the exclusion of you of course."
"I would invite them to go with us." He kissed her neck. "But I was hoping we could engage in more carnal activities without their prying eyes upon us."
"I would still miss them after everything that's happened."
"We can floo them every day, though I doubt they'd want to hear about half of what I'd do to you."
She laughed. "When put that way a trip to Brazil without the children sounds rather enticing."
He kissed her neck higher. "It will just be us, on the beach, assuming we ever leave the hotel room."
"Staying in sounds divine."
"Then we will stay in and order room service. We can wake up in time to watch the sunrise, and stay up until we can no longer keep our eyes open."
"I like that itinerary."
"I knew you would."
She sighed as he kissed her neck again. "As much as I would love to spend time with the children, I think I could take a week or so to go on that vacation your amnesia so rudely denied us."
"I could not agree more." He captured her lips again.
"You two are aware that you are in a hospital room and not a honeymoon suite, right?"
Severus and Hermione jerked away from each other. Across the room, Violet smirked.
"What are you doing here?" Severus snapped. "Should you not be in class?"
Hermione examined her daughter. Violet was wearing a black sweatshirt with the words "Murtlap Resue Center" in crimson letters on the chest. Her long pants were made of black fleece. Still, the shape of her body was bulkier than usual, as if she was wearing multiple layers of clothing.
"Petal, why are you dressed so warmly?" Hermione drawled.
Violet cleared her throat. "Because I am leaving in an hour to go to the Forest of Dean to find Fawkes."
Severus and Hermione were now erect and untangled from each other.
"I came to tell you goodbye," Violet continued.
"No," Hermione growled.
"Yes, I leave in an hour."
"No, you will not leave in an hour! You will return to class immediately."
Severus continued to stare at his daughter, wondering if he was still asleep.
"I probably should've told you sooner Mum, but…"
"Over my dead body will you go to the Forest of Dean!"
Violet jumped back.
Hermione's eyes hardened. "Do you have any idea what it is like out there this time of year?"
"I have done extensive research…"
"Your research is not substitute for actually surviving out there!"
"Hagrid is going with me…"
"Hagrid? Hagrid should be the one putting a stop to this. Your sister should stop it as well. Where is she?"
"Is she aware that one of her Slytherins, the one who just so happens to be her sister, plans on wandering the woods when she should be studying for her N.E.W.T.S.?"
"I already told her goodbye."
"She approves of this?" Hermione exclaimed.
"Yes," Violet squeaked.
"How could she ever so much as consider allowing you to do this?"
"It's a complicated story, and she wasn't initially in favor of it, but now she's convinced that finding Fawkes may be the best thing for the Wizarding World."
"So she's sending her sister after him?"
"No, I was going to do it before I ever consulted Rose on it."
"Wait," Severus held up his right hand. "Why does Rose believe finding Fawkes is the best thing for the Wizarding World?"
"She thinks phoenix fire is the best way to diffuse magic through her potions. If the phoenix fire flame contains magic then it may be the missing ingredient you are looking for fro the amnesiac cure as well as the cancer."
Severus scratched his chin. "If she wants to go in that direction phoenix tears could prove helpful as well."
"If Rose is so convinced that phoenix fire is her secret ingredient then she can find some professionals to go into the forest and find Fawkes."
"They've all failed though!" Violet argued.
"So she's sending her own younger sister after Fawkes?"
"No, I wanted to find Fawkes first. It wasn't until after Rose found out that she wanted me to find him for her research."
"How long exactly has Rose known about this expedition?" Severus asked.
"I began setting everything up in September, but didn't tell her until December."
"I see," Severus mused.
"Who cares how long she's known about this?" Hermione retorted. "It ends now! Violet, you need to return to school and complete your studies instead of frolicking in the woods!"
"But I need to find Fawkes now!"
"For one, if I find Fawkes though I can get into any Magizoologist school I want."
"Are your grades not enough for you to do that already?"
"Maybe, but this would ensure admittance to even the most exclusive schools."
"You can get into college just fine without putting your life at risk. Go work on your admissions essay until you believe it is perfect!"
"Mum, I need to do this."
"No, you do not."
"Before Rose told you about her ideas for a cure, why did you want to go on this expedition?" Severus asked.
"I thought it would bring you and Hogwarts peace," Violet answered.
"Hogwarts is already at peace, and your dad is perfectly fine. Speaking of which, I'm sure Neville…"
"Has already approved everything," Violet argued.
Hermione put her face in her hands. "Of course he has."
Silence engulfed the room.
"Look, I'm sorry. I probably should've told you sooner…"
"But you knew we'd bang on Headmaster Longbottom's door until he pulled his support for this project," Hermione argued.
"Yes, and I didn't want to upset you and," Violet bowed. "Looking back, there was no way not to not upset you."
Hermione's eyes glistened with unshed tears. "No, there is no way you could have eased my pain at hearing my daughter is about to relive one of the worst experiences of my life."
Violet opened her mouth. Hermione raised a finger.
"I was at the Forest of Dean around this time of year. It was bitterly cold," Hermione allowed a tear to fall. "Every day I woke and I was freezing. I'd never been so upset to see snow in my life. When I left I vowed I would never be that cold again."
"It was so difficult to forage for food. I cannot think of my time there without feeling a pang of hunger. Then there was the danger not only of getting caught by a Death Eater or a Snatcher, but by any wild animal. Anything could have attacked the camp at any time, and we would have been helpless."
Violet folded her hands.
"The thirst too…you are well aware that you cannot eat snow for hydration since it can cause hypothermia. I was so thirsty, yet most of the water was contaminated. We had to boil everything, and it took forever to do so. My experience is not something I would wish anyone, much less one of my children."
"Yet those are the things Violet will have to endure throughout the course of her career."
Hermione turned to her husband.
"I know Violet wants to run a zoo, but in order to achieve that goal she will need to attend a Magiozoologist program. Many of them involve wildlife expeditions, which will force her to endure the harshest of conditions in the name of protecting the local wildlife."
"You cannot seriously be endorsing this?" Hermione sniffed.
"Believe me, I am beside myself, as are you," he gave a pointed look to Violet. "I wish we had known about these plans much sooner."
She gave him a weak nod.
"Still, this is Violet's dream, and she is being supported by some of the people we trust the most."
"How could they not tell me about this though?"
Severus gave Violet another look. "They thought Violet was keeping us informed through this process. I'm sure if they knew Violet had waited so long to tell us they would be as upset with her as we are now."
Violet bit her lip.
"That being said," Severus continued. "They will take care of our daughter as best as they are able."
"Hagrid will be with me all the way. He promised to protect me."
"I love Hagrid, I truly do," Hermione sobbed. "I just wish I could tell him how important it is that my daughter returns to me safely."
"Believe me, he knows," Severus replied.
"I know he does," Hermione choked.
"That being said," Severus gestured for Violet to come closer. "This is your dream, Petal. I know you would not undertake such a feat unless you felt it was necessary."
Violet approached them. "It is necessary, trust me."
"Then I only have one request."
"You must always remember how loved you are," he slid over, making room for her on the bed. "Even if we would not endeavor on a quest such as this, we will always love and support you."
"Yes," Hermione promised. "Regardless of my emotions towards what you are doing, I do love you."
"Thank you." Violet embraced them. "I will think of you every moment."
"If it's too much, you leave and return to Hogwarts." Hermione locked eyes with Violet. "Do you understand me? If this is too much then stop the mission. Fawkes is not worth your life."
"I will leave if it becomes clear the whole mission is futile," Violet promised.
"I suppose that's all I can ask." Hermione kissed her daughter's cheek. "I love you, my littlest petal. I love you so much!"
"I love you too!" Violet threw her arms around her mother again.
After a long moment, Violet released her mother and threw herself at her father. "I love you, Dad."
"I love you too," He whispered before kissing her temple.
For a moment, he wondered who wise it had been to take his daughter to so many zoos and allow her to find such solace in animals. Was it wise to tell her about Fawkes and how badly he wished to see the bird? If he could have prevented this, would he have?"
Then he gazed into her eyes. No, teaching her to avoid animals would have been the equivalent of someone refusing to allow him to learn potions because the lab could've exploded. Somehow, his youngest daughter had gone from his smallest infant to someone on the cusp of womanhood. He had never been more terrified for her, nor had he ever been as proud of her.
"I will see you in a few days." Violet leapt off the bed. "I promise."
"Yes," Hermione's voice cracked. "We will see each other soon."
"Until then take care,," Severus replied.
With a tear in her eyes, Violet exited the hospital room, her future now in her own hands.