Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 195

AN: I hope the Spanish in here is okay. I had some in high school, but that's been awhile.

Thank you for all the support! It is very deeply appreciated!

Attorneys made Severus' stomach churn. Bile raced up his throat at just the thought of their offices.

The last time Severus had been in an attorney's office had been over a decade ago. He was there to revise his will in light of his wife's first cancer diagnosis. After that experience, he wondered how calling Lily a "mudblood" could ever be considered the worst day of his life. It was not that he had to face his own mortality. He had lived under the threat of death for most of his life. Accepting Hermione's morality though, not knowing if she would pull through her first bout of cancer...

His shuddered at the memory. Would the memory of this attorney's office prove to be just as upsetting, or would his daughter leave relatively unscathed?

To his right, Rose fiddled with her cape. Although she was smiling, her eyes betrayed her anxiety. Severus took her hand and squeezed it. If the Peruvians wanted to arrest his daughter, they would have to go through him. If Ron could hide in Peru for years on end there was no reason Severus couldn't knock out a few guards and apparate away with his daughter. It took years to reach Ron; it would take centuries to reach Severus.

The door creaked open, causing Rose to startle. Severus rubbed the back of her hand. He gave her a small smile and felt the tension in her muscles lessen.

A woman with gray bun hairstyle stepped into the room. Her eyes grew upon seeing the Snapes. Rose scowled. "I should have known you were involved with this somehow."

The woman gulped. Her voice was almost inaudible, "I'm as surprised as you are to be called here. I wasn't expecting to spend my afternoon this way."

"Exactly how were you expecting to spend it?"

"Honestly, I expected to clean a little more before Ronald came home and," Audrey paused. "Wasn't he going to see you earlier in the morning?"

"Why would you consider it your business to know if Ron and I met?"

Audrey slumped into her chair. "I supposed it is none of my business."

There was silence for a moment.

"I promise I don't mean to bother either of you. I'm only staying here until my husband returns."

"That will not be for some time," he noted.

Audrey gave them a blank look before realization dawned upon her. The color returned to her cheeks as her posture straightened.

"Lo siento pour mi tardanza." A man with a black briefcase burst into the door. He glanced around the room. "It looks like everyone is here."

Rose released her cape as Severus folded his hands and put them on the oaken table.

The man opened his black leather briefcase. He sat and pulled out some neatly pressed documents. "It is my understanding that Ronald Weasley has been arrested."

Rose drawled, "Sí Señor…"

"Señor Gonzalez will work just fine." He closed the briefcase and set it on the ground. "It is somewhat unfortunate that he has been arrested by the British."

Severus reached for his wand.

"We were hoping to get to him first."

Severus blinked. "Excuse me?"

Señor Gonzalez sighed. "After a decade long investigation, we were finally able to establish probable cause to arrest Ronald Weasley for tax evasion. He owes no small amount in back taxes."

"How much?" Audrey asked.

"Roughly twenty million galleons."

"I see." Severus put his hands back on the table.

Señor Gonzales shrugged. "I suppose it matters little who arrested Ronald Weasley, just so long as we get our money."

"If you get your money, will that ensure that he is pardoned?" Rose asked.

"Hardly," Señor Gonzalez answered. "He will still be facing many years in prison, but knowing the charges he faces in Britain we are fine waiting our turn for you to finish prosecuting him."

"That is oh so gracious of you given that you refused to extradite him," Rose snapped.

Señor Gonzalez frowned. "If Britain did not have such barbaric prisons we would have gladly extradited him."

"What barbaric practices?"

"To begin, it was only a few years ago when Dementors were banned from all prisons."

"If he had been sent to a Dementor free prison would you have extradited him?"

Señor Gonzalez furrowed his eyebrows. "Whether you appreciate it or not Señorita Snape, your biological father was a war hero. We did not forget that."

"My mum and dad are war heroes, yet you gave their quest for justice very little thought."

"Be that as it may," Señor Gonzalez returned his attention to his papers. "We want our money now."

"You are more than free to take it," Rose answered. "I will not fight you any step of the way."

"Actually things are more complex than that."

"How?" Severus asked.

"First, we seek to confiscate his mansion which means," he turned to Audrey. "You have fourteen days to vacate the premises."

"I'll only need fourteen hours," the gleam in Audrey's eyes made her appear ten years younger.

"Very well then," Señor Gonzalez turned to Rose. "Ron has very little left in the way of funds. In fact, we have already found eight loan sharks who claim he owes them thousands of galleons. Usually we ignore such disputes, but since we are confiscating property we thought it best to take them into consideration."

"I am still at a loss as to why I have been called into your office."

"We must consult his next of kin before we confiscate property."

"Why?" Rose asked.

"Because we can either take items from his house or have you pay off the loans yourself. The choice is yours."

"What could Ron possibly have that would be of any value to me?"

"He has an impressive broom collection," Audrey noted.

"I can self-levitate," Rose argued. "Why would I have need of a broom?"

"I don't know," Audrey admitted. "Still some of them are rare. You could simply look at them."

"I have enough decorations to look at."

"It was just a thought anyway."

"It is quite an interesting thought." Rose rapped her fingers against the table. "After all not everyone can self-levitate."

"A majority of people cannot."

Rose's lips curled up. "You said he owed twenty million galleons?"

"Correcto."

"Take the mansion, and I will pay off the remaining balance. Tell his loan sharks that I will repay them too. All I want are his brooms."

"Rose," Severus hissed. "What are you doing?"

She smirked. "You will soon see."

"For clarification, you want the brooms, Señorita Snape?"

"Indeed I do."

"Do you want any of his other possessions?"

"No, just the brooms."

"Bueno." he turned to Audrey. "Allow her entry into the mansion at her earliest convenience. If we discover that you have hidden or destroyed even one broom there will be dire consequences."

"Believe me, I will only touch those brooms to gift wrap them."

Señor Gonzalez hummed.

"I plan to move back to Britain as soon as possible. We will be out of Rose's way within a few hours."

"I truly do not want you to rush yourself," Rose cut in. "If you need time to pack, please take it."

"No, no," Audrey was beaming. "I have waited my entire life for this moment! I have wanted this for so long! I will leave immediately."

Severus raised an eyebrow. "With all due respect, you have only lived with Ronald for a couple of months. How could you be waiting for this moment all your life?"

"I have lived with two undisciplined daughter for fifteen years, which is much too long."

Rose made no attempt to contradict her assessment of her daughters.

"The minute I get home I am doing what I should have done years ago, namely send Molly to the Birmingham Military Academy."

Rose chuckled. "If she needs a letter of recommendation, I am more than happy to write one."

"Believe me, every professor is willing to write one for how badly she needs discipline," Audrey clasped her hands together. "There may be hope for Lucy if she stops getting rewarded for every misdeed. Perhaps there's still time not to have two holy terrors running about."

"Quizás," Señor Gonzalez began to pack his papers.

"Gracias Señor Gonzalez for everything, I truly mean it!" Audrey answered. "You have given me my life back!"

"Glad I could help," he drawled. "Do you need anything else, Señorita Snape?"

"No, I am doing very well," Rose answered.

"Bueno." He stood and gave them a quick nod. "Adios Señorita Rose, Señor Severus, and Señora Weasley."

"Oh it's Señorita Smith now," Audrey answered. "Or it will be soon."

"Then adios Señora Smith." He exited the room.

Audrey gave the Snapes one last look. "Good luck with the brooms and getting everything worked out."

"I will not need luck, though I do appreciate your well wishes."

"Indeed," Severus replied.

"Very well then. Goodbye!" Audrey skipped out the door.

Severus' eyes fell on his daughter. In a low voice he asked, "Why exactly do you need those brooms?"

"You will soon see," Rose promised. "I just need to get a few things in order, and you will see why keeping those brooms is vital."

"Do you plan to destroy them?"

"No, I have a better fate in store for them."

Severus exhaled. "I will trust your judgment then. It has rarely led you astray."

"I learned good judgment from my dad."

"I do not know if I would go that far," he replied. "But nobody could accuse your mother of being a dunderhead. I believe you inherited your sense from her."

"No, I am positive I inherited it from both of you," Rose extended her hand.

"That is true enough." Severus took her arm.

Together, they apparated home.