AN: Thank you all for the support! It is very deeply appreciated!
It was the most fascinating flame he had ever beheld
Granted, its appearance was nothing too striking. Like other flames it maintained a fiery orange glow which could turn blue if the knob was turned to the left. It emitted just as much warmth as a regular flame which could be adjusted with the same knob. If anyone saw it they would suspect that phoenix fire was not dissimilar from any other fire.
Yet the simmering teal potion in the cauldron betrayed the flame's magical properties. When Rose brewed the concoction months ago, it was thought to be nothing more than an energy drink. Now, it could be the potion which saved his wife's life, assuming their calculations were correct.
His heart skipped a beat at just the thought of spending the next few centuries with her in his arms.
The door creaked open. "Sorry I am late. I needed to put the finishing touches on something."
"Did you need to recalculate the amnesia cure?"
"No," Rose's arms were behind her back. "I told you, I am more than satisfied with last night's work. Once we obtain the unicorn hair we should be ready to brew it."
"Okay," Severus drawled. "Then what were you working on?"
"It is not necessarily what I was working on, but what I needed to do."
"What did you need to do?"
"I needed to run a few errands." Rose strolled over to her dad. "First and foremost, I needed to give Ronald's brooms to George."
"George?" Severus' eyebrows shot up.
"Indeed, they are in George's possession now."
"With all due respect, I am fine with you having a relationship with your uncle, but I do not think it was advisable for you to buy Ronald's brooms for him. It seems like too pricy of a gift given our history with him."
"I did not buy them for him."
"Then why does he have them?"
"Because Aunt Ginevra did not have time to organize and appraise them."
"Now I am at a complete loss as to what is going on."
Rose handed him a rolled up parchment. "This should make things much clearer."
Severus unfurled it and bit his lower lip. At first, he only noticed columns of numbers. Some figures were estimates of the worth of the brooms whereas others were for the cost of various joke shop items. Then his eyes fell on the cost of catering and advertising.
Now he noted a few names written in Ginevra's handwriting, most of whom were far from destitute. Then there were estimates of how many tables and chairs to arrange.
"Turn it over," Rose replied.
He shrugged and complied. Upon seeing the poster, his heart stopped and his body went cold.
He paid little attention to the picture of a smiling child in an oversized Slytherin outfit holding a 1984 Transylvanian Barb, nor did he notice the shop in the background. Instead, his full attention was on the words at the top
FIRST ANNUAL FUNDRAISER FOR THE ROSE SNAPE ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN FUND!
"I do not understand," he lowered the parchment. "What is this?"
"It is my new foundation."
He gave her a blank look.
"When the Peruvians brought up Ronald's brooms, I honestly thought about telling them to burn them. Then I thought, 'why not donate them to a good cause, a cause he would absolutely hate?'"
"He would certain hate a fund for illegitimate children."
"He would. It was just a crazy notion at the time, but as soon as Fawkes had his Burning Day and lit the flame, I realized it was could work. When I was not working on the cures and grading essays, I was speaking with Aunt Ginevra. At first I thought she would take little interest in the project, but she was overjoyed to be a part of it. She wants to help illegitimate children as much as I do."
"She told me that with all the corruption at the Ministry level it would be hard to take on the cause of illegitimate children's rights publicly, but in private she is strategizing how best to help them."
"How does she feel she can help?"
"At first, all she can do is raise awareness of the issues surrounding unwed mothers and their children, which we plan to do through fundraisers like this. If we can gain enough traction, Uncle Draco promised that he would begin drafting legislation that would ensure illegitimate children have the same inheritance rights as legitimate children."
"I would imagine the purebloods will be thrilled with that prospect."
"I could not care less what thrills them. Muggle society has progressed enough so that single mothers are not seen as pariahs. It is about time the Wizarding World join them."
"I could not agree more."
"All we needed was money. I put a million galleons into the foundation to begin it, and the Malfoys have pledged another million. Aunt Ginevra said if we get the full value of the brooms it will easily be worth five hundred thousand galleons."
"You mean to tell me that at any moment Ronald could have paid off his gambling debts by selling his precious brooms?"
Severus snorted. "What a dunderhead."
"Indeed," Rose replied. "His loss is our gain though. We will invite some of Wizarding Britain's most avid broom collectors, some of whom have been coveting the very brooms we are auctioning."
"This all sounds amazing, but where is this event to be held?"
"We carefully considered that, but we both agreed that it will be held at Weasley Wizard Wheezes."
Severus twisted his lip. "Why there?"
"With Molly, Ron, and Percy awaiting their trials in Azkaban, the Weasley name has taken quite a hit. Still, George helped expose Percy's corruption, and we could not have captured the ex-Minister candidate without his help. It seemed unfair for him to suffer simply for his genetics. If the children should not suffer for who they are, why should he?"
"He wants to make amends for what Ronald did to me and for the way he has treated all of us over the years. The second Aunt Ginevra and I told him of our plan, he was very eager to host the fundraiser. In fact, he was so eager he decided to put together some gift baskets filled with joke shop supplies. He's even putting up a first edition reusable hangman."
"That alone should bring in a fair amount of galleons."
"That being said," Severus cleared his throat. "What do you plan to do with the money you've raised?"
"Most of it will go towards college scholarships," Rose answered. "Hogwarts is free, but afterwards most illegitimate children cannot afford a good Wizarding college. Most wizarding jobs require some college education though. This puts them in a cycle of poverty from which many find it difficult to escape. With a college education they stand a much better chance of living up to their potential."
Severus scratched his chin. "Very true."
"Then, we plan to use the money to help them afford supplies for Hogwarts. This will be available for all years."
"I would imagine there will be a wink and a nudge towards the Slytherin House."
"Would it be so bad if Slytherin was associated with wizards who are discriminated against due to their lack of a bloodline?"
"No, not at all."
"The fundraiser will not occur for another six months. We must give everyone time to prepare. That and," Rose swallowed. "My organization does not have a proper name."
"What to you mean?" Severus cocked his head. "It is called the Rose Snape Illegitimate Children Fund."
"That is a preliminary name."
"It is a fine name."
"Yet it is not the one I want to be the final name."
"What do you want your organization to be called then?"
She took a shaky breath. "The Half Blood Princess Fund."
Severus betrayed no emotion.
"I know Half Blood Prince was your nickname, but I was hoping I could use it for my own organization given that I took over your positions at Hogwarts. Also I wanted to hearken back to you given that," her throat constricted "given that I would have lived on the streets had you not adopted me and given me a chance at a good life."
"Do you honestly want to know what I think about all this?"
He embraced her. "I have never been more proud of you than I am at this moment."
She returned his hug. "I love you Dad. I will always be grateful for you adopting me."
"I will always be grateful that you accepted me as your father."
She squeezed him tighter and allowed her tears to flow.
"I like The Half Blood Princess Fund much better."
They released each other. "Me too."
"Also, I will discuss things with your mother, but I would like to donate twenty-five million galleons to your fund."
"You do not need to do that."
"I want to support this cause, and knowing your mother she will insist upon donating fifty million galleons."
He kissed her on the forehead. "I love you so much, Little One. Never forget that."
"I will not but," She smirked. "I am not little anymore."
"I do not believe you are taller than me yet."
"Give me time. I will surpass you in hight someday."
"It is a goal which will be difficult to achieve."
Her eyes fell on the eternal flame. "With phoenix fire, who knows what is possible?"
Severus chuckled. "Perhaps."
Rose glanced at the teal potion in the cauldron. "Do you think that potion will eliminate the dark magic from Mom?"
"Yes," Severus answered. "I truly believe this time we have found the cure."
"We have said that before though…"
He put a finger over her mouth. "I know in my heart that this is the cure."
"If it is not the cure I suppose we will find one together."
"Yes," Severus promised. "Yes we will."
They would do it together, father and daughter, as it was always meant to be.