Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 35

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

He was better a better spy than this.

Many a woman had piqued his interest, but they had never proved distracting. Neither man nor woman had been able to capture him, at least not until now. How did she manage to do it? What was her goal? Was her name even Hermione?

No, it couldn't be Hermione. That name was too uncommon to be shared by both his student and this person. From here on out, she was to be referred to as "the woman."

What was it about the woman which made her so alluring? How could she, with one word, entice him to forsake decades worth of training? She knew how to whisper in his ear, how to excite him with a touch of her hand, and how to lower his guard until he was trapped in a hospital waiting room surrounded by sneezing and groaning patients.

How did she accomplish all this without casting a single spell?

"May I help you?"

"Yes," the woman grasped Severus' hand until he swore he heard one of his bones crack. "My husband inhaled some fumes from one of his potions, and now his sense of reality is distorted."

Severus glanced at the front door. It would not be difficult to flee his captor. Granted, if he fled he would have his back to her, a dangerous position indeed. She'd already proven herself able to overpower him. If provoked she could become violent, and make him regret ever gracing her bedroom.

"Do you know what he was brewing?"

"No," the woman admitted.

"Okay," the receptionist slid a clipboard in front of her. "Can you at least tell me what his symptoms are?"

"Physically, there's nothing wrong with him. He is not wheezing, and he is not feverish. Yet, he cannot remember a thing about our life together."

Severus steadied his breathing. Perhaps he wouldn't need to escape. If this receptionist heard the woman's nonsensical ramblings she would be a padded cell and he would leaving having learned a valuable lesson about crawling into the bed of women he did not recognize.

"What do you mean he cannot remember a thing about your life together?"

"He doesn't remember a thing about our marriage," the woman answered. "He believes that he is a bachelor living at Hogwarts."

Severus remained stoic.

"How long ago was he at Hogwarts?"

"Roughly twenty-five years ago."

The receptionist sighed and shook his head.

"I don't know if any potion fumes off the top of my head which would cause these symptoms, but he may have been experimenting with something…" the woman began.

"I highly doubt he inhaled a fume."

No I did not inhale a fume. Now force her to unhand me and call the aurors to arrest this woman so I can resume my life.

"How can you say that?"

The receptionist shook his head.

"Do you believe he was hit by a curse?"

"If he was hit by a curse then half of Wizarding Britain was struck as well."

"Excuse me?"

Severus' stomach sank. This receptionist was proving unhelpful…

"Over the course of the last three nights we've had over four hundred reported cases of amnesia," the receptionist began.

"Four hundred?" she answered in a weak voice.

The receptionist nodded. "People have been coming in here around eight o'clock in the evening complaining of forgetting the past twenty or so years of their lives. By dawn their memory has completely returned."

"My memory is quite well," Severus barked.

The receptionist turned to Severus.

"What exactly is the last thing you remember?" the woman asked.

Severus' body went cold. How can I tell them I was standing in her room for no apparent reason?

"Did the memory confuse you?" the receptionist asked.

Severus furrowed his eyebrows.

The receptionist looked at Hermione. "He isn't the first person who's come in with these symptoms."

"I am not exhibiting any," his next words were laced with venom. "symptoms. This woman is mentally unwell, and should be locked in the psychiatric ward for her own protection as well as for mine."

The woman glanced at him. Her expression pierced his soul. Instead of manic defiance, her face was that of a person who was watching a loved one slip away before her very eyes.

"I'm sorry," the receptionist answered. "But there's little we can do."

"Is there no treatment for him?" the woman demanded.

"At this point all we can do if give him a room for observation, but that's assuming we have one left," the receptionist answered.

"But it's doubtful that one is available."

"We've had so many cases these last three days that it's difficult to determine which rooms are available and which are not."

"And this isn't the first night you've received any amnesia victims."

"No."

"This has been going on for three days?"

"Yes."

"H-how have I not heard about this? If this is such an epidemic at the very least The Daily Prophet should have had a blurb on it."

The receptionist shrugged. "Apparently this issue doesn't warrant mention in The Daily Prophet."

"The bloody hell it doesn't!"

Severus startled.

"If there's an epidemic then the public should be informed. I," her face was rouge. "I should have been informed of this."

"I wish I could do more for you," the receptionist answered. "But the best we can do is observe him and hope his memory returns.

"No, I apologize for my outburst. None of this is your fault. You're only doing your job," she replied.

The receptionist gave her a small smile. "If you would like, I can see if there is an observation room available. Perhaps there is one left. The Healers can run some tests on your husband to make sure he didn't inhaled some type of fume, but there may be little else we can do."

"Any assistance is greatly appreciated," Hermione answered.

"Okay," the receptionist reached into a drawer and pulled out a form. "Now if you could just fill out this form."

"No!"

The woman jumped.

"Can you not see that you are encouraging this woman's delusion?"

The others in the waiting area turned to the Snapes.

"I do not know if you are aware of who I am…"

"Believe me, I know who you are," the receptionist replied. "You're Severus Snape, the greasy git, the bat of the dungeons."

He closed his mouth.

"I had you in Hogwarts," he shuddered. "More than once I sat in my dorm crying over one of your comments."

"Apparently you have forgotten my temperament," Severus argued. "If you remembered anything about me you would know that I would never date, much less marry, a woman such as her."

Tears filled her eyes.

"This woman is in desperate need of psychiatric services, and I refuse to leave until she is in a padded cell," Severus continued.

"I'll see what I can do about giving her a room in our psychiatric war then," he winked.

The woman exhaled as Severus smirked.

"You two just take a seat somewhere. I will be back shortly," the receptionist replied.

"Yes," she replied.

"Thank you," Severus grumbled.

Together, the couple strolled over to the padded chairs. She pushed Severus down on one, before sitting down herself. Not once did she release his hand.

"I hope you receive the help you need," Severus began.

"I could say the same to you," she answered.

"I am not in need of assistance," he argued.

She swallowed.

"You on the other hand," Severus continued. "You cling to the belief that we have some type of future together, when nothing could be further from the truth."

"Please stop talking."

"I will not."

"Just. Stop," she warned.

"No," Severus replied. "You and I need to be clear on some things…"

"No! You can't take him in here!"

All eyes turned to the front door.

"George, I'm warning you!"

"Listen to your mother!"

George shoved a blood stained Arthur inside. "Trust me Dad, you need to be here."

Severus felt the woman's hand trembling.

"No, I do not," Arthur answered.

"Listen to your father," Molly replied.

"Dad just hexed his own grandson," George cried. "Isn't that enough of a reason to take him here and get to the bottom of this?"

Molly yelled. "Not if it means we open ourselves up to a criminal investigation!"

Severus looked at the woman. She was as pale as death.

"If you check your father into here then they will see the scratches on him. If they record your father's injuries then the Malfoys will have all the medical proof they need to bring a lawsuit against us," Molly argued.

"Ginny won't allow Draco to sue us."

"How certain are you of that?"

George groaned.

"The Malfoys aren't like us. They, they're a brood of vipers just waiting for any reason to pounce on some unsuspecting victim," Molly argued.

"I must agree with your mother," Arthur began. "No Malfoy can be trusted."

"Well then I suppose we should stop trusting Ginny then."

"Stop insisting your sister is in love with Draco. All of us know she only has eyes for Harry."

George groaned again.

"If you check your father into this hospital then we will be ruined."

"How can we be any more ruined than we already are?" George exclaimed.

"We…" Molly paused. Her head turned to the woman. "You."

The woman was rigid. Her face was blank.

"May I help you?" the receptionist asked.

"Yes," George answered before dragging his father over to the front desk. "My father has been unwell for the last three nights…"

"What are you doing here?" Molly demanded.

"Please Molly," the woman whispered. "Please not now."

"I'll bet you're enjoying all this aren't you?" Molly began. "You must revel in seeing my family suffer."

"Do you honestly believe that I came all the way to the hospital in the dead of the night to watch George check your husband into St. Mungo's?" Hermione answered.

"No," Molly admitted. "But you do take joy in our disgrace."

"Molly, I understand that you are upset, but please don't take it out it out on me. Not tonight."

"I don't know what is going on with Arthur, but I know that the best experts are out of our reach thanks to your insistence that Ronald was sane when he kidnapped your daughter."

"He was sane."

"He was in desperate need of help, help which he has since received."

The woman bit her tongue.

"You refused to forgive him because you are a wench. Why can't you do the right thing for once in your life and drop these charges."

The woman's breathing was ragged.

"Drop those charges, learn to forgive, and start acting like an actual human being."

"Enough."

Molly grew quiet.

"You have said your piece," Severus growled. "Now leave her alone."

"Oh don't think I have nothing to say to you," Molly began.

"Molly," Severus replied in a low voice. "Do not say anything."

"I'm sorry, but I don't think there are any other rooms," the receptionist began behind them.

"I refuse to be silenced..."

"Mrs. Weasley."

Molly shut her mouth.

"Leave us in peace before I make you regret having ever laid eyes upon us."

She huffed. "I have more important matters to attend to other than you anyway."

Molly stomped towards her son and her husband.

The woman turned to Severus. In a soft voice, she began, "Thank you."

"Do not confuse my kindness for acceptance of your behavior," Severus warned. "I simply do not enjoy watching a woman being cowed into submission."

"I know," the woman answered. "That's one of the things that attracted me to you."

"You genuinely mean that, don't you?"

"I do."

Severus relaxed his hand. He gazed into her eyes. There was affection there, yet no evidence of madness.

Who on earth was this woman?