AN: Thank you all so much for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
Rose ran her right hand over her cape. She stared at the doorway, vacillating between willing Arthur to enter, and willing him never to arrive. After a few moments she looked down at her menu and brushed aside the napkin she had placed atop it.
For noontime on Sunday, the crowd was light The brunch diners were sauntering out the front door while the waiters picked up the dirty dining utensils from the tables. Although there were windows in front of her, the bright green words "Voted Best Cafe in Hogsmeade!" obscured her view of the street.
Rose took another sip of her coffee. She cringed as the liquid trickled down her throat. Straight black coffee was distasteful enough, but putting sugar in it had not improved its quality. Perhaps she should ask the waiter to replace her cup with a French Vanilla cappuccino, but it would be a travesty to let a coffee go to waste, especially a cup as expensive as this.
She glanced up. Her body was chilled, despite the unseasonably warm weather. Before her, Arthur was staring at Rose, taking in her every physical feature.
Rose pursed her lips and sat up straighter. What does he see when he looks at me? Does he see a Snape, or does he see a Weasley? Am I convincing as Severus' daughter, or does he see a little girl playing dress up in her daddy's clothing?
"Rose," Arthur breathed.
Rose pointed to the chair across from her. "Hello Arthur. You may take a seat."
Arthur rushed over and sat down across from her. He extended his hand, but her frown only deepened. Deflated, he withdrew the appendage.
"Thank you for agreeing to dine with me," Rose replied.
"I was honestly surprised you would contact me," Arthur answered. "Though I was far from disappointed to receive your invitation."
"I need to discuss a few things with you," Rose replied.
Arthur hummed, "I suppose you do."
Rose cleared her throat. "How have you been faring as of late?"
"Very well," Arthur answered. "Things have been great."
"I am glad to hear it," Rose replied.
"What about you?" Arthur's voice was quick. "How have you been?"
"Very well," Rose replied.
"I'm so happy to hear it," Arthur answered.
Rose took another sip of her coffee.
"I," Arthur's eyes were agleam. "I was honestly surprised that you contacted me."
"I was honestly surprised myself that I would ever find myself in a circumstance where I would need to discuss anything with you." Rose twirled the edge of her cape around her finger.
"What do you mean?" Arthur asked.
Rose released her clothing. "I am going to be blunt. During one of your amnesiac episodes you barged into my office."
He lowered his head.
"You did me no harm, but nevertheless I'm aware of your recent nocturnal activities."
"I suppose you would be."
"I contacted you because I need an idea of what you did in the last few hours before your episodes."
"I am in contact with some researchers who are prepared to extract my memories…"
"But you have not contacted Mum or Dad."
"No," Arthur admitted. "The Ministry's researchers are not in touch with your parents."
Rose took another sip of coffee.
"Did you only call me to obtain information from me?" Arthur asked.
Rose's stomach sank at the expression in his eyes. When students looked upon her in that way, it was after she refused to allow them to leave detention early. She'd need to be sure that moving forward, she did not make him feel any more uneasy than necessary.
"If, if you would like to discuss other things I suppose we can," Rose replied.
There was a small grin on Arthur's face.
They looked up at the waiter. "Yes?"
"What would you like to drink?"
"A water would be fine," Arthur answered.
"Is there anything you would like to eat?"
Arthur turned to Rose. She shrugged. "I am ready to order when you are."
"I've been here enough times to know what I'd like," Arthur answered.
"Okay," Rose replied. "I will take two eggs, sunny side up."
The waiter turned to Arthur.
"I'll have a cinnamon roll."
"Okay." The waiter collected Rose's menu and walked away.
"I will make you a deal," Rose replied. "If you tell me exactly what happened in the few hours before your episodes, I will discuss other matters with you."
Arthur smiled. "I would like that very much."
"Good," Rose steepled her hands. "Now from what Mum and Dad have said, the memories proceeding the attacks are often too distorted to be of any use. Thus, I do not expect you to recount everything you know, but every little bit of information helps."
"I actually remember things fairly well until, well, you know," Arthur answered.
"Indeed I do," Rose drawled.
Arthur sighed. "You look and sound just like your father."
"I consider that a compliment."
"It is meant as one."
Rose raised an eyebrow.
Arthur's expression was distant. "You have mastered his facial expression perfectly. Sometimes looking at you really is like looking at a younger female version of him."
Rose maintained her expression.
Arthur continued. "Severus has parented his children well. It is obvious that you are happy and healthy."
"I was very fortunate to have the parents that I did," Rose replied.
"They were lucky to have you as their child," Arthur answered.
Her pinky twitched.
"What kinds of parents are Hermione and Severus?"
"The kind who do not appreciate being harassed and criticized every time they so much as breathe."
"I am not trying to critique them," Arthur shrunk. "Any insight I could have on their parenting methods would be pointless given your age."
"I cannot think of anything they have done which could be held against them," Rose replied.
"What are they like, then?"
"Mum is caring yet strong. She always ensured that we understood right from wrong, yet were strong in our convictions Dad is encouraging, patient, and loving."
Arthur cocked his head.
"Despite the previous image he'd constructed, Dad does have a heart," Rose replied. "He is simply careful as to whom he allows to see it."
"Their marriage is loving as well. Mum always supports Dad, even when he was being what she called, 'a right old git.' As for Dad," Rose lowered her voice. "He treats Mum like an empress."
"After everything your parents have been through, they deserve a partner to love," Arthur answered.
"Indeed they do," Rose replied.
"Here is your water, Mr. Weasley."
"Thank you," he muttered as the glass of water was placed in front of him.
Rose took another sip of coffee as the waiter slipped away.
Arthur gulped. "I, I didn't understand who deeply Ron had hurt Hermione until they broke up."
"He did not break up with her. He abandoned her."
"That he did."
Rose's expression was impassive.
"I've made a lot of mistakes," Arthur admitted. "One of my biggest mistakes was allowing Ronald to treat you mother so horribly. I should have stepped in and stopped him much sooner."
"I suppose your treatment of Dad was justifiable though."
"I have treated neither of them well, and for that I am sincerely sorry."
Rose shrugged. "You should apologize to them, not to me."
"No, you are owed an apology because my actions did affect you. Had I not been so blinded by my love for Ron your life never would have been put in danger. Again, I cannot apologize enough for my actions surrounding your kidnapping."
"No, you cannot."
Arthur slumped until he appeared to be only half his size.
"I am not going to deceive you, I am infamous for inheriting my father's ability to hold a grudge. There is no real reason for me to forge a relationship with you, but my parents are desperate for a cure. For that reason, I will be civil towards you, at least for the moment."
"I suppose I should not ask for more."
"No, you should not."
Arthur squeaked. "Could you please answer a question for me."
"It depends on the question."
"Why did you decide to be the potions mistress at Hogwarts?"
There was a spark in Rose's eyes. "It was a gradual process. From the time I was an infant, Dad would take me into his lab and allow me to watch him brew. I was always captivated by how magic interacted with such common substances. Sure, a wizard can cast charms which affect the outside world, but those are done with the flick of a wrist and/or the motion of a wand. To caress a vial though, to feel the grit of cobra scales between your fingers, to stir a cauldron at precisely the correct number of times-it was as if my body and my mind could experience magic equally. I could make the common into pure magic. I could bottle fame, brew glory, and on occasion, put a stopper on death. When I am brewing, I feel as if I am who I was always meant to be."
Arthur's lips curled up.
"By the time I was eight, I had determined that my life's ambition was to become a potions mistress," Rose concluded. "No other line of work was even remotely appealing."
"Why did you want to go into Slytherin though?"
"Because the bravest man I've ever known was from the house."
"I suppose that is a fair reason.'
"Indeed it is."
"Still, you must know the history behind the house."
"I will admit that the house's reputation has taken quite the beating. Some students have gone so far as to plead not to be enrolled in it. This always upset me because some of the kindest people I have ever met were Slytherins. I felt it was my duty to expose another side of Slytherin and continue my father's legacy. Thus when Hogwarts began their search for a potions mistress, I applied. At first they did not need a head of the Slytherin House. Within a year though, the Professor Greengrass had taken a different job, leaving an opening for their Head of House."
"I'm sure Neville was eager to hire you given your lineage."
"Actually he was somewhat reluctant, but he was unsure as to how to face Dad if I did not receive the job."
Rose's expression remained neutral.
"Thank you," Arthur began.
"For what?" Rose asked.
Arthur sat up straighter. "I know that you are a Snape, but Ronald did claim at one time that you were his. Because of that, I have always cared for you."
"If you cared so much for me you should have returned me to my parents upon finding me."
"Okay you two. Here we go."
The wizards glanced up at the waiter.
"Two sunny side up eggs?"
Rose raised her hand.
The waiter set the plate before her. "Cinnamon roll?"
"Yes, thank you," Arthur replied.
The waiter set the plate before him. "Let me know if you need anything."
"We will," Arthur muttered.
The waiter scurried away.
"Regardless, thank you for telling me a little bit about yourself," Arthur continued. "I've really enjoyed learning a little more about you."
"At this juncture it would seem wise for you to reciprocate my efforts and tell me something about yourself; namely what you were doing before your episodes," Rose replied.
Arthur picked up a folded napkin and unwrapped it. A fork fell out and onto the table. "The first night I had an episode, I was arguing with my wife."
"How heated was the argument?" Rose unwrapped her own napkin.
"More heated than I would have liked," he admitted.
"What were you arguing about?" Rose asked.
"I've honestly forgotten," Arthur replied. "We argue over so many things anymore that it's difficult to keep track of it all."
Rose hummed. He's leaving out a significant detail, but given that Dad was not alone during his first episode, I'd do well not to push Arthur on this, lest he stop cooperating with me.
"What is the next thing you remember?" Rose asked.
"I was back in bed with my wife. She told me that she appreciated my change in attitude. It was just like things were before we began to drift apart." Arthur answered.
"I see," Rose cut her eggs. "What happened the next night?"
"I was alone in my room watching a muggle movie. It was a classic called The Room."
"Yes," Arthur answered. "It is apparently very popular muggle movie."
"What was this movie about?"
"It's about a man who has a cheating fiancee. It is all very dramatic."
"What part were you watching?"
"The lead actor said that his lady love was tearing him apart, and then, I was in bed being yelled at by Molly for bursting into Hogwarts."
"What of the third night?"
"On the third night I was brushing my teeth preparing to go to bed. Then I woke up in St. Mungo's to the sound of George and Molly arguing over whether I should be in there at all."
She scratched her chin. "Is that it?"
"Unfortunately, yes," Arthur answered.
"Thank you," Rose replied. "I am certain Mum and Dad can use this information to further their research."
"Are you sure?" Arthur asked.
"Trust me," Rose replied. "If any two people can make sense of all this and discover a cure, it would be Mum and Dad."
"Yes," Arthur replied with a smile. "If anyone can make sense of this, it would be them."