AN: Thank you for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
"For the last time, Dad, I do not need to go through the concussion protocol," Rose grumbled.
"I beg to differ." Severus replied.
Sparks flew from Severus' wand. They landed on the emerald carpet, creating a straight line. He pointed to it.
"It's been a little over a week since I've returned to teaching. I assure you that I am well," Rose protested.
Severus did not move his arm.
Rose groaned. She stepped onto the line and walked atop it. "I assure you that it is perfectly safe to extract my memories with little side effect."
He watched her every motion.
She reached the end of the line. "Are there any more tests you would like to administer?"
"No," Severus replied. "You appear to be well."
"Thank you," Rose answered.
Severus relaxed. "Now, in addition to your memories of the attacks themselves, you claimed you were able to obtain an interview from one of the victims."
Rose grinned. "I was."
Severus gave her a half smile.
Rose sat down in a leather, wingback chair. "Still, I should warn you who I interviewed."
"Why would you feel the need to warn me about anything?"
"I do not want you to be taken off guard."
"Why would I be taken off guard?"
Rose scratched the back of her neck. "The circumstances surrounding the interview were less than ideal."
His stomach sank. "Please tell me you did not put yourself in danger."
"No, I did not," She replied.
Severus grabbed a vial from a nearby wooden work desk. "That is good to know."
Rose pulled out her wand and aimed it at her temple.
He gestured towards the ground. She lowered the wand.
"Is there something in your memory which could put someone in danger?"
"Then be forthcoming with me; who did you interview and what were the circumstances surrounding this interview?"
Rose took a deep breath. "I interviewed Arthur Weasley."
Severus' face was drained of any color. "You interviewed Ron Weasley?"
Rose's expression was that of a child caught shoplifting a candy bar.
In a controlled voice, he asked, "Why in Merlin's name would you allow Arthur Weasley near you, much less interview him?"
"I knew that the Weasleys were infected with the amnesia, and that they would not speak with you or Mum. It was only prudent to obtain information from them."
"You are correct in believing that they will not speak to us, but would also be correct in believing that even if they did want to speak with us, we would not speak to them."
"I know," Rose cleared her throat. "I know this situation is not ideal, but I did what needed to be done."
"No," Severus replied. "We have enough information as it is. You did not need to put yourself at risk unnecessarily."
"Arthur would not have physically harmed me."
"I am not worried about him physically attacking you. I am worried about him putting ideas in your head."
"I know he is untrustworthy."
"How could I not?"
"Let me ask you something," Severus locked eyes with her. "Of all the victims you could have chosen to speak with, why him?"
"I knew he would not give you a memory, and I thought he may have a valuable piece of information you were overlooking."
"Did he tell you anything which you knew would aid in our quest for a cure?"
"I don't know," Rose admitted.
Severus crossed his arms over his chest.
"I do not have access to all the data you and Mum do. I cannot determine if his account will be useful or not," she argued.
The tension in Rose's muscles eased.
"I cannot help but find it suspicious, though, that in the midst of doubting your paternity, you turn to Arthur Weasley to interview him."
"I did not ask him anything about Ron's actions, I swear."
"Did you want to ask him any questions about Ronald?"
"No," Rose insisted.
Severus raised an eyebrow.
Rose lowered her head. "I mean, I will not lie, part of me wanted to ask him about the events surrounding my birth."
"Why?" Severus asked in a quiet voice.
"I," Rose turned away from him. "I thought if I saw for myself how crazed he was then I would drop the issue."
"Did it work?" Severus asked.
Rose looked up at him. "In all honesty, I did not make my decision to drop the search for my paternity because of him."
"Yes. When I finished meeting with him, I returned home and considered a few things I had not before. From there I made my decision not to pursue my inquiry any further."
"Why did you finally give up on trying to dig up the past?"
Rose slumped further into the chair. "Do you promise not to be upset with me if I tell you?"
"I promise," Severus replied.
"It was that insipid soap opera."
"The soap opera?"
"How could a soap opera determine your course of action?"
She took a deep breath. "As I watched it with Grandma, I realized how much trouble my paternity doubts could cause your marriage."
Rose nodded. "I do not want to create a rift between you and Mum."
Severus rubbed his right hand with his left.
"My questions concern a painful time in your life. Neither you nor Mum want to relive the months surrounding your separation. If I continue asking questions, if I continue this trivial pursuit, then there is a chance it would reopen old wounds. The last thing I would want is for you and Mum to begin arguing because of me. I should not cause trouble between you and her, especially not now."
"Rose." Severus put a hand on her shoulder. "I want you to listen to me."
"You could never be a hinderance to the happiness of my marriage."
"You are not a source of unhappiness for me or your mother."
She closed her mouth.
"The events surrounding your conception do not upset me in the slightest. You have been such a joy that I have had no difficulty ignoring the past. I would strongly suggest you do the same."
Tears filled her eyes.
"Oh Little One," Severus embraced her. "You have been one of the greatest joys of my life. Nothing will ever change that fact."
"I love you, Dad."
"I love you too."
They remained in the embrace for a few moments.
Severus released her. "It must have been difficult to remain in the room with Arthur without strangling him."
"It was awkward at times, but not as awkward as knowing you and Mum are ill and you need me." There was a flash of fear in her eyes. "Mum is taking this all in stride, correct?"
"Your mother is fine for the moment. I have seen no sign of her scars, nor has she so much as picked at her arm.
"So there's still time."
"Indeed there is."
Rose scratched her right arm. "Does she take her medication tonight?"
Rose bit her lower lip. "I hope she does not become too ill from it."
"There is little we can do to help her at the moment, other than extract your memories."
"No, there is not."
Severus grinned. "It must have taken no small amount of cunning to persuade Arthur to have lunch with you."
"I rewrote the letter at least four times."
"How did you keep him focused on the topic at hand?"
"I may have allowed him to badmouth you a few times in exchange for his information."
"You did not lose your temper?"
She shook her head.
He kissed her forehead. "I knew there was a reason you were sorted into Slytherin."
"I suppose so," she replied.
Severus pulled out his vial. "Your memories are not getting any clearer. It is best to extract them while they are still vivid."
"You are not upset with me?" Rose asked.
"No," Severus answered. "I am grateful that you would go to such lengths to aid me."
"How could I not help my own father?"
"It could have been quite easy."
"No," she replied. "I could never turn my back on you."
He embraced her once more.
I could not have asked for a more amazing eldest daughter.