Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 60

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

If there was one thing Severus had learned after twenty-six years of marriage, it was that arguing with his beloved wife was futile. Somehow, she was able to persuade him to her side, or at the very least they were able to reach some sort of mutually satisfying compromise. Today's debate was no exception.

She was going to sit on that bed and watch his episode occur. A camera would be too obvious, and there was no guarantee he would stay within its line of sight long enough to capture the entire episode. The potential emotional damage Severus could inflict did not faze her in the slightest. With her husband's future on the line, she was determined to obtain the memory of his transformation. Then, she could begin comparing them to those experienced by lycanthropes.

Her persistence was endearing, if not frustrating.

"You must leave the moment I become combative," Severus began.

Hermione sat down beside him on the bed,

"Promise me that you will leave if I grow combative."

"Yes, I promise you that I will leave if I fear our interaction is getting out of control."

Severus' frown deepened.

"I will never make a promise which might result in me abandoning you," Hermione answered.

"I do not consider you protecting yourself to be a form of abandonment," Severus argued.

"I know," Hermione replied. "Still, I am more than capable of handling my amnesiac husband."

"Or so you say," Severus answered.

She rubbed his thigh. "I know that you don't mean a thing you say during your episodes. If it becomes too personal for me, then I will remind myself that your episode will pass."

"You are assuming that it will pass," Severus answered.

"If my calculations are correct, then yes, it will end," Hermione replied.

"Or so we hope," Severus whispered.

"Yes," Hermione breathed. "So we hope."

The last sunbeam vanished.

"I love you, Hermione Snape," Severus whispered.

She gave him a small grin. "I love you as well, Severus Snape."

Hermione kept her eyes on Severus. The moon shone through the door.

The lines on Severus' face grew deeper. His muscles tensed. The smile which had once graced his face morphed into a scowl.

In a voice deeper than before, he hissed, "You again."

"Yes."

Snape's scowl deepened.

Hermione stood. "If you feel the need to leave, I will not prevent you from doing so."

He pointed down to the bed. "Stay."

Hermione kept her eyes on him.

"I need you to answer a few questions."

"What types of questions?"

"First and foremost," Snape stood. "How does Hermione know about us?"

Hermione gulped.

"I have a student whose name is Hermione," Snape began. "She claims to know about these nightly meetings."

"What did she claim we were doing?"

"That is none of your concern."

"It might be my concern," Hermione answered. "After all, if I understood what exactly we were doing I could explain our actions better."

"Is it not troublesome enough for you that a student knows about us?"

"Not particularly."

"You are comfortable being seen with me?"

"I am more than comfortable being seen with you."

Snape gritted his teeth. "Woman, I do not know what kind of game you are playing or what you are trying to accomplish, but I have no patience for it."

"I am not trying to test your patience," Hermione argued.

"Apparently you are, because every time we converse it feels as if we are engaging in some type of mind game."

"I do not mean for our interactions to feel that way. Still, if you have an honest question I am more than happy to answer it."

"Very well then," Snape cleared his throat. "Why is it that when evening rolls around I am with you?"

"Do you want an honest answer?" she asked.

"A little honesty would be lovely," he growled.

"Okay," she exhaled. "But you need to listen to me carefully."

"Do not talk to me as if I am incapable of understanding a simple sentence."

"I apologize."

He crossed his arms over his chest.

Hermione took a deep breath. "What is the last day you remember?"

He growled, "Yesterday."

She asked, "Do you remember what you did during the daylight, or do you only remember what happened once the sun went down?"

Snape eyes widened.

"You don't remember a thing about yesterday afternoon, do you?" she asked.

He put his right hand over his wand. "What have you done to me?"

She shook. "I did not do anything to you, at least not intentionally."

"You hexed me!"

"No, I did not."

"Then what did you do?"

"I," Hermione sighed. "It is extremely complicated, and would require me all night to explain."

"I am willing to listen," Snape answered.

Hermione ran her right arm over her left one. "My name is Hermione Snape nee Granger. We wed and fell in love after Voldemort was defeated."

"Voldemort is no more?"

"No, he is not."

Severus twisted his lower lip. "How did that occur?"

"Harry fought Voldemort, and won. It came at a cost though."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Several people we cared about died."

"Who?"

Hermione swallowed.

"Who died?"

She trembled.

"What are you not telling me?" Snape snarled.

"One of the casualties was Albus Dumbledore," she choked.

Snape appeared as if she had just slapped him across the face.

"How did he die?"

"That doesn't matter. All you should care about is that for the first time in your adult life you were free," Hermione continued. "You did not need fear serving another master."

"How did I use my newfound freedom?"

"You used it to open an apothecary and marry me."

"How did that occur?"

"It's a long story, but I will give you the abridged version."

"That would be lovely."

"Seven years after Voldemort was defeated, Fenrir revived the Death Eaters. We were able to defeat him," Hermione continued, "together."

"Fenrir is a Snatcher. Why would he want to revive the Death Eaters?"

"Because he wanted to transform everyone into a lycanthrope, and he needed a ready-made army," she answered.

Snape muttered, "I should have expected him to do as much."

"While we were defeating him, we had our first child."

"Is she the girl I saw at Hogwarts?"

"Yes. Her name is Rose."

"Does she resemble you?"

"Yes, she does, which is why you mistook her for me."

"If she is a student then why is she dressed as me?"

"She is the current potions professor at Hogwarts."

Snape gave her a blank look.

"Ever since she was a baby she's wanted nothing more than to follow in your footsteps," Hermione explained. "That is why she took the position, and why she wears robes similar to yours."

"How," Snape bit his lower lip, "Charming."

"You have two other children too," Hermione continued. "Their names are Victor and Violet."

"How old are they?"

"Victor is a year and a half younger than Rose, and Violet is seventeen."

Severus paled. "Are you saying that not only did I survive the Second Wizarding War, but that I lived long enough to father three children?"

"Yes," Hermione replied.

Snape shook his head. "No, none of this makes any sense."

"Do you want me to prove the veracity of my statements?" Hermione asked.

"Some proof would be helpful," Snape answered.

"Here," she gazed into his obsidian eyes. "Use legilimency on me."

Snape took a step backwards. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me correctly," Hermione reiterated. "Please use legilimency on me in order to verify my story."

Snape snorted. "How do I know you are not a skilled occlumens and is only going to feed me the information I want to know?"

"Because I refused to take occlumency lessons from you," Hermione replied.

"You?" he spat. "You expect me to believe that there was a skill I could have taught you that you did not immediately take up?"

"Yes."

"Why on earth would you refuse to learn occlumency?"

"I thought that if I became an occlumens it would weaken our marriage."

"Why would you think that?"

"I thought if you knew I could seal my mind from you, then you would become worried that I could hide things from you."

"Why were you not nervous about me using legilimency on you or my ability to hide things from you?"

"Because I trusted you not to take advantage of me."

Snape huffed. "You truly are a naive woman."

"If you understood everything, you would agree with my reasoning," Hermione answered.

His voice was laced with sarcasm. "I am certain I would."

Hermione maintained eye contact with him. "If you do not want to look inside of my mind then you may leave. Still, if you want the truth, then use legilimency."

"If I use legilimency then I can see your entire mind, even the things you wish to keep from others. Why would you trust me with your innermost secrets?"

"Because I know you, and you will not use them against me."

Snape smirked. "So you claim."

Hermione maintained her position.

Severus held up his wand. "Legilimens."