Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 68

AN: Thank you all so much for the support! It is deeply appreciated!

Hermione would not have believed her husband's location had she not been looking at the map. She rubbed her eyes as if that would somehow change the result of the tracking spell. Her wand was still glowing lime green, still pointed at the same place on the map.

Hermione burst out laughing. Of all the places Severus could have gone, this had to be the most interesting.

After a few moments, she caught her breath. In a Severus Snape way, going there made perfect sense. It was a place where few others, save Hermione, would find him. It was also away from the prying eyes of the aurors.

She cleared her throat. I hope he didn't splice himself apparating there. It is one thing to locate a place based on your own memories, but when you're only guided by your spouse's memories than it's quite another. Still, this is Severus. Knowing him, he found a way to safely reach his destination.

She grabbed a fistful of floo powder. Things are about to get interesting…

Hermione called out the address to her parents' house. Within moments, her father's face appeared in the ashes.

"Hermione," he began. "Thank goodness we found you."

"Were you trying to contact me earlier?" she asked.

"No," his eye twitched. "Though your mother and I were debating on it."

Hermione twisted her right foot into the ground. "I see."

"Sweetie," Wilford drawled. "Are you and Severus having problems?"

"No," Hermione replied. "Why would you ask such a question?"

"Well," Wilford began. "A few hours ago your husband pounded on our front door and demanded we show him the guest bedroom. Once we directed him there, he locked himself inside. He hasn't spoken two words to us since."

"I see," Hermione replied.

"The only thing plausible scenario for his behavior we could come up with was that you two had gotten into some type of argument. Still, we were a bit confused given that a man doesn't usually run to his in-laws after a spat with his wife," Wilford answered.

"No, that would be quite unusual behavior."

"So, if I may ask, why is he behaving this way?"

"Right now he is stressed over his work," Hermione answered. "When I suggested he get some fresh air, he disapparated. I'm hoping the change of scenery will do him some good."

"I wish we could offer him better scenery," Wilford answered. "It's been raining like crazy here for the past day and a half."

"Has there been any flooding?"

"Not yet, thank goodness."

"That's good."

Wilford chuckled. "I feel sorry for your husband though. The poor guy was soaked when he came in. We offered to wash his robes, but he wouldn't hear of it."

"That's Severus, difficult yet lovable as ever."

"Indeed."

Hermione relaxed. "Would it be okay with you if I came over and spoke with Severus?"

"You never have to ask if you can come over," Wilford replied. "The answer is always yes."

His face no longer appeared amongst the ashes. Hermione stepped inside the floo and reappeared in her parents' living room. She stumbled over the threshold embraced her father.

"It's so great to see you again," Wilford muttered.

"It is great to see you as well," Hermione answered.

Wilford squeezed Hermione harder before releasing her.

"Oh dear," Hermione brushed off the soot from her father's tweed vest. "I did not mean to get your clothes dirty."

"It's no trouble at all," Wilford brushed the ashes from his daughter's shoulder. "Your mother is doing laundry today anyway, so I'll just put it in with everything else."

"Very well then."

"I'd tell your mother you were here, but she's out playing bridge with her friends."

"That's fine," Hermione replied. "Hopefully I'll see her on the way out."

"I'm sure she'd love to see you," Wilford answered. "In the meantime though, your husband needs you."

"Yes he does." Hermione replied before giving her father a peck on the cheek.

"Love you baby girl," Wilford whispered.

"I love you too, Dad," Hermione replied. She gave him one last look before strolling down the hallway.

Upon reaching the guest bedroom, Hermione paused. She shook before focusing on her breathing.

I can do this. Somehow, I can break this news to Severus. Perhaps is I am lucky, we'll come up with a plan of action.

"Hermione?"

In a weak voice she answered, "yes?"

Snape opened the door. "Please come in."

Hermione entered the room, her eyes fixed on the mud stain on his right knee. "Are you injured?"

Severus shook his head.

Her gaze remained on the stain.

"Apparently when I apparated here I landed in a mud puddle," Severus began. "I've managed to clean off most of the stains, but there are a few which will need detergent."

"I'll take care of it when we get home," Hermione answered.

Severus closed the door. "Do you have any clue as to how I would wind up in Australia?"

"It's a long story," Hermione began. "But the shortened version is that when your episode first began, you demanded answers from me as to who you were. I allowed you to use legilimency on me. While you were perusing my memories you discovered your role in Dumbledore's death."

Severus gulped. "I'd imagine that did not go over as well as you would have liked."

"It could have gone better, but it could have gone worse."

"I did not hurt you, did I?"

"No," Hermione answered.

"I am glad to hear it," Severus replied.

"After viewing my memories, you wanted to see Dumbledore's grave. Thus, you flooed to Rose's living quarters."

"Is she well?"

"Yes, although most of Wizarding Britain is convinced that her amnesiac father took her hostage."

"Excuse me?" He exclaimed.

She took a deep breath. "Everyone thinks you took Rose hostage."

"Why in Merlin's name would I do that?" He panicked.

"I'm not entirely clear on the details, but apparently a group of aurors burst into Hogwarts ready to" Hermione made scare quotes, "'detain' anymore who was suffering from amnesia."

Severus blinked.

"Despite her best efforts, the aurors found you in her labs," Hermione continued.

"So I protected myself at the cost of my daughter's well-being," Severus muttered.

"Actually, Rose knew the entire time she was only pretending to be your hostage."

"Does she truly believe that, or is she attempting to minimize the fear I caused her?"

"Let's just say that she is far more proud of herself than she is afraid of you."

"I suppose pretending to be hostage and hostage taker would be one way for us to outsmart a legion of aurors."

"Indeed it is."

Severus gazed into his wife's eyes. While they glimmered with the joy of their reunion, he could see the fear she was attempting to hide.

"Hermione?"

"Yes."

Her placed a stray strand of her hair behind her ear. "What are you withholding from me?"

She took a shaky breath. "While you were gone, I did some research into the cause of the amnesia."

"What did you discover?" Severus asked.

A tear fell from Hermione's eye. "All of the victims were bitten by Fenrir."

"But I thought there was thirty names on our victims list we could not tie back to Fenrir."

"I looked over the Mafloys' charity records. I was able to find all thirty names there. All of them had received the cure."

Severus lowered his head.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I am truly, completely, sorry."

"How could we know?" Severus replied. "How could either of us have known this would happen?"

"We couldn't have," Hermione answered.

"Which ingredient was it?" Severus asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Which ingredient interacted so horribly with the others that now we have this mess on our hands?"

"I have no idea," Hermione admitted. "All I know is the cure caused these amnesia spells.."

Severus hummed.

Hermione choked. "I am so sorry, Severus. I never meant to put you in this position."

"Love, I doubt there was much anyone could do."

"We could have taken Rose with us to that press conference. You never would have been put in such a perilous position had we done that."

"Fenrir may have still found a way to capture her."

Hermione sniffed.

"Fenrir wanted to either recruit or kill us," Severus continued. "Nothing would have deterred him from accomplishing either goal. If Farrah had not enticed Ron to kidnap Rose, then Fenrir would have found some other way to reach us."

"Are you certain of that?"

"I am."

Hermione rubbed her eyes. "I still feel responsible."

"As do I," Severus admitted. "But guilt will not serve us well. All we can do is move forward in finding a cure."

"You, you're taking this quite well," Hermione noted.

He kissed her forehead. "There is no point in growing upset. We need to resolve this problem, and we need to do so post haste."

"I couldn't agree more," she replied.

Severus stared at her.

"There is something else you should know."

"Yes?"

"Draco is going to announce our discovery today," Hermione answered.

Severus sighed. "As he should."

"Ginny said that he is going to spin it as if there is only a correlation between lycanthropy and these amnesiac attacks. Perhaps that is wisest way to spin it."

"But it is not entirely accurate."

"No it is not."

Hermione brushed her lips against his. "Somehow, we will overcome this."

"Indeed we will," Severus answered.

Hermione took his hand and rubbed it.

"Do you have the recipe for the original potion?" Severus asked.

"It should be somewhere in the basement."

"Please retrieve it. If we're to make any progress on a cure, then we will need to review it."

"Are you sure you want to begin this project so soon?"

"If we do not start now, then when would you suggest we do so?"

She shrugged. "At a time when you've absorbed what all of this means."

"I have absorbed what all of this means," Severus answered. "I am wanted for pretending to take my daughter hostage, I may have given everyone a potion which causes amnesia, and I need to get to work on my latest project. Am I missing anything else?"

"No, that sounds about right."

"Then let's begin on finding our cure."

Hermione flung herself into his arms. "I love you, Severus."

He held her close. "I love you to, Hermione."

With a little research and some luck, he would never forget that again.