Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 7

I really hope I didn't botch the Spanish in this chapter. If I did, I apologize in advance.

Thank you for all the support! I deeply appreciate all of it!

Two days.

Two days from now, she would no longer be an ocean away from him.

The man ran his finger along the newspaper. Halfway through the front page he threw the paper to the ground and stomped on it.

He grabbed his beer can and took a swig of the liquid. Once the last drop was gone, he crushed the can and slammed it onto the table.

Years ago he had been able to ignore Mrs. Snape. The further away he was from her, the simpler his life was. Yet present circumstances were drawing him to her. She may be his only chance of salvation, assuming he could play his cards right.

Pound! Pound!

The man's eyes grew.

"Open up!"

He ducked under the table and extinguished his wand.

"We know you're in there!

He curled into a ball.

"¡Abre la puerta!"

The man picked up the newspaper and smoothed it out. He glanced at the bottom of the paper, careful to memorize the date and time of Mrs. Snape's speech.

It was time for a reunion.

Professor Rose strolled through the bookshelves, cursing herself with every step. She passed the sections on potions, transfiguration, and astronomy. Under any other circumstance she would get lost in those shelves, but this was no time for distractions. Somehow she had to prove to herself that she was a Snape, if only so she could return to grading her papers in peace.

She scowled. This line of inquiry is nonsensical. Up to this point I haven't had the slightest bit of doubt in my parents concerning their account of my conception. Why am I calling it into question now?

Because Percy's account makes a certain amount of sense.

She breezed by the section which said, "historical archives." She stopped and looked back. Her lips curled up.

"Yeh had a good idea in bringin' me here."

Rose's stomach dropped.

"It came to me last night while I was cleaning crystal balls. If we want to know where Fawkes could be then we need to have a better idea of where he's been."

Rose hid behind the bookshelf and bit her lower lip. Why must Violet always appear at the least convenient times?

"Well, researchin' Fawkes' past whereabouts may be our bes' chance of findin' 'em yet," Hagrid answered.

"Indeed." Papers shifted around. "Do you have any ideas on which years we should be looking at?"

Hagrid hummed. "I know Dumbledore got 'em sometime before 1938."

"Do you have any idea if Dumbledore had him before 1938?"

"I dunno."

"If Dumbledore had obtained Fawkes in the early 1930's, there would be evidence of that," Violet mused. "So I doubt Dumbledore had owned Fawkes for very long before they were first photographed together."

"Probably."

"Perhaps we should look at the archives from anywhere between 1938 to 1997. Perhaps Dumbledore left some kind of hint as to where he found Fawkes in an interview."

"Not a bad idea," Hagrid replied.

"If we come up empty and decide we need a specific date I could always pretend to be writing a report on Fawkes and ask Dumbledore's portrait…" Violet began.

"No," Hagrid argued. "If Dumbledore catches onto this then we migh' get his hopes up. I can't allow 'em to be disappointed if we don' find anythin'."

Violet was silent.

Hagrid exhaled. "I promised meself to do this for Dumbledore. He wants nothin' more than to see Fawkes again, an' I owe him so much. I'd imagine yer father will fin' some peace in seein' Fawkes as well."

"Yeah, Dad would," Violet replied.

Rose flinched. How could someone raised by Severus and Hermione Snape use the word, "yeah?"

"I sugges' we split up," Hagrid began. "I'll search for the records before 1970, and you look for those after."

Rose swallowed.

"Sure," Violet answered. "I'll start with the year 1970 and go from there."

Rose relaxed. Thank Merlin for small favors.

"WHY ARE YOU TWO TALKING?"

Violet gasped.

"Stop talking in the library!" Irma Pince ordered.

"Yes," they muttered.

Irma Pince stomped away.

"Can you believe some people think she's my grandmother?" Violet whispered.

Hagrid choked back his laughter, "Really?"

"Yeah," Violet answered.

Rose cringed. There was that horrid word again.

"They think she's my paternal grandmother because according to the rumors she looks a bit like Dad," Violet replied.

"Yer dad looks nothing like Madame Pince," Hagrid answered.

"Agreed," Violet answered.

"Are you two still talking?" Madame Pince shouted.

There was no answer.

"Let's split up," Violet whispered.

"Agreed," Hagrid answered.

Rose poked her head out from the shelves. Hagrid lumbered to her left and Violet sauntered to her right. Rose released the breath she'd been holding.

The younger Snape paused and spun around. Rose reclaimed her hiding place. Violet shrugged and resumed her path to the archives.

Rose darted down the shelves until she reached the section on the Second Wizarding War. She slowed her pace and searched the titles. Within moments, she found the desired book. She grabbed it and tucked it under her cape. Then she glided out of the archives to a wall. She pulled out her wand and uttered a few spells. A door creaked open.

She looked backwards. Nobody was present. She snuck into the room, shutting the door behind her.

Rose exhaled and walked over to the desk. She sat down on one of the cracked, padded chairs and set the book on the table. For what seemed to be an eternity, she stared at the title.

The Golden Trio Through the Years

The temperature of the room increased. Rose focused on her breathing until her heart rate slowed. With a trembling hand she opened the book to the first page.

BOY WHO LIVED PREPARES FOR HOGWARTS

Too soon. She flipped forward one hundred and fifty pages.

HARRY HEARTBROKEN: GINNY WEASLEY ACCPETS DRACO MALFOY'S PROPOSAL

Still too soon. She flipped forward another fifty pages.

GOLDEN COUPLE ANNOUNCES ENGAGEMENT

Rose stared at the couple in the picture. Ronald Weasley had his arms wrapped around Mum, with a grin which sent shivers down her spine. Mum's smile was more pleasant, but it didn't reach her eyes. When Dad walked into a room, her eyes were a fireworks show, but in this picture it was as if someone had zapped the energy from her soul.

Rose flipped the page.

Article after article described the long engagement of her mother and the red headed git. Some were dedicated to how happy they were, others were dedicated to speculations on their wedding, yet none of them concerned a potential affair between Mum and the man who would become Rose's dad. Even nosy Rita Skeeter didn't so much as speculate on a potential affair.

Rose continued to turn the pages. How could someone as famous as Mum keep a romantic liaison hidden? Why would a potions master having a sexual relationship with a high-profile lover forget that the quickest way to expose their affair would be for her to turn up pregnant? If Mum was allegedly so happy with Ron, why even look in Dad's direction?

Perhaps Ronald Weasley was lying. Perhaps he and Mum had not been chaste…

Rose shook her head. No! Mum would never lie to Dad about the potential for another man to be my father! She loves him too much! There must be some other explanation.

She turned to another page.

GOLDEN COUPLE BREAKS UP FOR GOOD

Here, this article should shed some light on the situation. What reason did Ron give for his abrupt separation from Mum?

After reading the article, Rose was no closer to an answer than the second she'd picked up the book. Ron had told the press that Mum was too stifling and was not allowing him to enjoy his youth. Mum refused to give a comment. There was no mention of Dad or any illicit affair.

Why would Ron keep this affair hidden? Wouldn't he be the kind of creep who would want the entire Wizarding World to know exactly how awful his now ex-fianceė was?

Rose ran her fingers through her hair.

There were far more questions than answers.

"So when we added the ashwidner eggs, the potion becomes ash, I mean turns to ash, I mean…"

Hermione moaned and threw her notes onto the bed. She raised her head and cleared her mind.

They won't care if you have the entire speech memorized. There is no shame in using a few notes. You've given hundreds of these talks. Even if this is your first South American excursion, you will do fine.

Her left arm itched.

Hermione's heart stopped. She trembled and held up her arm.

There was no evidence of Bellatrix's scar. Her magic wasn't crackling within her, nor was she nauseous. Every indication suggested that the medication was still working, and wouldn't be needed for another two weeks.

"I'm healthy," Hermione whispered. "I'm perfectly healthy."

She sat down on the bed. The itch is a reaction to stress and nothing more. My mind is playing tricks on me, but there is no real danger.

Hermione collected her notes and set them on the bedside table. Practicing the presentation could wait until the morning.

Hermione stood up and trudged towards her closet. Despite her lack of fatigue, it was time to prepare for bed. She could only hope that Severus would emerge from the basement soon. At this moment she needed to feel his body against hers, if only to provide some type of security.

She pulled out her nightgown, wondering how a slight itch on her arm could cause such a panic.