Now That Your Rose Is In Bloom

Chapter 76

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

"It's brilliant!"

Severus' grin grew as Hermione shifted around the documents strewn about the floor.

"It never occurred to me to look at the epidemic from an international perspective," she continued. "Since most of the amnesiacs only remembered events from the Second Wizarding War I assumed it was only a British phenomenon. If it is not a British phenomenon, then we need to look more globally."

"Yet if the amnesia episodes only affect those in Great Britain, then we need to understand why," Severus concluded.

"Yes," Hermione slid a few of the documents to her right. "It is a brilliant suggestion, and could not have come at a better time."

"Thank Rose for the suggestion, not me," Severus replied.

"Oh trust me," Hermione held up a parchment. "I will."

A pain shot up Severus' back. He winced.

Hermione lowered the document. "Are you feeling all right?"

Severus stood up. "I have felt worse."

Hermione stared at him.

Severus rubbed his lower back. "There is nothing wrong with me that a little stretching will not resolve."

"Are you in pain?"

"It is nothing more that a minor backache."

Hermione stood up. "The floor is far from comfortable."

"Indeed it is," he put his hands at his side. "Although I would imagine this is pleasurable compared to reading maps in the dirt."

"I do prefer this to camping," she admitted.

Severus exhaled. Hermione walked over to him and made a fist. Then she began to massage his back.

He relaxed. "Thank you."

"It is no problem at all," she answered.

For a minute, they were quiet.

"I am growing old, Hermione."

"So I've noticed."

He glared at her.

"I do not mean it in a bad way. I am only pointing out that if you weren't aging you would be six feet under right now," Hermione noted.

"True."

"But…."

"With all the talk of the Second Wizarding War and reliving those memories, it still feels bizarre having lived to be seventy years old," Severus admitted. "Not a minute passed by in which I expected to survive the Second Wizarding War.

"There were days I did not imagine surviving the war either," Hermione replied.

"Dumbledore never should have asked children to fight his battles."

"I made it through well enough."

"That you did."

Silence fell between them once more.

Severus spun around and embraced his wife. "I never imagined being this happy before or during the war. I firmly believed that reciprocated love was something I would never experience."

"Honestly, the hardest thing about this whole epidemic is watching you reliving those memories," Hermione replied. "It is gut-wrenching to see you convinced that nobody could ever love you, especially when the children and I love you so very much."

"I love you and the children more than I thought it was capable of loving any group of people." He kissed her lips.

"I know," she whispered.

"Whatever happens to me," Severus breathed. "Know that you have made me happier than I ever had a right to be."

"You have a right to be ecstatic," Hermione answered.

"Or so you say," Severus replied.

She brushed her lips against his. "For the record, you have made me happy as well. The best years of my life have been spent with you."

"I am glad to hear it," Severus whispered before capturing her lips again.

"I'll just leave these papers at the door."

Hermione and Severus broke apart from each other.

"No, no. Please feel free to continue. I was only dropping off these papers."

"There is no need to leave, Rose," Severus answered. "Your mother and I are more than happy to see you."

"I think you were happier to be in each other's presence," Rose replied as she took a small box out of her pocket.

"Oh don't be like that," Hermione rushed over and embraced Rose. "You know we are always very happy to see you."

"I am happy to see you as well," Rose replied as she wrapped her arms around her mother.

Severus approached them, his eyes focused on the small box in Rose's hand.

Rose broke away from Hermione before hugging Severus. "Hello Dad."

"Hello, Little One," he whispered.

She chuckled. "I am not Little One anymore."

"Until you find a way to become taller than six foot two, you will remain Little One."

"My height increasing potion is currently in development."

"I am sure it will be quite successful."

"Speaking of potions…"

Rose and Severus separated.

"Thank you so much for your suggestion that we turn internationally for clues to our amnesia epidemic," Hermione began. "It has opened so many new avenues for us. I believe you may be onto something."

"Do not thank me," Rose replied. "A dunderheaded student gave me the idea."

"Then I will thank the student," Hermione answered.

"I would not go that far," Rose replied, her expression the same of that as Severus when he was suffering a fool. "She does not deserve an ounce of gratitude for destroying one of my cauldrons."

Hermione laughed.

"Speaking of the amnesia epidemic," Rose pulled out her wand and set the box on the ground. After she tapped it with her wand, it grew into a stack of newspapers. "These are the papers from Germany. The ones from the United States are forthcoming."

"Thank you," Severus answered.

"It was little trouble at all," Rose replied. "The librarians were more than happy to lend the to me once I explained the nature of the amnesia epidemic."

"Have they experienced an amnesiac episode?"

"No."

"Did they mention any reports of amnesia?"

"No, they have not."

"You are certain of that?"

"Yes. According to the libraries who loaned me the papers, they had never heard of such an epidemic before. Still, they promised to pass along any new information they gained."

"I am glad to hear it."

Hermione picked up the papers, but Severus did not remove his eyes from his daughter. Rose gave him a small smile, but then looked down.

"Rose."

She dug her left foot into the ground.

"Rose, what is troubling you?"

She gulped. "I received something else in the mail."

"What?" Hermione asked.

Rose reached into her pocket and pulled out a parchment. She unfolded it and gave it to Severus. Hermione made her way over to him and craned her neck in order to better read it.

"Why would Percy want to speak with you personally about dropping the charges against me?" Severus asked.

"I do not know," Rose replied.

"What does he mean by, 'I want you to know all the facts before I drop the charges against Severus Snape?'" Hermione asked.

"I wish I knew," Rose replied.

Severus swallowed. "Did I only injure one auror?"

"Yes," Rose replied. "To my knowledge, only one auror was affected by your actions."

"Did I injure anyone else, someone who may be in a position of power?"

"Not anyone of whom I am aware."

Severus hummed.

"My only thought is that Percy wants to blackmail me. He may refuse to drop the charges against you unless we agree to drop the charges against Ronald," Rose replied.

Severus crumpled the letter and tossed it onto the bed. "That will never happen."

"He could delay your exoneration though," Rose began.

"If that occurs then Lucius will be more than happy to lend me his aid," Severus answered.

"True," Rose answered.

Severus put a hand on her shoulder. "Do not worry about me. All you need to do is make it clear to Mr. Weasley that you expect me to be exonerated without any conditions. That is all I ask."

"I can do that," Rose replied.

"I know you can," Severus answered.

The tension in Rose's body evaporated.

Severus gave her a reassuring grin, hoping there was nothing more to Percy's plan than a straightforward blackmailing scheme.