AN: Thank you all so much for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
I have a granddaughter.
Arthur reread the article for the fourth time that evening. His heart raced faster with each word.
I have a granddaughter.
Oh Merlin, I have a granddaughter!
"Have you seen my soup ladle?" Molly called from the kitchen.
How is Rose taking this news? Does she need someone to talk to? Is there any part of her that wants to get to know me?
"There's a chill in the air, just perfect for my world famous tomato soup."
What is Rose's favorite food? Would she be receptive to having dinner with me? How would she feel about attending a Weasley family brunch? Do I need to buy her a chair at the table?
"Arthur, are you listening?"
Perhaps brunch at the Burrow is a bit much at this early stage, but we did have one lunch together, which was quite lovely. Granted, she was trying to solicit information from me about my illness and made it clear that she had very little interest in maintaining contact with me. Yet that was before we knew the truth about our connection? Is it too much to hope for that we could build some type of relationship?
Would Severus and Hermione ever allow us to form a bond?
Rose is twenty-five now. Severus and Hermione have no say over how much time she spends with her biological family. I would be able to form a bond with her and not worry about their interference.
Oh God, I would give anything for Rose to see me as her grandfather.
He covered his ears and winced. "Merlin Molly, what do you want now?"
"I want you to tell me where the ladle is."
"Geesh woman, I don't know."
"Well you should know. You were the last to use it."
"I haven't touched you ladle or anything else in that kitchen."
"Yes you did. You used the ladle to prop up your muggle fish tank last month."
"Then I realized it wouldn't work, so I handed it back to you. I have no idea what you did with it after that."
Molly let out an exaggerated sigh.
"Right now, we have more important things to be concerned with than a bloody ladle," Arthur answered.
"Oh, so now eating is not important," Molly snapped.
"Of course eating is important," Arthur replied. "But it isn't as important as our granddaughter."
Molly gasped. "Is there something wrong with one of our grand babies?"
"No," a smile graced Arthur's face. "On the contrary, we've just gained a new one."
"A new one!" Molly exclaimed. "I, I had no idea anyone was expecting. Did Angelina and George reunite? Is Audrey pregnant? Does Ginny want to give Orion a child closer to his age?"
"To my knowledge, nobody is pregnant," Arthur answered.
Molly crossed her arms over her chest. "If nobody is expecting then how can we have a new grand baby?"
"Ron has a child," Arthur answered.
"How can Ron have a child if he is sterile?"
"He had one before his untimely accident."
"Stop speaking in riddles and tell me about my new grand baby."
Arthur handed the paper over to her.
Upon seeing the headline, she growled, "I should've known the Snapes would pull a stunt like this."
"Excuse me?" Arthur asked.
Molly pointed to the paper. "Isn't it obvious? The Snapes want to draw everyone's attention to Ron's kidnapping charges in order to discredit Percy."
"How is claiming that Rose Snape is Rose Weasley accomplish that?" Arthur asked.
"The headline is clearly misleading. The whole article will be about how Ron was crazy to even consider Rose might be his. I have no idea why it was even allowed to be published! We'll need to contact Percy about this…"
"Would you read the whole article?" Arthur snapped.
Molly huffed. "I see no reason to read such lies."
"Fine," Arthur retorted. "I'll give you a summary. It says that Rose Snape is actually Rose Weasley."
Molly burst out laughing.
Arthur glared at her.
"Look, I know you feel an affection for the girl-only Merlin knows why-but she is in no way a Weasley. Rose Snape only wishes she was a Weasley. She will never be one of us," Molly answered.
"Of course she is one of us," Arthur replied. "And we will treat her as such."
"Arthur, I know you've been harboring the delusion that Rose is your granddaughter for quite some time now…"
"Would you shut up and read the article?"
"Fine," Molly straightened the paper and continued to read it.
Arthur watched his wife. At first she pursed her lips, but then her eyes grew. Her face went from pale to beat red. Then she threw the paper across the room.
"THAT LYING BITCH!"
"She, she kept us from our granddaughter! She denied us access to her, and when Ron wanted to spend time with Rose, she made him look crazy! That lying, conniving bitch!"
"It wasn't quite like that," Arthur began.
"Oh yes it was," Molly raised a fist. "First thing in the morning, I'm going right up to Hermione Snape and giving her a piece of my mind!"
"I don't think Hermione will let you into her mansion."
"Well I am going to find a way to speak with her. She lied to my son, and now it's time for her to pay the price!"
"Ron is just as much at fault as she is," Arthur cut in.
"How is Ron responsible for any of this?" Molly yelled.
"He told us he hadn't so much as seen Hermione naked, when in reality he had been carrying on a sexual relationship with her for years."
"They were not active for years. They were only active once, twice at most."
Arthur put his head in his hands.
"Clearly she enticed him into lying to cover her sorry arse."
"Ron was not forced to lie."
"Poor Ronniekins," Molly sniffed. "He must be so distraught right now. All this time he's been trying to tell us that Rose Snape was his, but we refused to listen. I...I refused to listen. I never should have doubted Ronald."
"It was easy not to believe that fathering Rose was a delusion. He denied that Rose was his on numerous occasions."
"He was under duress at those times."
"Do you truly believe that?"
"I do actually."
Arthur shook his head.
Molly spoke to him as if he were a four year old. "Hermione Snape, Rose's mother, told everyone that Rose was Snape's spawn."
"Don't call her a spawn," Arthur snapped. "She is a precious child, and our granddaughter."
"Fine, precious granddaughter," Molly's voice dripped of condescension. "Ron, our son, tried to explain that Rose was his, but we did not listen. Now, we have a Weasley who thinks she is a Snape. This must be fixed immediately."
"Would you listen to yourself?" Arthur asked. "That is not at all what happened."
Molly bit her tongue.
"Ron was ecstatic when he broke up with Hermione. Within days he was seducing other women, and telling every reporter within earshot how happy he was to be free of that relationship."
"He was distraught over her affair with Snape. Clearly he acted on those emotions, and behaved poorly."
"Fine, but when Hermione announced her pregnancy, he denied that Rose could ever be his. It wasn't until he learned of Rose's trust fund that he wanted anything to do with her."
"He regrets his actions."
"He cost us our granddaughter!"
Molly stepped back.
"Ron's callous behavior of Hermione cost us our granddaughter! If he had behaved like a man and married Hermione the second she announced her pregnancy, then Rose would have been raised as a Weasley."
"No, if Hermione hadn't been a tart then she would have known who the father of her child was."
"If Hermione's loyalty was in question, then Ron should have demanded a DNA test. As it stands now though, I think Ron shirked his responsibility as a father and left Hermione to fend for herself."
"Ron was too embarrassed to ask for a DNA test," Molly replied. "I mean, I would be humiliated if you cheated on me with the greasy git."
"Who cares about how humiliated Ron was? He was acting like a little boy instead of being a man!" Arthur exclaimed.
"Fine, Ron may have behaved somewhat irresponsibly…."
"My God, would you listen to yourself?"
Molly's mouth hung open.
"We have made excuse after excuse after excuse for Ronald, and the truth remains the same: he is an irresponsible boy who is in desperate need of growing up," Arthur argued.
"Ron made a mistake."
"He made several mistakes, all of which cost me my granddaughter."
"No, Hermione and Severus Snape stole your granddaughter from you. Ron tried to get her back, but they thwarted him."
"Regardless of whether or not Severus was aware that Rose was his, we should be thankful for him."
"Now who isn't making sense?" Molly exclaimed. "We should be blasting Severus for stealing our precious granddaughter. Why, the second I finish with Hermione I'm going to pay him a visit and remind him exactly who killed Bellatrix!"
"Do you truly believe you could take on Severus Snape in a duel?"
"I do actually. I am going to hex off his balls..."
"You won't get within ten meters of him, and we both know it."
"Well somebody need to show those Snapes they can't just run around taking things from people."
"The Snapes didn't take anything from Ronald."
"They stole his daughter!"
"No, Hermione reached out the Severus, and he agreed to help her."
"Hermione was desperate. She was alone and pregnant in a world where unwed mothers are outcasts. I, I cannot imagine how terrified she must have been when Ron ran out on her. Severus was the only person willing to raise that child," Arthur's voice softened. "He was the only one who cared at all for Hermione and Rose."
"We would have cared if we had known the truth," Molly argued.
"No," Arthur shook his head. "We didn't care. We didn't care one iota if Rose was our grandchild or not. We never questioned Ron's version of events, we made Hermione's pregnancy a living hell, and as a result our granddaughter wants nothing to do with us."
"This is all Hermione and Severus Snape's fault…"
Molly stomped her foot. "Do not speak to me in that way."
"No," Arthur shouted. "I am so tired of hearing excuses and stories which have no basis in reality. Ron's daughter hates us, and it's all our fault."
"No it's all…"
Arthur glowered at Molly. She closed her mouth.
"You," Arthur pointed his finger at her. "You are your babying of Ron are the most to blame here."
"Me?" Molly yelled.
"Yes you. You shouted over Hermione when she tried to explain herself. Every time Hermione was in earshot, you taunted her, and I," Arthur sighed "I let you do it. A few times, I even joined you in insulting Hermione."
"Don't you see what the Snapes are trying to do?" Molly asked.
"What," Arthur slouched further into his chair. "What are the Snapes trying to do?"
"They want to divide us. They want us at each others throats so we can't support Percy and Ron through their difficult times," there was a determination in Molly's eyes. "Well, I won't let them do it. They can take this DNA test and shove it. We refuse to be divided, am I right?"
Arthur stood and pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Are you with me?" Molly asked.
"I'm with Rose," Arthur answered.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means," Arthur trudged down the hall. "It means I'm spending all night in the guest room again."
"What?" Molly hissed.
"There are some muggle inventions I must examine, and I'd imagine it will take me all night to complete my work," Arthur answered.
"All night?" Molly shouted. "You want to spend all night working?"
Arthur slammed the door behind him.
Molly was yelling, but Arthur could not make out a word she said. Instead, his entire focus was on a speck of dirt on the wall.
Can Rose ever forgive me for my behavior?