AN: Thank you all so much for the support! It means a lot to me!
Rose has never gone this long without speaking to me.
Severus stared at the paper as Hermione stoked the fire.
Green Bay Defeats Chicago in Tight Gobstones Tournament
From what Severus could deduce, the Americans were far more concerned with the local Gobstones teams than they were with any real news. Reading the American newspapers, one would swear the only global issue of any importance was the potential long-term effects of Gobstones gunk on the players.
His mind flashed to the last time Rose had won a Gobstones game. Her eyes glowed as she picked up the marbles and put them back into their black bag. He had vowed to defeat her next time, but a rematch had yet to be scheduled.
His eyes misted.
We have never gone a week without communication. Even as a Hogwarts student she would write to me at least three times a week. When she was at the University, I teased her about owning an apartment because much of her free time was spent in this mansion.
Now, I do not even know if she is well, if she is happy, or if she misses me too.
"That should be enough to heat the library," Hermione muttered before throwing in the last piece of wood.
Should I have visited her last Wednesday, as is our weekly tradition? I did not want to force myself on her, yet I may have added to her sense of abandonment. What should I have done?
"Severus, are you done with that paper?" Hermione asked.
He glanced up from it. "Excuse me?"
"Have you finished reading the paper?" she repeated. "It's okay if you aren't."
"No, I am quite done with it." He handed the paper over to her.
Hermione read the headline before perusing the other pages.
Rose is still be in emotional turmoil, yet what can I do? She wants nothing to do with me, or does she? Should I be with her right now, or does she never want to see my face again?
How can I be a good father to her?
"There's nothing in here," Hermione announced.
She lowered the paper. "Rose was right, there's nothing about an amnesiac epidemic in any of these international papers."
Severus' throat constricted at the sound of his daughter's name.
"This isn't an international issue," Hermione continued. "At least not from what I can tell."
"So there is something unique about Britain which is causing, or at the very least exacerbating, my condition."
Severus leaned back in his chair. "I haven't the foggiest clue as to what is so special about Great Britain."
"I don't know either," Hermione replied. "But something tells me it is a recent development."
"What type of recent development?"
"I wish I knew."
Hermione tapped her finger against the emerald carpet. "Perhaps Draco may have some ideas. At the very least Lucius would have a few connections which may be able to point us in the right direction."
"Assuming they can persuade any source to discuss anything other than our present family drama," Severus growled.
Hermione's lower lip quivered.
Severus picked up the crumpled Daily Prophet from the floor. He opened it to the front page.
Rose Snape a Recluse: Still Refuses to Give Interview
"I mean why would anyone want to discuss an amnesia epidemic when they can detail our family's implosion?" Severus growled.
She bowed her head.
"For seven years after the war, nobody could have cared less about my well-being. Now, I cannot so much as sip tea without somebody commenting on it."
"I am sorry."
"Yes, I suppose we are both sorry, sorry we ever decided to protect our daughter."
"We thought we were doing the right thing."
"Of course we did, but nobody believes us. We are the two worst parents in Wizarding Britain," Severus' voice rose with every sentence. "Perhaps that is why the world finds us so fascinating. Who wouldn't want a glimpse into the inner workings of such horrendous parents? Who wouldn't want to know how our children emerged with any goodness at all? The truth of our abysmal parenting is so riveting nobody will cease discussing it!"
"What do you want me to say to you?" Hermione snapped.
He closed his mouth.
"I know I screwed up by decided not to tell Rose the truth. I know what I did was wrong. I know I should not have asked you to go along with my deception." Tears came to her eyes. "What do you want me to do about it now?"
"You act like you're alone in all things, but I assure you that you are not the only one who misses our children," Hermione continued. "I miss them too."
"I know," Severus whispered.
Hermione's cheeks were damp. "I can't do this alone, Severus. I need you, perhaps now more than I ever have."
Severus scooped her into his arms. He kissed away her cheeks and whispered, "I apologize, Hermione. I am deeply sorry for causing you pain."
She gasped her air and wrapped her arms around him.
Together they sat in front of the fire, at a loss for their next course of action.
Rose picked at her roast beef before setting down her fork. After taking a sip of milk, she picked up her spoon. Frowning, she shifted her mashed potatoes from one end of her plate to another.
Scorpius turned his friend. She was more cloak than person. Her hair was greasy and matted, and her eyes were sunken. The lines on her face betrayed her ever-present scowl.
Rose spooned her peas, then set them atop her mashed potatoes.
Scorpius whispered into her ear, "You need to eat something."
"Rose please," Scorpius murmured. "You need to eat something."
Her frown deepened. "I am not hungry."
"I know you do not feel hungry at the moment," Scorpius continued. "But I promise you; you will feel better after you eat."
Rose dropped her spoon onto her plate.
"Please, eat," Scorpius continued. "You will feel better when you do."
Rose slammed a fist onto the table. "Are you a healer, or some other type of health expert?"
A few students stopped conversing and turned their attention to the Head Table.
"No, that is what I thought," Rose continued.
"You have to be hungry."
"I am not hungry." Rose argued. "One does not eat when one is not hungry."
More students turned their attention to the professors.
"Don't snap at me," Scorpius answered. "I am only trying to help you."
She stood. "You can help me by staying out of my business."
With that, she stalked out of the Dining Hall.
All eyes were on Scorpius. He removed his napkin from his lap and set it onto his plate. Then, he strolled out of the room as a confrontation had never occurred.
Behind him, the conversations resumed.
Scorpius made his way to the dungeon. Upon reaching the potions classroom, he flung open the door.
Rose snarled as she poked her head out of her quarters. "Why did you follow me?"
"I came to help you work through your pissy attitude," Scorpius answered in an even voice.
Rose grabbed the doorknob to her quarters. "You can help me by leaving immediately."
Scorpius grabbed the door frame. "I am not going anywhere."
"Leave now," Rose growled. "Or else"
"Or else what?" Scorpius demanded.
"Or else I will hex your balls off."
"Do you really believe in your mental state you could take on a Defense Against Dark Arts professor?"
"My dad taught me almost every dark spell known to Wizardkind. I could easily defeat you."
Scorpius pulled out his wand. "Very well then."
Rose put her hand on her wand, but did not remove it from her pocket.
"What are you waiting for?"
"I am waiting for Headmaster Longbottom to arrive and scold you for attempting to dual with me."
"If dueling you is the only way to bring you to your sense then I think he would approve of my actions."
Rose kept her hand over her wand.
He took a deep breath. "You don't really want to fight me."
Her eyes hardened.
"You want to write your parents."
Rose whipped out her wand. "Do not pretend to know what I want."
"Am I wrong?" Scorpius demanded.
Her wand remained pointed at him.
"Do you want to talk to your parents?" Scorpius asked.
"No," Rose replied. "There is nothing to say to them."
Scorpius stared at her.
"You miss them, don't you?"
Rose's voice was that of a little girl. "I miss them terribly."
Scorpius gave her a soft smile.
"It is quite complicated." Rose trudged back into her quarters. "Part of me wants to berate them, while the other part of me wants them to embrace me. Part of me wants to feel justified in being angry with them, whereas another part of me wants to bow at their feet and thank them for how wonderfully they raised me."
Scorpius followed her inside. "That does sound complicated."
Rose sank into her couch. "I want a relationship with Mum and Dad, but it is going to be different now that I know who I am."
"True," Scorpius admitted. "But perhaps your new relationship will be better."
Rose sniffed "How?"
"Well," Scorpius sat beside her on the couch. "It will be one based on truth. Everything will be on the table. That has to be a better and deeper relationship than constant lies."
"Perhaps," Rose replied.
Scorpius began to massage her back.
Her voice was just above a whisper. "There is another issue."
"What would that be?" Scorpius asked.
"There are thing I want to know, that I need to know, yet I am terrified of asking my parents, or letting them know I even have such questions," Rose admitted.
Scorpius rubbed her back harder. "What would those questions be?"
Rose locked eyes with him.
"What do you know about Ron Weasley?"