AN: Thank you for the support! It is deeply appreciated!
What do I say to him?
Rose paced from one side of her sitting room to the other. She clutched her notes in her sweaty palms. Despite the warming spells she had cast on the room, she shivered.
Conversing with Dad has always come so easily. A month ago we spoke as if we were best friends. Yet now I am attempting to make peace with my heritage, and am still debating on whether or not to meet with Arthur. How can I ask for his advice without making him feel as if I am betraying him by seeing the Weasleys?
Madame Serpent hissed.
Rose stopped in front of the cage. She watched the snake coil and flicker its tongue.
Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way. I may need to interact with Dad not as a confused daughter, but as a neutral fellow researcher. If we keep things professional then we will accomplish our goal.
Yet how can one be neutral when so many emotions are involved?
Before she could meditate further on her dilemma, the fireplace erupted. Rose gulped before strolling over to the flames.
"May I enter?"
Rose backed away from the fireplace.
Severus stepped across the hearth and began to brush himself off. Rose watched his robes swish around. Rose couldn't help but feel a pang of envy. Despite their similar wardrobes, she was never able to appear quite as imposing as her dad.
Then again, did anyone expect a Weasley to inspire awe by walking into a room?
"Are you well, Rose?"
"Are you well?"
Rose shrugged. "I suppose so."
Severus looked at her.
Rose squirmed and diverted her eyes into the ground. If she did not make eye contact with him she might be able to get by with saying nothing, though this had never worked in the past.
Over half a minute passed.
"Rose, what is wrong?" Severus drawled.
Rose opened her mouth only to close it a few seconds later. It was clear from his expression that "nothing" was not a viable answer."
"Fine," she sighed. "I have not been sleeping well, but over these past two days I have attempted to eat better. Also, I took a shower today, so my hair is less greasy."
Severus said nothing.
She locked eyes with him. "I thought you would appreciate my less than greasy hair. Even if my wardrobe is black, it would be best for us if…"
He raised an eyebrow.
"Never mind." She held out the documents. "Let's, let's just look at my notes."
Severus didn't move.
"Are you not going to take them?"
He stood in place.
"Mum may not have much time," Rose continued. "Take the bloody notes and read over them so we can go about saving her life."
"You are in no condition to conduct research, much less brew."
Rose dropped the parchments.
"You are too distracted to conduct any research tonight."
"No I am not."
Severus crossed his arms over his chest.
She scowled and picked up the papers, "If you do not want to help then I will go into the lab myself and brew the potential cure."
"You will do no such thing," Severus replied.
Rose glared at him. "We are running out of time. Mum may be dying, and instead of looking over my notes you are standing in front of my fireplace staring at me."
"We will be unable to save your mother if you are miscalculating the formulas and adding the wrong ingredients to the cauldron," Severus answered.
Boiling tears threatened to trickle down Rose's cheeks.
Severus' expression softened. "What is troubling you, Little One?"
Rose's that constricted. "I am afraid you will be upset if I tell you."
"Right now I am upset because I know you are suffering, and I am at a loss for what to do. I will be much calmer if you allow me to help you," Severus replied.
Rose shook. "You are such a wonderful Dad. I never want you to feel as if you are anything less than outstanding."
"I am not perfect as we both know," Severus answered. "I have made more than my fair share of mistakes."
"I know," Rose's voice was soft. "At least you always try to be a good father. That is more than I can say for others."
"Do you truly care about what is troubling me?"
"You know that I do."
"I suppose there is no easy way to say this."
"No easy way to say what?"
Rose took a shaky breath. "Arthur Weasley contacted me a few days ago."
There was no surprise in her father's expression.
"He wants to have a relationship with me."
Severus said nothing.
"I think," Rose shook. "I think I want to speak with him."
"Then do so," Severus answered.
"You will not be upset if I do so?" Rose choked.
"No," Severus whispered. "I will not be upset if you feel you need to speak with your biological relatives."
"What if I decide to speak to Ron Weasley?"
Severus folded his hands.
"Sometimes," Rose swallowed. "Sometimes I think about meeting him."
"Why?" Severus asked in an even tone.
"He is a part of me. Some would say he is half of who I am," Rose replied.
Severus pursed his lips.
"You are angry," Rose began. "You are angry with me, and think I am being a dunderhead."
"No," Severus answered. "I am not upset with you."
"It is written all over your face. You are upset with me…"
"I am terrified for you."
She closed her mouth.
"I am terrified that you are searching for acceptance, and you will find none," Severus continued. "I am terrified that you believe you will find your identity, but all you will find is a selfish bastard."
Rose held up the edge of her black cape. "Are you saying that this is me?"
"Yes," Severus answered.
"I'm not a Snape," Rose argued. "Not like Victor and Violet are anyway."
"You are very much a Snape, and we both know it."
"Yet my DNA says..."
"Nobody in our family cares what a bloody DNA spell says. You are just as much a Snape as both of your siblings are."
Rose's lower lip quivered.
"I scarcely know what to say," Severus continued. "I have lied to you for years, and have created this identity crisis. I would love nothing more than to make this disappear so you could be confident in who you are again."
"I wish you could make this disappear too," Rose admitted.
"No, I may not be able to undo this damage, try as I might. All I can do then is support whichever decision you make," Severus replied. "If you chose to see Ronald, then I will support you."
"What do you mean by support?" Rose asked.
"I will not tell you are wrong in searching for him. I will not prevent you from seeing him. Most importantly, if you need someone to speak with after seeing him," Severus took a ragged breath. "Then I will be a listening nonjudgmental ear, should you chose to seek me out."
Rose shook. "You actually mean that."
"Of course I do," Severus answered.
Rose wiped her eyes. "In your honest opinion, am I being stupid in seeking out Ronald?"
"Then what do you think of my desire to see him?"
"I think," Severus paused. "I think you are a woman who is seeking the truth about herself. Nobody could ever fault you for that, least of all me."
"If you were in my position, would you seek out Ronald?" Rose asked.
"I do not know," Severus admitted. "Almost anyone would have been a better father than Tobias Snape. It could have come as a relief that I was unrelated to him, though I would have been infuriated that someone had left me in his care."
"That is not my situation at all. You are not a terrible dad by any stretch of the imagination," Rose replied.
"I have tried my best to be a good father anyway."
"That is my dilemma though. I do not want you to feel as if I no longer consider you my dad because I want to know who my biological relatives are."
"I know you consider me your dad, just as I will always consider you my daughter."
"If I talk to the Weasleys, you will not feel betrayed?"
"No," Severus answered. "I will not feel betrayed."
"Then how will you fee?" Rose asked.
"I will feel as if my daughter is coming to terms with a difficult reality, and that she needs me more than ever," Severus answered.
Rose choked. "All of that is true."
Severus stepped closer to her. "Do you want my honest advice?"
"Any advice is appreciated," Rose replied.
"I have an idea of how you are feeling. The Wizarding World puts such an emphasis on bloodlines. Even if it is unacceptable to express pureblood supremacist views, we still use terms such as pureblood, halfblood, and muggleborn to identify ourselves."
"As you well know, at one point, I was obsessed with my biology. I believed my mother's side of the family gave me legitimacy in the eyes of the Wizarding World. Once I discovered this was not the case, I had made a complete mess of my life. Had I accepted myself for who I was instead of seeking validation because of my heritage, I would have had a much happier adolescence."
Severus put a hand on Rose's shoulder. She did not recoil.
"Rose, I know that all of this is quite confusing," Severus replied. "All I will say is that before you meet your biological relatives, before you become too invested in the Weasleys, think carefully about the price of admission into that family. It is much steeper than you realize."
"How high would you say the price is?" Rose asked.
"I am not the best person to ask," Severus answered.
"Then who is?"
"If you want to understand what life with the Weasleys is like, then you should ask your mother."
"Yet she is ill, and should not be under stress."
Severus squeezed her shoulder. "We are stressed when you will not allow us to help you. We are stressed when you are hurting and there is little we can do to help. We are not stressed when we are helping you find a viable solution to your problems."
"Thank you," Rose croaked. "Thank you for not making me feel idiotic for wanting to see Ronald, and thank you for not becoming irate with me."
"I would never become irate with you for coming to me with an important problem," Severus replied.
"I know that," Rose answered.
Severus looked at her. Rose sniffed before embracing him. He pressed her against his chest.
"I love you, Little One," Severus whispered. "Regardless of what you decide to do, I will always be there for you."
"I know," Rose whispered back. "I know you will always be there, just like I know you will always be my Dad."
Severus kissed her on the top of the head, thankful he'd found the right words to say.