Chapter 1: The Truth Revealed
Severus Snape was sitting in his office at Hogwarts signing his last few pieces of paperwork before he could go home for the holidays. It was the beginning of the first week of summer and he was glad he could get some time away from the students who enjoyed making his life harder every day.
There was a knock on his door, but he didn’t stop signing as he called out for the person to enter. He heard the door open and close, and someone walking towards his desk but still didn’t look up from his paperwork.
“Severus, are you almost done with your paperwork?” Minerva asked her adopted son.
“Yes, I just have to sign this last one and then we can go. I sent Bitsy with all of my belongings already.” Severus replied as he signed the last piece of parchment and tapped his wand against the pile of filled out paperwork, sending them to the Headmasters’ Office. “Is Albus joining us at any point this summer?” He asked as he finally looked up at his mother.
“I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Severus nodded and stood from his seat, going over to the door of his office and casting his usual locking charms before heading over to the fireplace where his mother was waiting for him. She went through the floo to their home first. He dimmed the light in the room, stepped into the fireplace, dropped the handful of floo powder and called out his destination, “Moon Cottage,” and then he was gone.
That night Severus entered his bedroom to get ready for bed to find an envelope on his bed. He walked over and picked the envelope up, it had his name on it, in very familiar handwriting.
He was confused. Lily was dead. There was no way she could be writing to him.
He sat on his bed and turned the envelope over, unfolding it and pulling out the letter within. He unfolded the parchment and leaned against the ebony headboard to read it.
My Dearest Severus,
I know you’re probably wondering why I am writing to you, and how I am writing to you. I put this letter on a time delay, to be delivered at the beginning of the summer holidays in the year 1991 based on some conditions.
The first condition being that I am dead, in which case I am sorry that I am not there, but know that I love you, always. The second being that the memory charm placed on you and several others by Albus hasn’t been lifted as he promised he would have done had I died.
This probably confuses you, but yes, just under ten years ago now Albus placed a memory charm on you and some of our friends/family so that you would forget certain things so you, myself and our child would be safe throughout the rest of the war. He promised that he would undo it and return your real memories in the case the I died or the war came to an end, but he obviously hasn’t otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this letter. And you may notice that I said ‘our child’, currently you may believe that my child is James’, that is what you were made to believe in these false memories, but that is not true. My daughter, Rosalie Eileen Lily Evans, is also your daughter. You used to call her Rosie.
I know you probably don’t believe me at this point, which is why I created a charm which would give you your true memories back, as well as return the memories of others who had had their memories changed. The charm is memorias revelare tuo verum est and you will need to repeat this five times for it to work.
When your true memories have returned I need you to find our daughter and look after her. I have reason to believe that Albus may leave her with my sister if I die, in which case she will be at number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Find her, raise her, love her, cherish her. You were such a wonderful father to her in that year that we were together, I know you will be a wonderful father to her from now on.
But also keep an eye on Albus, I don’t think he is as trustworthy as he portrays himself to be. Especially since you are reading this letter because he failed to complete his promise.
Most of the things I own are in a vault at Gringotts waiting for you, as well as some of Rosalie’s things. Just speak to Griphook and he will take you there. Also, James has made Rosalie his heir, so you will have to speak to Griphook about that as well.
Just remember that I love you Severus, and I always will.
Severus was still slightly confused when he came to the end of the letter, but he said the charm five times anyway, curious as to whether what was written was true, Lily had never lied to him before, why would she lie to him about something like this?
As soon as he had finished the fifth chant he doubled over as his head was filled with memories he hadn’t had for nearly ten years. Memories of Lily forgiving him in their fifth year. Of them dating since sixth year. Of the Marauders apologising and them becoming friends. Of the day he proposed to Lily. Of their wedding day. Of the day she told him she was pregnant. Of the times where their daughter kicked in Lily’s belly. Of the day Rosie was born. Of her first year of life. Of her first birthday. Of the day he lost everything.
He was panting on his bed, trying to sort through the memories, when his mother knocked on the door and entered.
“Severus, what just happened?” She asked, sitting on the bed, clutching her head as she also tried to sort through the onslaught of new memories.
He just handed her the letter, which she read.
“We need to go and get her. God knows how she is being treated with Petunia and her whale of a husband.” Severus said once he had sorted through his memories. Minerva nodded in response.
“Let’s go now.” She said.
They stood and left the house, walking to the edge of the wards in silence, and as soon as they were outside the wards they apparated to the house Rosalie was in.
Severus knocked on the door of number 4 Privet Drive and it wasn’t long before they heard a grumbling man come down the stairs and open the door. They were face to face with Vernon Dursley who had just realised that there were two… wizards on the other side of his door.
“What the hell do you freaks think you are doing? Knocking on my door at this time of night. I was just about to go to bed.” Vernon growled.
“It’s good to see you too, Mr Dursley.” Severus started sarcastically. “However, we are just here to collect my daughter, and then we will be on our way, you won’t ever have to see us again.”
“And who is your daughter? There aren’t any little girls in this house.”
“Don’t lie. My daughter happens to be your niece, unfortunately for her, and I know that she is living here. So tell me where she is or I will force myself in and hex you a few times before finding her myself.” Severus threatened, pointing his wand at the trembling man.
“She’s at a friends’ house for the night.” Vernon whimpered, staring at the wand, scared.
Severus pushed himself into the home, his mother followed behind him. “Point me Rosalie Evans.” His wand moved in the palm of his hand to point at the cupboard under the stairs. The door of which had a large lock on.
He turned and growled at Vernon who was glaring at them. “Why does my wand tell me that my daughter is in the cupboard under the stairs?” He spat.
“Obviously your wand is stupid. I told you, she is at her friends’ house.”
Severus turned back to the cupboard, wandlessly and wordlessly unlocked the door, and opened it.
What he found, after casting a silent 'lumos' so he was able to see into the dark cupboard, broke his heart.
His daughter, his tiny daughter, was curled up on the floor wearing rags that were more than twice the size of her. She was bloodied and bruised. Her body was skeletal. There were burn marks on her arms. She appeared to be sleeping. There were tear tracks on her cheeks. Her long black hair was greasy and tangled, it also had traces of blood in it. He knelt next to her small frame and, as gently as he could, lifted her out of the cupboard and into his arms. She whimpered but stayed asleep. He saw the blood scattered on the walls of the cupboard, and the floor. He saw the bucket of what could only be urine and other bodily products in the corner. He saw the small piece of paper with the words ‘Rosalie’s Room’ on it. He saw the small stuffed wolf hiding under the shelf and summoned it, recognising it as the toy that Remus gave her as a baby. He gave it to his daughter who clung to it right away, still asleep as she did so.
Slowly, so as not to jostle his daughters’ injured body too much, he stood with her in his arms. As soon as his mother, who had been standing with her wand pointed at Vernon Dursley, saw her adopted granddaughter she gasped and growled at the whale of a man who had dared to hurt her precious grandchild.
Severus glared at him as well. He kicked the door to the cupboard shut and wandlessly and wordlessly spelled it to remain shut to everyone who wasn’t an Auror, Severus, or his mother.
“Now, I am going to take my daughter home, where I am going to heal her and look after her the way she should have been looked after her all these years. I have spelled the door to the cupboard so that it can only be opened by an Auror, myself, or my mother, and I am going to return to make sure you are punished for what you have done to my baby. I am going to do a complete diagnostic exam on her to show us everything that you have ever done to harm her physically, and we can quite easily find out what you have done to her mentally and emotionally as well, although, judging by your very unpleasant welcome we can guess that you called her a ‘freak’ among other things. With any hope you will be going to Azkaban, along with your wife depending on what she did to my daughter. And your son, well, depending on what he did to her also, may also be punished in some way. I have also put a ward around the house so that you can’t leave for extended periods of time. By that I mean anything longer than twenty four hours. I am not letting you or your family escape being punished for hurting my child. Mum, let’s go.” He led Minerva out of the house and to the apparation point where they apparated home and sped to the house in a hurry.
Severus placed his injured daughter gently on his bed and instantly started casting the diagnostic spell.
“Mum, I need you to go to my potions lab and grab me my healing bag. I then need you to get me a bowl of warm water, some flannels, and one of your looser night gowns which you can shrink so it will fit her.” He said as the parchment and quill writing all of his daughters’ ailments kept growing.
Minerva nodded and left the room in a hurry.
Severus magically removed his daughters’ outer layer of clothing, keeping her underwear on, and what he saw nearly made the tears that were gathering in his eyes spill over the edge. She was so skinny you could count her ribs, her arms and legs were basically twigs. She was covered in bruises, burns and welts, some of which were bleeding, but most of which were scars.
When Minerva arrived with his bag and the bowl of water he asked for he started cleaning the blood off his daughter, Minerva gently lifting her into a sitting position so he could clean her back which was even more covered in scars, welts and bruises. He magically cleaned her long black hair and had Minerva tie it into a high bun so it wouldn’t get in the way.
He rubbed bruise balm on her bruises, magically sealed her open wounds before rubbing scar balm into her scars, it wouldn’t get rid of all of them but it would get rid of some.
He rubbed burn balm into her burns. And then he looked at the diagnostic results, which had finally stopped growing.
He tried to contain his fury over what had happened to his daughter over the past ten years. She had received hundreds of bruises since she was placed with the Dursleys, starting the night she was placed with them. They started whipping her at three and had received a lot of welts since then. They had started burning various parts of her body at four. They had given her five concussions over the years, the first being when she was five. They had started drowning her at five also, leading to damaged lungs which is the cause of her deep, ragged breathing. They have broken a number of bones in her body since she was five as well, some of which hadn’t healed correctly and would need to be reset. She was severely malnourished, the height of an eight year old. She would need a nutrient potion three times a day, one with each meal, and snacks to go between the meals. They had also never sought out treatment for her when she was sick. It seems that she is only alive because her magic is keeping her alive and healing her as much as it could.
He put a light sleeping spell on her so she wouldn’t wake up during the re-breaking and mending of the bones that weren’t properly aligned. When that was done he spelled a nutrient potion into her stomach, along with a pain reliever potion. He also spelled into her stomach a potion that would mend her lungs and make breathing easier for her.
He magically dressed her in the night gown that Minerva brought with her, and that was all he could do for her until she woke up and he knew how she was feeling. He knew there was some damage to her spine as well, but he couldn’t do anything about it until she was awake and he knew how she felt. He conjured an armchair next to the bed and sat in it, not noticing Minerva do the same on the other side of his bed as he stared at his sleeping daughter, taking in her looks. Her skin was pale, something she inherited from both parents, she had his high cheek bones, his hair colour, although Lily’s waves, thankfully she had Lily’s small straight nose. He knew that as a baby she grew into having Lily’s eyes as well, he wondered if they were still that bright shade of green. She had his long fingers, that were still clutching the stuffed wolf. She was perfect. The perfect mixture of himself and Lily.
They heard the floo go off downstairs.
“Severus! Minerva! Are you home?” The familiar voice of Remus Lupin called up the stairs.
Minerva left to bring their guest upstairs and he, gently, held onto his daughters cool, pale hand. Soon Minerva and Remus entered the room and Remus stared at his sleeping goddaughter on the bed, sinking into the armchair Minerva conjured for him next to Severus’ as he saw the scars, burns and bruises that littered her delicate body.
“What happened to her?” Remus whispered.
“She was left with Petunia and her whale of a husband.”
That was all Severus needed to say for Remus to realise what happened to his beloved goddaughter.
“Where are they?” He growled.
“That doesn’t matter right now. They’ll get what’s coming to them eventually. I’ve put a ward on their house to stop them from leaving, and put a ward on the place they kept her to stop them from tampering with it. Right now we just have to make sure Rosie is okay.” Severus replied.
“Who left her with them?” Remus breathed, trying to get a hold of his anger.
“Do you even have to ask? It was the man who conveniently forgot to return our memories to us. You know, the man I call father.” Severus sneered. “And as much as I would like to go and give him a piece of my mind, right now I am going to stay with my daughter and make sure she is okay.”
Remus just nodded and went back to watching his goddaughter sleep, thankful that he had had his memories returned and that his goddaughter and best friend were back in his life.
Chapter 2: Awakenings and Confrontations
Rosalie awakens and starts getting to know her new family after finding out the truth. Severus confronts Albus about the Dursleys and finds out some unsettling truths.
This chapter includes Dumbledore bashing/manipulative Dumbledore. If you don't like then don't read. Or you could keep reading the story as he may start to redeem himself, possibly.
It was six o’clock in the morning when Rosalie started to awaken. Severus was the only one awake, Minerva and Remus had gone to bed, Minerva in her room and Remus in the one he used before their memories were altered, he had a short nap but he was too worried for his daughter to properly sleep. He was staring at her, holding her hand as he sat forward in his chair, brushing his hand through her hair which they had taken out of the bun. He watched as she shifted in her sleep, her eyelids flickering.
Then she opened her bright green eyes, flinching as she realised someone was touching her small, fragile body.
“Hey, it’s alright. You’re safe here. No one is going to hurt you here.” Severus said gently as her panic slowly lessened.
She turned to look at him, her eyes wide with confusion and slight fear.
“Who are you?” She asked, her voice croaky.
“I am Severus Snape. You are my daughter. I’m sorry I couldn’t get you out of there sooner, but I didn’t have my memories. I didn’t know about you being my daughter until yesterday. Your grandma and I came for you as soon as we got our memories back. I’m sorry you were placed with them, Rosie. I’m sorry you were hurt.” He told her, still brushing a hand through her soft hair.
“Where am I?”
“Moon Cottage. It is where your grandma and I live, you used to live here too, for the first year of your life. But then we had our memories changed to protect you and your mother. There was a war, you see, and the bad man wanted me to fight for him, but I refused, and he wanted you and your mum dead. So we all changed our memories and you and your mum went to stay with a friend for protection. But the bad man found you, and killed your mum and our friend. Then he tried to kill you, but it wouldn’t work. It seems your mum cast a protection of some kind on you, so you didn’t die. That is why you have your scar.”
“I was told my parents died in a car crash.” She said, tears filling her eyes, but there was a glimmer of hope in them as well. As if she hoped that he was really her father so that she would actually have a family.
“The Dursley’s lied to you, Little Snake. Lily and James were killed by the Dark Lord. The darkest wizard of all time.”
“Wizard? Magic isn’t real. I am a freak, and I do freaky things.” That comment broke the mans’ heart.
“You are not a freak. The Dursley’s lied to you. Magic is real. You are a witch, like your mum and grandma. I am a wizard. In September you will start at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Which is where I work, I teach Potions. Your grandma also works there, she teaches Transfiguration. All of those things you did as a child, that was accidental magic, all magical children do it. It certainly isn’t freaky, and you are not a freak. I will continue to tell you that until you believe me, Little Snake.”
“One of my nicknames for you. I’m a Slytherin, you see, that is my House at Hogwarts, the symbol of which is a snake.” He explained with a small smile on his face. Her lips twitched in response, as if wanting to smile. “I also call you Rosie on occasion. How are you feeling? Are you in pain? Is there any part of your body that you can’t feel or move?” He asked, not bothering to hide his concern.
“I’m slightly sore. And my legs feel weird. But other than that I think I’m okay.”
“Can you move your legs?”
She tried to move her legs, but she couldn’t, so she shook her head.
“But you can feel them? They aren’t numb?”
“No, I can feel them, but they feel weird. I don’t know how to describe the feeling exactly.”
“Okay.” He ran some more diagnostic spells on her spine and legs that would go slightly more in depth about those areas than was shown on the more general scan. When it was done he grabbed the parchment from the air and looked at the results, not before realising his daughter was staring at him and his display of magic in awe.
“Will I be able to do that some day?” She asked in awe.
“If you work hard in school and do well in your exams you can certainly do that some day. Although you have to be either a Healer, Medi-Witch, or a Potions Master in order to perform those particular spells. I am a Potions Master, a fully trained Healer, a Dueling Master and a Defence Master. At the school I teach Potions, make Potions for the Hospital Wing, and help Madame Pomfrey when help is needed. On the side I have also helped out at St Mungo’s, the Wizarding Hospital in London, invented Potions, and more. I was also the one who helped your mum give birth to you, because during the war your mum didn’t trust anyone else with her safety, or yours, except maybe Madame Pomfrey, but she doesn’t have a full Healers’ qualification as she is a Medi-Witch, meaning she isn’t trained to be a midwife, unlike me. The only thing I’m not trained in is Mind Healing.” He explained, happy that his daughter seemed to be taking an interest in what he was saying. He smiled before continuing, “Thankfully you aren’t paralysed. However, there is some slight damage to one of the nerves in your spine, which I can fix easily with a potion that I will make when either your grandma or your godfather wake up. As for your legs, however, there is some damage to the muscles, hence your inability to move them. However, I can make a salve which will help and I will give you some exercises to help as well. I’d say that within about a month you should be able to walk properly again.” He said before taking a pain relieving potion out of his bag and explaining what it was to her as he helped her sit up against some pillows which he placed against the headboard so she could drink it.
She breathed a sigh of relief as the pain left her body. She looked around the room, looking at the light grey walls, the ebony bed frame, the dark green sheet underneath her and the light grey, woolen throw that covered her legs. There was a dark wooden door to her left that she presumed led to the hallway. A set of double wooden doors opposite the bed that she presumed was the wardrobe. There was a single dark wooden door next to those that she guessed may lead to an en-suite. There was a dark wooden bedside cabinet on either side of the bed. There was a large window to the right of her, covered by dark grey curtains. There was a fireplace, next to the door she presumed led to the hallway, which was currently lit providing some light and warmth to the room.
Severus stood and walked to the curtains on the window, opening them and allowing his daughter to see the large field surrounded by forrest that lay outside. He then returned to his seat next to the bed and took her small, pale hand in his.
“How is your breathing? Are you struggling?” He asked gently.
“No. I’m breathing better than I have in ages.”
“Good. Now, what is your favourite colour?” He asked, smiling at her confused look.
“Why do you need to know what my favourite colour is?” She replied, tilting her head to the side slightly in her confusion.
“So I can decorate your bedroom, Little Snake. You know, your mother used to tilt her head to the side when she was confused as well.”
“Really?” She asked, smiling at the small bit of information about her mother.
“Yes. I can show you some pictures of her at some point, if you want me to.”
“Yes please.” She agreed, nodding vigorously.
“Okay. But first I need to know what your favourite colour is. I need to decorate your bedroom, which has been locked since the day I had my memories changed, you can’t stay in my bedroom forever after all. Unless you want to, of course. But don’t worry, your bedroom is right next door to this one, so we won’t be too far away from each other.” He smiled gently at her and she smiled a small smile back.
“Purple, light grey and light green.”
“Okay. I will decorate your room after I have made those potions for you.” Rosalie looked down at her lap with a small frown on her face. “What’s the matter, Rosie?” Severus questioned her, concerned, as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed so that he was next to her, facing her.
“I don’t want to be a burden.” She whispered, but he heard it.
“Rosie, you aren’t a burden. You never have been and you never will be. Do you want to know something?” She looked up at him, the answer clear in her bright green eyes. “The best day of my life was the day you were born. Not even the day I married your mother could top it. Although, it is the second best day of my life. I remember the day you were born so clearly now, your mother woke me up at about eleven o’clock at night on July the thirtieth, we had gone to bed early because we had spent the day making sure your nursery was ready for you, since you were only a week away from being due. She was in the midst of a contraction and I knew what was happening immediately. I woke up your grandma, who was going to be Lily’s birthing partner whilst I did everything down the business end, and I got everything I needed and came back to this very bedroom. And after fifteen hours of your mother shouting, crying, swearing, threatening, groaning, and myself and your grandma comforting her, encouraging her, holding her hands, and mopping the sweat off her face, you were born. It was just after two in the afternoon on the thirty-first, three minutes past two to be exact, and out you came. You were covered in blood, you were crying, you had little tufts of black hair on your head. But you were the most amazing, perfect, beautiful being I had ever seen. And you were mine. So I cut your cord, cleaned you up, wrapped you in a blanket and placed you in Lily’s arms. I cleaned Lily up, waited for the placenta, vanished it. And then I just stared at you. Taking in your ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. Taking in everything. And when Lily went to sleep because she was exhausted after giving birth to you, I held you in my arms and I promised, right there and then to do whatever it took to keep you safe, and that I would always love you, no matter what. You were never a burden to me, Rosie, and you never will be. And I will remind you of that fact until the day I die if necessary.”
Rosie was crying silently by the end of his speech. But she had happiness and hope in her eyes.
“Can I hold you?” Severus asked, wanting nothing more than to wrap his arms around his daughter and comfort her, but he didn’t want to scare her.
She nodded and he, gently, wrapped his arms around her shoulders, pulling her to his chest. She clung to the black t-shirt he changed into after Minerva and Remus left the room, crying into it. He rubbed her back carefully with his hand and whispered soothing words to her, hoping that it was comforting her the way he intended it to.
“It’s okay, Rosie. Everything is going to be okay. I’m here now, and you won’t lose me ever again. Let it all out, Little Snake. I’m here. Everything is okay.”
There was a knock on the door just as Rosalie had stopped crying, causing her to flinch slightly.
“It’s okay, Rosie. No one here is going to hurt you. Come in!” He called after comforting his daughter.
Minerva entered the room with a small, sad smile on her face. She came over to the bed slowly, so as not to scare her granddaughter.
“Good morning Severus, Rosalie. What would you two like for breakfast?” She asked the two gently.
“I will have my usual, mum. Rosie, what would you like to eat?” Severus asked, pulling back from his daughter slightly so she could see her grandmother.
“I don’t mind.” Rosalie whispered.
“Okay, how about some pancakes? Remus, your godfather, wants some of my famous chocolate chip ones, is that okay with you, sweetie?” Minerva suggested with a gentle smile.
Rosalie nodded, mouthing ‘thank you’ with a small smile on her face.
Minerva smiled brighter and left the room, closing the door gently behind her.
“Do you want to eat up here or in the kitchen? I can carry you down if you want to eat there.”
“Will you stay with me if we go downstairs?” She whispered.
She nodded and he stood, lifting her into his arms, bridal style, and carrying her down the stairs. He entered the kitchen where he found Remus and Minerva cooking breakfast together, Minerva making the pancakes and scrambled eggs, and Remus doing everything else. He gently placed his daughter in one of the chairs at the table and tucked her in, the scraping of the chair causing the two others in the room to look at them and smile.
“Rosie, this is Minerva, my adopted mum, your grandmother. And this is Remus, your godfather and honorary uncle, I believe you used to call him Uncle Moony. And he either calls you ‘Cub’ or ‘Snakelette’.”
“Good morning, Snakelette.” Remus smiled gently at her as he fried the bacon and sausages.
“Morning.” Rosalie replied quietly, smiling shyly in return.
They had breakfast together, not really talking about anything, trying to make Rosalie feel as comfortable as possible. Severus gave her a glass of milk, and her nutrient potion to go with her meal, explaining what the potion was for.
“Little Snake, what would you like to do whilst I brew the potions you need and decorate your bedroom? You can go upstairs and have a nap, or stay down here and do something with your grandma and Remus. You can read a book, or they can teach you some things about the Wizarding World, or you can do some drawing or something. It is up to you.” Severus asked his daughter gently, making sure to give her some options to pick from so she wouldn’t feel obliged to do any one thing.
“Can I have a nap please?” She asked quietly, looking down at her now empty plate, on which she had placed and eaten the smallest pancake that had been made and nothing else.
“Of course you can, Rosie. Are you done with your breakfast?” Severus replied.
Rosalie nodded and he stood, picking her up again and carrying her up the stairs and back into his bedroom. He gently placed her on the bed and made sure she was comfortable before covering her with the throw and sitting down next to her.
“I need to go and speak to someone as well for a little bit, I shouldn’t be too long, though. So, if you need anything call for Minerva or Remus, okay? If you need me then they can get me for you.” Rosalie nodded in response. “I will be back for lunch. I want you eating three meals a day, okay? And I would also like it if you had two snacks a day as well, but that can wait, after all the healing your body has done in the last few hours you’re going to need the rest. Are you feeling okay? Do you need anything before I go?”
“No, I’m fine.” She replied, not used to someone caring for her so much, or looking after her at all really.
“Okay. You get some sleep. I shouldn’t be gone too long, and I will be in my lab brewing those potions soon. I just need to ask someone some questions. I love you, Rosie. And remember, if you need anything call Minerva or Remus.” Rosalie nodded and he kissed her forehead gently before standing up and walking over to the door. He opened it, looked at her again to find that she was already drifting into sleep, he smiled and then left the room, closing the door gently behind him.
He saw Remus coming down the hall and stopped him as he passed. “Remus, I’ll be speaking to Albus before making the potions. Can you check on Rosie periodically for me, make sure she is okay? I told her to call for you or Minerva if she needed anything but she might not feel safe enough to do so yet.”
“Of course I will check on her, Severus. And give Albus a good word bashing for me, please?” Severus nodded and headed off to the floo.
He arrived in the Headmasters’ Office to find Albus sitting behind his desk signing paperwork. Albus looked up as he heard someone stepping out of the floo.
“Ah, Severus, my boy. What brings you here so soon into the holidays?” Albus asked, his eyes twinkling, a smile lighting up his face.
“It might be the fact that you conveniently forgot to return my memories to me and others, meaning my dead wife had to do that, and you ever so kindly placed my daughter with Petunia of all people.” Severus got straight to the point, glaring at the twinkly-eyed man.
Albus looked shocked. “Severus, what on earth are you talking about?” Albus hesitated.
“You know what I am talking about, old man. Lily wrote a time-delayed letter to me, which appeared last night, and informed me of the truth, and included a charm which she created in order to return everyone’s memories to them. I then went to Petunia’s home, with mum, and found my daughter huddled in the cupboard under the stairs severely abused. We took her home, healed her as best as we could, Remus came with his remembered memories. And now my daughter can’t walk because she has been so badly abused by that bitch and her whale of a husband that the muscles in her legs are damaged. But don’t worry, old man, I will be going home soon to make a potion that, along with some exercises I will give her, will allow her to walk again, hopefully by the end of the month. She also needs a potion to help mend a slightly damaged nerve in her spine, and that is only the beginning. She is covered in scars, bruises and burns. She has had multiple concussions over the years. They drowned her so often that she had lung damage, but that is on the mend now, thank Merlin. Then there’s the mental and emotional issues as well, like the fact she thinks she’s a freak because that is what they called her over the years, and she believes herself to be a burden, and who knows what else. Honestly, what made you think placing her with Petunia was a good idea? You knew what she was like. You knew what she thought about magic. Why place my daughter with her? And why the hell didn’t you return our memories like you promised you would?” He was yelling by the end, but he didn’t care. He needed answers. He needed to release the anger that was filling him up.
“Severus, you must understand, I believed she would have been safer with Petunia, someone with Lily’s blood. The blood wards protected Rosalie from anyone who wished her harm…”
“Except the people whom you left her with! They protected her from anyone who wasn’t living in that house with her. Why did you think taking my daughter away and not telling me the truth would be okay? She’s your granddaughter, for Merlin’s sake! Why would you want to leave her with Petunia over place her with me? Or do you not care for us as much as you’ve been portraying over the years? Is this some big chess game to you? Did you only adopt me with Minerva so you could become close to me? So I would trust you when you ripped my family apart? So I would become a spy for you after you changed my memories so much that I wanted to join the Dark Lord, even if only for a moment? Are you using me and my daughter so you can destroy him? Because if you are, I’m not playing anymore. And I won’t let you use my daughter either. I know you believe that she is the only one that can defeat him, but I am not going to let her be used by you and your schemes, I am not going to let her fight him when that is the job of adults. I am not letting you bring my child, or any child into this fight!”
“Severus, of course I care for you, and for Rosalie. I just wanted her to be safe. I didn’t know Petunia would hurt her…”
“So you don’t think that I could have kept her safe? Moon Cottage is under a Fidelius Charm with Minerva as the Secret Keeper, and there are plenty of other wards there as well. I am a Defence and Duelling Master, Minerva used to be an Auror, Remus is also a Defence and Duelling Master, and you think we couldn’t have kept her safe? You thought she was safer with three muggles who didn’t like magic and couldn’t protect her had anyone figured out that they could get into the house so long as they didn’t intend to hurt her. They could have gone in without the intent to hurt her and taken her out of the wards, before hurting her. Well, I’m sorry Albus, but I am not playing your chess game anymore, my daughter won’t be either. You have lost your spy. But don’t worry, I will still teach here, if only to protect my daughter.”
“Severus, I’m sorry...”
“Of course you are! You’re sorry that you don’t have a spy anymore. You’re sorry that I won’t be here to keep you up to date with what is going on with the Death Eaters that are still around. You’re sorry that you’ve lost two of your pawns. Now I am going to go home and make the potions my daughter needs if she ever wants to be able to walk again. Then I am going to decorate her bedroom. And if you decide to come over the summer, be warned that there are three overprotective adults that want to skin you alive right now.”
Then Severus left through the floo, leaving the old man to sit at his desk and stare at the spot his adopted son was just standing in. His eyes no longer twinkling.
Chapter 3: Potions, Exercises and Bedrooms
Severus makes the other potions needed to heal his daughter, helps her with some exercises, and decorates her old nursery so that she finally has a bedroom to call her own. Rosalie spends some time getting to know Remus as well.
As soon as Severus arrived home he headed to his potions lab, ignoring Minerva as she tried to ask how things went. He locked the door to the room and leant against it, taking a deep breath to calm himself before getting to work on the potions his daughter needed. Potions always helped to calm his emotions, he found it pacifying to create something that could help someone at some point. And the repetitive movements that were involved in potions making were soothing.
Remus knocked on the door that led to Severus’ bedroom, and after hearing the tired “Come in,” from inside, opened the door and entered the room, closing it quietly behind him. His goddaughter was staring at him with tired eyes, he smiled at her and sat on the edge of the bed, looking down at her with his kind eyes.
“How are you feeling, Cub?” He asked, still smiling gently at her.
“Fine. What should I…”
“What is it, Cub? You can ask me anything.” He replied kindly.
“What should I call you all?” She asked nervously, not looking him in the eyes.
“Well, you can call me Remus, or Moony, or Uncle Moony. You can call your father Severus, or dad, or father, or papa. And you can call your grandma Minerva, or Minnie, or grandma, or nan. It’s up to you, Cub. You can call us whatever you feel comfortable calling us.” He explained, still smiling welcomingly at her. She smiled a small smile back. “Do you need anything?”
“May I have a drink, please?” She still sounded nervous.
“Of course you may. What would you like? We have orange juice, pumpkin juice, apple juice, water, milk, tea, or hot chocolate. We also have coffee but I don’t think your father will be happy if I give you too much caffeine.”
She smiled slightly brighter. “Apple juice, please.”
“Okay, Cub. I shall be back with your apple juice shortly. Do you need anything else while I am down there?” She shook her head. “I’ll be right back.”
He left, wandering down to the kitchen to get her drink. In the kitchen he found Minerva, sitting at the breakfast table drinking a cup of tea. She looked up as he entered.
“How is she?” Minerva asked.
“Tired, I believe. She wants a glass of apple juice.” He said as he poured some apple juice into a glass and put a straw in it. “Has he come out of his lab yet?”
“No. I’m considering going to Albus and asking what he said to get Severus into such a state. But I will wait until Severus has come out and finished decorating Rosalie’s room. I was going to go shopping for some clothes and shoes for her though, just some of the basics whilst she heals. Then when she can walk again we can all go out shopping and get her what she needs. I can just guess on a size for now and if need be we can adjust them.” Minerva replied, taking a sip of her warm tea.
“Sounds like a good idea. I should probably take this up to my goddaughter before she starts to worry or something.” Remus left the room, heading up the stairs and into Severus’ bedroom where he found his goddaughter trying to sit up on her own but struggling. He rushed over, putting the glass of juice on the bedside cabinet before helping her up, ignoring the flinch the movement produced. He leant her back against some pillows that he placed between her back and the headboard, he then sat down next to her, facing her, before passing her the glass of juice, which she drank from quietly.
“Are you okay, Snakelette?” Remus asked her, concern in his voice.
“I just don’t like being a burden.” She whispered, hoping he wouldn’t hear him, not knowing that he had enhanced hearing due to being a werewolf.
“You aren’t a burden. And you never will be. Yes, you may need some help sometimes, but you’re a child. All children need help, it’s part of growing up. I know you haven’t had anyone to help you since you were a baby, but we’re here now, and we will help you with everything you ever need help with. Even when you’re an adult we will help you if you need help. And we will help you because we love you more than anything in the world, and because we want to help you. No matter what you need help with, we will be here, for you. I promise. You aren’t a burden.” He told her with such strength and truth that she had to believe it, and tears filled her eyes.
“No one has told me they love me before. No one I can remember anyway.” Rosalie said as a tear lined her cheek.
“Well you better get used to hearing it now then. Because I love you, your father loves you, your grandma loves you. And we will all keep telling you that, until the day we die. And other people will love you one day, too. In fact, you may very well marry one of them. And your children will love you…”
“I don’t think I will end up getting married, or having children.”
“Why’s that, Snakelette?” Remus asked, confused.
“Because no one will want to marry and have children with a freak like me.”
Remus hid his anger at the Dursley’s, whom he presumed were the ones to tell her this.
“Snakelette, you are not a freak. You are a witch, and in September you will be going to Hogwarts where you will learn to control your magic. And given who your parents are I presume you are going to be both exceptionally gifted and exceptionally powerful. There are going to be tons of young wizards or witches, depending on whomever you like, that would be honoured to marry you and have children with you. Although, they’re going to have to wait until you’re at least thirty with how protective your dad and I are over you. And if anyone ever hurts you they will face our wrath, and your grandmothers’ wrath as well. And let me tell you, your father and grandma are the two most feared professors in Hogwarts, and I, well I used to be one of the best pranksters in the school and I am currently a Dueling Master, so is your dad, so you have an incredibly fierce group of adults behind you to fight whomever dares to hurt you in any way. But, the point is, you are not a freak. And the three of us will repeat that to you as many times as it takes for you to believe it. And you will marry someone one day, someone whom you love and whom loves you back just as much, if not more. Then you will have adorable little children. You will be happy. And you deserve to be happy.”
Another tear left her eye as she heard her godfather say such things, but with the amount of conviction in his voice, again she felt that she had to believe it.
“Do you need anything else Snakelette?” He asked, trying to take her mind off of what they had just been discussing.
Rosalie looked down at her lap, where she was fiddling with the now empty glass in her hands, and blushed. “I need to go to the toilet.”
“Okay. Do you want me to take you or do you want me to get your grandmother to help you?”
“Can you get grandma, please?”
“Of course I can. Let me take your glass downstairs and I will send her up for you.” He said as he removed the glass from her hands and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead before leaving the room.
Minerva entered her sons’ room to find her granddaughter staring at the wall opposite the bed. When she closed the door gently behind her Rosalie looked at her and smiled shyly.
“Remus said you wanted some help going to the toilet.” She said gently as she headed to the en-suite door to open it before going over to the bed.
“I mean… only if you want to help me… I can hold it…”
“Sweetie, I want to help you. You’re my only grandchild, and you’re probably going to be the only one I ever have, other than your children of course, so I am going to help you whenever you need help, and I am going to spoil you rotten as well, it’s part of what grandmothers do.” Minerva smiled as she gently picked her granddaughter up and carried her to the en-suite.
She helped Rosalie stand and gently pulled down her underwear before helping her sit on the toilet, slowly so she wouldn’t hurt her legs too much, but Rosalie winced anyway, the pain in her legs worsening as she was forced to move them.
“Sorry. But hopefully your dad will be done with those potions soon and you can start healing properly, and he can give you those exercises as well.” Minerva apologised as her granddaughter finished. She helped her granddaughter stand, the pain causing tears to fill her small green eyes, and pulled up her underwear before picking her up again and carrying her back to the bed where she sat her down gently and used a spell to clean her small pale hands.
Minerva then sat on the bed, facing her granddaughter with small smile on her face.
“Do you need another pain relieving potion? I believe you should be allowed another one now.” Minerva asked gently.
“Yes, please.” Rosalie replied quietly.
Minerva took a pain relieving potion out of her sons’ medical bag and gave it to the girl, who took it gratefully and drank it in one gulp, sighing in relief as the potion started to work. Minerva took the vial back and put it on the bedside cabinet.
“Are you feeling okay now, Rosalie?”
“Yes, thank you.”
“You don’t need to thank me, sweetie. It’s what grandmothers do. I am going to go shopping later to pick you up some clothes and things you need, just some of the basics for now, in a few weeks we can go shopping together and pick some things yourself. Is there any particular style of clothing you like? Or any particular colours?”
“You don’t have to buy me anything…”
“Rosalie, I am your grandmother, it is my job to spoil you, and even if it wasn’t I would want to because you are my granddaughter and I love you. Also, you are the only person I have to spoil, your father only lets me buy him things at Christmas or his birthday, and even then he moans if I spend too much. Something about being a grown man who has his own money to buy things with. So, I have to spoil you instead. And you need clothes, you can’t keep wearing things of my own that I have shrunk to fit you, the charms are going to wear off eventually. So, what do you like?” Minerva countered, her Scottish accent coming through thicker than usual.
“I don’t really know. I’ve never been shopping before, and everything I’ve ever worn has been a hand-me-down from my cousin who was three times the size of me. I guess I like jeans, but not baggy jeans. And I like long sleeved tops to cover my scars, or I guess maybe a cardigan or something to go over my shorter sleeved tops. I don’t mind what colours they are, so long as they aren’t orange or something.”
“Okay. I promise that as soon as you are able I will take you shopping for clothes, shoes, books, toys, and anything else you would like. And we can drag your father and Remus along as well. Make them carry all of our bags. Is there anything else you want or need?”
There was a knock on the door and Minerva called out for the person to enter the room. Severus opened the door and entered the room, closing the door gently behind him, smiling at the two on the bed and walking over to them, potions in his hands.
“I will go and make some lunch.” Minerva said before leaving the room, closing the door gently behind her.
Severus sat down on the bed where Minerva was just sat.
“What were you two ladies talking about?” Severus asked, smiling brightly.
“Grandma is going to go shopping to buy me some clothes later, she just wanted to know what kinds of clothes I liked.” Rosalie answered, looking down at her lap, blushing.
“Okay. Good. You need some clothes of your own. I have your potions here. Take this one first, it will mend the slight nerva damage that is probably causing you to feel more pain than you’re actually in. It might start helping your legs as well as that may be why your muscles aren’t mending the way they should be, as well as partly why you can’t move them.” Severus explained as he passed her a vial of silvery potion. She took it and drank it in one gulp, ignoring the horrid taste as she was used to horrible tasting things. “Now, I have two potions to help your leg muscles. One of which you can put in a bath once a day to help stimulate muscle relaxation and repair. And one of which is a salve I will have to massage into your legs twice a day for a month. With those I will also give you exercises which we can help you with in order to help you move your legs, as well as speed up healing. You can have your bath tonight, and you can choose one of us to help you with that. But I would like to massage your legs with the salve now, and give you some exercises, to start the healing process as soon as possible. Is that okay with you? I won’t do anything you’re not comfortable with.”
“We can do it now. I don’t mind. I want to be able to walk again as soon as possible.”
“Okay, I’m going to need to help you lie down.” So he helped her lie down, and he lifted the nightgown slightly, to just below her underwear. He opened the tub filled with the thick, creamy salve and dipped his fingers in it, scooping some out and rubbing it into his palms before beginning to massage his daughters’ legs with it, starting at the bottom of her legs and working his way up. As he did so he started with the exercises, bending her knees and lifting her legs up so it looked like she was half sitting in the air, so that he could rub the salve into the backs of her legs. He was gentle as he worked, apologising when she winced as her legs were moved.
Soon Severus was done and he went to the en-suite to wash his hands before sitting back on the bed.
“How are you feeling now, Rosie?”
“Good. We will do that again tonight, after your bath. Now, where would you like to sit for lunch? Downstairs or up here?”
He picked her up and took her downstairs, sitting her in the chair she sat in at breakfast before helping Minerva with the stew she was making whilst Remus sat with Rosalie and discussed Hogwarts with her.
After lunch, which consisted of beef stew, some home-made crusty bread, and water with nutrient potion for Rosalie, Minerva went to Muggle London to buy Rosalie some clothes, Severus went to what used to be Rosalie’s nursery in order to decorate it, and Remus stayed with Rosalie in the kitchen, which is where she wanted to stay for a while.
“Does grandma have any more children? Do I have any other aunts and uncles?” Rosalie asked.
“No. You see, Minerva adopted Severus when he was thirteen years old. His mother had died the year before and his fathers’ abuse of him got worse, in fact it got so bad that he passed out on the way to the Slytherin Common Room on the first day of the year, after the welcoming feast. It was then that the teachers found out about his abusive home situation and Minerva, who had always cared for him despite him not being in her House, adopted him. The Headmaster also adopted him so that he would have a decent male rolemodel he could turn to if he needed it, but we don’t currently like him.” Remus explained.
“So, the Headmaster is my grandpa? Why don’t you currently like him?”
“He is, yes. We don’t currently like him because he is the one who persuaded Lily to take you into hiding whilst he got rid of all of our memories, except Lily’s, in order to protect you both until the war ended. Except he promised us that in the case that Lily die or the war ended he would return our memories and you to us. So, if things had worked out, when the war ended with James and Lily’s death, and your survival, he should have returned our memories and given you back to Severus to raise. But he didn’t do that, obviously, and decided you might be safer from the Dark Lord’s followers if you were with someone who shared Lily’s blood, Petunia and her son, because Lily sacrificed herself for you meaning he could create blood wards on Petunia’s home, which means that anyone who intended to harm you wouldn’t have been able to get into the house. Whereas you could have been here where we are under the Fidelius Charm, which is a charm that allows one person to hold a secret about something and only they can tell someone that secret, even if someone knew the secret before the charm was cast they would forget until the Secret Keeper tells them. Minerva is the Secret Keeper for this place, meaning only the people she has told the Secret of this place’s whereabouts too can enter the home. There are a bunch of other wards as well protecting the building. And we are all fully capable of protecting you ourselves with our various Masteries and experiences. Whereas three Muggles wouldn’t have been able to protect you should someone get into the property, which they could have done had they realised that should they not intend to harm you they could have gotten in. So that is why we don’t like him right now.” Remus replied.
“How was I able to get in then? I was unconscious when I arrived.” She looked confused.
“You only have to be told the Secret once in your life, and once you have already been told the Secret, no matter how young you are at the time and no matter whether you consciously remember it, you will still be allowed in because you have been told the Secret. Even though you were told the Secret the day after you were born you still subconsciously remember it, and you have been told it meaning you’re allowed entrance.”
“I know some stuff can be confusing at first, but you will beging to understand better as you get older and have more experience in the Wizarding World.” She nodded in response.
“Why would the Headmaster keep me from my family?” She whispered, still not expecting him to be able to hear her.
“I don’t know, Cub. We can only guess right now. After our memories were wiped Severus became depressed, Albus had made a lot of his memories worse than they really were, and he wiped a lot of the good ones, changing them to bad ones. He then got caught up in Dark magic and became a follower of the Dark Lord. He was lured into it, he didn’t go completely willingly, the Death Eaters manipulated him into wanting it. And when he finally got the Mark he realised what was happening and wanted out. He turned to Albus who offered to protect him as best as he could so long as he became a spy for the Order of the Phoenix, which is a group that Albus created in order to fight the Dark Lord and his followers. We were all part of it before our memories were wiped. Severus agreed because Albus used your mother to manipulate him, because despite our changed memories Severus always remembered his love of your mother. So he became a spy, he risked his life day in, day out in order to give us information which eventually led to the Dark Lord’s downfall. It was only after he became a spy that our side had a chance at winning against Him. He was too powerful, but then we had power because we had information and He didn’t know how we were getting it. I think, so does your father, that one of the reasons Albus never revealed the truth was so that he would have his spy still, because some of the Dark Lord’s followers are still out there, and because the Dark Lord isn’t truly dead, he is still out there, waiting for his power to return. Had we not known the truth and the Dark Lord returned, your father would have been sent back to spy on him for the Order. But now we know the truth and your father no longer has to risk his life being a spy, all he has to do is be a father, and protect you. It will still be slightly dangerous for him, sure, but he won’t be spying, and that is all that matters. Albus can’t use him again.”
“Good. But why can you always hear what I say, even when I whisper?” Rosalie asked curiously, but also angry that someone would use her father like that. She may not know the man well but he seemed nice, and he cared for her, looked after her, helped her. She also didn’t understand why someone would want to tear a family apart.
Remus blanched slightly, but pulled himself together. She had a right to know, that way she wouldn’t put herself in danger unintentionally. That way she may not be scared of him.
“When I was a small child…” He started nervously, not sure how to tell her. “When I was a small child I was attacked, by a werewolf. It’s where I got the scars on my face from. It’s also the reason I am a werewolf. I can hear you so well, even when you whisper, because I have enhanced hearing due to my lycanthropy. And every month, on the full moon, I transform into a wolf, around that time I become quite ill as well. The transformation is very painful and takes a lot out of me. A lot of people would be scared about me if they found out the truth as well. Werewolves are considered dark and dangerous creatures, even though we are human most of the time. As a result I can’t keep a job for long, and I don’t really have many friends, except those that were in the Order.”
“But why do people think you’re dangerous if you are human most of the time? You don’t seem very dangerous. You’re kind, and caring, and intelligent. So what if you turn into a wolf one night a month? Why should that matter?”
“There didn’t used to be as much discrimination against werewolves. But in the past century or so there have been some pretty bad ones, including the one that bit me when I was a child. Werewolves recently have made a habit of going feral, that is letting the wolf consume you, so instead of being human most of the time, you are human but your wolf is controlling your actions, mostly. So they bite, and scratch, and kill people all month instead of just when they turn into raging beasts on the full moon. They also don’t take wolfsbane, which is a potion your father invented that allows a werewolf to keep their human mind when they are a wolf, meaning they won’t kill or attack someone if they don’t want to actually do it. But people don’t seem to understand that very few werewolves actually go that way, but feral or not, people are scared of them and discriminate against them no matter whether they take wolfsbane or not, or whether they are a decent human being or not.”
“But that’s not fair. You shouldn’t be discriminated against for something you can’t help…”
“Well, not a lot in life is fair. But we all agree with that sentiment in this house. And there are plenty who do agree, but the ones in power don’t. So unless we make it big in the Ministry of Magic and change the laws and people’s opinions, nothing is going to change.” Severus said from the doorway. “Your bedroom is ready if you want to go and look at it.” Severus propositioned as Rosalie turned to look at him.
She nodded and he picked her up, carrying her up the stairs and into the room next to his own. She looked at the large room in awe.
There was a thick light grey carpet on the floor. The walls were a light purple colour. On the ceiling there was an animated sky, with clouds and the sun, which Severus explained would turn into a night sky with the stars and moon at night, and that the stars would light up so she wouldn’t have to sleep in the dark, which he had noticed she didn’t like on her first night there. The double bed was made from mahogany, and the headboard and footboard were both carved with various flowers. The bed sheets were white, as were the pillows, but the duvet was a light grey, light purple, and light green tartan print. There was also the light grey woolen throw that she had used in Severus’ room folded at the foot of the bed, her stuffed wolf was sitting on her pillows as well. The curtains on the large window were a light silvery colour. There was a set of double mahogany doors on the other side of the bed which Rosalie assumed was the walk in wardrobe. On either side of the bed was a mahogany bedside cabinet. Under the window was a mahogany deskt which was set up with parchment, quills, ink, pads of paper, a pot of pens, pencils, etc. which Severus explained was so that she could use whatever she felt comfortable with, but she would have to use the quills and parchment for her school work. Waiting at the desk was a high-back, black, leather chair with wheels so she could move it around. On the wall opposite the desk was a large mahogany bookshelf which had plenty of room for books or whatever else she wanted to put on it. Opposite the bed was a door, again made of mahogany, which she presumed led to an en-suite.
“Do you like it?” Severus asked as he gently placed his daughter on the comfortable bed so that her back was leaning on some pillows that were placed against the headboard.
“I love it. Thank you.” She smiled, genuinely happy and thankful for everything.
“You don’t have to thank me, Rosie. You’re my daughter, it is my job to provide for you. And even if it wasn’t my job to do so I would do it because I love you more than anything in the entire world, and I have since the moment your mother told me she was pregnant with you. Now, are you feeling okay?”
“Do you need anything? Do you want anything?”
“No. Except maybe a nap.”
“Okay.” He helped her lay down and get comfortable, tucking her under the duvet and placing the stuffed wolf in her hands before placing a gentle kiss on her head. “Get some sleep, Rosie. I love you.”
Then she was asleep. He smiled slightly before leaving the room, making sure to leave the curtains open slightly so there was still some light in the room.
Chapter 4: Nightmares and Reassurances
Rosalie has a nightmare and her family work on reassuring her on a number of things.
Severus was putting the clothes that Minerva had brought Rosalie in her wardrobe as his daughter napped. He was smiling at the thought of his daughter, happy that she was back in his life. He remembered the year he had spent with her and Lily, it was the best year of his life, he especially loved the fact that her first word was ‘daddy’.
He was just putting away the last of the clothes when he heard a whimper from the bed. He hurried to his daughter and saw that she was crying and fidgeting in her sleep, small whimpers and pleas escaping her lips, “No. I’ll be good. I promise. I’m sorry Uncle. I didn’t mean to. I won’t be bad anymore. Stop. Please.”
His heart broke at the sight of her in such a state. He sat next to her on the bed and placed a hand on her shoulder, causing her to flinch, but he ignored it. “Rosie, I need you to wake up. It’s just a dream. Daddy’s here. It’s okay now. You’re safe. I promise. Wake up, Little Snake. Wake up.” He said softly, not wanting to startle her.
Her green eyes flickered open and she looked at him with sad, scared eyes. But when she recognised him the fear lessened.
“Daddy?” She questioned quietly, wanting to know if he was really there or not.
“I’m here, Little Snake. You’re safe. It was just a dream.” He replied, his heart fluttering with joy at hearing her calling him ‘daddy’ again, represented in the small smile he had on his face.
Sobs started wracking her small body, and he gently lifted her onto his lap. Holding her, rocking her, soothing her with his quiet, reassuring words. His heart clenched at the amount of sorrow and pain radiating from his daughter and he became more angry at those that had caused her the pain she didn’t deserve, though he didn’t show his anger, not wanting to scare the small girl in his arms.
Eventually she calmed down, but she kept her face in her fathers’ black t-shirt, clinging to it with her small hands.
“How are you feeling, Rosie?” Severus asked after a few minutes of quiet. “Are you in pain?”
She nodded into his chest and he summoned a pain reliever, placing it into her hands; she drank it readily, wanting the pain to leave her body. He magically sent the vial to his potions lab and went back to rubbing her back gently.
“Do you want to tell me about your dream? Sometimes it helps to talk about it.” She shook her head into his chest. “Okay. But I’m here if you decide you do want to talk about it. I didn’t think that talking about my bad dreams would help either, but one night I started talking to your Grandma, hoping for something to help me, and it did help. I started having less nightmares, and they didn’t affect me as much as they used to. Now I barely have any nightmares. And I know it’s hard at first, talking, but it gets easier the more you do it. But you don’t have to just yet if you don’t want to.”
“May I ask you questions?” She asked timidly after a few minutes of silence.
“Of course. You may always ask me questions, Rosie.” He replied gently.
“If the Headmaster hadn’t have not done what he promised, and had given your memories back, would you have wanted to raise me, or would I have gone to the Dursleys anyway?” She asked, scared about what the answer may be.
“Rosie, look at me.” He said, and she looked up at him with fear in her eyes. “Of course I would have wanted to raise you. In fact, I wish I could go back in time and force Albus to return our memories to us so that I could have watched you grow up. If Albus had given us our memories, like he promised, you would have lived here, with me, your grandma, and Remus would probably live here most of the time as well. This would have been your bedroom as it was your nursery during the first year of your life anyway. You would have been spoilt, but not so spoilt so as to turn into one of those snobby little children who always think they should get what they want. You would be taught about the Wizarding World from a young age, but you would have gone to the Muggle Primary School in the village nearby. You would have had birthday parties, and Christmas would be your favourite day of the year like it is for most young children. We all would have baked cakes and things together like families do, and you would have gotten bedtime stories, and we would have taken you places, and more. But apparently Albus thought you wouldn’t have been safe from the people who may have wanted to hurt you here, even though we have a lot more powerful wards on this house than the Dursleys had on theirs. I don’t know why Albus decided those things, but I believe it is best for you to not completely trust him when school starts, and he may come around at some point during the summer. Just be careful around him. And don’t eat or drink anything he offers you because I am pretty sure he laces all of his sweets and tea with potions.”
“Okay.” She promised.
“Merlin, I love you more than anything else in the world, Rosie. And I wish I could have been there on your first day of Primary School, and to help you when you were sick, and to just do what every other dad does with their daughters. But I promise that I will be the best dad I can be from now on. And I will make up for all the time I have missed by doing all of those things I should have done and more. I will make sure that you are doing your best in your studies, because I expect nothing more from you than your absolute best in every lesson. And I will be the perfect overprotective father by threatening any boy that looks at you, or tries to be your boyfriend, because you aren’t allowed to date until you’re thirty at least. And then when you finally get a boyfriend I will make sure he knows not to hurt you because if he does then he is going to be turned into potion ingredients, after a very long torture session because no one hurts my baby girl and gets away with it. And when you get married to the right guy I will walk you down the aisle, and I will do the father-daughter dance with you. And when you have children I will be there at your side the whole time. I promise to do all of that and more, Rosie.” He ranted before kissing her forehead gently and wiping the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs.
Just then there was a quiet knock on the door, causing Rosalie to flinch slightly.
“Come in.” Severus said, rubbing his daughters’ back to calm her down slightly.
The door opened and Remus popped his head through, smiling at the two occupants of the room.
“Good evening, dinner is ready and Minerva wanted to know if Rosalie wanted to eat downstairs or up here. She also wanted to know what drink she wanted.”
“I’ll eat downstairs, and I want water please.” Rosalie replied quietly, Remus nodded and left the room.
Severus stood up with Rosalie in his arms and left the room, following Remus into the kitchen and gently placing Rosalie in the seat she had sat in the other times she ate in the kitchen. Remus placed her glass of water and nutrient potion in front of her before Minerva placed a plate of food on the place mat in front of her. Minerva had cooked a roast chicken, with roast potatoes, a generous pile of vegetable (consisting of peas, carrots, green beans and sweetcorn), pigs in blankets, yorkshire puddings and gravy.
“Eat as much as you can, Rosalie.” Minerva told her softly as she and the two men sat down in front of their own plates of food and started eating, smiling at her granddaughter who picked up her knife and fork and started eating slowly.
“Snakelette, your birthday is in five weeks, do you know what you would like for it? Do you know what you would like to do during the day itself?” Remus asked his goddaughter, shocking her.
“I, uh… You want to buy me presents?” She questioned, shocked. She could see sadness flicker through their eyes, but they smiled gently at her.
“Of course we want to buy you presents, Rosalie. We’ve missed nine of your birthdays, so we have a whole lot of spoiling to catch up on.” Minerva replied gently.
“I, er, I don’t really know. I’ve never really gotten presents before, from what I can remember anyway, and I haven’t been able to figure out what I like or anything because the Dursleys never really took me anywhere, or brought me anything. I don’t want a party though, I know some families throw their children parties but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.” Rosalie answered nervously.
“Okay, we can help you figure out things you like, if you want us to.” Severus responded, squeezing her hand in comfort. Rosalie nodded and went back to eating her food.
“Do you like animals?” Minerva asked her granddaughter.
“Yes. My favourites are cats, snakes and owls. Really only because I haven’t seen many animals in my life. Mrs Figg, who used to babysit me for the Dursleys had a lot of cats and whenever I was at her house she let me play with them. And I like talking to snakes that come into the garden whilst I am working. And my best friend has a pet owl, although he never told me why he had a pet owl, but she’s adorable as well.” She related to the adults, smiling brightly as she talked and ate, not realising their shocked expressions until she looked at them. Fear started creeping through her veins at their shocked looks. “Is something wrong?”
“No, Rosie, nothing’s wrong. But did you say you could talk to snakes?” Severus asked kindly, smiling at her.
“Yes. Is that okay? Is it bad?”
“No, it’s not bad at all. It’s a very special gift called Parseltongue. It’s very rare, not many wizards and witches are able to speak that language. In fact, the only other known wizard to have the ability is the Dark Lord. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. I think it’s a good thing to be able to talk to snakes.” Severus explained to his daughter who visibly relaxed.
“Who is this best friend you mentioned?” Minerva asked, hoping to make her granddaughter feel better by changing the subject.
Rosalie smiled brightly at the mention of her best friend, “Lee Jordon. He is two years older than me. I met him two years ago at the park near the Dursleys’ House and because Dudley wasn’t there he couldn’t chase Lee away. We became friends straight away and we would meet up as often as possible, but he goes to a boarding school now so it is harder to meet up. He’s helped me a lot of times when I have been injured because of my uncle and cousin. He gave me some medicines that kind of looked like some of the potions you’ve been giving me.”
Severus groaned quietly but Rosalie heard it and looked at him strangely. “Why did you groan?”
“Lee Jordan, if he is who I think he is, is a student at Hogwarts, he is in Minerva’s House. And he along with his friends, the Weasley Twins, are the School’s biggest pranksters. Now I am imagining you being part of their group and pranking the entire School with them. And I have to hope that none of those three, or any other boy in the school for that matter, try to make a move on you because if they do they are in so much trouble. Then I realised that the reason he has been asking me to brew extra potions for his mother closer to the summer is that he has been giving the extra ones to you.” Severus explained.
“Oh, does that mean I can write to him? We were meant to meet up on the first day of his summer holidays and he must be worried because I didn’t turn up. Or do we have a phone so I can call him?” Rosalie asked hopefully.
“You can write to him after your bath and send it with Aries, our owl. Unfortunately the magic in the house means any electrical items won’t work as the magic interferes with the electricity and no one has been able to come up with anything to allow electrical items to work in a magical home, so we don’t have a phone.” Minerva informed the young witch who drank the information in greedily.
“However, we do have other ways of communicating, instead of just writing to each other. For example, if the other person had a fireplace connected to the floo network and you knew their address you could call them via that and speak to them face to face, or just go to them. You can send your patronus with a message. There are two-way mirrors that work kind of like a phone, you just say the other persons’ name into it if they have one connected to your mirror and you can speak face to face.” Remus told her, all of them noticing how much she liked getting new information.
They had all finished their meals by now, Rosalie had only been able to eat about half of it, but she had her nutrient potion as well. They were just sitting there, talking about the Wizarding World.
“Do you like reading, Rosalie? We have a small library here, and there’s an even bigger one at Hogwarts, we can also get you some books of your own if you want.” Minerva asked the girl.
“Yes, I love reading. When I was at school I used to go to the Library or the music room to stay away from Dudley and his friends since I had no friends of my own there. I read a lot of books to make up for the fact that I wasn’t allowed to do well in my classes, and I learned how to play various musical instruments. The Librarian, Mrs Tate, and the music teacher, Miss Johnson, were the only teachers who were nice to me. They didn’t believe what the Dursleys told them all about me and tried to help me as much as they could while teaching me things. They would give me food as well when they realised that I didn’t have a packed lunch or any money to buy anything.”
“What musical instruments can you play?” Severus asked curiously, hiding his anger at the Dursleys.
“Piano, guitar, steel pans, violin, recorder, and an accordian. I can sing as well. In year five I also started using the art room when a new art teacher, Mr Tennant, started and he liked me. He helped me out as well, and I drew whilst he would teach me about various artists or whatever. I like drawing, and painting. I also like cooking and baking. That and gardening were the only chores I actually enjoyed doing, not that the Dursleys knew that, or cared.”
“Well, when you’re all healed maybe you can help us with meals, or we could bake some cakes together. And maybe you can help your father with some of the potions ingredients he has in the garden. Only if you want to of course. You won’t have to do any chores here when everything can be done by magic or by us.” Minerva said, cheering the girl up. Rosalie nodded eagerly.
“Right. Bath time. And after your exercises you can write to your friend.” Severus said, standing up and picking up his daughter gently into his arms.
After her bath Severus helped her dress into one of the new nightgowns that Minerva brought her earlier in the day and rubbed the ointment onto her legs, doing the exercises he had started earlier again. He washed his hands and helped her to sit up, conjuring a small, over the lap, table and placing it over her legs gently before summoning some parchment, a quill and a bottle of ink for her to write with. He spent an hour teaching her how to write with the quill, it seemed that she was a fast learner, and when she had wrote the letter, after their improptu lesson, he gave it to Minerva to send with Aries.
After that she yawned so Severus banished the items he had conjured to his study and helped her lay down, tucking her in gently and placing a kiss on her forehead, causing her to smile.
“Get some sleep, Little Snake. If you need something during the night then just call one of us, okay. We’ll come to you.”
“Okay, Daddy. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Rosie. I love you.”
She closed her eyes and fell asleep soon after. Severus stayed until her breathing evened out, kissed her forehead one more time, and left the room, smiling a little at the thought of having his daughter back. He placed a ward on the door to let him know if she needed anything or had a nightmare and headed to the living room where he found Remus and Minerva sitting talking quietly.
“How is she?” Minerva asked when she noticed him sit in his favourite armchair.
“Fine. She’s asleep now. I told her to call one of us if she needs anything, and I have a ward on her door. Did you send the letter?” Minerva nodded in response. “I can’t believe she is friends with Lee Jordan. I think her Hogwarts years might just turn my hair grey. She is best friends with one of the trio of pranksters, and someone who is two years older than her. And said someone is a boy. She isn’t allowed to be friends with boys.” He rambled, until Minerva and Remus laughed that is, causing him to glare at them. “This is not funny. My baby girl is not allowed to be around too many boys. She is not going to be hurt because the only thing a teenage boy is capable of thinking about is sex. No. I am not going to allow anyone to hurt my baby.”
“Severus, I am sure she is going to be fine. I mean, she does have us three to protect her after all, and the two of you are the most feared professors at Hogwarts, so no one is going to do her any harm in fear of the two of you maiming them. And I am a werewolf, they many not know that but I won’t hesitate to maim anyone who hurts her, and I will let them know that.” Remus comforted.
“Whatever.” Severus mumbled, not letting the other two know that he didn’t believe them. He couldn’t believe them, not since he will be ousted as a spy and Rosalie will have an even bigger target on her head from certain people.
Chapter 5: Albus Enters the Picture
Albus apologises and reveals one of his wrongs.
This chapter is slight Dumbledore bashing.
Albus sat in his office silently for a while after Severus left it. He had to admit that he was sorry for leaving Rosalie where he knew she would not be treated well, but she needed to be protected by the blood wards. He didn’t know they would physically abuse her. And he was sorry about not returning their memories either, but it had to be done. If she was raised by Severus then she wouldn’t have been easy to mould into the Chosen One, the girl he needed to fight and destroy Voldemort. That was why he let the Ministry send Sirius to Azkaban without a trial as well, had he raised her she wouldn’t have been easy to manipulate.
But he did, truly, care for his son and granddaughter. He had to admit that at first he only adopted Severus in the hopes of gaining a spy at some point, and that worked out when he took his memories from the man. But he did come to care for him as well.
He would try to stop manipulating his family, he decided. He wanted to be part of their lives, and maybe if they came to care for him they would help him in other ways. He would still need Rosalie to fight Voldemort after all, it was Prophecy, if he was her doting grandfather then maybe she would do it for him anyway.
He realised that classed as manipulating his granddaughter as well, but he needed her to fight, no matter how much he cared about her.
The next morning he floo’d to Moon Cottage to find Minerva sitting on the large sofa in the living room, reading a book. She looked at him when she heard the floo go off and glared at him.
“What are you doing here, Albus?” Minerva asked as she closed her book and put it in her lap.
“I’m here to apologise. Where are Severus, Remus and Rosalie?” He said sincerely, his eyes twinkling.
“Remus is washing the dishes. Severus is bathing Rosalie, then he’ll be massaging her legs with the healing salve whilst helping her with her exercises. You realise you are going to need to do a whole lot more than just apologise, don’t you? Because of you Rosalie, our granddaughter, was severely abused. That isn’t worth a simple apology.” She sneered.
“I know, Minerva. I am truly sorry, and I will do anything to show you all that.” He replied guiltily.
“You better, that girl has been through hell and back because of you. And Severus, you know how bad he has been these past ten years, yet you didn’t give him his memories back. The memories that would have made him at least slightly happy again. He’s your son Albus, whether you adopted him because you cared about him or not, he’s your son, and you hurt him.”
“I know, but I’ll make it up to both of them, I promise.”
That was when Remus entered the room, he growled as soon as he saw Albus standing in the room. He walked back out of the room and up the stairs, stopping by Rosalie’s bedroom door and knocking on it gently.
“Come in.” Severus said, and Remus entered, closing the door behind him.
“What’s the matter, Remus?” Severus asked, looking up at his friend, still massaging his daughters’ legs though, and noticing his angry eyes.
“Albus is here. In the living room.” Remus replied calmly, not wanting to scare his goddaughter.
Severus’ eyes held anger in them for a second before he managed to get a hold of himself and turn his attention back to his daughter. “Do you know why he is here?”
“No, I walked out almost as soon as I saw him.” Severus gave his friend a knowing look before finishing the massage and exercises.
Severus walked into the en-suite to wash his hands before entering the bedroom again. “Remus, can you stay with Rosie whilst I go and see what he wants, please?” Remus nodded and Severus kissed his daughters’ forehead before heading to the living room.
When he saw Albus sitting in an armchair in the living room his anger rose, but he tried not to let it flare, not wanting to scare his daughter.
“What do you want, old man?” Severus asked, relatively calmly.
“Severus, I have come to apologise. You were right, I was trying to use you, but I promise I will stop. I will make it up to you. You don’t have to spy anymore, and I won’t use Rosalie, I promise. Although, we will have to help her when the time comes. She is still the child of the Prophecy, but only when she is older will we start her training. And I won’t do anything without your permission. And I will make everything up to her as well. I’m sorry I didn’t give you all your memories back, I honestly thought she would be safe with the Dursleys, and I knew Voldemort would be back one day. I’m sorry.” Albus said sincerely.
“I still don’t trust you. And my daughter has been told to not trust you fully either. When she starts school you will act like a Headmaster should act towards her. You won’t train her in anything until I say so. You will not put her in any unnecassary danger. You will not care about what House she is sorted into. You will not show your blatant favouritism towards Gryffindor. You will stop giving me Gryffindors and Slytherins together, because even if i change my attitude, they won’t change theirs and there is going to be issues, as always. You will help her if she needs help. You will not withold information she should know from her, or information I should know from me. You will not use her friends to get any information about her. You will stop using children in your war. And you will make everything you have ever done wrong right again. And I mean everything. Because you know that I will find out everything eventually, and if I find out that you have not sorted everything out then you will be in trouble, and I will take my daughter to another country so you won’t be able to use her in any of your schemes. Do you understand me, Albus?” Albus nodded. “Good… What is the first thing you are going to put right?” Severus asked, eyes narrowed.
Albus gulped. He knew what he should start with but that didn’t mean he wanted to.
“I am going to get Sirius out of Azkaban.” He stated nervously.
“What? Why on Earth would you do that?” Severus glared at the man.
“Because he’s innocent.”
“If he was innocent they would have found out at his trial, then they wouldn’t have put him in Azkaban.” Severus growled.
“He didn’t have a trial. As Chief Warlock I could have given him one, but I didn’t want to, knowing that he would have been deemed innocent and gotten custody of Rosalie. Peter Pettigrew was their Secret Keeper, not Sirius. He was the one that gave their location to Voldemort.”
“That doesn’t mean that Sirius isn’t a murderer.”
“He isn’t. A few years ago I found Peter alive and well, I got him to tell me what happened with some Veritaserum. Peter killed those muggles, cut his finger off, and transformed into his Animagus form of a rat before fleeing.”
“You left an innocent man in Azkaban? Just so you could place Rosalie with her abusive relatives?” Minerva asked, shocked.
“I needed to keep her in the Blood Wards, where she was safe from anyone who wanted to hurt her.”
“Anyone but her relatives, you mean? You better work on getting Sirius out of Azkaban, old man. And if you don’t stick to those conditions, or get my friend out of Azkaban, then we will all leave and you can deal with the Dark Lord on your own.” Severus growled.
Albus nodded and left through the floo.
Later that night, whilst Rosalie was in bed, Severus and Minerva were in the kitchen with Remus; all of them sitting at the table, trying to explain what Albus had done to Sirius, and to console the man who Sirius had been married to, still was married too.
Remus was crying at the thought of his husband being in Azkaban, all alone. His innocent husband. Remus had been questioning why Sirius would have done what he supposedly did ever since that night, not understanding why. But now he knew that his husband was innocent, he didn’t deserve to be in Azkaban.
Severus held his friend in his arms, comforting him. Not knowing what else to do. But hoping that Albus would be able to get Sirius out of Azkaban soon, so that Remus wouldn’t be in such a state, and Sirius wouldn’t be around the Dementors anymore when he didn’t deserve it. Because if he didn’t then he would have a lot of trouble on his hands.
Chapter 6: Sirius Comes Home
Sirius is released from Azkaban after 10 long years there, but is all well?
It took Albus a week to get Sirius a trial date, an extra day for him to find and capture Peter, placing him in a Ministry Holding Cell, and another week for the trial to begin. Severus kept up with the massages and exercises for Rosalie, and her leg muscles were slowly getting better, she still wasn’t able to walk though. On the day of the trial Severus and Remus made their way to the Ministry whilst Minerva stayed at home with Rosalie, who had been told about what Albus did and, again, that she shouldn’t completely trust Albus.
It appeared that Albus had told everyone that he found Peter alive and well, caught him and brought him to a Ministry Holding Cell, before questioning him under Veritaserum. He then found out that Sirius was innocent and found that Sirius hadn’t received a trial, by mistake because of the amount of trials and arrests that occurred at that time, and decided to give him his trial now. Apparently that way the public wouldn’t be in such a large uproar about the situation.
At the end of the trial Sirius was declared innocent and Peter was sentenced to life in Azkaban, where he would stay in an Animagi-proofed cell, meaning he wouldn’t be able to escape. Sirius was asked to stay in St Mungo’s for a week in order to rehabilitate from his stint in Azkaban, he was also given 10,000 galleons for every year he spent in Azkaban, he also had to register his Animagus form. Severus and Remus were the ones to escort Sirius to St Mungo’s, they helped him get settled in and watched diligently as the nurses looked after the newly declared free man.
A shock came, however, when they were told that Sirius was pregnant when he went to Azkaban, but, unfortunately, he suffered a miscarriage not long after being imprisoned. Sirius started crying at that point, obviously remembering the event, and he clung to his husband as he apologised for losing their child, over and over again. Remus comforted him as best as he could, but Severus could tell that his werewolf friend trusted Albus a lot less now, especially since his stunt caused his and Sirius’ unborn child to die.
Severus decided to leave the newly reunited couple alone, promising to check on them the next day, Remus had decided to stay with Sirius for the night to make sure that his husband was okay.
When Severus stepped through the floo, into his home, he glared at the man he saw sitting in one of the arm chairs. Minerva was sitting in another arm chair, also glaring at the man.
“How is Sirius?” Minerva asked, “Albus explained that he would be staying in St Mungo’s for the week and that you and Remus had escorted him there.”
“I’m sure he would be fine if he hadn’t just spent ten years in Azkaban for crimes he didn’t commit because Albus wanted him there, and not in the way. I’m sure he would be even better if he hadn’t had a miscarriage whilst in Azkaban as well, because, you see, he was pregnant when Albus left him there to rot and the state of the place caused him to miscarry. Now he is currently crying his heart out and apologising for something that is in no way his fault, whilst Remus, who is incredibly angry with Albus by the way, tries to comfort him despite the fact he is also mourning the loss of his child, whom he only just found out existed because Sirius was going to tell him about the pregnancy that night, but he wasn’t able to, which is due to the fact that Albus left him in the worst prison in the world despite the fact that Albus knew that Sirius was at least partially innocent and deserved a trial. Which is something he gave to all of the other supposed Death Eaters, but failed to give to someone who didn’t even have the Dark Mark on their forearm.” Severus explained, still glaring at the man he called his father.
Minerva gasped, “Oh, that poor man. As if he hadn’t suffered enough.” She said, glaring harder at the pale old man in the chair opposite her.
“I didn’t know about the baby.” Albus tried to defend himself.
“Of course you didn’t. You knew that they were trying for a baby, though. And that doesn’t justify the fact that you left an innocent man to rot in the worst prison in the world without the right to a trial, despite the fact that you knew said man was innocent of at least one of his purported crimes.” Severus snarled. “Where’s Rosie?”
“She’s napping.” Minerva answered, still not taking her glaring eyes off the old man.
“Has Albus been near her?” Severus asked, desperately hoping that the answer was no.
“No, he only just arrived five minutes before yourself.”
“Good. I swear to Merlin, Albus, if you cause someone else to lose their child, whether directly or indirectly, I will take my family to somewhere you will never find us to use us in your grand schemes. And I will make sure that the Daily Prophet and some other papers have some stories to print about you that would slowly turn the public against you. And I don’t believe it would take long considering your actions caused the Lord of an Ancient and Noble Pureblood House to lose their unborn child, and the saviour of the Wizarding World to be severely abused by her Muggle relatives because you decided it was a good idea to not give the memories back to her Wizarding family and she didn’t know she had a father, a grandmother, and more family. And I am sure I can find out more information about you as well. I swear to Merlin, if you don’t leave my daughter and the rest of my family alone I will tear down your reputation, then allow an enraged werewolf to rip you to pieces, and he probably wouldn’t be punished after the Wizarding World finds out that your actions caused the death of his cub, and the abuse of his goddaughter whom he also considers one of his cubs. If you try to use any of us again, I will take my family somewhere they will be safe from you, from the Dark Lord, from everyone. And if you hide anything about my daughter from me, or talk to her about anything other than school, or try to use her or test her in any way, or train her, I will make sure that whatever I find out about you will be leaked to the public. Now, can you leave, please? And I suggest not going to see Sirius and Remus, Sirius is a mess that doesn’t like you right now, and Remus is an angry werewolf who lost his mate and child for no reason. He may have his mate back in his life, but he doesn’t have his child, does he? Go and set something else to rights.” Severus said, glaring at the old man the whole time.
Albus was pale when he left through the floo, but the two in the living room didn’t care. He had caused too much damage. Severus sat in the now vacant armchair and breathed a sigh of relief now that the man was gone.
“How was Rosie when I was gone?” Severus asked his mother.
“She was fine, nervous, but I taught her some transfiguration theory to take her mind off it. She seemed intrigued, she can’t wait to start proper lessons, she told me. I also told her a bit about potions and she sounded incredibly interested in that, according to her it sounds a lot like cooking and that was the only chore, other than gardening, that she enjoyed. She also wants you to teach her how to make some potions when she is able to walk again.” Minerva answered with a smile on her face. “I think we have a little Potions Mistress on our hands.” She added, causing Severus to smile brightly.
The smile was lost however when he heard his daughter scream from upstairs. He jumped out of the chair and dashed up the stairs, entering his daughters’ bedroom to find her crying and mumbling as she tossed and turned in bed, obviously in a nightmare. He rushed over to her and sat next to her on the bed, gathering her gently into his arms, ignoring her flinch and rubbing her back in gentle circles as he tried to get her to wake up.
“Rosie, baby, it’s okay. Daddy’s here. I have you now. You’re safe. It’s just a nightmare, sweetie. Wake up for me. Come on. Open those beautiful green eyes for daddy. I’ve got you. You’re safe. You’re at home, with me and grandma. No one is going to hurt you any more, I promise. If they even try they have a lot of people, including myself that they will have to answer to. Daddy’s here, baby.” He said quietly as he comforted her, helping her to slowly open her eyes and escape the nightmare.
“Daddy?” She said, her voice hoarse from the screaming and crying.
“I’m here, baby. And I’m not going anywhere, I promise. You’re okay now. You’re safe now.” He replied, kissing the top of her head gently. “Do you want to tell me about your dream? Talking can help sometimes.”
“I’m not ready, yet.” She whispered, clutching her fathers’ robes tightly in her fist as she leant into him.
“That’s okay, Rosie. Whenever you are ready to talk, though, I am here for you.”
“I know, daddy.” She answered quietly. “Did Uncle Padfoot get released from prison?”
“Yes. He’s in the hospital now though, recovering. He’ll be there for a week, but then he’ll come home. Uncle Moony is going to stay with him so it will just be you, me and your grandma for a week.” Severus explained.
“Is he okay?” His daughter asked, worriedly. He loved that even when she had just suffered her first thought was of someone else, but he hated it as well, wanting her to be able to think about herself and her needs. Damn Albus and the Dursleys for making her think herself not important.
“Not yet, but he will be. And we can help him get better.”
“We should make him a cake.” She said smiling. “Does he like cake?”
“Yes, he likes cake. I believe chocolate cake is his favourite.” Severus smiled also, kissing her head once again. “Are you feeling better now?”
“Yes, but I don’t want to go back to sleep.”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to. What would you like to do instead?”
“Can we talk about potions?”
“Of course we can. What would you like to know?” Severus said, not noticing a smiling Minerva leaving the room as she saw the two bonding more and more.
“Why do ingredients need different cutting methods for different potions?”
And Severus went on explaining about ingredients, potions and more. Answering all of the questions that she had. Knowing that she was going to be brilliant at his subject, not that he was surprised with her having him and Lily as her parents. Lily was great at potions as well, she could have gotten the Mastery along side him, but chose to do her charms Mastery first.
By the time Sirius arrived at Moon Cottage a week after being released from Azkaban, Minerva and Severus had managed to tell Rosalie about the baby that Sirius had lost and how that was a sore subject for both Sirius and Remus. She promised to not mention it, or anything about babies until the men started talking about it themselves. She also understood that the adults were now more angry at her grandfather because of the miscarriage, as he knew that Sirius was innocent of at least one of his purported crimes and so should have given him a trial like he did with all of the other supposed Death Eaters as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
Minerva and Rosalie baked a chocolate cake for Sirius, wanting to welcome him home properly, and hopefully make him feel slightly better. Whilst they did so Rosalie sat on a stool, helping to mix the batter, etc. since she still wasn’t able to walk, even if her leg muscles were nearly fixed. Severus was going to start teaching her how to walk again in a week, at which point the salve and exercises would have fixed the muscles and she would be able to put pressure on them without hurting or damaging them more. Thanks to the nutrient potions and the balanced diet, which still consisted of small meals as her stomach couldn’t handle too much, she had also put on weight. You could no longer easily count her ribs. They still stuck out but not as much as before. And her spine wasn’t as visible either.
When Remus stepped out of the floo, closely followed by his husband; Severus, Minerva and Rosalie were all in the living room waiting for them. Rosalie was sitting in an armchair, her legs resting on the footstool. Severus and Minerva stood from the long sofa when they stepped out of the fireplace and went to greet them; hugging both men and welcoming them home.
Remus walked over to his goddaughter and hugged her as she welcomed him home, having missed him for the past week. Sirius walked over to her as well.
“Hello, Snakelette.” Sirius said, looking at her in awe.
“Hello, Uncle Padfoot.” She greeted, smiling brightly at him and opening her arms wide.
Sirius knelt down and wrapped his around gently around his goddaughter, she wrapped her arms around him as well; both of them smiling.
“Oh, grandma and I made you a cake!” Rosalie told Sirius excitedly when they parted after a few minutes of silent hugging.
“Really? Is it chocolate flavoured?” Sirius replied, grinning for the first time in ten years.
“Of course! It is your favourite flavour after all!” She said, giggling slightly.
Sirius gasped. “However did you know?”
“Daddy told me!” She giggled.
“Did he now? Then I must thank him most humbly for telling you so that I didn’t end up with a cake as horrible as lemon cake!” Sirius laughed with his goddaughter, not noticing the three people watching them with small smiles on their faces, happy that the two laughing were on the mend despite all that had happened to them.
Chapter 7: Learning to Walk Again
Severus, Moony, Padfoot, and Minerva help Rosalie to walk again.
Hello all, I hope you are all well. Sorry for the wait but I have been ill, and have been incredibly busy with life, trying to find a new job, and I’ve had a few money issues lately, etc. But here is the new chapter and I hope you enjoy it.
A week passed in which Severus continued helping his daughter bathe, and massaging her legs with the salve, as well as doing the exercises. Rosalie and Sirius spent a lot of time together, Sirius only really spoke when Rosalie was with him. Well, he spoke with the other three in the cottage as well, but he didn’t speak as openly. He was more quiet and reserved. The three other adults in the house enjoyed the times they would watch him and Rosalie together because those were the only times in which they could see that he still had some of his old joyfull self in him.
But he was getting better, he was talking to them more. It was just slow going. They just had to make sure that he knew that they were there for him. Always.
It was during the night of Sirius’ return to the cottage that Rosalie asked her father how men are able to get pregnant, remembering that she hadn’t asked before. By that time Remus and Sirius had already gone to bed and it was just Rosalie and Severus together in her room, doing her exercises.
“Daddy, I forgot to ask this when you told me, but how do men get pregnant? I never heard of a case like that in the Muggle world.” Rosalie asked quietly.
“There are many ways a man can become pregnant, but only in the Wizarding World. Some men, like you Uncle Padfoot, are called natural bearers, meaning they have the equipment needed to get pregnant as well as the equipment needed to get someone pregnant.” He paused, he had given Rosalie the talk a few days ago, before explaining that Sirius had been pregnant when he was sent to Azkaban, but he forgot to tell her that same sex couples could have children as well. “I am also a natural bearer. There are also special potions and spells that can be used to give men the equipment needed to get pregnant and carry a child if they don’t already have what they need. So, it is okay to be gay in the Wizarding world because either way you can have a child to carry on the family name. There are spells and potions that allow lesbian couples to have a child together as well.” Severus explained.
“So, you can have a baby?” She asked, intrigued.
“If I wanted to, yes, I could.” He replied.
“Do you get periods, like I will? Or is it different with men?” Rosalie was indeed a very curious girl.
“No, I don’t get periods. With natural bearers it is different than with women. We don’t have eggs that join with the sperm to create the child. We just have the uterus and the birth canal. What makes the child is our magic, which is lining the inside of the uterus, mixing with the sperm and creating an embryo. Which is why it sometimes takes longer for men to fall pregnant, unless the two trying for a child are magically strong, then it happens rather quickly. I believe it only took Remus and Sirius a month to fall pregnant, going by how far along Sirius was when he miscarried anyway. And that is fast for a bearer.” Severus explained to the curious girl.
“That’s cool. At least I know what I want for Christmas now!” She joked, laughing quietly at her fathers’ shocked face.
It was after running a diagnostic scan on Rosalie’s legs at the end of the week that Severus deemed his daughters’ leg muscles strong enough for her to be able to learn how to walk again. To say that Rosalie had been excited would be an understatement, she was ecstatic. As much as she loved her new family, she was bored of having to be carried around, and bored of having to stay seated or laid up all day. She wanted to be able to walk around the garden without being in her fathers’ or godfathers’ arms. She wanted to be able to cook with her grandma without having to sit on a chair as she did so. She wanted to be able to walk around the lovely cottage on her own. She wanted to be able to go to the toilet on her own, or shower or bath on her own.
After transfiguring Rosalie’s clothes into some comfortable cotton, black shorts and a baggy light grey t-shirt, Severus called for Remus, Sirius and Minerva to enter the room, knowing that they may need some help, and that the three of them would love to see Rosalie walk again.
Rosalie blushed as the three entered, but didn’t fight it as she knew she would be unstable on her feet for a while and would need some help. And she knew that it meant a lot to all of them to be there to help her walk again. It meant a lot to her as well that she had people in her life that actually wanted to help her.
Severus gently rolled Rosalie onto her side, from her back, so that she would be able to sit up easier. He then helped her to, slowly, sit up so that her legs were dangling off the side of the bed. He had given her a pain relieving potion earlier so that she wouldn’t feel any pain whilst learning to walk again. Severus helped her budge forwards slightly so that her feet was touching the floor.
“Are you ready, Rosie?” Severus asked gently, still holding her hands in his.
“Yes.” She replied nervously after taking a deep breath.
“Okay. Sirius, Remus, could you stand on either side of Rosie and help if she needs it, please?” Severus asked his friends who moved to do exactly that, Sirius standing on her right and Remus on her left, Severus staying in front of her, holding her hands. “Now, Rosie, when you’re ready I need you to try and stand up, okay? Use my hands and arms to help you, and if you need extra help then Remus and Sirius can help also. Okay? Whenever you’re ready.” Severus told her kindly, smiling at her.
She smiled back and took a deep breath, waiting for a few seconds before trying to stand. She gripped her fathers’ hands tightly and tried to use them to pull herself up, her face straining with the effort. She was only able to make it up a short way before falling back down, loosening her grip on her fathers’ hands.
“It’s okay, it will get easier, Rosie. Are you ready to try again? Sirius and Remus can help you up if you need them to.” Rosalie nodded in reply and tried again, gripping her fathers’ hands as tight as she dared.
It took seven more attempts at standing before Rosalie was on her feet, still clinging to her fathers’ hands as she wobbled on her unused legs. Sirius and Remus were both ready to catch her should she fall. Severus smiled at her proudly and she gave him a shaky smile back.
“That’s it, Little Snake. Now, are you ready to try to take some steps, or do you want to sit down and rest for a while? This can go at your own pace, Rosie. You don’t need to push yourself. Just do what you’re ready to do.” Severus said gently. “If you aren’t ready to try to take a step now we can try again later.” He reassured her.
“N-no. I want to try.” She replied shakily.
“Okay. When you are ready, slowly move one foot forward and place it on the floor.” Severus instructed, still smiling at his little girl.
Rosalie took another deep breath and slowly lifted her right foot shakily from the ground, still clinging to her fathers’ hands as tight as she could, and moved it forward a couple of inches before placing it back on the floor and trying to regain her balance.
“That’s it, baby. You’re doing wonderfully. Now, when you are ready, move the other foot so that it is on the floor next to the one you just moved. Okay?” Severus beamed proudly at his daughter who shakily smiled back at him, nodding in reply.
Slowly and shakily she did as her father asked her to, clinging to him for dear life as her legs were shaking harder and harder. But as she took her first steps in weeks her father, and the rest of her family, wouldn’t stop beaming at her, all of them looking proud of her.
She managed another two steps before her shaky legs gave out on her and she fell to the floor, only to be caught by Moony and Padfoot and half carried back to her bed.
“I’m so proud of you, Rosie.” Severus told his daughter, smiling as he wrapped her in his arms.
“We all are.” Minerva added brightly.
“But I didn’t even walk that far.” She replied, always the one to doubt herself.
“We didn’t expect you to walk that much during your first time in weeks. You need time to adjust and get stronger. But soon you will be walking again, properly. This is just the beginning. You will get stronger, I predict that you will be walking normally again by your birthday, which is in a week. And no matter what you do, we will always be proud of you, and we will always love you. Supposing that everything you do is good anyway. We can try again later today if you wish, the more you try the sooner you will be walking again.” Severus said, smiling down at his daughter, who smiled shyly back at him.
The rest of the week was spent with the four adults helping Rosalie to walk again. Every time she was able to walk further than the previous time. And the more she tried the lower the need for the pain relieving potions before walking, during or after walking.
The four adults were immensly proud of her, and Rosalie basked in the pride, never having anyone, let alone a family member, be proud of her before.
And just like Severus said, she was walking properly, all around the house, on her own, the day before her birthday. All throughout the week the various adults in the house would go out at random times to buy presents for the young girl whom would be turning eleven. Rosalie didn’t know, she believed her birthday would be like it usually was, with her receiving no gifts and being locked in her room for the day. She would, indeed, be in for a shock when she woke up that fine summer morning.