A/N- This is it. The last chapter. I hope everyone has enjoyed this fic! I encourage you to check out some of my others. Thanks to all of you!
Nine Years Later…
Bathsheba Le-Annette Snape bent at her tiny waist and set the bouquet of red roses on the well-kept grave before her, under the watchful eyes of her father, Severus Snape. Her little eyes—blue, like her mother's—swept the tombstone, reading the engravings on it for what was probably the zillionth time in her life since she had learned how to read. Severus smiled as he watched her mouth the words to herself.
Le-Annette Zachary. Born ???. Died May 20, 1997. Loving Wife, Mother, Friend, and Mentor.
Bathsheba jumped slightly as he placed a hand to rest on her shoulder. He smiled down at her. Her short black hair was brushed back, framing her heart-shaped face. She had his nose, he noted, but it looked good on her. Not large at all. She hugged him, and he wrapped his arms around her. His little Bathsheba.
He had known the name that Le-Annette had wanted to name their daughter. He had always known. He had no rational explanation for this. But no one had asked him for one. It seemed that everyone had known, unconsciously, that Le-Annette had wanted to name her child after her best friend of long ago. It seemed…fitting.
"Daddy, what are the other roses for?" Bathsheba asked, breaking into her father's thoughts.
Severus looked down, forgetting that he was holding a handful of separate, single roses. There were five, not quite a half dozen. He didn't need any more than that. He smiled, handing them to his daughter.
"They're for Zion, and your brothers and sister. Put one on each of their graves," he instructed her.
Snape watched as she did as she was told, moving left from her mother's grave. He had worked nonstop after Le-Annette had died. She deserved to be buried beside her family. Not Slytherin, no one knew where he was buried, but with the one family who had been with her the last time death had approached her and asked for her hand. Her children and Zion, her dark savior.
Bathsheba put a rose on each grave, saying "hello" to Zion and each of her brothers and sister by name. Snape had made sure that she had known all about her mother. Her life, her undeath, and her death. He had wanted her to know that Le-Annette had been special. So she could accept that she, too, was special.
Bathsheba was a half-vampire, a very rare condition. Virtually unheard of, especially by birth. But despite Le-Annette's mysterious re-emergence into life, her daughter still retained some vampiric qualities. After all, except for her labor, Le-Annette had been a vampire for everything else. Bathsheba could go out into the sun, eat normal food. But she was very strong, very fast, could hear and see things that others couldn't, and once in a great while, had a craving for blood. But all of these things were more than manageable.
Bathsheba stopped at the last grave, her sister Nola's, and turned away, smiling. Snape turned to see what it was that she was looking at and found himself smiling as well. Hermione Granger-Malfoy was coming up the slope, carrying a few flowers herself and her pregnant stomach well covered by a brown cloak.
"Hello, Professor," she said, placing the flowers on Le-Annette's grave.
"Severus, please, Hermione. I haven't been your professor for nine years. You babysit my daughter, for Merlin's sake!" he replied with a smile.
"Aunt Hermione!" Bathsheba squealed, launching herself around Hermione's waist. "Where's Uncle Draco?"
"At work, dearest. I had the day off," she said, hugging the child back.
Hermione and Draco married almost immediately after their official graduation from Hogwarts. Draco had boldly made Snape his best man, with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley as groomsmen. As a wedding gift, Snape had given Hermione the books he had found among Le-Annette's possessions that held all the notes on her family bloodline. Hermione had expressed an interest to him at Le-Annette's funeral to keep up her aunt's work of keeping track of Slytherin's family. She had been thrilled to receive those volumes.
"How are you? How is everybody?" Severus asked, gently prying his daughter off of Hermione.
Hermione laughed. "Great. Everyone's great. Harry and Pansy are expecting their second child, actually. I just got a letter from them this morning."
"Really? Their second? Who would have thought?"
"I think maybe Le-Annette would have. She seemed to be good at being a matchmaker."
Silence fell after this comment. A few more moments of it passed before Severus finally moved to break it.
"So, have you been to see any of the others' graves recently?"
"Others that we lost during the battle? Yeah, I have. McGonagall, Hagrid, Neville, and Ginny…just to name a few. I try to go as often as I can," she answered, pushing a lock of hair behind her ear and looking away.
Bathsheba was looking between the two adults, her brow furrowed. She often looked that way when any one spoke of the last battle with Voldemort. It was almost like she was trying to remember things that she couldn't possibly have ever known.
"I've always meant to ask you," Hermione said suddenly. "Beside the family history notes, did you find anything else interesting among Aunt Le-Annette's things?"
"Yes. Portraits, tiny ones, of almost everyone she spoke to us about that one summer. Her children, her best friend, even one of who I believe was Slytherin. The children's portraits are in Sheba's room. I thought it might be nice if she had pictures of her brothers and sister with her," he answered, looking behind him and back as if he were nervously expecting something.
Hermione smiled and nodded. Looking around a bit herself, she finally sighed.
"Well. I should be going. You know, I'm finally accepting that Transfiguration position at Hogwarts. We'll soon be colleagues," she said.
"I sort of think we always were, Hermione. It's nice to see you again," he said.
She nodded once, hugged Bathsheba, and walked away. Severus heard the tiny pop that indicated her apparition. After that, Severus took his daughter's hand and began to walk down the slopes himself. Bathsheba looked up, curiosity sketched all over her young face.
"Daddy…what was Mommy like?" she asked.
Snape laughed. "Honey, you know exactly what she was like. I've told you before."
Suddenly, the child looked very solemn. "Tell me again. Please? Every time anyone talks about her…she just seems so great. And close. Please, Daddy…tell me again."
Severus stopped at the gates of the cemetery, looking down at his daughter. The girl's icy blue eyes stared up at him hungrily. With a nod, he led her over to a nearby bench outside the gates and sat her on his lap.
"Le-Annette Zachary was a very special, important person. Even when she was young—about your age—everyone knew. Especially a vampire by the name of Zion…"
End Notes: Well, that was it. I hope everyone enjoyed this. I also hope that the epilogue wasn't too pointless. It's been a good run. Hope to see some of you on some of my other fics. Thanks for reading!