Disclaimer: The following characters and places you recognize do not belong to me and are the property of JKR and her affiliates.
The Trouble with Rosie
Severus checked his reflection in the mirror to make sure everything was in place. Trousers – check. Jumper – check. Trench coat – check. Boots?
He paused, confident that they wouldn't be able to notice that the boots were dragon-hide. Severus ran a hand through his hair and looked over his clothes one last time.
"Please go, or I'll crack from your appearance."
"Muggles got one thing right – the bloody mirrors don't talk!" Severus growled, slamming the door to his chambers behind him.
Where is that blasted place? Severus scowled as he walked through the streets of London; he'd been adamant against the place from the beginning.
"Severus, I just want our daughter to experience a Muggle childhood. I know that yours… I know that…"
"Darling, if you wish to make a point, it'd be best not to stammer."
"I know that your childhood was hard," she said in a rush, touching his shoulder. "But mine was all right, and I want my parents to be involved in her life – and they can't very well do that if they need to Apparate to bloody Ireland to pick her up three times a week!"
"The Small Sorcerers School is a fine institution for her."
"I'm not saying that I want her to go to a Muggle elementary school before Hogwarts, I just want her to play in the Muggle way while we are at work. Of course, I could always have Ginny watch her during the week. You know how much fun she has with the Potter children."
He sighed. "Fine., but do not expect me to drop her off or pick her up. I will not go into that hovel in Muggle London, even if under the Imperius Curse."
Severus knocked on the door of "Bright Start Day Care." He grimaced at the sunny yellow door and Easter window decals of purple ducks and pink bunnies.
The woman at the door caught the look of distaste on Severus' face. "Hullo… are you here to pick up Rosie?" Her voice faltered at the end of the sentence.
"Yes." Severus walked into the building and grimaced at the sight in front of him.
Children were running about the room, its floor covered by a foamy plastic substance to prevent any possible injury. Perish the thought. Messy children had dried food stains on their clothes. Spoiled children banged toys on the floor and screamed when no damage was inflicted on them. Loud children, with voices to match the spoiled ones, sang nonsense songs and pushed each other around in play.
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose to calm himself. It's just a shrunken version of the Great Hall on Halloween, he assured himself as he found the only thing of value in the room.
His daughter played with some rag dolls in the corner, a satisfied look of contentment on her face.
"Isn't she a doll herself? And so well behaved too!"
Severus grunted in response. He was about to pick up his daughter when one of the spoiled children took her doll and pulled its head off with a pop!
Severus was about to react but stopped himself. Rosie's cheeks had turned a deep shade of red, and she bit her bottom lip in imitation of her mother. Then she did something that would make any father proud, well, any wizarding father anyway.
The stolen doll levitated out of the girl's hand, and the doll's decapitated head floated to rest on its body's shoulders before the whole thing fell to the floor.
The child screamed and ran away. Severus looked down at his daughter, waiting for a response. He crossed his arms and made his best Potions Master Glare While Dressed in Muggle Clothing.
She beamed up at him and raised her chubby arms.
Snape picked her up and strode out of the room of quiet, shocked children and day care staff.
"I'll owl you the fees for this month," he told them as he walked out the door.
"You did what?"
"I did nothing, although it seems that our daughter will become a talented witch."
Hermione tried to hide the smile of pride she felt for Rosie's magic. "You told them that you will owl them, Severus. What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking that our daughter was performing magic, as well as reflecting on how happy I would be to share this information with you."
Hermione's face softened. "If your sarcasm doesn't get me, your sentimentality will."
"I could always argue with you, and as much fun as that sounds, I'd rather 'kiss and make up.'"
Just as their lips met, they heard a giggle.
"Magic!" Rosie exclaimed as she clapped her hands.
Severus shifted in the bed. It was many years after the Dark Lord's reign, but he still had nightmares.
The Dark Lord hunched over him, his forked tongue sliding between his lips.
"Severusss," he hissed, pulling out his wand. "You betrayed me to the Light. You will pay for your indiscretions toward me."
Severus pulled back, feeling for his wand. It wasn't in its sheath.
The Dark Lord laughed, a deadly serpentine laugh that froze Severus' gut. The foul man extended a shriveled old hand to Severus and pinched his nose.
"Daddy, wake up!" The Dark Lord giggled.
Severus opened his eyes and saw a halo of frizzy hair above him.
"Daddy want bwek-fust?" Rosie asked, keeping a firm grip on his nose.
"Yes, I do," Severus replied. "Would you kindly relinquish your hold on my nose?"
Rosie laughed and let go of his nose. She rolled off of her father and pouted.
Severus got up and rubbed his eyes. "What's the matter?"
"Want piggy," she said, crossing her arms.
He sighed. Just then she looked like a three-year-old version of himself, which didn't happen often.
"Come then, and hold on," he said at the edge of the bed. He felt little arms wrap around his neck, and he stood from the bed, reaching behind him to secure Rosie.
"Faster, Daddy," Rosie said with a giggle.
"We're already here." Severus deposited her in a chair at the kitchen table.
"Good morning, Severus," Hermione said, turning to kiss her husband's cheek.
"Good morning." Severus had to force his facial muscles not to break into a wide smile.
Later on that day, when Hermione and Rosie had left to visit the Weasleys, Severus paused from grading error-ridden Potions essays to gaze at his family's portrait.
Hermione sat in a rocking chair, smiling as she held a baby Rosie in her arms. Severus stood behind them in a menacing pose. The glow of pride in his normally sallow face ruined the impression, however, and the trio appeared to be a happy family.
Severus supposed they were. Hermione and he had developed a satisfying marriage, full of respect, admiration… and love. Although the arguments between them had become renown throughout Hogwarts, Severus always enjoyed the "kiss and makeup" afterward.
One idea had frequently visited Severus' mind, however, and it had taken up permanent residence there. He didn't know what to make of his daughter.
Severus loved her, there was no doubt about that. But something irked him to no end, though he kept it to himself in fear of upsetting Hermione.
Rosie was nothing like him.
She was a bright and happy child, with curly blonde hair and blue eyes. Severus, in a temporary fit of anger, had once thought that she had the blood of a Malfoy running through her veins. But her hair was golden and curly, not pale and straight, and her bright blue eyes sparkled with affection and life, not with cold grey determination and arrogance. And even if Hermione had had an affair (which Severus strongly doubted), that scenario could have never been – the Malfoys had died many years before in the war.
Severus had tried to look past Rosie's physical appearance and figure out the facets of her personality, but even in that respect he couldn't understand her. He was glad that she wasn't a mean child, but her bubbly cheerfulness sometimes put him off guard.
Not even Hermione was that… happy.
Severus pushed the thought out of his mind and went back to his scrolls. At least Rosie will have the sense not to produce such drivel, he thought as he crossed out large sections of the unsatisfactory essay in black ink.
"Severus, dinner is here. Severus… Sev – there you are, dear."
"We aren't going to eat in the Great Hall?" Severus asked as he took off his outer robe. Hermione had cooked breakfast, after all.
"I wanted to share some news with you." Hermione sat next to Rosie at the kitchen table and waited for her husband to join them.
"What is it?" Severus saw a blush on Hermione's face and a glimmer in her eyes.
"Well, it's news for both you and Rosie." At the mention of her name, Rosie looked at her mother and ceased playing with her peas. Hermione smiled at her daughter and husband before continuing.
"There is going to be a new addition to the Snape household," she said with a grin. Severus rose from his chair to kiss his wife.
"Mummy?" Rosie reached for her mother's hand.
"Yes, Rosie. You're going to have a little brother or sister," Hermione said, taking Rosie's hand in her own and placing it over her stomach.
Severus quirked an eyebrow at the way Rosie's lips curled into a frown before turning into a bright smile.
Severus reached for a book on the sitting room table and settled down to read. Hermione was at St. Mungo's during an antenatal check-up, while Rosie played in her room. The poor girl had contracted phoenix pox and was covered in scarlet blotches on her skin.
He flipped through the book to look for a potion he could create to prevent the feathers that would grow from her rashes in a few days when a sound reached his ears. Or a lack of it.
Severus had learned over a few years as a father that silence when Rosie was in the chambers only meant trouble. He rushed into her bedroom to only find a mess of toys on the floor.
He searched through the rest of the rooms and found nothing, save for a pile of robes next to the open closet in the master bedroom. He finally found her in the kitchen dressed in one of his black teaching robes, standing over a large cooking pot with a wooden spoon in her hand. She stuck the spoon into the pot and stirred with a look of intense concentration on her spotted face, which was also discolored by chocolate syrup.
"What is the meaning of this?" Severus asked.
"Potion," Rosie replied cheerfully. She stuck a hand into the pot and licked her hand.
"And what does this 'potion' do?" Severus kneeled and looked into the pot, filled with chocolate and marshmallows.
"Stop my scratch," Rosie said, giving her hand another lick.
"Your itch, you mean. Let me give you a bath now, so that the itching gets better."
"More potions later?"
"If you'd like. May I ask what prompted you to make this?" Severus gestured to the mess of chocolate before him.
"I wanna be like Daddy," Rosie said with a bright smile.
She wants to be like me. Severus let his lips curl into a smile as he picked up his sticky sweet daughter to give her a bath.
Eight years later…
"Thank you for allowing me to be present at the Sorting, Albus," Hermione said.
"The Welcoming Feast is a meal like all the others you have sat at through the years. You have always been welcome to attend."
"Thank you again." Hermione smiled at the old wizard. "I feel so honored to be able to see my daughter's sorting… and to have Gregory stay here as well."
"It's not a problem, I assure you. Besides, Greg has been here before, when he was a baby." Dumbledore stretched out a hand to ruffle the boy's lank hair.
Greg frowned and pulled away from the headmaster. It wasn't that he didn't like the wizard, but was all the hair ruffling so important? At least he always had good candy.
Hermione was about to scold her son when shrieks sounded throughout the Great Hall. She stood to look for her husband, who had assisted Hagrid with the first years on the way from the lake to the school.
She let out a sigh of relief as she caught sight of a drenched Severus leading the first years – Rosie among them – into the Great Hall alongside an angry Professor McGonagall.
Severus approached the Head Table. "Peeves gets worse every year," he muttered, casting drying spells on himself.
"Didn't Peeves throw water balloons when I attended Hogwarts?" asked Hermione as she removed a shredded balloon from Severus' robes.
"He filled them with lemonade," Severus said, rubbing his eyes.
Once a semblance of order was restored to the Great Hall, the Sorting began. Severus sat next to his son and watched the proceedings with an uninterested air, only applauding at the new Slytherin arrivals.
He held his breath as Rosie sat on the stool and Minerva placed the Sorting Hat upon her head.
"Serena Seraphina Rosalind Athena Granger Snape."
The hat was on Rosie's head for less than a second before the decision was made. "HUFFLEPUFF!" screamed the Sorting Hat. The curly golden-haired girl skipped to the table decked out in yellow.
As the Sorting continued, Severus tuned out the snickers and whispers in the Great Hall and looked at his daughter smiling with the other Hufflepuffs. Out of all the houses his child could be placed into… Severus could already see Pomona's jovial speech she'd give him after dinner. He blinked when Rosie looked at the Head Table and gave his father a wink.
Severus still didn't know what to make of his daughter, but he nodded at her in return and reached behind Greg's chair to hold Hermione's hand for a moment. But as his son scrunched his prominent nose at his parents' display of affection, Severus was sure of one thing.
Gregory Thaddeus Hades Granger Snape was destined to become a Slytherin.
Author's Note: This little fic was inspired by my sister in her younger years and a multitude of cousins and nieces. Special thanks to Mollie Snape, who beta'd the tale.