A/N: Alright, so this is the last chapter! After three years, it's finally finished. Whoo! I hope you all enjoy, and thank you for continuing to give support and read this story. It's been a blast!
"Alright, alright, let's stay calm!" Hermione panted nervously as she looked up towards the ice blue sky. "Ron, you take the west end towards the Whomping Willow, Harry -" she pointed at him, "You go in the opposite direction. I'll -" But before she could finish her sentence, the trio heard a squealing wail coming from above them. They each looked up and saw Bella flying higher into the air, spinning around in quick circles. She waved at them as their jaws dropped.
"She'll kill herself!" Harry yelled, attempting to run in the direction she was in case she was to take a fall.
"What do we do!" Ron whined, following Harry.
"Petrificus Totalus!" Hermione hollered as she pulled out her wand and aimed it at Bella. At once, Bella froze in the chilly sky and slowly started to fall down to Hermione.
Ron raised his eyebrows. "Yeah, that works too."
Harry embraced the falling child as she landed into his arms. Ron pulled the sled out of the way and Hermione flicked her wand and said, "Finite Incantatem."
Bella immediately shot back to reality and blinked a few times. She looked at Harry, smiled, and squealed, "How'd you do that!"
"Don't you ever - ever do that again! Do you understand me?" Hermione's voice was raised higher than usual as she leaned over Bella. Although it wasn't in a threatening way, Bella noticed the tone in Hermione's voice and started to whimper. Hermione noticed this and her eyes widened, "Oh no - Bella, I didn't mean it like that - don't cry!"
But it was too late. Tears streamed down Bella's face and she buried her tiny face into Harry's sweater. "Way to go, Hermione." Ron mumbled. She nudged him in the stomach and he whimpered.
"Let's just get out of the cold," Harry told Hermione, and she looked at Bella sadly. They all hiked back up to the Gryffindor common room. By the time Harry had set Bella down on the couch and Ron had put away the sleds, Bella had stopped crying. Hermione kneeled down besides her.
"Bella, I didn't mean to yell at you. You just gave us a fright! We were all afraid you were going to get hurt."
Bella looked at Hermione and smiled. "It's otay, I'm sowee Mione!" She let out her arms and Hermione smiled and pulled her into an embrace. "Come on," she said as she picked up Bella. "Let's get you out of these wet clothes."
As Hermione trekked up to the girls common room with Bella, Harry and Ron plopped onto one of the many cozy couches by the already blazing fireplace.
"Blimey, it's been a long week, hasn't it?" Ron mused, staring into the fireplace with a smirk on his face. "I mean, watching Snape's daughter is already bizarre in the first place. Then she turns her hair pink, barfs all over Snape's face, runs around naked, starts flying around in the sky." Ron chuckled. "I'm shocked we're still alive, really."
"Agreed." Harry nodded.
The boys stared silently into the fireplace, warming up from the chill outside. "Can't we just relax today?" Harry asked, burying himself deeper into the couch and drowsily closing his eyes. "I feel the lack of sleep catching up to me."
Just then, Bella thundered down the stairs, Humperdink in hand. Hermione followed quickly after her.
"I just saw a ghost!" Bella shrieked, climbing her way quickly into Harry's lap. She held Humperdink close to her and huddled up to Harry's chest. As Hermione tried to explain to her that Hogwarts was filled with ghosts and she had no doubt encountered one before, Bella merely squealed in protest.
"It was scawee!" Bella whined.
Ron chimed in. "Oh I know! Let's take her to Moaning Myrtle, that'll -"
"Moaning Meertle?" Bella looked up at Ron with her large green eyes imploringly. At that moment, Harry and Hermione gave him a look of extreme annoyance. Ron reddened and shrugged. "I figured we might as well do something to pass the time before Snape gets back."
"Yes, but is that really the solution?" Hermione snapped.
"Moaning Meertle! Moaning Meertle!" Bella chanted. She clutched Humperdink close to her chest and squirmed quickly out of Harry's lap. Before anyone could snatch her, Bella had booked it past the portrait hall.
"Not again!" Harry groaned, and the trio quickly chased her out of the common room.
It wasn't hard to track her down. Although she was a quick runner for such a young girl, she had no idea where she was going. However, Bella being Bella, she quickly managed to find her way to Myrtle's haunted bathroom.
"How the hell did she know where to do?" Ron panted as they reached the deserted girls bathroom.
"Are you honestly questioning that?" Harry laughed. "How does she know how to do a lot of things?"
"She's quite gifted." Hermione remarked. Bella sat down in between the rows of stalls with Humperdink placed in her lap. She looked up towards the ceiling, expecting to see something magical.
"Bella, how'd you know -" Ron began, but was interrupted by a loud squealing wail. Ron, Harry, and Hermione covered their eyes, but Bella just darted her head back and forth in order to see where the ridiculous sound was coming from. Emerging from one of the toilets with a loud splash was Moaning Myrtle. She hovered above Bella, her lower lip jutted out and her mouth protruding an annoying whimper.
"Why are you here?" Myrtle wailed. "Have you come to make fun of me too?"
Bella sat there frozen, frightened and yet very excited to be talking to a ghost. Her fear for the one that had quickly darted between the walls while Hermione was changing her in the girls dormitories seemed to have vanished.
"Hi! Why are you cwying?" Bella asked.
"Why? Why?" Myrtle wailed, and once again the trio covered their eyes in annoyance. "Because people think it's fun to laugh at poor, helpless Moaning Myrtle!" She yet again produced another obnoxious wail, followed by a heaping plunge in the toilet. Water splashed everywhere, and Bella just so happened to become doused with it.
"Oh no!" Bella screeched. She left Humperdink on the ground while she immediately rushed to the toilet and stuck her head in. "We hafta save her!"
"Bella, really, she'll come back out later. She doesn't want to be bothered anymore." Hermione explained, attempting to hold Bella's hand and pull her back.
"No no no! She'll get lost down there!" Bella cried, and snatched the plunger that was next to the toilet. She stuck it in, not knowing how to use it, but the kerplop kerplop noises it made suddenly made her burst out in fits of laughter. She immediately forgot about saving the wailing ghost and continued to beat the plunger up and down in the refilling bowl of toilet water.
Hermione gave up on trying to pull her away, it was no use. Whenever she would grab Bella, Bella would stick the plunger to the toilet seat and continue to roar in fits of giggles. Hermione looked back at Harry and Ron for help, but they were only laughing at the sight of the small child, clearly having a blast with the plunger.
Hermione stared at them in frusteration for a moment, but she then realized that it was no use. Hermione let her chuckles overtake her, and soon she was laughing with the trio at the silly girl. Bella's hiccups and gusts of laughter at using the plunger in the toilet only made the trio laugh more, and soon they were rolling on the ground in fits of laughter.
"Look at me!" Bella squealed, and stuck the toilet plunger on her head. She grabbed Humperdink and squealed, "Wheeee!" A few seconds later, she had rushed out of the bathroom, prepared to show everyone her new hat.
Hermione, Harry, and Ron quickly got up and still laughing, went to chase her through the halls. They had bumped into Draco who had shouted, "Watch where you're going, filth!" But the trio hadn't even noticed him. They were too focused on the toilet watered drenched girl with a plunger on her head, running around the halls.
"Bella, get back here!" Harry shouted. She was making her way towards the Great Hall, where lunch was about to be served.
"No!" Bella squealed.
Eventually Ron was able to grab the squirming girl, who gave a few nods to classmates who were giving them all strange looks. Bella simply waved at them and said, "Hi!" to whomever she could.
Once they eventually made it back to the common room, Bella's energy had drained from her, and she was dozing in Ron's arms. Ron looked at Hermione and asked, "Well?"
"We'll have to clean her up again." Hermione answered., looking at the toilet watered little girl.
Harry and Ron looked at each other with widened eyes. Harry began haughtily, "If you think we're giving her a bath again -"
Hermione rolled her eyes, pulled out her wand and pointed it at Bella. "Scourgify." She said simply.
The toilet water vanished from Bella's clothing, hair, and skin, along with Humperdink. She was dry again and fully prepared to fall asleep in Ron's arms with the toilet plunger on her head. "Well bloody hell, why couldn't we have used that in the first place!" Ron exclaimed.
"Looks like she's ready for a nap." Hermione ignored him and said. Harry grabbed the plunger off of Bella's head with gentle force, and Bella barely noticed. She was officially asleep.
Hermione took Bella from Ron's arms and walked up to the girls dormitories. "I'll let her take a nap. Hopefully she'll sleep for a few hours."
And she did. Bella was asleep for almost four hours, and during that time Hermione was fully prepared to catch up with her homework. Harry and Ron filled the time with games of Wizard's Chess, cards, and dozing off. When five o' clock rolled around and students were coming in to take off their robes and get ready for supper, Hermione put away her homework and poked the dozing Harry and Ron.
"Snape should be here soon." Hermione smiled at them. Ron and Harry suddenly jerked awake, stood up, stretched, and yawned obnoxiously. Hermione ran up the stairs to go and wake up Bella. But about two seconds later, Hermione thundered down the stairs again.
"She's gone!" Hermione squealed, eyes wide in fear.
Ron simply rolled his eyes. "Again? Honestly, I think we should just let her run around -"
"Snape will be here any minute!" Hermione cried. "Honestly, how could she have slipped past us?"
"Don't question it." Harry mumbled.
The trio climbed out of the portrait hall and into jogged into the halls, when they quickly ran into Remus Lupin.
"Ah, there you are! I was just coming to find you." Lupin smiled. "Where is Bella? Snape is looking for her."
"He's back?" Hermione squealed. Harry and Ron stared wide-eyed at Lupin, and Lupin glared at them.
"Why does this seem to be such an issue?" His eyebrows narrowed. "Enough fooling around, where is she?"
"Hide and seek!" Ron blurted.
"Still?" Lupin asked.
"She has a lot of fun with it, Professor," Harry remarked. "We just hope we can find her quickly so that Snape doesn't kill us."
"Well, move it along then. He just returned about five minutes ago, he's expecting to see her before supper." Lupin nodded at them. "Can you handle that?"
"Of course, sir." The three students mumbled. Right when Lupin nodded and stalked off, they turned the other direction and started bolting.
"Blimey, where does that girl run to!" Ron panted.
"Who knows! But we better find her before -" Harry immediately broke off his sentence when right in front of them emerging from the corner, was Snape conversing with Albus Dumbledore.
"Shit!" Ron blabbed, and started to turn away when Snape hurriedly finished his conversation with Dumbledore and started stalking, extremely batlike, towards them.
"Oh, hello Professor," Hermione smiled nervously. "How was your trip?"
Snape glanced at her. "Fine, Miss Granger. Where is my daughter?" He eyed the three of them suspiciously when he noticed she was not with them.
"We're playing hide and seek, sir." Harry responded. "We're looking for her right now, actually."
"Hide and seek?" Snape hissed. "And what if she were to get herself lost or perhaps harmed? How could you be so foolish as to let her run around the castle by herself?"
"But she never gets lost, sir. It's her favorite game, really." Ron squealed.
"I should have never put her in the care of you three idiots -" Snape started dramatically. "Now my daughter is lost -"
"Daaaaaaaady!" A high pitched voice suddenly squealed from a short distance away. Bella was squealing happily with delight and running as fast as her little legs could carry her into Snape's warmly embracing arms. Snape seemed to have forgotten that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were still standing there, for he sweetly plucked Bella up from the ground and squeezed her into a warm embrace, rocking her in his arms. Her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck and her head was buried into his jet black hair. Snape planted a soft kiss on Bella's cheek and the trio cringed from the awkwardness.
Although, they had never seen their angry Professor show such affection like this before, and it left them looking dumbfounded at the reunited father and daughter. Snape soon remembered where he was and who he was previously speaking to, cleared his throat, and set Bella down on the ground, holding onto her sweet little hand.
"Well, you three are done with the burden of watching my daughter. You will be able to continue your classes tomorrow, and all of your school work should be finished." With that he nodded and stalked off, still holding onto Bella's hand. Bella turned her head around and waved at Harry, Ron, and Hermione with such happiness that they smiled and waved back.
During that night in the Great Hall as supper was served, Harry, Ron and Hermione ate in silence. Until Ron piped up.
"You know, that bloody git never actually thanked us for watching Bella." He stabbed his fork into his spaghetti and meatballs. "It's not like we begged to do it!"
"Yes, well, when does Snape ever truly show affection to his students?" Hermione asked. Ron shrugged and replied, "Still. It's not everyday he has students watch his daughter for a week."
Harry was looking over towards the staff table, where Snape and Bella were reunited in their familiar positions. Ron and Hermione followed his gaze. Bella had a forkful of pasta in her mouth, and her arms were flailing everywhere as she tried to explain something to Snape. She looked extremely happy.
"I bet she's telling him about her week." Hermione smiled.
Snape politely listened to his daughter. Occasionally he wiped her face with a napkin for she was eating like a wild baboon with pasta sauce smothered on her face, but most of them time he listened and seemed to be asking her questions, and she replied back with enthusiasm. A rare smile was planted on Snape's face. Not a huge smile, for that would be ridiculous of him. But a half amused, half adoring smile. A smirk almost, but not quite.
Suddenly, Bella pointed over to where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting. Bella was smiling widely and explaining something very important in toddler talk, and Snape followed her pointed finger. He met the gazes of the trio, and stared at them for a moment. He looked back at Bella, who was gleaming with happiness and started waving to her three best friends. Snape glanced back over to the trio and gave a rare, appreciative nod, and continued on with his supper.
Hermione smiled. "That's good enough for me."