A/N: Last chapter, yay! Everything shall be satisfied in this chapter, well, I hope. By the way, DaughterOfAres (my soul sister over at P&S) and I came up with a rather cool thing to keep in mind. I'll tell you at the very end, though. Enjoy. :D
After he placed his sleeping daughter on top of her bed and kissed her forehead, he turned to leave. However, he stopped when he noticed his littlest girl at the doorway. Roxi was looking in curiously, squeaking a moment later when she noticed her dad staring at her.
"Don't leave, sweet. It's all right," he quietly spoke. "Angel's just resting."
The little girl hugged herself as she stepped into the room. Approaching her sister's bedside, she bit her bottom lip and quietly whimpered. However, when she reached her father's side, she held out her hands and glanced towards Angel.
"You know, you're going to have to talk to me sometime, my sweet. I know you talk to Angel." He softly laughed when Roxi glanced down at the ground. "There's no need for that. I understand. I haven't been doing my job lately with you girls. Have I?" He then gently picked her up, helping her climb up her sister's bed. He pulled back and watched the girls snuggle close together. "Keep her safe until I come back, all right, Roxi?"
"K, Daddy," the little girl softly replied, hugging her older sister even more.
He pressed a kiss to both of their foreheads before turning around and walking out of the small bedroom. His girls really were beautiful, but they didn't get it from him. It was all Aurora. His girls had his temper, but that was about it.
Walking towards his bedroom, he inclined his head towards Madam Pomfrey as she emerged from the room. He didn't even think anything of it. If she thought that might help Aurora remember, then he didn't care if she pulled out all his boxers and had Black wear them. It just gave him an excuse to buy new clothes afterwards.
"I've spoken with her, Severus," Pomfrey said. "I believe she understands that you're not a threat to you. However, I did need to use a Calming draught with her."
"Does she remember anything yet?"
"I'm not sure. However, I believe she'd be more willing to listen to you now than me."
"I understand. She's resting then?" he asked.
"Or attempting to at least," the mediwitch replied. "However, that might have been her way of trying to get me to leave." She then sighed, resting a hand against his upper arm. "Approach it slowly, Severus. Her memories are there. They're just scrambled I think." Flashing a smile, she walked away.
Drawing in a breath, he decided to walk in. Aurora was not in bed as Madam Pomfrey thought. In fact, he heard the shower running in the bathroom. He thought about turning and leaving her in peace, but he didn't have it in him. He was afraid that she'd disappear again. So walking towards the bathroom door, he knocked gently against it.
"Am I to assume that you found clean clothes to wear?" he called out.
"Sure, bring them in and set them somewhere," she replied, clearly not having heard him.
Walking towards one of the boxes, he ripped it open and pulled out a pair of clean pants, shirt, and underwear. He then scoffed. It was ridiculous that the boxes were packed like this. What had he been thinking? Well, he likely hadn't thought a single thing.
"I'm coming in," he announced. He waited for a few moments for a response. However, he didn't hear one. Sighing, he decided just to walk in and set it down before leaving again. So, walking into the steaming bathroom, he set down the clothes and turned to leave.
"Where are you going?"
He stopped with his hand on the doorknob. He couldn't have heard her right. No, no that was just his mind playing trick on him again. He took another step, only to stop again.
"Severus, where are you going?"
Without turning around, he softly answered. "I am giving you privacy. It is the least I can do."
"We're married, though, aren't we?" she softly asked.
Slowly, he turned around to glance at her. Did she remember? He then sighed, shaking his head as he noticed the closed shower curtain. No, this had to be an effect of the Calming draught in her system. He was getting his hopes up for the littlest things now.
"I mean, I saw the picture. I doubt you're that good with technology," she mumbled.
"Picture?" he asked. "Which picture are you referring to?"
"The picture on your end table," she answered. "I'm holding two young men in it. Was that taken at our wedding?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Well, something seemed off about it. Maybe with time or something," she quietly said.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. It just didn't seem right to me. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm sure I did take a picture with those two at our wedding. It just, well, never mind, you'll think I'm nutters."
"No. I won't." His heart beat faster in anticipation. "I promise. Please tell me."
"I don't know how to explain it really, but I just have a feeling that it should move. It seems too plain to me, which is odd. Pictures don't move. I mean, that's absurd."
He stared at her outline on the shower curtain in disbelief. She remembered that pictures moved. He then pressed his lips tightly together to keep from cheering out. She remembered that wizard pictures moved. Closing his eyes, he smiled softly. It was a start.
"Has anything else felt odd to you?" he asked, just barely keeping the hope from his voice.
"I don't know. I mean, you," she answered with a sigh.
"What about me?"
"Oh, yes, let's exploit the woman as she's taking a shower," she muttered.
"I don't think you're mentally unstable. Please, just tell me."
"Fine, Severus," she replied annoyed. "You seem to be dressed funny. All of you seem to be dressed funny. I don't know why, but you don't look right. Dear god, I have to be losing my mind."
He glanced down at himself and then glanced back at her silhouette. He was wearing loose jeans and a black button down shirt. He supposed he would look a little funny pretending to be a Muggle, but he had forgone robes long ago. His eyes then widened. Robes, was that what she was remembering, him wearing his robes?
"Even this place doesn't seem right. Am I supposed to know this place? Did we live here?"
"No. I moved her with the girls four years ago," he answered.
"You say I'm not insane. But I sometimes dream that I live in this dark, damp place and there's someone wearing all black, stirring something in a cauldron. There are eyeballs in jars and pickled frog guts that line the wall. Tell me, Severus. Does that sound healthy to you?"
"It sounds like my lab," he said under his breath.
"Nothing," he quickly replied. "I don't think there is anything wrong with you." He then sighed. "I think I can explain a bit if you're willing to listen to me."
"Who were the boys in the picture?" she asked suddenly. "They're ours, aren't they? I mean, at least partly, like we took them in or something."
"Are you sensing something about them?" When he heard her cry out suddenly, he leapt towards the shower curtain and threw it open. His hands just barely caught her as she slumped forward. His arms then swung under her before he picked her up, carrying her into the bedroom. "Poppy!" he shouted. He heard her footfalls a moment later.
"What in Merlin's name happened?"
"I don't know. She was wondering aloud about the boys, and then she cried out and collapsed."
"How much was she remembering?" the mediwitch asked, glancing at him.
"She knew that the picture should have moved, that I don't typically wear this, and she described my lab." He then caught Pomfrey's frown of disapproval. "What?"
"Severus, amnesia always carries the risk of a person backsliding. It's why I informed you to approach this slowly."
"Is that what's happening here?" he asked, ignoring the concern in his voice.
"No. She likely pushed herself too hard." Pomfrey then sighed. "Her mind is trying to make sense of things that aren't quite there yet, Severus." She then placed a hand on his forearm. "You have to approach this slowly with her. Otherwise, her mind is going retreat in itself, and we'll be worse off than now. Oh, don't apologize. I understand. She'll regain consciousness in a bit. Just please take it slow."
Waking up six hours later to a person in his arms, he lifted his head up and smiled. He made himself up a temporary cot in the corner to sleep on, allowing her to have the bed. However, it seemed that sometime during the night she had left the bed and moved to join him on his cot. He wondered if this meant she was remembering more or if she was just showing him that she trusted him.
"Morning," she softly said, glancing up at him.
"Morning," he replied. "How are you feeling?"
"Better," she answered. "You don't mind that I'm over here, do you?"
He shook his head. Why would he mind? His wife was in his arms, safe and sound. He then smiled, noticing that he had failed to spell some clothes onto her before he had gone to bed. He at least had a shirt and boxers on. However, she didn't seem uneasy. Pulling up the blanket, he covered her.
"You know this is the first time I've woken up in a man's arms and not felt bad about it."
He couldn't help it. He tensed slightly. He supposed he should have thought about that. Six years was a long time, and she didn't know she was married. He couldn't blame her. So he remained silent, just holding her. She just didn't know.
"You see, I felt empty, incomplete, like I was missing my other half. I didn't really have much support from anyone. I mean, I was set up with a new identity and all, but no one told me what I was supposed to do in the meantime. So, I, well," she then trailed off.
"I won't judge you. You never have judged me, so I won't do the same for you now."
"Thank you, Severus," she quietly replied, kissing his cheek a second later. "You don't have to worry about anything, though. I mean, I was careful every time." Her eyes stared at him, noticing his pained expression. "I'm sorry. Oh god, I'm sorry. I shouldn't—"
"The truth is better to hear than lies," he replied. "So don't apologize. You were not aware that you were married. I take it then that these men you were with didn't … complete you?"
"What do you mean?" Her eyes then widened as she realized it. "Oh, no, Severus, they didn't feel right." She then groaned, burying her head into his shoulder. "Am I usually like this?"
"Some days," he answered with a forced laugh. "It's one of the many reasons I love you."
"Putting my foot in my mouth makes you love me? Oh, my, we are a funny bunch, aren't we?"
"We are something," he agreed. He then frowned, pulling her closer to him. "I have a question. It's one that I know might be hard. But when you disappeared, you were pregnant. Do you remember the doctors telling you this at all?" He felt her slightly tense, but she relaxed a moment later.
"I overheard the doctors mentioning it to each other, but—I think, well, I remember them saying something to each other about a baby. I'm sorry. I can't be certain."
"All right, it's all right." He then closed his eyes before he thought of something. "Aurora, can I show you something?" She nodded slowly, letting him up. He walked over to the end table and plucked the picture off the table and walked back. "Do you remember when you told me that it seemed odd? That it seemed too plain to you?" he clarified.
"Yes," she replied, nodding.
Gently grabbing her hand, he brushed her fingertips over the engraved Latin on the silver frame. The photo then came to life, making her gasp. She watched it curiously before she looked at him with big brown eyes.
"Magic," she quietly whispered. "Our photos move because of magic."
"Yes," he answered. He then held up a hand, summoning another picture. He watched her eyes widen as the frame flew out of a box. "Do you remember this?" he asked, holding the still picture of him standing beside her.
"It's at our wedding."
"Yes," he replied.
"I'm about to shove cake in your face," she said uncertainly before laughing.
He watched her, noticing the amazed look on her face. She likely was watching the memory play out in her mind as she spoke. He'd just wait. He was rather patient when he wanted to be.
"Everyone thought you'd be so mad, but instead you, you tossed me into the fountain in my parents' garden. The boys and Angel were laughing so hard. I remember that."
"Good, that's good," he replied, nodding. "We can do magic together. I'm a wizard, and you're a witch. Our daughters are witches, too. Though, our eldest is trying her damnedest not to be one."
"Ebony and bloodwood," she softly said. "Angel's wand is Ebony and bloodwood."
"Yes, it is," he agreed. "Well, it was. She snapped it earlier." He then sighed. "I'm supposed to take this slow with you."
"I've never done anything slow in my life," she drawled, laughing.
"No, you haven't." He then stared at her. "There's a branch of magic that I can do. I'm specialized in it. It would allow me to view your memories for a bit."
"So you could understand what happened to our son?"
"Our son?" he repeated. "You remember that it was a boy?"
"I remember grabbing your belt loops and demanding that you give me your boy sperm." She then laughed, rather embarrassed. "It's odd what things come back to you."
"When this is over, I'll give you whatever you want," he replied, staring at her.
"I think, well, I think I might remember a meeting. The others are there, listening to a man with a long white beard. He reminds me of Father Time."
"That's Dumbledore. You're remembering one of the Order meetings." He then grimaced. "I don't want to hurt you."
"This is important, though. If I—we—have a child, then we need to find him. I mean, I wasn't in any shape to care for a child. They might have given him up for adoption or something." Closing her eyes, she slowly breathed in and breathed out. "Work together as one, and we shall conquer. Remain divided, and we shall all fall," she recited.
"That was the day you disappeared." He then shook his head. "We can't do this. I'm pushing you too hard to remember. It's a good start. You're remembering more as time goes on."
"Severus," she replied, resting a hand on his chest. "We have to know."
"I don't want to lose you, though," he argued. "Not again," he said under his breath.
"Then do that thing and look at my memories. I trust you."
With a sigh, he stared at her. She might be able to trust him, but he wasn't so sure if he trusted himself. He had just found her. He didn't want to lose her again. But she was right. They needed to know. He didn't want to find out later that his son thought he had abandoned him.
"Severus, please," she pleaded.
Locking his gaze with her, he swallowed back all his doubts before he entered her mind. Her mind was rather chaotic, though, nearly making him disoriented. He supposed that was the amnesia manifesting. He glanced around the tens of thousands of shelves, trying to find some random order. However, there was no order to this disorder.
He would have to do this the slow way. He grabbed one of the rolled-up parchments that looked like one of Aurora's star charts and gently unrolled it. He caught a glimpse of the eleven-year-old Aurora sitting on a stool with the Sorting Hat upon her head. He rolled it up, put it back, and grabbed the next. This was going to take awhile.
After the hundredth memory, he sighed, hanging his head. He found the memory of her talking to Charlie after Snape had yelled at the man for losing sight of her, but that was the closest he had come to the accident. He was starting to wonder if he'd ever find it. However, he couldn't give up. Not when he was this close.
Grabbing a star chart, he unrolled the memory. His brows furrowed slightly as he watched it for a moment. It was actually about her accident. Knowing that there was no such thing as dumb luck in life, he glanced around. It was odd that Aurora hadn't appeared to direct him, but he assumed that was because she didn't know. Her charts were badly disorganized, so she likely wouldn't have done any good to him anyway. Perhaps she was helping him? However, no one was around. He then sighed, glancing back to the unrolled star chart of her memory.
He heard Charlie Weasley cry out as Greyback slammed into him from behind. He then watched as Charlie slumped to the ground. However, Aurora rushing past him gained his attention instantly. He watched her chase Greyback into the building, throwing hexes as she went.
He watched Greyback rushing through the corridor towards the back door before a bright light overtook the building. He whirled around, trying to figure where the light had come from. However, it didn't make sense where he saw it. It was as if it was coming from Aurora herself. He then felt the building shake before a dispersal wave flew towards them. The memory then ended, and he was left with more questions. Had she done that?
He rolled up the star chart and placed it back into the shelf, grabbing the next. He looked at it, narrowing his eyes when he saw that it was a memory of a hospital room. He then glanced up and looked at the shelves. He couldn't believe it. The star charts had somehow reordered themselves. Shaking his head, he glanced down at the memory and watched it.
Aurora was on a hospital bed with strange machines beeping around her. Her head was wrapped in gauze with blood seeping through. Gauze also covered her midsection with her arms and legs in casts. Her eyes were closed, but rapidly moving back and forth. To sum it up beautifully, she looked like she fought a hippogriff and lost horribly.
The sound of the door opening behind him made him quickly whirl around. He watched two blurred doctors walk in together. The men seemed very somber as they talked back and forth with one another. However, they slowly approached Aurora's bedside.
"I'm not quite sure what to make of her, Steven."
"You mean, if you made the right decision or not?"
"No. I'm convinced that I made the right decision with saving her life rather than the fetus's. It was next to none anyway that it'd survive without a surrogate. However, the amount of blood lost, well, that should have killed her on the operating table. She shouldn't be here, Steven. I mean, I've heard of miracles, but this woman has to have a whole fleet of angels looking down on her to save her from that."
"Perhaps she does." The doctor then sighed. "They haven't found the next of kin?"
"No, but it's not as if there was much to go off. She came in stark naked." He then growled, shaking his head in disgust. "Honestly, what sort of sick son of a bitch would leave a pregnant woman just lying there by the rubbish, all bloodied and whatnot?"
Severus immediately pulled out of the memory. His breathing had become shaky, and his heart violently thumped against his ribs. He stared at the memory in his hands in utter disbelief. She had been found next to the rubbish? Where? He hadn't remembered seeing any that night. He then closed his eyes, feeling himself start to lose control of his emotions. That was hazardous to do when it was just him. However, it was downright unsafe to do when using Legilimency on another person.
Unable to use the necessary control needed, he ripped himself from her mind, throwing himself onto the floor as a result. He then quickly scrambled to his feet, rushing into the bathroom before heaving everything he had eaten into the loo. He could hear Aurora softly walk across the tiled floor towards him before feeling her cool hand against his forehead.
His breaths now came in loud pants. His heartbeat drummed in his ears, blocking all other noise. The heaving had finally stopped, though, allowing him the chance to use an intense cleansing charm. Slowly, he felt Aurora's hand move down his face in an attempt he assumed was to calm him. He only leaned back into her and closed his eyes, focusing on the feel of her heart beating against his back.
"What did you see, Severus?" she asked quietly, a few minutes later.
He jerkily shook his head in response. He didn't trust his voice right now. Not after seeing that disturbing memory. Soon, he noticed that he was shaking uncontrollably in her arms. No doubt this was the result of the potency of his emotions right then. No matter what he tried, he couldn't get that damn image out of his mind. He clearly saw her bloodied naked body left next to a pile of rubbish on some cobbled, abandoned street. He heard her soft moans as she attempted to cry out for help as onlookers passed right on by. His imagination obviously had run amok.
"Severus, please tell me. What did you see?"
"He's," he started to say, swallowing harshly a moment later. "He's gone, Aurora."
"Who's gone?" she asked quietly, caressing his face lightly.
"Our son," he replied shakily. "Our son's gone." He then cleared his throat. He couldn't act like this. She'd blame herself. He didn't know what to do, what to say then if she did. It wasn't her fault. None of this was. He turned around and grabbed her arms. The words didn't want to come. What could he say? Could he look into her eyes and make her understand? Could he make her see how much he loved her? Yes, they'd lost their child, their son. But he had her. Pulling her closer, his mouth found hers. He didn't know how else to say what he was feeling.
Their kiss deepened immediately as his hands in the meantime moved down her neck. When he found no cloth holding him back, he stopped and pulled back. He caught her momentarily flicker of surprise before she stared at him uncertainly. Taking this too far would only hamper the efforts later to reach a sense of normalcy again. So, instead of listening to his overwhelming desire to possess every inch of his wife that he hadn't touched in six years, he pulled his shirt over his head. Ignoring her disappointed expression, he gently helped her ease herself into the black t-shirt that quickly covered.
"Under better circumstances, I might have continued that," he explained. "However, we have the rest of our lives to be together now." He caught her slight twitch in her jaw. "Because I sure as hell am not letting you out of my sight ever again," he said, pulling her closer.
"So, I take it that I'm not ever leaving the bed again?" she asked with a soft smile.
"Not if I have anything to say about it," he replied, placing his chin on top of her head.
"I see. Well, we do have two girls to think about now. And I must say, as much as I enjoy your company, I have some making up to do with them."
"Of course," he agreed.
"But seeing as how I was gone for six years, we have six years of sex to make up. Don't we, Severus?" She then laughed, kissing his lips.
"Hopefully not all in one night," he replied with a soft grimace. "I'm not as young as I used to be, Aurora. And I doubt you are either."
"Are you calling me old, Severus?"
"No, no," he replied immediately. "I'm just saying that we're not that young anymore."
"Oh, shut up, Severus," she drawled, capturing his lips again. She then pressed her forehead against his. "I know it's horrible. We should be grieving, not this. But I barely remember it."
"Then let's just leave it in the past and focus on our present and future."
Six months had passed, and the family was slowly healing. Severus had stayed true to his word. He wouldn't let his wife out of his sight for even a second. Though, neither one of the parents spent that much time away from their kids either. The girls weren't complaining too much, however. Tragedies like this one took time. And they had all the time in the world now.
"Finally shaved off that beard, did you, Dad?" joked Harry as he approached.
"Well, he had to, little brother. No way would Mum let him get away with that," replied Draco.
"Oh, hush, boys," Severus replied, mock glaring at them. His eyes then caught his soon-to-be daughter-in-law. "Ah, Miss Granger, you're stunning as ever."
"Thank you, Prof—Severus," she corrected. She then grimaced, rubbing her swollen abdomen.
"Here, sit," he said. "I'd hate for something happen to the first of my grandchildren."
"Oh, come on, Dad. Dray slept with her and managed to get her pregnant. He's not even married to her yet. On the other hand, you have me, the one who did wait to marriage," Harry replied, glancing towards his blond brother. "Tell me, Dad. Which one of us is the better son?"
"Yeah, but you haven't managed to get it right yet, have ya, little brother? Gryffindors must do it differently than Slytherins. Isn't that right, Dad?"
"Draco, that's enough," Severus replied, glancing towards the blond. However, his heart clearly wasn't into scolding him since a certain little girl was giggling hysterically at her brother.
"I've never been to a ceremony like this," said Luna Potter wispily.
"That's because there's never been one before it," Angel responded with a thin smile.
"Shall we?" Aurora asked, raising her thin, silver wand.
Severus only inclined his head, raising his ebony wand simultaneously with his wife's. They pointed their wands at the grave marker and sent their combined spell at it. He held in a sigh of relief as the white marble exploded a moment later, sending thousands of little pieces into the air.
"So much for 'here lies Aurora Sinistra'," quipped Harry.
Wrapping an arm around his wife, Severus smiled. There was no better way to go out than that.
A/N:So, DA (DaughterOfAres) and I were talking about this story, and I shared a snippet about Severus in Aurora's mind. Well, Miss DA said something that I found really interesting.
DA: She's been 'broken' for 6 years. And his touch (a mental one in this case) is enough to 'fix' her.
DA: well ... what Snape and Aurora are doing is like what would happen if they did finally touch like Orion and Dawn (mythology)
In case you're wondering about the mythology of Orion and Dawn, the following is what DA was referring to.
In the sky, Orion reunites with the Dawn in late summer. In July, Orion is reclining just above the eastern horizon waiting to take his lover's hand as Dawn lifts her rosy fingers out of the eastern mists. Their daily encounters become more distant and the reunion ends in the late winter when Orion sets in the west just as Dawn shows in the east. The rest of the year the lovers are separated. Orion is not visible at dawn taken from Orion and Scorpius Constellation Suite 101
There you go, a little bit of a mythology lesson wrapped up there, too. Well, I hope you sincerely enjoyed this story. And thank you so much for reading, and hopefully reviewing.