"You three are dismissed, enjoy the rest of your day, I would suggest going outside on such a wonderful day," Dumbledore smiled as the three walked out of his office, he could already tell Meadow was trying to play match maker.
Five: Winter Dream
Meadow's adopted father, Severus Snape, visited as often as he could, but that was only once or twice a month since the end of term was coming up and soon Christmas would be among them. Somehow the adults had managed to clear Miss Figg's name for the right to be held accountable for a minor, Meadow was told this by the older woman multiple times because of how excited her caretaker was to have her there. Meadow thought it was some kind of magic they performed, although she was still upset that she was placed in a 'normal' home instead of staying at Hogwarts where she would see her father everyday. Miss Figg was the only family she had now… well her along with her five thousand cats she owned.
After a day of cleaning, no castle to wander around, and a dozen hungry kitties who wanted to be fed, Meadow gave in and got them more food. She was really hoping her father would pick her up and allow her to leave for the Malfoy's, even for just an hour. She needed child attention. Miss Figg had signed her up for a Muggle school, which ran from September to June with only two weeks break, one week for the winter and one week for the spring. Meadow huffed to herself. She had made a few friends sure, but the one person she really wanted to talk to was a black-haired, green-eyed boy, whose cousin punched anyone who would go by him. So Meadow decided to wait until he was by himself at the park or something during the summer.
After dinner, which was mac and cheese for the fourth night that week, Meadow turned in.
Meadow was dressed up as a candy witch, she was small, maybe two years old. She found herself looking up into the red eyes of a faceless man late at night. She had been on her bed toying with a fringe of a blanket that was wrapped around Adella; while Shane and Harry fought over a toy broom when both boys went silent the toddler looked up. Straight into those red eyes.
"Hello little girl, I believe you escaped death once, it's your time after his," the man said, then he turned away with a flick of his wrist a green light flashed right at Harry's face.
Meadow woke up crying next to a cat, its name was Pumpkin, it ranged in colors of orange, and her bright yellow eyes stared at Meadow and her breathing slowed down. It had only been an hour since she went to sleep. Pumpkin laid on top of her chest and put her head down, she allowed Meadow to wrap her arms around the cat. Soon, the five-year-old fell into a deep sleep.
In the morning, Miss Figg had made pancakes for breakfast, but didn't have any syrup to put on the slightly burned breakfast. She did have powdered sugar, which Meadow tapped an extra amount on her pancakes to cover up the burnt taste. After breakfast, Meadow started her normal routine of sweeping the house, but Miss Figg stopped her, "Oh no dear, not today, your father is coming to pick you up. Go wash up and wear something nice."
Meadow smiled, passed the broom on to her caretaker, and raced to the bathroom to take a bath. For a five year old, Meadow had developed a strong sense of independence when she was racing around Hogwarts, as well as when she started kindergarten with a bunch of other five-year-olds. Muggle school was actually highly annoying, because on top of all the coloring Meadow had to do, it took seven hours out of her day, where she could actually be reading other things. You see, on her spare time at the castle, were a house elf would take care of her, they often helped her learn how to read, it was just reading aloud she had trouble with. Therefore, most of the things the kindergarteners were doing, Meadow had already passed in level wise. Some things were difficult for her, like learning what Muggle money meant, she had never really seen it. She often snooped in her father's drawers finding small coin, which he once caught her and told her all about sickles, knuts, and gallons. For Meadow, learning Muggle things was like learning a whole other language. Little did she know, it would help in the future.
Once Severus arrived, Meadow was ecstatic, she jumped into his arms, "I missed you Daddy!"
"I missed you too my flower," He replied and hugged her tighter. He set her down, kissed her forehead, and looked at her, Miss Figg had taken her to get a haircut, not much was taken off, but it was a couple inches shorter, bringing her hair down to her shoulders in loose, blonde curls. Her dark eyes, so much like his own, had long eyelashes that made her eyes look huge. Her skin had become lighter again after her summer tan, making her look even paler against her blonde hair. Her lips had started to fill in, becoming fuller and pink. She was wearing a dark green long-sleeve sweater, black wool skirt, thick, white tights, and black boots. Meadow had also grabbed a small butterfly barrette to put in her hair as well, pinning back her side bangs.
"What are we doing today?" Meadow asked, it was Christmas Eve, previous years they had went to go see her mum before going to a Christmas party at the Malfoy's manor.
"We are going to the Malfoy's so you can play your little heart out," he responded.
"What about Mummy?" Meadow ducked her head, but glanced up with her eyes, she looked guilty for asking, but why Severus didn't know.
Severus sighed, he should have known his daughter would have wanted to see her mum, "Should we go shopping for a gift together?" Meadow's face lit up and she nodded.
About two hours later, Severus and Meadow finally left Diagon Alley with a present for their loved one. As Severus picked Meadow up, he warned her to hold her breath, and he turned on the spot, apparting to in front of an old beat-up building. He put his daughter down and she grabbed his hand, basically pulling him through the wall of the building. However, instead of running into the wall as one non-magic folk would expect, the two went right through, and into a reception entrance.
"Hello, Violet," Severus called to the witch at the desk, she smiled at the two, and waved them forward. The father and daughter duo would always show up for Christmas Eve to say hello to Sadie Beckard, a patient who had been in their care for four years, she had very few signs of recovery, but Violet doubted she would ever walk or talk ever again. All Sadie could do would twitch her fingers, it was often how the healers and her only two visitors would communicate, all yes or no questions. Behind Severus's back she caught a bouquet of Meadow Lillies, apparently, they were Sadie's favorite, it something she had found out on one of the times her and Severus would talk. She heard the beep of the elevator and knew they would arrive in Sadie's room within the next minute. Sadie had been moved again, her immune system not as weak as before, her room was now 428. Any rooms below 425 were fast recovery spell damaged rooms, mostly for splinching, accidental magic, or other minor spell damage injuries.
Meadow slowly let go of her father's hand as they reached the fourth floor and raced ahead, she opened the door, Sadie had been moved into the Longbottoms' room, but Meadow paid no attention to the other boy who was in the room. She just climbed onto her mother's bed and laid next to her. "I miss you Mum," she whispered, and cuddled up closer, "Daddy and I brought you a present, it's Christmas Eve." Her mum slightly twitched her left ring finger on Meadow's back. "You'll really like it, I promise, I picked it out for you!" Another twitch of the finger and a possible slight smile, but Meadow probably imagined the smile. Meadow had many dreams that one day, her mum would be sitting up in bed, waiting for Meadow to come visit, and when she did, Sadie would start walking and pick Meadow up. But if that ever happened, it wasn't looking good right now.
Severus walked in, said hi to the Longbottom boy, before sitting at the foot of Sadie's bed. "Should we give Mum her present?" He asked Meadow and she nodded, he placed a hand on Sadie's leg, "Well Mum, Meadow got you something and I bought you Meadow Lilies, they're your favorite." He said and replaced her old flowers, he tried to switch things up and get tiger lilies, but the bright orange and red was very bright compared to the soft yellow of the meadow lilies.
"Mum, we got you a little locket! It's on a chain, and it has a picture of me and Daddy in it. The locket is silver with a tree on it, it shows its roots too. I have one too. It has a picture of you in it. I'll always have mine with me, just like you'll have yours with you. I'll always be with you," Meadow said, tears started to weld in her eyes. "I miss you so much," she fell forward and hugged her mum the best she should.
Sadie was lost, she couldn't find her way out, it was pitch black. "Hello?" She called. "HELLO!" but only silence communicated back. Frustrated, Sadie walked around.
"I miss you Mum." A little girl's voice said, Sadie's heart sank and sped up at the same time, it must be her little girl, how much time had passed since she'd been lost in her own head? "Help me! Darling help me!" She called. "Daddy and I bought you a present, it's Christmas Eve." Christmas Eve?! Sadie was startled, her body was in shock and her left hand gave a twitch from stilling so quickly. A small light appeared in the distance and Sadie started to run towards it. Wait. Daddy? Does that mean Severus took care of her little girl? "You'll really like it, I promise, I picked it out for you!" Sadie smiled, Meadow. Her little girl, she was alive. "MEADOW!" She called, "Don't leave me! Not yet!"
"Should we give Mum her present?" Severus. It was him who helped. There was a pause, "COME BACK TO ME!" Sadie screamed as the light started to fade again. "Well Mum, Meadow got you something and I bought you Meadow Lilies, they're your favorite." His voice was so sweet, she started sprinting, "Severus! Severus I miss you so much!"
"Mum, we got you a little locket! It's on a chain, and it has a picture of me and Daddy in it." Sadie fought back tears, they were too sweet to her lifeless body they were seeing. The locket is silver with a tree on it, it shows its roots, too. I have one too. It has a picture of you in it. I'll always have mine with me, just like you'll have yours with you. I'll always be with you." Meadow said before Sadie felt the weight of her little girl on her chest. "I miss you so much." Sadie started crying, she had stopped running. "I miss you too sweetheart!" And then she remembered, she never told Severus her daughter's name, she had passed out before she had the chance. How did he know? She went to a Muggle hospital, and disappeared into the night with her daughter before she filled out the birth certificate. How do you know what I named her, Severus? She thought really hard. The light which had flooded the area, disappeared. But it was too late, the blackness took her away again. Making her lose track of where she was, becoming lost once more.
"Let's go, Doe," Severus said softly, it was always so hard on his daughter to see her lifeless mother whom was still alive. He picked his daughter up, and carried her as she cried on his shoulder. She had thrown her arms around his neck like they were dead weight. "Now, now, Meadow. It's okay," he paused slightly to nod goodbye to Violet, who as usual, wore a small smile with sad eyes. Instead of the door to the outside world, Severus turned towards the fireplace which had a sign that said "OUT" on it, meaning this was the fireplace in the hospital which allowed for wizards and witches to floo out of the building rather than in.
He picked up a small amount of green powder, stepped in the fire, still expecting to be burned, dropped the powder, and yelled "Malfoy Manor!" When the two arrived he waved his wand with a small cleaning spell, their clothes were no longer filled with soot. Severus put Meadow down and a house elf greeted him, it was Dobby. Meadow smiled at him and her father looked at the elf, "Dobby, go find your Masters."
"Dobby the house elf if here to bring the Snapes to Dobby's Masters, Sir!" the creature squeaked.
"Very well then," Severus grabbed Meadow's hand, she was still somewhat moping, Severus is secretly hoping that she'll snap out of it when she sees Draco. They would be the only two children here, and they would also be locked up in Draco's quarters, a house elf would be guarding the East Wing and telling guests it is not open to them. The Malfoy's had allowed their elves to use a simple stinging type of elf magic if one did not obey their commands. Dobby had led the two into the large dinning room where the three Malfoys sat. Much to Severus' pleasure, Meadow stopped sulking and raced over to Draco, who hugged her back as she just about tackled him.
With that being settled, Dobby whisked the two five-year-olds away and the adults finally allowed their guests in for the party. Meadow and Draco had fallen asleep after trying to stay up just as late as the adults, but with the excitement of Santa coming, presents, and seeing each other, the two had been exhausted. They had fallen asleep on Draco's oversized bed once again.
On Christmas day, Severus took Meadow back to St. Mungo's to open up her Santa/Severus presents. Meadow was excited to see her mum again and she started to open gifts, but she was soon distracted by one gift in particular. Snow swirled around the snowman in front of Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry, and a couple kids were having a snowball fight, hiding behind make shift forts. Meadow watched the snow globe fascinated. It was the first Christmas present she opened and the five-year-old was obsessed, she shook the snow globe again and the snow whirled around faster and a snowball missed and hit the glass. Meadow giggled.
"Doe, sweetheart," Her father's voice said, "Why don't you open some other gifts."
"Aww," She pouts, but her father gave her a pointed look, and she quickly nodded and reached for a long, rectangular one. It was covered in green wrapping paper with a silver bow on it, there was a tag on it she pulled it over to her father's lap. "Daddy, what's this say?"
He chuckled, "Try reading it."
"De-dear?" Severus nodded. "Dear Meaa..Doe? Hey that's my name! Dear Meaddoe, here? Here's sum think?"
"Something," Her father corrected.
"Here's something… um…?"
"Special?" Meadow questioned, he nodded, "Here's something special for you- for me!? Luve, Daddy."
"Open it dear," her dad said, he nudged her arm. She smiled up at him and ripped off the paper to revel a box and on it in big bold letters: Potion's kit! Includes ingredients for a pepperup potion.
"What's a Pep-errr up potion?" Meadow asked looking up at Severus with big, round eyes.
"A Pepperup potion is a potion that makes you feel better when you're sick," he explained.
"Would Mum be able to take it?" She asked with a pout.
Severus frowned, "No Meadow, she needs to heal from the inside out, her injuries have to heal the long way." However, the younger Snape did have a point, why didn't they give Sadie Pepperup? Unless they did, Severus thought hard, it had been such a long time since he had talked to the healer about the potions and such they had been treating her with. It was something he made not of to ask about.
The rest of Meadow's presents included a moving puzzle (a potion being put together either exploding or being made right and having wonderful results), a book full of word searches (the words were, however, potions ingredients and potion names), the book "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," a silver feather on an inch long silver chain (it could be added to the locket Meadow had gotten with Sadie), a toy wand that shot out green and silver sparks when waved, and an owl, it was small, young, gold and brown colored, and it's eyes were orange. Meadow decided to name him Mino and the owl hooted in agreement.
Two weeks went by and Meadow was back with her father after spending the rest of the holiday with Miss Figg, the older woman had gone out with Meadow in the snow a couple times to make snowmen. Meadow had saw the black haired boy a few other times before Muggle school started up again. Meadow and her father were found in his classroom with the Pepperup Potions kit contents spewing out of the box.
"Step One: Add one cup of water to the cauldron," Severus read to Meadow. The cauldron they had set up was smaller than normal, since they were making one batch of the potion for one taker.
Meadow pored the prepared, one cup of water into the cauldron, and looked up at her father eagerly.
"Step Two: Add a small flame until warm," Meadow frowned and her light, eyebrows scrunched up. Severus rolled his eyes and pointed his wand at the base of the cauldron and a small flame danced into life. The girl giggled.
"Now what?" She asked impatiently.
"Now find the Rosemary."
Meadow dug through the ingredients and pulled out a green plant, it looked like a weed, it had soft, green leaves and a light purple flower. "Is this it?"
"No, that's Fluxweed. Find Rosemary," Severus replied after a moment of looking at the bag that contained one stem of Fluxweed.
The girl huffed, and searched again, this time pulling out a bag that had a stem of pointy, green leaves and many small, dark purple flowers. "Rosemary?"
Severus chuckled, "Yes, that is. What's the difference between Rosemary and Fluxweed?"
"Hm…" Meadow looked at the two plants, her black eyes with yellow specks looking at each one, darting back and forth between the two. "Rosemary has pointy leaves and Fluxweed has soft ones!"
"Good girl, Rosemary is also a spice and can be used to flavor food, where Fluxweed would only make your food taste bad," Severus explained as he took the rosemary out from the bag. His daughter made and 'Oh' face and watched him intently.
"Step Three: Take 6 to 8 leaves from the rosemary and add to warm water," Severus handed the stem to his daughter, she took it.
"One…" Meadow peeled off a leave. "Two, three, four, five-" she paused, and looked up to her father, "Should I- six or eight leaves?"
"Take however many you want to, if it's six, seven, or eight leaves," he replied with a small smile.
"Okay!" Meadow pealed two more leaves off, "Six, seven!" She handed the stem back to her father and scoped up the seven leaves she plucked off. "Add them, right?"
The blonde brought her hand up to the cauldron and dumped the leaves into the water. "Now what."
"Step Four: Add 1 cut up Ginger Root," Severus peered down at his adopted daughter, "Can you find the Ginger Root?"
"Yessir!" She slurred, smiling she shoved her small hand into the box and pulled out a pre-cut, tan root.
Meadow opened up the bag and tipped the continents out and into the cauldron. The potion hissed, turning an ugly brown, and some sloshed over the side. The girl's eyes went huge and she looked up at her father.
"It's alright Meadow, sometimes that happens when it's your first potion, just make sure it doesn't happen very often," Severus reassured her. "Step Five: Add one-third of a cup of crushed Black Elder Flowers."
A small hand went into the box and pulled out a group of berries, "Hmm…" Meadow hesitated, "That not right." And her hand went back in the box to take out a bag that contained a 1/3 measuring cup, and more than enough dried, crushed, white flowers. "This it!"
"That's it! Good job Meadow!" Snape praised. "Put the flowers in that cup until it's full." Meadow took out the cup and set it on the table. She nudged the bag of black elder flowers with her pointer finger and slowly the cup filled up. "Good, now you pour it into the cauldron. Maybe not all at once like the ginger root though, alright hunny?" Severus suggested. The four-year-old added the crushed flower in slowly and the potion bubbled over and changed into a rusty pink color.
"Step Six: Stir Counter-Clockwise 4 times," the potions master went on, he picked up a wooden spoon and handed it to his daughter. "Count out loud, and stir away from me at first." Severus then grabbed a quill and parchment and drew a circle with arrows on it, showing the counter-clockwise direction to Meadow.
"One," She made a loop as she looked at the circle her father drew. "Two," another loop, "Three… Four." The potion turned to a dark red; Meadow took the spoon out and gave it to her father.
"Step Seven: Add 1 Peppermint Leaf." Meadow took out the bag that held one green leaf, it was oval-shaped with jagged edges. Severus nodded and she dropped the leaf, it fluttered down slowly until it hit the potion where it was completely absorbed, the potion then turned to a light red. "Step Eight: Take away the heat," Meadow pointedly looked at Severus and he waved his wand, the flame died. "Step Nine: Add 3 Juniper Berries."
The two were getting into a routine, Severus would read, Meadow's hand dug in the box for the ingredient, and she'd add it to the potion.
"One, two, three," the dark purple berries made small splashing noises as they hit the liquid. As each berry was added the darker the red color.
"And Step Ten: Add 5 Fluxweed leaves."
The hand grabbed the first bag that was taken out, and plucked five leaves, "One, two, threefourfive!" Meadow took her hand not used to hold the leaves and wiped the leaves off her hand and into the potion.
Immediately the potion turned to a lava red color. "Yay!" Meadow clapped happily, at the potion, she was too involved in the moment to see Severus' eyes have watered up in joy and pride. The blonde jumped from her chair and started to do a victory dance, which included running in-place while clapping her hands together. She was giggling, her huge smile was not only showing from her mouth but also her eyes.
This is definitely one of my favorite chapters. A bit of Meadow/Draco interaction again, Meadow really is a girl who wants to get along with everyone, she overlooks everything, obviously a lot is because she is a child, only five-years-old, and some of that will change more throughout her Hogwarts years (you'll see with Ron and Draco). But no doubt in my mind is how I felt that this potions making scene was a need to do. Severus always was great at potions, and for him to see his daughter preform a potion correctly (yes, I do realize it was with Snape's help). The pride I got writing from Severus's point of view was enormous.
Also, what do you guys think of Sadie's scene? She is all there, just lost in her own mind, any of you want to guess why? :)
So the summary!
Meadow was placed with Miss Figg, much to her disappointment, the adults (and by that I mean Albus Dumbledore), must have cast a charm on the Muggles who reevaluated her so Meadow was able to be placed within the squib's care. She now goes to school with Harry at the Muggle school in their area. Meadow has chores every day at Miss Figg's, however today, she was able to skip them, and get ready as her father came to visit and take her on a mini-vacation. It's Christmas Eve, and when Severus arrives, Meadow asked him what they were doing. He responded they were going to the Malfoy's for a Christmas Party. One for the adults rather than Meadow and Draco, but Meadow was excited to see her friend.
"What about Mummy?" Meadow asked, they had always gone to see her on Christmas Eve. Severus agreed to go, but only if they went to shop for a present to give to Sadie. The two went to the hospital where, Violet, the reception witch thought about how sweet it was for the two Snapes to visit Sadie even though she showed very little hope of recovering. Meadow had picked out two lockets, one for herself with a picture of her mum and dad in it, and another one for Sadie, it had a picture of Meadow and Severus in it.
Sadie, was able to hear everything Meadow and Severus said to her, a light showed up to guide her way, however, when the two Snapes had to leave, Sadie was lost within her own mind once again. To only lose her way even further.
At the Malfoy's the two played well the adults were having all the fun of drinking and gossiping, normally not Severus's ideal situation, but he needed any information he could get from those Death Eaters who were still at large. Draco and Meadow were extremely excited for Christmas day and tried to stay up later than the adults (however, that didn't really happen), and the two fell asleep on Draco's hug bed again.
On Christmas day, Meadow and Severus went back to St. Mungo's for Meadow to open up her presents with both of her parents, she got a snow globe which was Hogwarts during the winter, a potion's kit, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a silver feather charm added to her locket chain, a puzzle, and an owl.
In the last scene, Severus and Meadow bonded over making the Pepperup Potion kit Meadow got for Christmas. They found they had a shared love for that area of magic.