Thanks a lot to my beta-readers, Duchess_Of_Arcadia and Pookah, for correcting my mistakes.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to J.K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I’m not a native speaker of English!
Chapter 3 – Getting Ready to Leave
When he realized that Poppy had pulled him out of his hiding place, and that he now was in her arms, Severus looked fearfully around. When his gaze fell on the old man with the long beard and the scary looking one with a crazy eye, he started to sob again. He hid his face in the crook of Poppy’s neck and hugged her.
“Please, don’t let them eat me,” he begged. The sobbing started again, and Poppy tried to calm Severus while she carried him to the bed.
“You don’t have to worry, Severus. They don’t want to eat you. They are all just worried that you are getting ill from being out of bed for that long.”
“Mad...” (sob) “at…” (sob) “me?” the lump in Poppy’s arm stuttered.
“No, they are not mad at you, Severus. Nobody is mad at you.”
That brought some reaction from the child. He carefully lifted his head to look at Poppy. “Father mad?”
“Your father is not here, Severus, and you don’t have to see him ever again,” Poppy said and received a confused look from the child.
She tried to sit Severus on the bed again and said, “Come on, Sev, just sit down so that I can give you a quick check-up.”
But Severus had other plans. He clung to Poppy as if his life depended on it. “No! No! No!” he cried frantically while hugging Poppy almost painfully.
“Severus, you are cold, and I really have to check you.” Poppy tried to convince Severus to let go, but with no effect.
Minerva had got the blanket from Severus’ bed and laid it over the lad’s small frame. He is so small and fragile. No four year old should look like this, she thought sadly. She grabbed Severus from behind and gently said, “Come on, Severus, let go of Poppy. I will sit with you while she has a look at you, okay?”
With Poppy’s help she managed to place Severus on her lap while she sat down on the edge of the bed.
Severus squirmed when he was pulled out of the grasp of the nice lady, but leaned back into Minerva’s chest when he felt her embrace him from behind.
“Shh, Severus, everything is okay. We are all here to help you.” Minerva held Severus in place with one hand and tenderly stroked his hair with the other.
Relieved that Minerva seemed to have a calming effect on the child, Poppy pulled out her wand. “I’m a nurse, Severus. Do you know what a nurse is?” she asked in a friendly voice.
Severus shook his head.
“That’s a person, who can find out if someone is ill or hurt and who can heal many illnesses and bruises.”
“No hurts. All gone,” Severus said and pointed first at his face and then at his tummy.
“Yes, I know, Severus. I healed them when you came here, but I want to check if you have hurt yourself when you were out of bed, and if you have rested enough to release you from the hospital wing. That’s where we are right now.”
Will Father get me then? But they said that I won’t see him again. Severus was confused. The nice lady had already started to wave her wand in front of him and was muttering. Severus carefully looked around. His gaze fell on the man with the long beard. He once had seen a book in his father’s library with a man on its cover, who looked a lot like this man. Mum said it was Merlin, and that he has been dead for a long time.
He turned his head to look up to Minerva. “Am I dead?”
“Of course not. Why do you think you are dead?” Minerva asked kindly.
“Merlin is dead,” Severus stated as if that would explain everything.
“Yes, Merlin is dead, but why should you be dead as well?” Minerva had no idea what the child was speaking about.
Severus shyly eyed Albus again without answering Minerva’s question.
“Oh no, my boy,” Albus said, chuckling. “I’m not Merlin, and I’m not dead. Neither are you, little one.” Albus came closer to the bed and stopped when he was only two steps away from Severus.
Severus had leaned a little closer into Minerva’s embrace and eyed the old man sceptically. He also seems to be nice, but why are they all nice. And why won’t I see Father again?
Again he looked around, and his gaze fell on Alastor. He looks really scary. Maybe he is the one who will eat me. So if all the others play the nice ones, maybe he will tell me the truth. “Where is my Father, sir?” It’s always good to address scary persons very politely. Maybe he won’t eat me alive if I’m nice.
Alastor was a little taken aback that the child addressed him. He had stayed in the background on purpose not to scare the little tyke with his face and leg. “He is not here, and he won’t come here, kid. This is Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards. Do you know that you are a wizard?”
“Father says I will become a useless squib, and I will never get a wand, because I’m not worth one,” Severus explained, and spoke the words as if he repeated them one by another, exactly like his father had said them.
Alastor limped a little closer, but still held a good distance between himself and Severus. “That’s not true. You will get a wand when you are eleven and start learning here at Hogwarts, kid.”
“I’m not eleven. Will you send me back now?” he asked the nice lady, who had stopped her wand waving.
“No, we won’t send you back. You will live here at Hogwarts from now on. Albus and Minerva…” Poppy pointed at the two, “will take you in. I hope you will visit Alastor and me from time to time as well.” She smiled at him. “I’m Poppy, and this is Alastor, my husband. You don’t have to be scared, he just looks a little frightening, but he is also very kind. He is very good at playing memory, do you like to play it as well?”
Very funny, Alastor thought while inwardly grinning about the inside joke about his ability to look through the cards with his magical eye. But Severus’ next words made him feel another wave of anger at Severus’ damn parents. Remember they are already dead, he told himself.
“I’m not allowed to play. Only to draw letters and cleaning,” Severus said. When he saw the shocked faces of the adults, he leaned a little forward, so that they could hear him well and whispered, “But Mum sometimes played ‘I see something that you don’t see’ with me when father wasn’t around. And once we played with buttons. But now she is very ill and can’t play any longer.”
Poppy sadly patted his head and turned to open the night table. She pulled some clothes out, which they had bought for Severus. When she went back to Severus, she said, “Here, we will play a lot of games with you, Severus. Now, we’ll get you dressed, and then we will show you your room.”
“My room?” Severus asked, surprised. He was so engrossed in the flow of images he had, imagining how the room could look, that he didn’t realize that Minerva had lifted him from her lap and had sat him on the bed alone.
“Please, let me do it,” Minerva asked Poppy and took the socks out of her hand.
“Of course, Min,” Poppy said, smiling.
Albus sat down on the bed and addressed Severus, “Yes, your room, Severus. We have already bought some nice toys for you.”
“For me?” Severus’ eyes were shining unbelievingly. “Does it have a fireplace?”
“Of course it has, my boy.” A child proof one, Albus added in his mind.
“And toys?” he asked Albus while Minerva stood him up on the bed. He had to support himself on Minerva’s shoulder to regain his balance while she removed his pajamas and pulled up his new trousers.
“Yes, toys. A train, some puzzles, some picture books, and much more,” Albus explained to the awed child.
Minerva had sat him down again, and now, he was looking at her. “Toys?” he said with big eyes.
“Yes, toys, Sev. Come on, arms up!” she ordered, and Severus did as he was told.
Minerva pulled the undershirt over the little arms and then the sweat shirt. Again she stood him on the bed and tucked the shirt in the waistband of his briefs and closed the zip and button of the trousers.
Severus had to support himself on Minerva’s shoulder again, and this time was leaning with his chest on it because Minerva had to reach the backside of his trousers to tuck the shirt in. That let him look at Alastor again. “Memory?”
Alastor had to chuckle. “I’m sure there is a memory game as well. We will find out when we are there, won’t we?”
Minerva had dressed him completely, except for his shoes. “The house shoes are in our quarters, so we will carry you, okay?”
It’s crazy that they carry me around. Father and Mum never did that, but it feels nice. So Severus nodded.
“Have you ever travelled through a fireplace, my boy?” Albus asked him.
“No,” Severus said while he looked fearfully at the hot flames.
“You don’t have to worry. It won’t hurt, and we will get very quickly to your new room with all the toys,” he said calmly to Severus. “Will you let me carry you?”
Severus looked a little scared again, and it was obvious that his little mind was working hard. He was very nice the whole time, and when he carries me I can not get burned or he will also be burned. That made his decision, and he nodded shyly at Albus.
“Thank you very much for trusting me, my boy. Now say goodbye to Poppy and Alastor. They will come by later.” He scooped Severus into his arms, turned him so that he could wave at them.
“Bye!” he said softly.
Severus won't be turned back to an adult, and he also won't get his old memories back. He will live a new childhood at Hogwarts. The story will mostly be fluffy with a few drama parts.
The adults will mourn for their adult friend, and they will tell little Sev a lot about his former life so that he can have a connection to the AdultSeverus. Some people concider this as Character Death, and so I thought I should warn you. If you don't like this, just stop reading!