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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 2]

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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 4 - Severus’ New Room

When they stepped out of the fireplace, Severus looked around. They were standing in a cozy living room, which was painted in dark red and beige tones. It’s beautiful, Severus thought, awed, and it is so warm here. At home it was always cold, and our walls were gray.

At one side of the room stood a wooden coffee table and, around it, two large couches and two armchairs. Wow, how many people are living here? Severus was confused. On the other side of the room stood a big dining table with six chairs. “How many people live here?” Severus asked.

Albus followed Severus' gaze and smiled. “Only we three, Severus, but we often have many guests.”

Soon after Albus had stepped out of the fireplace with Severus in his arms, Minerva had followed. “I will go and get the house shoes for Severus.”

Albus walked over to the couch and sat Severus down. “We will show you your room now, but I'm sorry that you can't start to play, yet. Poppy said you have to eat regularly and need a lot of sleep.”

Severus’ bottom lip started to tremble when he heard that he wasn't allowed to play. “Not tired. Don't want to sleep.”

“You don't have to sleep, Sev,” Minerva said when she heard Severus’ comment while returning with the house shoes. We cannot show him all the toys and then refuse to let him to try them out, she thought.

She sat down bedside Severus and put the slippers on his feet. “We have to make them smaller,” she said. After a wave of her wand and another check to see if they fitted properly, Minerva was satisfied. “Albus meant that you have to eat and sleep regularly from now on. He didn't mean that you have to sleep right now.”

Severus was looking at her with big eyes. “No play?”

Minerva smiled at him and ruffled his hair. “I'm sure we can try out one or two of your toys before we have our afternoon snack.”

That conjured a smile on Severus’ face.

He has a breathtaking smile. I wish the adult Severus had smiled like this. Oh, Severus, I miss you so much, thought Minerva. Concentrating on the cute child in front of her, she couldn't resist a sad smile. I have to let go of the adult Severus to give little Sev the life he needs. He is such a darling child.

“Toys?” Severus asked when he realized that the nice lady didn’t seem to do anything except look dreamily at him.

That brought Minerva out of her thoughts, and she smiled warmly at him. “Of course, Sev. Let’s go to your room now.” She stood up and held out her hand for Severus to take.

Severus jumped from the couch and took the offered hand. It's crazy. At home nobody wants me to touch them. Not even Mum.

Minerva led Severus into the lounge.

Albus, who had followed closely, said, “Look, Severus, this is the main door. It leads directly into the lounge in front of my office. From there a moving spiral staircase leads to the halls of Hogwarts. But don't leave these rooms without us, Severus, okay?”

Severus nodded. I don't want to leave; I want to see my toys. That was the only thing Severus could think about. He had seen in books that his mother had shown him that other children had toys. Sometimes a friend of his father’s came by with his five-year-old girl, and she also had toys. She was very bored when she was visiting because Severus hadn't any toys, and so she brought some of hers afterwards. Severus didn't like the girl. She had always said bad things to him because he hadn't been as good at playing as she was, but the fun he'd had playing with her toys had made it worth the insults.

“This is Matilda, Severus,” Minerva explained while she pointed at a chubby woman in a portrait. “When you go through the hole that is behind her portrait you will get into my office. When I'm not here and you want to speak to me, you just have to ask her to let you through. She knows if I'm in my office and if you can come through. When I have a visitor, she will let me know that you want to speak with me, and I will tell her if she can let you through or if you have to wait for a while until I can come to you.”

“If you want to speak with me, Severus,” Albus said, “you can tell Phineas, here.” He pointed at another portrait. This one was of a scary looking man.

He looks a little like Father, Severus thought fearfully and hid a little behind Minerva.

“You don't have to be scared, Severus,” Minerva said and crouched down beside Severus. “Phineas was once a headmaster here. Now he is watching many places for Albus, and he has a portrait in Albus’ office. So you can ask him to see Albus when you need him, okay?”

Severus nodded, still frightened. The fact that Phineas was eying him skeptically didn't help.

“We can speak about all this later. I think this young man is more interested in seeing his new room, right?” Albus said when he saw that Severus was still frightened.

Severus looked hopefully at Albus and was glad when Minerva stood up and started to lead him further into their quarters.

From the lounge they went up a staircase to the second floor of the quarters. Minerva pointed at a door on the left side and said that it was Albus' and her bedroom. Opposite to it was another door to which Minerva led him. “And this is your room, Severus.” She opened the room and gently encouraged Severus to enter.

Wow, Severus thought, awed. The room was painted in a warm light orange; it had a big window and was, therefore, very bright and friendly. In the left corner of the room stood a bed with a bedspread, which had little birds and fairies on it. On top of it sat a plushy stork. At the left wall stood a big cupboard and a fireplace. Beside the door were a few small cupboards. But the right side of the room was what Severus liked most. Near the window was standing a small round table with three chairs. On the table were a lot of pens and sheets for drawing. Beside the table was a big carpet on which some toy cars and a little train were standing. At the right wall were several shelves with books and more toys. Severus looked up at the two adults, who were smiling at him. “All for me?”

Minerva and Albus enjoyed seeing the child stare open-mouthed at the room. Maybe we have overdone it a little, but it was definitely worth to see this expression on him. “All for you, Sev,” Minerva said warmly.

They must have confused me with another child. This cannot be for me. Father said I'm not worth toys. There are so many toys that they must belong to many children. But the urge to try the toys out- topped the skeptical thoughts, and so Severus let go of Minerva's hand and ran to the train.

Minerva and Albus conjured two chairs to observe the child while playing. Albus took Minerva's hand in his and kissed her. “It was the right decision.”

“Yes, it was.” She smiled at her husband and then watched her new charge playing.

A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 2]

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