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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 3]

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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.

Chapter 9 – The First Night

Poppy and Alastor had said their goodbyes, and now only Albus and Minerva were sitting in front of Severus’ bed.

Severus was very tired. The day had been so exciting that he just wanted to sleep. The bed was warm, and he dozed while trying to concentrate on the story about a little lion that Minerva was reading aloud. Minerva’s soft voice and Albus’ slight snoring (he had fallen asleep in the armchair he had transfigured from one of the chairs) made it hard for Severus to listen to the story. His eyes fell shut, and after a few minutes he was fast asleep.

“Sleep well, Sev,” Minerva said, leant over the sleeping child and placed a soft kiss on his forehead.

After arranging the bed covers around Severus, she turned to Albus. She chuckled as she placed her hand on his cheek. “Albus, you have to wake up. Sleeping in this position won’t do you any good.”

“What?” Albus said, still sleep-fogged. His gaze fell on the sleeping boy. “Oh, he is already sleeping. I didn’t hear much of the story.”

“Severus didn’t hear much of it either. It was a busy day for all of us,” Minerva said, leaving the room with Albus in tow.


When Severus awoke, everything was dark, and he couldn’t see much. He was scared because the room was big and obviously not his small room. He accidentally touched Stork and hugged him tightly. That made him remember the events of the last day. He relaxed a little because now he knew that this was his new room, but he still was a little scared. I don’t like the dark, he thought, frightened.

He also remembered now why he had woken up. I have to pee. Frantically, he looked around the room. No bucket, he realized in shock. At home he was not allowed to leave his room without permission and especially at night. Therefore he had had a bucket that he could pee in at night, which he had to empty and clean in the morning when Mother let him out of his room. Severus stood up and immediately clenched his legs together. I really need to pee, he thought, almost starting to cry. Again he scanned the room for a bucket, but there wasn’t one. With Stork under his arm he went to the door, opened it and slowly peeked out. Everything was quiet. What shall I do? Severus thought desperately. With his free hand, he squeezed his wee-wee but it didn’t help. He was sobbing, and tears were running down his cheeks. Carefully he walked over to the toilet door. On his way, he fearfully looked around. Please no monsters. He still had to clench his legs together. That made it hard to walk. He was almost at the door when he felt the first drops escape him. Whimpering, he stopped in shock.

“What are you doing, Severus?” Albus asked sleepily. He had heard the sobs and was now standing, still with the opened door in his hand, in the hall.

Severus whirled around, shocked, and lost all control of his body. His pyjama pants were getting wet rapidly, and there was a small puddle already forming at his feet. Severus looked anxiously at Albus and then down at the puddle and his wet clothes. The sobs became cries, and Severus darted in the direction of the bathroom door.

“No, Severus!” Albus shouted and ran after the panicking child. “You will slip.”

But it was too late. Severus had reached the door and vanished in the bathroom. A loud thud made Albus aware that his fear was justified. The loud scream that followed made the blood freeze in his veins.

Severus lay screaming on the tiles, clutching his head with his tiny arms. Albus picked him up and placed him on his lap after he had sat down on the closed toilet seat. “Shh, Severus!”

“I’ll call Poppy,” Minerva, who had been woken up by the noises, said hectically and left the room.

Severus was crying in Albus’ arms, and Albus tried to push a bunch of toilet paper on the wound on Severus’ head. Healing magic never was a passion of Albus', and he didn’t want to do something wrong. “Aunt Poppy will be here in a minute, Sev, calm down.” Albus could feel the wetness in his lap, but didn’t care. He just wanted to calm Severus. When Poppy arrived, he was not only drenched in his lap, but also on his chest, but that was because of Severus’ tears.

On her way to the still crying boy on Albus’ lap, Poppy spelled the wetness on the tiles away. She waved her wand and muttered a diagnostic spell the moment she arrived at Severus’ side.

Albus lifted his hand from the wound, and another wave of Poppy’s wand stopped the bleeding. Poppy sealed the wound and healed it. “All done, Severus,” she said while stroking his cheek with the back of her hand.

Severus was still clutching Albus. His sobs and cries were heartbreaking.

“The concussion potion is still in his system, so I don’t have to give him another one. I will just give him a painkiller spiked with a calming draught. That should make him sleep peacefully until the morning,” she said to Albus and Minerva, who had sat down on the edge of the tub. She waved her wand and dried Severus’ and Albus’ clothes. After that she addressed Severus again, “Come on, Severus, we have to clean you, and you have to calm down so that I can give you a painkiller.” She took Severus off Albus’ lap and spoke softly to him. “Everything is okay Severus. You just have to calm down, so that I can give you the painkiller for your headache.”

Severus was still hugging Poppy’s neck very tightly. “Ouchy,” he said, still sobbing.

“I know, Sev, but when you drink the potion you will feel better in an instant.” She calmingly stroked his head and addressed Minerva, “Could you please give me the blue vial and a spoon from my bag, Minerva?”

Severus had calmed down a little and was now looking curiously at Minerva, who was rummaging in Poppy’s emergency bag.

“Please fill a spoon with the potion. One should be enough,” Poppy ordered Minerva.

When she saw that Severus was curiously looking at Minerva, she said, “You will like it, Severus. It tastes good.”

Severus swallowed the potion without complaining and felt relieved when the pain was gone. He smiled happily at Poppy, but then he looked down at his pyjama pants and remembered what had happened. He looked over to Albus and said, “Sowwy.”

Before Albus could say something, Poppy said, “You don’t have to be sorry. That happens sometimes. Look you are already dry again.”

They are not mad? Severus couldn’t believe his luck. He had broken many rules, but they were still not mad with him. He was out of his room, he ran in the hall, he spoiled his clothes and, worst of all, he had cried, but they weren’t mad. Quite the contrary, they were very nice and hugged him. It’s so nice to be here!

“We still have to clean you. With your sensitive skin it wouldn’t be good to just clean you magically,” Poppy said and planted Severus in the tub. She had to smile at the puppy-dog-look Severus was giving her with his tearful eyes.

He had lifted his arms again and asked, “Up?”

“In a minute, Severus.” She waved her wand, and the boy was naked. “Remember our water is always warm for you, dear,” she said so that Severus didn’t panic about the water.

Severus already wanted to start crying again when Poppy assured him that the water would be warm. They never lied to me, so maybe they won’t start to now, he thought hopefully. He held still, and even enjoyed it, when Poppy let the warm water run over him. She cleaned him with the funny sponge again and then carefully dried him. When she applied the moisturizer again, he hadn’t even a chance to fidget because Poppy was so experienced with it that he couldn’t avoid her hands. She even put moisturizer in between his bottom cheeks. Minwa hadn’t done this. It feels icky. He hoped Poppy wouldn’t be here very often to put the sticky stuff on him.

“Such a big boy,” Poppy said while handing him over to Minerva, who dressed Severus in a fresh pair of pyjamas. “The calming draught will kick in soon. You’d better get him into bed,” she said to Minerva while packing her emergency bag.

Albus stood up and held the door open for Minerva, who carried Severus, and Poppy, who made her way to the fireplace.

Poppy waved her goodbye to the small family and left through the green flames of the fireplace.

Severus had fallen asleep in Minerva’s arms, so they didn’t have any difficulties tucking him in.

“If every day is like this, I will die of a heart attack before he is a teenager,” Minerva said while stroking Severus hair.

Albus laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. “You know if nothing unfortunate happens we will even be able to see our grandchildren become teenagers. That’s the benefit of being magical. I don’t think that every day will be like this one. And even if it is, we will get used to it.” He squeezed her shoulder and added, “But I’m sure the next days will be stressful, and so we should try to get as much sleep as possible.”

“You are right,” Minerva said while standing up. She kissed her husband, and both walked back to their own bedroom to get a few more hours of much-needed sleep.

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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 3]

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