First, I want to remind you again that this story is AU. Originally I wanted to add this information in front of the last chapter, but I forgot. Severus’ father was a wizard in my story and not a Muggle! He hated Severus because he just hated noisy children and thought that Severus wasn’t intelligent enough to be proud of. His mother was a witch and was very ill. She loved Severus, but wasn’t capable of fighting against her husband.
Second, please don’t tell me that Minerva is too stern or strict. That’s her character, and it doesn’t change that she loves Severus deeply and only wants his best. A child needs rules to grow up properly and safely. I think Albus and Minerva compliment each other perfectly. Each one treats Severus differently, but both love him the same!
And then I have to tell you that I changed my plans to let Ron and Hermione be a couple. I have a totally different idea now in my head for Hermione and you will find out later!
Chapter 11 – Pomona and Filius
The dinner went well, without any problems. Severus had already finished his meal and was eagerly looking at the fireplace. “When will the red man come?” he asked Minerva.
“His name is Charlie, Sev, and he will come when he has finished his meal,” Minerva explained calmly.
“Arlie,” Severus mumbled to himself.
One of the portraits announced that a visitor was at the front door.
Severus jumped down from his chair and ran towards the entrance.
“SEVERUS!” Minerva shouted after him.
Severus stopped and stood stock-still. He had spent enough time with Minerva that he knew it wasn't good when Minerva used his full name. He hunched his shoulders and looked at the floor.
When Minerva reached him, she turned him by his shoulder, so that he had to face her. “Look at me, Severus!”
Severus was scared. Please, don't let her forbid me to go with Arlie. He looked up into Minerva's face and waited for what was sure to come.
“The front door is taboo, Sev. You will only use it when one of us is with you. It's too dangerous if you open it alone, even if you know who is standing in front of it. Do you understand this?” Minerva asked him very seriously.
Severus nodded and looked fearfully at Minerva. He hardly noticed that Albus had passed them to open the door. When Charlie came into the living room, Severus was looking uncertainly from him to Minerva. Will she tell him that I was bad and won’t let me fly with him?
“Something wrong, Sevvy?” Charlie asked when he saw the worried look on Severus’ face.
“Sev bad,” Severus said and looked unhappily at the floor again.
“No, Sev, you are not bad, but you have to learn some rules here. We don't want you to run in the house because you could slip and hurt yourself, and we don't want you to open the door because we want to know who is visiting us and it could be dangerous. These rules have their reasons, and you have to understand them,” Minerva explained calmly. “You are not bad, but next time, you need to remember the rules and behave, okay?”
Severus nodded his head. He didn't wanted Minerva to be mad at him. He knew the rules from his father, but he had other reasons for them, or never explained why the rules were important. At home he wasn't allowed to run because it was too loud and he might break something, and he wasn't allowed to speak with visitors because he was just an annoying freak. Here the rules often seemed to be so that he wouldn't hurt himself. He didn't understand why this was so important for the adults here. Many things are different with Minwa and Albus, Severus thought.
“Arlie flying with Sev?” Severus asked Charlie hopefully.
“Of course, I have already spoken with Madam Hooch. She is the flying instructor here at Hogwarts. She will give us the best broom that she has,” Charlie said to Severus and smiled when he saw that Severus brightened up upon hearing this. “So are you ready to come with me?”
“Yes!” Severus said and started to bounce up and down in excitement.
“Let's look for your shoes, and then we will head down to the Quidditch pitch,” Charlie said while leading Severus into the hall by his shoulders.
Severus started to run in the direction of the small shoe cupboard, but remembered Minerva's words and forced himself to walk after a short apologizing look at Minerva. He took his shoes out of the cupboard, sat down on the floor and struggled to put them on.
Minerva knelt in front of Severus and helped him into his shoes, tying the laces.
“Have fun, my darling,” Minerva said and kissed his forehead when he was fully dressed. She glanced worriedly at Charlie who smiled soothingly at her.
“Yes, and say hello to Madam Hooch for us,” Albus added while patting Severus' head.
“’Kay,” Severus said and left with Charlie for his first big adventure in his new home.
Charlie offered his hand to Severus, and the lad took it gratefully because now, outside Minwa's and Albus' nice bright quarters, it was a little dark and scary in the castle. The portraits they passed whispered to each other. They were discussing who the two new people were that strolled through the halls.
They had almost reached the big entrance door when the poltergeist, Peeves, crossed their path. “Oh, who do we have here? A red haired one, obviously a Weasley, but not one of the twins,” Peeves said unpleasantly while flying circles around the two. “And who is this ugly one? Black hair and so scared. Are you scared of old Peeves?” the poltergeist said dangerously. When he said the last sentence, he hovered only a few inches away from Severus’ face.
Severus was terrified and pressed himself as near as possible to Charlie's legs.
“Go away, Peeves!” Charlie commanded, annoyed by Peeves’ behavior. When he felt Severus tremble around his legs, he started to get worried. He took Severus by his arm and addressed Peeves again, “I would be careful, Peeves. This is Severus, the new charge of the headmaster, and I think you don't want to cross him.”
“Ah, the shrunken old bat of the dungeons. Not so scary anymore, Professor? The students will kick you when they get the chance,” Peeves said viciously and grinned evilly.
Severus was crying now and said fearfully, “Want back to Minwa and Albus, Arlie. Please!” He hid his head in Charlie's neck and hoped the bad ghost would go away soon.
“That's enough!” A squeaking voice yelled. When Severus looked up curiously, he saw first a chubby woman and then the tiny little man beside her. The little man had his wand in hand, and it seemed that it was he who had spoken a few seconds ago to the ghost. He waved his wand, and Peeves disappeared screaming. Severus jerked around to see where the ghost was and realized in relief that he was gone.
Meanwhile the other two had come nearer. “You should show Peeves his place, Charlie, or he will walk all over you.” The chubby lady said to Charlie. Then her glance fell on Severus. “And that must be our little Severus.” She smiled at Severus and held her arms out in his direction. “Won’t you come to Aunt Pomona?”
Severus looked at her with big eyes, but she looked very kind, and so he decided that it wouldn't hurt to let her cuddle him. That's what all the people here seem to do, and he liked to be cuddled. So he reached for the nice lady and let her take him in her soft arms.
“How are you, Severus? Do you like the castle?” Pomona asked in a friendly tone.
Severus looked around again and it was obvious that he still was frightened. “Bad ghost.”
“Did Peeves scare you? You don't have to be scared. He is just a mean poltergeist, Sevvy. We will watch so that he doesn’t annoy you.” Pomona lightly swayed him up and down to calm him.
“I don't want the kids to kick me,” Severus said sadly and laid his head on Pomona's shoulder. What if the kids will hate me like the ghost and my father? Severus thought worriedly.
“Severus, come on, look at me,” Pomona said and positioned him so she could see his face. “The students won't hate you. How can someone, beside a stupid old poltergeist, hate someone as cute as you? They will love you, you’ll see. Don't worry about it.”
Severus was a little calmer now, and he hoped that the nice lady was right. He remembered that the lady wasn't alone and looked for the small man.
Professor Flitwick had moved over to Charlie's side and looked curiously at Pomona and Severus. When he saw that Severus was looking at him he said, “Hello young man, I'm Filius. I teach Charms here at Hogwarts. We will speak with the headmaster about Peeves, and I'm sure he will have a serious talk with him.”
“Charms?” Severus let the word roll on his tongue. “You a great wizard. Ghost is dead?”
“No, he isn't dead. He just ran or rather flew away. But he knows now that you are under our protection. He will think twice before he annoys you again,” Filius said as calmingly as he could with his high pitched voice.
“So where were you two heading?” Pomona asked Charlie while she still lightly swayed Severus.
“We were going to go flying. Madam Hooch is already waiting for us,” Charlie explained. “Do you still want to fly, Sevvy?” he asked Severus, because after all this stress, he wasn't sure if Severus still wanted to go flying.
Severus also wasn't so sure about it. He would like to cuddle with Minwa now and tell Albus what the bad ghost had said, but cuddling with Pom was also very nice and so he laid his head again on her comfortable shoulder.
“Of course you want to fly, right? You don't let a stupid poltergeist spoil all your fun. Charlie is a great flier, and you will love flying. The fresh air will do you good,” Pomona said encouragingly.
“Come flying too, Aunt Pomo... Pomom...?” Severus tried to say the name, but he couldn't get it right.
Pomona chuckled and said, “Pommy will do, sweetie.”
“Aunt Pommy flying?” Severus asked hopefully. He was now much more enthusiastic.
Now Pomona had to laugh heartily and Charlie and Filius couldn't suppress a chuckle. “Me on a broom? Oh, please, it would be disastrous. Charlie is the better one for this, my sweetie. He will take good care of you, don't worry. Nevertheless, I would love if you two came by the greenhouses when you finish your flight.” When she turned to Charlie, she added, “I could also show you the new plants, I told you about, Charlie.”
“What do you think, Sevvy, will we visit Professor Sprout after our flight?” Charlie asked while holding his arms open for Severus to climb in again.
“Prout?” Severus was confused and looked at Charlie after he managed to make himself comfortable in his arms.
“It's Pomona for you, Charlie. We are colleagues now and you have to start to get comfortable with calling us by our first names,” she said to Charlie. She patted Severus’ head and said, “And for you it is Aunt Pommy, okay?”
“’Kay,” Severus said happily.
“Filius and I will meet with Albus and Minerva now, and I will be in greenhouse four in a half an hour. Just come by if you still have the energy after your flight!” she said, and then Filius and she said their goodbyes.
“Now let's get flying, Sevvy!” Charlie said and planted Severus back on his feet.