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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 4]

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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!
Dear readers,
no drama this time; just a new character and watching Sev play. Hope it isn’t boring!

Chapter 12 – Flying with Charlie and Ro

When the two came near the Quidditch pitch, they could see Rolanda Hooch busily rummaging in the broom shed.

“Hello, Madam Hooch!” Charlie greeted the busy woman.

The flying teacher turned around, without even looking at Charlie and Severus, and said, “Rolanda, Charlie, just Rolanda.” She dusted the filth from her robes and waved the spider webs out of her short, silver hair.

When she finally looked at her guests, Severus could see her odd yellow eyes. They were not only this crazy color, but also seemed to have inflexible pupils that made them look hard and demanding. But something about her didn't make Severus scared. She looks like Mo, the hedgehog, in one of the books in my room. His eyes jumped from her eyes to her ruffled hair and back.

“If Alastor has sneaked that damn ‘Mo, the Hedgehog’ book in your room, I swear I will kill him,” she said, but when she saw that Severus was scared by this, she tried to smile. “Oh, my, you have to learn not to take everything I say so seriously, Severus. I'm not one of those crazy, cuddle addicted women in this castle, but I also don't eat little children.”

“Yes, Severus, Madam Hooch is very cool, and she can fly like hell,” Charlie said admiringly.

“Rolanda, Charlie. What's so damn hard about it?” Rolanda said while handing Charlie one of the two broomsticks she had fetched from the broom shed.

Charlie reached for the broom. “Ah, a Firebolt. I didn't know you had one here.”

“It's one of my private brooms,” Rolanda said. “I still prefer the Nimbus 2000. It's more flexible,” she explained while gesturing towards the broom in her hand. “Minerva wouldn't forgive me if I let you fly with this tyke on a poor Cleansweep.”

“Arlie good flyer, Aunt Ro,” Severus tried to assure her because he feared that she wouldn’t let him fly if she thought Minerva didn’t approve. “Minwa says okay.”

“Aunt Ro? Oh, please don't call me that. Just Ro will do if Rolanda is too hard for you,” she said, amused.

Severus realized that she was really different from the other women. She didn't try to cuddle him, and she didn’t want him to call her aunt. There was nobody he could compare her with, but he thought it could be nice to play with her. It seemed she wouldn't be so easily worried. Maybe, she would even let him try to fly alone. “Me fly alone?” he asked while trying to make the expression the others liked so much.

Rolanda laughed. “Nice try, puppy, but that look won't work on me.” She playfully tapped her broom handle on his head.

She looked at Charlie again. “We don't want Minwa to have a heart attack, do we, Arlie?” she asked teasingly.

Charlie grinned at her. “Of course not, Rolanda.” He looked down at Severus and tried to cheer the slightly disappointed child up by saying, “I'm sure Rolanda will teach you how to fly before Bryanna and Kenneth are even allowed to climb on a broom with someone else. They are my brother Bill’s kids and are as old as you are.”

That really cheered Severus up. Being able to do something before other children his age were allowed to do it made him feel special, and he really liked to feel special. He smiled proudly at Rolanda.

“Yes, I will make a perfect little Quidditch star out of you,” Rolanda said and patted Severus’ head with her gloved hand. “And now, let's start.” With one fluid motion she was on her broom, zooming away.

Severus stood openmouthed and looked after Rolanda, who still was flying near the ground, but very fast.

Charlie, meanwhile, had straddled his broom and grinned at the awed child. “Come on, Severus, let's see if you like flying.” He opened his arms and gestured for Severus to climb in front of him on the broom.

Rolanda was hovering a few meters away from them, two meters up in the air. “Let him sit as near as possible to you, Charlie, and hold him tight with one of your arms.” She went into full teacher mode and now addressed Severus, who had become a little nervous. “Everything okay, tyke? Grab the handle and relax. No, more forward, Severus. Yes, that's right.” She flew around them and came to a halt directly beside Charlie's broomstick. “Ready?”

Severus was biting his bottom lip, and he felt his heart beat in his chest. Please don't let him fly as fast as Ro did.

“What's going on, Severus. Don't want to fly anymore?” Rolanda asked worriedly.

Severus turned his head very slightly to look at Ro. “Don't know!”

“You don't have to worry. We will stop as soon as you want us to, okay?” Rolanda said to calm the child. She wasn't used to working with children of that age, but she had no problem with taking all the time Severus would need.

“’Kay,” Severus said uncertainly.

“Nice and easy then, Charlie.” With that she accelerated her broom, and Charlie followed.

First Severus felt awkward and his tummy started to tingle, but soon he got used to the feeling. After a few minutes Severus was frantically shouting, “Faster, Arlie, faster.” He felt so good. Flying was great. “Get Ro! Get Ro!” His laughter and shouts surely could be heard at the highest tower of Hogwarts.

His laughter is so natural and fresh, Charlie thought and smiled because the laughter was so infectious.

When they finally stopped after half an hour of playing 'Catch Ro', Severus was still giggling.

“Who would have thought Severus could laugh like this. It's really refreshing,” Rolanda said, breathlessly. Her normally pale face now had more color, and she looked more relaxed.

“Already getting soft, Rolanda?” Charlie mocked her, grinning madly.

“Yeah, it really seems so, but if you tell anyone, Charlie Weasley, so help you god,” she said, but her tone was still too happy to worry Severus, and she couldn't impress Charlie with it either.

“Enough for today, Severus, but you can come back whenever you want, and we can have a fly. Maybe next time a little higher,” Rolanda promised.

“What did I tell you, Severus? She is really cool, isn't she?” Charlie asked Severus while placing the lad on his feet again to climb from the broom himself.

“Yeah, Ro cool,” Severus said, jumping around excitedly.

“Thanks, for lending us the broom and flying with us, Rolanda. We’ll visit Pomona now in the greenhouses, right, Sev?”

“Yes, Aunt Pommy nice,” Severus explained to Rolanda.

“Yes, I'm sure you like her. Has she already made you addicted to her homemade toffees?” Rolanda asked. “No?” she asked when she saw the confused look on Severus face. “Then you should ask her for one.”

“Come on, Sev, let's go.” Charlie took Severus hand. “See ya, Rolanda!”

“Sure, Charlie, you are always welcome, and I'm always up for a little race,” she said and winked at him.

“Bye, Ro,” Severus called and waved his free hand at her while Charlie led him towards the greenhouses.

“Bye bye, tyke!” she said and then turned, head shaking, to the broom shed. God, I'm getting soft over a miniature Snape. You would have a good laugh if you could see me now, Severus Snape, you old bugger. Then she had to grin. But you couldn't have laughed as breathtakingly as this little tyke.

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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 4]

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