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A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 7]


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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 14 – Poppy's Disapproval

Their journey to the hospital wing passed without any problems. Peeves didn't cross their path again, which Severus really was glad about. He knew they were heading for the big room he had woken up in yesterday, and that Aunt Poppy would be there. And where Aunt Poppy was, Uncle Al was. Severus wanted to tell him about the squid and the flying, but most importantly about the bad ghost, because he was sure that Uncle Al would help him, and punish the bad ghost.

They entered the hospital wing, but nobody was there. Before Severus could feel disappointed the door to Poppy's office opened and his beloved aunt came out.

“Aunt Poppy!” Severus yelled and ran over to her.

“Oh, it's my little Severus,” she said, taking him up in her arms. “So did you have a nice day?” she asked, tickling him lightly on his stomach.

Severus giggled. “Yes, Sev flying and meeting Ro, Aunt Pommy and Squid,” he told her as she carried him over to one of the beds.

“Hello, Mr. Weasley. I hope you have taken good care of our little one,” she said in a friendly tone.

“Please call me Charlie, Madam Pomfrey. And yes, I have kept a good eye on him.”

When Severus was placed on the bed, he looked up at Poppy with big eyes.

“Just a short checkup, Severus. Nothing to worry about.” She nudged the tip of his nose and drew her wand.

After some diagnostic spells she shook her head in disapproval, so Charlie became nervous. “Is there a problem, Madam Pomfrey? I really have kept a close eye on him, and he hasn't hurt himself.”

“Yes, there is a problem, but that isn't your fault. I will keep Severus here and inform Albus and Minerva myself, so you can leave now.”

Charlie could sense that Poppy was angry, not at him but still angry, and he didn't want to cross her. “Okay.” He looked worriedly at Severus, who looked as if he would start crying at any moment. “Pomona gave me this salve for you. I will just place it on the night table.”

“Yes, thank you, Charlie.”

The first sobs could be heard from the bed, and Charlie wanted to leave as fast as possible.

“There is no reason to cry, Severus. You are in no trouble.” Poppy gently stroked his hair and Summoned a glass of water. “Come on, drink something, you are almost dehydrated.”

Charlie sucked the air in sharply. Damn I forgot to take something to drink for him with me. How often did I hear my Mum telling Bill that he should never forget to have something to drink for the children with him?

“Charlie, really that isn't your fault, and you should go now, so that I can help Severus.”

Severus had tried to drink the water, but it was hard to do it while sobbing. So it was no wonder that he was choking now.

“Severus, calm down; there isn't anything wrong. I'm sure Charlie will visit you again soon, and you just have to eat something and take a little nap. I'm sure Alastor would be glad to have someone to cuddle while he takes his own nap,” Poppy explained softly while she rubbed Severus’ back calmingly.

Severus calmed down. He was tired, and having a nap with Uncle Al wasn't such a bad option to look forward to right now.

“Oh, I wanted to meet Professor Moody. So maybe it is better if I wait until tomorrow,” Charlie said while coming over to Severus one last time to say goodbye.

“No, no, just go to our private quarters; you already know where they are. Tell Alastor that he shall wait for Severus before he takes his afternoon nap.” She made a waving gesture with her hand, and Charlie knew that now it was really time to leave.

“Bye-Bye, Sevvy, we will see you tomorrow at the Burrow,” Charlie said and ruffled Severus’ hair. “I really enjoyed our little adventure today.”

Severus smiled at him. “Bye, Arlie.”

“So, Severus, what have you eaten today?” Poppy asked, eying him closely.

Severus looked at her and chewed his bottom lip. Sweets are not good. Father always said that sweets make children more louder and annoying than they are without eating them. And they are making bad teeth. Aunt Poppy won't like me to get bad teeth.

“Severus stop chewing your lip, and tell me what you have been eating today!”

Lowering his gaze, Severus said in a small, “Toffees from Aunt Pommy.”

“Was that so hard to tell me, Severus?” Poppy asked still softly.

Severus looked at Poppy again. “Sowwy.”

“Severus, I want you to be always honest to me. It's very important that you tell me the truth, so that I can help you. There isn't anything bad about eating toffees, but you have to take care that you don’t eat too many, and that you eat something else and not only sweets. Therefore I will bring you some fruit and carrots now or are you really hungry, so that I can give you a sausage or a bread roll.”

“Sausage, please, Aunt Poppy,” Severus pleaded because he was really hungry after all he did today. At first he hadn't realized it, but after Poppy told him about all the food he could eat now, his stomach rumbled. “Okay, Sweetie. Slide a little further onto the bed, so that I can place a tray in front of you.”

Severus did as Poppy told him, and soon he had a plate full of sliced apples, peaches and carrots in front of him. A plate with a sausage and a cup full of milk was also on the tray. Severus grabbed the sausage and ate happily.

“I’ll be back in a second, Severus,” Poppy said and headed for the fireplace to inform Albus and Minerva that Severus would be staying with her and Alastor, and that they would bring him over for supper. She tried to stay friendly, but couldn't stop from scolding them about their lack of care. She had made very clear that they have to let Severus sleep a lot. Sending him out with Charlie without having a midday nap was irresponsible. She also had given them a lot of books about child care, and so was annoyed that they obviously didn't read them carefully. Otherwise they would have given Charlie a bottle of water, so that he could offer Severus something to drink from time to time. She knew that they didn’t take it easy themselves, but that didn’t mean that they should not be very careful about Severus. After scolding them through the fireplace, Poppy already felt guilty. Seeing Minerva's shocked face was heart-breaking. She tried very hard to make everything right; Poppy knew this. I hope that this will make them read the books more carefully.

Severus was almost finished when Alastor came in. “I have heard there is someone who wants to nap with me?”

“Me,” Severus said, with his mouth full, from the bed. When small pieces of apple flew out of his mouth by that, he looked shamefully at Poppy.

Poppy couldn't suppress a chuckle and vanished the sprayed food. “First chewing, then swallowing and then speaking, Severus.”

Severus tried to chew very visibly, so Aunt Poppy could see that he was doing what she wanted him to do.

“That's right, Severus,” she said while standing up.

She walked over to Alastor and said, “Watch him while he’s eating and then take him with you for the nap. I will go and visit Albus and Minerva. I fear I scolded them too much and have to calm their nerves now. Maybe I should tell them a few more things that are important about children.”

“Okay, don't be too harsh with them. They are really trying to make everything right.”

“I know.” She sighed and then left the hospital wing.

“So what have we here, kid?” He walked over to the bed and sat beside Severus. “Hmmm, apples and peaches.”

“Want one?” Severus grabbed a slice of apple and offered it to Alastor.

“Thank you.” Alastor took the offered slice and started to nibble at it. “I heard you enjoyed your flight with Charlie and Rolanda.”

“Yes, we were very fast,” Severus said, trying to speak clearly.

“Oh, yes, Rolanda and Charlie are very good fliers, and you will become a very good one as well. It's not easy to get Rolanda as a friend, Severus. You are really someone special.”

Severus smiled and stuffed the last piece of apple in his mouth. Still chewing, he leaned over to Alastor and placed his head on his broad chest. He was very tired.

Alastor patted his head. “Come on, kid. You still have to finish the milk and then we can take our nap.” He offered Severus the half full cup and let the rest of the dishes, including the tray, vanish with just a wave of his hand.

Severus stared in awe at the scarred hand. “No wand?”

Alastor laughed. “You are really observant, kid. Yes, I don't need a wand for simple spells like that.”

That reminded Severus of the bad ghost and that he wanted to ask Uncle Al for help. The bad feeling overcame him, and he threw himself at the surprised man. The cup was empty, and so it wasn’t so bad that it slid out of Severus' hand while he sobbed hard into Alastor's chest.

“What's wrong, Severus?” Alastor asked, alarmed while already starting to draw small calming circles with his hand on Severus' back.

“Bad ghost, Uncle Alastor. Make him go away.” Severus was crying hard and couldn't stop.

Alastor needed a moment to realize that he didn't have to look around for any ghost here. He had heard from Charlie about the meeting between Severus and Peeves in the hall, and so he knew what Severus was talking about.

“Severus, Peeves won't hurt you. He is just a bitter, old poltergeist. I'm sure Albus has already scolded him for scaring you, and when I meet him, I'll also tell him to leave you in peace.”

“Send him away, Uncle Al,” Severus said in a small voice, almost asleep because he felt so safe in Alastor’s arms.

“I can't, Sev. He is part of this castle, and you will learn to live with him. But with Albus as the headmaster of this school, Peeves has to accept his wishes, and so he won't annoy you again.”

Severus didn't reply, and Alastor could guess by the slow breathing that he had already fallen asleep. He chuckled and carried Severus into his private quarters. “That was a little much today for a little tyke like you. Soon you won't take a nap so easily,” he said to the sleeping child while laying him on his bed and removing his shoes. He changed Severus into the pair of pajamas Poppy had placed in their cupboard for situations like this. Then he crawled beside Severus and pulled him against his chest. Soon both were sound asleep.

A Better Childhood by grugster [Reviews - 7]


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