title: Summer Lessons
chapter 12 Recuperating
author: Raven Dancer
disclaimer: All characters property of JK Rowling with the exceptions of the Drs. Barnes. I receive no monetary compensation for these works.
Hermione Granger looked around her room. It looked like a normal guest room: a bed, bureau, small writing desk with a comfortable chair under the window. Although the comforter was a wild swirl of color that screamed ALBUS DUMBLEDORE. The venerable wizard tended towards the simple adorned with bright splashes.
The beach house itself was a compact three bedroom structure with a long deck on the sand. The sitting room was a wonder, able to expand into a conference room to seat twenty. At the moment it seemed that Harry, Ron and Lupin were sleeping there. The smaller room next to hers contained the Headmaster.
The master bedroom and bath had been given over to Professor Snape and whichever Healer was on duty.
She had seen the Professor the evening before at dinner. He was rather grouchy, definitely not feeling well. The Healer, Jeffrey, had taken him from the room as soon as he'd eaten. Checking her swimsuit she pulled a loose t-shirt on and went out to the kitchen.
Good morning Ms. Granger, a deep cheerful voice intoned. At the table sat the older Healer with his patient.
Ms. Granger, Snape nodded his welcome.
Good morning Professor. Good morning Dr. Barnes... Hermione began.
James is fine, the Healer responded.
Professor is fine, grouched Snape.
she nodded with a grin, Professor Snape. The Healer chuckled. The Potions Master sneered before giving a small smile.
I believe, Ms. Granger, your fellow students are outside
preparing to swim, Snape offered.
Yes, Remus is going to teach you all how to body surf, James added.
Delightful fun, I'm sure, Snape drawled sarcastically.
Yes! We'll be out shortly. Someone needs to get a bit
of sun, James smirked.
With a wave of her hand Hermione walked through the glass doors onto the deck. Below her on the sand were several spread towels and a cooler. At the water's edge stood Albus Dumbledore resplendent in a striped swimming suit that caused her to laugh aloud. Only the Headmaster could pull off wearing a striped knee-length suit and tank shirt.
For several hours they swam. Draco had the best luck at learning to catch waves, his lithe body knifing through the water time and again. Ron was a close second and the two boys had great fun challenging one another. Harry and Hermione couldn't get the timing down but enjoyed swimming none the less.
Lupin finally convinced Dumbledore to stop trying as he sank like the proverbial stone each time he attempted to surf. When he finally admitted defeat he rose from the water looking like a drenched cat, mustache and beard sticking out at odd angles. His stomach reminded him it was a long time since breakfast.
Higher up on the sand Barnes had Snape basking in the sun. The heat baked through the terry cloth robe soothing much abused muscles. James was reading a mystery novel aloud to his patient.
You look like Frank Zappa! Hermione burst out as the drippy group crunched over the sand.
Better than Alice Cooper, Barnes replied knowingly. Snape might have been glaring but the round-lensed sunglasses blocked his eyes.
Forgive me if I do not burst into Valley Girl' the Potions Master growled. He twitched as various bodies plunked onto towels around him. Quietly the Healer draped a protective arm over his shoulders until everyone had settled and Dobby doled out food from a large blue cooler.
Hair's not long enough for Cooper, Remus muttered as he took a large bite of sandwich. Harry began tucking crisps into his sandwich causing everyone sans Ron to stare at him. The curly-haired youth then happily took a crunchy bite before noticing his audience.
Harry sputtered out chip fragments.
Uh, you've stuffed crisps into you sandwich, mate, Draco pointed out affecting bored disbelief.
Dumbledore said and began to push crisps into his own lunch.
Thank you Mr. Potter. The Headmaster will have something
new to show the staff when we return to Hogwarts, Snape said dryly. Lupin snickered.
As if peanut butter, sweet pickles and bananas weren't
enough, he chortled. Dumbledore smiled knowingly as he glanced at Snape. He was not the only one who liked such things.
The impromptu picnic continued with Dobby happily feeding the ravenous swimmers. Snape managed to fall asleep listening to the noise.
The following days were nearly carbon copies with Lupin swimming with the students and Snape bundled up on the warm sand. Dumbledore and the resident Healer would trade off staying near.
Towards the end of the fourth day James decided to take Snape for a short walk on the beach. He was pleased with his patient's relatively smooth gait and pace. Emotionally the Potions Master was not as fragile and had talked with Jeffrey about what had happened to him at Malfoy Manor in great detail.
It was near sunset on this day, walking back up the beach to the cottage, when a large albatross wheeled overhead before settling onto the rail of the deck. It patiently held out its leg allowing Snape to remove the light parchment attached to it. Barnes called to Dobby for raw fish.
Albus? Message from across the pond, Snape waved the parchment through the glass at his friend. The movement caused a flinch when pain shot up his hand. Barnes clucked and took the parchment in one hand, rubbing a healing warmth into the spasming fingers with the other.
I need to work some potions into your muscles before
dinner Severus, Barnes said quietly. His patient grunted in assent as they moved into the house.
The Headmaster plucked the message from Barnes' hand as they passed and opened it.
Ah, Lila has written! he explained as he followed the two down the hall and into the master bedroom. He didn't notice the glare or hear the exaggerated sigh from Snape as he submitted to the Healer.
She says that Sirius arrived yesterday morning with the
Order's messages, Dumbledore scanned the page.
Strange, he left nearly six days ago. He continued reading to himself, lips moving over various vowels and consonants.
Hmmm, he seemed to have a bit of a cold when he showed
up... Oh, sorry about that, Dumbledore startled and moved out of the way as James pulled Severus into the washroom.
Just a quick rinse off, Barnes said cheerfully. Snape snarled. What little privacy was afforded him had been lost as the door was left open to the hallway.
That and the folder was a bit mussed up, Dumbledore continued chuckling.
Ah, Lila, can't help being touchy about such things.
Ms. Johnstone is meticulous to a fault, Snape muttered as water flowed over his body. The Healer ran a quick soapy cloth over him removing sweat and oil.
There you are Severus. Nice and clean and ready for the
liniments, Barnes chirped.
Must you be so... so cheerful, Snape groused.
James? Certainly. That's part of his charm, Dumbledore said distantly as he reread the missive. He automatically stepped back as the Healer returned his patient to the bedroom, toweled him off and had him lay on his stomach on the bed.
I wonder if Remus knows where Sirius was planning to go
before porting to America, the Headmaster mused. The man so mentioned chose that moment to pop his head in the room.
Albus? Draco mentioned an albatross on the porch, Lupin said.
Oh joy, a peep show, groaned Snape as Barnes began to knead stiffened muscles.
All the good bits are covered, Barnes assured him.
Professor Dumbledore? a voice called out.
Back here, the Headmaster responded.
Bloody hell! Snape cursed as Harry and Ron entered the room. Not far behind was both Hermione and Draco.
There's an albatross on the railing but it doesn't seem to
have a message, Draco explained. All four students tried not to look at the Potions Master in his state of undress. What caught their attention were the silvery-white scars on his back. Dumbledore held up the parchment. Before they could begin their discussion Barnes took pity on his patient and herded the crowd out into the hallway firmly closing the door behind.
The mystery of Black's delay remained unsolved for nearly a week before an albatross arrived for Lupin. There had been a slight flush to his cheeks as he read bits of the note aloud.
Let's just say he found a more interesting proposition in
town when he arrived and leave it at that, Lupin finally folded the note and stuffed it in his pocket.
Ah, he happened to stop at the local watering hole for
some companionship then, Snape snidely remarked causing Lupin to blush all the more. Draco snorted.
randy bugger, the blonde murmured, receiving a shove from Ron.
Oy! Don't put Harry's Godfather down! the red head sniped. Draco was about to retaliate when Harry stopped it.
Ron, Sirius is randy, he grumbled.
Still, must have been some companion to keep him busy
five or six days, Snape mused. Normally Black changed partners daily; at least from his own observations.
Well, not that I've been around Seri much of late, but
he is a bit flighty. Although when he was younger he'd stick
with a girl for awhile, Lupin offered. Hermione snorted and rolled her eyes.
Two days, she grumbled and walked out of the room.
When is Professor McGonagall arriving? Jeffrey Barnes asked as he sat next to Snape placing a mug in front of his patient.
Tonight. Poor Ms. Granger has had to put up with the lot
of us. The sides will be more equal soon! Dumbledore said.
The scale will tip decidedly against us, grumbled Snape as he picked up the mug and sniffed.
When do I get to stop taking this stuff?
When I say so. At least another three weeks, Barnes said firmly.
And when do I get rid of my escorts? continued the grouchy man.
At least six weeks. You'll be staying up with Albus for a
few weeks once school starts, Barnes stated in a no-nonsense tone.
Yes mother, the sarcastic rejoinder dripped from Snape's lips.
gods, I'd hate to see you in a bad mood Severus, Lupin snapped. He was more than tired of the constant negative moods of the Potions Master. Draco nudged Harry and motioned with his eyes. Time to get Lupin out for a breath of fresh air.
Remus, you promised to show us how to fly kites today if
the wind were good, the Slytherin reminded the wizard.
It looked pretty brisk out there, Harry added innocently. Lupin chuffed, letting the tension out.
Ok you two! I know I'm in for it when the two of you get
together, Lupin said. Sorry Sev, I am a bit tired.
I understand Remus. No doubt you could tell I'm rather
exhausted myself, Snape said with a smirk.
You've been comatose, sir, Draco deadpanned causing several hastily covered snickers.
Mr. Malfoy! Away with you before I have you scrub
cauldrons! Snape threatened in his voice.
Another burst of snickering filled the room as the kite flyers trooped out.