Thanks EsScaper. Sorry, this chapter is short too :( The next will be longer though. I'm a bit shit with emotions, it actually shows up more in real life than in stories though. I'm no good at recognizing them. This psychiatrist my parents had me seeing a while ago diagnosed me with something and gave me this CD-ROM full of facial expressions and stuff. He wanted to give me medicine too but I wouldn't take it. I'm getting off topic here. Yea, I'll try harder to make the emotional reactions realistic. It's easier when it's just writing anyway. Thanks again for your review, sometimes I don't try as hard as I should with fanfiction and you're encouraging me to make an effort to write better. (Unfortunately the effect of your encouragement will not be obvious for a bit, I'm a couple of chapters ahead at the moment.) I don't have a clue who that was!

Not too happy with this chapter. It's mostly about Madam Pomphrey, who I'm not too interested in. I'm really busy with exams and moving though so I didn't have time to re-write it.


"Snape can you hear me? The war is over and you're safe now. Do you understand?"

He was blinking, apparently trying to open his eyes. Poppy quickly dimmed the light level. She'd spent the last two hours repairing the punctured lung, removing as many of the bruises and burns as she could, speeding up the healing of cuts with magical salves - though the worst ones still had to be wrapped in bandages- and setting broken bones. It had taken three cleansing charms before she'd even been able to see half the injuries her wand had informed her existed. At that point it had also become clear how incredibly pale he was, almost as white as the sheets. His hair had been so matted and filthy there had been little choice but to shave almost all of it off. Quite a number of bones would have to be removed and regrown but she wasn't prepared to do that to Severus until he was considerably stronger. As she had said to Harry all those years ago, regrowing bones was a nasty business. And she hadn't just been referring to the pain. The results could be unpredictable too. That was especially true for small delicate bones. They'd never be as good as before. And returning that shoulder to its correct position after so long would be next to impossible.

Right now she was unsure as to whether or not he was entirely conscious. Gently she touched his arm. He flinched and his breathing became more rapid.

"No, it's ok. I'm not going to hurt you. Do you know where you are?"

Silence.

"Do you know who I am?"

Silence.


'I'm too old to be sitting on steps.'

The thought crossed her mind only briefly before she was distracted by Sirius sobbing beside her.

'Maybe I should have lied.'

She pulled him into a hug as he continued to cry. 'Poor boys. They've both had so much more than their fair share of pain. I didn't realize they had this much in common when I started encouraging them to be friends. They just seemed so alone. And they were the same age. Did I do the wrong thing? It's causing so much pain for Sirius now... No. It was right. It helped them both, actually gave them some measure of happiness. But what happens now?'

Sirius seemed to have stopped crying. "Maybe," he paused, uncertain. "Maybe he didn't say anything because someone cast a silencing charm on him."

"Maybe."

In all honesty she didn't think this was the case. It was possible though.

"Do you want to go see if he's awake again and I'll check?"

He nodded.

Poppy's joints creaked as she stood. 'I think when this is over I want to retire.'