author: Raven Dancer
disclaimer: All characters belong to Rowling except for the Drs. Barnes. I receive no monetary compensation for these works.
summary: After surviving another attempt to break into Hogwarts, Dumbledore plans, Snape heals, and school tries to get back to .
Headache worse, Harry decided to stop by the Tower and check on Professor Snape. Dumbledore had thrown everyone out last night. Not that he could blame the Headmaster; in the three days since Hogwarts had been attacked scores of people were constantly moving in and out of his rooms. Some to give energy to the fallen Potions Master, some to help run the school, some just to gawk.
It was the last group, which included the Minister of Magic himself, that pushed the Headmaster over the edge. Fudge had tried to suggest there was no proof Voldemort was behind the raid which set Flitwick off; the entire conversation snowballed into argument. In the bedroom. Not that it disturbed Snape; he hadn't moved in three days.
So everyone was sent away save for Doctor Barnes and Professor Lupin. As he was leaving Dumbledore had pulled him aside and asked him if he were feeling ok. He lied again. The headache was bad, but he didn't feel right pulling any attention away from helping Professor Snape. The Headmaster then told him he could come back the next day after morning classes; alone. Harry thanked him and left.
Chocolate Cream, he said to the gargoyle and the wall swung open for him. He easily rode the stair up to the office doors and knocked, pushing the door open.
It was quiet. Pleasantly so. He looked around and quickly saw Lupin sitting in the lounge, Snape sprawled across him. Dr. Barnes was napping in a chair nearby. Dumbledore rose and walked towards him.
Harry! I'm glad you came, his voice was happy again. It had been so strained that Harry nearly burst into tears in relief. He allowed the vibrant man to bring him to the couch and sit down. Dumbledore sat next to him, waiting.
He looks better, Harry began, nodding towards Snape.
Yes, seems he had been awake off and on the past
three days but didn't feel compelled to letting any of
us know. When I asked Jeffrey if I'd disturb him if I lay
down in bed by him Severus chided me, said it was my bed.
He smiled at the memory,
Of course, he said it as sarcastically as possible, it was
quite funny and provoked Remus terribly. Until he realized
Severus was awake, he chuckled.
Remus has always been a touchy git, commented Snape, eyes still closed as he sighed into the warmth of the feed.
Like hell I am. You're a nasty old bastard. You can
upset anyone in 10 seconds flat, replied Lupin, grinning at the growling man. Dumbledore just smiled happily.
They've been at each other's throats all morning, he gushed. Harry had to smile too. It was wonderful to hear them arguing. He suddenly realized Dumbledore had turned all his attention to Harry. Just watching him. Harry squirmed.
uh, you know, I have this headache, Harry muttered, pointing to his forehead, right behind my scar. Pomfrey gave
me a potion, but it still hurts.
Dumbledore eyes twinkled. Before he could say anything the silent Doctor Barnes pushed up.
My job. Keep your hands off, Albus! he growled.
See? Severus' wonderful manners have rubbed off on
Jeffrey! snapped Lupin.
You're just jealous I have such a talented protégé, countered Snape. Lupin chortled, unable to keep up the facade. He ran his hands over Snape's back continuing his energy feed. Barnes sat next to Harry and smiled.
Sometimes the Headmaster overextends himself, and Barnes carefully touched the young man's forehead. From the contact point it felt like a cool breeze was flowing inside. His eyes closed as he moaned with relief. A moment passed and then it felt as if the cool breeze had filled him. The breeze seemed to swirl and eddy, gathering the stagnant pain. With a slight jerk he felt the headache disappear. He opened his eyes just in time to see a grey cloud dispatched with a finitum curse by Dumbledore.
Just a stray hex, probably from the invasion, said Barnes removing his hand. He looked into Harry's eyes carefully then patted him on the shoulder.
That should take care of it. Let me know if it comes back.
Harry agreed readily. The doctor returned to his comfortable chair. Harry blinked drowsily. Pain had been a constant companion for three days; he didn't realize how exhausted he was. He found himself lying down, a blanket tossed over him and he fell asleep.
Well, he's going to miss his afternoon classes, Barnes observed dryly.
He woke hours later still on the couch. Dumbledore was now in the lounge holding Snape, both sleeping comfortably. They looked different together, as compared to when Lupin held Snape. He couldn't place a finger on it. He had no concept of parent and child but it was lying before him.
Pushing up he went to the washroom. He reflected how far he'd come, using the Headmaster's loo as though it were his own. He washed his face and gloried in being pain free. Returning to the sitting room he noticed Dobby setting up tea.
Harry Potter not at lunch, the house elf scolded. Harry
Potter should eat!
Hi Dobby! Who are you setting up for? he asked.
The Headmaster asked for tea. Tea and something
Professor Snape likes. Does Harry Potter want something
Harry thought about this. He'd never really had the luxury of choosing before. Most everything he'd eaten at Hogwarts had been at least good. Of course, anything was an improvement over what he'd get to eat at the Dursleys.
What are you making for Professor Snape? he asked, stalling.
Chicken and dumplings with vegetables, replied the elf, setting out the silverware. He'd had that before, it was good.
I'll have that, then. It sounds good! he said. Dobby smirked.
Harry Potter must choose dessert, then, pushing the boy to a decision.
Aren't you going to let Professor Snape choose? he asked quickly.
Professor Snape always want same thing: milkshake.
Professor Snape is very boring. Milkshake, milkshake,
milkshake, the elf was chiding.
Harry was aware of movement to his left as the chair was moved back and the man so named was lowered into it.
It is not boring', elf. I simply recognize your superior
craft, he allowed Dumbledore to push him closer to the table. Harry grinned broadly. Snape raised an eyebrow and held his eye for a long moment.
Well, Potter, dazzle me. Select dessert. Harry racked his brain trying to think of something. He remembered a muggle cooking magazine he'd looked through at old Mrs. Figg's home.
Lemon Bruelle, he said succinctly. Snape's lip raised in a true sneer.
Interesting choice. Let's see what the kitchen elves
do with that! The sneer lowered into a small smile. Dobby bowed deeply and disappeared. Dumbledore moved to the other side of the table. He pulled over the serving dish and began to fill Snape's plate. Harry busied himself pouring iced juice and tea. He'd been with both men before and knew how they liked their teas fixed.
Snape watched his companions silently. He was still exhausted and only wanted to go back to sleep. But the Headmaster was insistent he eat. He had a sneaking suspicion when Lupin returned he'd be bathed. Well, at least there was a predictable routine. He picked up his fork and began to eat.
Harry happily ploughed through the dumplings. These were tasty and filling. Plus he liked the diced carrots and little peas. Like the filling of a chicken pie without the crust. He licked the gravy off the edge of the fork.
A variety of remarks passed through Snape's mind but he quelled each and every one. Granger was correct, it was his base nature to be sarcastic and cruel. At least he could over ride the baser part. He sighed selecting another bite of food.
Dumbledore watched the Potions Master eat. Finicky, pushing most of it around.
he said with a mild warning tone. He received a glare for his effort. Although Snape also took another bite of chicken. Dumbledore scolded him through most of dinner, managing to get the reluctant man to clear the small portions on his plate. Dessert and more hot tea came up next.
Snape tried one bite; very rich and sweet. He set his fork down and concentrated on the tea. Harry and Dumbledore, on the other hand, finished and then eyed Snape's nearly untouched piece. Looking at the lustful way they regarded his dessert, Snape cut it in exactly half and slid part on Harry's plate and handed the rest to the Headmaster.
he growled returning to his tea. He was drowsy, having trouble following the conversation around him. He felt the tea cup slip away from him as he fell asleep.
Well, that was exciting, awake all of 20 minutes, commented Dumbledore as he removed the rest of the utensils and saucer from under Snape's arms. The man had fallen asleep on the table.
20 minutes? Harry queried eyeing the slack face.
Yes, and if everything goes per usual, dinner will be back
in 10, he sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Dobby appeared with a small cauldron and wet towel.
Let me guess, sir, he's thrown up everything he's tried
to eat? Harry asked.
Yes, nothing stays down. I'm very surprised he even
consented to eating again, Sighing, he moved closer and waited. Less than ten minutes. Snape woke long enough to purge his stomach.
Sorry, Albus, he whispered, pale and trembling.
No trouble, Severus. Thank you for trying, answered the Headmaster rather formally. He carefully moved the limp body back to the lounge and tucked blankets around him. Lupin would be up soon and Barnes should be back as well. Plus another round of energy feeds.
Harry offered to give Snape some energy,
He doesn't get sick after me or Remus transfers to him, Harry commented.
I wish you two could handle it, but he needs a lot of energy
to build himself up. You and Lupin alone can't do that, the Headmaster said softly.
Tomorrow afternoon I think you can. If you sleep tonight
and eat a good breakfast and lunch.
I'll be here, said Harry. I'll get back to my room now. He bid good night to the Headmaster and patted the sleeping Potions Master on the shoulder before leaving.
The evening went as Dumbledore said, energy feeds and nausea. Barnes finally set up an iv to get some liquids into the dehydrated body. Nothing would stay down. The poor man must be sore from the dry heaves that racked his body.
Harry pointed out Severus didn't get sick after he or
Remus transferred, commented Dumbledore as he wiped the Potions Master down. Barnes nodded,
Well, he's used to them from before. If he wasn't so
depleted I'd say not use anyone else, but he needs
more than two people can provide, even with the energy
Lupin regarded the pale man shivering slightly under the blankets.
Maybe we could limit it to Harry and me, he said thoughtfully. If everyone else transferred their energy to
either Harry or me we could then transfer to Severus.
Like a human filtering system, postulated Barnes. You
know, it might just work. No reason why you couldn't be
the middleman, Remus.
We'll try it in the morning. I'll go write out assignments for
my classes and I'll be back after breakfast, Lupin said, pleased with himself. He smiled and left quickly.
A man with a plan, Barnes quip and shared a quiet laugh with Dumbledore. Once he'd got an idea Lupin was unstoppable.
came a quivering voice, I'm so cold, Albus. The tired voice wafted up from the bed.
Come here, Severus. Let me warm you, the Headmaster spoke very softly. He was ready for bed and carefully slipped beneath the covers while Barnes watched the iv lines. The older man touched Snape and helped him uncurl, his arms shaking as they reached out for comfort. He latched onto Dumbledore and pushed his face tightly into his shirt. It was warm, so warm.
Barnes watched quietly, then summoned Dobby. The elf quickly learned how to change iv bags and easily agreed to check in every hour. The doctor lined up several prepared bags for the night. Finally he crawled into the bed lying down so that Snape was between them, snugged up enough for warmth and to be able to read his vitals easily. During the night Dobby checked the iv. He attached a new bag when needed. He also checked on Snape, a long finger running over the slack face each time.
Dumbledore woke to someone snuffling on his chest, felt a bit of wetness and sleepily began to comfort. It was his nature. As he became more aware he pulled Snape closer, rolled enough so that he was up on his chest listening to him, his heart beating a soothing song. They drifted to sleep again. Barnes had pushed closer and began to scan the clinging figure. Energy low, but would hold for the moment. The healer wrapped himself around his patient and fell back asleep.
Which was how Dr. Barnes Sr. had found them all when he came to check on his son. Everyone else had been cared for and were healthy enough that the hospital wing was empty. He smiled, checking vitals. Some improvement. The iv was a good idea.
Feeling movement, the younger Barnes woke and sleepily checked his patient. He felt eyes on him and looked up. Cheery face looked down.
Hi Dad, he said with a silly grin.
When'd you get here?
Maybe 15 minutes ago. I've been checking people down
in the infirmary; Pomfrey and I released the last of them.
yawned the waking doctor.
How long have you slept? It's nearly 9 o'clock.
That late? Uh, about 8 hours, actually. Looks like
Dobby's changed the bags like I showed him, he peered up at the iv pole, which also explains why we're going to need
to change sheets. Shrugging, he gently stroked Snape one more time then carefully untangled himself. He went in to shower while his father waited. Once his son returned they woke Dumbledore, sending him to shower while they cleaned up Snape. Dobby happily changed the bed. He then fetched tea and breakfast breads.
By the time Snape woke, he was wrapped in a warm flannel blanket nestled in Dumbledore's lap on the bed. He could smell hot tea and toast; and fresh cut grass. The window was open with the warm spring breeze flowing in. Lupin was buttering a scone for Dumbledore.
Good morning, Severus, he smiled brightly seeing Snape awake. Snape managed a small smile in return and sighed as he snuggled against the warmth. The warmth moved and he stilled momentarily. A hand ran over his back.
Good morning, child, came a soft voice and his smile grew as he tried to lean back and see the Headmaster's face. Bemused, Dumbledore changed his grip to allow movement.
'morning, Albus, he whispered, closing his eyes. The toast smelled wonderful but he didn't want to chance vomiting so soon. He licked his lips and wished he wouldn't salivate. He felt something rough at his lips and tongued it gently. Ooooh, butter and warm toast. He took a bite reluctantly.
Between Dumbledore and Lupin they coerced him into eating a whole piece of toast and some applesauce. The textures were appealing. He shoved the thought of the return trip out of his mind. Quiet voices at the door let him know the first of his energy donors' had arrived. He curled into Dumbledore sighing dejectedly.
Going to try something new, Severus, the Headmaster whispered. Dr. Barnes thinks it might work.
Snape opened his eyes and watched two seventh year Ravenclaw students transfer energy to Lupin. He wondered why the man needed a boost. Confused, he closed his eyes and drifted on the warmth and good feeling of fullness. Might as well enjoy it as long as he could. As he was drifting he felt a slow feed of energy filling him. It was comforting and familiar and he curled into it with a sigh.
Barnes smiled as he watched.
I think it's going to work, he told Dumbledore.