Severus' and Harry's Quality Family Time: Sequel to Severus' and Harry's Family Experience
In fact,I wrote this first chapter as an epilogue to "Severus' and Harry's Family Experience" in order to thank you all for your many reviews including so many kind words. However, looking at the end of this chapter (epilogue), I realized that you wouldn't let me get away with it anyway – So I'm more or less willingly making a 'small' sequel out of it. It's set in Harry's fifth year (without Umbridge though).
Harry woke up with a jolt. 'My Transfiguration homework! I completely forgot to do it, and Professor McGonagall is going to kill me,' he thought, before he suddenly realized that it only had been a dream. Quickly glancing at his alarm clock, he saw that it was only three o'clock in the morning, on a Saturday morning none the less. However, he felt absolutely horrible. His head and his throat were sore, and he felt feverishly hot, although he was shivering under his covers.
Suddenly remembering how Severus had cuddled with him when they were both six years old, Harry thought, 'I want my Dad now.' He slowly scrambled out of his bed and headed for the door, dragging himself all the way down to the dungeons. By the time he arrived in front of the portrait that was guarding his adoptive father's quarters, he was absolutely exhausted, his feet were ice cold from walking barefoot over the castle's cold stone floor, he was shivering from the icy winter air inside the thick castle's walls, and he was sweating profoundly.
"You're supposed to be asleep at this time of the night," the wizard on the portrait hissed at him, angry to be woken up so early in the morning, but nevertheless, he let Harry in, who stumbled into Severus' bedroom and knelt down in front of Severus.
"Dad, may I come in your bed? I don't feel well," he croaked, causing Severus to wake up with a jolt.
"Of course, Harry, what's wrong?" he asked sleepily, while he automatically took position at the other side of the bed, motioning Harry to lie down beside him.
"My head and my throat are sore," Harry complained, suddenly feeling whiny like he had been as a six-year old.
Severus sat up and rubbed his sore eyes. He had just gone to bed an hour ago after brewing an urgent potion for a student in the hospital wing and was extremely tired. He reached out to feel Harry's forehead, noticing that he was running a temperature, which wasn't overly high though. "Harry, I believe it's just a cold; try to sleep for a few more hours, and you'll probably be better in the morning."
However, Harry couldn't sleep. His throat was much too sore to ignore the pain enough to fall asleep, even in Severus' arms. Not able to sleep anymore with a tossing and turning fifteen year old in his arms, Severus finally gave up. He reached over Harry for his wand that was on his night table, before he summoned a Pepper-up potion and a thermometer.
"Harry, can you stop tossing and turning around for a moment?" he told the boy more impatiently that he had intended to do, and Harry stopped to move immediately.
Instead he asked gloomily, "Dad, can't you give me a potion? I feel so sore and hot."
"I will give you a potion, but I want to check on you first, son. Open your mouth, so that I can take your temperature, please."
"Noo," Harry croaked, pressing his mouth shut. 'My mouth is much too sore,' he thought miserably.
"Harry, please don't behave as if you were still six," Severus slightly admonished him. He proceeded to take the boy's temperature under his armpit in spite of the fight he had to put up against his adoptive son in order to get the thermometer in place. Only when he had threatened to call Poppy, the child had finally complied. In the meantime, Severus summoned a headache potion for himself, which he greedily gulped down.
Putting down the empty phial, he took his wand, waving it at Harry. 'No, that's not a simple cold,' he mused, inefficiently trying several spells to assess what could be ailing the boy. Taking the thermometer back, he groaned inwardly. '39.1, that's too high for a cold anyway.'
"Dad, can you give me a potion now?" Harry's hoarse voice pulled him out of his thoughts.
"Harry, I'm sorry; at the moment, I can only give you a fever reducer, because I don't know what exactly is wrong with you. I have to call Madam Pomfrey."
"No, Dad, don't call her; I'll be fine," Harry croaked, while Severus summoned a fever reducer and pressed the phial against Harry's lips. Harry greedily swallowed the cool liquid and lay down, sighing in relief. He curled up against Severus as well as he could and finally drifted off to sleep.
Severus couldn't manage to stay awake any longer and slept until Harry's coughing pulled him out of dreamland later in the morning. He once more took Harry's temperature, and seeing that it was still exceeding thirty-nine degrees in spite of the fever reducer he had given the child, he stood up and hurried to the fireplace.
Two minutes later, Poppy rushed into his bedroom, waving her wand at Harry. "No, that's not a cold," she said pensively, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "Harry, can you please open your mouth for a moment?" she asked gently, lighting the tip of her wand.
"No, too sore," Harry whispered hoarsely, giving the healer a bleary look.
"I'm afraid you have to open your mouth, so that I can check on you. I promise that I won't hurt you any further," Poppy replied sternly, peering into his mouth when Harry finally complied.
A minute later, she sat back, sighing. "Harry, since when did you feel ill?" she asked softly, giving the child a piercing look.
"Since when I woke up at three this morning," Harry croaked.
"Have you been together with anyone else except for Severus?"
"No." Harry shook his head, wincing at the pain that it caused. "Why, Madam Pomfrey? What's wrong with me?" he asked, slightly panicking.
"Did you, by any chance, take a swim in the lake recently?"
"What? Oh yes, no, I mean, I fell from my broom yesterday during Quidditch practise and fell into the lake. Why are you asking?"
"You have Grindylow pox."
"What?" Harry asked incredulously, while Severus groaned, horrified.
"Grindylow pox is an extremely rare magical illness, which causes you to get small green pox all over your mouth and your throat. They might even spread to your ears if it's a bad case. It also causes quite a fever, and it makes people behave very childish while they are ill. Harry, you're already starting to get pox under your tongue. There is a salve, which your father can brew, and I will come twice a day to apply the salve. You need absolute bed rest as long as your fever is so high, and you have to remain here in quarantine for at least a week until I release you."
Seeing that Severus left the room in order to brew the salve, she followed him into the living room, turned to her colleague, and quickly waved her wand at him, sighing. "Congratulation Severus, you're in for some quality family time. You're already running a slight temperature, and I expect the pox to break out during the day. You will have to remain in quarantine here with Harry for about a week. I'm going to check on both of you twice a day, and of course you can call me anytime if you need me. How long will it take you to brew the salve?"
"An hour," Severus replied, still shocked at the revelations. "But I don't feel ill; I just didn't get enough sleep during the night." He rubbed his forehead against the recurring headache and headed to the door of his private lab.
"Well, we'll see if you get the pox. Anyway, I'll be back in an hour to apply the salve to Harry," Poppy promised and stepped into the fireplace.
An hour later, Severus returned to his bedroom, sitting down on the edge of his bed, noticing that his son's cheeks were deeply flushed and that his skin wasn't sweaty anymore but dry and hot. 'His neck looks swollen,' he thought, concerned. "I believe we are in for some quality family time for about a week," he said to his son, smirking.
"Okay Dad; love you Dad," Harry mumbled sleepily.
I am not a native speaker of English. So please excuse my mistakes – or correct them!
All recognizable characters belong to Mrs. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.