A/N: My other story is more along the lines of humor. Bear with me while I figure out how serious this will be.
"He almost killed you, boy. Lie still," Poppy insisted.
"I wish he had," the potions master groaned. "Just give me something for the pain, Poppy." As she started to turn, he managed to grab her sleeve. "Maybe give me too much. You could finish the job. As a favor."
"I'll pretend you are kidding, Severus." And as the words settled on him, that there would be no end today, he set his teeth and turned his head from her. "You know the headmaster wants you not only alive, but awake so you can talk to him," he heard her say.
"There's nothing to tell. The Dark Lord is suspicious. He doesn't believe I'm loyal. Save me today, if it pleases our Headmaster...." he said trailing off. He pulled at his chest then in desperation, as if doing so could relieve the agony the mended bones caused him. "But you'll be putting me in the ground before long," he finally managed to say.
His eyes were tightly shut now with the pain, and Poppy hurried away to her store of supplies. She grabbed one bottle and then considering, she grabbed another. "I'll let him sleep at least," she sighed.
Lifting his head, she spilled the contents of one bottle down his throat in parts. As the relief hit him, much of his old voice returned, "The whole bottle tonight, Poppy? Either I am truly a mess or you are going soft."
"Both," the old witch told him firmly. And then she unstoppered the second bottle and held it up for him. "And you'll get your sleep without having to give your report. I'll tell the Headmaster what you told me. You'll wake in a day's time. You'll feel much better for it, I wager."
He raised his head a bit to meet the bottle and gulped down the bitter potion. Finishing with a sigh, he collapsed back into the pillow and was asleep.
Poppy nearly jumped when she heard the door in the deserted Infirmary swing open. She fisted her hands nervously in her apron front before steeling herself to talk with the headmaster.
"Your patient, Madam Pomfrey?" Albus inquired tiredly.
"He is unconscious, Headmaster. I... I gave him a very strong sedative."
He did not reprimand her, nor did he make any query, he only raised a single eyebrow. "He told me this punishment was because Voldemort does not trust him," the Matron continued. Without a word, Albus started for Severus' bedside, but Poppy stopped him with light fingers on his sleeve. "Professor, he asked me to just let him die. Isn't there something we can do? Some way to help him?"
Albus held his breath as he looked at his former student lying there. He shook his head seeing the damage done to him.
"Severus," he whispered, "we are so close. I can't let you quit now. Sleep for now, boy. I have an idea. I had hoped not to do this... but we will begin tonight."