AN: J.K Rowling still owns everything.
This story is dedicated to HealerPomfrey for inspiring me to keep writing.
Minerva woke up to her wards altering her to someone at her door.
"Just a minute!" she called, and then she realized how hoarse her voice sounded.
"Oh no! Don't let me get sick right before midterms!" she thought to herself as she used her wand to transfigure her nightgown into her usual everyday robes.
"Yes?" she asked, when she opened the door to reveal her best friend and Medi-Witch of Hogwarts, Madam Pomfrey.
"Where were you at breakfast? Or, for that matter, the staff meeting after breakfast?" the other witch asked sternly, as Minerva beckoned her in to her living room.
"Poppy, what time is it?"
"About ten AM. Don't tell me that you just woke up?"
"I had a late night last night, Poppy, and I forgot to set my alarm. If you'll excuse me, I need to go make my apologies to the Headmaster," Minerva said, as she finished putting her hair up in her standard, strict bun.
"Sit, now!" Poppy ordered in a voice that left the Transfiguration Mistress no room for debate.
"Do you give your consent for the diagnostic?"
"Do I have a choice?" Minerva snorted.
"Not really, but I have to ask that," the Medi-Witch said before she conjured a thermometer and then began the diagnostic charm.
The tip of the thermometer flared green just about when Poppy finished her charm.
"Well, you don't have a fever and you seem to be okay apart from a slightly sore throat and a minor headache. Pepper-up should take care of it easily."
"So, may I go talk to the Headmaster now?"
"You are worse than my mother, I swear!"
"Your mother was a wonderful lady."
"That she was, but like you, she is a bear when I was sick."
"Are you calling me a bear?"
"Only if you refuse let me get on with my day already!"
"Here, drink this and then do whatever. But you had better come back to me if you feel worse!"
"Don't I always?" she asked sweetly.
"You mean, you turn into a tabby and hide under the couch so I can't reach you?"
"Who? Me?" Minerva teased, "Are we still on for tea tonight? About nine or so?"
"Sounds wonderful, do I get to bring a date?"
"And who would you date precisely?"
"I thought you had stuff to do?"
"See you later!" Minerva said as she disappeared out the door of her quarters.
She spoke the password, "Sugar Quills" to the gargoyle and it opened for her. When Minerva reached the top of the spiral staircase, she heard raised voices from within. She knocked crisply to let the Headmaster know she was outside the office.
"Ah, Minerva, come right in!" she heard the headmaster call.
"Good Morning, Headmaster, Severus," she greeted, when she saw who had been arguing with the Headmaster. The Potions Master was facing away from her and she only heard a very quiet "Minerva" from him. Shocked by his unusual behavior, she scrutinized his back closely and she suspected that he might not be his usual composed self.
"I was just about to call you. Is everything alright? We noticed your absence at breakfast and at the staff meeting," the Headmaster said, talking to her but still looking at Severus' back. Severus stayed turned away from them and did not turn around when the Headmaster began speaking again.
"I merely forgot to set my alarm after my rounds last night. Poppy already accosted me and ran a check of me," she commented dryly.
"Ah, yes, well Poppy does get quite enthusiastic about the health of her friends," the Headmaster chuckled, "And speaking of Poppy, Severus, I do believe you were headed to the Hospital Wing." Severus merely snorted, but his snort soon turned into a series of harsh coughs.
"Now, Severus," the Headmaster said in a stern, do-not-argue-with-me voice.
"Yes, Dad," he said in a very quiet, and almost deadly voice, but it lost its effect when he began coughing again. When he turned around to make his way towards the door, Minerva saw how unusually pale and sallow the Potions Master looked.
"And, I want you to report to me when you are done with her, son." Minerva and Poppy were the only two people who knew that Albus had blood adopted Severus, despite the fact that he was overage.
"Remind me why I consented to have you adopt me?"
"That's the Severus I know. Go."
Once the Potions Master had finally left, Minerva questioned the Headmaster.
"Albus, is he alright? I am not sure I have ever seen him so pale! And those coughs!" Minerva commented.
"I think he'll be okay, but he has been ordered to report to Poppy for his own health and my sanity," the Headmaster sighed and offered Minerva lemon drop.
"No, thank you. What did I miss at the staff meeting?"
"Not much. It was called by Umbridge, and she merely wanted to gloat over the new Ministry decrees."
"Alright, well I should probably get back to my grading then. Would you care to join Poppy and me for tea at nine this evening?"
"That would be lovely. See you at lunch!" the Headmaster said cheerfully, but his smile didn't reach his eyes. He was definitely worried about Severus more than he was letting on.
Once Minerva had finished up with the Headmaster, she leisurely made her way back towards her quarters. She sat down at her coffee table and tapped her wand twice. Within a few minutes, a full breakfast appeared before and she daintily ate her breakfast. As she was finishing up, Poppy's head appeared in the floo.
"Minerva! Can you come here for a few minutes?"
"Looks like I will getting a lot of grading done this morning," Minerva sarcastically thought.
"Of course, Poppy. I shall be there as soon as I can." Hurriedly, she cleaned up the remains of her breakfast and walked briskly to the Hospital Wing.
"Poppy? What can I do for you?"
"There has been an outbreak of Weasley products in the Slytherin Dungeons. I need to go fix all those afflicted, but someone needs to stay here and make sure Severus keeps his butt in bed."
"I demand that you let me go see to my Slytherins! They are my house, you know! And I want those two expelled, Minerva!" Snape's hoarse voice thundered from the other side of the curtains.
"Fancy a challenge?" Poppy smirked.
"Any day of the week," Minerva smirked back.
"Severus, I am going to go fix your precious snakes now. Behave for Minerva!" Poppy lectured sternly, "If I find out that you gave her a lot of unnecessary trouble, I will use a sticking charm! Good luck, Minerva!" Poppy called from the doorway of the Hospital Wing.
"Seems we meet again Severus," the Transfiguration teacher said as she sat down besides his bed. She was shocked to see an oxygen mask over his face and sweat beads forming on his forehead. He had only gotten paler since the last time she had seen him and his eyes were glassy. A few moments ago, he had sounded exactly like the strict teacher that he normally was. Despite his sickly appearance and troubles breathing, his attitude was still present.
"That we do. I wonder why she sent you to babysit. It's not like I need a babysitter!" he said, indignant at being treating like a little kid. He apparently had forgotten that he was seriously ill.
"If someone wasn't here watching you, what would you do?" She had conjured a cool cloth and was gently bathing his face.
"Run away as fast I could."
"Point made. You are seriously ill, Severus, you are in no condition to be running anywhere!"
"Fine!" he said before he let out another harsh string of coughs.
"Did she confine you to bed for that cough? Or for the fever?"
"Both, I apparently have developed pneumonia and then she forced me to drink a bunch of disgusting potions and wear this idiotic oxygen mask."
"Severus, you brewed those 'disgusting potions'. And how are you going to tell your father? Remember, I was there when he ordered you to report back to him once you had seen her."
"I…I…I hadn't thought that out yet," Severus finally admitted, letting out more coughs when he was done speaking.
"He is very worried about you, you know."
"I know and that is why I don't want to tell him that I am ill. Poppy will fix me up in a few days and he would never have to know."
"He knows everything that goes on in the castle, you should have learned this by now."
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Minerva got worried when his breathing was labored for a little while, but after a particularly long and harsh string of coughs, it relaxed a little bit. While it was obvious that he was uncomfortable with her bathing his face, he also unconsciously leaned into the cool touch.
"Have those disgusting potions worked yet?" Minerva asked a little later.
"A bit, but not as much as I had hoped they would. Would you mind terribly if I fell asleep on you?"
"Rest well, Potions Master," she said before she slipped a thermometer in his mouth. This wasn't the first time she had babysat a patient for Poppy. His comment that the potions weren't as effective as he had hoped concerned her, so she was curious about what his temperature was.
A few moments later, his breathing had evened out slightly and he was sleeping. The thermometer beeped and then flared red.
She checked it and wasn't surprised to see that his temperature was 104.5 F (40.2 C). Seeing the clipboard at the end of the bed, she took it off its hook and wrote the time and temperature on the sheet.
"Oh, Severus, how can we ever convince you to take care of yourself?" she whispered, using the wet cloth to bathe his face.
"Minerva?" Poppy called as she reentered the Hospital Wing.
Minerva slipped outside of the curtains and went over to her friend.
"He just fell asleep, so keep your voice down. Could you do him a favor and tell his father? He was ordered to report back to Albus and he is no condition to do it right now."
Poppy's face softened and she agreed to contact the Headmaster.
"Thank you for all the help. Oh and I told the Weasley twins that they have detention with me for a week for taking up half my morning fixing their annoying – but funny -- joke products."
"Sounds good to me. Shall I join you in here for lunch?"
"Okay, noon? Wait, did you just ask me so that I could feed Severus?" Minerva asked, in an offended tone.
"I am most certainly am not! That is Albus' job as father!" and both witches broke out laughing. Once they had composed themselves, they started to go their separate ways.
"Oh, Poppy, wait a sec! I forgot: Severus told me that he didn't think the potions worked as he had hoped."
"Ah, thank you for the information," Poppy answered as she disappeared behind the shield of curtains.
When Poppy slipped behind the curtains, she immediately frowned. Severus visually looked worse than he had before she left for the Slytherin common room. She picked up the chart at the end of the bed and read Minerva's entry.
"It should have lowered by now," the Medi-Witch mused, and performed another diagnostic charm. She looked at the results and then she turned up the flow of oxygen to his mask.
"Severus, Severus, what have you managed to catch? Something rarer than normal pneumonia perhaps?" she questioned the sleeping man, as she readjusted the cloth on his face. Deciding that it would be best if she had a way to instantly monitor his temperature and breathing, she fetched a wristband and slid it on his too thin wrist. A flick of her wand set up an alarm which was set to alert her if he woke up or had any problems breathing.
"It's up to you now, Severus. You can beat this, I know you can, but right now all I can do is make you comfortable." she commented to herself, and she got up to go talk to the Headmaster.
"Headmaster's Office!" she called when she threw the floo power into the internal floo.
"Ah, Poppy. You look like you had a busy morning. Would you care to step through and have a spot of tea?"
"I can't, since I have a patient who needs constant monitoring. However, I would like to have a short chat with you. If you aren't too busy, could you come down to visit?"
"Of course, although I do think I might take a quick detour to the dungeons. Severus was supposed to have reported back by now."
"I believe he has a good reason to not report and if you would just get your butt over here, I will explain it to you."
The Headmaster chuckled and said "Alright, I am coming through."
Poppy disappeared behind the screen of curtains, to ensure that Severus was sleeping as comfortable as possible. She was unhappy to note that his temperature had risen to 105 F (40.5 C). When she returned to her office, the Headmaster was waiting for her.
"Headmaster, why don't you have a seat? I'll conjure us some tea," Poppy said politely, trying to stall as long as possible. The Headmaster was fiercely protective of Severus and the Medi-Witch was rather nervous about how he would take the news that his beloved son had contracted an unknown illness.
"You said that you saw Severus earlier?" the Headmaster began, clearly sensing that Poppy was nervous about telling him something.
"I swear that man knows everything!"
"Yes, Headmaster, he reported to me about an hour after the staff meeting. I am assuming that it was under your orders that he reported to me?"
"Have you known Severus to come near here when he was sick?"
Poppy sighed and quietly said, "Albus, Severus has a type of pneumonia that I have not been able to identify. He is sporting a high fever that is not responding to the strongest fever reducers I currently have. He collapsed before he could even make it to a bed, and I had to begin giving him supplemental oxygen to help him breathe. I am confident that he will pull through, but I am unsure about whether or not he will have lasting effects from this."
The normally composed and cheerful Headmaster dropped his teacup on the floor. A distracted flick of his wand cleaned it up, but not before he blew her papers off of her desk.
After a few minutes of silence, he managed to ask, "May I sit with him?"
"Of course, he is currently napping, but I was hoping that you would be able to get him to have a few bites of lunch."
"I'll do my best. You have my confidence, Poppy, that you can get him back to terrorizing students as soon as possible."
Poppy led the Headmaster over to the screened off portion of the Hospital Wing. She beckoned him to follow her and she watched as he conjured a purple, fluffy arm chair to sit in.
The fierce Potions Master was resting, his breathing labored, a testament to how much strength his body was using to try to fight the illness off.
"Severus, my boy," the Headmaster whispered, and picked up the Potions Master's hand.
Poppy gently shook Severus' shoulder and said, "Severus, your father is here to visit you. Can you open your eyes for us?"
"Dad," he managed to croak out, "I visited Poppy, for once."
"I can see that son. I am proud of you, but then again, you were probably feeling so horrible that you wanted to just lie in bed anyway." Severus managed a weak smile for his father's attempt at humor.
Poppy retrieved a bowl of warm broth for Severus and set it beside Albus.
"Now, Severus, I need you to eat a few bites. Unless you would like a nutrient potion?" he furiously shook his head no, "Well then, do your best to eat. Do you know what you might have contracted?" Again, his shook his head no. "After you are done eating your lunch, I will probably have to insert an IV to give you a constant drip fever reducer until your fever begins to respond." Severus, the brilliant Potions Master, thought that given his current strength it would be better to start the IV before lunch.
"Do IV..now" he said, surprising the Medi-Witch. Upon seeing her eyebrow, he hoarsely explained, "If the Grade 3 fever reducer hasn't responded by now, it's not going to. I won't be able to feed myself anyway, I barely have the strength to talk. Do it now, and I will respond that much sooner," he finished, breathing hard from just that much activity.
"Well, you certainly know your healing potions. You would have made a fine Healer, Severus," she said as she summoned the materials for the IV. Despite the fact that they were at a magical institution, the IV closely resembled its Muggle equivalent. Some things are better done without magic.
As she prepared his arm for the IV, she noticed that he turned away from her so that he wouldn't have to watch. And curiously, so did Albus.
"Don't tell me you two are both afraid of a little needle? Like father, like son, I guess. Big pinch, Severus, exhale." He did as he instructed and found that exhaling did help with the pain.
As she finished taping it down, she couldn't resist prodding Severus a little bit.
"Shall I give you a sticker to put on your teaching robes, Severus? For being such a good boy? How about a nice bright yellow one?" She just chuckled at the death glare that he sent her way.
She took the potion bottle and hung it upside down on the IV stand and watched as it began flowing down the tube.
"Alright, Severus, you know how this thing works. If you notice a significant change in your temperature – look at your wrist, you have a wristband – call me."
She then excused herself, giving the odd family some privacy. Also, she wanted to do a bit of research before Minerva popped in for lunch.
As she poured over Matlida's Rare Magical Medical Compendium, she was trying to find something that fit the symptoms that Severus was presenting: a fever that was persistent in not going down, pneumonia like symptoms which were rapidly worsening.
"It could be any number of diseases!" she complained to herself.
"Poppy?" Minerva asked, sticking her head into the office.
"Oh, is it noon already?"
"I am not sure what is wrong with Severus. He just keeps getting worse." Just as she finished saying that, her wand began violently vibrating and Albus was rushing towards the office.
She grabbed her wand off of the desk and bolted out the door towards the screened in bed.
"Poppy, he just started having trouble breathing. And his fever spiked! What's wrong with him?" the Headmaster emotionally pleaded with her. The Medi-Witch ignored him and went to the bed where Severus was struggling to breath.
"Come sit with me, Albus," the small but mighty Transfiguration teacher dragged the Headmaster into the office and forced him to sit in the chair.
"Sit! She will come tell you when she has him stabilized again. Until then, there is nothing we can do but sit and take strength in the fact that Severus is one stubborn man," she lectured the Headmaster as if he was a wayward student.
They heard the sound of splashing water and curiously looked out towards the main Hospital Wing. About ten minutes later, more splashing of water and an exasperated "Severus! Sit still!" floated in to the office. This caused a weak smile to play on the Headmaster's lips.
A little later, more splashing of water and then the sound of someone retching. Both Minerva and the Headmaster simultaneously winced at the sound.
Once the unpleasant sound had stopped, Poppy came rushing in to the office, and grabbed a hand held mirror that was hanging on the wall.
"St. Mungo's Healer Center!" Poppy yelled, oblivious to the people around her.
"Please put your healer necklace in the mirror to verify your identity," a cool female voice said.
Poppy did so with practice ease, and impatiently waited.
"St. Mungo's, How may we help you today, Madam Pomfrey?" a deep male voice said.
"I need a batch of Draconis Febris Expellemus and an IV based Grade 5 fever reducer, please," she stated in a very calm voice.
"Woah! You know we will have to send a Healer with Magical Maladies over with those?" the male voice questioned.
"As long as I can get the potions to my patient stat I don't care. Move it!" Poppy had finally lost her patience with these people.
"Minerva, Albus, why don't you go wait in Minerva's quarters for a little while?" Poppy suggested but the expression on her face clearly showed that it was not a suggestion.
The two hurriedly made their way out of the office, not wanting to anger Poppy further.
A minute after the pair had left, a Healer arrived in the Floo, carrying a bag of Potions.
"You have a patient with Dragon Fever?" he asked skeptically.
"Come," was all she said. When they had both slipped behind the curtains, the Healer turned pale.
Severus was at his worst, his wristband was violently flashing and vibrating, for he had a fever of 106 F (41.1 C), despite his recent ice bath. His skin had now taken on a green tinge and his breathing was erratic.
"How did you diagnose the Dragon Fever?" he said as she spelled the Draconis Febris Expellemus potion into his stomach and took down the Grade 3 fever reducer. She then tipped the Grade 5 fever reducer upside down and turned his IV back on.
"Help me keep him cool until this starts to kick in," and they began to work together to lower his temperature.
"None of the earlier potions worked correctly. I diagnosed it when he started vomiting and the greenish tinge of his skin appeared. He was extremely pale this morning, and the skin color changed rather violently and suddenly." His wristband beeped twice, to let Madam Pomfrey know that his fever had gone back down to a safer level.
"Well, he seems to be out of danger now," the Healer from St. Mungo's commented.
"That he does. I appreciate all of your help and efficiency in getting those potions over here," she praised, as she wiped down the Potions Master's face with a cold cloth. Finally, she conjured an ice-filled compress and placed it on his forehead.
Once the Healer from St. Mungo's had left, and Poppy was satisfied that she could leave her patient for a minute, she made her way to Minerva's quarters.
She knocked on the door and was immediately greeted by a very worried Headmaster.
"He is stable and on the road to recovery. Do you want to go sit with him? He probably won't wake up for a while but…" Albus had already pushed past her and started making his way to the Hospital Wing as fast as possible.
"He didn't listen to my warning about how he needs to listen for Severus choking,' Poppy sighed as she and Minerva made their way to the Hospital Wing at a more leisurely pace.
As they strolled in the hallways of the school they loved and devoted their lives to, both witches got lost in their own thoughts. Only when Minerva sneezed violently did Poppy turn around to look at her.
"Oh, don't give the concerned friend crap. It was dusty, I sneezed, it's a normal reaction," Minerva protested.
"Well someone has to be concerned for your health! You certainly aren't," Poppy said, her eyes beginning to twinkle.
"It was just over three hours ago that you took my temperature. Honestly!" Minerva rolled her eyes.
Poppy merely chuckled and when they reached the Hospital Wing, Minerva offered to go order them lunch while Poppy went to check on Severus and Albus.
"Poppy, he looks so much better already!" the Headmaster exclaimed.
"He invented the potion that cured him, so if you want to compliment anybody, compliment him."
"He did?" Albus said, sounding amazed, "I know he always dedicates as much time as he can to the invention of potions but I never realized he strayed that far into the medical field."
"Oh yes, he has quite the list of accomplishments. Do you know if he has been around dragons recently?"
"I think last month he went on a mission for us and came into contact with a few. Is that how he contracted this illness?"
"Yes, it is, but he should be fine now. Let me know if there are any problems."
Poppy turned to make her way back towards her office when she heard Albus whisper to the sleeping Severus:"You shouldn't give an old man scares like this. Just rest and get better. Who else will terrorize every student within seeing distance? I almost lost you, my child. I haven't told you this, but I love you. Get well soon, my child."
AN: While this was originally intended to be a one-shot, there might be a sequel if enough people want a sequel. Thank you for reading and if you could perhaps spare another second to send me a quick review and tell me how you liked it? Or your favorite part?