Caring for a Raven – Chapter 4

During the following two days, Harry and the raven remained on Harry's bed, napping until Harry's nightmares or coughs woke them up. Once awake, Harry fed Severus his potions, before Severus made him check his temperature and take his potions, before they both went to sleep again. Severus registered worriedly that neither his headache nor the boy's fever began to recede.

On the third day, Severus noticed his wing seemed to be nearly back to normal. 'It doesn't hurt anymore,' he thought, carefully trying to flap his wings.

"Does it still hurt?" Harry croaked worriedly as he observed the raven in concern.

Severus blinked twice.

"Oh, that's good," Harry said, sighing in relief. "Nevertheless, I don't think you should transform back yet, if your headache isn't better at all."

Severus took to the air and flew to Harry's bed and back to the table. 'You're completely right, Potter, but considering that the potion for the concussion will work much better if I'm in my human form and that I'll be able to brew the pneumonia potion for you, which you'll probably need since the flu potion doesn't work, I will try to transform now.'

He took the quill into his beak, which he had used a few times to give Harry orders concerning the boy's health, and wrote, 'STAY HERE.'

"All right. Are you going to transform?" he asked, alarmed. "Are you sure you won't aggravate your condition?"

Severus blinked once and flew over to the bed, where he slowly transformed, noticing that his head exploded in pain. He gripped his head with both hands and couldn't prevent himself from letting out a small moan.

Harry quickly took a small phial of the potion for the concussion and pressed it against the professor's lips. "Here, Professor, drink," he said hoarsely, glad when the man complied and slightly relaxed.

"Thank you, Potter," Severus breathed and tried to get up to let Harry lie down, but he couldn't muster the energy and drifted off into an exhausted sleep.

'Well, sleep is probably the best in his condition,' Harry thought. However, feeling too unwell to stay up any longer, he pulled a second blanket out of the wardrobe, pulled his warm Weasley jumper over his pyjamas, and lay down on the blanket on the floor.

A short while later, both wizards were pulled out of their sleep by Harry's coughing. Severus sat up and took off his robes, revealing black trousers and a dark green turtleneck shirt underneath. He pulled his wand out of his robe pocket and waved it at Harry, transfiguring the blanket into a most comfortable bed, before he sank back in exhaustion.

Harry worriedly dragged himself out of the bed and sat on the edge of his own bed. "Professor, how are you feeling? Do you feel any pain where your wing was before?" he croaked.

Realising that the student's face still held the same concern it had when he was in his raven form, Severus slowly moved his left arm, before he replied, "No. My arm feels a bit stiff, probably because I didn't use it for a week, but it doesn't hurt."

"That's good," Harry said relieved, "but you have a terrible headache, don't you?"

"Yes," Severus grudgingly admitted, glad he could speak again.

"I want to take your temperature," Harry decided and popped the thermometer under Severus' tongue, ignoring his annoyed groan.

While they were waiting for the reading to be finished, Harry wetted the towel on his night table and gently adjusted it to the professor's forehead.

The thought, 'I should be the one to look after him,' crossed Severus' mind as he observed a violent shiver shake the boy at the touch of the cool towel.

"Thirty-nine point eight," Harry announced, giving his patient a sharp look. "Isn't that a bit high for a concussion, sir? Are you sure the wizard's flu is completely gone?"

"No, you're right. I'll take the flu potion and a fever reducer too. However, I want to see you in bed, so I can check on you." Severus sat up and pulled Harry down onto the bed. "Stay put. I'll take the other bed," he instructed him, before cleaning the thermometer with a flick of his wand and sticking the icy thing into the boy's mouth. He stood up and quickly gulped down the potions, noticing in relief that they worked as if he had brewed them by himself.

"Gi go," Harry mumbled around the thermometer, causing the professor to throw him a menacing glare.

"Your fever is still over forty degrees. This means the flu potion doesn't work," Severus said thoughtfully as he gently took the thermometer from Harry's lips. "I'm afraid your cold turned into pneumonia, but I can't brew the potion here, because I don't have the necessary ingredients. I'll go and contact the Headmaster from Arabella Figg's house. He has to help us."

"Professor, you can't go right now. Please stay in bed for at least a day until your concussion is better," Harry croaked, unconsciously holding the teacher's arm in a fierce grip.

Knowing that he was in no condition to walk until the old lady's house, Severus complied and lay down. It didn't take long, until he succumbed to the potions' effects and drifted off to a much needed healing sleep.


In spite of feeling absolutely horrible, Harry decided to resume his garden work. He somehow had lost track of time, and the prospect of his uncle coming back before he had finished his chores was too dreadful to ignore. He slowly dragged himself downstairs and out the backdoor, when he stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of a grey cat sitting on the small wall.

'McGonagall!' his mind screamed. 'She'll be able to help us.'

Harry slowly walked over to the wall, stopping in front of the animal. "Professor McGonagall?" he queried, putting a hand on the wall to steady himself. "If it's you, professor, could you nod or give me a sign please? We need help."

The cat nodded her head, before she jumped from the wall and headed to the backdoor. Harry wearily followed her inside the kitchen and sank on a chair as the teacher transformed into her human form.

"Harry, are you ill?" she asked in concern, laying an ice-cold hand on his forehead.

"Yes, and Professor Snape too," Harry croaked. "He has a concussion and the wizard's flu. Let me take you to him, Professor." Harry led his Head of House upstairs, glad that she kindly steadied him and helped him back into bed.

McGonagall woke Severus and spoke with him for a few minutes, before she stood up in determination. "I have an emergency Portkey, but with a concussion, Severus, you're not able to use it. I'll go and fetch Madam Pomfrey, so she can decide what is best for both of you. I also have to ask Albus if we may take Mr. Potter from here already."

"Minerva!" Severus protested, struggling to sit up.

However, his colleague gently pushed him back down, worriedly taking in Harry's difficulties of breathing as she activated her Portkey. Two minutes later, she was back together with Madam Pomfrey, who began immediately to wave her wand at the two sick wizards.

"Minerva, Severus has a second degree concussion, a lingering case of the wizard's flu, and a high fever. Mr. Potter has pneumonia. I need to take them with me; however, we can't transport Severus by Portkey. We need to take the Knight Bus."

McGonagall threw her colleague and her student a worried glance, noticing that both had succumbed to the potions Poppy had spelled into their systems and were fast asleep.

The Mediwitch conjured two stretchers and floated the two wizards down to the entrance door, while McGonagall called the Knight Bus.


When Harry's mind slowly returned to awareness, he noticed that he was lying in a bed in the crispy white hospital wing, that the everlasting rain had been replaced by blazing sunshine, that his left arm was connected to an I.V., from which a potion was slowly dripping into his arm, and that the Potions professor was lying in the bed next to him, engaged in a heated discussion with the Headmaster.

"Mr. Potter can't go back to his relatives, even after his recovery. They abuse and neglect him. I witnessed his uncle beat him, and I heard his aunt say she was glad to go on holidays so she couldn't catch whatever was ailing him as she noticed he was ill. I'm willing to gain the temporary guardianship over him if necessary."

"I believe that's a very good idea, Severus," McGonagall threw in gently as she stepped around Severus' bed to sit down on the edge of Harry's, worriedly looking at him. "Harry, would you like to stay with Professor Snape over the rest of the holidays?"

"Yes please," Harry whispered, gratefully looking from his glassy green eyes straight into the familiar onyx eyes of the professor turned raven that returned a comforting single blink.

"Very well, my boys," the Headmaster agreed with a contented twinkle in his eyes as he stepped aside to make space for Madam Pomfrey, who came to check on her patients. "I'm sure it'll be the best for both of you."

The End

I'm not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes or help me to correct them.

All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.