- A Baby at Hogwarts -
by Healer Pomfrey
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
1 – The Baby
The war had been over for a while. Two years ago, Hogwarts had re-opened, and Hermione had attended her seventh year together with Harry, Ron, Ginny and the twins. After her NEWTs, Headmistress McGonagall had convinced her to become the Transfiguration professor and Head of Gryffindor.
During her first year of teaching at Hogwarts, while she was very busy with the two positions and struggling to get used to becoming a professor, she had shared her quarters with Ron, who was training at the Ministry of Magic to become an Auror together with Harry. However, over the year, they had noticed that their expectations for the future were extremely different. While Ron waited for Hermione to marry him and get children and eventually leave her job at Hogwarts, Hermione wanted to continue studying as much as possible and was glad to have the opportunity due to being a permanent resident at Hogwarts. At the beginning of the summer holidays, Hermione had officially ended her relationship with Ron.
From that time onwards, she spent the holidays reading and researching, completely enjoying her new found freedom. However, at the beginning of July, she came down with a bad case of bronchitis, and after keeping her in the hospital wing for a few days, Madam Pomfrey ordered her to spend at least one hour out on the grounds each day, threatening that she would force her to show up for a daily check-up if she didn't comply.
Knowing that her second young colleague had similar problems, Minerva ordered Severus Snape to accompany Hermione out onto the grounds, extending Poppy's threat to the Potions Master, who grudgingly agreed and went for a walk with Hermione every day after dinner. To their common surprise, both teachers enjoyed their walks and noticed that they always found an interesting topic to discuss. 'Severus can be really funny, and I like being in his company. He behaves completely different from how he behaved in class,' she thought one day when they left the Great Hall together to head for a walk.
However, as soon as they opened the entrance door, they heard a small wail and looked in shock at the small bundle that was lying in front of the entrance door. A completely naked baby was curled up there, only loosely covered by black robes. It had dark brown hair and large, chocolate brown eyes.
"A baby!" Hermione whispered, terrified.
"That's what the bundle seems to be; a little boy to be exact," Severus replied dryly and gently scooped the small child onto his arms.
"Ma da," the child blurted out, happily grabbing Severus' long hair with his small hands. His anxious expression turned into a smile as he relaxed and relieved himself, causing the Potions Master to eye him with an expression of loathing.
"Could you please?" he handed the boy to Hermione and waved his wand at his robes, casting a cleaning spell at himself.
Hermione chuckled and held the baby in her left arm, while she pointed her wand at a small stone and transfigured it into a nappy. "Do you have an idea how to put that on a baby?" she asked Severus, who eyed her and the baby in disgust.
"I suggest that we take the little brat to Poppy," he said, raising an eyebrow.
"That's probably the best. She'll be able to tell us how old he is. We need to check who is missing a baby," Hermione agreed and somehow fastened the nappy around the baby's bum, before she carried the boy to the hospital wing, feeling extremely glad and reassured by Severus' company. When they reached the hospital wing, the small tyke wriggled his way down onto the floor and made a few steps forward, before he fell onto the ground and began to crawl.
"Let's see where Aunt Poppy is," Hermione cooed and gently scooped the child up.
Poppy had already heard them and came out of her office, motioning Hermione to place the baby on the first bed, before she cast a series of diagnostic spells at the boy. "He seems completely healthy and is eight months and twenty days old," she said as she pulled a tissue out of her robe pocket, pointed her wand at it and transfigured it into a light blue jump suit with small green dragons that were roaring from time to time.
"What are we going to do with him?" Hermione asked. "I mean... He must belong to someone."
Poppy let out a long sigh. "A nearly nine months old baby is not able to come to Hogwarts all by himself. Someone must have placed him in front of our entrance doors, hoping that someone would take him in," she said in a grave voice. "Let me call Minerva."
"Aww, he is so cute," Minerva cooed, gently tickling the baby's little feet. "Where is your Mummy, sweetie?" she asked the small boy, picking him up from the bed.
"Ma-Ma," the boy shouted happily, pointing to Hermione. "Dada," he added, glancing at Severus.
"Well, congratulations, Hermione and Severus," Minerva replied, chuckling.
"Minerva, this is ridiculous," Severus snarled, causing the boy to let out an anxious wail. "What are we going to do with him?"
"Well, I'm going to make an investigation with the Ministry, but as long as we can't find his parents, we will have to keep him here," Minerva said thoughtfully. "Poppy, did you by chance check if he is magical?"
"He is a wizard," Poppy confirmed gently. "His magic even seems to be quite strong."
"Well then, Hermione and Severus, since the little tyke seems to want you as his parents, I suggest that we ask the house-elves to add a nursery to your quarters, which is accessible from both your quarters. You will both be responsible for the child, at least until we find a better solution. Poppy and I will take turns looking after him while you are teaching."
Poppy gently took the baby from Minerva and laid it in Severus' arms. "Come with me and let me show you how to change his nappy," she suggested, leading the way into her office, where she motioned Severus to put the child on the sofa.
"Thank you, Poppy. I hope we'll remember how to do that," Hermione said gratefully as she fastened the nappy under her colleagues' watchful eyes.
"If not, you're welcome to come back for another lesson at any time," Poppy replied, chuckling. "Now go and put him to bed. It's beyond sleeping time for the little tyke. If he gets hungry, just call a house-elf, and they will bring you milk for him. Other than that you can take him to the Great Hall for the meals, and the house-elves will prepare something for him."
Minerva followed Hermione into her quarters, pulling a grudging Severus with her. To Hermione's relief, the small hall in her quarters already held an additional door that led into the nursery. The small room was kept in light blue colours and held everything Hermione and Severus would need to care for a baby.
Hermione gently laid the boy into his cot and tucked him in. "Good night, sweetie. Oh, by the way, do you have a name?" she asked softly.
"Awi," the boy replied and scrambled to his feet, holding on to the side rails.
"Ali? Alexander?" Hermione queried, causing a huge smile to appear on the baby's face.
"Well Alexander," Severus sighed. "Lie down and go to sleep then. It's bed time."
The baby's lower lips began to tremble as he tried to back up, ending up on his bum.
"It's all right, Alex," Hermione cooed and once more pushed him down into a lying position.
Severus pulled his wand and waved it over the boy, causing Hermione to throw him a questioning look. "That's just a surveying charm. It'll alert me if he wakes up or is in distress," Severus explained patiently. "Since I'm going to stay up for a few more hours to tend to my lesson plans, I'm going to take the first night shift. When I go to bed, I'll divert the charm to you if that's all right with you."
"That's fine. Thank you so much, Severus," Hermione replied gratefully. "I'll leave my door open. Just call me if you need me."
"I'll do the same," Severus replied, before he turned to Minerva, who had been quietly observing their interaction with obvious amusement. "Please do everything to find his parents soon. I really don't have time to play daddy for a little brat that decides to show up at Hogwarts ten and a half years too early." He turned on his heels and vanished into his quarters.