Author's Note: Just a short, sweet little one shot.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, what a surprise...
Eleven year old Albus Severus Potter was sitting in a chair in the headmistress's office, waiting for the headmistress herself to show up. The reason he was sitting there was that, again, Albus's older brother James had managed to rope him into one of his tricks and, again, Albus was the one who had gotten caught.
Albus leaned back against the chair and wondered where Professor McGonagall was. He really wished she would show up soon so that he could get back to his dormitory. He had had a splitting headache all day and would really have preferred to lie down. In fact, that was what he had been about to do when he had been sent to Professor McGonagall's office.
"What are you doing here?" sneered a voice from somewhere above Albus's head. He opened his eyes and looked up. A portrait with greasy black hair and a hooked nose was scowling down at him.
"Waiting for Professor McGonagall," said Albus, hugging himself.
The man in the portrait narrowed his eyes. "I know who you are," he said suspiciously. "You're Potter's brat."
Albus nodded, though he didn't think much of this description of himself. "Who're you?" he said.
The man snorted. So typical Potter. He even looked like Potter, right down to the messy black hair that stood up in the back. Damnit, he also had Lily's eyes.
"I," said the portrait, "am Professor Severus Snape. Former Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Well, yeah, I figured," said Albus, "seeing as you're hanging here and all. Wait, Severus Snape? Dad's talked about you."
Severus sneered. "I'm sure he has. What have you done to get yourself sent to the headmistress's office, Potter?"
"Well, my brother James—" started Albus.
"Oh yes," said Severus, "blame it on someone else. I should have known. It couldn't be anything you did wrong."
Albus wrapped his arms around himself and sniffled. "That's not what I said," he said indignantly. "If you'd let me finish my sentence—"
"Do not talk back to me," Severus snapped. "You are infuriatingly like your father and grandfather."
Albus frowned and massaged his throbbing temples. This was not how he had imagined the man his father had referred to as the bravest man he ever knew. Still, there must be something good about the ex-Potions Master and Headmaster, for his dad to think so highly of him.
"Er—Professor Snape, sir," he said. "I'm sorry if I was rude. I was only trying to say that my brother James, he's in second year, convinced me to help him drop dungbombs off the staircases. Only I was on the main staircase and he was on the one to the second floor. So I got caught and he didn't."
Severus blinked. Potter was apologizing to him? Well, dungbomb dropping sounded exactly like something the oldest Potter child would do; he had already been sent to the Headmistress's office several times during his time at Hogwarts, though Severus had always made it a point to be absent on those occasions.
"And why, pray tell, would you go along with this idea of your brother's?" asked Severus, raising his eyebrows.
Albus grinned sheepishly. "I don't know. It was a pretty stupid idea, huh? Only he promised me it would work."
Severus rolled his eyes. "And you believed him?"
"Er—" said Albus, sniffling.
Erugh. Severus detested children who sniffled.
"Get a tissue, Potter, do not sit there making that disgusting noise."
"Er—yes sir," said Albus. He stood up from the chair, but then had to clutch the arm in support as a wave of dizziness overtook him. Once it had passed he grabbed a tissue from Professor McGonagall's desk and sat back down, blowing his nose and shivering slightly.
Albus turned his eyes back to Severus's portrait and the man flinched at the sight of Lily's eyes again after all these years.
"What did you say your name was again?" he asked the child.
"I didn't," said Albus, massaging his temples again. "It's Albus. Albus Severus Potter."
Severus's portrait dropped the book he was holding. "What did you say?"
"Albus Severus Potter," said Albus again, clearing his throat painfully.
Severus just gaped at him. "Your—your father named you Albus Severus Potter?"
Albus nodded. "After you, I think," he added.
Severus drew a hand across his face. "Why would Potter do a thing like that?" he muttered to himself.
"He said you were the bravest man he ever knew," said Albus.
Severus stared at the green eyed boy in front of him. "He what?"
Severus put up a hand. "No, no, I heard you the first time. Are you sure it was me he was referring to?"
"Well," said Albus, "I was worried about being Sorted into Slytherin 'cause James had been teasing me, and my dad said, 'Albus Severus Potter, you were named after two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin, and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.' So, yeah, I'm pretty sure."
Severus was dumbfounded. Never in a million years would he have thought that Potter would say such things, such flattering and ridiculous things, about him, to his son no less.
"So, which house were you Sorted into?" Severus asked, finding his voice.
"Slytherin," said Albus, smiling shyly.
A Potter in Slytherin? Severus wasn't sure he could take any more surprises.
Albus coughed harshly into his fist and Severus looked down at him. Was the boy shivering...?
"Potter," said Severus, bracing himself this time for the sight of Lily's eyes. "Look at me."
Albus blinked up at the portrait, which was suddenly a bit out of focus. Severus looked back into the glassy green eyes below him and frowned. He didn't remember Potter or the Weasley girl being that pale...
"Potter, come here," said Severus sternly, beckoning the boy over.
Albus stood shakily and went to stand in front of the portrait, arms wrapped around himself, shivering. He coughed again; it grated painfully on his sore throat.
"Are you feeling ill, Potter?" Severus asked, surprised to feel concern as he watched the boy shiver and cough in front of him.
"Er—" said Albus. "Yeah...a little. My head hurts...and my throat too..."
"You look terrible," Severus informed him. "Here, lean your forehead against my portrait, but do try not to get it dirty."
Albus wiped his sleeve across his forehead and then leaned into the canvass. Severus pressed his hand to the portrait edge and felt heat radiating from the small forehead.
"You're running a temperature," Severus told Albus.
Albus sniffled and looked up at him. "Am I?" he said hoarsely.
"Oh for Merlin's sake, sit back down," said Severus, feeling alarmed as the boy swayed on the spot. "Why aren't you in the hospital wing?"
"I thought maybe I'd just go lie down and sleep it off," said Albus. "But then I was sent here."
"Stupid," said Severus. "Stubborn, just like your father. How do you feel?"
"Bad," admitted Albus. "Cold." He began to cough and shiver more violently.
Severus cursed himself for being only a portrait and so unable to help the ailing boy. "Stay there, Potter," he said. "I'll go and find Minerva." He darted out of the frame.
Albus stared at the empty frame. His head was pounding terribly and he felt chilled and achy all over. All he really wanted to do was to go to bed. I hope Professor Snape gets back soon thought Albus. It's awfully lonely here all by myself.
Severus's portrait reappeared in his frame.
"Potter? Professor Mcgonagall is on her way."
"Thanks," said Albus.
"What seems to be the problem, Severus?" said a new voice.
Albus looked toward the source of the new voice and saw the portrait of a silver-haired wizard with a long beard and half-moon spectacles. He had seen this particular wizard's picture before, namely on his chocolate frog cards. This was Albus Dumbledore.
"Potter's son is here to see Minerva," said Severus peevishly. "But he has been sent up here with a high fever and a bad cough. Whoever sent him up here is an imbecile."
"Now, be nice, Severus," said Dumbledore placidly. "You'd almost think you cared for the boy." There was a twinkle in his eye.
"Look at him!" said Severus.
Dumbledore looked at Albus and frowned. "Yes, you definitely do not look well, my boy," he said. "Are you feeling alright?"
"No," said Albus.
Severus huffed impatiently.
Dumbledore looked at Severus. "Why the sudden concern, Severus? What is he to you?"
"Albus, ask him what his name is."
Dumbledore turned to Albus. "What is your name, my boy?" he asked kindly.
Albus coughed. "Albus Severus Potter," he said hoarsely.
Dumbledore's eyes widened. "Well, it would seem that Harry has named his second son after us, Severus."
"It seems that way," Severus agreed.
"He did," confirmed Albus. "He admires you both a lot."
"Admires me?" said Severus incredulously. He felt a suspiciously warm feeling welling up in his chest. Harry admired him? "It sounds as if your father is a bit touched in the head," said.
"He is not!" protested Albus, and then went into a violent coughing fit.
Severus resisted the urge to try and reach out to the child, since he knew it wouldn't do any good. "Where is Minerva?" he said, as Dumbledore looked at Albus with concern.
Just then the door to the office opened and Professor McGonagall came into the room.
"Oh dear," she said, catching sight of the pale, shivering Albus. She knelt down beside his chair. "Potter? Albus?"
"Hi, Professor McGonagall," Albus croaked.
Professor McGonagall put a hand to his forehead. "Albus, you're burning up. We should get you to the hospital wing right away."
"What about punishing me?" said Albus.
"Don't be absurd," said Professor McGongall. "You're ill. And I assume I am right in thinking that it was James's idea anyway?"
Professor McGonagall, who was still quite strong in spite of her rather advanced age, gathered Albus, who was slight for eleven, up in her arms.
"Thank you Severus," she said, for alerting me about Potter's condition.
"Not at all," said Severus, inclining his head.
"I hope you feel better, Albus," said Dumbledore, giving Albus a twinkling smile as Professor McGonagall carried him to the door.
"See you later, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape," said Albus, managing a small smile at the two portraits.
"Yes, see you later..." said Severus, feeling a slight tug on the corners of his own mouth, "And tell your father Professor Snape says hello...Albus."
AN: If you feel so inclined, I love to see that little 'Review' notice in my inbox ;)