I have always adored the almost mother-son relationship between Severus Snape and Madam Pomfrey in a lot of fanfictions I have read. It's realistic and really adorable.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

A witch in an old fashioned nurse's uniform tends to fourth year with the flu on a quiet chilly Friday night. The relative quiet of the infirmary is interrupted by the all too familiar sounds of a far too familiar group of boys being dragged into her domain.

Professor McGonagall enters first dragging two third year boys, James Potter and Sirius Black, in with their two friends, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew following behind.

"I'm sorry Poppy but it seems they were at it again," Minerva said exasperated. James was put into a cot with abnormally long teeth and antlers while Sirius had what could be called claws sprouting from his fingers and now destroyed shoes. Remus stayed quiet watching over his friends while Peter and Sirius went on and on about how it was 'Snivellus' fault. He had ambushed them. The apparent attacker came in then followed by Slughorn and his only friend, a little redheaded girl named Lily Evans.

"Why on earth would Sev be stupid enough to attack you? He only started throwing spells after you tried to 'improve' his hair!"

Severus was ignoring them all as he went to his usual cot at the far end of the room. His hair had been turned to a hideous shade of pink and the skin on his left forearm was covered in some itchy blemishes.

Poppy had had enough with all of the noise, "I don't care what happened, I want everyone who isn't a patient out now." The children shut their mouths and the three uninjured ones left. The professors stayed behind waiting for the Headmaster to come so punishments could be handed out. Why they bothered Poppy wasn't sure, it would be the same as always.

The Headmaster came in with that twinkle in his eyes and looked over the scene. The Gryffindor boys once again began shouting their story as the teachers gave a couple details they themselves had seen. Severus however kept quiet, he knew what would happen as well as Poppy did. The nurse tended to Severus' hair and began examining his arm determining that it would need a special lotion. She was interrupted by Dumbledore's declaration that the boys meant no harm and no one would be punished. Of course, those boys were never punished.

Poppy removed Sirius' new claws and James' antlers quickly enough. The latter's teeth were quickly but somewhat painfully shrunk back down to size. The two were sent off with the Headmaster before Poppy went back to Severus.

It was always like this, if anyone was ever punished it was always poor Severus, eventually he stopped trying to defend himself against Dumbledore's bias except on certain extreme occasions. Poppy knew him better than the other students but considering her job that was not a good thing, students should not be visiting her so often. He was bullied not by the marauders but also by some members of his own house due to his half-blood status. And at home it was obvious he suffered some abuse, not that Poppy could ever prove it or do anything about it.

It was a tragedy, this boy she was watching grow up had so much to offer. He was intelligent, talented, ambitious, she could see his potential. Unlike the rest of the world that saw a Slytherin too muggle for his housemates and too wizard for his father she saw the man he could be. He could grow up to do amazing things but how can anyone expect him to rise to the top if they kept putting him down?

As she rubbed the lotion into Severus' skin she saw his eyes continue to harden. His armor, his shields were up long before he came to Hogwarts but they were continuing to harden to protect the fragile contents within. Poppy feared that one day they would get to the point where that would be all that was left, that the inside would be lost to the world.

"That was an interesting spell used on Sirius, I don't believe I've seen it before," Poppy stated trying to start a conversation.

There was a small tug at the corner of the boy's lips, "You wouldn't have."

"You're so smart, I just wish you'd put those efforts into something less harmful. Had you tested that spell out before? Did you even know how long they would grow?"

"They would grow as long as I wanted them to."

"You need to be careful throwing around untested spells, better yet you should try to avoid those situations."

"I do try to avoid them," Severus defended. After a few moments of silence Severus asked the nurse a question, "Why don't you ignore or scold me like the rest of the staff?"

Poppy's heart broke at the boy's question; a thirteen year old shouldn't expect everyone to ignore him. "Because I'm not an idiot Severus, I know you're a good kid. You just get into bad situations."

Decades later a thirty something Severus Snape laid in his bed bruised and bleeding. His death eater mask flung into some corner of the room. His heavy raspy breathing filled the room as Poppy Pomfrey once again tended to him.

She cleaned and healed his wounds as he stubbornly refused to show any pain. His shell had hardened with age as Poppy feared it would. Now the only emotions showed were those that helped him reach some goal. He was still being bullied, still mistrusted. This man was trapped in a never ending cycle, only the participants ever changed.

The medi-witch's voice trembled, "You shouldn't have to go through this pain."

"I deserve it," Severus said quietly.

"No you don't! Don't you ever say that!"

Severus turned to look her in the eyes and Poppy was reminded of the thirteen year old who had been humiliated with pink hair. "Why don't you hate me? Why don't you mistrust me like the others?"

Some tears slid down Poppy's face, "Because I'm not an idiot remember? I know you are a good man. A great man lives inside you, Severus Snape, but no one has gotten the chance to see him."

Am I… am I chocking up at my own story? I'm not sure I was able to portray the emotional scene in my head properly in words so let me know if you think I did.