Author's note: You all are so great! I really appreciate the wonderful response to chapter one! Currently I am on winter break, so I expect to be updating pretty frequently (I won't say every day, but I will be aiming for that). I have some plans for where this is going, but as always, I would love to hear what you all think! Enjoy Chapter two!
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from the Cursed Child
In all her years as the Hogwarts mediwitch, Poppy Pomfrey had only ever felt genuinely connected to two of the students she helped. The first, the young man she tended to at the beginning of each term, when he came back to Hogwarts even worse than he had left the previous term. She remembered the night he stayed in the hospital wing, after the incident at the Whomping Willow. Though his physical injuries weren't too severe, he was frightened. She had stayed and talked to him that night, keeping his mind busy, discussing Muggle Psychology and potions with him. She regrettably watched him as he went down the wrong path, then watched him come back around as the young, stern potions professor.
The second student confided her insecurities to Poppy, confessing her fears as she sat in the Hospital Wing with feline features due to a polyjuice incident. Poppy took care of her all those months she was petrified, helped fix her teeth after that horrid potions incident. Then, after that last battle all those years ago, they worked side by side, tending to the wounded.
And now, here Poppy was, taking care of their child. She chuckled to herself. When Scorpius had come to her with that poor child in his arms, barely breathing, she couldn't believe it. Once Serena was stabilized, and Scorpius explained everything, Poppy was still in disbelief.
While she urged Scorpius to tell Hermione sooner rather than later about her daughter, she could understand why he waited a month; Hermione shouldn't have to mourn another loss if she didn't have to. The young woman had suffered so much in her lifetime.
Poppy thought back to that morning when Scorpius came in to check on Serena, and found her awake and smiling at him. He looked to Poppy, who nodded, and he ran off to go find Professor Granger. She knew some day Scorpius would be a greater Healer himself; he had been assisting her every step of the way with Serena.
While Poppy mused, she heard someone approaching the Hospital Wing; they were running. Before Poppy could get up, Hermione burst through the door, instantly scanning the room.
"Poppy… I… Scorpius, he just told me… and well, is she here? Is Serena really here?" Hermione breathed. Her eyes were wide, and her wand was shaking in her hand.
Poppy walked towards her, and placed a soothing hand on her arm, "Yes. Breathe, Hermione. I can understand how surreal this is, but you must calm down."
Hermione nodded, taking in a few deep breaths. "Ok, ok. I'm calm." She breathed again, "Can I see her?"
"Of course," Poppy smiled. She led Hermione through the back door to her office, where Serena lay sleeping in her crib. Poppy picked her up, the little girl beginning to stir in her sleep. "Someone's here to see you, Serena," she cooed.
Serena started crying as she woke up. Poppy put her in Hermione's waiting arms. And suddenly, Serena stopped crying. She looked at the woman holding her and recognized her at once.
"Hi, darling." Hermione smiled, bouncing Serena lightly in her arms, "Hello, Serena." The baby smiled sleepily and closed her eyes, drifting off to sleep in her mother's arms.
"She recognizes you." Poppy said.
Hermione shook her head, "but that wasn't me. I mean… I can see me in her. But she's not mine. What…" She drifted off, "what do I do, Poppy?"
"What do you want to do?"
"I want to take care of her. But how can I be a mother to her?" Hermione was scared in a way she had never been before.
"You take it one day at a time. I'll be there to help you, with anything. And I know Scorpius would gladly help, too."
"No one else knows?" Hermione asked.
Poppy shook her head, "Scorpius told me you needed to be the first to know, and I can understand that. Minerva knows that I've had… a special matter to attend to lately, but she trusts me to tell her when necessary. I thought it should be up to you, considering…"
Hermione nodded. "And Profes- Severus… I mean, do you think it's really possible that he's alive?"
"I wouldn't have put it past that man to have a back up plan." Poppy looked at Hermione curiously, "do you think you'll try to find him?"
Hermione looked at the sleeping girl in her arms. Serena was clearly as much Severus's as she was hers. Her deep black hair, her nose; it wasn't exactly like his, no, but it was slightly hooked at the end. Yet, it somehow fit her perfectly.
"Yes." she said simply. Hermione looked up at Poppy, "I have to at least tell him. I mean… he has someone now. A family… sort of… Do you think I should? I mean, I haven't seen him in so long. I never even really knew him."
"This could be good for him. You know, Severus was never as cruel as he let on." Poppy said, "he was stern, sure. But he was a good man. I don't know what may have happened since the war, but I think he should know. Knowing is better than wondering, for both you and Serena."
Hermione chewed her bottom lip, thinking it through. "You're right. I think… I think I should go soon." She began to think through a plan, making a mental schedule, "I'll go talk to Minerva, let her know what's happened, when I'll be leaving. I'll take a week, get to know Serena, try start figuring this out, then I guess we'll fly there… to where he is. It would be better, I think. I don't want to risk apparating. Then, hopefully we'll only be gone for a few days, then we can come back and…" Hermione paused again. "Wait, is she ok? I mean, she was here for a month."
"She's ok, now. When Scorpius brought her in, there were some complications. Traveling through time was rough on her. She broke a few bones and she developed a nasty fever. She also had a few issues adapting to the sunlight; she spent her time in that reality in that room in the Whomping Willow and wasn't exposed to natural light. She's adapting now, though. She's eating well, too. I would recommend you spending that week here so I can help you and continue to monitor her. Then, I think it would be good to find him. I would say you can try to find him on your own, but, knowing Severus, he'll need her in front of him to believe it." Poppy explained.
Serena stirred, yawning widely. Hermione smiled, overwhelmed by what she felt for the girl. Then, she laughed. Poppy gave her a questioning look, and she explained, "Her teeth. She could end up with my front teeth." Hermione laughed again, "I remember when you fixed them… after Professor Snape said…" She faltered, "it's all so strange."
"It is, isn't it?" Poppy agreed.
Hermione readjusted Serena in her arms, and delicately ran the pads of her fingers along Serena's cheek. Serena turned in to her touch.
"Will you come with me to talk to Minerva?"
In that moment, Poppy saw her again as the scared second year, afraid that she was in over her head. Only, this time, it wasn't just a potion gone wrong. "Of course, Hermione."
That's it for this chapter. Severus will be in the story in a couple of chapters! Please let me know what you think!