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Thank You for the Tea

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Poppy Pomfrey waited until the vile Carrows had left the room and disappeared down the hallway before letting herself into the office.

Snape turned with a scowl on his lips, softening for a moment on recognizing her. Then he seemed to remember that he ought to be as equally unpleasant to Poppy as whomever he’d originally thought had entered and he scowled twice as hard.

“Madam, you certainly do not have permission to enter my office whenever you have the whim to do so!” he snapped.

“Oh hush Severus, I’ve mended enough of your childhood maladies that you will show me some respect.” She matched his glower for a moment before adding, “I’ve brought you some salve for your sore knee. I thought with the rains you might be using it more often.”

He pursed his lips and accepted her offering, “Thank you, Poppy.”

“You’re welcome. You ought to keep that fire up, you know.”

“I know.”

She jabbed at the flames up to a roar with her wand and then summoned a tea pot and cups from the cabinet in the corner. Snape stood in the middle of his office, watching her make herself at home. When she’d poured them each a steaming cup and settled herself into a chair, waving a hand for him to take the chair opposite, he huffed.

“You know, I am not intending for this space to be particularly hospitable.”

“Yes, I do know. I know exactly what you are doing Severus.”

He sat. “Pray tell.” 

“I spent today patching up Mr.Longbottom.”

“Given that the lad has been so often in need of your services over the years I can’t say I find that news noteworthy.”

“He was saying that recently, you had him and some other students serving a detention with Hagrid.”

Snape arched an eyebrow dangerously.

“You, Severus, are not who everyone thinks you are.”

“Madam, you cannot tell me that there haven’t been many more students in your offices this year than previous years. I do not know what you are accusing me of, but it is clearly a misguided conclusion.”

“The Carrows would have many more students needing my care if you allowed them and Filch to have free reign.”

Snape’s eyes tightened.

“So,” Poppy continued, “if you are doing your best to keep the students away from the Carrows, it makes me wonder if your heart is truly in the work that you are purportedly doing for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”

“Poppy,” Snape warned.

“In fact-” Snape flicked his wand at the woman, silencing her.

“Your conclusions, Poppy,” he growled, raising his brows meaningfully, “as inaccurate as they are, are best left unsaid. I may have to evaluate your position within the school. Perhaps there would even be more serious consequences. For the both of us.”

Poppy nodded and stood to leave, smiling gently, “Why Severus, I simply meant that your knee must be paining you terribly with all the hard work that’s been keeping you so busy. I know you are one to push past the pain and I am concerned about you. Make sure you let me know when you need more of that salve, Headmaster.” 

A sliver of a smile cut across Snape’s face. “Certainly, Poppy.” He rested a hand on her shoulder as he guided her to the door, “And thank you for the tea.”