- Story Summary:
- In these harrowing times, the tolls of being Hogwarts School Nurse force Poppy Pomfrey to resort to unorthodox methods.
- Author's Note:
- Point-of-view companion piece to
It is only too easy to succumb to the pitfalls of low self-esteem. Poppy doesn’t allow herself to do that. She knows perfectly well that self-pity is an indulgence that she simply can’t afford, with Albus depending on her as he does. She has far too many responsibilities in her line of work. So she never feels guilty for allowing herself due praise, for feeling good when she accomplishes something. Her line of work is very difficult, and she deserves acknowledgement.
Her line of work is very difficult. Children will be as they are, always having accidents and getting injured. Albus, of course, is no help at all. He doesn’t even bother to ban half of those dangerous games they play, no matter how often she warns him. Then, every now and then, they bring something truly horrific, and she has to deal with students in hysterics, beyond the usual measures of examination-related nerves.
Soothing the students when they’re so upset gets to be very difficult, more so as real, terrifying threats materialize all around them. Poppy is often afraid, but she must keep her cool and attend to her young patients; they need her, after all. Calming Draughts and Cheering Charms have become her specialty, but they are no longer as effective as they were. The students build up a resistance, over time. When conventional methods of Healing cease to be useful, Poppy resorts to her own ways.
Oh, she knows her methods are unorthodox, but controversy won’t stop her. She has to be professional, after all, and put the needs of the students ahead of any other, petty concerns. If the Professors and the Healers and even the parents object, if it comes to her losing her job, at least she knows she did her duty by her patients and was not deterred from pursuing their health by narrow-minded bureaucrats. She knows that she’s doing what’s best.
Which is why she doesn’t understand Hermione Granger. That poor child, with such a heavy load on her back. Always frantic over her marks, she is, never satisfied with less than an O no matter how often Poppy tells her that standard examinations are hardly accurate representations of intellect. Forever getting into dangerously tight spots with her reckless friends, and it seems like one or the other of them is always taking up a bed, boneless or unconscious or strangled by thoughts. And, of course, even after all these years, being a Muggle-born in Hogwarts is not easy.
Every time it’s something different, and Poppy can tell when Hermione walks into her office that she’s not letting herself cry. She strokes and sooths and tells her it’s okay. She hugs her and begs her to just let go, let herself cry so she can get past it all and feel better. And Hermione assents, eventually, and cries her heart out in Poppy’s arms until Poppy herself is somehow comforted, feeling the girl release her hurts and finally achieve peace. Yet, every time she returns with another day or week or month’s worth of hurt to unload on her sympathetic shoulder.
She can only do her best, and yet she’s baffled by the girl’s return, time after time. She can only think that Hermione is not allowing herself to take the peace that she offers. This is the one thing she will never understand about her; why she won’t take the peace that’s she’s offered, when Poppy only wants to take away her pain.