When she’d come to Hogwarts shortly after the war, she’d known she was where she belonged. The students needed her, and she cured everything from broken bones to hexes gone wrong. She watched her children grow from gangly eleven year olds into young men and women who went on to accomplish great things. A few even pursued a career in healing, crediting her with their decision.
However, another war was brewing outside the walls of her sanctuary. The Daily Prophet published names of victims (little Mary Turner who had spent three days in the Hospital Wing during her third year and told Poppy all about Muggle music, Bradley Murphy who had fallen off his broom more than any other student and always had a smile for everyone, and more with every passing day). She heard whispers about those who had chosen to follow Tom Riddle (Rabastan Lestrange who had eaten so many treacle tarts during his first year that he made himself terribly sick, Evan Rosier who had to visit her every month for allergy potions, and other names that easily brought forth memories).
Poppy had hoped that she would never have to live through another war. She was older and stronger now, but it didn’t make it any easier to see the names of her children in the obituary section or to know that others had put them there. She looked at the students during meals, her gaze resting on Potter and Black, on Goyle and Parkinson, on others she had watched grow up, and she knew that it wouldn’t be long before they were on one side or another.
In her office, she kept a list of the children who had become victims of the war. Sadly, she seemed to add a new name every few days. Her list made no distinction of good or evil, of victim or killer. They are all her children regardless of what path they chose to take after leaving Hogwarts. In time, their names will fade from public memory and their lives will be broken down to ‘victim of the war’ or ‘Death Eater’ in statistics that mean nothing. As long as Poppy is alive, though, the children they once were will never be forgotten.