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Chapter 13: Not Won't, But Can't
Ron, Rose, and Hugo sat in a row outside of Healer McGinnis’s office. Ron was anxiously glancing at his watch and down the hall towards Hermione’s room. Hugo was staring at the ceiling intently, hardly moving at all. Rose’s brow was intensely furrowed with her arms crossed across her chest. She was rapidly shaking her leg up and down in agitation.
Hugo shot an annoyed glance at his sister. “Will you please stop doing that,” he put his hand on her knee forcing it still, “You’re making me nervous.”
Rose slowly turned her head towards Hugo, “Sorry,” she grunted her eyebrows still knitted together.
“What’s your problem?” Hugo asked.
“Seriously?” Rose countered, “Are you sitting in the same hospital as me?”
“I have yet to see you this worked up this whole time. You look like your going to kill someone,” he accused.
“No I don’t,”
“You can’t see your face. Yes, you do,”
“No, I don’t,”
“Yes, you do,”
“Well then, maybe I’ll make it you,”
“Hey!” Ron snapped at his squabbling children, “Cut it out you two. We’re all nervous alright?”
“Sorry, Daddy,” Rose’s face softened as she looked at Ron.
“Sorry Daddy,” Hugo mocked under his breath, “Daddy’s Little Girl can be as moody as she wants,”
Rose fired a steely glare at Hugo, “What was that Momma’s Boy? You wanna go?”
“Oh I’ll take you right here, Princess,”
Both of them stood up and faced each other in menacing stances. Ron jumped up to intervene.
“Both of you sit down!” he snarled. Neither Rose nor Hugo had ever heard him snarl before and they both sat back down in shock. Ron stood over them. “I will not have you fighting like children when those Healers come in. So you will sit there in silence until then,”
“Yes, Dad,” Rose and Hugo replied in unison.
Ron sat back down in a huff and crossed his arms. He had never been the disciplinarian. That had always been Hermione’s territory. Furthermore, he had absolutely not idea what had gotten into his kids. They were dealing with this in, in his opinion, weird ways. Rose was disappearing for hours at a time, and when she was around he caught her having far too much fun with her American boyfriend. Hugo had started to lash out at everyone, and come to think of it, he was disappearing too. He was not in the mental state for his kids to start rebelling five years too late, especially if he had to deal with it solo. He let out a deep sigh and mussed his hair; he didn’t want to think about that.
He had to believe that this specialist was going to fix her; he just had to.
The door in front of them opened and Healer McGinnis entered followed by a tall, tanned man. McGinnis had a strained smile on his face as he greeted the three of them.
“Ah Weaselys. This,” he gestured to the man behind him, “is Spencer Parcell, the foremost Healer in the area of jinx distinction. Healer Parcell,” he looked at the tan man, “this is Ron Weasely,” they shook hands, “and his children Rose and Hugo.”
“Nice to meet you,” Healer Parcell smiled and Rose couldn’t help but notice how white and straight his teeth were. “I’ve been looking over Mrs. Weasely’s file,”
“Is there something you can do?” Hugo asked eagerly.
“Well, I certainly hope so,” he flashed his million dollar smile at them again, “Let’s go see her shall we?”
Healer McGinnis led the way down the sterile hall to Hermione’s room. Ron accompanied the Healers to her bedside, while Rose and Hugo stayed back, Rose having never actually made it past the chair in the corner and Hugo just not wanting to get in their way.
Healer Parcell studied her chart and then went about his examination. He spent almost an hour waving his wand and mumbling incantations. Every once and a while different colored smoke would seep from the tip of his wand, and he would make a note. When he finished, he turned to them.
“Well,” he sighed, “Here is what it looks like. She was hit with quite a few stunning spells, with a few minor curses, you know stinging spells, jelly-legs jinxes, that sort of thing. But the real interesting part, and the part that is really causing the problems is that there were a few spells that were meant to be killing curses, and were changed at the last second to something less severe. Granted, all this at once could very well have killed her, but someone didn’t want it on their heads.”
“So, you can help her?” Ron asked unsurely.
Healer Parcell looked thoughtful, “There are a few treatments we can try. They’re still rather new, so I’m not promising anything. As I’m sure Healer McGinnis has told you, it’s much harder when she’s in a coma,”
Rose scoffed, “Yeah we’ve been told,”
“Excellent,” Healer Parcell missed the distain in her voice, “as I was saying, there are a few treatments that might help ease the strain on her body, which might in turn help her out of the coma, but again, I’m not promising anything,”
“We’ll try anything,” Ron replied eagerly.
“Ok then,” Healer Parcell looked at his notes, “I’ll look these over more closely and determine the best way to precede. Until then, many experts agree that talking to someone in a coma can help them out of it,”
“Talking to them?” Rose replied from the corner, “She’s unconscious. She can’t hear anything,”
Parcell turned and gave Rose a sympathetic look. She hated it when people looked at her like that, “There have been many cases of people coming out of comas and saying they heard everything. Some even say that it helped bring them back,”
“That doesn’t sound very factually convincing,”
“Maybe not, but sometimes, Miss Weasely, all you really need is a little bit of faith,” he gave her a sly smile and walked out of the room.
Rose just watched him go in confusion before turning to Hugo, “Faith in what?”
Hugo rolled his eyes and went to join his father.
Rose apperated into the Potter’s sitting room to find Kenny and Lily in the middle of a game of wizard chess. Kenny was so distracted by the figures massacring each other, that Lily was actually winning, something that had never happened before.
“Hey Rose,” Lily greeted, “I’m winning,”
She smiled as her queen put a staff through one of Kenny’s knights. His eyes were glued to the board until Rose came and sat next to him.
He pealed his eyes away from the carnage of his knight, “Hi! How’d it go?”
“Good, I guess,” she shrugged, “he said there were treatments he could try, but he also said he couldn’t promise anything,”
“At least he has a plan,” Lily replied, “That’s better off than you were two hours ago,”
“I guess you’re right,” Rose sighed, “He just…”
“He just what?” Kenny looked at her concerned.
“He said I needed to have more faith,” she got the same look of confusion on her face, “I have faith, right?”
Both Kenny and Lily glanced quickly away from her, “Sure you do sweetheart,” Kenny mumbled.
“You agree with him,” Rose accused them both.
“Well,” Lily kept her eyes fixed on the chess board, “You tend to do better with facts,”
“So?” she defended.
“I think what the Healer means is you have to believe that whatever is supposed to happen is going to happen, believe that there is something other than just straight medicine that’ll help your mom,” Kenny explained.
Rose shot a glance at Lily, “Lily you know I think all that destiny and fate stuff is a load of rubbish,”
“I know,” Lily replied quickly, “and I certainly do not want to get into that discussion with you. I think he’s just saying, maybe you need to believe that something stronger is going to help her,”
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” Rose said matter-of-factly, “but I really don’t care right now. We have other things to worry about, like my mom missing that year, or our dads just dropping out, or the fact that they lied about it, or Malfoy trying to get away with hurting this family, or…”
“Whoa, slow down,” Lily raised her hand to stop her, “One mystery at a time Sherlock,”
“Ok,” Rose sighed, “What one do you propose Watson?”
“I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no intention of ever dealing with Draco Malfoy again. So about our parents, as much as this might shake your worldview Rose, I think we’ve figured out all we can from reading,”
“Yeah, I have to agree. But who are we going to talk to, Dumbledore won’t say anything, I got the distinct impression from Aunt Ginny that she wanted nothing to do with it, Uncle Harry is so busy with this case, my dad has been thoroughly distracted, and my mom well…”
Lily thought for a moment, “They weren’t the only ones that were there you know. I bet you the whole family knows something, and we both know the best person to get information out of in the Weasely family,”
Both girls got evil smiles on their faces.
“Who?” Kenny asked.
“Uncle George,” they said in unison.
They both stood up and Rose grabbed Kenny’s hand so tight he though she was going to break it. “Hold on really tight,”
“What?!” Kenny protested, “No, I don’t want to do the poppy thingy,” he shook his head furiously.
“Too late,” Rose turned on the spot and Kenny thought he was going to die right there. He felt as if he had been squished through a pipe that was far too small for him.
Suddenly, they were outside a bright looking shop at the end of a bustling street. Kenny fell over when they appeared, despite Rose’s attempts to catch him. The shop in front of him was unlike anything he had ever seen. There were flashes of light and bright colors everywhere. Weasely’s Wizard Wheezes flashed in bright red above the door. Lily marched determinedly toward the store and Rose followed, tugging Kenny along behind her.
The three of them entered the store and Kenny was immediately overwhelmed by what he saw. The place was packed. An interesting mixture of smells met his nose, and the chatter of excited children merged with the occasional bang or pop. Kenny couldn’t keep his eyes still, there was so much to look at. He tried to take as much in as he could while being led through the throng. They made their way to the front counter where a witch with the same red hair as Rose and Lily was frantically helping customers. He remembered her as one of their cousins from the other night, but which one he didn’t know.
“Roxie!” Rose called as they reached the counter and let themselves behind it.
“Thank Merlin you’re here!” Roxie cried, “You guys wouldn’t mind helping out would you? It’s insane in here today.”
“Yeah, we can tell,” Lily replied slyly.
“Please,” Roxie pleaded.
Rose and Lily made their way to the back room and found spare magenta staff robes and pulled them on. Kenny just followed and continued to take everything in. As they were about to go back out into the main shop, a tall redheaded man rushed in. A wide grin spread over his face when he saw Rose and Lily.
“Looks like we got some Weasely back up,”
“Um, Uncle George, I believe I’m a Potter,” Lily teased.
“Nah, Potter’s just a fancy word for Weasely, isn’t that right Rosie,” George replied.
“You bet Uncle George,” Rose gave him a big smile, “We need to talk to you, when things calm down,”
“No problem,” he answered distractedly and then turned to Kenny, “You must be the boyfriend,” George clapped him on the shoulder and Kenny simply nodded, “You’ll be impressed by these two. Best sales girls I ever had,”
Lily and Rose smiled as George grabbed a handful of boxes and rushed out.
Rose glanced at Kenny as she started to look for something in the storeroom, “We used to work here over the summer holidays,”
“Cool,” Kenny nodded, “Do you need me to do anything,”
Rose looked wary of his request, “Well, why don’t you just hang back here, if we need something from the storeroom, we’ll let you know,”
The two of them rushed out of the back room and into the main shop. As they left, Kenny couldn’t help but notice how the magenta robes clashed horribly with their red hair.
For three straight hours, Rose and Lily bustled around the shop helping customers, restocking shelves, and wrangling unruly children. Roxie and Fred expertly manned the cash registers, while George supervised it all. Kenny watched it all unfold from behind the counter. He desperately wanted to look around, but there were far too many people to get a good look at anything. He, instead, resigned himself to staying put at the entrance of the storeroom, watching flames of hair bounce around the crowded space. At one point, as Rose was helping a rather round child reach a trick wand on a high shelf; she caught his eye from across the room. She gave him a sparkling smile, the same smile he loved so much, the same smile that had first attracted him to her.
As the sun was setting on Diagon Ally, Rose and Lily were ushering the last of the excited children out of the shop. When they were all gone, George turned the lock on the door and everyone slumped down in relief. Roxie fell into the chair situated behind the counter, Fred laid across the counter, resting his head on the register, Rose slid onto the floor, and Lily hopped onto a shelf that had been completely stripped of its contents. George leaned up against the front window and sighed deeply.
“Wow, that was insane. I wasn’t expecting it to be that busy,” he looked at the exhausted forms of Rose and Lily, “You two are amazing. Couldn’t have done it without you,”
“Hey,” Roxie gave an outraged cry from behind the front counter, “We were here too you know,” she shook her hand rapidly between her and Fred.
“Yeah,” Fred propped himself up on his elbows, “We’re here everyday. This place wouldn’t run without us,”
George let out a gleeful laugh and walked over to his children. “Yes, yes, you two are what keep this place afloat. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” he pushed Fred’s elbows out from underneath him. Fred lost his balance and toppled off the counter and landed on the floor with a thud. Everyone burst out laughing.
Bright red crept up Fred’s face as he continued to lie on the floor, “Thanks Dad,”
“Don’t lay on the counter Freddy, I’ve told you that before,” George was still laughing. “Why don’t you two go upstairs and see what’s for dinner,” he glanced at the other three, “Are you staying?”
“Yes, please,” Rose answered eagerly. She had inherited her father’s appetite, which was quite large, and her mother’s culinary skills, which were quite abysmal, “I’m starving,”
“You got it kid. You guys really saved us today. We were lucky you two stopped by,”
Rose instantly remembered why they had made the trip to Weasely Wizard Wheezes in the first place. “Oh Uncle George! We need to ask you about something,”
“Sure, ask me anything”
“What happened to our parents during the war?” Lily asked bluntly.
George’s face dropped, “Anything but that,” he turned to rush up the stairs to his family’s apartment.
Rose lunged over the counter and caught the back of his shirt, stopping him from going any further. “Oh no you don’t. What do you mean ‘anything but that’,”
George struggled against Rose for a second, but he lost in the end, “Alright, let go already,” Rose reluctantly let go of her uncle’s shirt, “You are surprisingly strong,”
“I know right,” Kenny commented with a small laugh. Lily gave him a slightly disgusted look, shook her head at him, and quickly glanced back at her uncle and cousin.
“Tell us Uncle George,” Rose demanded.
“I can’t,” George insisted.
“We’re adults!” Rose was starting to get louder without realizing it, “I deserve to know what went on!”
“I can’t tell you!” George matched Rose’s volume. He fell into the chair behind him and buried his face in his hands. Suddenly, a door behind the counter opened and a tall woman entered the shop.
“What is going on down here?” Angelina saw her husband slouched on the chair, “George are you arguing with the children again, you know you never win,”
Rose was getting frustrated, “Aunt Angelina, you were there, what happened to my parents during the war?”
Angelina shot a look at George, who simply put up his hands in defeat. She slowly turned to face Rose; her face had softened as she walked toward her niece. “We can’t tell you sweetheart,”
“WHY THE HELL NOT?!” Rose stomped her foot on the ground. She was aware that this was an extremely childish move, but she was fed up with not knowing what was going on.
“Rosie,” Angelina continued in soothing tones, “It’s not that we won’t tell you, it’s that we can’t tell you,”
Rose looked at her in confusion, “What are you talking about?”
Angelina let out a deep sigh and glanced at her husband, “Oh just tell her Angie, she won’t stop yelling until you do,” George replied.
Angelina looked straight at Rose and continued in the same soothing tone, “We all had a charm put on us, the whole family. The only people who can talk about what really happened to them are Harry, Ron and Hermione themselves. The spell won’t allow us to talk about it,”
“Why?” Rose breathed.
“It’s their story to tell, not ours,” Angelina shrugged, “What gives us the right to tell anyone?”
Lily came up next to Rose and put a hand on her shocked cousin’s shoulder. “We’ll ask my dad,” she whispered.
“That won’t work either,” George chimed in from his seat, “The parameters of the spell where that no one other than the three of them could tell the story, yes, but they also have to be together when they tell it. All three of them have to tell you.”
“So Dad and Uncle Ron can’t talk about it as long as Aunt Hermione’s in a coma,” Lily responded quietly.
George and Angelina just nodded silently.
Happy New Year!! Yay for new chapters!!! I hope you liked it. Hopefully it's getting interesting :) I would love you forever if you left me a review :) I promise.
Reminder: All the familar stuff belongs to JKR, I am simply borrowing it. Sherlock and Watson don't belong to me either, that's Arthur Conan Doyle.