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Chapter 19: The Hospital Wing
My head hurt. Not only did it feel extremely heavy, but I felt blinded by the pressure I felt pulsing at the back of my brain. I didn’t have my eyes open, but I knew that I was blind. You can just feel it. Like when you know there’s something by your bed when you wake up in the morning, but haven’t opened your eyes yet. Never happen to you? Oh, I suppose it’s just Mary when she sleep walks.
I peek one eye open and immediately regret it. If I wasn’t blind before, I am now. Those bright white walls are not good when I’m just waking up. I’d rather see a stark naked Teddy when I wake up than white walls. Wait, scratch that. Anything is better than seeing a naked Teddy. I think I should gouge my eyes out for even thinking about that.
Last time I remembered, my curtains were definitely not white. They were maroon (or so I thought). What the hell did I do last night that I ended up in a white room? Well, I do remember being drunker than a skunk with Marlene. What rooms in Hogwarts (or around Hogwarts) were white? Where could I have ended up?
Oh bloody hell. I was in the hospital wing.
I could feel the cushion of the bed beneath me and the weight of a blanket covering me. I could even feel the cloth of a hospital gown hugging my body. My pillow was rock solid. I’ve always hated the hospital wing. It was uncomfortable and frankly, it smelled a bit. Except I couldn’t smell anything. I went to sniff, but I felt a pain rock through my body.
Best if I just don’t move.
“How’s she doing?” I heard Teddy’s voice ask. How was who doing? Was he asking about me?
“Same as before,” I heard another voice say, yawning.
“Poppy say when she’ll wake up?” Teddy asked again. There was a moment of silence between the two voices.
“She isn’t sure. She should’ve woken up days ago. Poppy said she needs to take her own time,” the second voice whispered. There was a painful silence, something I felt even while I was just laying here. Days?
“Sirius, you can’t keep blaming yourself for this,” Teddy mumbled. I felt a shift next to me, but I didn’t move.
“Can’t I? I let her walk out of that common room, knowing how drunk she was. I should’ve-“ he cut himself off with a huge sigh. “How’s Marlene?”
“She’s awake,” Teddy said simply, not elaborating much more. Something had happened to Marlene? More importantly, what the hell had happened to me?
“I’m going to kill those bastards,” Sirius hissed under his breath, but made it loud enough for me to hear.
That’s when it all came rushing back. Marlene and I finding Regulus talking to his Slytherin friends. Marlene breaking down in sobs. Drinking her sorrows away (and my own). Going back to my dorm to get my wand. Remembering I was supposed to meet Sirius, but chickening out. Not finding Marlene when I left the common room. Lestrange finding me. Lestrange trying to have his way with me. I almost cringed, but knew that the pain would engulf me if I did so. I stayed still.
“Want me to take over? You look exhausted. Go get some sleep,” Teddy said.
“No, I’m fine. I wouldn’t be able to sleep,” Sirius mumbled. I was suddenly aware of a pressure on my hand. Something was running circles on my hand. My mind answered it for me: someone is holding your hand. I felt a flutter in my stomach. It was Sirius’s hand.
“Mum has been owling me like crazy,” Teddy said, heaving another sigh. I could practically hear Mum owling asking if I had died. She’s not subtle.
“She worried?” Sirius asked.
“Hey Teddy?” I heard a girl’s voice farther away. “How’s she doing?”
“Same,” Teddy answered. I could feel Sirius tracing circles on my hand.
“Could you get me something to eat, Teddy?” the girl asked again.
“Yeah sure. Want anything, Sirius?”
“No, I’m okay.” Sirius mumbled. I heard footsteps falling away. Sirius sighed. I heard the scraping of a chair getting scooted closer to my bed.
“I’m so sorry Lenny,” He whispered. Why? “I shouldn’t have let you leave that common room.” It’s not your fault. “I should’ve killed those bastards when I had that chance.” Now that’s just ridiculous. “I shouldn’t have let you get hurt.” But you didn’t.
I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t his fault. It was my fault. If I wouldn’t have been stupid and went out while drunk then none of this would’ve happened. If I have had turned away when I saw those dumb Slytherins maybe I wouldn’t be where I was. If I had grown a pair and told Sirius who I was, none of this would have happened.
“It’s all my fault,” I heard. There was suddenly silence. It was then that I realized that voice was my own voice. I had said it. I slowly, very tentatively opened my eyes. I had to blink a few times to get adjusted to the brightness of the hospital wing. Sirius was staring at me in shock, frozen in the chair next to my bed. He looked extremely pale and the bags under his eyes were the size of quaffles. I was sure he hadn’t slept in days.
“Lenny?” He asked.
“Well, I’m not the minister, am I?” I asked him sarcastically. Suddenly, a huge smile broke out on his face. Before I knew what was going on, he wrapped his arms around me, squeezing me far too tight. I didn’t protest though. He smelt very musky, filling my nose with his scent.
“How are you feeling? Does your head hurt?” Sirius asked, pulling back from me. The smile was still glued to his face. His eyes were shining as he studied every part of my face. I suddenly felt self conscious. I didn’t know how I looked.
“How long have I been here?” I asked. Sirius frowned, reaching down to grab my hand. He gave it a tight squeeze.
“A little over a week,” he mumbled. I nearly buckled in shock if I hadn’t been lying down.
“Oh thank Merlin you’re okay, Lenny!” I heard Marlene say across the room. I sat up, wincing as a pain shot up my spine. I saw Marlene sitting in almost the same position as me, gown and all. She wasn’t wearing make up and her hair was dull and lifeless. She smiled at me, but I saw a boring drawl in her eyes.
“Did you die?” I asked her. I felt a stiff chuckle next to me. Marlene laughed, but even her laugh seemed dull and lifeless.
“Pretty damn close, Crowley,” She said, staring down at the blanket with interest. I looked at Sirius, who wasn’t making eye contact with me.
“What’s that mean?” I asked. She shifted nervously on her cot.
“They attacked her too,” Sirius muttered. My eyes flashed over Marlene’s down turned face. I wouldn’t ask. At least not right now.
“What happened to them?” I turned to Sirius, asking him with hopeful eyes. Surely Teddy had kicked their arses. Surely someone had kicked their arses. Maybe they had been in the hospital wing too.
“Dumbledore suspended them from Quidditch for the rest of the year,” Sirius said, again not looking at me. That was it? Dumbledore suspended them for nearly killing me and for doing Merlin only knows what to Marlene? Something was seriously wrong with this picture.
“Speak and he shall appear,” I heard the soft, calm drawl of Dumbledore’s voice. Immediately I sat up straighter. It was a habit whenever authority was around. I cringed at the pain that shot up my spine, but tried my best to hide it.
“Hello Headmaster,” I mumbled my greeting. He smiled warmly at me, eyeing the room over his spectacles.
“How are you ladies feeling today?” He asked, turning to Marlene and me respectively.
“Better,” Marlene said, smiling at him. It was a genuine smile. Something you do not see on Marlene McKinnon. Ever.
“And you, Ms. Crowley?” He asked, turning his gaze on me. I felt like he already knew how I felt, but I let the smile grace my face anyways.
“I’m getting there,” I responded. His gaze lingered on me for an extra second before he nodded, turning away.
“I was informed that you may leave tonight, Ms. McKinnon. As you’ve only just woken up, I’m afraid you must stay for a few more days, Lenora,” I cringed as he used my full name, but nodded all the same. Sirius snorted from next to me at the use of my full name.
“Lenora,” he repeated. I glared at him. Dumbledore was probably the only person who could get away with using my full name.
“I’m sure it is past visiting hours, Mr. Black. Don’t stay for too much longer,” Dumbledore said, shooting me one last glance before dancing away from the room. I stared at the door for an extra second before glancing back at Sirius. His face was cast towards our joined hands. I suddenly felt extremely hot as I let go of his hand, pulling my own onto my stomach.
“He’s right, I should get going now that you’re awake. I’m sure you’ll need your rest,” Sirius mumbled, getting up from the chair placed next to my bed. He took a few steps, turned and stared at me for an extra few moments. He looked like he was going to say something, but thought better of it.
“Thanks Sirius,” I said. He turned around, raising his eyebrows at me, “For sitting with me…you know.”
He smiled and gave me a head nod before leaving the hospital wing. Yes, I did stare at his butt and yes, it is nice. I’m a girl in a lot of pain right now, you cannot blame me. I never said I was an angel. Sirius Black is nice to look at. I turned my attention back to Marlene who was smirking at me knowingly. I put on my best innocent face. She couldn’t have seen me checking him out, right?
“What?” I said innocently. I had been caught with my hand in the metaphorical cookie jar and I knew it.
“You know he was the one who saved you. If it wasn’t for him that arse would have done more than just knocked you out for a week,” Marlene said, focusing on pushing herself out of the bed. I felt a blush creeping up my neck.
“I thanked him,” I told her.
“You thanked him for sitting with you, Lenny. He’s not just been sitting with you, he’s been here day in and out. He hasn’t left your bedside for more than a few minutes,” Marlene criticized me as she placed socks on her feet. She pulled the curtain around her. I assumed she was changing or really mad at me.
“I didn’t ask him to stay by my bedside,” I said after a moment of silence. Why would Sirius stay at my bedside anyways? Didn’t he have class and Quidditch to attend?
“No, you didn’t. He did it because he wanted to,” Marlene said. I let her words sink in. Sirius wanted to sit by my bedside. He wanted to make sure I was alright.
“I don’t think that’s it,” I mumbled. It just didn’t make sense to me. Marlene sighed, pulling back the curtain to reveal herself fully dressed.
“Why is that so hard to believe, Lenny? He likes you. He held your hand the whole time. He freaking talked to you like he was a nutter! What more do you need?” Marlene was on my bed at this point, giving me a very pointed look. I needed to divert the attention off of me. I couldn’t be thinking about this. It wasn’t realistic. Sirius and I weren’t realistic. Not unless we were cursing each other.
“What happened to you, anyways?” I asked her. Her face immediately fell as I asked her this. She pushed herself off my bed, putting her back towards me.
“I would rather not talk about it, Lenny,” She whispered. I would get it out of her eventually…maybe. That girl was damn stubborn.
I’m not being dramatic, I swear. I can honestly say that I would rather jump off the Astronomy Tower naked then stand another minute in this bloody hospital wing. Waking up to the bright white walls and sheets is one thing, but listening to the whiners that came in here was another. A first year came in complaining of diarrhea. When Pomphrey told him to take a cup and get some of the diarrhea in it, he ran straight back to class. Pomphrey even had to give the ‘womanly’ talk with a third year.
I felt bad for the lady, I really did. Except she wouldn’t let me leave.
Teddy visited me every day for supper. We ate together. He would tell me about the classes we had together. I nearly fell asleep on him every time. He also told me that Mom invited us to stay with her and her friend this winter break (which was in two weeks). Teddy wasn’t going unless I went. I wasn’t all too sure if I wanted to go or not.
Sirius had visited every day in between classes. He brought me some chocolate and some magazines to keep myself busy. We never talked about what happened. We didn’t even let it come up on conversation. He’d tell me how James was threatening to replace me if I didn’t come back pretty soon. He told me that Teddy punched Regulus straight in the face. That explained why Teddy was missing last night for dinner. He was company.
Lily and Alice also popped in a few times. They brought me all my homework. I told them I would do it, but let’s face it, I wouldn’t touch it. They gossiped about all that was Hogwarts. I swear they even gossiped about fifth years. I wanted to rip my ears out by the time they left. It did leave me to think about whether or not Marlene and Teddy were a couple. Rumors, I’m telling you.
Even Mary had come and visited me. She was only there on the assumption that she had to get my permission to ask my brother to the Masquerade Ball (which apparently was announced when I was passed out). She only asked because “now we were friends”. I told her to go for it, knowing he would say no to her. She already got her shot and blew it. She could find out the hard way, though. I wasn’t one to crush her dreams. That would be Teddy’s job.
This time of day was the worst. Everyone was in class so I had absolutely no company. I wanted to bang my head in. The hospital wing is absolutely lifeless. I had whined to Madam Pomphrey for a good hour already. She still refused to let me leave. I had one more set of potions to take in two hours before I was allowed to go. She had to “make sure I’d be fine”. I wouldn’t be fine if I stayed another minute in this hospital wing.
“Madam Pomphrey, I’m going to kill myself if I stay in here much longer!” I shouted towards her office.
“I can keep you here longer for saying that, Crowley. Suicidal amplications!” she shouted back. I groaned, rolling over onto my side.
“At least I could get away from you if I killed myself!” I yelled. I wanted to punch my pillow all too hard, but resisted the urge. I heard a familiar tap at a window. I sat up to see a black owl perched on the window sill. I grinned to myself, running towards the window and nearly tearing the letter off the bird’s leg.
I’m sorry. That’s all I can say. I’m sorry if you showed up and I wasn’t there. I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I’d hope you would understand, but you don’t seem like the forgiving type. I’m sure you heard of Lenny’s accident. I take complete blame for it. I ran into Lestrange and his friends talking about going to get pissed drunk because of Marlene and Lenny. I saw Lenny leave the common room. I followed her because I had a really bad feeling. I tried to stay a good distance behind her, but I ended up losing her. Lestrange found her before I did. I couldn’t breathe when I saw her. She was a mangled mess. I didn’t know what to do. I managed to scare Lestrange away, but that didn’t make it better. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but all I can tell you is I’m sorry, L.C.
I felt like all of the air had been punched out of me, except in a good way. Sirius had been the one to find me. He had been the one to tell me everything would be alright. He had been the one to save me from Rabastan. I felt my stomach flip as I touched the side of my forehead. Pomphrey said the scar would be there forever. It was better than being dead, I suppose.
The main point was I was grateful. I was more than grateful, I was in debt to him. I re-read the letter, but the words didn’t change. I clutched the letter close to my chest and grinned to myself. I felt like a giggling teenager, but it didn’t matter. I glanced around, wondering if anyone had seen me grinning like a mad man. I hurriedly grabbed a piece of parchment and quill from my bag and set to writing him back.
I understand. No need to apologize to me. You’re a great friend to sit with her in the hospital wing. I’m sure she was very appreciative that you found her in time. I’m normally horrible at saying this kind of thing (I normally shove my foot in my mouth), but what you did was truly amazing. You saved her, Sirius. Lenny wouldn’t put any blame on you whatsoever. She’s probably in Lennyland, anyways! Crazy girl, right?
Let me repeat myself: I don’t blame you. I didn’t show up either, if I’m being honest. I was caught up in nargles. They were everywhere. I ran to hide from them! They can be pretty vicious.
“Crowley, you’re not dead!” James proclaimed as I entered the Great Hall. People turned towards me and I felt my cheeks burn with embarrassment. I made my way towards Lily and Alice, taking a seat next to them.
“I’d hope not,” I responded, taking a piece of chicken and taking a rather large bite out of it. Sirius grinned at me, flipping his hair out of his face. My stomach fluttered.
“Feeling better?” He asked. I nodded, unable to find my voice.
“Good! I can’t have my keeper dead. I don’t think I’d be able to find a replacement. I’d have to get Evans to replace you,” James smirked at Lily. She glared at him immediately.
“I’ll murder you,” She hissed viciously. I smiled to myself. Lily and James fights are always funny.
“If murder means shag, then be my guest!” Everyone around groaned.
“I would never shag you!” Lily growled. I saw her hands clench around her fork. Her knuckles got white.
“That’s not what the stars said, Evans. We’re meant to be,” James smirked at Lily. I furrowed my eyebrows as Lily’s face got as red as her hair.
“That was a mistake!” Lily shrieked. Most people were staring at the pair now.
“No, we’re not a mistake. Snivellus, yes. Us, no,” James said, biting into his mash potatoes. If it was possible, Lily’s face got redder.
“I cannot believe you! We are as destined as Sirius and Lenny are!” Lily shrieked. She pushed herself away from the table and I felt my face grow red again. Remus nearly choked on his dumplings. Alice stared down at her plate with much interest.
“Hey, I resent that! We’d make a fantastic couple! Right Lenny?” Sirius said, looking right at me. I felt way too many eyes on me. My face was burning at this point. What the bloody hell am I supposed to say to that?
“Don’t make me answer that,” I mumbled into my pumpkin juice. James laughed heartedly at me and shook his head.
“You’re about the only girl who wouldn’t answer that with a yes, Crowley,” James said, glancing at Sirius’s red face.
“Hey, what’s that?” Remus asked, pointing at my forehead. I went to touch it, but he shook his head, signaling that I wasn’t touching it.
“Yeah, what is that Lenny?” Alice asked, peering at my forehead with much interest. I picked up a spoon, trying to see my reflection but just seeing my round face.
“What?” I asked them. Sirius leaned over the table, his eyes narrowed on the spot. He brushed my hair away from my forehead. I realized how close his face was to me. My breath hitched in my throat. I watched as his grey eyes studied my forehead. I noticed everything about his face. His pointed nose, his perfect cheekbones, the small freckles that brushed his cheeks, and his long eyelashes. His finger ran from my hairline to my eyebrow.
“It’s just a scar,” He claimed. Just as quickly as he was there, he was gone. I paused, still staring at his face. Remus coughed and I felt something kick me under the table. I jumped out of my daze and saw Remus raising his eyebrows at me.
“Let’s go check on Lily, shall we?” Alice said, getting up from her seat. I slowly followed.
“What did James mean about the stars?” I asked Alice.
“The Astronomy assignment at the beginning of the year. They both got each other’s initials.” Alice explained. I paused. Lily and James? Maybe that was like Sirius and I. Maybe we really just weren’t meant to be. Why was I even thinking about being destined with Sirius, anyways? I must still be sick.
Hospital wing, here I come.
Author's Note: So? What do you think? I wanted to say thank you to all of you who are reading this. I really really appreciate it. I haven't been updating as much because of school, but my semester is over now, so I should be updating a lot! I know it's been a while, but...well, I'm done with excuses. Like the little James/Lily I put in there? Hope so, you'll be seeing more of that to come! Review and rate, loves?