Chapter 7 : Return To Hogwarts
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Hermione eyes shot up from the thick book she was reading: Arithmency NEWT Levels: Formula Beyond Difficulty, when a huffing and puffing Ron Weasley burst into the usually quiet library. Hermione cringed, the abrupt eruption in sound causing everyone to be startled out of their peaceful reading session. Madam Pince was beyond appalled, who dared to disturb her tranquil domain?
Ron ran up to her, grinning from ear to ear. “Hermione! Haven’t you heard? There’s a rumour that Malfoy finally cracked and took off on his firebolt, right in the middle of Slytherin Quidditch practice!! He hasn’t been seen since, and that was nearly an hour ago!! Do you know what that means?!” he gushed, his exuberance beyond a hyperactive seven-year-old on Christmas morning.
“Okay, so what does it mean, Ron?” she asked in an exasperated voice. She was head girl, and this looked pretty bad on her setting an example. Madame Pince was storming from behind her desk, her face contorted with fury.
“What do you mean-‘What does it mean’ ?!” Ron blanched. “IT MEANS NO MORE MALFOY!! It means no more of his stupid remarks and no more of him taking the mickey out of my robes and that also means that SLYTHERIN HAS LOST THEIR SEEKER AND CAPTAIN! MUHAHAHAHAH!!” Ron laughed raucously at the top of his lungs, completely forgetting where he was.
“MISTER WEASLEY!!” a vicious voice barked from behind him. Ron shut up abruptly, and turned around slowly, finally catching on to what he was doing. Madame Pince stared up at him like an enraged mother dragon, steam practically spouted from her ears and nostrils.
“..Y-YOU -..YOU.. DARE- SHOUT- IN – MY L I B R A R Y !!??” she roared, Ron could have sworn that he saw the shelves rattle. He backed up from the diminutive witch, trying to keep a safe distance.
“Er- sorr-” he stammered, trying to apologize.
“SORRY??! SORRY?!!” she sputtered, saliva spraying all over him. Ron instinctively wiped his face with the back of his hand, enraging the Librarian even further.
“Miss, miss…careful, I hear there’s a nasty virus going arou- “
“OUT !! OUT !! OUT!!” she screamed, and a remembrall owned by a little first year girl shattered, the glass exploding all over the long library table. Ron laughed out loud, and Hermione made quick work and grabbed him by the arm, dragging him out of the library before Madam Pince incinerated him with her Dragon breath.
“C’mon,” Hermione sighed, pulling Ron behind her, who was still holding his stomach, laughing uncontrollably. “Lets head down for supper.”
The whole school was having dinner at around the same time in the great hall, and everyone was talking about the disappearance of Draco Malfoy.
“It was like he finally lost all his marbles!”
“Maybe he tried to go and break his Death Eater father out of Azkaban,” a muggleborn Hufflepuff said; extremely bitter about being incessantly tortured by Draco’s derogatory comments and relishing his absence.
“Maybe he couldn’t take the pressure and decided to runaway,” Neville added in a hopeful tone.
“Nah, it’s most likely he couldn’t bear getting his arse kicked again by Gryffindor in Quidditch!” Ron boasted, knowing fully well that tryouts weren’t as good as he had hoped it would be. He beamed at these new developments. “With our new captain-“
“-It would be far much easier than ever to humiliate the Weasel King,” an all-too-familiar voice drawled from right behind them. Ron spun around, shocked at the sight of Draco Malfoy standing right behind him. He was about to retort when he spotted the strange party that had appeared in the huge doorway of the Hall. Hermione was not paying any attention to the two boys talking trash at each other when suddenly she felt a presence, something she had grown attuned to over the summer. She froze, her heart beginning to race. He was here. Harry was back. Her head shot up and stared at the newcomers slowly coming through the doorway.
“Harry!” she screamed excitedly, feeling his presence stronger than ever. She couldn’t see him properly, some of the other students were blocking her. She jumped up on the long bench and looked through the other students towards the group at the doorway. Something was wrong. There were two people on magical stretchers, and she could make out Remus, Mad Eye, Tonks and some girl, all of them hastily trotting behind the two injured.
And then she saw him, blood was everywhere. Her blood turned ice cold in terror.
“H A R R Y !!” she screamed, jumping on top of the table and over Ron’s head, landing in the corridor at a full sprint. People were now reacting to the bizarre group of wizards running through the great hall, Remus and Mad Eye levitating the two stretchers. Hermione finally reached them, and she froze, not believing her eyes. Harry was covered in his own blood, his arm hanging awkwardly at the shoulder. His clothes were basically shredded, and there was an ugly black area covering his ribs on his right side. His face was barely unrecognizable, his right eye was swollen shut, his jaw was hanging open slightly, blood trickling out the corner of his lips. There was blood everywhere, and she put her hands to her mouth, covering it as it hung open in shock. Next to him Albus Dumbledore was laying on the other stretcher, clutching his blood-covered side. He was wheezing heavily, and his face was twisted in pain.
The hall came to a dead silence, everyone now staring at the horrible sight. No one dared to move, too frightened if they did anything abrupt that something even worse would happen. They all stood at their seats in dumbfounded silence, watching the arriving party hustle to the stairs leading to the hospital wing. But it was obvious what had happened:
Their heroes had fallen.
“..Oh-my-God,” Padma Patil whispered, seeing the battered young man being carried down the hall. Cho sprinted from her seat at the Ravenclaw table, coming to see for herself what everyone was saying. Was it Harry on that stretcher? She stopped abruptly as soon as she saw his face, freezing to the spot, her eyes slowly following him as the Remus and Mad eye raced up the stairs. Draco was at the rear, walking behind them. Cho grabbed his hand, and he stopped, looking incredulously at her.
“Is.. he alive?” she breathed.
“Yeah. Barely,” he said in a flat one, a muscle twitching in his jaw. “It’ll take a miracle…” he trailed off, his voice grim. Cho’s eyes widened, and she ran up after them, following Hermione and Ron as they raced up the stairs. They were in the Hospital wing, and the one or two people that saw them speeding down the wide hallway joined the procession as they ran down to the hospital wing.
“We need Healer Gonzalez, Healer Richardson, and a muggle doctor we could trust,” Remus ordered Madame Pompfrey as they rushed into her healing ward. She was frantically prepping the beds and summoning healing potions from the cupboards. She had never seen a wizard beaten to this sort of extent, and for it be no other then Harry Potter had her: a vastly experienced Healer known for her composure, in a state of panic. Remus conjured fires for the multi flask life support systems, and took out medical robes for himself as well.
“I can help, I have a lot of field experience in healing charms.” He couldn’t lose the last link to his best friends; he could not allow their son to die when he could do nothing to save James and Lily. Harry would not die while he still had breath in him. He took of his shoe, and drew his wand.
“Portus!” The whole room glowed red for a second, and the shoe trembled in his hand. “I’ve created an illegal portkey here, but right now, I don’t care. Tonks, get Healer Gonzalez and Healer Richardson here, NOW.” Tonks did as she was told, her hand trembling with the adrenaline Harry’s situation had her in. She took hold of his shoe, and disappeared.
“Hermione, I need you to do something for me. Can you get your dad to help? We need a muggle doctor!” Remus asked her, his eyes frantic with desperation. He took off his other shoe, and pointed his wand at it. It trembled slightly and he handed it to her. Hermione took it without hesitation, and was gone. Ron stood a bit to the side, he couldn’t believe what was happening. That, that, broken body couldn’t be Harry, that couldn’t be his best friend. His face was pale, and he could do nothing but dig his hands deep in his pockets, clenching his fists so tightly they hurt. His eyes kept darting to Harry’s still form, but he couldn’t bear to see him like this.
Mad Eye’s magical eye focused on Ron, Cho and Kenna, and he turned towards them. He saw their panicked expressions and their fidgeting, and knew that they would be better if they weren’t around to witness this. “C’mon you lot, I don’t think you should see this,” he said consolingly, ushering them out of the emergency room. Madame Pompfrey and Remus had conjured surgical gloves, their wands and healing spell books open in front of them. Moody closed the door behind him and the three teenagers stood in the adjacent hospital room, their worried glances communicating more than words ever could.
Kenna sank down on the empty bed, and Cho fell apart, sobbing into Ron’s shoulder. He put his arm around her, and hoped to god that everything would be alright.
The initial magical scan was finished, and Remus and Pompfrey looked at each other in concern. Dumbledore looked across at them, his face pale with the loss of blood.
“..How...is he..?’ he whispered to Remus.
“Ssshh… Albus, save your strength...” Pompfrey said, coming over to him. Remus was looking at Harry, his face grim.
“Dislocated shoulder, shattered right scapula, hairline fracture at his right wrist, broken nose, fractured cheekbone, dislocated jaw, two of the thoracic Vertebra are out of alignment, and three badly broken ribs. Also there seems to be spell damage from what I believe is the Reductor Curse. Lacerations on his right arm and leg, probably from the chains, and a severe blow to the head. Torn ligaments in the knee. Blood loss at a dangerous level, maybe internal bleeding. I- I don’t know....” if he could make it… he finished wordlessly, but quickly pushed that thought to the back of his mind.
“.. Because the strength of Gryffindor rests in him,” Dumbledore wheezed, his breathing Shallow. “ He..Will.. Live.”
“Professor! Stay still, try not to speak.” Madame Pompfrey pointed her wand at him, “Liquidous immobilous!” she incanted, and the blood flow stopped. She tried her magical stitching charm on him, but nothing happened.
“That opening is a wound from a Hunter’s weapon,” Moody growled. “We need that muggle doctor. Where in bloody hell is Granger?”
Madame Pompfrey and Remus began initial work on Harry’s injuries, trying to source the internal bleeding that was in his side. “Administer two-thirds cup of Ansia’s anesthetic potion, one half Nightingale’s calming draught.” Remus was busy mixing, and Madame Pompfrey’s wand was levitating over Harry, her mind concentrating in stopping deterioration of his wounds. Her finger tips lay slightly on his battered body, her brow furrowing with sweat.
“Something’s wrong, my magic seems to be blocked, my charms aren’t working as it should. There’s some sort of magical feedback...” she said, her eyes wide with panic.
“Bloody Hell! That ‘Solidus Charm’ he has is trying to keep him alive, blocking any other magic from interfering, where in the BLOODY HELL is Granger?? She knows what to do!” Moody ranted, pacing up and down. Remus looked at Harry’s faintly rising chest, a hollow, sucking feeling running down into his stomach.
“She better comeback soon, because if she doesn’t it may be too late.”
Hermione was outside of her father’s dental clinic, standing in the afternoon light in her Hogwarts’ robes in muggle London. She strode inside, ignoring the strange questions from the receptionist who was familiar with her, and walked straight into her father’s office. He was in the middle of a meeting with a client, and his eyes widened in surprise, what was Hermione doing here only a week into school?
“Honey- what?-” he stammered, looking past the man who sat opposite him at her.
“Dad, you need to come with me. Now, it’s serious.” She said, bracing for what she was about to say.
“What is it ?” he asked uneasily, springing up from his cushy executive chair.
“Harry’s dying, and we need your help,” she begged, her eyes red with unshead tears.
Her father watched her skeptically. He swore as a doctor to help those who needed it. And his daughter was begging him for the same person he vowed would never see his daughter again, if he had any say. Torn between selfish impulses and his daughter’s feelings, he nodded, and went around the table to her side.
“Where is he?” he asked. She led him outside, looking up and down, making sure they could not be seen. Hermione pulled out the old shoe Remus gave her.
“This’ll take us to him.” He eyed it apprehensively, and they both touched it. There was a strong jerk behind his navel, and he was gone.
“We’re losing him,” Remus breathed, his face drenched with sweat. Both he and Madame Pompfrey were doing their best to penetrate this magic barrier that was trying to nullify their combined efforts, her muscles clenched in concentration as their wands spun slowly over Harry’s chest.
“C’mon Hermione, where are you?” Moody grumbled; probably more worried than he had ever been in his whole life.
Draco Malfoy couldn’t believe it. He paced up and down in the corridor leading to the Hospital wing, his brow creased in deep thought. That girl, what was her name again? Kenna? She looks exactly like me, well not exactly, but damn close. What was he to do? He did not get any time to really talk to her, as everyone was trying to keep Potter alive. His parents were gone, he buried his mother personally. Could she really be his sister? He did not know what to do.
He swept his quidditch cape away from him and stormed into the room where she sat, crying silently on the bed. Cho and Ron looked up at Draco, and there was a bit of tension between him and Ronald Weasley, but Cho was able to see what the really important.
“Draco, that’s the second time you’ve went to help him, and you saved his life both times. Thank you.” She gave him a sad smile and nodded, her expression full of gratitude. Ron wised up a bit. A little bit.
“Err- you did good. Thanks,” Ron added a bit reluctantly. He still did not like the git.
Draco looked at both of them, fully realizing the magnitude of what he had done. They were right, this was the second time he saved Potter’s life, if he lives through today. He nodded back at them, Harry had fought alongside him against Voldemort, and his parents were avenged. That meant a lot to him, and if it was meant to be that he would save his school nemesis’ life a couple times, well… who was he to deny fate?
“Draco, that is name?” Kenna whispered, coming close to him. She stared at him and he looked back down on her, her blonde head barely reaching his chin. “My name is Kenna.”
“Yeah, I know...” Draco trailed off, still looking into the eyes that were so similar to his own.
“Harry bringing me back to England. I think. To meet you.” She glanced at the shut emergency room door behind her, and tears came rolling down her face freely. “ Now look! Harry is dying because of me!!” she wailed, her voice cracking up. She ran back to the bed, and lay down on it, her breaths coming in jerks.
So that was it. Potter was trying to bring her back to meet him. Draco felt a surge of guilt well up inside him, Harry would risk his life to protect his presumed sister, and here he was hoping to get in some new stuff he thought up during these past few days to really rile him up. Now the fucker is dying, and all I wanted to do his get him pissed off. He sat down next to his sister, and said softly,
“Harry is going to live. He did good by me, and you’re not to blame.” It was the first time he ever mentioned him by his first name, and it felt totally awkward. “I’m here, and I’ll take care of you. That’s what brothers are for aren’t they?” he said, touching her arm gently. She looked at him through her teary eyes, and smiled. It was there, the hint of the infamous Malfoy sneer, and he instinctively knew that they were family. He returned the smile, and she stopped crying.
“ < I have a family again. I can’t believe it. He did not lie. I have a real family!! > ” she said softly to herself, and flung her arms around Draco’s neck.
“ I can’t wait to see mami and pappi!” she said, her accent strong in his ear. Draco stiffened, he would tell her about that some other time. Not now. He glanced at the shut door.
C’mon Potter, I’ve still yet to beat you at Quidditch.
Harry was in a real bad way, there were twelve different potions on regulated fires being pumped into his system with a magical needle. Remus and Popmfrey were trying to keep his heart beating as with the loss of blood it was under tremendous strain. His nervous system was being bombarded with the numerous injuries all clamoring for priority for the brain to fix, and fix now. With the lack of sufficient blood flowing through his veins and into his lungs, it was difficult enough to keep him alive but their efforts were cut down fourfold by Harry’s magic which under critical situations tried its best to block any further magical spell being cast on him. Moody’s arms were charged to a near static shock from the immense waves of power emanating from Harry’s battered body, while Remus and Pompfrey were feeling the brunt of it, their faces flush with exertion.
That power needed to be controlled and the only one who could do it was Hermione. It felt as if she was gone for hours, but not nearly five minutes had passed. There was a sudden suction of air and Tonks, Richardson and Gonzalez appeared in the room, Remus’ portkey dropping to the floor.
“Potter, again? Who, what did this to him?” Gonzalez asked in broken English, his fast Spanish accent making it difficult to understand. Moody filled him in.
“Hunters, these were smart - Too smart. Used long ranged weapons to nullify Harry’s sword and superior agility. They had him beaten , if it wasn’t for that medallion…” Moody shook his head, and Richardson and Gonzalez blanched.
“Hunters? I thought Statham was the only one!” Richardson said.
“Not anymore,” Moody grumbled. Richardson and Gonzalez opened their doctor bags and began pulling out medical apparatus. They kept coming and coming, until an entire surgical assembly was laid neatly out on the table.
“What is that strange shocking sensation?” Richardson asked as he felt the heaviness in the air, snapping on sterile gloves.
“WHERE IN GOD’S NAME IS HERMIONE?!” Remus bellowed, his voice under intense strain.
As if on cue, Roger and Hermione Granger appeared right next to him. “FINALLY! Granger, shut down this defensive ability!” Remus ordered, his face burning red with effort. Her eyes widened, and she instantly went to his side. She took both of Harry’s hands in hers; and paled: they felt terrifyingly cold.
Harry was floating, all his worries were gone. Everything was blinding white, everything excepting him. There was no pain, no sorrow, no regrets. He was sprawled out, his limbs open in wide X. He seemed to be falling in a freefall, his destination a faraway blinking star. As he tumbled closer it became clearer, and he welcomed its comforting warmth. The light was an entryway to a bright tunnel. He smiled gratefully, it will be his new home from now on. The faraway tunnel zoomed closer and closer, his dark hair whipping behind him as he plummeted headfirst into the nether. He closed his eyes.
Finally… he was free…
“harry… Harry… HARRY…HARRY!!!
A voice was calling from behind him, a familiar voice. His eyes opened reluctantly, it was a voice he had longed to hear for nearly two months….
“Harry, I won’t let you go….”
The last time he remembered that voice was on his birthday. It had said the exact same words: “I won’t let you go..”
He turned upside down in slow motion, trying to look up at that voice.
He was still falling into that portal of light. It sucked him in with tremendous force, just as a black hole absorbed light, this tunnel of a white whole absorbed everything of colour.
It was so welcoming and warm… but he had to touch her again, he had to see her again…he extended his arm, his hand raising up slowly…
He could see another person falling after him, her brown hair splayed about her. Her face was serene, and she looked like an angel: his own personal guardian angel. Her hand was extending desperately towards him.
“Harry, I won’t let you die!!” she screamed, her strength of will drawing herself close to him. Their fingertips touched, and there was a fleeting moment of intense emotion.
There was someone who loved him more than life itself.
It was such a blood curdling scream that the students four floors below stopped all activity, their eyes all opening in wonder and the utter horror of it all.
Amos Diggory was working in his office on the ground floor, his eyes shot up at the sound, and he sprang to his feet in an instant, rushing to investigate.
Two levels below ground in his dungeon office, Filch and Mrs. Norris ears perked up at the inhuman sound.
Even Hagrid, who was outside on the grounds near the hut, spun around at the incredible scream.
“HOLD HIM DOWN, NO -DON’T LET HIM DAMAGE HIMSELF MORE! WE NEED TWO THIRDS CALMING DRAUGHT, ONE THIRD MORPHINE, ANOTHER BATCH OF PAINKILLERS!!! ANYTHING !!" Madame Pompfrey screamed, trying to restrain the maniac who was thrashing on the bed. She and Remus were holding down Harry’s head and left arm, while Hermione and Moody took hold of his legs. Harry’s eyes were almost bulging out of his sockets, as he coughed, blood spurting out of his mouth. After the scream was ended, he abruptly calmed down, and he passed out again, the magic protection surrounding him fading away, the air once again tranquil.
“Jesus Christ,” Mr Granger whispered, crossing himself.
“He was giving up, his power was drawing him to the quickest way to stop the pain...” Hermione whispered. “His magic had collapsed on itself, and was keeping him at the brink of death for nearly seven minutes....” Hermione panted, her robes almost drenched with sweat from the few seconds of contact. Her face was flushed and she felt battered beyond belief.
“My god, pain severe enough to be at the threshold of death for so long...” Richardson muttered softly. Pompfrey’s face changed from a painful contortion to an expression of incredibility
“His heart beat rate shot through the roof for a moment there, but now it’s plummeting like a rock! Brain activity slowing down, respiration failing..." The it clicked. Her wand was giving her feedback on his prognosis. her magic was working!
"Remus!! It's working, she did it! Let’s attempt this again! Prior incante enervate!"
Her wand spun over Harry’s chest once more, and Remus did the same. The magic was finally having an effect now, and the damage done to him was no longer getting worse.
“Heart rate coming back up, swelling in the brain subsiding… breathing a bit shallow, but BPM stabilizing…” Pompfrey reported, her eyes shut with concentration. She and Remus stood there for nearly a whole hour, until she finally opened her eyes, everyone watching in a worrisome expression.
“He has stabilized, his injuries are no longer life threatening!” she sighed, wiping a towel on her soaked face.
Remus opened his eyes and smiled in relief. “Damn it James, he is not ready for you as yet.” He smiled wearily, looking up at the ceiling. “Not yet, not for a long time….” He looked at Hermione, his expression one of utter relief. “I could kiss you right now. We weren’t getting anywhere. We’ll let the docs look after him now, he should be okay enough for them to do what they do best.”
“What is the extent of his injuries?” Roger Granger asked.
“Allow me,” Moody said. He waved his wand over Harry then pointed it at the wall. “Exonorrayphotus!!” The wall converted into an X-ray projector and x-rays of all of Harry’s injuries were displayed on neatly arranged scans against the bright surface. “Compositium,” he added, and a thick report materialized in Roger’s hands, and he stared at it incredulously. “Don’t have an Order of Merlin Second class in Muggle studies for nothing,” he winked at Hermione, who smiled weakly.
“Okay, Gonzalez and I would be the team working on Harry’s broken bones and the Spell damage. Thing is, his dislocated shoulder and damaged ligament in his knee where directly caused by the Hunter’s weapons, so Mr. Granger, we would need your assistance with those areas. Right now, you and Richardson could try and help the Professor, that wound needs a cleaning, and a closing up. Still remember your surgery courses?” Pompfrey asked Mr. Granger hopefully.
“Lady, I’ve dealt with a lot worse than this in my early years, I can handle it. I started off as a surgeon,” he said in a proud voice. He looked around for a moment, his self assurance fading. “Oh no...I don’t have any equipment..”
“Ye of little faith.” Moody waved his wand, and everything that the muggle doctors needed was conjured out of thin air. “Damn good thing I offered to do further Muggle studies.” He nodded grimly. “Got what you need?”
“Excellent.” He snapped on some surgical gloves, and analyzed the situation. Turning the newly acquired overhead light to shine directly on the afflicted area, the robes needed to go. He stuck out his left hand.
“Scissors!” he ordered and was promptly accommodated. Running through his plan mentally, he began cutting away the clothes and diligently got to work. Hermione was feeling beat, and near to faint. That was too close. She couldn’t let him die right before her eyes when all she wanted to do was hold him close again. She looked at Harry, and the pain of seeing him like this again was almost too much to bear.
“I’ll be right back,” she said softly, and feebly walked out of the door. Draco Kenna, Ron and Cho were all looking at her expectantly, but she was so exhausted that she barely saw them. She stumbled to the nearest bed, and fell face down on top of it, her body demanding rest.
Author's note: The chapters are longer in this reposting because of the editing. In the original, this chapter would have ended with the beginning of chapter 12, yet this is only chapter 7. I've combined them so this story would run smoother the second time around. Sorry for the long wait folks. Thanks for reading!
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