Chapter 10 : Dilys Derwent
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Title: Potions and Prefects
Rating/Warnings: 12+ (none)
For the Staff: You staffers are really a miracle! Thanks to you guys and gals creating HPFF I would have absolutely no outlet for my anger and frustration. I'm not sure I would have continued to love HP as I do now. What can I say, there's not enough words to describe how great you are!?
Healer from: 1722 - 1741
Headmistress from: 1741-1768
Students flapped about at her heels, racing towards the grand oak doors to catch a carriage. It was her last year as a Headmistress at Hogwarts, then, alas, she would retire. Her days spent at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had been limited due to the time spent alone with her family, which was none-to-often. "Headmistress for 27 productive years..." she muttered to herself with a smile, watching her students flock to the doors for the last time. She gripped her mahogany walking-staff tightly in her hands and her silver eyes followed a first year child with his robes buttoned up one too high. She laughed. That was clumsy Edwin McGregor, a student who could never get things right without trying many times.
McGregor...she thought vaguely. That name was the reason she had quit healing and come to Hogwarts. Healing was a hard career to pursue, and trying not to get attached to her patients was one thing Dilys Derwent couldn't bear to do. She was a famous healer before she had ever set foot in Hogwarts as an adult. Healing Sir Henry McGregor earned her the famous status, Sir Henry being the chief of the Auror squad at the time. But that was when she learned not to get attached, and that's why that job was never rightfully hers...controlling a school was more her orderly thing to do. She and McGregor didn’t work on a regular basis anyway…he hardly understood a word she had said to him in the time he was present, even though his cheeky smile made her insides flop.
~1741, March the Third~
"I've got to go check on Sir Henry, Melinda, I can't be busied with a girl who stuck her head in a biting teapot. Send her to the Spell-Defects Ward and I'll be with her after I'm done," Dilys said absentmindedly. Sir Henry McGregor checked in to St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries two weeks ago after suffering a particularly brutal Cruciatus Curse. Dilys Derwent was one of the youngest healers out of training at St. Mungo’s. She was constantly on the move trying desperately to improve her skills amongst her better peers, and she hoped dearly that this would be her big break.
Rushing down the halls, Dilys gripped her wand eagerly, ready for Sir Henry's treatment for the day. She wasn’t put on many “healing missions” not after the last fiasco; senior staff were constantly afraid of her inability to separate herself from her patient, her inability to put her emotions aside. That’s why she had vowed not to get involved with Sir Henry, this was her chance to prove she could handle herself. Unfortunately it had only taken a few visits before Dilys broke her vow, the truth was she was in love, with a patient. Something that wasn’t to be done.
She knocked cautiously on 2202A's door. "Sir Henry? Can I come in?" she asked hesitantly.
A sigh and grunt resounded from inside. "Come in if you must then," his weary voice whispered. He knew that 10:08 was his treatment time, and if he were ever to get better he'd have to go through it. That was one reason that Dilys’ heart thumped in her chest every time she entered his room. Whether he knew it or not at this point in his career, he could always be strong in the worse of situations. No wonder he’s a top auror…she had thought many times with a gentle smile.
Dilys swung the door open. Surprisingly, she saw that Henry wasn't shaking. Normally, he'd be shaking from the previous night's dream, horrifying dreams of him under the curse once more. Had the dreams finally stopped? Would that mean he would comprehend what Dilys was saying to him, that she loved him? "Good morning, I see you've improved quite greatly, Henry." Her silver, flashy eyes welled up with small tears when she saw him weakly smile.
"Really? Did I...never would have noticed...." If he was back to his cheeky comments, then he certainly was alright. "Does that mean I can leave and go back to my fiancé?"
Dilys froze at the foot of his bed. "F-Fiancé? Y-You have a fiancé?" She nearly dropped his parchment records she was holding. She had been tending to him for nearly two to three weeks and he had never once said he had a fiancé. And she let herself love him unconditionally.
Henry nodded. "Yes I do, most wonderful woman in the world. And I thank you for healing me so I am able to lay off Auror duties and go see her again," he flashed her a brilliant smile, the same one Dilys fell in love with. And she wouldn't love anymore. 'Fiancé...' she thought...'I was stupid...'
A tear escaped her eyes once more as she watched a sixth year prefect try and help the young boy re-do his robes up again. That boy was the product of Sir Henry and his fiancé. That was the consequence she was left with, watching their happy son grow up in her school, knowing that Henry was never rightfully hers. She wondered if Henry remembered her at all. Sighing, she stepped out onto the cobblestone steps, watching students push themselves into carriages for the ride down to the train.
She knew every student by name. There was young Samantha Burgins, the girl who she nominated Head Girl for next year, and soon would become a great Unspeakable. Then, over there was Nicholas Alexander, the boy who was afraid of everything, but thanks to her would become a fantastic flyer. She had helped hundreds of students on their way to becoming the greatest witches and wizards this world had ever seen and hopefully the Headmaster or Headmistress after her would do the same.
"A celebrated Head," declared the Transfiguration teacher, Professor Victor Longhorn. "That's what you'll be Dilys, and you know it." Dilys flushed brilliantly.
"No! You think so?" Dilys exclaimed, sitting at her high seat in the Great Hall. Longhorn nodded. "Really...what did I do to deserve that title?"
Longhorn snorted in laughter. "Like you don't remember how you helped Allisa Hugdens overcome her fear of animals! She's working with Dragons now thanks to you! You're a miracle worker, Dilys Derwent, yes you are. Go ask Sir McGregor, you healed him after all." Victor took a bite of his pancakes that morning and smiled after swallowing.
Dilys liked dwelling on that moment. Her times as a Headmistress had been most eventful. In her first year as "controller" of Hogwarts, she had been welcomed onto the remaining staff with open arms. Who said famous status didn't have it's perks? thought Dilys as she walked down the pavement to wave goodbye. She had helped many students in her first year, and sympathized with the eleven-year olds, exclaiming with a laugh, "Hey! I'm a first year too, so you don't need to feel alone!" And every time it had her new students beaming fondly before rushing off to join their little get-ups of friends.
Along the way, she had reduced to tears over the death of a student, tripped over a tripping jinx set off by the Miculiber twins in the Charms corridor on the fifth floor, earning her a permanent limp, and had successfully seen through almost three centuries of students. She was fond of this school, and would eventually regret leaving it behind, moving on to other things in life like seeing her grandchildren. Although she didn't have the man of her dreams that she once wished for, in fact the man she had fallen in love with for real, had died years ago after her giving birth to two wonderful children.
Yes, Dilys smiled, her years had been eventful, fruitful, and prosperous, and they were at their close. Dilys looked down at her journal sitting upon her lap and grinned as she wrote her final lines down.
And as I leave my home for 27 years for the final time, I look back on the Healing days and the "Headmistress"ing days to realize that the wait and patience was worth it. Seeing all those children grow up and become fine people made me realize what I was missing out on: My own grandchildren. Being my old age, I guess I might want to live life the fullest until I finally croak, and this is the way destiny lead me, to potions and prefects.
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