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The Hard Life by killthatrat
Chapter 14 : Chapter 14 Uncle Vernon
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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Harry Potter lay awake in his private hospital room in Little Whinging, listening to the heavy breathing of his Godfather, who over the past few hours had not left his side. Harry turned his head to watch his Godfather tucked up under a blanket on the portable bed the hospital had provided for him, watching him sleep peacefully. His eyes now drew to the clock that was visible in the well-lit hall outside his room. 3:52 it read. Harry sighed as he closed his eyes, trying to once again fall asleep on the uncomfortable bed.

There had been no real point in trying to sleep for too long though. After he was sure Harry had stabilized, Dr Alcott ordered hourly check ups through out the night, determined to let nothing slip through his fingers. Of course this meant not much sleep for him, although it was better than odd nightmares.

Harry sighed softly as he tried to make himself more comfortable, but gasped slightly as a dim stab of pain shot through his back. Both of the doctors warned him he would have to take extreme care so that he would not further aggravate his fractured ribs. It was times like this that he cursed the bad luck that found him wound up in a Muggle hospital. Any healer with half a brain would have been able to mend his injuries in an instant. No more fractured bones, no more painful stitches all over his face and body.

Harry looked back over to where Sirius lay quite still, breathing heavily. This whole experience was incredibly new for him, not even understanding at first the full impact and danger of what a car accident could mean. Most of the evening he had sat on the edge of Harry’s bed, white faced and quiet, only perking up after Dr Alcott had announced him stable.

He had had one other visitor, Remus popped in about an hour after that with a backpack full of clothing for Harry. He also brought a plastic bag that the police had given him, containing his other backpack and his now mended glasses. Remus had asked nothing about why he had packed a bag full of clothing, and he was pretty sure Sirius hadn’t really noticed, so it seemed he was safe for now. He just had to find the right time to tell his Godfather why he was in that car in the first place. Harry had promised himself silently to tell his Godfather everything, he just had to wait and find the right time.

A shadow flickered through the room, Harry turned his head to see the night nurse Jenny enter his room, flicking on the soft light above his bed.

“Hello again.” She said softly so as not to wake up the sleeping man beside her patient.

“Hi.”

“Getting much sleep?” She asked quietly as she took out a small device, which would read his temperature. She waited for the click to sound, before removing the head of it from his ear.

“A little.” Harry replied.

She smiled before continuing. “Bit hard with me hanging around like a bad smell all the time hey.”

Harry laughed softly as she wrapped the device around his upper arm, which would read his blood pressure. Harry had had this done so many times these last few hours that he never wanted to see one again. While it was tightening she continued by shining her torch in his eyes until the machine stopped with a small beep. She wrote down the reading neatly on the chart that goes at the end of his bed and then took off the wide band.

“How’s the pain going?”

“Better. I think I’m going to like this morphine stuff.”

She placed his chart back in the holder at the end of the bed as she smiled at his comment.

“Any nausea? Dizziness?”

“No.” Harry said, never wanting to be asked those questions again either.

“Headaches? Blurry vision?”

“Only when I’m not wearing my glasses.” Harry replied with a laugh.

“Ok then.” Jenny replied as she sat herself down on the edge of his bed.

“Now I’ve got some news on your Uncle for you.”

Harry stopped, suddenly listening intently. His Uncle had been brought to the same hospital a few hours after himself. It had taken a while to get him out of his side of the badly damaged car and was in a very bad way. He’d immediately been rushed to surgery to operate dangerously on his heart after a small heart attack. Harry had been waiting for hours for some news, any news

“Yeah?”

“He’s out of surgery." She said tentatively. “They’ve just put him in his room. You’ll be able to see him straight away if you like.”

Harry paused before saying, “Yeah, ok.”

“Alright come on.” Jenny replied, standing up to allow him to get out of bed. Harry threw back the covers, revealing his worn out tracksuit pants and tee shirt. He swung his legs over the side of the bed, as Jenny helped him stand, still not very steady on his sprained ankle.

“Did you want your Godfather to come aswel?”

Harry paused as he looked over his shoulder at Sirius’ sleeping figure as he put his glasses on.

“No.” He said, wanting to do this on his own. “Let him sleep.”

She nodded as she took the brakes of the mobile I.V. drip stand, which was holding the steady flow of morphine straight into the back of his hand. Harry took hold of it and began wheeling it slowly as he walked gingerly. He had smiled grimly when he realized the more he moved the more painful bruises he would find.

Harry and the Nurse slowly walked outside into the corridor. Other patients who were worse off than him were wheeled past them occasionally, everybody looking at each other curiously. All of a sudden a sinking thought occurred to him.

“Jenny, what happened to the people in the other car?” He asked. He had been so wrapped up in what had been happening to his Uncle and himself that he had not thought to ask.

She seemed to stop mid thought, she smiled with relief as she remembered, “Oh, they’re fine. Couple of cuts and bruises, passenger had a concussion but that’s all.” She said as they stepped into an empty elevator. “They’re staying over night just in case, but they should be fine.” She said pressing the button for the third floor.

Harry sighed with relief, glad that they were Ok. He felt a slight jolt as the elevator doors shut and they began to move upwards. The elevators were slower than he remembered them from his childhood, but they were upstairs sooner than he thought. The doors opened with a ‘Beep’ and they stepped out, carefully avoiding the few others that were waiting to get inside.

They turned right and slowly headed down a much quieter corridor. Two men wearing light blue hospital scrubs headed down the corridor towards them, talking softly. One of them spotted Harry and Jenny and they slowed down as they approached them.

“You after Mr Dursley?” The dark skinned man said to them as he rubbed his hands together.

Jenny nodded and the man continued. “Room 214, operation went well and he should make a full recovery. He ought to wake up completely in a few minutes. I’m just going down now to let his wife and son know what’s been happening. They’ll probably be up here soon enough also. ”

“Thanks.” Jenny replied, and Harry smiled at them, deducing that they were his Uncle’s surgeons. The two surgeons nodded and they continued down the corridor, resuming their quiet chatter. Harry and Jenny too continued down the long corridor before stopping abruptly to enter into a small room, that was light only by the fluorescent light above the bed. Another Nurse leaned over the man lying in the bed, doing something that Harry couldn’t see. She steeped back and Harry could now fully see his Uncle.

He stood still as he observed his Uncle’s beaten appearance. He looked much the same as himself, but Harry noticed a large white patch running down the center of his Uncle’s chest, just poking out from under his hospital gown. He was sleeping softly, a large mask sitting over his mouth and nose, which regularly fogged up as he breathed in and out.

“Why don’t you sit down Harry until he wakes up.” Jenny said to him kindly, referring to a maroon upholstered chair near his Uncle bed. Harry tore his eye away from his Uncle and slowly wheeled his I.V. stand over to the chair as he sat down, noticing his Uncle had one much the same as his, only with more bags of unknown liquid hanging from it.

The other nurse turned and looked at him and said. “He’ll be awake pretty soon, just try to make sure he keeps that mask on.”

Harry nodded, “Ok.” He said uncertainly as she swiftly left the room. Jenny looked down at him concerned.

“Do you want me to wait for you outside or can you find your way back to your room by yourself?”

“Oh um, I’ll find my way back.” He said looking up at her appreciatively.

She nodded and turned to leave.

“Thanks.” Harry said to her softly, she turned back to him and smiled. “No problem.” She turned back and quickly exited, leaving only Harry and his Uncle. Harry turned his head back to face his Uncle, who was still sleeping soundly. He sighed as he relaxed back into the chair, listening to his Uncle steady breathing, and the steady pulse of another machine that monitored his heart rate.

He wished he had thought of something to say. Now that he was going to spill the beans to Sirius he highly doubted that he was going to be allowed to go back to the Dursleys. This was probably the last time he’d get a chance to say anything privately. This was his last chance. Merlin what am I going to say? He thought to himself desperately, there was so much to say but he couldn’t seem to form it all into words. His original plan didn’t involve any of this. He leant forward slowly, drumming his fingers on his knees impatiently.

He wished his uncle would wake up faster, he didn’t feel like making forced conversation with his Aunt and Cousin. Then, as though reading his thoughts, he heard a soft,

“Harry?”

He looked up quickly to see his Uncle’s face turned towards him, staring at his intently. His heart began to pound in his throat. What was he going to say?

He swallowed nervously before replying. “Hey.”

He continued looking at his Uncle, not even blinking his eyes. There was a moments pause before his Uncle continued.

“So I guess they operated then.”

Harry looked down at the ground. “Yeah they did. The surgeon said it went well.”

“That’s good.” His Uncle muttered as he pulled the mask down to sit on his chin, obviously getting sick of it already.

Harry continued staring at the ground, trying to formulate words in his mind. “I’m so glad you didn’t die.” He finally said with a shuddering voice. He looked up at his Uncle again. “There’s so much that I wanted to tell you.”

“Oh?” His Uncle said, staring at him warily, obviously realizing what he wanted to talk about. Harry stood up and slowly made his way over to his Uncles bed, leading his stand with him. He sat on the edge of his Uncles bed, his body facing towards him. Harry looked down at the sheets, still feeling his heart in his throat, the two of them sitting in silence. His Uncle broke the silence, by taking Harry’s hand in his own and saying,

“I’m sorry.”

Harry scoffed mentally at this statement.

“I love you.”

Harry stopped. He looked up at his Uncle, his heart beating more wildly than it had been before. He loves me? He thought to himself in shock. His mind began reeling, trying to find any shred of honesty in those three words. Harry felt his mind began to feel fuzzy as he began to wonder if it was true. But reality hit him like a tonne of bricks, and he looked back down at the sheets. He pulled his hand from his Uncle’s grasp, leaning forward slightly, now knowing exactly what he wanted to say.

“I’m sorry too.” He said softly, he looked back up, looking his Uncle in the eye as he continued. “But sorry just isn’t enough.”

Vernon Dursley’s face fell, this was his last chance to get the brat to stay quiet.

“But I-”

“I’m not five years old anymore.” Harry said, feeling stronger, even as he could feel his resolve breaking. “And I know better than to believe your lies.”

His Uncle stuttered at him blindly as Harry stood up from the bed, breathing hard.

Harry stood there looking at his Uncle who was looking more and more desperate for his nephew to stay quite about his childhood. Harry took a deep shuddering breath.

“This thing with us is over.” He said pausing. Harry walked slowly backwards from the bed, wheeling his stand along with him, the long cord from the bag of morphine to his hand swinging about. “I’m done being manipulated by you.”

He turned and made his way to the open door as quickly as his body would allow.

“Wait.” His Uncle forced out at him. Harry turned on the spot to face him, just wanting to get out of there before he lost it.

“You won’t tell them anything.” He snarled at him from his bed. “You won’t be able to take their pity.”

Harry stared at his Uncle, biting down hard with his teeth. His breath shook as he replied firmly, “Just watch me.”


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