A young man with short black hair stepped from the wardrobe. Abby's eyes went wide. The young man approached her and calmly thrust a knife blade, until then concealed against his arm, beneath Abby's sternum. Then he spoke, his voice a pleasant baritone, "I never loved you Abby." Blood dripped softly onto the floor boards. "I will never love you. I will never care about you. You were just a girl I wasted my time with. I --" The boggart's speech was cut off as Lupin flicked his wand and it was thrown violently back into the wardrobe from whence it had come.
Lupin then rushed to Abby, who had collapsed to her knees and was crying, though it wasn't clear whether they were tears of physical or emotional pain. "Come on, I need to get you to the infirmary now. Class is dismissed."
Lupin entered the hospital wing, rushing as Abby’s robes steadily became more saturated in her own blood. “Poppy!” His voice echoed in the vast space. Madame Pomfrey came rushing out of her office and gasped at the sight of the broken student. “What on earth happened?!” she cried, shocked.
“Her own boggart stabbed her,” replied Lupin, a hint of panic in his own voice, as he lay the now unconscious Gryffindor upon the nearest of the beds. He backed off, refusing to meet the nurse's questioning eyes.
Poppy pointed her wand at the wound and whispered the typical healing charm. Nothing happened. She frowned and bustled to her potions cabinet, then spoke without turning, “Remus, go get Severus quickly. Albus and Minerva as well. I’ll keep trying. Hopefully, I can find something to stop the bleeding until you get back.”
Lupin rushed from the infirmary and nearly ran down to the dungeons. He knocked once on the Potions classroom door then walked briskly in and up to Professor Snape. Leaning close, he whispered before Snape could get out a single word, “We need you in the infirmary. Abigail Everett is bleeding to death.” Snape looked at him with the deepest shock on his face and stood quickly. “Peterson, you’re in charge until I return,” he ordered to one of the sixth year prefects, then swept out of the room with Lupin.
As Lupin went to collect Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, Snape ran to the hospital wing to find Madame Pomfrey applying pressure to Abby’s wound. “What happened?” he asked with surprising calm as he approached the still form that lay upon the bed.
“Remus said that her boggart stabbed her,” the nurse replied, Snape’s presence somehow restoring her calm. The infirmary doors slammed open as McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Lupin all rushed into the room.
“Remus told us what happened. Can you heal her, Severus?” asked Dumbledore.
“I think so,” said Snape. He pulled off his teaching robes and frock coat with surprising speed, and rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt. He took up a clean cloth and wiped away the pooling blood. Then, Snape placed his right hand against Abby’s wound and, bending close, whispered the ancient incantation, “kizu naosu.”
KIZU NAOSU! The familiar voice boomed through Abby’s consciousness. Something was wrenching at her soul, pulling violently at her to come out of the deep, blackness into which she had so willingly slipped. And music burst in her head:
this world will never be
what i expected
and if i don't belong
even if i say,
"it'll be all right"
still i hear you say
you want to end your life
now and again we try
to just stay alive
maybe we'll turn it all around cause it's
not too late, it's never too late
Snape had his eyes closed, willing the deep cut to heal. Suddenly he felt Abby’s flesh knit violently back together and she spoke in a tone of excruciating pain, “Let me DIE!”
Snape removed his hand from Abby’s abdomen, revealing a nasty scar. “That shouldn’t have happened,” he said, still calm. Tears were now streaming softly from Abby’s closed eyes. He touched her face gently, to the surprise of his colleagues, then added, “But she seems to be asleep. She should be all right. Now, I need to return to my class.”
“Severus,” Dumbledore said quietly, “thank you.”
“Of course Headmaster.” Then Snape walked resolutely from the infirmary.
Dumbledore turned to Lupin, who still looked somewhat abashed. “Remus you too should get to your class. Abby isn’t your responsibility.” His tone softened as he placed a hand comfortingly on the younger man’s shoulder. “It wasn't your fault, Remus. No one could have foreseen this. I still have complete confidence in you.” Lupin nodded in reluctant acknowledgment, then took his leave of the hospital wing as well.
McGonagall turned to Dumbledore, “Were you planning to stay at her bedside, Albus?”
“Yes. This is a very strange occurrence; a boggart actually attacking its target. We’re lucky Severus knows all that he does, or Miss Everett very well could be dead now. I don’t think even I could have saved her…” He let his voice trail off, thinking.
McGonagall sighed, “I’m very sorry, but I have a class to teach as well. I can’t stay.”
“That’s quite all right Minerva. I will give Abigail your apologies.” With that Professor McGonagall walked slowly from the infirmary, following her two colleagues. Dumbledore took up a chair next to Abby’s bed and fell deep into thought while he awaited her stirring.
*naosu-heal, restore to health