The first thing I saw was the light. That same bright light was back, which was odd because it hadn’t been there for my other “flashbacks”. Next thing I felt was how stiff I felt, how uncomfortable my neck ached. Then I heard the sounds of the voices around me. I struggled to get up, to tell Hermione that I was okay, and make sure she wasn’t worrying. After all that she had done for me, I didn’t want to repay her with worry. I opened up my eyes, but this time it hadn’t been so long that I couldn’t see. I could still see some spots in my vision, but it wasn’t too bad.
“Look! She’s awake!” a man said.
“Obviously, Jonathon. What have I said about stating the obvious?” a woman said.
“And what have I said about squabbling? Honestly, what am I going to do about the pair of you!” the black woman said. It all seemed so familiar, like what had happened the first time. Was this the first time? Was all that had happened before a dream and this was really reality? Or was I still in the coma and what had happened before was reality? The black woman spoke again (if I recall correctly from last time, her name was Sarah), “At least make yourself useful. Grab Granger from the eating area.” Granger? Hermione was here!
“Now as for you, we need to put you through some tests to make sure you won’t go into a coma again. I’m going to put you back to sleep until they are done to make sure everything’s all right.” As she took out her wand to do a spell, I tried to tell her I wanted to see Hermione first, that I wanted Hermione to be the one to do the spell, but it was too late. Already I could feel myself sinking back into darkness. Fortunately, for once my sleep was dreamless. Which is good, because having flashbacks usually makes you more tired than you were before. And since I had several, it was especially bad. It felt like normal sleep this time, actually.
After a while I rolled over again, and when I opened my eyes I found Hermione sitting in the chair next to me reading a book.
I must have made less noise than I thought I did by waking up, since she barely even moved her head. "Hermione?" I said quietly. She jerked away from her book and, seeing who called her, shut it quickly and stood up next to me.
“Don’t ever scare me like that ever again! Next time you feel a relapse coming on, tell me!” she scolded, though I think she was teasing with the last part.
“Sorry. But you’re supposed to be able to tell, you’re the doctor!” I said, grinning weakly. I was still very tired.
“You should go back to sleep or Sarah’ll have my hide. You need your rest, and don’t get too overexcited.” Happy to comply, I was back asleep in minutes.
I stayed in the hospital for three days (it would have been two, but Hermione persuaded them an extra day to make sure I was still okay).
When I was finally told that I could go home, I got a barrel of salt with my joy.
"I'm not sure if you should go home with Miss Granger this time, Kendra," Sarah told me, flipping through the papers on her clipboard as if she didn't want to meet my eyes. "It hasn't done you any good, it seems, than if you were still here. It actually seems to be doing harm." Hermione stood behind her a good distance, looking as if this was no new news to her and keeping her eyes on her shoes.
I stared up at shuffling Sarah in disbelief. I pushed myself up onto my elbows and glared at her. "What harm? Just because I'm having fla- relapses doesn't mean that it's Hermione's fault! Do you know how boring it would be to stay in a hospital bed when you could just as easily go to a fun and exciting young person's flat?" My voice was starting to go squeaky, but I persisted. "What's the use of keeping me here, anyway? I'm just wasted, bored space in this damned place!”
Sarah seemed slightly taken aback by my outburst. "We could monitor you easier here-"
"Monitor?! Now that's just a load of crap," I shrieked. I was starting to attract attention from the hallway outside my door, but I didn't notice. I sat up more firmly, allowing for my arms to gesture freely. "Hermione keeps a closer eye on me than all of the hospital Healers here combined, no matter how much more certified or experienced you are! And despite what you seem to think, she is a great doctor!" Hermione started to blush, although she kept her face to the floor. This seemed to be my battle to fight.
Sarah started to back away from me, hands and clipboard held up in defense, like my anger could burn her. "I'm just following orders, Miss!" she tried to protest, but I'd had enough of the silly Healers and their idea that I was some kind of vegetable.
"I don't care," I said, swinging my legs over the side of the bed and turning away from her. The clothes I had been wearing the last time I had fainted were on the unused other bed in the cell, and I picked up my jeans and pulled them on under my gown, aware of the other two in the room. "I've had enough of this place," I told her, pulling my jacket on and throwing down my shoes, stuffing my feet into them without caring to ties the laces. "Come on, Hermione, I'm leaving," I told her, spitting the words more at Sarah than at Hermione. "You're twelve times the doctor these people will ever be." I shoved my folded shirt and undergarments under the flap of my jacket and grabbed Hermione's stunned hand, who still seemed to be in a kind of daze from my shouting bout, and dragged her out the door, past the horde of spectators gathered around the door, and into the lift down the hall.
"Doctors," I muttered under my breath as I punched the button for the ground level repeatedly and emphatically. Hermione's hand covered mine, and I stopped punching.
“Are you sure you are up to this?” Hermione asked two flashback-free weeks later.
“For the last time, Hermione, yes! I feel fine.”
“It’s just that if you have another relapse, no matter what you say, I don’t think you would be able to come home with me again. Especially after some of the things you said.”
“I did get a little carried away,” I admitted, blushing a bit. I wasn’t used to being so…confrontational. I constantly wondered if it hadn’t been one of those, “I wish I had done that” things afterward and it hadn’t really happened. “I hope it doesn’t affect the way they treat you at work.”
“Yeah, well it wasn’t exactly great to start with. If you’re sure you feel up for it…but you tell me the second something goes even the tiniest bit wrong, or I won’t let you out of the house for weeks.” Hermione grumbled as she grabbed her gloves. The weather had started to warm up a bit, but it was still a little cold.
“I promise,” I said. We were on our way to Melissa’s (who was, if I recall correctly from the party, Neville’s and Luna’s daughter) birthday party. Apparently Luna works part-time at a zoo, the first and so far only wizard zoo, and she’s hosting the party there. I wondered how it was going to be, seeing as how it was a muggle-wizard zoo (in the sense that there are muggle aspects to it, not that muggles go of course). Would it have the normal zebras and giraffes and etc but then dragons and god knew what else as well? At the very least it was bound to be quite an experience.
We arrived at the zoo in one piece, all of us, from Melissa and her many friends to her parents to Hermione and me and a ton of people from the last party at Harry's house which included other various members of the Weasley family (Ron’s brother and sister and parents), Seamus, Dean, and Oliver. They all inspected me warily, as though frightened I would have a relapse. Though I didn't blame them, it rather annoyed me. Since their concerns were well founded though, I tried to keep said annoyance hidden.
"ZOO!" Melissa shrieked as she and her friends surged out of the Floo room and into the ticket area of the front of the zoo. I must admit I was excited as well. At least as much as I could remember right now, I hadn’t been to the zoo before. And even if I had, probably not one like this.
“Hey Harry,” Hermione called. Since Harry wasn’t standing the closest, he left the area where he was standing with Ginny and walked closer to Hermione. Which might have been Hermione’s intentions in the first place: to get him away from Ginny.
“Remember to stay away from the snakes.” Hermione said, giving Harry a wicked grin.
“Oh, I don’t know. I’ve been wanting to have a conversation with them for a while. You know how much I love having that ability.” Harry said sarcastically before he and Hermione laughed softly. I looked at them confused, not quite understanding what was going on. Hermione must have noticed my look because she said, “Harry can talk to snakes.”
“Oh.” I said quietly, shuddering at the thought. It would be cool to talk to animals, though a snake wouldn’t be one I would choose.
We got into the zoo without much incident, though Marissa and her small group of friends seemed to grow more rambunctious as the day went on. It never ceases to amaze me how much energy a child can store up. The children were watched mostly by an exhausted looking Neville, and a happy looking Luna. Luna worked at the zoo and had gotten a good price on tickets and even got some for free, which is why the rest of us were there as well.
An hour later when I was looking at the monkeys (I was working up to the magical creatures), an excited looking Ginny and a hesitant Hermione walked towards me.
“There you are, Kendra! I have someone I want you to meet.” Ginny exclaimed, grabbing my arms and leading me away from the monkeys while Hermione gave me an apologetic look, letting me know that this was not her idea. We stopped in front of the place where unicorns were, and brushing the manes of one of the unicorns was a man.
“Jimmy! Get over here!” Ginny shouted at him. He looked as if he were about to refuse until he saw who was calling him and then, sighing deeply, he walked over to where we were standing. He had curly light brown hair and green eyes, and I couldn’t help but notice he was in great shape. Very muscular. I shook off that line of thought, unwilling to go there at the moment.
“Kendra, this is Jimmy. Jimmy also was in a coma for a few years and has amnesia, and so do you. See? Tons in common already. Now, Hermione and I are going to check out something, and you two are going to talk to each other. Come on, Hermione.” Ginny introduced us before hastily walking off. Hermione mouthed ‘sorry’ to me before following Ginny.
“So…” I started uncomfortably, unsure of what to say. “How’s your amnesia going?” didn’t seem like a very suitable conversation starter, particularly with someone I’ve just met. “You know, you really don’t have to keep away from your work because of me. I can go.”
He grinned, and I could feel my heart do a little flip-flop. What was I, a hormonal teenager? What the hell was wrong with me? I’m not supposed to be acting like this, like a foolish girl.
“Nah, it’s cool. Besides, Ginny’ll have our hides if we don’t talk for a while. I really don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of her hexes.” Jimmy said.
“Yeah, most people seem to do what she says.”
“Hey, do you want to brush Lilly here?” Jimmy spoke again, jerking his thumb in the direction of the unicorn he had just been brushing moments before.
“I wouldn’t want to intrude.” I stumbled on the words. Dear lord, I sounded like a freak. An overly formal freak. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to murder Ginny, hexes or no.
“Of course you aren’t intruding,” he said before handing me the brush and walking me towards Lilly. If I had been in my right mind I would have probably wondered about the significance of him naming the unicorn Lilly, but at that moment all I could think of was his hand on my arm. When he took it off, my arm felt cool, and I desperately wanted to grab his hand and put it back on my arm. And then make him leave it there forever. Distantly I heard him give me instructions, but either it was really easy or I registered a lot, because I seemed to be doing it correctly. Every once in a while Jimmy would praise me on my work, and each time I could feel my face blush up.
“Look, I’m not usually the type of guy who lets friends set him up or anything, but you seem nice and everything, so do you maybe want to do something tomorrow? Maybe dinner and a movie or something?” He asked me when I was done. I couldn’t be in a relationship! What with all the flashbacks and everything going on in my life, I really didn’t have the time or energy to be in one. Not to mention it was weird enough getting to know about myself without having someone else do it too. Besides Hermione and Harry I mean. Yet when I looked at him, I couldn’t bring myself to say no. I really couldn’t.
“Sure.” I heard myself say.
The sad thing was, beneath all the “What have I gotten myself into?” that was going on in my brain, I also felt excited and happy. God I was pathetic.
A/N- Well, I seem to have hit a sort of brick wall in my writing, but really, what’s new there? Only this time it seems to be with stories in general. But I want everyone to know that I think of you and this story a lot. And hopefully this is the start of me getting over that wall. I really appreciate those of you who still stick with me no matter what. I hope you enjoyed the longest chapter I have ever written! *huggles everyone*
P.S. For anyone interested, I have a livejournal now. My username is LadySophieKitty.