Chapter Seven - A Sanguine Catastrophe
Dudley and Hazel stood frozen in the entrance to the living room, observing the chaos before them. Justin, Owen, and Lunet were frantically magic-ing away pools of blood as Hestia waved her wand in complex patterns. Dedalus Diggle lay in the center of the room, writhing in pain as blood poured from the many legions that were on his body. The adults and Nesta watched fearfully from the sidelines, occasionally asking if there was anything they could do to help, only to have their offers drowned out by the cacophony of noise issuing from the manic wizards.
Hazel inched over to Nesta and whispered, “What happened?”
Nesta jumped at the surprise of being addressed. “We don’t really know,” she replied hoarsely. “From what I’ve been able to figure out, he was attacked in the South of France. Apparently he apparated back but Hestia hasn’t been able to set him right.”
“What was he doing in the South of France?” Dudley asked, though he knew no one would answer him, given the circumstances.
Neither Hazel nor Nesta responded; they turned their attention to the chaos in the middle of the room.
“He needs more blood!” Hestia was screaming. “Someone get me more blood replenishing potion!”
“We’re all out!” Justin cried, “We’ve already used what we had on him.”
“Isn’t there something else
you can do to staunch the bleeding?” Owen asked.
Hestia snapped at him, “I’m not a healer, so NO I can’t stop the bleeding, and NO I don’t what curses attacked him, and NO I don’t know how to fix it!”
Lunet’s eyes flashed intelligently over the onlookers before turning to Justin,
“Has there ever been any recorded success with muggle medicine on curse wounds?”
Justin whirled around in surprise, his mouth dropped to the ground as he regarded the younger witch, “You aren’t suggesting…?”
Hestia gazed at Lunet thoughtfully before asking, “What kind of things can muggle medicine do?”
Now it was Hazel’s turn to step forward, “My mum is a surgeon… So she could try stitching up his wounds manually. I think we could potentially do a blood transfusion,” she looked back at her mother, who was hanging on every word of the conversation.
At this point, all of the magical people stopped working on Diggle and looked up at Hazel in confusion. Justin inhaled and exchanged a questioning glance at Hestia; she nodded. He slowly exhaled, turned back to Hazel, and said, “You’re right.” He then shouted over her head to his, “AUNT JANE!”
Hazel’s mother, Dr. Jane Finch was beside the bleeding victim in the blink of an eye; she began calling out orders to the wizards and muggles who were regarding her in awe. “Hazel, I need you to blood-type everyone here, the kit is in my room. I also need you to bring the suture kit, and any other medical supplies you can find. Justin, you help her carry everything. I need two wizards to stay here and keep the area sterile while everyone else gets blood-typed by Hazel.”
Lunet and Hestia stayed on with Dr. Finch while everyone else respectfully backed away. They scourgified
the area while Hazel’s mum examined the wounds over Diggle’s body.
Hazel and Justin burst into the room, each carrying plastic boxes of medical supplies. Dudley raised his eyebrows as he watched the two cousins rushing over to Dr. Finch staggering under the weight of the supplies. ’How much stuff did she bring with her?’
Hazel plopped down next to her mum and started searching through the medical supplies. Dr. Finch pulled on a pair of latex gloves and began examining Diggle, ripping open his robe for a better view of the wounds. Without being asked, Hazel reached into one box and handed her mother an IV drip bag, and a clear glass medicinal bottle.
The doctor read the description on the bottle’s side before inserting a syringe into the lid and extracting some of the fluid. She pushed the medicine into Diggle’s IV bag, which she hung from a standing lamp Lunet had brought over.
Hestia stood aside and watched the scene before her unfold. She ceased cleaning the area and stood petrified staring at the bag hanging over Diggle’s body. “What was that?” she asked fearfully. This was her first experience with muggle medicine and was not comfortable with the myriad of needles and tubes Dr. Jane Finch was sticking into her friend.
“Just a small dose of Recombinant Factor VIII,” Dr. Finch looked up at the worried witch, “Hemophilia medication. It will help his blood clot while I try to stitch up his wounds.” She turned back to her hovering daughter, “Hazel, darling, I need you to start blood-typing now. The sooner we can get him a transfusion, the better.”
Hazel didn’t need to be told twice; she grabbed a bag of medical supplies and bee-lined for the parlor, taking her friends with her. The elder Llewellyns and Justin’s parents followed, leaving only Vernon and Petunia left in the room watching the doctor rub some betadine solution over Diggle’s stomach.
In the parlor, Hazel pricked everyone’s finger, then cross-reacted the blood produced with various proteins to determine blood type. Lunet brought both Hestia and Diggle’s blood samples to Hazel, stood for her own test, then went back to help keep Diggle’s area sterile. Finally, Hazel compared results to find who could donate blood for the fallen wizard.
“Shite, he’s got a rare blood-type,” Hazel muttered as she scanned the list of house occupants in search of a possible match. “Dudley, could you ask your parents to get tested?” She asked hopefully. “You’re a match, B-negative; so one of them should work as a donor too.”
“Uh… I could ask… but I doubt either will be willing…” Dudley shifted awkwardly. He could already hear his father’s outrage at the prospect of giving blood to one of them
Dudley slowly walked out of the parlor, over to his parents. They were watching Hazel’s mother, wide eyed, as she started taking out a series of scalpels, clamps, and other scary looking pieces of equipment. “Um… mum, dad?”
“Yes Dudley?” Vernon did not tear his eyes away from the surgeon as she told Hestia to sterilize her equipment.
“I’m going to be giving blood and… um… we were wondering if you two could get tested.” He looked down at his parents hopefully. Only his mum was showing any reaction, Vernon hadn’t been listening. ’Thank god!’
“Dudders, I’m B-negative, a very rare blood-type, I’m sure my blood won’t do any good…”
“No! No! That’s what they need! They don’t have enough right now,” Dudley gave his mother a pleading look; the one she never could say ‘no’ to.
Petunia regarded her only son thoughtfully, and then looked over at the man writhing in pain on the floor. She nodded and motioned for Dudley to lead her into the parlor.
Something must have clicked for Vernon, because he caught on quickly to what was going on. “OH NO YOU DON’T!” he bellowed. “I WONT HAVE MY FAMILY RISKING THEMSELVES FOR A FREAK!!!”
“Vernon,” Petunia began reasoning with her husband only to be interrupted by her son.
“DAD, FREAK OR NOT, HE IS A HUMAN BEING!” Dudley took a steadying breath. “Are you really telling us to let a person die in this living room?”
Vernon was shocked; he and Dudley had never had a perfect relationship but they had always shared a disdain for magic. He stood resolute, processing this change in Dudley’s behavior, while his wife and child slid into the parlor, leaving him behind.
When she saw the two Dursleys enter, Hazel finished shooing everyone out of the room. Dudley told her that his mother was, in fact, a match for Diggle, causing Hazel to grin as she prepared for the blood donation. Finally only the three of them were left in the decadent room; Hazel exhaled and turned to face the two Dursleys.
“Okay, so I need you to sit down and hold out your left arms for me,” she said brightly as she pulled out alcohol pads and a latex tourniquet. Hazel quickly cleaned the inside of their elbows, located veins, and inserted needles into both Dudley and his mother. The two watched her in awe as she worked.
“Where did you learn how to take blood?” Petunia asked Hazel while the diminutive girl was checking the collection bag.
Hazel looked up, surprised at being addressed by the bony ice queen, “I’ve been volunteering at my mum’s hospital for four years now. I work with the blood bank so I’ve had a lot of practice. You have nothing to worry about.”
Dudley flushed thinking about what a good person Hazel was. He couldn’t imagine ever being as selfless and kind as she… yet he couldn’t quell his obsession with her. Even as she sat stabbing him in the arm, he couldn’t find any flaws in her sparkling persona.
“All right, you’re done,” Hazel declared while she carefully removed the needles from Petunia, then Dudley’s arms. “You should probably eat something sugary,” she said assuredly. “So you don’t pass out,” Hazel clarified upon seeing both of their confused faces.
Petunia stood up but was shaky on her feet. Suddenly, Vernon, who had been watching this scene unfold from the doorway, was by her side with a glass of orange juice and a straw, helping her out of the room. He didn’t say anything or acknowledge the presence of anyone else in the room, not even his son. Vernon merely escorted his rail-thin wife to their room where they would remain shut up for the rest of the day.
Dudley watched his parents leave the room and stood up to walk over to Hazel. She noticed and asked him, “Please eat a cookie and come back? I need your help but I can’t have you fainting or anything.”
Dudley smiled and gladly hustled off to the kitchen to grab something to eat. He wasn’t as thin or anemic as his mother, so he wasn’t as effected by the loss of blood. He rushed back into the parlor still chewing on a handful of Owen’s freaky fish crackers from that morning and only feeling a little light-headed. Hazel was sitting on the couch disinfecting her own arm with an alcohol pad.
“What are you doing?” Dudley asked.
“I have O-negative blood.” Hazel explained. “I’m a universal donor, as is my mom. But she can’t donate blood because she has to try to figure out what happened Diggle.”
Hazel moved to stick a needle in her arm, causing Dudley to wince. “Bugger!” she exclaimed while removing the needle. “I missed.”
Hazel picked up another sterile needle and was about to stick herself again when Dudley stopped her. “Why don’t I try?” he offered. “Just tell me what to do, it can’t be easy to stick yourself.”
Hazel breathed a sigh of relief and handed Dudley the needle. She showed him the pale blue vein and talked him through inserting the needle and hooking it up to the donation bags. Dudley sat with her watching the rusty liquid glide out of her arm through the tube; he felt absolutely repulsed and fascinated at the same time.
Hazel leaned back on the sofa and sighed, startling Dudley out of his pensive state. He regarded the petite beauty as she closed her eyes and waited for the donation bag to fill.
Dudley was struck with a thought and before he could stop himself, he asked Hazel, “What happened to your dad?”
Hazel’s eyes snapped open in surprise. She sat up and faced Dudley, “What?”
“I’m sorry!” Dudley flustered. “Forget I mentioned it.”
“No, no,” Hazel shifted so she was facing Dudley on the couch. “You just caught me off guard.”
Hazel gave Dudley a weak smile; “He lives in New York… Some of the time.”
“Wait…” Dudley was suddenly confused, “I thought he was dead!”
Hazel gave a trill of laughter, “Why would you think that?”
“Oh… um… I don’t know…” Dudley’s face flushed. “You never talk about him.”
“Well, he and my mum were married for less than a year,” Hazel explained. “His job requires that he travel a lot… Hotels. So I see him whenever he comes to check up on the London bases, and I usually travel with him during the summer holiday. Not this year though…”
“Because you’re in hiding?”
“Yes… he doesn’t know about the wizarding world, neither do his wife and kids, so we didn’t think it was necessary to make them hide. Especially if he only is in the same country for a few weeks at most.”
“You have siblings?” Dudley was stunned by this revelation. He had always imagined Hazel as an only child; probably because he always thought she was
an only child…
Hazel smiled once again, “Yeah… Chandler is almost 15 now, and Rebekah is 13. He and his latest wife had a baby boy, Nathaniel Cooper Roberts, last year. I haven’t met him yet though.”
Dudley regarded at Hazel with amazement as she started to remove her own needle. “And they all live with your father?” he asked skeptically. He didn’t like the sounds of this man.
“God no!” Hazel laughed. “Remember how he only spends a few weeks in each city? Chandler and Bex live with their mother in New York City, but they always come along with me during our holidays with Father. The wife du jour and Nate have been traveling with him. If this marriage works out, I think poor Nate will be left home with an au pair; from what Chandler’s told me, this lady refuses to be left behind.”
Dudley wrinkled his brow; this sounded WAY too unorthodox for him. Hazel noticed his discomfort and reassured him, “It’s not so weird when you’re used to it. I always have my mum, and my Aunt Catherine and Uncle Rupert. My father is really more like an uncle to all of us; he does try to make things work though,” she added wistfully. “He is always convinced that each marriage will be his last, he just spends too much time away for it to actually happen.”
Dudley considered this, and then asked, “Why does he think you didn’t go on holiday with him? Don’t you usually spend July and August with him?”
Hazel looked sad at the mention of her lost holiday, “I told him I wanted to travel with friends this summer. I guess it’s almost true…” she looked up at Dudley hopefully. “He brought Chandler and Bex to visit in London for a week at the beginning of the summer before they jet-set off to Taiwan.”
They sat in silence; Hazel carefully placed a band-aid over her puncture wound. “I’m sorry,” Dudley said finally. “That you had to miss your time with your dad.”
“I’m fine,” Hazel started to protest but Dudley interrupted her.
“No, you’re not. Just because you never see him doesn’t mean you don’t miss him.”
Hazel looked up at Dudley with an awestruck expression on her face. She quickly shook her head and grabbed the blood donations. “…should get this to my mum…” she started muttering.
Dudley too stood up and moved to help her; she gratefully accepted the gesture, as she was still light-headed from the blood loss. The two ventured into the living room laden with bags of viable blood.
Hazel’s mum had widened one Diggle’s torso wounds with a scalpel and was stitching up an organ… or something… The wizard was completely unconscious, and in desperate need of the donor blood. Dr. Finch let out an audible sigh of relief as she grabbed greedily at the blood Dudley and Hazel offered. She hung a bag of B-negative on Diggle’s lamp stand and returned to suturing his wounds.
Dudley, who felt like he was going to be sick, looked around the room for anything to distract him from whatever it was Hazel’s mum was doing. Hestia was sitting down on the couch, white as a sheet, sipping a glass of water and watching the doctor work furiously on her coworker. Justin had taken her place alongside Lunet helping Dr. Finch.
“What happened to Hestia?” Dudley asked Owen.
Owen chuckled and leaned across Dudley to address Hazel, “She fainted when your
mother took out the scalpel and started to slice him open!”
“No!” Hazel looked concerned. “Surely she’s seen worse?”
“I just think she was shocked that cutting Diggle up was supposed to make him better.” Owen chuckled. “I know I shouldn’t be laughing but…”
“But she must be thinking that muggles are primitive beasts, or cave people, or something!” Dudley finished for Owen, his own eyes glittering with mirth.
“It’s not funny!” Hazel insisted, and stalked over to Hestia to offer assistance.
Owen and Dudley watched her leave; neither said anything for a few seconds before Owen said, “I’m not talking to Justin anymore,” he turned his head to look Dudley in the eye. “In case you’re wondering why it’s awkward tonight in the room, it’s because of him.”
Dudley looked at the younger wizard and saw that he was being completely serious. He stifled his laughter and asked, “Why?”
“The bloody neat-freak has been messing with my stuff! I woke up this morning because I heard an awful crack and all of my socks were GONE! He
moved them off the floor!”
“Well… how do you know I
didn’t take your stuff?” Owen looked up at him, his eyes flashing dangerously. ’Bugger… I probably shouldn’t have put it that way…’
“Did you?” Owen gritted his teeth.
“NO! NO!” Dudley sputtered, “I mean… how do you know it was Justin?”
Owen regarded Dudley as though he had grown an extra head. “Because I found my socks in my drawer; you’re about as capable of cleaning as a troll,” he spoke as though Dudley was only two-years-old. “And the girls don’t come in our room.”
“Oh…” Dudley considered this. “Isn’t that overreacting a bit?”
“Not at all,” Owen said matter-of-factly. “I have to make sure he knows that I’m mad at him.”
’And you sound like a teenaged girl’
At that moment, Hazel’s mother finished closing up Diggle’s chest. She tied off the stitches and cheerfully announced, “Done!” She beamed at the onlookers. “His bleeding is under control and, thanks to me, he should be fine!” She admired her handiwork before reaching into her medical kit to begin bandaging Diggle’s torso. Lunet and Justin backed away from the ecstatic surgeon, leaving her to do her job.
Justin walked up to Owen and Dudley, causing Owen to look pointedly to his left and stalk away from the group. Dudley stifled another snicker at Owen’s absurd behavior. Once again, the capricious behavior of the Llewellyns both amused and startled him.
Lunet flashed him a dangerous glare; Dudley mentally apologized for his rude thoughts, bringing a slight smile to her face.
“Hey mate!” Justin gesticulated towards Owen, “What’s wrong with him?” Justin asked Dudley.
Dudley chuckled again, “He thinks you stole his socks and put them away for him. He’s letting you know he doesn’t appreciate the gesture.”
“Seriously?” Justin smiled, “I didn’t even do anything!”
“I figured…” Dudley conversed easily.
Justin thought for a moment then said, “I can fix this.”
“Easy,” Justin laughed. “Throw his socks on the floor where he left them. Then he’ll be happy!”
Dudley was laughing with Justin when he saw Hazel faint out of the corner of his eye.
“Bloody hell!” He, Justin, and Dr. Finch rushed over to her side.
“How much blood did she give?” Hazel’s mum wanted to know.
“I don’t know… A lot?” Dudley sputtered.
“And you didn’t make her drink any water or orange juice after?” Hazel’s mum accused while Justin lifted his cousin onto a couch. “Someone get her something to drink!” she ordered.
“I’m sorry Dr. Finch…” Dudley managed to croak out. Lunet rushed forward with a tall glass of water, a straw, and a damp washcloth.
“Thank you,” Hazel’s mum said absent-mindedly as she started reviving her daughter. Dudley backed away from the two and stood by Nesta in a far corner of the room.
“It’s not your fault,” Nesta said after a time. “You don’t know anything about anything! How does she expect you to know about blood donation?”
“Thanks, Nesta.” Dudley smirked at her attempt at consoling him. “That makes me feel loads better.”
“Glad I could help,” she grinned, obviously not catching his sarcasm.
A few minutes later, Hazel was sitting up chatting quietly with her mother; one would never guess she had just had a fainting spell. Her mum was scolding her for not taking care of herself while Dudley watched from his post in the corner of the room. He didn’t want to intrude but felt so fiercely protective of Hazel that he couldn’t bear to leave the room.
Lunet noticed this and nodded understandingly when he didn’t accompany the rest of the occupants into the kitchen for lunch. Instead he opted to watch the two ailing members of their group, promising Dr. Finch he would alert her if anything happened. Hazel had nodded off when her mother had forced her to lie down and Diggle still hadn’t woken from his unconscious state. Dudley spotted Hazel’s book from that morning resting on the end table next to his chair. He picked it up, and started to read while he waited for Hazel to wake up.
A/N: I'm not even going to attempt to make an excuse as to why this took so long to post... The usual, I guess... RL, homework, etc. Hope you enjoyed this chapter, despite its lateness. Please leave a review!