I walked into St. Mungo’s and right down the hall to my mother’s room. She was sitting on a chair near the window, reading the daily paper. I entered her room and she saw me. “Stephanie, it’s only ten in the morning.”
“I know I’m early but I have a lot to get done today.” I sighed, pulling up a chair near her.
She set down her paper and took a sip of her tea. “Alright, that’s fine. You know, Healer Flintwood said if I’m feeling good, I can go home soon.”
Home? I rested my head in my hands, taking a deep breath. “Mom, I’m sorry. I completely forgot about that, I have been busy with helping Louis and New Years was four days ago.”
Her fingers touched my arm, rubbing my skin in a comforting motion. “Sweetie, I understand. You told me he was sick and needed surgery. You just take care of him.”
I looked at her. “Mom, I also need to take care of you.”
“Don’t worry about me! Stephanie, I’m doing fine. The healers are marveled at my speedy recovery and I’ve been walking around without help for the past couple days. Stephie, you need to think of yourself for a change. You’re always worrying about someone else,” she sighed, squeezing my hand.
I opened my mouth to say something when Healer Flintwood walked in the room, interrupting our conversation. “Well Alison, I see your daughter dropped in for a visit.”
My mother nodded. “Yes, she did.”
She smiled, “Good. Stephanie, might I have a word with you in the hallway?”
I nodded and got up from my chair. “Certainly.”
I followed her out into the vacant hallway. “What’s up?”
Healer Flintwood handed me some papers. “You can read and sign those for me, that would be great. They are nothing more than release papers. I understand your mother told you that she can go home soon?”
I read over the papers, signing the dotted lines at the bottom. “Yeah, she did.”
“Yes, well I know you have a lot on your mind with Louis Weasley and everything, but she does need someone with her at all times for the first couple days.” Healer Flintwood stated, taking the papers back from me.
I rubbed my head. “I know she does but I’m leaving tomorrow with Louis for the surgery.”
“I know but is there a friend or a relative who could stay with her?” Healer Flintwood inquired.
I bit my lip, trying to think of someone that could take my mother in for a couple days. “Well I’ll probably be home in three days. Louis’ surgery won’t be done until tomorrow night and someone needs to stay with him so I offered. I can’t think of anyone that could take her in.”
“I could.” I turned and saw Louis’ uncle, Harry Potter standing there with his arm around his wife.
I shook my head. “No, really, it’s fine. You don’t need to do that, you’ve done so much already and I-”
“I insist, Stephanie. She needs a place to stay; she can stay with us for a couple days. Al and James are gone out of the house anyway,” Harry protested on my refusal.
I sighed and Ginny touched my shoulder. “We can take her in, it’s not a problem or an inconvenience.”
Healer Flintwood looked at me. “Stephanie, she can’t stay here as she’s well enough to go home, that is our policy here unfortunately.”
“I know. Are you sure it’s not a problem?” I looked back at Harry.
“I’m sure. It’s only a couple days anyway, she’ll be fine.” He nodded.
“Okay, I’ll ask her if that’s okay, though,” I stated.
“Of course,” Ginny agreed.
I excused myself and walked back into my mother’s room. She smiled, “So?”
“So, Healer Flintwood says you’re well enough to go home anytime, but you need someone with you at all times for the first couple days. Harry Potter offered to let you stay with him-” I sighed.
“Harry Potter? Really?” My mother’s eyes widened at the mention of Harry Potter offering her a place to stay.
I smiled. “He has been very generous to us and I can’t thank him enough. Of course, if you’d rather, I can always tell Louis’ mother to go with him to the surgery instead of me-”
“Nonsense! Stephie, you need to start taking care of yourself for once. Besides, I’m glad you finally found someone to hopefully spend your whole life with.” My mother took my hand. “I can stay with the Potters as long as I’m not intruding.”
“You wouldn’t be.” Harry poked his head in the door, grinning.
My mother smiled at me, “See? It’s settled-”
“Mom, are you sure?” I looked at her.
“Oh stop fussing already. You need to get yourself home and pack for your trip tomorrow!” She shooed me to the door.
I headed to the door with a smile on my face. I was glad my mother was returning to her old self, I’d missed the motherly part of her for so long and to finally have it back was like stepping into a fairytale. I shook my head and bid her goodbye once more before leaving, thinking to myself, “I’m glad you’re back, mommy.”
I lugged my trunk to the doorway as Louis’ mother hugged Louis goodbye. “Now, when you get there-”
“Get checked in and do what the doctor tells me, I know mother. I’m going to be fine.” He kissed her cheek.
I hugged her, “I’ll owl you once he goes in, I promise.”
She nodded, “Thanks, Stephanie. I’m glad you’re going with him
Louis gently put his arms around me to apparate us both to the place where his surgery would be. I buried my face in his neck, holding onto him, holding onto the belief that he would be okay. He had to be.
We arrived at the hospital and I bit my lip, seeing healers bustling around like bees in a busy hive. I swallowed, feeling nerves jumbling in my stomach. Why was I nervous? I wasn’t having the surgery, Louis was. Louis squeezed my hand and kissed my forehead. “It’ll be fine.”
I nodded, trying to repeat those words in my head to make myself believe them. An older red haired male healer approached us. “Hello, I’m Healer Russo. You must be Louis Weasley, right on time too.”
Louis managed a smile. “Yes.”
Healer Russo handed Louis some paperwork. “If you could fill these out then give them to the receptionist, that would be great and then we can get started.”
Louis nodded and started filling in his name, birth date etc. I asked, “Shouldn’t this all be done already?”
“Well I’ve never been treated in this place so they need some information just for verification.” Louis shrugged, finishing filling out the forms.
He handed them back to Healer Russo. Healer Russo looked them over. “Good. Now we’ll need to admit you to a room and then the surgery will take place tonight. If you’ll just follow me, please.”
We followed him down the long white halls and up to the second floor. I tried to memorize the way to get to his room for when I’d come back later. Healer Russo asked me, “Are you his wife-”
I instantly turned red and stopped him from saying another word, “No, I’m his girlfriend.”
“Alright. Well the surgery is nothing to be nervous over. We have some of the best healers here taking care of him.” He reassured me.
“How long do you think the surgery will be?” I inquired nervously.
Healer Russo sighed, glancing at the papers. “Well, normally this kind of surgery takes about two hours. It’s quicker than a muggle heart surgery as we have more capabilities but we aren’t miracle workers unfortunately.”
I nodded in agreement and a lady healer entered, “Okay time to prepare you for surgery, Mr. Weasley.”
Louis nodded, “Can I have a minute with my girlfriend?”
She nodded, “Of course. I’ll be right back.”
She left along with Healer Russo. I bit my lip and Louis took my hands in his, “I’m going to be fine, stop worrying so much, Stephanie.”
I rested my head on his chest. “I know. I keep trying to tell myself that.”
He rubbed my back and kissed my head. “Je t’aime, Stephanie.”
I smiled, listening to the soothing beating of his heart beneath his shirt. “I love you too.”
I lifted my head, gazing into his blue eyes, “I’ll be here when you wake up.”
“I know you will, belle fille.(beautiful girl)” He rubbed my cheek with his thumb.
I kissed him and the healer walked back in. “Ready?”
Louis nodded, “Yeah, I’m ready.”
I hugged him one last time before saying, “I’ll see you in a bit.”
He kissed my cheek, whispering in my ear, “Tu es dans toutes mes pensées.”
I melted at the sound of his angelic voice saying that beautiful phrase to me. I pulled away and slowly walked towards the door. I glanced behind me, looking at him standing there with his hands in his pockets. His eyes caught me looking and he managed a grin. I swallowed and reached the doorway so I turned to go out into the hall. Before I was even a step out of the room, I looked back again, feeling a painful tearing at my heart. Louis was now talking with the healer, discussing the surgery. I felt tears in my eyes as I stood there in the doorway. I wasn’t just leaving Louis behind; I was leaving half of my heart and my soul behind.
I tapped my knee impatiently as my eyes were glued on the clock. Only about an hour and forty-five minutes ago I had left the hospital to go check into the local inn. My things were all put away and I had owled Louis’ family telling them he was in surgery so there was nothing for me to do but wait. Biting my lip, I urged the clock to move faster. My stomach was twisting and turning in knots as my nerves started coming back. Was he okay? Was the surgery proving to be successful so far?
I groaned, leaning back on my chair in the front lobby of the hospital. The receptionist startled me when she asked, “Are you alright, miss?”
Looking at her, I replied a little warily, “I’m fine, no need to worry about me. My boyfriend is having surgery is all.”
“Alright,” she shrugged, going back to her work.
I looked back at the clock. I had ten more minutes until the surgery would supposedly be done. I couldn’t wait much longer; I was letting myself get worried. Closing my eyes, I leaned back into a comfortable position, trying to think positive thoughts…
Something shook me and I nearly jumped out of my chair as I heard, “Miss Johnson, Louis is out of surgery.”
Rubbing my eyes, I looked to see Healer Russo. Practically jumping up, I asked quickly, “Did it go alright? Is he okay?”
He chuckled, nodding. “He’s fine and the surgery went alright. I expect he’ll wake up soon as he’s been out of surgery for over half an hour-”
“And no one came to find me earlier?” I hurried down the hall to Louis’ room, not even bothering to wait for a reply from him.
My heart was beating wildly in my chest as I approached the doorway. I had to see him. I had to be near him. A healer was scribbling something down on a clipboard, blocking my view of Louis. I impatiently snuck around her and then I stopped when I saw him. He was lying in the hospital bed, his pale skin barely contrasting the stark white sheets. His blonde hair was disarray and his eyes were closed. My breath caught in my throat when he stirred, his lips parting slightly as though he were going to speak. He didn’t. He merely went back to his motionless, angelic state.
Slowly, I moved to sit on a chair near his bedside. My fingers carefully took his hand, my thumb rubbing over the back of his hand. He let out a sigh and I slowly averted my gaze to where I could see a faint scar on his chest. Then a gentle pressure on my fingers caused me to look at my hand that was holding his. He was squeezing my fingers back. I looked up at his face, seeing his eyes open enough that I could see part of his sky blue irises. The lights in the room were a bit bright, causing his eyes to flicker around before focusing in on me again. I bit my lip, unsure if I should say something or not as he wasn’t quite coherent yet. The hoarse yet still angelic sound of his voice caused me to jump a little. “Stephanie.”
My heart leapt in my chest upon hearing my name come from his lips. I continued rubbing the back of his hand as I spoke, “I’m here.”
I was always there, with him. I never left because he was my other half. Maybe now, everything would be okay, just for once. I could only hope it would but there was still a long way to go with his recovery..
a/n: sorry again for the wait! July just got really busy for me and my beta as well! I appreciate all the reviews and the support from everyone! I cannot believe we're at chapter 12 already! I'm not sure how many chapters will be left... i don't have anything planned out for sure just yet.. so we'll see. :)