Chapter 26 : Recovery
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“Do you think he can hear us?” Whispered Astoria shakily.
I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the edge of the clean, white mattress, wishing he would just waken up and open his eyes and take me away from this horrible moment.
But he didn’t.
“I think he might be able to,” Replied Draco, in a quiet voice. He and Astoria were sitting at his other side, holding hands. “Why don’t you try talking to him?”
She wiped the tears from her eyes and nodded shakily.
“Scorpius,” She whispered. “Scorpius, son, if you can hear us, then we’re all here for you; Dad, Me, and Rose. So if you can just open your eyes and let us know you’re okay…” She trailed off, burying her head in Draco’s chest.
I took a deep breath and looked at him. His face was motionless, his blonde hair swept away from his forehead, where there was a thick, white bandage wrapped across his deep, heavily bleeding head injury.
My Healer mind was only half working, I couldn’t exactly think straight, but I knew that the sling on his right arm was there because we couldn’t heal it for him while he was unconscious. Same as we couldn’t heal his four cracked ribs.
I grabbed the edge of the mattress and took another deep breath as the hysteria threatened took take over me again. That wouldn’t help anyone.
“I’m going to go and get a drink of water,” I said quietly to them, getting up.
They both nodded, not taking their eyes from their son’s face. I stroked his head softly, before looking back at them. “If he wakes up or…”
“We’ll find you straight away,” Said Draco firmly.
I nodded gratefully, and left the room. I walked the short distance along the corridor to where my Mum, Dad, Hugo, Dom, James, and Lily were waiting. They all stood up when I came into view. James came straight over to me.
“Rose, how is he?” He asked, seriously, extending his arms to me.
I looked up at my cousin and shook my head tearfully. He enveloped his arms around me and I started to cry against his chest, feeling the terror pulling me under again, and I fought to stay sane. I barely registered as another pair of arms went around my shoulders, and the familiar voice of Dominique whispered words of comfort and reassurance in my ear.
But when I was passed to one set of arms, I knew straight away; it was only when I was being hugged by this person, that I knew it was exactly what I needed.
I cried against my Dad’s shirt as he supported all my weight and stroked my hair just like a Dad was supposed to.
“I’m sorry Dad,” I cried.
“What for?” He asked, shaking his head.
“Because we were fighting.” I whispered. “And you don’t even like Scorpius and this is just such a mess!”
Dad looked me in the eyes. “Rose, I may not be mad about Scorpius, but I’m the one who should be apologising. When I see you like this…well it’s obvious isn’t it? You and him are clearly supposed to be with each other. And he will be absolutely fine, I’m sure of it.”
I nodded tearfully. “Thanks,” I said quietly, hugging him again for several minutes.
“What about Albus?” I finally said when I had controlled the sobs.
“He’s okay,” Said Lily. “Mum, Dad and Frankie are with him now.”
“Can I see him?” I asked.
Mum nodded. “I’ll go and let them know.”
She returned a couple of minutes later with Harry and Ginny, and a shaky looking Frankie. Ginny hugged me softly before gesturing towards Al’s room, and I stepped in quietly.
Albus was a far cry from Scorpius. He was sitting up in the bed, looking a little dizzy but otherwise coherent. His face was pretty messed up, with a large gash down the side, but other than that he looked okay. I knew from what I’d been told when they were brought in that he had a fractured leg, but Scorpius had taken the full impact of the crash.
“Rose,” He croaked, as I walked in.
“Are you alright?” I asked him, standing beside his bed.
“Yeah I’m okay,” He nodded. “Just a little messed up. How’s Scorp?”
“He hasn’t woken up yet,” I said shakily. “He has a trauma to his head and we don’t know the effects yet…we have to wait for him to wake up.”
Albus put his head in his hands and I stayed still, waiting.
“What happened, Al?” I finally demanded.
He shook his head sadly. “The other car…it just came out of nowhere! I didn’t see it one minute there was nothing and the next it was just there! But she was at fault, I had right of way!”
My eyes narrowed. “Were you speeding?”
Al’s eyes clouded in guilt, and I almost gagged.
“You stupid, stupid boy!” I cried. “What were you thinking, you idiot?”
“I’m sorry!” He exclaimed. “We were having a laugh, that’s it we were just messing about and-”
“Messing about with your lives!” I shouted. “What if he doesn’t wake up Al? Or what if he does and he’s brain damaged? What the hell will we do?”
It was only now I realised I was crying; and so was Albus.
“It wasn’t my fault,” He said again.
“I don’t care!” I cried. “You should have been more careful, you could have avoided this! You and that bloody car Albus!”
He had the decency to look down and say nothing. I was shaking from head to foot, not just with worry for Scorpius; I was also terrified that I might have lost Albus. I had been just as scared for him as I was for Scorpius.
“Buying cars!” I shouted. “Going travelling; leaving your life, your job, your family for four months! It’s about time you grew up and thought about someone other than yourself!”
“I’m sorry,” He whispered.
I shrugged. “Sorry’s not good enough. I promise you Albus, if Scorpius doesn’t wake up, I will never, ever forgive you.”
Draco and Astoria had left me alone with Scorpius for a while, and I was trying Astoria’s idea; I was talking to him.
“Okay I’ll make you a deal,” I said, holding his hand. “If you pull through and recover, I will do anything you want; get married, move in, get a house…anything!”
I sighed. “This is not fair at all,” I said. “As far as I’m aware you were in any near-death experiences were you were in bloody Wales. And we’re doing so well together Scorp…” I said, tears welling up again. “Really well. And we’ve got this second chance – what would I do without you now? And I really need to talk to you about something Scorpius! And my Dad has finally accepted you now, that’s big news! Come on you need to wake up I have so much I need to tell you…”
“I’m sorry I nearly married Mark,” I cried. “I’m sorry I hurt you and rejected you, I’ll never hurt you again just wake up, for me Scorpius…”
And for hours, that’s all there was. Me having this heartbreaking one-way conversation with myself, trying to get some sort of reaction out of him. This was when magical medicine was a bit of a let-down; there was so much we could do, but in this case, when there was pressure pushing down on his brain and he was unconscious, all we could do was wait for him to wake up. Because anything else could cause serious, lasting damage.
I spent the following thirteen hours at St Mungo’s, by his side. Various family members came and went, along with my colleagues who popped in to wish Scorpius the best. Healer Greene had been fantastic, allowing me to take the rest of the week off work to concentrate on him. Meanwhile, Draco and Astoria kept me company by his bedside, waiting and hoping. And still there was nothing.
On the Monday morning, two days after the crash, Dominique managed to convince me to come home, get a shower and get some sleep. My sleep was restless and troubled, I tossed and turned non-stop, and my dreams were always the same; a cloudy, fading image of Scorpius’ face.
I returned with Dom that afternoon, and had been getting caught up with his Healer; the very experienced Healer Digby, when Uncle Harry and Albus popped in to see how we were doing. Healer Digby and Dom left us and I gave Harry a hug, before turning back to Scorpius. I barely acknowledged Al was there; I was still mad at him for the accident and couldn’t get over it.
“How’s he doing?” Asked Harry, who was standing behind my chair.
“Just the same,” Said Astoria, who looked even worse than I felt. “How are you doing now Albus?”
I looked over at Albus, who was furthest away from the hospital bed. His eyes were locked on Scorpius’ blank face, and he looked deathly pale.
“He’s fine,” Said Harry. “Just worried about Scorpius…”
“Oh well that’s good of him,” Said Draco coldly, from the foot of the bed. I whipped around at the same time as Astoria and Harry.
“Excuse me?” Asked Harry in shock.
“You heard Potter,” He seethed. “If it wasn’t for your idiot of a child my son wouldn’t be lying here half-dead!”
“Draco!” Cried Astoria.
“How dare you!” Said Harry loudly. “Don’t go accusing my son of-”
“Why Dad?” Interrupted Al. “He’s right…”
“He is not right,” Said Harry firmly. “It was an accident and you are most certainly not stupid! In case you’ve forgotten Malfoy the other driver has been charged at fault!”
“That’s regardless,” Muttered Draco. “If Scorpius hadn’t been in that car none of this should have happened.”
“I will not let you blame my son!” Exclaimed Harry.
I tried to block them out and look back at Scorpius, but they were getting louder and louder. Comments were now being thrown about by Draco about how Albus was nothing but a bad influence on Scorpius.
“Them being friends was never a good idea!” Shouted Draco. “What kind of supposed best friend gets his mate put in hospital in a coma?”
“It wasn’t Al’s fault…”
I whipped back around to Scorpius, and the air was knocked out from me as I saw his eyes slowly open and his brow furrow. “It wasn’t his fault,” He croaked again.
“Scorpius!” I cried, putting my head on his chest as the tears ran down my face. I felt his hand stroke my hair as I tried to pull myself together. I was a Healer, I should be checking to see if he was okay, testing his responses. But all I could do was breathe in and out, and thank God that he was okay.
“I’ll get the Healer,” Muttered Harry, ducking out of the room.
“Are you okay Scorpius?” Whispered Astoria, stroking his forehead.
“I’m okay,” He croaked, as I lifted my head to look at him. “My head hurts. What happened?”
“You and Albus were in a car crash,” Said Astoria quietly. “You had a bad head injury, plus a couple of cracked ribs and a broken arm, but you should be just fine.”
“Al?” He muttered.
“I’m here mate,” He said, walking nearer. “And I’m okay. I’m so sorry…”
“It wasn’t your fault,” He said for the third time. “That stupid fucking Corsa came out of nowhere.”
I let out a relieved, hysterical laugh and he finally looked at me.
“Are you okay?” He asked me.
“Me?” I replied, shaking my head. “I’m not important here. As long as you’re okay, Scorpius, that’s what matters.”
“I love you,” He muttered, his eyes closing again. “I’m tired…”
“Rest,” I said, stroking his hair. “And I love you too.”
“I’m struggling to place a few things,” Said Scorpius three days later as I sat beside him in his bed at his parents’ house, feeding him grapes.
“Like what?” I asked, swallowing a grape myself.
“I dunno,” He muttered, frowning. “I just can’t remember some stuff. Like stuff from a long time ago…Hogwarts and stuff.”
“Well you had a traumatic head injury Scorp,” I said carefully. “Some stuff will be missing for a few days, but there’s not going to be any lasting damage. In the meantime I can fill you in!”
“On everything?” He asked, grinning.
“Of course,” I said. “What have you forgotten?”
“I’ve forgotten our first night together,” He said. “But I really don’t think you telling me would do it justice…you better demonstrate.”
“Oh my God!” I laughed. “Are you using your accident as leverage for sex, you lunatic?”
“As guy has to try,” He shrugged, wincing in pain. “But I really don’t know if I’m up to it.”
“No I don’t either!” I laughed. “Just you concentrate on getting better, Casanova. And don’t underestimate my story-telling skills,” I said. “I can be quite imaginative you know, you might be surprised…”
By the end of the week, Scorpius was just about back to normal, up and walking around without any pain, and all his “memories” had come back in full (though I had come to suspect he was milking it a bit for the dirty talk) so I was finally able to go home.
I know he didn’t specifically need me to stay with him for the full five days that he was on bed-rest and taking potions all day, Astoria would have done more than a good enough job, but I wanted to. And I knew he would have done the same for me.
It was however quite good to get home to my own bed. I was exhausted, the last week had been more emotionally draining than I could ever have imagined, but before I could curl up and catch up on some much needed sleep, I had to do something very important.
“I’m sorry,” I told Albus seriously, as we walked in the Potters’ massive gardens, as the sun set low above the surrounding scenery.
“It doesn’t matter,” He said. “You were right Rose…”
“No I wasn’t!” I insisted. “I didn’t mean it and I was out of line. I was just so worried about Scorpius; I didn’t know what would happen to him!”
“I know that!” He said. “And like I say I don’t blame you.”
“I just don’t want you thinking I have any problem with you Al. You’re my cousin and one of my best friends. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings okay?”
“Okay,” He said, hugging me closely. “It’s in the past. Scorp is fine and that’s all that matters.”
By the time it came round to a week to the evening of the crash, there was nothing that could make me happier than curling up on the sofa to watch a film with Dom. It gave me the chance to catch up on what was going on with her while I was nursing Scorpius back to health, and I finally confided in her about the pressing issue that had been in the back of mind before the accident last week.
Her reaction was as I expected, and half an hour later the pair of us were pacing up and down the living room of the flat, going over it again and again.
Because there was no way, simply no way. And yet here it was now, the proof, right in front of my eyes. But there was just no way. No way at all. Because I was the last person in the world that would end up here.
And yet there was absolutely no denying it anymore. I was pregnant.
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