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Chapter 1 : The Night Healer
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The girl drummed her fingertips atop the oak dinner tray, annoying even herself with the constant pangs against it. Her muddled brown eyes watched the pale pink polish chip at each impact and only let her gaze flicker to the door every tenth time the index finger grazed the tray. It had been forty minutes since the second shift healer had left to get her dinner. She mused summoning it herself but the healers had yet to give her back her wand saying that it had been damaged and was in a great need of repair. So instead she counted down the minutes until the healer returned with her lack luster meal.
She didn’t particularly like the woman on duty; she wasn’t at all friendly and never offered a smile upon entering the room. Besides the usual ‘drink this’ or ‘swallow that’ the only other words that you could manage to make out of her muttering were something along the lines of being ‘too old to hobble from bed to bed up here and then race back to level one to help the pansies.’
The young woman much preferred the night healer. She hadn’t actually got to speak with her since she was unconscious the night she was brought in and then heavily sedated every night since. Between lulled eyelids and eyesight that refused to focus, her eyes could only just make out long, cinnamon hair pulled back into a sleek braid. It swung back and forth when she walked away from the bed and out of the room. It made a pendulum like motion that usually finished the patient off and released her into a dreamless sleep.
And every morning the girl would wake up to the worst of the three. She was bubbly and bright and her hot pink lipstick, neon green nails, and bleach blonde hair were harsher on her eyes than the fluorescents. It’s not that she was rude or overtly annoying, though the later could be argued, the girl was just never awake enough to handle her. Had she been on the second shift she could have stomached her better.
However, she was the only one that would divulge any answers from beyond the initial information the healer-in-charge had given the girl. She had apparently been unresponsive for three straight days but her family insisted that she be given extra time to come around because she had ‘always been such a stubborn girl.’ She had yet to actually have any visitors, including her family, and was perplexed as to what this said about her character. The young woman wasn’t sure she wanted to meet them. What kind of person would they tell her she was?
The fourth day her vitals were normal but she still remained in a catatonic state. Eventually, though, she woke up to Nellie, the morning healer, and Patty the healer-in-charge. They asked all sorts of questions, all of which sent her into waves of anxiety and sheer panic because she couldn’t think of a single answer.
“Can you tell us your name?”
“I- I think it’s- I don’t know.”
“That’s alright, Hun.”
“How about what year it is or how old you are?”
Nothing at all came to her mind.
“Can you tell us anything about yourself, dear? Or anything about the accident?”
“I…” She stared blankly at them and blinked close to fifty times before clenching them shut and breathing heavily.
Patty then sat down on the side of the bed and told the girl to relax the best she could. Then there was a sudden yet soft pressure on her temple where Patty had placed her wand. The girl clenched her jaw and clawed at the bed sheets as a searing pain swept through her mind. Only a small whimper escaped her.
The pressure relieved itself and when her eyes opened again Patty was now at the end of the bed standing next to Nellie simply shaking her head. They were both just staring back at her with plain pity all over their faces. They turned to leave but the girl could still hear their conversation as it lingered in the doorway.
“It’s such a delicate situation, Nellie. Just be careful what you say around her until we know more. We don’t want to go upsetting the poor thing.”
“Has the Ministry found out anything?”
“No, not yet. Whoever it its better pray to Merlin her father and Mr. Potter don’t find them first.”
“I don’t understand why the legilimency didn’t work though.”
Patty sighed, “She’s blocking any memory she has. It doesn’t surprise me that her powers are this strong. Just look at her lineage.”
Eventually the healers were too far to hear more but they’d given her at least something to imagine. Before this somewhat accidental disclosure, she had known nothing about why she was here. But if the person who caused this doesn’t want her father and this Potter man to find them, she’d bet a galleon it wasn’t an accident. The fact that her father was indeed somewhere out there only increased her apprehension. Why hadn’t he been here when she first woke up? Was it because he was so intent on bringing justice to whoever made her this was that he simply didn’t have the time to stop by and visit? She certainly hoped so.
She wasn’t even positive she wanted him to come at all. What do you say to someone that you’re supposed to love but don’t know a single thing about?
It was around nine fifteen when a healer trainee walked into the room to administer the nightly medication to help the girl sleep. The usual second shift nurse had taken a week of leave to go visit her granddaughter who had just had a baby girl. The young woman had fought the past two nights with the healers about taking it because she wanted to be coherent for the third nurse, determined to see if she could get answers from her. But even the trainee denied the request and forced a thick, dark blue liquid down her throat. It burned all the way down and warmed the inside of her stomach. She waited until the girl was done coughing and placed a small cup of ice water in her hand. After she had emptied the cup the trainee said goodnight and exited into the hallway.
The next healer came on shift in just 45 minutes and she willed her eyes to remain open. She stared out the doorway at the passing healers taking the more permanent patients for a short walk. She looked up at the clock every ten minutes and finally, it was a few minutes before ten. She knew that if she could hang on for just ten more, she would get to talk with her.
The healer walked past the room but when the girl tried to call out to her no voice emerged from her mouth. She could feel a stronger presence of the relaxation that had begun passing through her legs and spreading out to her arms when she had first taken the liquid. She tried to sit up to remain awake just a bit longer but found that she had no strength. The healer’s footsteps could be heard coming back and when she slowly entered the room her eyes could no longer stay open and they fluttered shut. She could still hear her walking about the room as she flipped through the chart at the end of the bed and then as she moved to sit in the chair to the right. She pleaded with her mind to just open her eyes and if they would, she wouldn’t give any more healers grief about taking the liquid. But they didn’t.
She felt a light sensation on her cheek as the older woman placed her palm there and stroked the area just below the eye. The healer was humming a soft melody to herself that the girl couldn’t quite place but recognized. Soon she drifted off to sleep but unlike the previous nights this was not a dreamless one.
A young boy was chasing the girl through a field of high grass that surrounded a rather strange looking house. It towered upward and casted a crooked shadow down the dirt path that led somewhere over a hill. The boy had dark chocolate brown hair and large, square glasses were perched on his nose. She turned to look over her shoulder at him while shouting that he’d never catch her. Suddenly, she was lying on the ground and felt a warm sensation on her knee. She could hear him yelling out to her and then he was kneeling beside her, laughing.
“Why are you so clumsy all the time?”
“It’s not funny Al!” She exclaimed as she pulled the now torn section of her pants to examine the wound. Blood was seeping the denim material around the tare. She whimpered at the sight of it all.
He grabbed her hands and yanked the girl to her feet.
“C’mon, we’ll go find mum and she’ll fix it.”
The pair began walking towards the house but when he realized he was walking too quickly for her limp he slowed down and fell into step with hers.
“I’m sorry for laughing at you; I didn’t know you were hurt.”
“It’s okay, Al.” She smiled up at him.
He nudged her arm with his elbow and started telling a story about when James had pushed him down a hill once and even though it didn’t hurt at all, Al cried and cried just so James would get in trouble. He continued talking about random things as they walked around the kitchen, through the hallway, and into a large living room. An older boy, with practically the same face as Al was sprawled across the sofa with a Quidditch magazine held just above his face.
“In the attic with Grams and Dad.”
“Just wait here and I’ll go get her. It’s going to take a year for you to get up all the stairs.” He flashed another smile at the girl before frowning at her knee. “I better not get in trouble for this.”
The little girl collapsed into a plush, pink chair and watched him hurry up the stairs taking two at a time.
“What happened to you?” the older boy put the magazine down on his stomach and raised an eyebrow indicating the dark red spot on her leg.
“I fell when we were running.”
“Good thing your Mums not here, she’d be pissed you wrecked another pair of pants.” He shoved himself up and headed towards the kitchen, “you want anything, Red?”
As he pushed the door open, a woman with long red hair spilling around her came bounding down the stairs.
“Al, if you pushed her so help me!”
“Mum, I didn’t do anything! She’s just a-” Al stopped when the man behind him placed a hand on his shoulder and gave him a pointed look. He also wore glasses but his were a rounder shape and his dark black hair hung down to the rims. The resemblance between the two was unmistakable.
“Rose, did he push you?”
“No Ginny, I just tripped. Al didn’t do anything.”
Al smiled triumphantly at his mother who gave him a look that immediately wiped it off of his face. She quickly pulled her hair back and braided it expertly before pulling her wand from her pocket. She opened up the torn cloth and began humming to herself as she placed the tip of the wand on the wound. The blood began to disappear and the open skin slowly fused back together. She smiled at the girl and finished repairing her pants. As she got up to leave she placed a kiss on the little girl’s forehead and told her and Al to get some lunch from the Kitchen, which the man had already started.
She woke up a little after seven and Nellie had her breakfast waiting for her on the tray. She smiled and asked how the girl was feeling and nodded her head excitedly when she told her she was feeling really well. Nellie told her to eat her breakfast and she would be back in half an hour and then they would take a walk around the hospital. The girl gulfed down her eggs and toast with much excitement, dying to get out of the room for the first time since she’d been here.
“Ready to go?” Nellie popped her head in the door. When she smiled her lipstick seemed even brighter against her white teeth.
“Yes, I am!”
She helped raise the patient up out of bed and linked her arm through hers. Then she began on a breathless tale of the old woman she had taken on a walk the other morning and how neither of them had noticed the back of her gown had been open the entire time! Instinctively the girls free hand flew to the back of her own gown and Nellie let out a loud, twinkling laugh.
“Don’t worry, Rose. I make sure to check now!”
They both slowed suddenly and stared back at each other. Nellie’s expression was worried and full of guilt and the girls with wonder and excitement.
“Rose.” She repeated it slowly, letting her voice only whisper it. It seemed as delicate as the actual flower.
“I- oh dear. I wasn’t supposed to-” but the girl cut her off before she could finish.
“They wanted you to remember everything on your own. We weren’t supposed to push-”
“Who’s they?” She could feel anger boiling up within her. Why wouldn’t anyone want her to know her own name? She could remember the countless times she had asked only to be ignored. She couldn’t even imagine the type of people who would want someone to go through such uncertainty.
“Well, your father.”
Rose recoiled slightly not expecting it to have been him who had not wanted her name disclosed. But she shook her shoulders lightly and pulled Nellie forward, indicating that the conversation was no longer important and mostly forgotten.
They ambled around the floor for about fifteen minutes before heading back to the room. On the way, the pair passed a large room full of comfy looking chairs facing several TV sets placed in front of long tables with piles of magazines and books. Rose slowed as a picture on The Daily Prophet caught her eye that someone was reading. Nellie didn’t seem to notice what had grabbed her attention as she herself exchanged a quick hello with a passing nurse. Rose unlinked their arms and stepped closer to the man holding the paper.
On the front was a picture of a woman with dark honey brown hair that curled down past her shoulders. She was smiling and kept looking to the left of her as if someone had been distracting her while the photographer was trying to snap a picture. Above her picture in bold letters was the heading of the article that surrounded her: Hermione Granger, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Killed Last Week in Car Crash.
The man holding the paper must have noticed someone standing in front of him and lowered it.
The man, in fact, was a boy who looked about her own age. She must have startled him because his grey eyes swelled in surprise and he moved back ever so slightly. Rose went to apologize but as she opened her mouth he threw the paper down onto the chair next to him, grabbed his bag, and pushed passed her. He rushed down the hallway, running into a woman on the way. As he collided with her, his bag fell to the ground and its contents spilled across the floor. Rose walked back to stand next to Nellie and at the commotion she had finally noticed him.
Her eyes narrowed and looked worriedly between the boy and Rose. Rose knitted her eyebrow in confusion at both of their reactions and watched him as he collected the items and shoved them back into his bag. As he reached for what appeared to be a dark blue cloak, his eyes shifted back up and made contact with Roses own. She felt a familiarity in that stare but in a second he broke the connection and ran down the remainder of the hall and shoved open the Exit doors to the stairs.
“Nellie, do you know who that was?”
Nellie remained silent and looked back at her with a blank expression.
“I think it’s best we take you back don’t you? Don’t want to exhaust you on your first walk!”
“Nellie-” She tugged on her arm and didn’t say another word to her for the rest of her shift.
Thankfully when the trainee had come to give Rose yet another dosage of the awful tasting medicine, it wasn’t a full cup. She told her to take it if she had trouble falling asleep. Rose could barely stand the time in between that and when the woman, who she was sure, was Ginny from the dream, came in through the door.
The next half hour she stared at the door just waiting for her to come in. With all of her anticipation and excitement she wasn’t sure a whole cup of the nasty stuff on the table could even knock her out. Rose kept going over the dream again and again which distracted her from noticing that the night healer had even come inside the room.
The red head gave a slight jump and turned quickly to face the bed.
“Oh! You startled me, I didn’t know you were awake,” her laughter chimed softly through the room. “How are you feeling?”
Rose shrugged before bringing herself into a sitting position.
“Can I ask you something?”
Her head bobbed and she smiled but Rose could see hesitation brewing in her emerald eyes. Patty must have given her the same instructions regarding what she could and couldn’t say.
“Well, I uh- I had this dream last night and it was from when I was little,” Rose paused to see her reaction but her expression hadn’t changed as she sat down in the chair. “I was playing outside a strange house with a boy named Al when I tripped and fell,” again she hesitated and for only a second, at the mention of Al, did recognition pass through the woman’s face.
“I cut open my knee pretty good and had to have his mom fix it up.”
“I see.” She attempted to smile but it looked like it hurt it.
“The thing is though, that his mom, right before she healed me, she did her hair up just like you do. She hummed the same song you did last night.”
The healer inhaled a deep breath and leaned forward taking Rose’s hands in hers.
“Do you know who I am?”
“I know your name is Ginny. I know you’re that boy’s mother.”
“Al.” She said as she kissed the back of her hand.
“But you’re not my mother.”
She shook her head slowly and tears welled up in her eyes. “No, No I’m not your mother. But I am your aunt.”
I nodded my head slowly, already figuring this was the case. I asked her why our family had not come to see me or why she had been avoiding me while I was awake.
“Avoiding you? I would never avoid you Rose! They wouldn’t allow me to see you while you were awake. They wanted you to remember on your own and thought if I tried to push you into it, the reaction would be bad.”
“You mean my father hasn’t let anyone.”
She didn’t respond but a look of annoyance spread over her fair face, creating wrinkles that had not been there before. “The healer over seeing your recovery agreed.”
“Why hasn’t he let anyone?”
Again Ginny said nothing and only tightened her grip on the girl’s hands.
“Is that why Al hasn’t come to see me?”
“He comes by about midnight to drop off my breakfast and sits with you for awhile while you’re asleep. But yes, that’s why no one has come to see you.”
“What happened, Ginny?”
She released her hands and her eyebrows pulled together showing that whatever it was, it wasn’t easy to tell.
“You were in a car accident. Everyone couldn’t believe that you were perfectly fine physically. The car had gone off the road and into a ditch. It hit a tree and the entire front end was crushed. But there you were, just sitting in there. It looked like you were sleeping.”
“You were there?”
“Not at first, but when I heard who it was, I got there as soon as I could. It was like a miracle you were okay but then when you got here you weren’t waking up and then it seemed more like a nightmare than anything. You were just lying there and breathing but you wouldn’t respond to anything.”
“So what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I remember anything?”
“We don’t really know. It might have been a curse or you could just be reacting psychologically to the accident.”
“A curse? I thought it was just a car accident?”
Her lips made a thin line on her face and she leaned forward again. Her eyes locked with the brown ones across from her and she opened her mouth but couldn’t seem to find the words. She simply stared back at Rose and shook her head seeming to have decided against telling her.
“I think I’ve said too much already. Go to sleep, Rose. I’ll have Al wake you up when he gets here.”
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