Chapter 11 : How to Save a Life
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I spent the rest of the day with Rose at Scorpius’s side. As she watched over him, I watched everyone else. Every bed had a hurt person in it. I found out from Madame Pomfrey that no one had died, thank Merlin, but a few kids had been sent to St. Mungo’s for serious injuries that couldn’t be treated here.
As I interrogated the nurse, it came to my attention that, apparently, the students that were lying on the floor in the Three Broomsticks had, actually, stunned themselves, preferring it to death. They simply wanted everybody to leave them alone rather than be killed trying to fight.
It seemed a bit cowardly in my opinion, however, it was clever. Not clever enough for me to ever consider, but a good option for someone who needed it.
Though I was beyond grateful for the lack of fatalities, it raised a red flag for me. Shouldn’t Death Eaters be able to overpower a bunch of unaware students?
Al sat by my side throughout it all, too. He comforted Rose, chatted with me, and, surprisingly, really acted like a friend to Scorpius. Throughout the day they had gotten to know each other and acted like old friends. In fact, it was as if they never hated each other. They laughed together, told each other about their idiotic childhood adventures that led to unnecessary broken bones or scars, and most of all, they made Rose ecstatic.
Not only did her brother and cousins accept Scorpius (even though they still didn’t particularly like him), but her favorite cousin was becoming good mates with him. I could tell by the enormous smile that she had plastered on her face when she watched the two of them talk. It got wider when they laughed.
I just sat there and watched as more people were brought in to the room. I hardly saw anybody leave, but people were walking (or limping or being carried) in every minute. At first it was just hurt kids. Then it was friends and siblings of the students that joined them. After that other family members came in. All of them looked scared, but relieved that the person they were visiting was going to be fine.
It was because of this that I wanted to be a healer. Right then and there I decided what I was going to do with my life. I wanted to help all of these people. I wanted to ease their pain, but I couldn’t right now. All I could do was watch it.
I grabbed Al’s hand; just knowing that he was near made me feel a little better. He glanced at me sitting next to him and smiled before going back to his conversation with Scorpius and Rose. I decided I should tune in and take my mind off of the people I couldn’t help.
“So, I reached forward for the snitch,” Al was saying. Scorpius looked interested in his story, but Rose was rolling her eyes. She had probably heard this before and no doubt it as a tale that played up Al’s own quidditch skills.
“And just as I was about to grab it, a bludger came straight for my hand. It had taken off my wrist guard and broken several bones in my wrist and hand, but I continued on through the pain. Unfortunately I couldn’t use my right hand, but I took my left hand off my broom, using only my balance to stay on. I surged forward and grabbed the snitch as I fell on to the pitch. Pretty impressive, huh?”
Scorpius looked confused as I felt and Rose was just shaking her head.
“I don’t remember that match, Al,” I said skeptically.
“Me neither,” Scorpius agreed with me. “When did that happen?”
“It... erm... well...” Al stammered. Rose started laughing hysterically.
“You don’t remember it,” she said still laughing, “because it didn’t happen. At least, not to Al. He stole one of Uncle Harry’s old quidditch stories from his second year. I can’t believe you bought that complete load.”
“That makes sense,” I said nodding. “I always knew Al wasn’t that good.”
“Oi!” Al said glaring at me. I just giggled at his face.
“I’m just kidding, Al, but that’s what you get. Plus, your ego could be taken down a notch, don’t you agree?” I asked smirking at his glaring face.
“You’re just jealous!” he yelled dramatically. All of the conscious students looked at him like he was insane, though the visitors were too focused on whoever they were visiting.
“All of you,” he continued loudly, “just wish you were me and--” I cupped my hand over his mouth.
“Shut it, Al. No one is jealous of you. Especially when you are that melodramatic,” I said mock-patronizingly. Al just stuck his lip out and pouted.
“Stop that. You look like a fish,” I reused his own words and smirked like him. He just pretended to be offended and said, “Ouch! That hurt my feelings. I’m never talking to you ever again.” I decided to play along.
“Oh dear Merlin, what ever shall I do? Al isn’t talking to me. Oh no,” I announced, but more quietly than Al. Scorpius and Rose were snickering at our display.
“Please,” I begged, getting on my knees. “Forgive me for my rashness and insolent words.” Al stood up and grabbed my hands, pulling me to my feet. Then, he sweeped me off my feet, both literally and virtually.
“Of course, buttercup,” he said loudly again. He gave me no time to reply because he snogged me. When we were done we stood and grabbed hands and bowed.
“Thank you, thank you,” said Al waving at everybody in the infirmary. “We’ll be here during visiting hours.” Rose and Scorpius were laughing loudly and Rose almost fell off her seat. The rest of the room was either following suit or looking at us like we were barmy.
The two of us sat down back in our seats and continued as if we hadn’t done a thing.
Once Rose and Scorp stopped laughing and started breathing again, we went back to talking until Madame Pomfrey kicked us out when visiting hours were over.
The next morning Scorp was let out of the hospital, as he was fussing about in there. The only way he could get Madame Pomfrey to agree to letting him go was to say he would rest all day and not go to classes, which he readily agreed to. Who doesn’t like a little R and R in their room?
During meal time Al and I stuffed our faces with Rose at the Gryffindor table. To our surprise, even though he was a Slytherin, Scorpius waved to his friends, Sara Zabini and Mark Phillips, who looked shocked when he plopped down next to Rose at the Gryffindor table during breakfast and kissed her on the cheek.
“Wow, Scorp,” said Rose, surprised. “When did you renounce your cunning ways and become a Gryffindor?”
“Ha ha, Rose. What? You don’t want to sit with me? That’s fine. I’ll leave.” He shuffled off of the bench, but Rose pulled him back down.
“Sit, Scorpius,” she ordered. He sat. Rose laughed and said jokingly, “Good boy! Who’s a good dog? Scorpius is!”
Al and I, who watched the whole thing from where we sat across from them, chuckled. Before we could comment further, Professor McGonagall stood at the podium and got the attention of everyone in the Great Hall.
“Excuse me, students. I have a few announcements to make. Firstly, I want to inform you that though there were many injured in yesterday’s attack on Hogwarts, no lives were lost. We do have three students in St. Mungo’s, but they are expected to make a full recovery. Secondly, we do not have any information on why Hogsmeade was attacked. This brings me to my third and final announcement. From now until we catch the people behind this, we will have Aurors guarding the entrances of the school and there will be no more Hogsmeade trips.”
There was uproar from the students, minus the first and second years who couldn’t care less, as they weren’t allowed to go. Professors stood from their seats, trying to calm everyone down, but the arguments continued.
Then, startling everyone, McGonagall’s voice boomed out and filled the room.
“Silence, students!” she said, using sonorous to amplify the volume of her voice. “The aurors that are guarding our school are the best in the Ministry. Not only will they be guarding you from harm, they will be investigating the who’s and why’s of this attack and if it’s in connection to the others.” Her voice softened as she removed the spell.
“I never wanted to shut down Hogsmeade, students, but I’m afraid it’s too dangerous until we can stop the culprits. I have decided just now, in spite of everything, that classes for today are cancelled. That is all. Continue your meal,” she finished and sat back down in her chair.
The normal cheers that this would have caused didn’t come. The combination of yesterday’s events and today’s announcement left the students scared and disappointed.
Predictably, when everyone was done with breakfast, they did one of two things. Either they went straight to visit someone in the hospital wing, or, like us (Wotter and Co.) went back to the common room and discussed everything that had happened and what was going on now.
So there we sat. Every single Potter, Weasley, and friend, including ones from other houses sat in the Gryffindor common room by the fire and talked about the attack. The only person who was missing was James, who mysteriously vanished, but no one gave much thought to it at that moment.
“What do you think they wanted?” asked little Lucy, who was the youngest, even at thirteen. She wrapped a blanked around her shoulders, looking so innocent at that moment that I wanted to hug her and make her feel better. Most of everybody just shrugged, but Dom spoke up.
“I don’t know, Luce,” she said as she sat beside Lucy and hugged her around the shoulders. “But whatever they want, we’ll find out. They won’t win.”
We sat there, thinking in silence, but I couldn’t. Al kept fidgeting beside me.
“What’s wrong, Al?” I whispered in his ear.
“James isn’t here. Where is he?” Al sounded worried. “I haven’t seen him since last night. He just left. I checked the map this morning and he’s not even in Hogwarts. When I found him yesterday to go see Rose, he looked like a wreck. I just want to know if he’s okay.”
I stood up and grabbed Al’s hand, pulling him up beside me.
“Let’s go find him, then,” I whispered to him. Then I addressed the rest of everybody.
“We’re going to go see if we can find James. We’ll be right back.” When I finished talking, Al practically dragged me out of common room with a look of pure determination on his face.
“Okay,” I started as we rushed down the corridor, Al practically yanking my arm off. “Al, slow down for one moment.” He kept going.
“Albus Severus Potter, slow down!” I shouted. Al stopped in his place, but didn’t turn and look at me.
“Al, I know you’re worried, but you don’t even know where you’re going. You won’t find James if you just run aimlessly through the halls.” He turned around and nodded.
“You’re right. Sorry, Allie.”
“Of course I’m right. I always am,” I joked. Al broke into a small grin. “Now where did you see him last?”
“In the hospital wing, right after I told him off for the Rose and Scorpius thing. That’s why I’m worried. He wasn’t happy about it. He carries dad’s childhood prejudices. Even though dad’s let it go, James hasn’t. I don’t want him to end up hurting Rose or Scorpius by doing something rash that he’ll regret in the future.” I nodded, understanding.
“We’ll go there first. We can ask Madame Pomfrey if she saw where he went. If not, we can go to McGonagall and ask her. She’ll know if anyone is off school grounds.”
We reached the hospital wing in minutes because Al was pretty much dragging me there. Bloody hell, he runs fast. I was panting loudly when we got there.
Madame Pomfrey was on the far side of the room, making her way around to each of the students and checking their conditions.
“Excuse me,” Al said politely. “Madame Pomfrey?”
“Make it quick, Mr. Potter. I’m extremely busy,” she said sternly.
“Right. Sorry. Have you seen James since yesterday? Do you know where he went? I haven’t been able to find him.” Pomfrey looked at him confusedly.
“He didn’t tell you? That’s odd. He went to visit Ms. Corner at St. Mungo’s. He left right after coming here.” I was perplexed, but understanding dawned on Al’s face.
“Thank you, Madame Pomfrey,” he said and dragged me out of the hospital wing, sprinting to Merlin knows where. I struggled to keep up with him and didn’t have the breath to ask him where we were going.
I needed to work out more.
After what seemed like forever, we ended up at the Headmistresses office. We quickly said the password and ran up the spiral stair case. Well, Al sprinted. I walked. Very slowly. Merlin, I was out of shape.
Professor McGonagall looked at us inquiringly.
“Mr. Potter. Ms. Longbottom. I can’t say I’m surprised to see you two together. Again,”she said, looking amused at her joke. I swore I saw her trying not to laugh, but she was good, so I couldn’t tell for sure.
“What do you two need?”
“We need to go see James at St. Mungo’s,” he said quickly and urgently.
“Why would you need to do that, Mr. Potter?”
“You let James go. We just need to make sure he’s okay over there.”
“I let the other Mr. Potter go because he is the one who saved Ms. Corner,” she explained. “I cannot let students leave the grounds willy nilly, Potter, it is against school policy. Plus, if I let one person go, then I have to let everyone go. So, while I visit the hospital wing, I expect both of you to not use the floo network.” She got up, gave us a knowing look, and walked the down the stairs.
Al and I looked at each other in disbelief.
“Is she really implying that we go?” I asked.
“Who cares? Let’s just leave before she decides to change her mind.” He stepped into her fireplace and yelled out “St. Mungo’s.” I followed him after he disappeared in green flames.
The floo sensation was a little unsettling. Flames were all around me, as I shot up the chimney, and it looked as if I was burning, but I felt no extra warmth.
I landed on my feet in the fireplace at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Inuries. I brushed the soot off of my school uniform and stepped out of the fireplace. Al was waiting for me expectantly. When I was done cleaning my clothes off, we walked up to the elevator and checked the floors.
First floor was dubbed “Creature Induced Injuries” and the second was “Magical Bugs and Diseases”. The third was “Potions and Plant Poisoning”, but the fourth was the one we were looking for; “Spell Damage”. We stepped into the elevator, grabbed hold of the grips that hung from the ceiling for stability and pressed button four.
We shot up at top speed, shaking and occasionally hitting each other in the turbulence. Finally, we reached our floor. The pair of us walked up to the reception desk to speak with the lady behind the desk.
“Excuse me,” I said courteously. The receptionist was too busy to notice me. She was furiously scribbling something on to a piece of paper and there were three other quills doing the same next to her. She mumbled her words as she wrote them down and kept pushing her black hair behind her ear every time it fell onto her parchment.
“Excuse me,” I said louder. “Ma’am?” I poked her on the top of the head. She stopped writing and the self-scribbling quills stopped as well.
“Oh, sorry,” she apologized, sounding exhausted and stressed. “I’ve just had so much paperwork since all the attacks recently.” Al and I were both perplexed.
“I thought there were only three,” inquired Al. “The two in the papers and the one at Hogsmeade.” The receptionist looked horrified and her brown eyes widened.
“Oh, Merlin’s pants. Bloody hell,” she cursed. “I wasn’t supposed to say anything. The ministry didn’t want to panic people. Please don’t say anything. I could lose my job.” She looked at us desperately.
“Of course we won’t,” I said reassuringly and Al nodded in agreement. “We just want to know where Claire Corner’s room is.” Relief was plain on her face.
“Thank you so much. It is the first door on your right, down that hall. You guys are life savers.”
With one last wave at the lady behind the desk, we headed for Claire’s room. Quietly, we walked inside. James was sitting by Claire’s bedside and he didn’t even notice us. Claire, on the other hand, couldn’t notice us as she was sleeping soundly.
Al cleared his throat and James looked over at us in surprise.
“What are you doing here?” he asked us.
“Well, no one has seen you since yesterday and I got worried, James. I thought you might do something to break up Scorp and Rose,” Al answered.
“No. Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Al. I don’t like ‘Scorp’, as you call him, but I see that Rosey is happy. I wouldn’t do that. Especially when I know how it feels to love someone like she does.” He looked down at Claire’s sleeping face.
“What happened to her?” I asked James, sitting in the chair on the other side of Claire’s bed. James’s face hardened.
“She was hit with the Crutiatus Curse. The healers say that she was tortured for too long. Her body couldn’t handle the pain and she went unconscious to block it out. For a while she was touch and go, but she woke up about an hour ago and ate a little food before going back to sleep. I wasn’t there, but a nurse told me about it. The healers say she just needs to sleep and regain her strength.” I nodded, smiling slightly.
“If she already woke up, then she’ll be just fine. You don’t need to worry about her, James,” I said, trying to ease his concern. He nodded, but still looked worried. “Where are her parents?” I asked, just noticing their absence.
“They went on vacation to some island somewhere. I don’t remember the details and I don’t have the letter they sent me anymore. When I sent them the letter about their daughter... it was like they didn’t care. They could have apparated back, but they didn’t. ‘Wanted to finish their vacation’ they said.” James looked disgusted.
“Hey,” I said, grabbing his hand. “You’re here for her. She has you and that’s all that matters.” He brushed some hair off of her face, and then the corners of his lips lifted up.
“Thanks, Allie. I can see why Al cares about you.” I blushed, but remained silent as Al pulled up another chair next to his brother. We all sat around her in silence, waiting for her to wake up again.
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