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Chapter 16 : Wake Me From This Nightmare
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Chapter 16. Wake Me From This Nightmare
I was seriously uncomfortable.
And my brain felt sluggish and hazy, and I didn't like it.
I grunted and shook my head to try and clear the fog, but it turned out to be a very bad idea. My once throbbing head now felt like a drum at a Weird Sisters concert.
I whimpered a complaint, and tried prying open my own eyes. They felt heavy, and seemed almost glued together.
White. That's all I could say about my current whereabouts. White everywhere; piercing, almost illuminating, white.
I was distantly aware of a beeping in the distance, and soft footsteps rushing on the other side of the white wall I'd just noticed. There was a door, and it was closed. My squinted eyes followed the outline of the room I was in, trying to gather as much information about it as possible.†
There was a window, and the blinds were closed, and I inwardly thanked the person who'd saw fit to do it. Sunlight would only have worsened my eyes' aversion to brightness.
Suddenly, someone crossed into my peripheral vision, and I tried to focus on the moving being. My eyesight was still too hazy to see any distinct characteristics, so I had no idea who it could be. But it looked like the frame of a man. He had light hair. And he was sitting down on one of the three chairs located randomly around the room. He chose the one by the window, apparently he'd gotten up to open it to let some fresh air in. I caught a whiff of something.
You know how you can sometimes smell the snow, or a very cold day? Yes, that's what I caught a whiff of.
My nose began itching and I started lifting my hand to do something about it, but it wouldn't do as I commanded. It still lay there, by my side, limp and useless. I found this strange, but my mind was too blurry to worry about it too much.
My vision had gotten clearer by the second, and I could now distinctly see that I was definitely in some kind of hospital room. It hadn't been until then that I'd realised I was residing in a bed. A bed with very white sheets, which was a contrast to the four different coloured tubes and wires connected to my arms.
And I could also fully see who was in the room with me.
His fingers were pulling on his lower lip in deep thought, he had obviously not shaved in days and his blonde hair fell into his stormy blue eyes.
"Dad?" I croaked, and my voice sounded nothing like me. It was weak and hoarse.
Dad's head whipped in my direction and I noticed the deep blue shadows under his eyes. He looked like that annoying, glittering vampire in those movies Clover had forced me to watch.
"Del?" he said, allowing some emotion into his voice. It took him a second to figure out how to stand up, but when he did he rushed over to me and grabbed my face between his hands. His feverish kisses met my cheeks and forehead, and I giggled like a five-year-old. He hadn't done that since I was a little girl. Now that I thought about it he always did that when I'd gotten away from him at a mall or something and he hadn't been able to find me for several hours. The kisses and hugs were always followed up by a lecture, though, and that thought sobered me up. What had I done now?
Dad leaned back, tears shimmering in his very blue eyes. "You're back."
This confused me, and I scrunched up my eyebrows. The movement hurt, and I quickly let them go back to normal. Why was I hurting so much all over?
"I thought..." he began, and took a deep breath through the nose. "It doesn't matter what I thought. You're here now, and that's what matters."
"What's going on, Dad?" I asked in my tiny voice. I didn't want to risk trying to clear it. It'd undoubtedly hurt like hell - like everything else did.
Dad studied my face, his hands still cupping each cheek. They almost covered my entire face due to their large size. My father's hands had always been source of great comfort to me. They had held my hand when I was scared, pushed back my hair when I was sick... They were safe.
He looked away, removing his hands.
I didn't feel so safe anymore.
"Dad, tell me," I said in a raspy voice. I would've propped myself up on my elbows so I could have seen Dad more clearly, but I was too weak.
"Del..." he began, sounding exhausted. "What's the last thing you remember?"
I thought about that for a second. It was harder than I anticipated.
"I-I don't really know..." I admitted. My head was hurting again. I hated this.
Dad sighed, it was like he was prepared for this. Like he'd expected my memory loss somehow.
"Del, my dear, you... You had an accident."
"What?" I wheezed, not able to raise my voice as loud as I wanted.
"There was an incident," he explained further and sat down on the edge of my bed. "Clover said tha-"
"Clover?" I asked, starting to get panicked. I couldn't remember a thing! "Clo was there? Is she okay? Was she hurt?"
"No, no... It wasn't that sort of accident, dear."
"Then what, Dad?" I asked exasperatedly. "Just tell me already."
"Well, you were both walk-"
"Adella!" someone shouted and I was suddenly tackled by a pair of shaky arms. "You're awake! I-I was so scared, but here you are!"
"Mum," I said in a muffled voice. She was squeezing me tight, and was almost cutting off my air supply. "Mum, I can't breathe."
"Oh, sorry, sweetheart," she said in a choked manner. Dear lord, please say she's not crying. I hate to be around people who are crying. Plus that's how I could tell how serious this situation was.
She leaned away and I gulped. Tears. Mum was shedding tears.
"You're crying," I stated while I looked at Mum. "Seriously, what's going on?"
They exchanged anxious glances.
"Come on," I whined, voice still rough as if I'd been partying all night. "Just tell me! What, did someone die or something?"
It was a rhetorical question.
I didn't expect them to actually look as if this was the case.
"What?" I breathed out, the machine-thingy monitoring my heart beat went crazy. "Someone died?"
"Adella, you need to calm do-"
"I will not fucking calm down!" I interrupted.†I was aware that I was sounding hysterical, but I lacked the capability to do anything about it. "Did - someone - die? Answer me!"
"Honey, we will tell you, just-just take a deep breath. You can't stress right now, it's not good for you," Mum calmly instructed me.
I did as she said. She wouldn't have stopped nagging until I did, anyway.
"Okay," Mum started as she sat down on the other side of the bed, Dad looked awful, "you had an accident."
"Du-uh," I groaned. Very teenage girl-ish.
"You fell, honey," Dad said. "You were running up a staircase, tripped, fell... and landed on your stomach."
So this is what fear felt like. Numbness combined with the fact that if I dared feel the extent of my emotions I'd surely topple over and choke to death on my own tears.
I was vaguely aware of Mum and Dad trying to gather my attention. It wasn't until I felt Dad's hands holding onto one of mine that I snapped out of my catatonic state.
"Are they-?" I couldn't finish the question, and instead bit my trembling lip.
"The baby girl is fine," Mum informed me. I didn't feel any better.
"And the boy?" I asked, voice shaking along with my hands.
Neither of them said anything.
"Tell me!" I screamed as loud as I could. It ripped my throat.
"We don't know yet," Dad murmured, almost ashamed that he didn't have the answer to his daughter's question.
"You don't know?" I repeated in a hiss. "How can you not know?"
"The Healers are doing their best," Mum assured me and grabbed my hand. I pushed it away, finally strong enough to move it as I pleased.
"It obviously isn't enough," I seethed. I moved my hands away from my sides and put a lot of effort into sliding them to the top of my swollen belly. It felt sore.
"Adella, I'm so sorry, but-"
"Get me someone who knows," I ordered. "I want answers."
Mum and Dad looked at each other and seemed to have a silent conversation, which ended with him nodding.
"Fine," he agreed, and got up from his seat. "I'll go get Healer Chang."
I was now alone with Mum. Her tears unnerved me, and I had difficulty staying calm in her shaky presence.
"Mum,' I interrupted the silence, "could you get me some water or something? I'm really thirsty."
Mum immediately bounced up from the bed, glad for something to do, and after kissing my forehead forty times, she went on her mission.
I basked in the stillness that followed after her departure. I thought it'd be better to be on my own, without parents stressing me out, but I was oddly lonely. My hands tenderly caressed my stomach, and I winced a couple times when I met a particularly sore spot.
In the middle of my dark thoughts, someone saw fit to knock on my door.
"Come in," I croaked, and tried to sit up. The door opened, and my breath got caught in my throat when I saw him.
There was a moment where we just looked at each other. Chase's chest was heaving, and then he slowly stepped toward me.
His face was blank, and he remained silent while making his way closer to me. No words were spoken, even after he'd reached the bed and began fiddling with the abnormally white sheets.
"You okay?" I asked him when the silence started choking me.
"You're asking me if I'm okay?" he whispered to me. I nodded, confused.
Chase focused his eyes down at his hands, and swallowed hard before letting out a breath that vibrated.
"You're the one who's been at St Mungo's in a coma for the past nine days, and you are asking me if I'm okay..." he repeated.
My chest constricted.
"Nine days?" I whispered.
Chase froze and looked up.
"They didn't tell you? I thought tha-"
"No. No, they didn't."
"What do you know?" he questioned, brows furrowed.
"I know," I drew a deep breath, and forced away the tears, "about the baby boy. And that they don't know whether or not he will..."
I let out a dry sob, and Chase grasped my hand before sitting down on his knees so we were at eye-level.
"Hey, hey," he whispered tenderly. "Everything will be okay. It'll work out - it has to work out."
Tears were trickling down my face by now, and Chase kissed my salty cheek. My skin burned where his lips met it.
"Del, I-I... I promise, everything will be okay," he kept whispering in my ear. "Both those babies will be happy and healthy by the time you're ready to have them, okay? And 'll be here until they do."
"How-how can y-y-ou know that?" I sob. "W-why are you s-so sure it'll wo-work out?"
"Because," he told me, "it just has to."
He kissed my cheek again.
"The world can't be that cruel, I refuse to believe it," Chase whispered very quietly.
His†calloused fingers gently grazed my chin, and he tilted my head up a bit.
"Del," he mumbled, "I have to tell you s-"
"Oh, excuse me, I must have gone in the wrong- No, this is the right room! Adella!" Clover screamed, and her rapid footsteps suggested that she was running toward me. I heard Chase let out a sigh as he got up from his position on the floor.
"Hi, Clo," I greeted half-heartily.
"You almost gave me a heart attack, you know!" she reprimanded while attacking me with hugs. "I, like, totally hate you!"
"That's nice," I responded, and made eye contact with Chase. He smiled sympathetically.
"Ah, I see your friends are back," I heard Dad comment, and Clo immediately stepped away from me.
"Oh, hi, Mr Malfoy!" she chirped and blushed. Oh, yeah, she had a thing for my dad. I tried not to think about it too much.
"Hello, Clover," Dad responded and gave her a quick smile. Clo almost peed her pants.
Blimey. I mean, Dad wasn't a troll, or anything, but he wasn't that amazing. I bet Clover would beg to differ, though; she always begged to differ when it came to my opinion of my father's looks.
"Healer Chang's not on duty till tomorrow, but her assistant will be right in to check on you," Dad informed me, and I suddenly felt really nervous. What if the Healer assistant only had bad news? Now that I'd finally gotten used to the idea of having two rugrats, one of them was taken away from me?
No. I couldn't think about it.
I just had to go into denial-mode. Which was too easy, really.
"Is Bray here?" I asked Clo, and I got my immediate answer when she grimaced. "Oh, okay."
Silence. An awkward one.
"Has he been here at all, or...?"
"He was here," Chase responded quickly before Clo could cut him off, and she turned to look at him. I couldn't see her face, but Chase's expression clearly said that he was ignoring whatever she did. "A couple of days ago."
I smiled. I knew he cared!
"Here's your water, darli- Oh!" Mum walked into the crowded room, and was taken aback by the limited space she could move around in. "I though I told you two to go back and get some sleep," she reprimanded, and Clo and Chase dropped their gaze to the floor.
Mum huffed, and made her way to my bed with the glass of ice water. She handed me the beverage, and sat down on the chair next to my bed.
"Now that you two have seen that Del's all right, I strongly advise you to go back to school again. You can come back tomo-"
"I'm sorry, Mrs Malfoy-Granger, but I'd rather stay here," Chase told my Mum with conviction. I had to give him credit. People rarely stood up to my mother. She was the Minister of magic, after all.
"Me, too," Clo agreed and went over to stand by Chase like they were some united front.
"You two being exhausted won't help Adella's recovery," Mum reasoned with them. "Come back tomorrow when you're both rested. I've prepared a portkey for you to return here tomorrow after your classes are finished, I've already sorted it out with McGonagall."
Oh, so that's why it took her so long to get me that water.†
Chase glanced at me from the corner of his eye. Clover was still very engaged in staring down her own shoelaces.
It's okay, I mouthed to him, and he nodded.
Chase scrunched up his nose before sighing like an annoyed child. "Fine," he murmured, and grabbed Clo's wrist. "Come on, Clo, let's go back."
"But-but what about-"
"You're very welcome to return here tomorrow, Clover," Dad interrupted her, and I swear her knees buckled a bit. With rolling eyes, Chase began dragging Clo out of the room after bidding me a goodbye.
He left with the promise of returning the next day.
For me, tomorrow couldn't have come fast enough.
"Good day, Miss Malfoy-Granger, I'm Healer Chang," said the asian woman in the blue robes. She had her hair up in a bun at the top of her head, a pair of earrings made of peacock feathers, her make-up was perfectly done, and she had a professional smile on her face.
I actually knew her, I just realised.
"I know you," I voiced my thoughts. "You've been at every Memorial Banquet since I can remember. You're Cho Chang."
Healer Chang's strict smile didn't falter. "I am."
Cool? Very eloquent, Del. Good use of that vocabulary of yours.
"Yes," she agreed, and her lip quirked a bit, "I suppose it is."
I grinned awkwardly and put the sheets closer up to my chin. There were only the two of us in my room at St Mungo's, and I suddenly wished for the annoying presence of my over-protective mother.
I'd thanked some higher power when her leading-the-wizarding-country job called for her immediate attention - she had been at my side since I woke up, and I'd gotten my fill of her incessant fiddling. She was either tapping away on her wizPad or force-feeding me green(supposedly healthy) jell-o - both were highly annoying.
But now that Mum wasn't here, and Dad had been asked to leave while a gynaecologist examined me, I was alone with Cho Chang(whom I know for a fact got dumped by Harry in their younger years) - and it wasn't too comfortable.
"I talked to†Healer Stills, the woman who just examined you, and I'm afraid that I've got some bad news."
This couldn't happen. Chase promised me it wouldn't happen.
"Your fall unfortunately caused a small fracture to the one featus' cranium, and we can't seem to remedy it with the limited equipment that we have at hand."
"And this means...?"†
"We have to move you to a facility just south of Glasgow. They specialize in cases like these."
"Cases like these?" I repeated, and my voice cracked.
Chang looked at me. Her features softened a bit.
"Foetal trauma," she said.†
I started hyperventilating.
"Listen, Adella," she told me as she stepped closer to put her hand on my shaking shoulders, "I'm sure they can help you."
"Really?" I asked, hopeful tears in my eyes.
But I could see doubt and concern in her tilted, almost black eyes. So even though I wanted to believe her more than anything, I just couldn't.
But I smiled at her, nonetheless, and thanked her for what she'd done.
"I wish you the best, Miss Malfoy-Granger," Chang said and stepped away. She was almost out the door when she turned around, her peacock-feather earrings dangling. "Tell Harry hi from me."
"Will do." I couldn't keep the smirk off my face, and when she left I let out a little giggle. Oh, my uncles would get a kick out of that.
"Knock, knock," someone said between the crack between the door and its frame. "Arst thou decent, milady?"
I rolled my eyes.
"I am. Thou mayest enter, mistress," I said in a falsetto voice, and waited for my freak of a best friend to step into view.
When she did, she took one step before she curtsied. I chuckled.
"Doth the lady protest to a gentleman caller?"
"I... dothn't." That was most definitely not the right way of saying this, but I wasn't as much of a Jane Austen fan as Clo. "He may enter my chambers."
She curtsied again. "As you wi-"
"Oh, Potter's freckled arse..." I heard someone grunt on the other side of the door, and Clover stomped her foot in irritation.
"Cha-ase!" she whined, and turned to give him an evil glance. "You, like, totally ruined the moment we just had going!"
"Well, your moment was taking more than a moment, and I wasn't waiting another lifetime for you guys to wrap things up." Chase stepped inside and I immediately smiled. "Hello, lazybones."
"Hi, fartface," Clo muttered under her breath.
"I didn't say hello to you, Clover," he said sweetly with an edge of irritation. I could only imagine; being with a stressed, sleep-deprived and hungry†Clover for over a week... I was actually glad I was in a coma for most of it.
"So how was school?" I asked, turning their focus elsewhere.†
"Boring. As per usual," Clo told me and slumped down on my bed. "Must you take all the space, Preginator? Scootch over."
I needed this. Some normalcy.
"More importantly, Del, how are you?" Chase inquired, and uit his hands in his pockets.
"They're moving me to another hospital." My voice sounded fake; too calm to be real. "Specialists, better equipment, and...yeah."
"That's good, right? At least something's happening."
Clover put the sheets over herself and snuggled closer to me. She used to do this when we were younger and she'd woken up from a bad dream. I guess she hadn't been sleeping too well lately. I wondered if Kat was the same... And Tristan! Oh, how I missed him and his quirkiness!
"You know, it's kind of like a silver lining," he continued, and I snorted.
"How's that a silver lining?" I asked him.
"You have to really wanna see it," he admitted, and gave me his tilted-head-and-lopsided-grin kind of smile. I smiled back.
"So, how are the people back at school? Bray, Deuce...Tristan. They okay?"
"Everyone's fine," Chase said, but he looked away. "Bray's away alot, doing whatever; Deuce keeps nagging everyone about the upcoming game against Gryffindor and stalking that Jade-bird; and Tristan... That's that dude who sits by you in Human Relations, right?" I nodded. "Well, he's been here a couple of times while you were...you know."
"He was?" I bet my face lit up when he said this.
"Yeah, not too talkative, though, at least not with any of us." He kept on looking away. If I wasn't so engaged in his story rather than his facial expressions, I would've noticed the dismay. But that wasn't the case.†
"Oh?" He's always talkative with me.†
I didn't say that out loud.
"Yeah, but he insisted on talking to you, though. Alone."†
"It was really weird," Clover cut in with her sleepy voice. "He would sit for hours by your bed and talk to you. One time when I eavesdropped I heard him telling you about Disneyland, and how he hugged some mouse. It - was - weird."
A loud laugh escaped me. The noise and the sudden movement must've triggered something, because just then I felt something. A movement in my stomach.
"They're kicking!" I muttered to myself and grabbed my belly. "I can feel them again. I-I haven't since...since I woke up yesterday."
"That's brilliant!" Chase finally looked at me again as he ran over to put his own hands on top of my planet-sized stomach, Clo's palm was already placed over my peek-a-boo navel.
"They are! They really are kicking!" Clover exclaimed, and we exchanged happy glances. "Woah, what are they doing in there? Break-dancing?"
"Did you guys know that Deuce took break-dance classes?" Chase asked, finding this fact very amusing indeed and grinning like a cheshire cat.
"What? When did this happen?" I asked. Clover was gasping for air at this point, and clutched her stomach in hysterical laughter.
"Summer before third," Chase informed us, and chuckled evilly. "There was a recital and everything."
"Are you serious?" Clover and I were rolling around laughing at this, and Chase looked pretty pleased with himself for bringing the comedy.
Later that afternoon I was carefully escorted to a room filled with several massive elevator-looking things, rolled into one and minutes later found myself in a comfortable lobby. Placed around the room there were grand, plush, deep purple chairs, and there was a kind of soft lighting and the faint smell of clean linens mixed with eucalyptus.
"Miss Malfoy-Granger, I presume?" A woman dressed in very normal clothes walked over to me, and nodded to the three healers that'd come along with me. Dad was coming later, traveling by portkey.†
I nodded. The healers said their goodbyes and left me alone with the waiting woman. She was probably around Mum's age, and her smile made me feel secure. I immediately understood that this was a woman who would do her very best to help me.
"I should probably introduce myself," she said and put out her hand. I took it. "I'm Laurie."
"Hi, Laurie," was my meek response. "I-I'm Adella."
"Oh, I know who you are, my dear," she said with a chuckle and began pushing my wheelchair through a double mahogany door. "I delivered you."
My head whipped back to look at her.
"I know your mother pretty well, as a matter of fact."
"Oh! You're that Laurie!" I suddenly remembered in the farthest back of my mind that Mum had mentioned her once or twice before.†
"I sure am." She chuckled to herself. "And I must say that this is very special for me. I've never delivered the babies of both mother and daughter before. It's pretty amazing, really."
"It's freaky..." I mumbled.
She laughed. I didn't think she'd heard me.
"Yes, a bit of that, too."
The blush crept into my cheeks while she rolled me down a soft peach-coloured hallway with fresh flowers on small tables every few feet and a tall window at the end.
"So," she started after stopping in front of a door with the number five on it painted with silver, "I thought I'd explain to you what we'll do now that you're here."
Laurie paused when she opened the door and pushed me inside it. I gasped; it was beautiful. Large windows covered a large portion of the wall out to the wildest and most gorgeous scenery I'd seen in a long time. It sort of reminded me of Hogwarts - of home. White snow covered the rough moors and crooked trees, giving the feel of complete serenity.
"I hope you like your room," Laurie said softly and gave me a moment to take it all in before rolling me toward the massive four poster bed that was the crowning jewel of the room.
"It's beautiful," I whispered, awestruck.
Laurie sat down on the bed, facing me.
"We start tomorrow morning," she said after a few seconds of comfortable silence. "You will be put on a special diet and we will do a few tests on the foetus, and I promise you that things will be much clearer for you. We will figure this out. No more incertainty."
My eyes watered and I had to look away.
"I will do my best." She put her hand on top of mine. "I hope you know that."
I nodded again. Tears choking me.
There was reason to hope.
Hate it/love it? Please tell me :)
What do you think will happen to Del's little baby boy? What do you wish would happen?
PS: The next chapter will be in Clover's PoV. Be excited for that ;)
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