Chapter 19 : Chapter Nineteen: Fallout
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AN: I do not own Harry Potter, He belongs to J K Rowling.
It was a month after the four had collapsed and Poppy Pompfry was beside herself. Winter had come in with vengeance since that fateful October day, brought in by a storm of horrendous proportions. She let out a tired sigh and laid her aching head on her folded arms. The four of them were still in the hospital ward, unconscious, their injuries healed and fevers lowered but she just could not wake them. Albus Dumbledore had been less than helpful. In fact Poppy was beginning to suspect him of deliberately putting obstacles in her way. Albus had refused to allow Frank a pass from lessons and so the poor boy was splitting all his time between his studies and helping her find a cure. She was sure the poor young man’s grades were slipping and feared the young man was close to collapse. He was far to pale, had dark shadows under his eyes and had gone from being rather chubby to dangerously underweight. His girlfriend from Hufflepuff-Alice she thought the girls name was-may have been the only thing holding him together. She bullied him to eat, slipped him nutrient potions, made sure he was wrapped up and dragged him from his books to walk outside. The only thing she could not force him to do was sleep as Albus had tightened the curfew and removed several prefect privileges. The pair had been mocked by students from all houses, causing the young ladies temper to flair and Frank to become even more withdrawn. Poppy felt guilt for putting the two youngsters under so much pressure, she was exceedingly thankful and couldn’t bring herself to forbid Frank from researching. She closed her eyes against the weak light trying to creep past her arms. Her anger at Albus was causing her headache to worsen. He had refused to allow her any help, stating he didn’t want to panic parents who were already worried over Voldemort. Poppy ground her teeth as she remembered him stating that he was sure such a competent medi-witch as herself could have no problem in coping with only four untroublesome patients. She had felt like throttling the headmaster at the time, and the feeling hadn’t abated. In fact her ward had been busier than ever. She’d had most of the N.E.W.T and O.W.L students in close to nervous collapse having no competent replacement charms or transfiguration professor. She’d had several students from both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw suffering from exhaustion without a head of house to enforce lights out and to make sure they made it to meals. Several Slytherins had been brought into the hospital wing suffering duelling injuries-their gentle manipulations not being tolerated in the passed month. In fact, apart from the exam years, only Hufflepuff had managed to stay out of her care.
Poppy allowed herself a smile, thinking that at least some students were trying to helping fact she had been shocked into immobility when the four boys had appeared before her. James Potter, Severus Snape, Lucius Malfoy and Sirius Black had sworn a wizard’s oath to be of assistance to her. Poppy sat back in her seat and cricked her neck, eyes still closed. They had helped her as well. Putting any differences aside they had worked out a roster to watch over the unconscious four, leaving her free to deal with the others flooding in. Lucius had cajoled Professor Slughorn into allowing them unlimited access to the potions laboratory and store cupboard. Severus and James had then systematically provided her with calming droughts, pepper-up potions, nutrient potions and bruise salves. Sirius had been an all round drudge. He fetched, carried, filed, copied and even cleaned. He’d forced them all to stop, providing cups of tea and meals from goodness knows where, Poppy had been to grateful to care how he’d got around the house-elves. The four boys had also set up a study club with Frank so each boy could help the other. Alice had joined them upon occasion. She’d even heard rumours that they were helping Mr.Filch in looking after Hagrid’s animals. Poppy had to admit she was very proud of them. The sun went behind a cloud and Poppy dared open her eyes, only for them to land on Minevera’s still form. She frowned and ran her eyes expertly over the other patients, realising there had been no change her bad temper returned full force causing her head to throb. Dumbledore knew something of this she was sure. He was being very furtive when openly questioned and he was leaving the castle secretly. He’d sneered at her when she had related Frank’s idea, dismissing any research into that area as a ridiculous waste of time as only Remus was a freak.
Unable to take it anymore Poppy pushed to her feet and started pacing, her anger not allowing her to stay still. Frank looked up from his book in worry having not seen the medi-witch this agitated since they’d had to leave Remus on the last full moon. He was debating asking what was wrong when Sirius rushed into the hospital wing looking both worried and excited at the same time. He slid to a stop in front of the worn desk causing Poppy to stop pacing and Frank to loose his place. Noticing James, Lucius and Severus also sidle in and take seats quietly, Frank gave his research up as a bad job and turned a questioning face to Sirius.
Not pausing to catch a breath or explain anything Sirius burst out, “research Hellavan.”
Seeing identically blank looks on the faces of both Poppy and Frank he looked around at the three boys sitting by the door. Severus took pity on him and walked over to place a hand on the exhausted Gryffindor’s shoulder. Looking at Madame Pompfry and directly into Frank’s eyes Severus explained. “That Monday Siri and James had been worried about Remus. He was missing all of Sunday and when he returned to the dorm Monday morning he fell asleep. They told us,” he indicated at himself and Lucius, “and after dinner that night we all met in the clearing Frank found Remus.” Severus shifted guiltily, “He told us he had been to see Dumbledore on the Sunday, he explained about his dreams after the full moons and a message he had bee told to give Dumbledore. The only bit we can all remember is the name Hellavan. We’ve talked about it and finally decided it may have something to do with the professors’, Hagrid’s and Remus’ collapse. We also think Hellevan may be a group of people, but we cannot decide how we think this. Remus also mentioned the message giver was a real person and not just a dream…” Severus stopped, eyeing Frank’s excited face with worry. “I think Frank can enlighten us with what or who Hellavan is.”
Poppy picked up the scroll she had found in Remus’ pocket and waved it at the four boys. “Could this be something to do with all that?” she asked, “the name is a bit smudged but I think it could have something to do with that woman you said he mentioned. I’ve read it and it made no sense to me but if what you say is true then she ties in with all this.”