Chapter 11 : The Hospital
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By that time we were all feeling a bit pissed off with James for jumping out of the window and instigating the situation we then found ourselves in: trapped outside by walls of snow that were threatening to collapse at any minute, in sub-zero temperatures, and not even a blanket between us.
But luckily, the healers swept in on broomsticks before anything major happened. I have never been relieved to see doctors in my life – and I usually hate anything to do with hospitals, being as squeamish as I am – but this was a bloody relief, I can tell you.
Someone official-looking took our names and then agreed to apparate us to St. Mungo’s using the special apparition pass they had all been given for the day, to help with evacuation from storm damage and places like this. We kept trying to get information about the size of the storm and the amount of damage it had done, but he refused to answer our questions, and by the time we landed in the lobby of St. Mungo’s we didn’t even care anymore. All we wanted was to make sure Fed and Lily – and anyone else we had yet to hear of – were alive and kicking.
James approached the stressed-looking receptionist, who was being inundated with calls and owls due to the storm. The wizarding wireless was playing in the background, and I managed to pick out a few words.
-latest statistics reveal that there are rumoured to be nine recorded fatalities, six muggle and three magical, in Hogsmeade and the surrounding vicinity which includes three muggle villages and one town…
-twenty people still believed to be missing, and the hospital of St. Mungo’s is full to bursting with minor casualties…
It sounded big. I didn’t know what the storm had been classified as yet- snowstorm? Blizzard? Hurricane? But it had certainly caused enough damage.
“Fred Weasley and Lily Potter, yes,” James was saying. “What ward are they in?”
“Err…” the flustered receptionist rifled through piles of notes. “Healer Kenworth’s ward, ground floor. Take that corridor,” the woman gestured, and the five of us rushed off in the right direction. It didn’t take us very long to find Healer Kenworth’s ward; Harry Potter was standing outside it.
James and Dom immediately rushed over to Harry, and he shot them a strained smile once he’d looked up and seen them. Eve, Annie and I hung back, unsure what to do.
“James,” he said, standing up and hugging him thankfully. “Thank god I’ve caught you – I was just leaving. Lily’s at home now. Are you ok?”
“We were trapped in The Three Broomsticks overnight,” James replied. “Dom, too.”
“Dom,” Harry smiled kindly. “Bill and Fleur are worried sick about you. It’d be best to floo home; Professor McGonagall has given permission for all students to return home for a few days.
I frowned. There was no way I’d be able to get home; my house wasn’t connected to the floo network, and I couldn’t apparate, and unless someone knew where my house was I couldn’t ask anyone else to apparate me.
“Oh… ok, thanks for telling me. I’ll floo in a moment,” Dom was tying her hair into a knot on the top of her head. I rubbed my eyes wearily, and the movement attracted the attention of James’s dad. James motioned for us to come forward.
“I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure,” Harry said, looking at Annie, Eve and I appraisingly, then holding his hand out for me to shake.
Tentatively, I shook hands with the saviour of the wizarding world. Even though my family weren’t magical, they had lived through the war, and when I came to Hogwarts I discovered that my grandmother had been murdered by a Death Eater- not died from a heart attack like my parents believed. So I could fully appreciate everything this man must have done, when he was just my age, and I was more than slightly in awe of him. I sort of felt like anything I did or said would seem too shallow and stupid.
“Hollie Parker, sir,” I introduced myself.
“Call me Harry, please,” Harry grinned.
“I’m Eve Turner,” Eve said reluctantly.
“And this is… my girlfriend, Annie Summers,” James flushed slightly, and took Annie’s hand. I crossed my arms and smirked at his deer-in-the-headlights expression. He glared at me defiantly.
“Is she now? I didn’t know you had a girlfriend, James.” Harry rolled his eyes. “He never tells me anything,” he winked at Annie and shook her hand as well. “Pleased to meet you, Annie.”
“Well, yesterday was our first date. And, well, obviously…it didn’t quite go as planned…” James explained, blushing again and looking around at the various charts and portraits lining the corridor walls. I remembered who we were actually here for in the first place, and glanced nervously at Harry before speaking.
“Erm… is Fred in there? Because we’re all really worried about him… and we sort of came to find out what’s happened to everyone.”
“Oh, yes, of course,” Harry moved away from the door. “He’s the first bed on the right. A girl called Zoey is with him, can’t say I’m sure why. She was pretending to be a Healer, but it was pretty obvious she wasn’t,” he smiled again, and turned to James as the rest of us walked into the ward.
I saw Zoey first, looking very disgruntled in a too-big Healer outfit that she’d probably nicked from a storeroom. Then there was Fred lying in the bed next to her, looking as right as rain, apart from the leg that was heavily bandaged and propped up on a pile of pillows.
“Guys!” his smile was so wide that it stretched to America. “You came for meee!”
“Of course, you moron,” I hugged him tightly. “We were worried to death about you. What did you go and get lost for?!”
“I sincerely apologise.”
“What happened?” Annie asked, her hand over her mouth as she inspected Fred’s injury.
“A falling tree branch,” Fred shrugged. “I know it’s awesome. I’ll have battle scars now.”
“Well, at least you’re not dead,” Eve smiled.
“You wish,” Fred said, before flopping back onto the pillows with his tongue out. “Shee? I’m deabd bow.”
“I think he means ‘I’m dead now’,” Dom interpreted wisely for us. “This is technically the only thing you can never say truthfully. So, Fred, you are a big fat liar.” Fred sat up and scowled,
“Shouldn’t you be running off to your mummy by now?”
“Shut up,” Dom said. Fred just stuck his tongue out at her.
“Hey, where’s James?” he then asked, clutching his heart. “Doesn’t he care about me?!”
“I’m here,” James called, trudging across the room to us. “Was just talking to dad. Apparently no-one form Hogwarts has actually been killed, but there are plenty of injuries – so, yeah, we’ve all been sent home for a few days so the teachers can get organised and stuff.” James grinned at Fred and thumped his arm. “Good to see you alive and kicking, mate.”
“I don’t have any way of getting back home,” I frowned.
“You can come home with me then!” Dom’s face lit up at the prospect.
“So you can keep her sane while she’s with her evil family,” Fred sniggered.
“They turned my room into a private gym!” Dom snarled. “They are made of pure evil!”
“Look on the bright side,” Fred chuckled. “At least you’ll be able to work out in the familiarity of your own room!”
Yep, Fred was perfectly ok. Although looking around the ward, I recognised quite a few of the other bed occupants; including Rachel Adams. Dom spotted who I was looking at and smirked devilishly. She grabbed my wrist.
“Let’s go and pay our bestie buddy a little visit, shall we?”
Ignoring any protests of mine, Dom dragged me over to Rachel’s bed. I could feel James watching us, and I hoped Dom wasn’t going to do anything … well, mean.
“Hey, Rachel,” Dom said. “What happened to you then?”
Rachel looked confused, and not just because of the fact we were talking to her. She had a lump the size of a large chicken egg on her head.
“Dom,” I said. “Look at her head. Just leave it.”
“Why should I? She’s a bitch!”
“Who is now crying,” I stated. It was true; Rachel had turned onto her stomach and was sobbing into a pillow.
Dom huffed and stalked back to Fred, but I felt bad.
“Hey… sorry about her. She doesn’t mean it.” I got no answer, but I could see Rachel’s shoulders shaking as she cried. I realised that she had no visitors, while every other bed had about three of four at least. Slowly, I sat down in the chair nearby, shocked. I reached forward and picked a magazine up off the floor. I hadn’t heard of it before, but there were some dog-eared pages, and I flipped to them curiously. They were full of images of couples, walking along a beach, kissing under a full moon, that sort of thing. It was cute. Rachel rolled over and saw me looking at the photographs, and quickly snatched the magazine from me.
“J-just go away,” she sniffed, her face red and puffy. She winced as the pillow scraped against the swollen lump on her head.
I nodded, and walked back to Fred’s bed, silently cursing Dom for starting this. Because now I actually felt sorry for Rachel Adams- and the fact that she appeared to be very lonely indeed underneath that confidant mask.
James was looking at me curiously, but I ignored him.
“Ok, so if Lily’s at your house James - and Fred’s fine here, I think we should all head off,” Dom announced, clapping her hands together.
“What! You’re leaving me?” Fred exclaimed sadly. Zoey had taken off her fake Healer uniform and was standing with Eve by the door, giving her knowing glances. It looked like Zoey had worked out Eve’s thoughts about Fred then.
“D’you want to come back to my place?” James asked us all.
“I can’t,” Annie looked slightly crestfallen. “I need to go back to the castle and find Lisa – she wasn’t in Hogsmeade today, but we’ll floo home together now.”
“Hollie and I will come, James,” Dom announced at once.
“Dom… don’t you think your parents might want to make sure you’re ok first?” I asked. Dom scowled,
“I guess…Screw you. So how about we come back to visit Fred tomorrow and then go to James’s?”
I looked at James, “Does that sound ok with you?”
He nodded, “Sure.”
“Zoey and I are going too,” Eve said, hugging Dom, Annie and I briefly before finally hugging Fred, and I imagined that she would be feeling pretty awkward. Sure enough, there was a faint flush on her cheeks as she pulled away and waved goodbye to us all. They both disappeared out of the door and I felt strangely melancholy.
“Come on,” Dom grabbed my hand. “See you lot tomorrow.” We asked the receptionist if we could use the fire, and then Dom grabbed a pinch of floo powder before even waiting for the answer.
“Rude,” I shook my head.
“Shut it, Hols.” Dom threw the floo powder into the fire and the flames burned emerald. “Shell Cottage!” She stepped into the fire and was whisked away. It still made me slightly nervous, using floo powder. My house had loads of large fireplaces and as a child I was warned to always be careful around the fire, as it would burn you. So I got quite paranoid about magical flames; what if I wasn’t quick enough and the fire burnt me? Or the floo powder ran out halfway through and I was stuck in a chimney? But my tactic was to just block those thoughts from my mind and get on with it. As I disappeared into the fire, the last thing I saw was James walking into the lobby before I was being spat out into Dom’s house.
“What took you so long?!” she was standing, tapping her foot.
“Slow and steady wins the race,” I quipped one of her favourite sayings back at her, and Dom scowled.
“Stop emotionally abusing me!”
“I’m sorry?!” I raised an eyebrow.
“You heard me. Now let’s go face the evil people.” Dom pushed me in front of her.
“Oh, so now I’m your human shield?”
“It’s in case maman starts throwing a tantrum and smashing vases again.”
“Glad to know I mean so much to you,” I hummed.
Personally, I really liked Dom’s immediate family. Fleur made the best brownies, Victoire always had really good fashion magazines for me to steal, and Bill was alright, if a little intimidating and serious with all his scars from when the werewolf Fenrir Greyback attacked him. I reckoned that was where Dom got her slightly aggressive streak from. But I never admitted this to Dom, as she was convinced that she must have been Grindelwald in another life to be stuck with such “infuriating relatives”. But at least her dad helped save the wizarding world. Mine was just a boring old lawyer.
“Dominique!” I heard a voice trill. “Where ‘ave you been?! Your papa and I were so worried!” Then Fleur came hurrying out of a neighbouring room, looking overjoyed to see her daughter alive and in one piece.
Dom reluctantly let her mother hug and kiss her.
“I’m fine, stop fussing maman. We were just snowed into The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. Loads of people were, and Hollie was there too,” Dom pushed me in front of her again, where Fleur proceeded to hug and kiss me as well. She smelt like vanilla and Chanel.
“But you did not reply to our last letter!” Fleur exclaimed after she was done with me, her blonde hair coming loose from its messy bun.
“You mean the one where you said you were turning my bedroom into a gym?” Dom replied angrily.
“Yes, yes, but zat is only because Victoire eez moving out, and so you will ‘ave her room!” Fleur said absent-mindedly, oblivious to Dom’s sudden expression of surprise and glee.
“You didn’t explain that in the letter!”
“Well, no… I thought you would realise that was the case, my darling… Of course, Victoire has taken the bed and furniture with her into her new flat, but I’m sure that’ll be no problem. You can sleep on the floor until we find you a new bed!” Fleur beamed.
“I knew there’d be a catch,” Dom rolled her eyes. We followed Fleur into the kitchen, which smelt like baking dough.
“Now, who wants some cookies?” Fleur asked. “It must have been awful food at zee… what is it? Three Broomsticks? I hate zat place…”
“Maman, people were killed and all you can worry about is whether we had good food?” Dom cried with disgust evident in her voice. “And besides, Hollie and James were cooking, and it was lovely food.”
“Ah!” Fleur said happily, seemingly oblivious to her daughter’s opinion of her. “You can cook, ‘Ollie?”
“Um… a little,” I shrugged.
“That eez very nice to hear. Baking is one of my favourite pastimes, I have to say… Now, how long are you planning to stay, dear? Because I can show you some of my favourite recipes…”
“Actually maman, we’re going to visit Fred in the hospital again tomorrow, and then go to Aunt Ginny’s,” Dom interrupted hastily.
“Fred is in hospital?” Fleur’s eyes widened, and Dom sighed.
“Why? Is he sick?”
“His leg was bashed about pretty badly by the huge storm that seems to have blown completely over your head!”
I tried not to smirk at the pun.
“Now, now, don’t be rude Dominique,” Fleur frowned. “Of course I heard about zee storm on zee wireless! But zee media, zey always over-exaggerate zese things.”
Dom gave up.
“Come on Holls, let’s just go and look at my new room,” she sighed.
“But what about zee cookies, girls?” Fleur asked.
“I’m on a diet,” Dom waved them away.
“I’ll have some after dinner if that’s alright, Mrs. Weasley,” I said, trying to keep the balance between pleasing the woman who was letting my stay here and staying on Dom’s good side. Luckily, Fleur didn’t mind, and smiled fondly at me as we tramped up the stairs.
I adored Shell Cottage. It had that wonderful seaside-village feel to it, but at the same time it was homely and cosy.
Victoire’s (or should I say Dom’s?) room was huge – french windows facing out to see, an en-suite bathroom, a large wardrobe. The only downside to the room was its distinct lack of furniture… but it was a damn sight better than having to sleep in a gym. Dom went straight to the wardrobe, hoping that Victoire had left some of her old clothes for her to have. She opened the double doors eagerly and her eyes lit up when she saw an array of blouses, dresses and shoes – slightly worn, but still gorgeous-looking and probably designer.
“I LOVE MY SISTER!” Dom squealed, pulling out a silky lilac dress and hugging it passionately to her chest. Then dancing round the room with it. And tripping over a box, then twisting mid-fall so that she landed first, not the dress.
“Ouch,” Dom pouted, and I giggled.
“You,” I said whilst helping her up. “Are ridiculous.”
“But Hollie- look how prettyyy!” She found a ballerina skirt and a matching camisole covered in little flowers that opened and closed from a spell placed on the material. “Try this on!”
Smiling fondly at her, I grabbed the outfit and went into the en-suite bathroom to change. It did look rather nice. I did a little twirl in the mirror and felt utterly stupid when Dom opened the door and caught me at it. She burst out laughing, and I smacked her arm.
“So what, I’m not allowed to be goofy around my best friends?”
“Except you thought I wasn’t watching then, so that means you were twirling for your self.” Dom thought for a moment. “I wonder if we would all be different people if there was no-one around to judge us.”
“Whoa. Deep thinking going way over my head there,” I made a whooshing motion over my head with one hand. I wandered over to the wardrobe and found some high-waisted, black and glittery shorts and chucked them at Dom along with a slutty cropped pink jumper.
“Put these on. And wow, was Victoire a slut at Hogwarts or something?”
“Something like that,” Dom smirked. “But she and Teddy are really cute together now. Even if mum fawns over them so much that I want to barf.”
“Teddy was asleep at my last tutoring session,” I piped up and Dom frowned in surprise. “Maybe he was up all night doing things with Victoire…” I suggested with a wink.
“Ew! Yuck! Hollie!” Dom groaned and covered her ears. “That’s my sister! Just… no.”
“It is weird to think about them having sex,” I admitted with a sly grin, laughing at the way Dom’s face went green.
“But I bet she’ll think it’s even weirder when I start having sex,” Dom finally said. “Being the ‘baby’ of the family and all. Actually, that’s even a weird thought for me …”
“Is it?” I asked, surprised.
“Well, yeah,” she said, pulling the glittery shorts on over her tights. “I’m waiting for the perfect guy, duh. That was like one of our pacts we made together a few years ago; that you should definitely be in love with the first person you have sex with.” I remembered that pact. And I did still believe in it; I’d just assumed that Dom didn’t. Dom pulled her top off over her head and pulled on the pink jumper. She struck a pose. “Sexy, right?”
“A jumper? Sexy?”
“On me? Of course!”
“Prat,” I flicked her with the lilac dress.
“Careful!” she squealed. “That’s so adorable!”
“Don’t worry,” I chuckled.
“Hey…” Dom shook her hair out so that it cascaded down in waves around her shoulders. It was a bit knotty from spending the night on the floor of a freezing pub, but it still looked lovely. But one of the things I loved about having short hair was the way it could go a day or two without a brush, and would still look ok. “I think I have an idea.”
“Oh, god,” I sat down on a box and faked a yawn. “Let’s get this over with then.”
Dom laughed, “No, seriously.”
“Go on, then.”
“How about, tomorrow, we put on a fashion show for the Kenworth ward.” Before my expression of horror could mature any further, Dom barrelled on. “I know you think that sounds crap and embarrassing and stuff, but most of them are Hogwarts lot anyway- and let’s face it honey, nothing we do looks dorky. It’s just cool.”
“Unless we trip or go bright red or look stupid,” I added.
“Come on,” Dom pleaded, and I hid my face to resist the power of the puppy dog eyes. “Fred will absolutely love it. It’ll cheer him up so much.” But I accidently caught a peek of her sad-puppy expression and knew that I was done for. Deefur always got me with it, and Dom was no different.
Okay. I basically just said that my best friend was no different to my dog.
Although, a dog was man’s best friend! So there!
“Ugh, I hate you for making me say this,” I groaned. “But I’m going to go along with it. For you.”
“Yay!” Dom shrieked, prancing around. “Ok so I’m thinking glitter. Lots of glitter- and maybe a collection box if people want to donate money to our cause-“
“What cause?” I scoffed.
“The, err, charitable school kid cause.”
“Dom,” I tutted. “Let’s just do something nice for a friend. There doesn’t always have to be money involved.”
“But money makes the world go round!” Dom protested.
“If you agree to no collection box, I’ll agree with the glitter proposal,” I blackmailed.
“Hmmm…” Dom thought. “Glitter, or money… Well, that’s a no-brainer. I simply must have the glitter!”
I smacked my forehead.
Fleur made us pancakes for breakfast the next morning. She slathered them in golden syrup and sugar ( how does everyone in this family stay skinny?!) while Dom chattered on about the fashion show we would be performing in a few hours. Well, at least Dom was a drama-queen enough that she’d be able to make it vaguely enjoyable for the spectators instead of just… awkward. We’d organised music and disco-type lights, and Dom was insisting we get there early so that we could hang streamers from the ward entrance so we could make dramatic entrances with each new costume.
St Mungo’s had agreed to it on one condition; that Healer’s would be guaranteed instant access if a patient needed tending and that there was at least one adult in the room. Naturally, Fleur had volunteered herself.
I wanted to die when I thought about how embarrassing this was going to be.
But I knew it would make Fred happier (not that he really needed it – he seemed cheerful enough, but maybe that was just a brave act), and I was also subconsciously thinking about Rachel Adams. Yes, she’d been horrid to me. But was that just because she was insecure? It sounds cliché, the school bitchy girl turning out to be insecure, with ‘issues’ or eating disorders or whatever. But clichés are there for a reason, I guess.
And then I had a sudden thought.
Did people think of Dom, Eve and I in the same way that I regarded Savannah and Rachel? Did they think we were typical ‘mean, popular’ kids? I really, really hoped not.
I blinked. Fleur had been talking to me.
“So what do you think?” Fleur asked.
“Err… sure, yeah,” I mumbled vaguely.
“Super! Now, girls, I’d suggest you go and pack up all the clothes and decorations you want to take. And remember those old costumes I showed you!”
Ah yes. Fleur had pulled out of a store cupboard several rather… revealing… old Halloween costumes of Victoire’s. A slutty bunny. A slutty barmaid. A slutty teacher. In fact, I think Victoire had just thought of an object, and made it slutty.
I bet she could have even done it with a teapot to be honest.
“My sister,” Dom declared as we prepared to apparate to St Mungo’s. “Was a hardcore slut.”
“Dominique!” Fleur scolded. “I will not be having you use such a derogatory term in this house! Especially not to describe your sister!”
“Sorry maman,” Dom said meekly, but mouthed to me, “She must’ve been a slut too.”
I had to stifle a giggle.
Fleur apparated us straight into the lobby of St Mungo’s. The very same receptionist was sitting at the desk, looking just as stressed and frustrated as yesterday.
“We,” Fleur announced proudly. “Are hear to present a fashion show to zee residents of zee Kenworth ward. I ‘ope zat you ‘ave been informed of zis fact?”
The receptionist blinked slowly at Fleur as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing.
“A fashion show, you say?”
“Zat is correct. A fashion show.”
“I’ll need to call the managers to check this… I mean, it’s not exactly regulatory to have spontaneous fashion shows around here, I’m sure you understand Mrs…”
“Weasley,” Fleur snapped, starting to get irritated. “Fleur Delacour-Weasley.”
There was a pause, and the receptionist tapped into a computer. Then her face took up a vaguely impressed expression.
“It appears that you’ve been authorized. Go on in.”
Dom whooped and the waiting patients stared at her in annoyance.
“Sorry,” I told them as we passed. “She has a whooping disease called whoopolaria. It’s like whooping cough. But it comes out as a screech.”
Their expressions changed to sympathetic.
“Poor dear,” someone muttered. “I’ve heard that’s fatal…”
Dom and I burst out laughing, but we were gone before the woman who’s said it had looked round.
We saw James moments later. He looked bewildered. Then he saw our armfuls of costumes and some muggle disco lights and his expression changed to that of incredulity.
“So you’re actually doing a fashion show?!” he asked. “You’re actually that insane? I heard the rumours but… gawd.”
“We sure are!” Dom grinned a toothy grin.
“Well, you’ve got quite an audience already. People from other wards are coming in.”
“What?” I shrieked, rounding on Dom. “The only reason I agreed to this was because there were mostly Hogwarts kids in Kensworth so he wouldn’t look like dorks in front of this. I can’t parade in front of strangers!” I panicked and thrust my box into James’s hands. “James, you’ll have to take my place.”
James gingerly picked up a blue flowery bra and held it across his chest. “You are kidding, right? Are you sure this is just a fashion show or are you both secret pole dancers or something?”
I snatched back the box, and the bra.
“We weren’t going to use that,” I muttered awkwardly.
“Hollie, you can’t back out now!” Dom pleaded. “And you seriously want James to take your place?”
“Well, I’m not,” James grumbled. We reached the door to the ward and I took a peek inside. There were people in there.
A lot of people, actually. I’d say… forty maybe? I gulped.
“Where are we going to change?” I asked shakily, and Dom screamed excitedly and hugged me,
“Thank you thank you thank you! I love you so much right now!” I staggered backwards into James with the weight of Dom, who laughed and helped me upright again. My body tingled slightly and I felt horrified once again at my reaction. God, I was such a rubbishy sort of person.
But at least it was just a physical attraction.
If I ignored it for long enough, it would just go away.
“Guess I’ll leave you supermodels to sort out the show then,” James smirked, vanishing into the ward. Fleur had been talking to a passing healer throughout this exchange, and turned to us with a beaming smile.
“I’ve got a spare room for you girls to use as a dressing room. Let’s take all zee boxes in there! I’ve brought some homemade refreshments for zee audience as well.”
“Homemade refreshments?” Dom exclaimed. “Maman! Hollie’s nervous enough already! Don’t make it into a bigger thing than it really is…”
“Nonsense! Hollie will be just fine, won’t you chérie?” Fleur patted my head which I resented slightly. I was sixteen after all, not three.
“I think so…”
“Right! Well, as they say, ‘zee show must go on!’”
Damn that saying.
A/N: I do not own Chanel or ‘slow and steady wins the race’. ‘Chérie’ is french for ‘dear’. This chapter was originally going to be longer but it got too long so I split it into two! :D