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Chapter 6 : Chapter Six: Welcome Back
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Remus, Sirius, Arthur, Molly, Ron and Hermione all apparated into a small, dark, cold cell inside the Riddle House and shivered as the cold air hit their skin. Remus gripped both of Ron and Hermione so that he knew where they were, and they all looked around at their surroundings. Molly then gave a sudden small whimper, and all eyes snapped in her direction. Instead of answering she pointed with a trembling hand to a corner of the cell, and they all looked. An alarming amount of blood was pooled on the floor with bloody handprints surrounding and gasps rang around them. Remus put a finger to his lips to tell them to be quiet, and peered into the small bared window on the door. There was a guard outside, but he didn't know if it was Dumbledore in disguise or not.
"It is I, Remus." The guard suddenly spoke, and turned as he took his mask off.
The old face of Albus Dumbledore looked at him, and Remus nodded his head. He vaguely wondered where all Dumbledore's beard went as he put the mask back on, and Remus turned towards the others. He, Sirius, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, and Molly huddled in a corner of the cell, close to the door so they wouldn't be seen and they could grab Harry quickly. Hermione and Ron took their faces out of the cloak and looked around the cell more. Sirius glanced over at them and instantly regretted bringing them here as he noticed their eyes never left the puddle of Harry's blood. Sirius pulled away from his thoughts when he thought he could hear voices echoing down the corridor, but didn't need to strain his ears when the shouting began.
"What does the Prophesy say!?" Everyone heard Voldemort shout.
Remus and Sirius glanced at each other as they both heard the slight note of insanity behind the voice. Molly gasped and Arthur hugged her to him, while Ron and Hermione looked at each other, the only thing they knew about the Prophesy was that it was the key to defeating Voldemort.
"I don't know about the bloody Prophesy you git!" Harry yelled back, his voice hoarse.
"Crucio!" Voldemort shouted, and Harry screamed in agony.
Sirius and Remus had to grab hold of Ron and Hermione, who had tried to make their way for the door. They both looked outraged as they were dragged back, but Hermione broke into a silent sob as Harry's screams got louder.
"We can't do anything for him right now, we can't be discovered." Sirius muttered, but failed to keep his voice calm.
After a few more seconds, Harry's screams died out. Molly was frozen in her spot while Arthur held her, and wished nothing more than to help Harry and save him from the pain that was being inflicted on him.
"What's the point in fighting me, Potter? You know you will lose, you know that I will end up killing all your little friends! You're going to die, way not just take the easy way?" Voldemort yelled, not bothering to keep his voice calm.
"Kill me then! I'm tired of you saying you will, so why don't you just do it then!?" Harry shouted as he let his anger get the best of him.
The next thing that happened no one was prepared for. The small group heard Voldemort shout, Harry give another small scream of pain, and heard something that sickly sounded like a body drop to the floor. Everyone nervously glanced at one another, had Voldemort finally killed Harry? Hermione trembled in Remus' arms as did Molly in Arthur's arms. Sirius listened hard, and thought he could hear something coming their way. He then made a signal for everyone to be quiet, and waited. They all listened as the door unlocked, and watched it open. Two masked Death Eaters dragged Harry inside and dropped him in the corner of cell next to his own blood stained on the floor and wall, and hurried out of the room without noticing the group hidden in the shadows. Harry's breathing sounded shallow, and he struggled to sit himself up. When he finally did, Harry clutched at something at the bottom of his abdomen, and pulled something out of his skin with a sickening squelch sound.
"Muggle weapon." Harry muttered curiously in a weak voice as he set the dagger aside.
Harry gave another shaky breath and gripped his lower stomach as he tried to stop the blood flow. Sirius could wait no longer, and he hurried over and hugged Harry close to him. Harry gasped and closed his eyes tight, in fear it was another Death Eater. He realized after a moment the hands holding him were gentle, and not as rough. Harry opened his eyes and looked up at Sirius incredulously with wide eyes.
"H-how-?" Harry sputtered, but Sirius held a finger up to quiet him.
"Not now. We have to get you out of here, and quickly." Sirius whispered and beckoned someone over.
Remus and Ron hurried over, and helped Sirius pick up Harry. He looked up at them with an open mouth, shocked to see them in his little cell. Before Harry could press the matter on, he coughed violently, and spit blood out of his mouth. Molly, Arthur and Hermione finally approached him, and only had fear and concern for him on their faces. Remus waved his wand quickly over the wound on Harry's stomach but gave a shake of head, he didn't know how to heal it, and ended up wrapping a piece of cloth tightly around the wound. Sirius then lifted Harry up and Ron kept a grip on his waist so he wouldn't fall. Remus went back over to Hermione and held out his hand to her, and she took it with a shaky hand but managed to grip it tight. Molly and Arthur tore their eyes away from Harry and focused on there next destination. Sirius made sure Ron was in some way touching his arm so he would come with them, and with that they apparated back to Grimmuald Place. As soon as their feet landed in Grimmauld Place Harry collapsed to the ground, and not expecting it, Sirius fell down with him.
Ron, who accidentally let go of Harry when they arrived, dropped to his knees by Harry and Sirius while everyone else came rushing over to them. Now, in the light, they all could see the bad shape Harry was in. Blood and bruises were the only thing that had color on his face, and he had cuts on about anywhere on his body. His hair was wild, matted with blood, sweat, and dirt. His glasses were missing from his face, which made the bags and dullness of his eyes stand out. Blood had dried on most of the wounds, but some still oozed slowly. The red scar on his forehead stood out more than before and looked irritated. His once light blue shirt had ripped and soaked with his own blood and dirt, and hung more loose on him than before. The jeans he wore were also loose and stained with blood, only held up by the belt he still wore.
"Help me get him on the couch, and someone call Madam Pomfrey or a Healer from Mungos!" Sirius yelled frantically.
Ron went to put his arms under Harry's back, but he gave a cry of pain, and Ron moved his hands as if they had been burned. Instead he put his arms under Harry's leg while Remus got the other and Sirius held him up with a grip under his arms, and together they hoisted Harry onto the closet couch. Molly sat at the fireplace frantically talking to someone unknown, while Sirius and Remus checked over Harry in the best way they could. Then Dumbledore walked in through the door and hurried into the room where they all were, and set Harry's wand on the table. Ron and Hermione looked at it with confusion on their faces, but knew now was not the best time to ask.
On the couch Harry was barely awake with Remus, Sirius, and now Dumbledore looking over him. Arthur had gone upstairs to keep the twins and Ginny away, until Harry looked better than he did now. Ron and Hermione were only allowed to stay because they had already seen Harry, and the adults knew they couldn't keep them away even if they tried. Molly pulled her head out of the fire a moment later and wiped a hand across her tear-streaked face.
"Madam Pomfrey is on the way, all the Healers at St. Mungos are busy at the moment. One will be over to help later if we need it." Molly told them.
She came over to Harry and bent down close to him. Sirius, Remus, and Dumbledore backed away unwillingly, only because Molly was the best at Healing Charms in the house at the moment. She muttered something under her breath that made the tip of her wand glow and ran it over Harry's body. As soon as she finished with it, there were more tears running down her face. They all knew right away that it wasn't a good sign, and couldn't find their voices to ask her what was wrong. Molly then conjured a wet towel and started to wipe away the blood on Harry's face and tried to help him get some of it out of his mouth, but he continued to cough up blood a little at a time.
"I still think we should just take him to St. Mungo's, Sirius. They would make room for him." Molly said in a cracked voice.
"No, you know how much Harry hates attention from the public, he would rather be here. He's getting better medical attention here anyway, and I'll be able to stay with him." Sirius told her.
For once, Molly did not argue with him, but continued to wipe Harry's face. Harry was in and out of it at the moment, barely aware of what was happening. After a few moments of nothing but breathing and shaky sighs, the fireplace lit up. Madam Pomfrey hurried out of it, a bag clasped tightly in her hand as she made her way over to Harry on the couch. Dumbledore conjured a plush chair for her to sit in and she grabbed her wand out of her pocket, and muttered the same spell as Molly did before.
"He isn't in the best of shape," She told them unnecessarily, "A broken rib, a broken arm, barely healed head injury, cuts, bruises, a punctured lung, signs of overexposure to the Cruciatus Curse, loss of blood, you name it. I'm surprised he wasn't driven to insanity."
"He isn't insane, right?" Ron asked shakily from the couch he sat on with Hermione and his mum.
"No, Mr. Weasley. From what Molly told me he doesn't show the signs." Madam Pomfrey answered to everyone's relief.
Madam Pomfrey then swished her wand in front of her, and Harry's shirt suddenly disappeared. In the light it made him look ten times worse. The light made his skin look like a shining white, with the blood and cuts standing out on it. He looked more underfed than usual, and you could make out where exactly his ribs were. Harry's chest rose slowly, hardly at all. Ron and Hermione held each other's hands tight and focused their eyes on his heart beating slowly in his chest. Molly and Dumbledore looked horrified and angry, with their hands trembling at their sides. Sirius and Remus focused on Harry's face with his eyes closed and his lips drawing in rattling breaths. The thought of what Voldemort had put him through brought them close to tears.
Madam Pomfrey worked her wand over the knife injury on his stomach along with his lung while muttering under her breath as she waved her wand over the cut area, looking as though she was sewing air together. None of them got to see how she fixed the wound before she conjured a thick white bandage to put over it. Madam Pomfrey then summoned a small bottle of Dittany, and started dropping a few drops on the cuts on his stomach, arms, and legs. Harry squirmed as she did this, but did not fully wake up. Madam Pomfrey then pointed her wand at his rib's, and gave it a flick with her wrist. A loud snap punctured the air and Harry gave a strangled groan, but his eyes did not open.
"I need someone to help me flip him over, I know there's a few cuts on his back." Madam Pomfrey asked.
Remus came over from the wall he was leaning on and dropped down onto his knees by Harry. Madam Pomfrey started to gently pull Harry onto his back by his shoulders, while Remus went over and started to flip his legs over, but Harry unconsciously gripped the edge of the couch with his right hand to stop them.
"I think we need him fully awake, it'll help more so he can tell me what hurts." Madam Pomfrey said.
With a reluctant nod of his head, Sirius agreed. There wasn't time to argue and he knew he should trust her more than he did at the moment. Madam Pomfrey pointed her wand at Harry, and Remus noticed her hand trembled slightly as she did so.
"Ennervate." She whispered.
Harry groaned tiredly but didn't open his eyes. He body stayed tense on the couch, as if waiting for something to hit him. Even though they understood why he would react like he had it still angered them. Remus reached out a hand from where he knelt and touched Harry gently on the shoulder. Harry flinched violently when his hand made contact, and only shut his eyes tighter.
"Harry," Remus said with a slight tremble in his voice.
Harry's eyes then snapped wide open and looked wildly around the room. His mouth opened in shock as he looked at everyone, as if he couldn't believe they were right in front of him. He went to sit up with his arms supporting him, but he gave a small whimper and sagged back onto the couch. He couldn't keep his eyes away from Sirius or Remus, which flickered back and forth to see them both.
"H-how did you-?" Harry sputtered for the second time with his eyebrows pulled together.
From what they all could tell, he remembered nothing of the rescue, and couldn't understand how they found him.
"The anagram, you're a bloody genius. I'll explain later, right now we need Madam Pomfrey to take a look at you." Sirius said in a small voice.
Harry nodded and looked up at the matron. She smiled at him sadly, and grabbed the bottle of Dittany from the place she set it.
"What hurts the most right now, Potter?" She asked gently.
"My left arm and my back." He told her in a cracked voice.
She nodded and gently rubbed her hand over his arm. Harry groaned and he closed his eyes and shook his head for her to stop. She did immediately, and looked more carefully at it.
"It seems all the bones in your arm are broken. Do you know what spell he used, Harry?" Madam Pomfrey asked.
"No," Harry answered, "He just shouted something I couldn't understand, and I heard my arm snap."
Dumbledore sat down in a chair behind the couch and tried to remain calm, but inside he was seething. Everyone else in the room did not try to hide how they felt, but let it show plain on their faces. Madam Pomfrey ran her wand down the length of his arm, muttering under her breath. They all then heard a big snap, Harry give a small wince, and then a sigh of relief.
"I need you to sit up and turn your back towards me, Harry." She instructed him, and tried not to notice the flicker of fear she saw in his eyes.
In truth, Harry didn't want her to look at the cuts on his back. For one, they hurt like hell, and for some odd reason, he didn't want anyone to see them. Summoning up his courage, Harry slowly turned around, and waited for everyone's reaction. Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore stared at his back with wide eyes, they could hardly believing what they were seeing. Sirius had his fist balled up at his side and anger showed on his face. Remus and Molly gasped when they saw the three long cuts on his back, and could feel tears welling in their eyes.
Madam Pomfrey took a deep breath when she saw the cuts, and set to work. She uncorked the bottle of Dittany in her hand, and dropped a few drops of it onto one of the cuts. Harry sucked in a deep breath and arched his back when he felt the liquid hit the cut, but nothing happened, the cut smoked slightly but didn't heal. Confused, she ran her wand down the wound while she muttered a spell, and a look of understanding crossed her old features.
"It was done by dark magic, it'll have to heal by itself." She said quietly.
Harry didn't say anything, but rested his head on his hands, and winced slightly at the pain in his muscles. The adults desperately tried to remain calm, while Ron and Hermione sucked in deep breaths.
"Why did he do it?" Ron asked in shock.
Harry looked up from his place on the couch, and gave Ron a small smile. He didn't know why but he was actually glad that he had asked what everyone was thinking.
"Because I didn't know about the Prophesy." He muttered.
Ron nodded and leaned back into the couch, and rubbed at his eyes. Hermione looked at him while tears streamed down her face, but she gave him a small smile. He tried to smile back, but knew it didn't look sincere. Madam Pomfrey summoned bandages out of thin air, and started to apply them onto Harry's back. He arched his back as she put them on, they had some type of medicine on them that stung the open wounds. When she finished, she put his shirt back on him, and waved her wand carefully around him.
"There's still more that I need to heal." She told him.
He looked up at her and nodded, and with that she went back to work over his weak and bloody body.
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