Chapter 4 : The People Who Live In The World
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The People Who Live In This World
Teddy could never be more wrong when it came to Emmaline taking the news of moving well. Victoire thought she would too, but that was besides the point. At this moment, Teddy was absolutely, in no doubt, wrong, and their daughter's tantrum was all his fault.
"But I don't wanna go to Pawwis! I wanna stay here with my friends!" Emmaline cried, or more like wailed in her bedroom. Her face was buried in her orange shaggy pillows and she was kicking her feet so hard that the lower half of her body was bouncing off the bed.
"Sweety, we have to go! Mummy has a new job! And you'll get to see Grandmama Fleur and Papa Bill," she tried coaxing the five year old by bringing her own parents into the picture. Aside from Dominique, Emmaline was the only one who could tolerate long periods of time with Victoire's parents. Mostly because they spoiled her though.
"I don't wanna goooooooooo!" Emmaline continued to scream. Victoire was impressed with her daughter's air supply and couldn't help but wonder why she hadn't called it quits yet or passed out.
"Emmaline, baby," Teddy approached the topic again after being shot down ten minutes ago when he first brought up the move. He was much gentler than Victoire, who was beginning to really lose her patience, and she stepped aside to let Teddy sit on the bed and place a soothing hand on Emmaline's back. "You have to go, sweetie. Or Mummy and Daddy have to leave you behind. You don't want Mummy and Daddy to leave you behind, do you?"
Victoire rolled her eyes when the child only screamed more and started sobbing about how they didn't love her anymore because they would leave their own daughter behind.
"Really, Teddy? You couldn't think if anything better than leaving her behind?" Victoire shoved him aside and picked her daughter up and forced her to face the two of them. Her red curls were sticking to her tear-stained and soaked face. Snot was bubbling out of her nose, her eyelashes were blurred with more tears to come, and she was chewing on her finger, causing slobber to cover the whole lower half of her face. Really, she looked like a chubby, red-faced, mess, but Victoire grew tired of her behavior and it was time for her to become more stern with the girl.
"Emmaline. You have to come with Mummy and Daddy because we're moving and it's too late to change our minds. Now we're not going to leave you behind, but you need to know that there isn't a lot you can do about this. You're coming and we're moving in a fortnight."
This made Emmaline quiet down a little bit. It was at the point that Victoire could only hear her hiccups and quivering breaths and no more tears or screaming. She also heard Teddy sigh and stand up to leave the room. He always hated getting cross with Emmaline, and that normally left Victoire to be the big parent. Most likely, they would have a right good row about it later. Tonight was not going to be a good night.
"But wha-wha-what about Robert?" Emmaline gasped, and Victoire could hear her whining starting back up again.
"Ah ah ah ah! No more of that." She waited for a moment and Emmaline rubbed her eyes to prove she was done for the time being. Her face was nowhere near dry, but Voctoire accepted this change in mood and went on. "Now, of course Robert can come along. But you have to be a good little girl. This is a very big move for us and you're going to have to be a big girl to be able to do it." Victoire was somewhat relieved, and annoyed, that this was all over Emmaline's imaginary friend and all of her troubles could be solved as easily as allowing an invisible child to come along for the move.
"I am a big girl!" Emmaline retorted, now sitting up more and rubbing at her face with more aggression in hopes to get rid of all her tears.
"Then you'll have to start acting like one." Victoire smiled, knowing that she had won and there was no point in continuing this argument. Maybe Teddy would even be a little more lenient since her method worked best. Then again, she wasn't very proud of the fact that she had just told her five year old to grow up. Those were words she would regret later when she turns forty and Emmaline is ready to move out of the house. Wherever that house may be.
"I love you, Mummy." Emmaline whimpered, and she crawled across her bed to wrap her chubby little arms around her mother's neck. Victoire appreciated the gesture very much and accepted the hug with her own embrace. She patted the matted curls of Emmaline's hair and rocked her for a little bit before she was ready to retreat from her mother's lap.
"I love you, too, darling. Now, let's go give you a bath," Victoire tickled her, putting both of them in a better mood, and they walked hand-in-hand to the bathroom just next door to Emmaline's room and across from her own. There was another one downstairs, but they left it for guests and other purposes that weren't bath time.
Within the next hour Victoire had Emmaline bathed, dried, in bed, and asleep. It was evident that Louis had finished reading "The Jungle Book" to Emmaline last night, but the little girl insisted on listening to it again. So, for the fifth time, Victoire had to read the first chapter. She'd have Emmaline read it to her for practice if she weren't afraid she would recite it from memory.
Teddy, who decided to go to his own bedroom and read up on a book he'd be assigning for the new year, was waiting for Victoire to come in so he could have a word with her. She knew this, however, and she took her sweet time in order to stay away from conflict for just a little bit longer. She started by going to the bathroom and taking the last bit of of her needed pepperup potion. It was all she needed to technically feel completely well again, even though she felt fine as soon as she woke up this morning and took another vial. However, she did not want to be sick again and she wanted to make sure Emmaline remained healthy.
In all honesty, Victoire grew worried at work when she realised Teddy, Emmaline, nor Van ever grew ill like her. She initiated a self pregnancy test and practically skipped the whole day at work when it came out negative. A positive would have just given her mother one more reason to push toward marriage and she probably would have to comply this time. Besides, she didn't want anything ruining her chances in Paris. She did tell Teddy of the day's events when she returned home, though, and she was happy to see he had the same relieved expression she did when she told him about the negative results. Emmaline, for good reason, was left in the dark on the particular topic.
When she couldn't find anything else to help her procrastinate, Victoire decided it was time to face her more than miffed boyfriend. The couple didn't fight often, but when they did they often regretted it greatly and worked hard not to do it again. Tonight, though, Victoire was sure she would win.
"Before you say anything," she started right away when she entered the bedroom and started stripping out of her scrubs to change into a silky nighty her mother gave her for Christmas, "I think I was perfectly reasonable with Emmaline and I'm the one who succeeded in calming her down and getting her into bed." With that out of the way, she crawled into her own bed beside Teddy and allowed the French blue duvet, another gift from her parents, fall gracefully on her. As always, the mixture of her pale skin, her strawberry blonde hair, and the light blue of the duvet made Teddy's eyes wander over in her direction and she smiled coyly at him. She propped her head up on her perfectly manicured hand and she allowed her other hand to brush through her hair. There was no way she was losing tonight's argument at this rate.
"You win, huh?" He asked, the smile on his face completely irresistible. She quirked an eyebrow at him and waited for him to close the distance between them. He tossed the book aside, flicked his wand to turn out the lights, and did just as she wanted and more.
When she woke up at six in the morning, she noted that Teddy was still asleep and snoring louder than ever. She was exhausted after a rather eventful night, but work is work, and she has to go. Victoire slid out from under her covers, grabbed her wand from the bedside table, and kicked the silk nighty that she wore last night for those few short minutes to the side to avoid tripping. There was a robe hanging on her bedpost and she put it on and tied it around her waist. It was Teddy's robe, but she much rather preferred his towel-like thick material over her own silk robe. It kept her warm better and it was longer. She slid her own house slippers on though and grabbed a clean pair of her favorite scrubs out of her closet. They were black but had little silver cauldrons on them with different colored potions spilling out of them for a splash of colour. She also grabbed some underwear, something comfortable for a twelve hour shift to come, and decided to dress in the bathroom across the hall so she would not wake Teddy. Though, she did leave a gentle kiss on his cheek before leaving.
She showered, brushed her teeth, and dressed quickly and quietly. She forgot to dry her hair before putting it up but decided it didn't matter and left it. She went next door to kiss her daughter goodbye and was amused by the child's sleeping position. Her head was pressed against the pillows, it was hard to differentiate her hair and the shaggy orange pillows, and her blanket was just barely hanging on top of her because her bottom was straight in the air with her little legs curled beneath her. Victoire stifled a laugh, gently laid Emmaline back down, covered her up properly, and kissed her forehead. Emmaline stirred and snorted slightly, but she remained asleep.
All of this was just a part of Victoire's morning routine. She did this everyday and even though she was always dead tired, she secretly loved doing it. It was her own private time and she was able to do and think whatever she wanted without someone there questioning what was on her mind. She continued her routine by going downstairs to eat a bowl of cereal. She learned a long time ago that if she cooked a hot breakfast, both Teddy and Emmaline would come barreling down the stairs and she would be late for work. She liked cereal though, so it wasn't too big a deal.
When she finished she used her wand to clean the dish and put it away. It was just about time for her to apparate to work, something she only did in the mornings because she was far more tired after a day at work, and she did a once over the flat. There were toys in just about every room, and a book Teddy left open in a tent-like fashion that Madam Pince would have his ears for. A dish was left here and there, and the post was scattered all over the table. There was simply too much mess for her to deal with or she would be late. Hopefully Teddy would notice the difference she made and catch her drift and finish it before she comes home. With a few last minute things she could fit in, she apparated on the spot to work and appeared in the apparition room. There were a couple other Healers and nurses just arriving at the same time, and a few others lazily waiting for a friend to arrive while sitting on the mismatched couches and chairs provided all along the walls of the giant room. Others, who didn't have Floo chimneys in their homes, were resting in means to gather their strength to apparate home properly with no worries. Victoire managed to splinch herself her first year at St. Mungo's after her first long shift. She had to come immediately back so the Healers could put a chunk of her calf back and mend it as best they could. She's used the Floo system ever since.
She took a seat on a leather green couch that had a pretty black border to wait for Van in the neighboring room with all of the Floo fireplaces. She nodded off a few times in the forty minutes it took until Van actually arrived, but she was grateful for the extra sleep. Van was always pushing the limits at being on time at work, but somehow they always managed. In fact, Victoire was a little surprised Van was offered the job in Paris because of her time pushing skills, lack of French, and the inability to apparate. She would never voice these thoughts to Van, but Victoire felt a twinge of irritation at her friend. They were both exceptional Healers, there was no doubt about that, but when it came to over qualifications, Victoire definitely fit the bill best.
'Oh well,' she thought, 'at least my best friend will be with me.' She tossed her negative thoughts aside and smiled at the endless possibilities in her head on wondering what exactly it was Van had to over exaggerate to get the job. She wouldn't put it past her friend, Van always had a way with words.
"What are you thinking about?" The woman in mind herself croaked at Victoire. Van did not like the mornings, another thing Victoire took note on and couldn't help but visibly frown, and she looked like a mess. 'Could she really not be bothered to use her wand to iron out the wrinkles?'
"About just how lazy you are," Victoire answered honestly but with a big smile now plastered on her face. She took the hand Van offered and stood.
"Boy, is that the understatement of the year," Van offered her own groggy smile. She ran a hand through her gelled bob and gave it an entirely new shape that actually made it look a little better. Under closer inspection, Victoire could see that Van's bear-like attitude and physique were due to alcoholic pleasures the night before.
"Did you go to the pub last night?" She asked, her eyes scanning and judging her friend. Victoire herself wasn't perfect and had been known to go drinking the night before a long shift a time or two as well, but that was years ago. Van was being careless.
"Yeah, and regretting every drink at the moment." Van responded, rubbing her temples to ease the undoubted headache she possessed. "I can see those judging eyes of yours, Tori. I just want to have a little fun before I have to pack up and move to Paris is all."
Victoire looked away and felt slightly guilty for being so quick to judge. She could understand Van's logic. She herself had been hoping for a little more free time to be with Teddy and do as she pleased, but alas there are subtle differences between an unmarried mother and an unattached lesbian.
The pair made it to the locker room and they gathered a few of their things that they didn't take home. Victoire's locker had a few snacks, an extra pair of scrubs, her favorite blue clipboard she used for personal use, and hat. She smiled at a memory of going to the hospital wing in her Hogwarts years and remembered the silly uniform Madam Pomfrey wore and her overly ridiculous hat. Victoire was somewhat worried that when she would go into the profession she would have to wear the same thing. Fortunately for her, Poppy's uniform was extremely outdated. Then again, a lot of things were outdated at Hogwarts, and that was one of the things that made it so lovely. There was no need to worry about the world moving on, and it really felt like time was slower, and the days were more enjoyable. Then again, it was always a bit of a shock for Victoire when she returned home to where the world was constant again and she was reminded that she wasn't actually a medieval patron.
Van was ready to go and tapping her foot impatiently by Victoire with an empty vial in hand. Apparently she had taken some pepperup potion and now she was all better. 'Her supply at home must have been out, too.' Victoire thought. A small smile appeared as she thought of the many wonders of pepperup potion.
"Tori, let's get going, girl!" Exclaimed Van, and she grabbed Victoire by the arm and pulled her away from her locker, just giving her enough time to slam the door shut. They stumbled out of the locker room and ran upstairs to where the life of the hospital was. There were Healers, patients, and people who were waiting impatiently on news of their friends alike. It was already going to be a busy day and both Van and Victoire could tell.
"There you two are!" A sharp but exasperated voice snapped behind them. Both women knew exactly who it was and Victoire closed her eyes, inhaled deeply, and turned to see their assaulter. Before them was a tall man, not nearly as tall as Hagrid, but the tallest Victoire had ever seen, and he was broad-shouldered, grey-eyed, bald, and had a very pointed nose that suggested he spent many hours shoving it in medical books. "You've been called three times, the both of you!"
Victoire dug into her pocket, where she stuffed her caller, and flushed. The caller, which was a pocket sized cauldron with all of the room numbers she was in charge of stuffed inside on gold coins. It calls a healer by rattling all of the coins, and the room numbers jump out for an easy visual of which room needed her help. She must have been called while it was still in her locker because the little cauldron, which was normally a silver colour, was a blistering red colour. There were no coins in her pocket, so they must have jumped out in the locker. As she held it in her hand, the cauldron began to rattle violently and she held out her other hand quickly to catch the discharged coin. She flipped it over in her fingers and read the number 407 in gold, embossed numbers.
"You can take care of that one now. Seeing as how I had to give Healer Givens the rest if your patients today. Healer Morris," his attention turned to Van, "Healer Weasley's gnome patient has just returned. I want you to take care of him. For the rest of the day. Seeing as how this is his sixth return in two months, I want him under close watch. In no means are you to prescribe him any medical potions until I arrive to inspect."
"Yes, Healer Joseph." Van nodded her head without argument and ran in the other direction to room 153, where Victoire knew the patient would be because that's where she took care of him the last five times. She stared at the door Van disappeared behind, completely unaware that Healer Joseph was still in front of her.
"Well?" He raised a thin black eyebrow at her and she snapped back to reality.
"Sorry, sir," she mumbled and then ran off to a set of doors that would lead her to stairs. She couldn't believe that Healer Joseph, on most occasions, was actually a very calm man. He is one of the best chiefs St. Mungo's has ever had, but he really could be demanding. Victoire could say he was mean, but she was a grown up now, and not her seventeen year old self who was just excited at the thought of being a Healer. She knew the lives of the patients were all that were on his mind, and to call him mean would be far off the mark of what he actually was. However, she couldn't believe he would give her patient away to someone else just like that. 'And to Van!' she thought and visibly humphed.
When she reached room 407, she worried she was too late. There were no nurses or Healers anywhere around the room. Hesitantly, she entered and the room was dimly lit. In the bed was a very little girl who Victoire had to stop and catch her breath for. She was around Emmaline's age, about two or three years older, and for a moment Victoire wasn't sure she could watch the patient. Since she started working here, and she didn't know if Healer Joseph did it on purpose or not, she had never had a patient younger than thirteen. Room 407. The fourth floor. The fourth floor was known as the 'Absolute Emergency' floor. What was wrong with this little girl?
On closer inspection, she saw the little girl was asleep. There were bags and tubes connected to her, feeding her and supplying air. For some, it would be a funny sight because there were no machines in St. Mungo's, so the breathing tube was connected to a portable, hovering air sack that repeatedly pumped air into the body. A rather large box underneath the bed pumped the potion or potions needed into the body, and the whole thing looked like a bunch of floating tubes and ornaments. The girl had short, blonde hair, and she was rather lanky and skinny looking. It still worried Victoire, but she was relieved at the many differences there were between this little girl and her own daughter.
The charts at the foot of the bed told Victoire that the little girl was seven, her name was Gwyneth Porter, and she was admitted for... Victoire's breath hitched and tears stung her eyes. She couldn't believe how awful people were sometimes, especially parents. Gwyneth was admitted because of lethal injections. Under Description, it read:
Child. Seven years old. Brought to St. Mungo's at 04:27 by Aunt Mira Porter. Child was brought in comatose state, and has not woken up since. Miss Porter claims she went to visit her brother and sister-in-law after weeks of non-communication to make sure everything was all right. Child was found in comatose state on the floor and with parents nowhere to be found. Miss Porter used means of Floo powder transportation and admitted patient Gwyneth Porter at 04:27. Patient was brought into room 407 at 05:00.
The description broke Victoire's heart. She glanced over from the charts to the little girl again and this time a tear did stroll down her cheek.
"Thank you, Miss Porter," she whispered and then she continued to read the charts. Under Patient Summary it read:
Patient is comatose. There are bruises on the back, arms, legs, and stomach. Patient weighs in at only 15.7 kilos. Comatose state caused by possible overdose on extracting potions admitted by missing parents.
Victoire couldn't read anymore. This child was in desperate need of help, and it was up to her to recover her. She checked to see what potions and medical advice had been given on her condition, and then she checked for all injuries the chart described. Under further speculation, she noticed a few scratches that looked nearly healed on Gwyneth's upper left arm. She took note of it and then checked the dosage of the girl's potions.
For the next several hours the girl remained silent, asleep, and tiny as ever. Victoire was making no real progress in waking the child, but she was proud of the diet she prescribed in hopes to get the child's weight back up.
A coin jumped out of the cauldron and Victoire looked at it with sad, tired eyes. She didn't want to leave Gwyneth, but she wasn't progressing and there were other patients. Besides, Healer Joseph said nothing about a twenty-four hour watch.
"Room 124," she sighed, somewhat relieved that this would be a smaller case. Then she shook her head and reminded herself that there are no small cases at St. Mungo's. Anything could go wrong. They were witches and wizards, not gods.
In room 127 there was a woman who smiled at her as soon as she walked in. Victoire picked up the chart, read over it, and then returned her best smile. She couldn't let on that she was dealing with a possibly dying patient.
"My name is Healer Weasley, Mrs.," she checked the chart again, "Fern. It says here you're experiencing Abdominal pains."
"Please, call me Maggie," Mrs. Fern insisted. She had a hand on her belly and her smile was absolutely infectious. "My husband Roy thinks so. He brought me here today."
"I see," Victoire said, taking note with her quill. "And where is your husband now?"
"Getting me some tea. He's always such a dear." Maggie looked idly at Victoire and she started playing with her brown, wavy hair. She was young, maybe a little younger than Victoire. Her lips were clad in ruby red lipstick and she was dressed as though she actually cared about the season's latest witch wear. Soon, Roy returned with two cups of tea and Victoire smiled at him, too. He was young, blonde, and nervous.
"You're the Healer?" He squeaked, and Victoire blushed slightly. She received attention often like this from male patients and others. It was the Veela in her, but she brushed it off and pointed her chin at his wife.
"Yes. Healer Weasley," she held out her hand for him to shake it. Instead, he placed the cup of tea in her hand. She laughed and tried handing it back. "Thanks, but I think you need it more than I do."
"I insist!" Roy Fern squeaked, causing a raised eyebrow from his wife and the other woman stopped smiling momentarily. "Since you're helping my wife and all," he mumbled, and that was a good enough excuse for Maggie.
"Thank you," Victoire said and took a sip. It took all of her might not to spit it back into the cup. She did not like the hospital tea. She placed it beside her, cleared her throat, and went on. "Ok," she smiled, "Maggie, are you experiencing any diarrhea or constipation?"
"No, Healer Weasley." Maggie smiled, rubbing her hand on her belly even more so.
"Any nausea or weird cramps in your stomach area?" She was writing the responses down with her quill and looking down.
"No cramping, really. But definitely nausea. Almost every morning the last week." Victoire looked up and watched as Maggie was absolutely beaming while Roy was looking positively more worried. Victoire put the quill down and folded the charts into her arms.
"Have you gained any unexpected wait in the last month or so, Maggie?"
"When was your last menstrual cycle?"
"A month and a half ago."
"When are you due for your next one?" Victoire already knew where she was going with this.
"Last week." Maggie was positively uplifted. Roy was blanched and Victoire couldn't help but wonder if he really wanted to hear the final diagnoses or if he really knew what was going on.
"I'm not completely sure yet, I still have a couple tests, but I'm diagnosing that you're approximately one to two months pregnant." Victoire leaped back when her news made Maggie leap off of the bed and into her husband's arms.
"We're going to be parents, Roy!" The other woman squealed and Roy's face flushed with colour and he wrapped his arms around her. The poor guy must not have understood where the two women were heading with Victoire's questions.
"I'm going to be a daddy?" He asked, still a little shocked but looking to Victoire for an answer.
"I can't say for sure, but it doesn't sound like any abdominal pain I've heard of." Victoire smiled and shook his now outstretched hand. "I need to ask Maggie to pee in this cup," she reached into a drawer and pulled a plastic cup with a lid out and handed it to them, "and I'm going to call Healer Drew in here. She deals with pregnancy and she will be your new doctor if I'm right. When you're done with that cup, just hand it to her and she'll finish the rest of the tests. If it turns out that you're not pregnant, though, she'll call me back in here and I'll be sure to figure out what's wrong."
Healer Drew came in shortly after. She too was all smiles and she shook the hands of Maggie and Roy. Victoire stepped quietly out, careful not to forget her cup of tea and seem rude, and tossed it in a bin when she was far enough away.
The rest if the day went by in a similar fashion. She checked on Gwyneth, though her aunt was nowhere to be found again, and there was no real progression. She had random patients, most of which were involved in some Quidditch accident that she wasn't entirely sure happened soberly, and others that weren't so lucky when it came to injuries. One man would be staying overnight due to a nasty run in with a blast ended skrewt. He was burnt all over and had absolutely no hair left. Still, every time she went back to room 407, she couldn't help but cry. Here was a little girl with no one around her, who has negligent parents, and is possibly dying, when in just a few floors down Mr. and Mrs. Fern have just been told they were to expect a baby. Victoire wants to be there for this little girl, but with only a couple weeks left, she doesn't know if she'll make it to the recovery. The least she could do is keep her alive until then.
"Poor Gwyneth," she whispered, wiping the blonde hair out of the little girl's face. Van, who had reported that the gnome eating patient was to stay for the week under Healer Joseph's care, was standing in the doorway and looked equally as sad. Victoire told her of Gwyneth at lunch, and gave her updates every time they past one another, but there wasn't much more to say other than she was still breathing.
"That poor little angel," Van cooed, and she came into the room to hand Victoire a few of her things. 'She must have already gone to the locker room.' Victoire thought, and a very small, but thoughtful grin spread across her lips. "I'll never understand people."
"Me either," Victoire agreed. She decided not to turn out the lights when they left the room, in case for some reason the girl would wake up. Instead, she informed the night nurse of what needed to be done overnight and went to the Floo room with Van. There wasn't really much to say between the two of them. They were both tired, and Victoire's patient depressed them both and had them thinking. All Victoire wanted to do was go home and wrap her arms around Emmaline. She would appologise for last night's fight and give her all the ice cream she wanted. Even if it was close to her bedtime. She did just that, too. When she arrived home she could hear Emmaline and Teddy playing and running around the flat. Victoire intercepted by picking her little girl up and squeezing the breath out of her.
"Mummy! I can't. Breathe!" Emmaline choked dramatically and Victoire put her down with the biggest smile she had to offer.
"Mummy loves you soooo much, little girl. You have no idea." Victoire pet her daughter's hair back and kissed her all over.
"Love you, Mummy," Emmaline exasperated, trying to squirm out of her mother's grasp. When Teddy popped in from behind the kitchen door, he was surprised to see his girlfriend standing there close to tears.
"Are you OK?" He asked, and she could see the confused look on his face. He may be her man, but he was still a man, and because of that he was totally clueless most of the time as of what to do when a woman cried.
Victoire left her daughter, kissed Teddy on the lips, and hugged him tightly. "I'll tell you later," she whispered and then the three of them decided on chocolate ice cream for a late night snack. It was difficult getting Emmaline to bed, but it worked eventually. Even if that meant the five year old was now laying in bed between Teddy and Victoire. On Victoire's terms.
OK, there it is! Sorry it switched from really fun to sorta sad there in the middle, but I wanted to show the real sense of working in a hospital at times. If you notice absolutely anything up with this chapter, please let me know! I wrote it and updated it entirely on my iPhone and that is no easy feat! As for the question:
What do you think will happen to the little girl? What do you hope happens with the little girl?
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