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Chapter 5 : The WCPS Has A Say
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Permettez-moi de guérir votre cœur brisé = Let me mend your broken heart.
Planning to update soon,
The WCPS Has A Say
"Permettez-moi de guérir votre cœur brisé." Van attempted to say in a rather awful French accent. However bad it was, Victoire managed to understand her and rolled her eyes.
"You can't just go around saying that to everyone. It doesn't even make sense!" She chuckled, tapping her fingers against the desk and trying to figure out exactly what it was she should do for her patient on the fourth floor. She had less than three days now to see Gwyneth recover, and she was determined to do just that. For now, Van and her managed to sit in Victoire's office for a quick bite to eat. With Gwyneth always on her mind, Victoire found it difficult to eat, but Van provided ample distraction. "Who even taught you that phrase anyway?"
Van shrugged, bit into her apple, and stood from her current position, which was sitting on the corner of Victoire's desk. "Something I picked up from one of those Muggle tape things Teddy let me borrow," she added nonchalantly. Victoire smirked and remembered the time Teddy tried to surprise her with a few if his own self-taught French phrases.
"Keep them. Merlin knows they're not doing him any good." Victoire told her friend while looking down at Gwyneth's charts. She frowned and let out a low sigh. Luckily, the little girl was gaining weight again, and the bruises and everything had healed almost immediately. A few of the potions have been taken away, but she still has not woken up. This disappointed Victoire, but she was happy with the improvements so far.
"They're not really all that helpful," Van interrupted Victoire's thoughts. "Not unless all I plan to do is pick up hot women with cheesy pickup lines. French girls dig Healers, right?" Both girls thought of this for a moment before Victoire nodded thoughtfully and laughed.
"I think everyone is into Healers, Van," she reassured the other woman.
Van paced around the cramped, tiny office, eating away at the core of her apple. She packed a surprisingly small lunch and Victoire feared that her lunch would soon be eaten by her ravenous friend before she had the chance to look at it. So, putting her worrying to the side, she slid the papers to the side and started eating a turkey sandwich Teddy packed her the night before and immediately started feeling better.
"There you go! You look a little less green now!" Van quipped, deciding her spot on the desk was a much better place to be and landed herself there once more.
Victoire groaned and just continued eating. She blamed her poor health on how much she was worrying about Gwyneth, the stress of packing, the thought of moving in with her parents, and, of course, working full time at the hospital and being a mother at the same time. She found it oddly suspicious that her health was in the exact same condition it was in those couple of weeks ago when her brother gave her whatever he and his girlfriend had. It was during the time that Victoire thought she might be pregnant, but she quickly dismissed that idea when she took another pregnancy test that came out negative. Eating did make her feel better, though.
"So, any news on my little angel?" Van asked, tossing her apple core toward the bin, missing by a long shot. Victoire pulled out her wand and levitated the trash where it rightfully belonged before answering.
"Still pretty much the same, but she's outwardly healthier. I just wish she would wake up," Victoire sighed. Van took to calling Gwyneth her "little angle" because she felt bad for her, and she desperately wished she could take her home for herself. Of course, St. Mungo's would never allow that. Not with an aunt who has yet to show up since she dropped the little girl off out and about. "The poor girl. She's been abandoned by everyone."
Van frowned and decided she no longer liked the subject she just started. So, as conveniently as ever, her caller went off and she checked the golden coin happily. "I have to go. One-forty-nine has been calling me all day because she keeps scratching her soothing salve off. Heed my warning and remember to stay away from Widdlestumps. It took forever just to figure out what she fell into!" With that, Van left and promised to meet up with Victoire later. Victoire, on the other hand, decided to finish her lunch and get back to her paperwork.
She was making it her personal goal to find Gwyneth's Aunt Mira again, but the task was difficult since she left no contact information and she didn't use her own Floo station to bring the girl to the hospital. Normally, with mystery cases like this, a Ministry member would track the Floo Networking System and tell the Healers where the patients came from, but Gwyneth's aunt Flooed from Mr. and Mrs. Porter's house. Victoire, in a search for Mira, learned that not even they had returned to their home. They completely left Gwyneth behind. With one last feeble attempt, Victoire left a note telling the Porters where their daughter was and left her cell number in case they had a mobile. She had no clue as to whether or not Gwyneth was a pure-blood, half-blood, or Muggle-born. Since they were a part of the Floo Network though, she assumed at least one of the parents, most likely Mr. Porter, was magical. It proved very difficult though because it meant she couldn't give Gwyneth certain potions or other means of medicine even if she really thought it could help.
The silver caller at the corner of her desk rattled and Victoire dropped her head into her folded arms. She was not prepared for another patient. In reality, all she really wanted to do was nap. But, when she slid the coin that jumped out toward her, she stood immediately, grabbed her paperwork, and quickly apparated out of her office. The coin wasn't a room number, but the one coin with Healer Joseph's name on it. He was calling her and she wasn't exactly sure why. It's not unusual to get a call from him, but not on a normal, slow day like the one she was having today.
When she appeared in the hospital's centre, Healer Joseph was talking to a woman in purple robes that Victoire did not reconise. There didn't seem to be any urgent activities, so she caught her breath from the sudden apparation, something she had been doing all week, and then slowly walked up to the pair.
"Ah, there you are," Healer Joseph, or Ryan as she often called him on less formal terms, said quietly when she stood next to him, brushing his elbow so he would be aware of her presence. "Sorry for calling you, I hope you weren't too terribly busy." He asked, a black eyebrow raising as if he were trying to tell her what she should say. Victoire picked up the hint and shook her head.
"No. I was just finishing lunch," she assured him, which was mostly true. Her attention was brought back to the woman in the purple robes and she smiled. The other woman did not seem so happy to see her.
"This is Miss Temple," Ryan introduced and again he made a gesture to Victoire in order to remind her that she should interact. She smiled and held out her hand for the other woman to shake. She took it and frowned even more. She was very business-like, and was probably twice the age of Victoire. Her hair was in a peppery bun and her glasses had a beaded neck cord attached to them. On her purple robes were four letters in gold embroidery. WCPS. "Miss Temple, this is Healer Weasley. She is the In Charge for the patient Gwyneth Porter. Victoire, Catherine here is with the Wizardeing Child Protective Services. She's here to talk to you about Gwyneth."
Victoire suddenly became very interested and nodded her head toward the woman and rewarded herself a smile. They stood there in a small triangle type form while everyone else either ran past them, or tried to listen in on the conversation because they had nothing better to do.
"Yes, Healer Weasley, it is in my understanding that you have tried to reach any and all known family members of the child's in the last several days. Am I correct?" Miss Temple asked pointedly and both Healers were aware she was a no-nonsense sort of person.
"Yes." Victoire answered, crossing her arms.
"And have you heard from anyone?" Miss Temple, or Catherine as Ryan had called her, pushed, her own eyebrow raised. Victoire shook her head and the other woman's frown deepened. "I see," she said. "I think then, perhaps we should finish this conversation in your office, Ryan?"
"Of course!" Ryan agreed quickly and happily. He was definitely a pleaser when it came to the WCPS. Though Victoire had never worked with them, they weren't strangers to St. Mungo's, as awful as that sounds. Most cases with children under severe care required an appointment with a WCPS worker.
The three of them were soon in Ryan's office; it was much bigger than Victoire's, and much neater, too. She rolled her eyes, immediately giving up on the thought in her head that she should clean her own office. Even if she did, Van would mess it up somehow. They all took a seat, Victoire next to Catherine, and the pair of them across from Ryan and his desk. An arrangement the woman mentioned before was used to with Van. They were quite a pair, the two of them. This meeting was much more formal, though, and Victoire was beginning to regret not eating her lunch sooner because her stomach was making all sorts of awkward noises. No one seemed to hear. Or at least, they pretended not to care.
"Miss Temple I-" Ryan started, but Catherine was already talking over him.
"Healer Joseph, I would like to get straight to business here."
Ryan nodded, and out of discomfort, so did Victoire.
"It is by my understanding and that of all of WCPS that Gwyneth Porter is a minor which has been abandoned by her parents, and all family. Am I correct?" Both Healers nodded again. Catherine cleared her throat. "No visitors, no news, no calls, and no form of payments have been made in arrangement to keep the little girl here?"
Victoire did not like where this was going. She had heard awful rumours about the WCPS forcing children from hospitals, but they were always just that: rumours. However, she had known the occasional child to be taken out of St. Mungo's care to be thrown straight into a children's home. She felt the need to speak up.
"I can assure you, ma'am that the hospital does not mind caring for Gwyneth! She can stay as long as she needs! Our hope is that either her parents or Aunt Mira will come back for her..." Victoire trailed off. She meant what she said, but she also worried about what she said. So did Catherine.
"And then what happens, Miss Weasley?" Catherine snapped, any form of what could be called nice completely gone. "Have her parents take her away and have this happen to her all over again? What if she doesn't last in between the time it takes them to do it again and then for someone else to find her and bring her to the hospital?"
"Well, her Aunt-"
"Mira Porter? The woman who found, and then left Gwyneth at the hospital? Even if she did came back and turned out to be a somewhat decent human being, she has no rights to this child! The child needs to be taken care of." Catherine stopped for a catch of breath, closed her eyes, and soothed her temples. Apparently, she was easily angered. Victoire was at a loss for words. She knew all of that was true, and she had thought of all those possibilities at least a hundred times over in her head. She also thought of the several different curses she planned on using if ever Mr. and Mrs. Porter did make an entrance into Gwyneth's life again. Victoire stared at her lap and decided to play with her thumbnails. Being yelled at by anyone other than her boss was not something she liked, and not something she was used to. Her own parents never really got so angry with her that they'd yell at her, even when she had a baby and refused to get married. The only exception was her Nana Weasley and in occasion her sister or a friend from her Hofwarts days. So, when an occasion like this seemed to happen, Victoire took to twiddling her thumbs to keep from getting angry herself.
"Would you like some tea, Catherine?" Ryan asked after a momentary awkward pause. The older woman addressed him with a quick, "Yes please," and looked back to Victoire in hopes to find a mutual understanding. What she didn't know was that Victoire understood her very well, she was just a little more hopeful than Catherine. The tea was pouted and divided into three cups, and each had a sip before they went on.
"Look," the older woman started in a calmer tone this time around, "we have the Ministry on watch for Mrs. and Mrs. Porter. They know a few more details about them than we do, but they'll keep in touch. I've been sent to tell you, Miss Weasley, that you have exactly three days to help that little girl. If in that time no one shows up for her, I will be taking her from your custody and bringing her to our own hospital. By that point, if she is not better, we will have one of our own Healers help her."
Victoire wanted to argue. Gwyneth was her patient, and if she wasn't well again in three day's time, she'd be deemed an unworthy Healer. It could ruin her chance at Paris! Of course, if all went well she would be leaving the day after anyway. But she couldn't just forget about the little girl. Not when she was already abandoned by everyone else. Ryan saw the contemplating look in in Victoire's eye and he knew she wanted to argue, but he discreetly shook his head and she held her tongue.
"I understand," she said through practically gritted teeth.
"Great!" Miss Temple beamed for the first time since she arrived. She clapped two hands together and stood from her seat. "Now, if you would be so kind, please show me the way to dear Gwyneth."
Victoire begrudgingly agreed to her request and the pair apparated to room 407.
Eight o'clock arrived and, as usual, Victoire had just Flooed inside her flat. She could hear giggles and splashing upstairs so she automatically assumed Teddy was giving Emmaline a bath. So, still aggravated from work, Victoire huffed and tossed her things to the side without care. Teddy knew she would be off at eight. 'The least he could do is make sure he's here to welcome me home! Emmaline can wait for a bath!' She thought without feeling remotely guilty for being jealous of a five year old. In proceeding to introduce Miss Temple to Gwyneth, the old bat did nothing but humiliate her. She questioned everything she was doing, and tutted at her for not knowing her blood status. Thankfully, the Ministry provided paperwork to Miss Temple, and legally, she had to give it to Victoire until Gwyneth was no longer in her care. At least now she knew the little girl was a Half-Blood.
Resigning the thought that her boyfriend and daughter would soon come welcome her home, Victoire made her way to the computer and checked on the status of her flat. Still no one had made an offer, and she was beginning to worry. There were three days left. If no one made an offer before then, they'd be paying for the flat even when they moved away. Already frustrated, she turned the blasted machine off and marched upstairs. She had really been relying on Teddy cheering her up all day.
"Baby! You're home!" Teddy announced when she made her presence known in the bathroom. He seemed to be desperately trying to wrap up a very wet and naked five year old. Emmaline was giggling and dodging her father and he was purposefully failing to catch her. "I was meant to be waiting downstairs when you got home, but Emmaline had other ideas when she found the molasses and flour." Teddy chuckled and then succeeded in wrapping their daughter up in a towel. Emmaline pouted, but soon forgot about it and started pretending her towel was a cape and ran past her mother. Wet footprints trailed along behind her and even Victoire couldn't help but laugh slightly at her daughter's ridiculousness.
Teddy sauntered toward her, nearly as drenched as the little girl that ran off before him, wrapped a wet arm around Victoire's waste, and pecked her on the lips.
"How was your day, darling?" he asked, genuinely thoughtful. "Did you like your sandwich?"
Victoire sighed and he frowned.
"I used the wrong meat again, didn't I? I swore turkey used to be your favorite!" He defended himself before really knowing what was going on. He smiled and kissed her again.
"It's not that," she sighed again, resigning her bad mood from before completely and replacing it with a very tired explanation. "The WCPS had a talk with me today about my patient."
Teddy frowned and pulled away. "This sounds like a tea moment. I'll go get a kettle started. You go get changed into something comfortable and then we'll talk all about it downstairs."
A faint smile spread across her lips. Of course Teddy would know what to do. If she was lucky, they would have a few extra biscuits left to eat while they talked. She changed and then met him in the living room for tea, biscuits, and a nice fire. She told him about her day, and even proceeded in telling him the things she wished she would have said, in which he then replied with, "You didn't really say that did you?" and then she would shamefully shake her head and swear she would the next time the occasion occurred. When she was done, she had finished her second cup of tea and ate the biscuits all by herself. She was definitely a stress eater. Then she waited for him to reply.
For a moment, Teddy was silent. She knew he was thinking of the most perfect thing to say, but she grew weary waiting for his response. She cleared her throat and he glared at her.
"I don't think you have anything to worry about," he said at last. He took a sip of his tea, the finishing sip to his first cup, and she raised an eyebrow at him. "I know you can wake that little girl up, baby. You're an excellent Healer! You've shown everyone up so far! Why not do it again?" He asked, and his confidence radiated toward her. She smiled and flushed slightly. She even started to play with her long, blonde hair for a moment before forgetting it in a knot on top of her head and curling up next to her boyfriend.
"Do you really think so?" she asked, milking the compliments from him. He grinned and rolled his eyes, knowing exactly what she was doing. Victoire loved hearing compliments. Mainly to gain confidence in herself again, but she only accepted them when they were true.
"I know so," Teddy whispered, kissing her gently on the forehead. She thought she could fall asleep on him exactly the way they were curled up on the couch, but reality came crashing down on her when a nude Emmaline came running through the room with loud squeals and proclamations of being the "Nakey Queen!"
Both parents sighed, continued their roles as proper, functioning adults, and then tucked their baby into bed. Teddy volunteered to take the night's reading shift, so Victoire made to wait for him to come to bed before she fell asleep. She failed almost instantly when she started thinking about Gwyneth and made herself sad just before falling into a restless sleep.
Last little bit of an author's note, I promise! Sorry I'm so wordy today! Gosh! Anyway, I know this cute, fluffy story took a bit of a turn with Gwyneth, but that's only because I wanted the reality of working as a Healer, and I wanted a little bit of a plot before everyone leaves for Paris. I think the next chapter is that last super serious chapter for a while, so I hope you all can forgive me for bringing such an awfully sad, random plot into the mix! Anyway, I hope you loved it regardless, and are kind enough to leave a review! Everyone who has done so is so amazing, and you guys make my day whenever I see a review waiting for me! Much love!
Question(s): What's wrong with Victoire? Do you think Gwyneth will wake up? Do you think any of her family will show up in time?
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