Chapter 3 : A New Member of the Family
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Chapter Three — A New Member of the "Family"
All of the healers and medi-witches rushed in and tried to carry Harry out of the mental injury ward. They could not. Sister Mary Claire ("please call me Claire") realized first that even unconscious, Harry was not going to leave Luna. “I told him he could be looked after here and he isn’t going to leave. Take him to the cot.”
They headed back to the cot and the tall gray wizard with the long beard circled his wand and the cot transformed into a full hospital bed before they got Harry to it. He walked up to Claire.
"My name is Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I believe I heard you say that you are Sister Mary Claire?"
"Please call me Claire."
“Thank you Claire, and you must call me Albus. You must forgive us for barging into your quiet ward like this." Claire smiled, she did not meet a gentleman of the old school every day. "Those of us here are as close to Harry as we are to our family members. The end of this tragic war has come and the world owes a debt for its end the Harry. We have fought alongside him, we have been wounded with him, and some us have died. We now have something we have scarce dared hoped for—a chance for a sane life after fearing each morning that the day we have awaken to may be our last."
"We are shell shocked and war weary and over-dosed by adrenalin. Less than three hours ago we were fighting for our lives and had been since early this morning, with few breaks. We are almost afraid to come out of of our fox holes into the light of a brand new day. Those of us you meet over the next few day will be a bundle of emotions—many of us with our emotions run amuck. But I doubt any of us will tell you anything exaggerated about Harry Potter."
"From the age of eleven he has borne the ever-increasing weight of saving the world single-handedly. Today he has succeeded in winning the war. Few in our wizard history, if any, have faced what Harry has faced. It is made even more remarkable because he is not even 18 years old."
"Those of us here are the closest thing to family Harry has ever had since he was orphaned at the age of one. We have trusted him and now he trusts you. Since he trusts you, that is enough for all of us to say that you are now one of us in trying to make Harry’s life one that is better than it has been.”
“Harry asks so little—just friendship and love and a little peace in his soul. He has given each of us loyalty and friendship and love in abundance beyond what you will think possible if you learn his whole story.”
“If there is anything you need to attend him, or anything he needs or wants in anyway, please take this small bell and ring it." Dumbledore had reached up and pulled the bell out of thin air. "One of us will be in contact with you in moments. Thank you Claire for convincing him to accept medical attention. Thank you from the bottom of all our hearts.”
And with that something no one including Minerva McGonagall had ever seen occurred. Albus Dumbledore shed several tears. "Goodness, there must be a lot of dust in the air, " he mumbled to no one in particular.
The healers worked on Harry for over six hours before they declared him stable. Few of those who came to Harry’s aid at St. Mungo’s went far from the ward. None would have left at all if the Ward Chief had not insisted to the point of nearly pitching a fit.
Harry had second and third degree burns over more than 35% of his body. The broken fibula bone stuck out of his left leg and the muscle and skin of that leg was a shredded mess. He had seven cracked ribs and four broken small bones in his right foot. Every step must have been wrenchingly painful, not just every other step.
There was over four inches of a one inch wide birch branch stuck through his shoulder rubbing against his broken collar bone. If Harry was a muggle he would have needed 87 stitches to close the gapping wounds cut into his body—other than major rips in his body with the exposed leg bone wound and the impaled tree branch. The lightning bolt scar on his face would have taken 193 microstitches in muggle health care. Harry had lost over one quarter of his blood supply. There were so many minor scraps and bruises and cuts all over him that they were still finding them several days later.
In the midst of all the battles and the activities that brought him to St. Mungo's, somehow Harry had keep his glasses on and they were not scratched at all.
Every hour on the hour, in spite of the potions given to Harry to knock him out for surgery, he woke and asked about Luna. The first time he did this the medi-witch holding the instruments for the healer fainted. Every hour on the hour he did this.
When they gave him the Knock-Out Draft after the healers were finished and had him out of danger they thought it would end this hourly questioning. On the hour again Harry woke and asked after Luna. The same medi-witch fainted again. Claire finally ended it. "Harry, I promise that either I or one of your closest friends will not leave Luna's side until you awaken from the long sleep you need. Please let yourself pass out so you can get well and help Luna recover."
The Head of Ward scolded her, "How can you give that boy hope. She has the worse case of Cruciatus Curse coma I have ever seen."
Claire looked at him and spoke as thought explaining things to a slow child. "Don't you know, the rules don't apply to Harry Potter, or so I am told."
At 6:00 in the morning a huge bald handsome dark skinned man with the look of a warrior stalked into the room and approached Professors Dumbledore and Lupin and Arthur and Molly Weasley. Claire noticed that the boy known as Ron and the girls known as Hermione and Ginny joined the conversation as equals.
During the night, as Claire had held Luna’s hand, each person came up to Claire and introduced themselves. Claire knew that Ron and Hermione were Harry’s oldest friends and dearer to him than most sibling in most families. Ginny was a year younger and next closest to Harry after Ron and Hermione. Also, Ginny was Luna’s age and they were best friends.
Dumbledore beckoned Claire to the conversation. “Sister Mary Claire, this is Kingsley Shacklebolt. He is the Chief Auror, do you know what an auror is?” She nodded. “He has a terrible report to give us but I believe you are made of what is needed to endure it. Knowledge of last night's events may prove beneficial in helping Harry and perhaps even Luna recover.”
Claire thought that this chief auror looked like the kind of person to take on a dark lord. Not this man-boy in the bed eight feet away.
“I entered the Forbidden Forest as Harry instructed with Tonks and Charlie in a three point spread. We came to the place they fought. For almost 200 feet around the crater the trees are either uprooted or blown to bits save one. There was almost ten feet of one tree standing near the crater. It looked like a protective bubble had been around it from the top of the remains down to the roots. All the other trees had jagged edges but the top of this tree was rounded and smooth. There were ropes around the tree leading me to believe Voldomort had tied Luna to the tree and had torture her there before Harry showed up. Harry must have maintained a protective shield around her during the entire time he fought. That alone is an unheard of feat.”
"If nothing ever grows there again I will not be surprised. Everything around it is dead even if it has an intact root system. I have never smelled anything like it and hope never to again."
“Harry said he had to kill Voldomort three times. There was enough destruction for thirty deaths but we did find a puddle of green blood in one spot. At another location there was a leg cut off below the knee and a hand, as well as a bigger puddle of green blood.”
“Finally at the crater we found shredded skin and splattered blood in a blast pattern twelve feet around. That explains all the green ooze on the front of Harry’s robes and on his face and hair. In the center of the crater we found only Voldomort’s head with the sword of Godric Gryffindor slicing down the center to the nose in the front and to the base of the spine in the back.”
“We have a clean up team gathering all the debris of his body and we will keep it in small bags separated in places all over the country until we can have it destroyed in a nuclear reactor. Handy things those reactors for cleaning up a mess.”
Everyone but Dumbledore and Sister Claire shuddered at least once during the gruesome account. Ginny looked decidedly green. Molly was crying and sobbing, ‘the poor boy” over and over again during Shacklebolt's discourse. There were few dry eyes within earshot.
Finally Arthur spoke to no one in particular, “How can we ever repay that boy for what he has had to do to save us from this evil? If he losses his mind no one would blame him. Instead he is concerned about all of us and of course for Luna.”
Claire knew that a later recounting of the emotional statements spoken in this room tonight, such words would sound overly melodramatic. But she also knew that this was the pure unvarnished truth that would never survive being written down or even retelling to one who was not there.
Claire added to Arthur's pronouncement, “The world does not deserve people like that, but God always provides them just when we need them.” There was silence for several moments after her words. Around the room were heard several “amens.”
By 10:00 in the morning everyone there had been awake for nearly 30 hours and complete exhaustion was setting in. It was Molly Weasley who set a schedule for visitation so those there would feel released to get much needed sleep. All those visiting Harry had participated in the battle in some way.
Ron and Hermione insisted they would stay with Harry and Luna until that evening. They would brook no discussion even from Molly.
Beginning that evening, there would be no less that four and usually 10 –12 of Harry’s friends at St. Mungo’s to be near him keeping watch.
Kingsley Shacklebolt had aurors stationed at all entry points. Claire found out that Harry had done the impossible when he apparated in on her. When she asked Harry’s friend one night why there were only guards at the doors, Ginny told her that the aurors were there to protect those hurt in the hospital by any Death Eaters trying to get to Harry. “Should the Death Eaters get this far we will take care of them.”
At that moment the tallest person visiting Harry was Ginny at 5’ 6”. The three with her looked even younger than her, but all four were DA members. “You will be able to protect Harry? But you are children,” Claire queried.
They looked at each other. Ginny spoke for the others, “I am sixteen and so is Collin. Heidi and Maddy are 14. But that does not necessarily mean any thing. You see, Harry trained us. Each one of us has faced Death Eaters more than once in this war. All four of us have been wounded, but we have won. We do not say this with false bravado. We have friends as well trained as us who have died. Harry taught us all to fight the dark forces and he taught us to fight as a team. Together, the four of us will not be beaten.”
Collin Creevy stated in determined earnest, “No one will attack Harry in this hospital as long as I am alive. Ginny told us how you helped Harry that night. No one will ever attack you either. I promise.” Claire knew she had heard the promise of protection of a mighty warrior that was three inches shorter than her.
Disclaimer---As always, what belongs to J K Rowlings is J K Rowlings'. What belongs to anyone else is theirs. Everything left is mine, I guess, but remember the old adage: "There is nothing new under the sun." — Aaran St. Vines***
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