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Chapter 20 : The Hospital Wing
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“Ding dong the witch is dead!” Myrtle sings out, her banshee-like voice echoing around the bathroom.
“Laura,” I say, trying to keep the panic out of my voice, “Laura, can you hear me?”
With great difficulty, I kneel down onto the ground and turn her over very gently. She’s so pale and freezing cold. I’m starting to think that Myrtle might be right.
“Wake up, Laura,” I panic, “Please wake up…”
Myrtle cackles loudly. “She’s dead!”
“Shut up!” I shout, “And go get some help!”
“I will not be spoken to like that in my bathroom!” she shrieks and flies through the wall to spread the joyous news that she will soon have a new roommate to terrorise the full-bladdered girls of Hogwarts with.
I don’t even have my wand, I left it in my bag back in the greenhouse. Not that I’d even know what to do if I did have my wand.
“Please, Laura, please wake up!” I plead. I pull myself up off the ground, rush to the sink, fill a glass with water and pour it over her. She doesn’t move. I can’t feel a pulse. I run to the door of the bathroom, but the hallways are practically empty because everyone is in class. That is except for the one person in the school who doesn’t feel the need to go to class anymore.
“James!” I cry, as I spot my cousin flying around the corridor on a scooter. Seriously, that’s what he does when he should be in Potions. I don’t even know where the hell he got a scooter.
“Alright Red!” he grins, speeding past me on the Muggle toy.
“James you have to help me!” I’m crying now from the panic and starting to get cramps in my stomach. He jumps off the scooter, which keeps going and crashes straight into the suit of armour at the end of the corridor, but James ignores it and runs towards me.
“Are you alright?” he asks, now looking just as panicked as me.
“It’s Laura,” I tell him and he frowns, “Come on!”
“I can’t go in there!” he says, outraged, “Of all the girls’ places I’ve been, the second floor bathroom is one I’ve never wanted to visit, thanks.”
“James, NOW!” I shout, and try to ignore the pain that’s now becoming worse. James reluctantly follows me into the bathroom and his brown eyes widen in shock when he sees Laura’s motionless body lying at the end cubicle.
“Fuck, what happened?” he gasps and picks up the bottle that’s still in Laura’s hand, “Slimming Solution?”
I hadn’t even read the label.
“We have to get her to the hospital wing,” I say, my voice strained because of the cramp in my stomach. James picks Laura up with absolutely no trouble at all – it’s as if she doesn’t weigh anything.
“Shit, she’s way too light,” says James, hurrying to the door of the bathroom, “How the hell did she get hold of Slimming Solution?”
I shrug and rush after him up the stairs towards the hospital wing.
“Laura,” James says softly as he half-runs, “C’mon Laura talk to me…”
The hospital wing is empty when we arrive. Madam Pomfrey rushes from her office as James lays Laura down on the first bed he finds.
“What on earth?”
“She’s overdosed,” I explain, breathing heavily like those antenatal books told me to, “on Slimming Solution.”
“How long ago?” asks Madam Pomfrey looking extremely worried.
“I don’t know! I found her around – ouch – around ten minutes ago,” I say, doubling over in pain.
“Red, what’s the matter?” asks James, putting an arm around my shoulders.
“N-nothing,” I say, “I’m fine. Will she be okay?”
Madam Pomfrey is muttering some weird incantation at Laura, then runs to the medicine cabinet. She takes out a bottle of purple coloured potion and feeds it to Laura, then feels for a pulse.
“Potter,” Pomfrey demands, “Fetch the headmaster.”
James takes a look at me, and I nod indicating that I’m okay and that he should go. He runs from the hospital.
“Is she alright?” I cry, “She’s not –”
“No,” says Madam Pomfrey, not allowing me to say the dreaded 'd' word, “But almost.”
She’s rushing around, feeding Laura various potions and casting random spells, and it all becomes a sort of blur. The blinding pain is making it difficult to breathe. Madam Pomfrey is saying something to me, but it is as if I’m under the water, her voice is so blurred. I can’t stand anymore…I’m falling…
And everything goes dark.
“There are simply too many of you!” I hear Madam Pomfrey cry, “Half of you will have to leave!”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Hugo says stubbornly, “She’s my sister.”
“Yeah, well she’s our cousin,” says James and about five ‘yeah!’s follow his outburst.
“She’s carrying my kid!” Scorpius cries.
“Well…she’s…erm…she’s my friend!” I hear Hagrid boom.
“She’s my friend too!” Jenny sobs, “And the last thing I did was shout at her!”
“Well then that’s Jenny gone,” says Fred, “Right, who else has shouted at her recently?”
“Shut up, Fred,” I hear Roxie sigh at her older brother.
“I think we should all stay,” says Molly.
“I agree Dolly-Molly.” Oh mercy – Library Man is here. And he’s calling my cousin ‘Dolly-Molly’.
“You can’t all stay!” Madam Pomfrey sighs, half-knowing she’s been defeated.
“Well there’s thirteen of us,” says Dom, “And only one of you.”
I open my eyes, and sure enough there are thirteen people surrounding my bed, though Hagrid’s presence makes it seem like more. James, Al, Hugo and Lily are on the left side of my bed and Scorpius, Jenny and Dom are on the other side. Hagrid is down the bottom with Roxie, Fred, Molly, Library Man and Louis.
“Is Laura okay?” I ask immediately.
Apparently nobody realised that I have awoken because they all stop arguing immediately at the sound of my voice and turn around to face me. Hugo looks extremely pale and worried, and actually looks like my little brother rather than the freaky not-even-a-Goth thing he’s turned into over the last few months. Hagrid smiles widely at me, Dom breathes a sigh of relief, James winks, but nobody looks worse than Scorpius. I bet I don’t even look worse than him. Although he’s a naturally pale person, he looks just as pale as poor Laura did when I found her on the floor of the bathroom. How long ago was that?
“Rosie!” Hagrid grins, “How’re yeh feelin’?”
“I’m fine,” I say impatiently, “How’s Laura?”
Everybody looks at each other uncomfortably, but it is James who answers.
“She’s in a heavy coma,” he says, “They took her to St Mungo’s a few hours ago.”
“Will she be alright?” I ask fearfully.
“They don’t know,” James shrugs, “But if you hadn’t found her when you did, she’d certainly be dead by now.”
This does absolutely nothing to comfort me.
“It wasn’t her fault…” I whisper to myself, and feel tears pouring down my cheeks and a fresh anger towards Laura’s mother.
“Are you okay?” Scorpius asks, “Poppy says that the baby’s fine, it was just a little distressed because of all the stress you were under.”
Then silence. None of us know what to say.
“D’you know what’s a great name for a boy?” James says, totally ruining the mood and changing the subject, “If it’s a boy, I mean…James Sirius. Or maybe Sirius James, whichever way you want to put it, it’s your kid I suppose…”
“Oh please, Fred Arthur is way better,” Fred scoffs.
“I think if you just steer clear of Albus Severus and Scorpius Hyperion you should be okay,” Dom winks.
“We do have God awful names,” Scorpius shrugs at Al.
“Amen to that,” Al agrees solemnly. I can’t help but notice that he’s saying everything in that solemn tone and I haven’t actually seen him smile in days. Then again, I haven’t seen Jenny smile in days either.
Slowly my visitors start to leave. The first to go is Hagrid, as he has a Care of Magical Creatures class to teach. The James and Fred go off to ‘study’, which I know can’t be good. Molly and Library Man also say they’re going to study, which I know is actually true, as neither of them know how to do anything else. Also, Library Man has been out of his habitat for over an hour – he must be coming out in a rash or something. Lily, Hugo, Louis and Roxie all leave, as classes are about to begin. Scorpius, Dom, Al and Jenny all have free periods, so they stay for a while. At one time I’d have felt like a fifth wheel in this situation, but now we’re just five single people.
“I have to go do some Transfiguration homework,” Dom announces after a few awkward minutes. She and Malfoy still aren’t on speaking terms after the fight on April Fools’ Day. “Chang will go nuts if I don’t hand up that essay soon. I’ll see you later, Rosie.”
She hugs me and leaves, half nodding to Al and Jenny but completely ignoring Scorpius. He doesn’t seem to care.
“I think I should go too,” says Jenny, looking at the ground, “I hope you feel better, Rose.”
She gets up to leave, and Al jumps up to follow her. Scorpius and I exchange a glance, both of us knowing that this isn’t going to end up good. My bed is quite near to the door, so we can hear everything.
“Jen, wait,” Al pleads, “C’mon we need to talk!”
“What’s there to talk about?” Jenny cries, sounding very upset indeed.
“Should we be listening to this?” Scorpius asks quietly, but I shush him very quickly. Gossip is gossip no matter what way you look at it.
“I’m sorry, it was just a –”
“Joke?” she scoffs, “That’s all it was to you? You were willing to jeopardise everything we have for a stupid joke?”
“Hey, my grandfather would have been proud of that joke!” Al argues.
“Well as long as the late James Potter is proud that his grandson is an insensitive little wart!” Jenny shrieks.
“Woah, harsh,” Scorpius whispers.
“Oh come on, Jenny lighten up a bit!” Al shouts, now getting angry rather than apologetic, “It was a bloody joke! It’s not like I actually accused you of cheating!”
“You made a fool of me in front of everybody!” she cries, “Did you even think about how I might feel?”
“You just can’t take a joke!” Al shoots, “I’m not going to waste my time on some uptight –”
Easy now, Al.
Taking it a bit far…
Even Scorpius gasps at that one.
“Bad one,” Scorpius groans, shaking his head.
“Well I wouldn’t dare ask you to waste your time, Potter! But let me just say, that although you think that you’re the friggin’ cat’s pyjamas, believe me, you’re not and just because you’re living off Daddy’s fame here at Hogwarts, that doesn’t give you the right to judge others! You’re worse than your brother!”
Then we hear her march away without another word, and Al isn’t quick enough to think of a comeback. When he re-enters the hospital wing, Scorpius starts clapping very slowly, a clap that’s absolutely dripping with sarcasm.
“Nicely done mate,” he says, “You really know how to win ‘em over, don’t you?”
“Shut up,” Al groans, “I’m going back to the dungeons. See you later.”
Scorpius and I are left in silence.
“Wow, my drama seems kind of trivial now,” I say, breaking the silence.
“That Al can be a right bitch when he wants,” says Scorpius.
“The sad thing is that they do love each other,” I sigh, “They’re just too stubborn to work it out.”
Just like my parents.
“Right I’m afraid I’m gonna have to make like a banana and split,” says Scorpius, making an attempt to be cool, but failing miserably. “Don’t look at me like that, that phrase was very cool back –”
“In the stone age?”
“Ha ha,” he says sarcastically, “I’ll come back after work, okay? Poppy said you’ll probably be out tomorrow. Don’t stress over anything or I’ll kill you.”
He bends down and for a second I think he’s about to kiss me.
He’s clearly in love with you!
But instead he goes for a hug, which is good enough for me, I suppose.
“You take good care of little Alfonsis,” he grins on the way out, “Or Bjork, depending on what sex it is!”
“Yeah, we’ll work on the names later,” I call after him as he walks out the door.
Two hours later, I find myself stressed once more and shouting at the matron.
“Please Madam Pomfrey!” I beg.
“Absolutely not! You are in no condition to go to London –”
“But I need to see that she’s okay!” I protest.
“She will be transferred back here once the Healers have given her the proper treatment, I assure you! She’ll probably be back tomorrow, you can see her then,” said Madam Pomfrey, forcing me back into my bed.
“S-so once they give her the treatment she’ll be okay?” I ask hopefully.
She avoids my eyes and her face softens slightly. “I hope so.”
That’s not very reassuring. When she has made sure that I’m not about to do a runner out the window, Madam Pomfrey returns to her office. As if the day can’t possibly get any worse, Mum comes rushing in the door of the hospital wing, followed closely by Dad.
“Rosie! We just heard,” Mum cries, hugging me, “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine –”
“I brought you some grapes,” says Dad awkwardly, setting a plastic bag full of grapes down on my bedside locker. I can’t help but smile at the gesture, but Mum rolls her eyes.
“How did you know I was here?” I ask.
“I met Scorpius in the village,” Mum explains.
Note to self: kill Scorpius Malfoy. Dad’s face visibly darkens at the mention of Scorpius’ name, and I’m fairly sure mine has. I will kill him for telling them I’m in here. As if they don’t have their own problems.
“Rose, you’re stressing too much,” says Mum, “I knew this would happen. Is it your studies?”
My eyes meet Dad’s and we both look away. He knows as well as I do that my studies are the last thing on my mind. Maybe back when my life wasn’t dominated by pregnancy and drama I would have been stressed out by my studies, but these days if I stressed about my school work on top of everything else, I’d keel over. I already have keeled over and that’s without the school work!
“It’s not my studies,” I admit.
“Then what is it?”
And that’s it. I, in my very delicate state, explode.
“I don’t know,” I shout, “Try the fact that everyone in the school is talking about me! Or maybe that Dom is putting crazy ideas in my head, meaning I haven’t slept properly in over two weeks! Or maybe it’s because my parents have split up and you, MUM are acting like a child, inviting a date to Victoire’s wedding! Or perhaps the fact that I found one of my class-mates half dead on the bathroom floor after OD-ing on Slimming Solution because she’s being bullied by her psychotic mother! Take your pick!”
“What’s all this shouting?” Madam Pomfrey comes rushing out of her office looking fit to kill, “Oh, hello there.” Mum and Dad smile uncomfortably at her. “Miss Weasley, what have I told you about getting worked up?”
“Sorry,” I mumble. Madam Pomfrey nods and then returns to her office, clearly sorry that she interrupted the little dispute.
“You’re bringing a date to the wedding?” Dad hisses at Mum, breaking the awkward silence. That is what stood out from my little speech? Not the fact that I found a girl half-dead in the bathroom? Nice one, Dad.
“Not here, Ron,” Mum shot back, narrowing her brown eyes at him.
“That’s it, start arguing, that’s just what I need,” I snap.
They don’t speak of Mum’s ‘date’ anymore and change the subject completely, as if they’re actually interested in the fact that Laura Phelps is on her death bed. The thought of it gives me the creeps. I mean, she’s my age. In fact, she’s younger than me by about two months. How frightening is that?
Mum and Dad leave after about an hour. They leave separately, of course, each of them taking separate directions once they walk out the door of the hospital wing. Sometimes I think that maybe it’s going to take another great catastrophe, like the Battle of Hogwarts, to get them together again.
Like he promised, Scorpius returns to the hospital wing after work. It’s about half ten and he has to sneak in while Madam Pomfrey is in her office. If she catches him she’ll probably end up beating him around the heat with a broomstick. She seems like the type.
“Are you feeling okay?” Scorpius whispers loudly so Madam Pomfrey won’t hear. He sits himself down on the chair beside my bed and puts his feet up on the bed, leaving a whole pile of dirt on the sheets. How can one person have that much dirt on the bottom of their trainers?
“Can’t complain,” I shrug, “I’m just so bored.”
“Yeah, I know the feeling,” Scorpius nods, “I sold three quills today. In six hours.”
“You told my mum about me being in here,” I suddenly remember, frowning.
“Yeah,” he says calmly, “She asked how you were, I wasn’t going to lie.”
“It’s not like you’ve never lied before!” I hiss angrily, “She and Dad came to see me today!”
“I don’t know why you’re getting so pissed off,” he frowns, “Most people would be happy to have parents who actually give a shit.”
“Oh here we go with the ‘my parents don’t love me’ spiel,” I scoff, getting angry, but I’m not quite sure why. No, I do know why! He had absolutely no right to tell Mum that I fainted! It’s not even a big deal!
“Well you’re clearly in a fantastic mood,” Scorpius rolls his eyes, “Maybe I should come back when you’re not so hormonal.”
“That’s just perfect!” I cry, not bothering to keep my voice down anymore, as I can feel tears brewing in my eyes. “You can just piss off whenever things get tough! It’s not like I can get a break from pregnancy and just come back later!”
“Jesus Christ Rose, what do you want me to say?” he asks, looking sort of scared now.
“Nothing,” I snap, “I don’t want you to say anything because you’ll just end up putting your big –” I kick his right foot off the bed, “manky –” and then his left, “foot in it!”
We hear the door of Pomfrey’s office opening, and Scorpius quickly dives under my bed. At first I think she’s going to start giving out to me for shouting, but apparently she hasn’t noticed the noise we were making – okay, I was making. Instead, she rushes to the door and pulls it open. There are two men waiting outside, and I’m pretending to be asleep with one eye open. The two men are carrying a stretcher and on it, I realise, is Laura. Although it’s dark in here, I can see just how thin and frail she looks. The men lay her gently on the bed across from mine.
“How is she?” Madam Pomfrey asks one of the men.
“She’s still out,” he replies, with absolutely no trace of hope in his voice, “It’s just a matter of waiting now.”
“What are her chances?” Pomfrey asks sounding very frightened indeed.
“About fifty-fifty,” says the man gravely.
The two men leave shortly afterwards, and Madam Pomfrey closes the curtains around Laura’s bed. She then sighs heavily and turns to my bed, as I shut my eyes quickly.
“Mr Malfoy,” she says calmly, “I find the chairs to be far more comfortable than under the beds.” I feel myself going red. “But suit yourself.”
When I wake up the next morning, the curtains around Laura’s bed have been opened. She looks absolutely awful and deathly pale. There is a woman sitting beside her bed, flicking through a magazine with a very bored look on her face. She’s got very long, dark hair, and is probably around Mum’s age, though she looks younger. She looks as if she’s performed a few anti-aging charms on herself. She’s wearing a lot of make-up too and far too much eye-liner around her already dark eyes. She looks sort of like Laura, though Laura is far prettier. I then realise – this is the demon mother.
“Mrs Phelps?” Madam Pomfrey bustles over to her, “Would you like a cup of tea?”
“No thanks, Poppy,” she says, “I should probably be going soon. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be any change here today.”
As soon as the words are out of her mouth, the doors of the hospital wing open and a very small, fat, balding man comes rushing in and over to Laura’s bed. He, unlike Mrs Phelps, looks genuinely worried.
“I’ve only just heard!” he cries frantically, with a hint of anger in his voice, “Your sister told me! How could you not tell me, Helen?”
“Oh grow up, William,” Mrs Phelps says nastily, “It’s not like you even care about my daughter.”
“Our daughter!” Mr Phelps snaps, “And how dare you accuse me of not caring! It’s your fault she’s in here!”
“My fault?” Mrs Phelps shrieks, “You’re the one who only sees her every other weekend during the summer!”
“Because you won’t let me see her!” Mr Phelps roars, “Now look what she’s done!”
“You think it’s my fault she’s tried to top herself?” Mrs Phelps scoffs.
“It is your fault!” I can’t help myself shouting. Mr and Mrs Phelps stop arguing with one another and turn to face me. Why can I never keep my big mouth shut?
“Um, who are you?” asks Mr Phelps, but not unkindly. He clearly approves of my sudden outburst at his wife – or his ex-wife, by the sounds of things.
“I know who she is,” Mrs Phelps turns her nose up at me, “She’s that Weasley girl.”
“A Weasley?” says Mr Phelps, now smiling, “Are you really? You know, my father used to work in the same department as your grandfather –”
“Oh yes, you and Arthur Weasley would get on like a house on fire, wouldn’t you?” spat Mrs Phelps, “Muggle-loving vermin!”
“Shut up!” I hiss at her, “Don't you dare talk about my Grandad like that!”
“Just ignore her, dear,” says Mr Phelps helplessly.
“And you,” she glares at me, “With your Mudblood mother and blood traitor father! Look at what a fabulous job they did of raising you.” She glares at my stomach blatantly.
“Well look at the fabulous job you did of raising your own daughter!” I say, pointing at the lifeless Laura, “She’s in a coma because of you! I know that you were the one who told her to tell the entire school that I’m pregnant. I used to think she was just a bitch, but now I can see that she’s actually turned out surprisingly normal with a mother like you!”
“How dare you –”
“You don’t deserve to have kids!” I shout, “You’re a hazard!”
She looks extremely offended, but she isn’t quick enough to make a comeback.
“I think you better leave, Helen,” says Mr Phelps angrily, “Before I do something I might regret.”
Madam Pomfrey nods. Mrs Phelps shoots all of us a very poisonous look and without even acknowledging her daughter, heads towards the door of the hospital wing.
“Oh, and one more thing,” I call after her, “That whole Mudblood, blood traitor thing is very last century. Voldemort’s dead. Get over it.”
It’s times like this I wish I had a house elf who could follow me around and shout ‘you go girl!’ when I win arguments in such a stylish fashion.
Maybe James would do it if I asked nicely...
A/N - This chapter seems quite short, but the next few will be better hopefully! I've begun writing the Teddy-Victoire wedding and it's coming along nicely. It should be around chapter 23 or so. As usual, thank you to everyone who has reviewed and favourited this story, it really really makes my day when you do! And if you like this story, you can check out my other Next Gen story on my author's page. It's called Heartbeats. It's the story that isn't this one. (Sarcastic? Me? Never.) Also if you're bored you can check out my Meet The Author page! So yeah, keep reviewing! Thank you so much!
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