Hey everyone! Oh, I couldn't help myself. I had to write this story! It just popped into my head and now it won't leave. So, I'm writing two stories at once! Argh!
My disclaimer includes denial of owning anything, and wishful thinking that I really did! No suage, for you wouldn't get anything out of it!
Everyone knew the story. It was as legend as the first time around. How the young boy with dazzling green eyes sent the most feared wizard of all time to his death. Except unlike last time, the outcome of the most recent battle was slightly different.
For one, He-who-must-not-be-named was actually, really, and totally gone. He was not traveling around as a snowy mist of malice and hate, holding onto a grudge that held him together for 13 years. He was not hiding in the shadows, biding his time for the best time to strike out on the world he so longed to rule. No, he was dead... and the world had rejoiced once again.
As for the Boy-who-lived, known to some as Harry Potter and to some, just plain old Harry, his fate was quite undetermined. Unlike the last final moments between him and the fallen Dark Lord, he did not come out quite as unscathed. Unlike last time, he was not carried by Hagrid on a flying motorbike to sleep in a dingy bed at Number Four, Privet Drive.
He was carried by Medi-wizards on a stretcher to sleep in the intensive care unit of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
As the Nurse tended to the young man in the bed before her, she went against normal protocol and took a quick look at the sleeping man's scar, still vividly red just above his eyebrow as she mused about the events that had brought him here seven years ago.
She frowned a little in sympathy and gently smoothed his fringe back over the internationally famous mark. She had beeninformed when given the job to treat the man as any other patient. With discreetness and dignity. And just because this patient was the savior of the wizarding world, did not make him any major exception in the medical profession world.
Of course, this nurse new all the details of Mr. Potter's condition. But then again, who didn't? Ithad been headlinenews for months of how he had fallen into one of the deepest comas known in history... and how, chances were; he would not come out of it.
"Well Harry, the weather is a nice brisk below average. Mother nature is gearing herself up for Christmas." The nurse said, fussing over his bed sheets as his chest rose and fell with rhythmic breathing. "Lucky for you, you don't have rounds outside this hospital in a less than adequate uniform. Honestly, you'd think they'd provide more suitable attire for us." She winged to the silent man, not even expecting a response.
She sighed and paused for a moment, looking at the man before her. She had seen him many times over the years. She had been unofficially in charge of his wellbeing for the past four years, and found herself quite reluctantly attached to the silent hero.
It pained her to look at him sometimes. To see the great hero she had been brought up to believe was invincible lying helpless in a hospital bed, not able to even lift his eyelids open. His body was kept in immaculate shape, thanks to stability charms which kept him continent and healthy. His skin was put under artificial sunlight to keep up his levels of Vitamin D and his face was shaved daily and his hair cut monthly.
The nurse pushed her brown hair away from her face and leant over to check his vitals.
"Oh yes, everything's normal. You're perfectly healthy Harry...except for the fact that you've been in a coma for seven years." She added quietly. She checked her watch and smiled. "Well, Ron and Hermione should be here soon. Isn't that nice?" she asked distantly, rearranging the room so it would be presentable for visitors.
Another thing that made his presence more fascinating, was that Harry was constantly having a stream of visitors, no matter what the circumstances. Ron Weasley was probably the most seen in room 266, Hermione a close second. To which delightful consequence, the nurse had become rather good friends with them both.
The nurse began humming a Christmas carol under her breath as she tucked the sheets neatly under the mattress, her mind drifting slightly off task as she thought about her bubble bath and very thick romance novel waiting at home for her.
And she would have left seconds after that, ready to collect her things and end her late night shift, had a hand not suddenly reached out and clamped a vice-like grip around her wrist.
She was too stunned to even scream out in surprise as she felt the grip of the unconscious man tighten a little, bordering on uncomfortable. She lookeddown at his face as he lay silently on the bed next to her, her entire body trembling from the shock. His expression was impassive and besides this sudden reaction; he hadn't moved an inch.
The nurse looked down at her wrist at the hand that was still holding her and then back up at him. "Har – Mr. Potter? Can you hear me?" she asked, her voice a little hoarse. "Harry?" she tried again when nothing happened.
She would have simply left him, had he still not held her firmly with his right hand. She tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he held on tight.
And then, very slowly...his eyes fluttered open.
She let out a gasp and patted her sides, looking for her wand as he blinked very drowsily, looking around in a daze. Her wand was on the other side of the room, sitting on top of his chest of drawers, leaving her without a way to set off the charms and alert all staff avaliable.
Stupid girl! She cursed herself, leaning in a bit closer as she tried to keep focused.
"Harry? Can you hear me?" she asked, leaning in to examine his eyes. She tilted his head toward her and inspected him. His pupils were dilated and his eyes were red...but he was definitely awake. "You need to let me go now." She said calmly, prying his hand off her. His fingers slid from her wrist and his arm collapsed once again, slack at his side.
She bent over him and watched as his eyes scanned the room, his tongue darting out wetting his lips.
"Where...' was all he could manage. His voice was hoarse and scratchy.
The Nurse took his pulse. It had increased. "Mr. Potter, my name's Nurse Williams. Do you know who you are?" she asked professionally.
Harry began taking short, quick breaths, closing his eyes once more. "Harry...James...' he whispered, frowning.
"Good. Now, I must ask you to stay completely still while I go fetch the nearest Doctor. Please, do not attempt to get up. Relax Mr. Potter, you're safe." She said, sensing his tension as she patted his hand reassuringly.
She grabbed her wand from the drawers and dashed out the door, straight down the hallway and around the corner...
And thumped straight into someone.
"Ow! Crikey Kate, what's the bloody emergency?" came a deep chuckle as he caught the small woman before she fell over backwards.
The nurse looked up into blue eyes and an amused smile. One she knew well.
"Oh Ron, thank god. You have to come...quick." She said, tugging him back towards the room.
Ron followed, feeling a jitter at her obvious distress. "What is it? Is it Harry? He hasn't...he's not...' he choked, not even able to say the word.
She stopped just outside the door but did not open it, sighed and fiddled with her wand at her side. "No Ron, he's not dead." She said.
When he did nothing but raise an eyebrow in question, she couldn't help but crack the smallest of smiled.
Hermione walked leisurely down the hallways with her cloak billowing out behind her, cups of coffee clutched in either one of her petite hands as she headed towards the room that had slowly become a place of sanctuary in the past seven years.
Harry's private room was a place they could escape to, like children who had a secret tree house hidden in the woods, or that special meeting place just outside town. She and Ron would go there together and secretly, just to simply sit with Harry. To be in his presence was invigorating enough.
Not that it wasn't depressing on occasions. Hermione remembered a time where she would simply sit and cry over Harry's bed, begging him to open his eyes, smile at her and tell here that everything was alright.
But years passed, and slowly she began to accept the fact that Harry Potter, her best friend, may never smile at her again.
Hermione felt someone brush past her and brought herself out of her reverie. She frowned as two more medi-witched bustled past her, a concerned look on their face and their wands out, talking hurriedly.
"...room 266. That's right, something's happened to Potter...'
Hermione felt her blood go cold.
She strode briskly around the familiar corner that led to the hallway just outside Harry's room...and stopped dead at the sight before her.
"Let me go you bastards! I want to see him!"
"Mr. Weasley, either calm yourself or I will have to have you removed from this hospital!"
"The hell you will! Dammit, just for a second! Kate, help me out here!"
Ron was being physically held back by two very large men just outside Harry's open doorway, Doctor Reynolds in the doorway with his wand out and an impatient look on his face. But his expression was nothing up against the icy glare on Ron's face.
"Mr. Weasley, you will make matters worse if you come barging in here before we have had time to..."
"I'm not barging in! I just want to – Hermione! Christ, let me go you wankers!" Ron finally pulled himself free from the two men and strode over to Hermione, who was on the verge of spilling boiling hot coffee all over herself, her face stricken with worry.
"Ron, what's going on? What are all these people doing?" she asked as two more nurses ran past, straight in Harry's room.
"Hermione, come here and sit down so I can...' he tried, taking the coffee off her and placing it down safely.
"No, what's going on? Where's Kate?" she cut him off sharply, pushing Ron aside and striding towards the doorway. Kate was their tower of strength when it came to Harry's heath.
Ron grabbed her arm; eyeing the nearby security wizards with a warming look that said 'Don't you dare touch her'. "Hermione, wait. We're not allowed in just yet and...'
"Why the hell NOT?" she screeched, rounding on Ron with blazing eyes. "What's going on in there Ron?" she demanded, poking him in the chest.
Ron frowned, feeling exactly how she felt. "Hermione, sit down and I'll...'
The pairspun around as Kate came bustling out, her hair in disarray and her wand clutched tightly in her hand. Just the sight of her was enough of a calming agent for the both of them.
Hermione looked like she could have kissed her. "Oh Kate! What's going on in there? What's this about us not being able to see him?" she asked very quickly, grabbing Ron's arm for support.
Kate smiled, instantly giving off a calming presence. "He's fine, not to worry. Its good news Hermione. Harry's awake." She said, her smile increasing. She bit her lip, trying not to laugh as Hermione nearly collapsed. Luckily, Ron's quick reflexes caught her and guided her over to the nearest chair.
"A-Awake?" Hermione stuttered, putting a shaky hand to her forehead as Ron sat down next to her.
Kate smiled. "Yes, awake. He's a bit disorientated and confused, but so far seems perfectly normal. He's responding to every test Doctor Reynolds is giving him. His memory is in tact, his vitals are good... this is good news." She said, bending down in front of them.
Ron smiled and put an arm around Hermione's shoulders. "Except for the fact the idiots won't let us in there yet. Stupid fuckingmedical system." Ron muttered angrily.
"Ron, please don't use profanities in a hospital." Hermione muttered, her head in her hands. "He's awake. Awake." She kept muttering, shaking her head.
Kate tapped Hermione's knee reassuringly. "I know how you must be feeling, but trust that he has the best medi-wizards in there and...'
"Williams! Back in here now!" called a voice from inside the room.
Kate sighed and stood up, trying to be strong for the two people looking up at her, their eyes full of concern. "Don't worry. You'll see him in no time." She said encouragingly. And left the two of them outside in the hall, shutting the door behind her.
The silence over them was heavy and intimidating. Ron kept throwing glances between the door to Harry's room, and Hermione beside him. Her shoulders were suddenly shaking a little, and in fear of her crying, he rubbed her back soothingly.
"Hey, don't cry. Kate's right. This is a good thing." He said, kissing the top of her head.
Hermione lifted her head, her eyes indeed a little red and teary. "That's exactly why I'm crying." She choked out with a smile. "It's such a relief...and yet, I can't stand this waiting." She said, throwing a glance of contempt at the nearest doctor or nurse.
Ron smirked. "Well, we can sue their sorry asses later. But, they can't take that long with him can they?" he asked, looking at the door.
Hermione simply replied with a "Hmm', before they both lapsed into silence again.
It was, for Ron, one of the longest waits of his life. How he itched just to storm in there and take his best friend in his arms and actually receive a hug back. Or to simple receive a smile...or a look. Things he had been denied for so long and now he seemed to need them with vigor and an intense urgency.
Ron imagined what would happen when word got out that Harry was awake. The uproar of happiness and encouragement would be that unlike anything seen before. People felt somewhat disheartened when news of what happened got out, despite the fact that the war had been won. It just didn't seem all that worth celebrating, if the man responsible could not do so with them.
Ron remembered that time very, very reluctantly. He felt as if he would go absolutely insane with worry. He knew that had Hermione not been there, he would be lying in a bed in the psych ward as well.
But not only worry that consumed him – there was also guilt. Ron had had sleepless nights for weeks after wood, replaying scenes over and over in his head, knowing he should have done something – anything to prevent this.
"I know what you're thinking." Hermione suddenly sang.
Ron looked at her and laughed at her expression. "No, you don't. Otherwise we'd be doing very inappropriate things in the hallway right now." He lied smoothly.
Hermione snickered, leant over and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. "Well, it would help pass the time, wouldn't it?" she whispered suggestively, stroking his cheek.
Ron was stunned enough by her promiscuous attitude in such a context, that it took him quite a few moment to realize that medi-wizards were slowly pouring out our Harry's room.
Hermione's head snapped around as Kate came to stand before them, her eyes tired and a smile all over her face.
"You can go in and see him when you're ready." She said simply. And walked off down the deserted corridor, a slight spring in her step.
Hermione and Ron exchanged a look. They couldn't move. They couldn't breathe.
"This is it. You ready?" Hermione asked, taking the man's hand across from her.
Ron looked away from her at the door and smirked.
And finally...he was.
A/N – Dum dum dummmm! Well, I'm a bit shaky on this chapter. I know there's a lot of info missing, but it will fill in later chapters!