The long wait for this was atrocious I know…my apologies. I'm not at all happy with this chapter…especially after such a painfully long wait, but I decided (after much thought) to post it simply as a reassurance that this story will not be abandoned even though all the books are out. This WILL be finished…no matter how long it takes me!
Alright, so my medical knowledge sucks (although I could talk for hours about Canadian law lol) and all grammar and spelling mistakes are my own. I do not own Harry Potter, as you may have already assumed!
To Rise Again
Chapter 26- Recovering
Minivera walked briskly though the main entrance of the hospital. A group of journalists, most of them from the Daily Prophet, swarmed around her immediately. The older witch gave them all a furious glare, one that clearly said to back off.
Most of the wizards and witches quailed under her narrowed eyes and thinned lips, and soon only one of them was trailing behind her.
"Professor McGonagall!" The sickly sweet voice of the female witch called breathlessly, "What can you tell me about the Potters'? Is it true that Draco Malfoy turned from he-who-must-not-be-named? Was Sirius Black with them?"
Minivera spun around sharply to face the blonde witch, her eyes flashing dangerously. "Skeeter, if you don't walk away this instant, I will transfigure you into something very unpleasant!" She growled.
Rita Skeeter merely batted her eyelashes and sighed dramatically. "My readers deserve their story, Headmistress," She replied, "Are you ready to deny them the biggest story of the year?"
"You bet I am," Minivera spat, "You will come no where near the Potters', Malfoy or Black. Do I make myself clear?"
Rita scowled, "Crystal."
Minivera watched the woman walk away before calling out, her face slightly smug, "Oh, and Skeeter? If I find a nasty story in tomorrows Daily Prophet, well…lets just say that miss Hermione Granger isn't the only one who knows about your…bug problem…"
Rita flushed a brilliant shade of red and whispered, "How'd you find out about that! She said she would never tell!"
"It's amazing what you learn when you pay attention," Minivera said with an uncharacteristic smirk before walking away. I should have reported her to the Ministry when I found out, but what would have been the point? With Voldemort back the Ministry has a lot more to worry about than an unregistered animagus. "Better to use my knowledge as blackmail…" She mused out loud as she stepped into the lift.
Harry and Draco's Room
Hermione, Ron and Ginny were sitting along Harry's bed silently. A few hours had gone by since Draco had fallen back asleep, and the three of them were extremely tired. The healers had come and gone, checking on Harry and Draco's vital signs silently.
Sirius and James had also been looked at, and it was confirmed that they would make full recoveries.
Ginny, who had been close to dozing off in her chair, jerked her head up quickly when she heard the shuffling of blankets. Disappointment ran through her when she realized that Harry had not stirred. Turning around, she and the other two watched quietly as Draco woke up for the second time that day.
Once again, it was Hermione who rose first and walked over to the bed, Ron trailing behind her hesitantly. Ginny did not move from her chair, keeping her hand firmly planted in Harry's limp one.
Draco blinked a few times before focusing his gaze on her. "Granger?" He whispered hoarsely.
Hermione nodded her head and replied, "Yeah. Do you remember waking up earlier?"
The blond teen nodded his head wearily, "'m at St. Mungo's…what time is it?" How long have I been out for?
"Well, we found you guys at around four…and it's just past nine now…"
Draco barely had time to react to this news, for hushed voices could soon be heard outside the door.
"Professor McGonagall." Hermione mouthed, causing all of them to fall deathly silent.
"Is Mr. Malfoy awake?"
A healer's voice answered automatically, "He may not be right now, but he woke earlier, and from what his friends tell me he was very aware of his surroundings and completely coherent."
"…and Mr. Potter?"
"There has been no change."
A definite sigh of disappointment could be heard through the door, and the headmistress said quietly, "I need to speak with Mr. Malfoy in private."
"Yes, yes of course, go right on in."
Draco felt his stomach lurch, are they going to arrest me? Where is my mother?
"Don't worry, Draco. I'm sure everything will be fine." Hermione said soothingly as she placed a hand on his shoulder. She was slightly surprised when the man didn't shy away from her touch.
"She's right, Malfoy. Hermione is always right." Ron added, his arms crossed as he stood behind his girlfriend.
Draco tensed when the door opened, and he fought madly to not start shaking right then and there. Looking at Hermione, he relaxed slightly under her reassuring smile, surprising himself.
"It's good to see you up, Mr. Malfoy. How do you feel?" Minivera asked, stopping by his bedside as she looked over the young man.
Draco swallowed the lump of fear that had lodged itself into his throat and whispered, "I'm better, professor…a little tired though." Please don't arrest me, please don't arrest me…
Minivera turned to Ron, Hermione and Ginny, "I need you three to leave for bit, I need to speak to Draco in private." She caught the longing looks that they sent towards Harry's bed and added gently, "I won't be long."
Ginny rose from her chair and muttered, "C'mon guys…lets see how Sirius and James are doing."
Ron and Hermione nodded and filed out the door quietly, closing it with a sharp snap.
Minivera took Hermione's vacant seat and looked at Draco, her face was calm but her eyes betrayed her emotions.
"Professor… will I be getting arrested?" Draco voiced his fear, his voice sounding much too timid to his own ears.
Minivera shook her head slowly, "No, the Minister for Magic has withdrawn the warrant for your arrest. It took some persuasion but I managed to convince him." Yeah, a lot of persuasion…
Draco raised his eyebrows in shock, "But…why?"
"The Order knows what you did for the Potters, Mr. Malfoy. Your mother came to us for help when she realized what you had done; she knew that Voldemort and his followers would be on the lookout for you. I swore to her that I would do whatever I could to protect you."
"My mum….where is she?" Draco asked quickly, looking around the room as if expecting her to pop out from behind Harry's bed.
"Draco…" Minivera started, her voice too gentle for his liking, "your mother…I'm sorry son, she was killed recently, aurors believe it was a death eater attack, close to Hogwarts…"
Draco felt his too pale face lose its remaining colour, and his stomach lurched alarmingly at his former teacher's words. "No…" he moaned, his head dropping to his chest, "they killed her….th-they killed her! It's my fault!"
Minivera felt her eyes narrow and she spoke sharply, "It was not your fault, Draco. You did the right thing, don't you dare blame yourself for the evils of others, I refuse to listen to it!"
Draco swallowed and nodded, unable to look up, too afraid that she would see his watering eyes. "I…I just…I can't….oh god…" He choked, hot tears spilling down his cheeks before he could stop them. I'm all alone…all alone…
Before she could register what she was doing, Minivera found herself pulling the teen into a hug, allowing him to sob uncharacteristically on her shoulder. "It'll be alright, everything will be fine…" She spoke softly, hoping her soothing words were true.
Draco didn't notice that he was crying on the Headmistress' shoulder until his sobs had subsided nearly twenty minutes later. "Uh…I'm sorry…" He mumbled awkwardly. She in turn simply shook her head with a small smile on her face, obviously rejecting his unneeded apology.
Sighing, Draco lay back down on the bed and closed his eyes. His brief burst of emotion had drained him quickly and his chest was quite sore.
"Sleep, Draco," Minivera ordered lightly.
"Where will I go? I can't go back to the mansion…dad…he wants to kill me…I know it…" Draco asked meekly, looking much younger than his years.
"The Order will happily provide protection, and Molly Weasley has already offered her home to you. But now you need to rest and recover, you are still sick, we'll worry about everything else after all four of you are out of the hospital."
Draco nodded his head, and immediately succumbed to the pain-numbing darkness that awaited him.
Minivera sat with the sleeping man for a few minutes before moving to Harry's bed, she stared at the once lively teen and shook her head sadly. You have to make it though this, Harry; it will kill so many people if you don't… Sighing heavily, the aging Headmistress left the room half an hour later, praying that both boys would make it through the rough path that lay ahead.
The Following Day, Late Afternoon
James, with Arthur's assistance, slowly made his way across the hall, his legs too weak to support his own weight. He was finally going to see both his son and Draco after a long battle with the healers. It wasn't until he had grabbed one of their wands as they examined him and threatened to hex them right then and there did they allow him to get out of bed.
Sirius was right behind James in a wheelchair, which was being pushed by Ginny. The idea of having to sit in one hadn't exactly pleased the former convict, but he was forced grudgingly into one when he realized that he couldn't stand without searing pain lancing through his leg.
The two entered the room quietly, both of their gazes sweeping over the unconscious form of the youngest Potter. Draco was perched by his bedside, quietly staring at the far wall. He turned around at the sound of the door opening, and offered a small smile to the two older wizards.
"Malfoy." Sirius said awkwardly, it being his first time actually speaking to the boy.
"You two alright?" Draco asked softly, his voice hoarse from the combined mixture of crying and pneumonia.
Sirius mumbled a yes before turning to James, who had not stopped staring at his son since he had entered the room. "C'mon Prongs, go and see him." Sirius urged his friend quietly.
Nodding dumbly, James stumbled heavily over to the bed, and sat down beside his son's prone frame.
Sirius wheeled himself over, stroking Harry's limp hair as he said softly, "Hang in there Harry, we need you."
Arthur looked at James pale face and suggested that they give the father and son some privacy. Everyone in the room agreed solemnly, knowing that James needed some time alone with his critically ill son.
"Alright, Draco do you want to come and visit the other side of the hallway?" Arthur asked, smiling reassuringly, "I spoke to the healers, they said you improved a lot during the night and they don't mind you moving around a bit as long as you're in a wheelchair."
"I don't need a wheelchair." Draco protested, but agreed to leave his room anyways.
After a few minutes of activity, James suddenly found himself sitting alone in the room with his son. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he brushed his fingers through Harry's hair and let out a small sigh. Taking hold of his hand, he said softly, "Hey son, I'm here…sorry it took me so long, damn healers gave me a sleeping potion and refused to let me out of bed…"
Harry didn't even twitch at the sound of his father's voice, but continued to breathe raggedly.
"Listen Harry, I don't even know if you can here me right now…but you have to wake up kid. Ron, Hermione, Ginny…everyone really…they're all a mess, I'm sure they all truly thought that we were dead…Please son, you gotta wake up and let everyone know that you're okay. You don't want to let Voldemort win, do you? Wake up just to spite the evil bastard!"
There was no change after James stopped talking, and the exhausted father dropped his head onto the bed and did the only thing he hadn't done so far; he sobbed bitterly into the bed sheets before falling into a restless sleep.
Harry looked around at his surroundings confusedly. Hadn't he been in the forest only a second ago? Blinking, the teen walked down the corridor, and gasped in horror when he realized he was back inside Voldemort's hideaway. Oh no, were we caught? No…that doesn't make sense, I would remember coming back here, and they wouldn't let me wander around…
An enraged roar shook Harry out of his confused thoughts, and he hid behind a door when Voldemort suddenly stormed from his chambers, Lucius trembling fearfully in his wake. It was then that Harry realized with startling clarity that he was having another vision.
"THEY WERE ABLE TO EVADE ALL OF MY DEATH EATERS AND FIND IT TO SAFETY!" Voldemort screamed to no one in particular. His voice dropping to a deadly whisper, he whipped around to face Lucius, "This is unacceptable, an embarrassment to me! Lucius, summon all of my servants, you will ALL be punished for this atrocity!"
Lucius nodded his head without a word.
"My attack on the school must now be postponed, to the very end of August at least, while we forge a new plan."
"What of the prophecy, milord?" Lucius spoke quietly.
Voldemort waved his hand, "The Potter's will be too heavily guarded, it is too late for that. Harry Potter is human; therefore he can still be killed. The next time I meet that boy I will kill him instantly, I am sick of playing these foolish games. I'm sure that the boy will come when he learns that his precious school is under attack!"
Harry rubbed his temples as the conversation between Voldemort and Lucius began to fade, along with his surroundings. Groaning, he fell to his knees before the world tilted and went black.
James awoke several hours later, and it took him a few seconds before he realized what had woken him up. His son was thrashing violently on the bed and whimpering in pain. Jumping to his feet, he gripped Harry's uninjured arm and attempted to sooth the young man.
Harry suddenly shot up from his bed with a gasp, before yelping in pain and falling back down. "Harry? HARRY? You with me kiddo?" James asked frantically. Oh shit what's wrong with him?
Groaning, Harry kept his eyes shut; but he was awake. He could smell the antiseptic in the air, could hear the beeping of his heart monitor and his father speaking to him, and he could definitely feel the pain that seemed to stretch throughout his entire body. "D-dad?" He whispered croakily as he finally forced his eyes open.
James faced cracked into a huge smile, and he brushed Harry's hair away from his forehead, "Yeah Harry, it's me. How are you feeling?" He's awake, he's awake, he's AWAKE!
"Like I was tortured for a few months, you?" Harry replied with a tiny smile.
James laughed shakily his voice cracking a little, "Yeah, same with me." Damn, I never thought I'd be so happy to see those eyes again.
Harry felt his eyelids closing again, and he yawned.
"Go back to sleep kiddo, I'll be here when you wake up." James said soothingly. He didn't actually want Harry to fall back asleep again, but it was obvious that the teen was still exhausted and probably still had some of the sleeping potion in his system.
Harry tried to resist dropping back off into oblivion, he needed to find out about Sirius and Malfoy, and tell his father about his vision. He needed to find out what had happened after he had lost consciousness and if everyone knew that they were okay…He battled as hard as he could, but he was no match against the potion, and felt himself falling asleep despite his efforts.
James got up reluctantly; he had to tell the healers and everyone else the good news. With the help a chair, he managed to limp his way across the hall and into his own room, earning disapproving and worried looks from the group of people gathered inside.
"James! You shouldn't be moving around on your own." Molly scolded.
James shot her a grin and said loudly, "He woke up."
There was a collective gasp from the room, which was followed by an eruption of questions as everyone got to their feet.
James held up his hand for silence and spoke softly, "He was awake only for a minute, but he was coherent…I think he's going to be okay."
Ginny promptly burst into tears, Ron and Hermione were hugging each other tightly in happiness, and Sirius clapped Remus on the shoulder, a big grin on his face. Molly squeezed Draco's hand softly, and a ghost of a smile appeared on his pale face.
Remus cleared his throat and blinked his eyes suspiciously before saying, "I'll go and tell the healers at the desk, be right back." He left the room after sending James a warm smile, Arthur on his heels.
James could feel his legs starting to shake from the exertion of standing up for too long, and he was quite grateful when Ron strode over and offered him a supportive shoulder. He sighed with relief when Ron guided him to the nearest chair and lowered him into it. "Thanks…" He mumbled, slightly embarrassed.
"No worries." Ron said with a shrug and a smile before sitting beside Hermione again.
Molly suddenly let out a gasp, her hands flying to her mouth.
"Mum?" Ginny said questionably, worry evident in her voice.
"I need to floo Minivera and Hagrid! Oh, and Remus and Tonks, Fred and George…oh dear..." Molly exclaimed with wide eyes. Before anyone in the room could reply, she hurried towards the door and exited quickly, muttering to herself along the way.
Ron shrugged nonchalantly as everyone stared after her. "She'll be back." He said out loud.
Remus returned not long thereafter, informing everyone that a healer had gone into Harry's room to do a quick examination while Arthur had gone off to help Molly. "Don't bother getting up James, she told us she would come in here when the exam is done and let us know how he's doing." He warned his longtime friend with a knowing look in his face.
James made a face but nodded, but sighed and relaxed into his chair again. He didn't have to wait long before the healer entered the room, her eyes sweeping over the clipboard she held in her hands.
"Well, his condition has definitely improved." She announced to the anxious group, a small smile gracing her otherwise serious face. "His temperature has gone down significantly, and he is breathing much easier than yesterday. I woke him up, and he was coherent and able to answer all of my questions accurately…even had a few of his own." She ended with a slight frown.
"Such as?" Sirius spoke up impatiently from his bed when she failed to elaborate.
"First thing out of his mouth was where his father was, if everyone has 'gotten out' alright and when he could leave. I had to give him another dose of the sleeping potion just so that he'd stay in bed." She answered, the amusement and slight annoyance in her voice made quite obvious.
"Well, he is his father's son," James said proudly before adding, "Can I see him now?"
"Yeah, he'll be knocked out for another six hours or so at the least, and I only want a few visitors at a time. If his condition continues to improve throughout the rest of the day I will have him moved into this room. You all should be on complete bed rest, not moving across the hall fifty times a day." The healer replied, her voice stern as she scribbled something down on a piece of parchment.
Glancing over at the quiet form of Draco, the witch said in a kind voice, "You'll be moved in here as well. It's a good thing these rooms were designed so big."
Draco offered a small smile and thanks before staring at his hands awkwardly.
"I have to be getting on with my rounds…I will be back in a little while to check on the lot of you." She turned to James and Sirius and spoke warningly, "Now, I know you two are worried about Harry, but if I catch you out of bed more times than I like…I will drug you into oblivion and you won't wake up until the end of the month!"
Sirius and James both scowled, but took her warning for what it was worth. Satisfied with herself, the older witch turned on her heel and strode from the room quickly.
She wasn't gone more than thirty seconds before a massive argument broke out between the people in the room, all of them wanting to be the first to see Harry.
James smiled a little as the group bickered loudly, before rising to his feet shakily. Remus helped him walk towards the door, and the two made their way into the hall. Sirius, who had apparently noticed their subtle escape, yelled across the room childishly,
"Whoa! Guys, wait for me! I want to see him too! Would someone help me get out of this bloody bed for Merlin's sake?"
Huh…so that's that…this chapter was an utter bitch to right ladies and gentlemen…and I'm pretty sure it shows how much I struggled with it. Next chapter will feature a very awake Harry and we will figure out how Sirius is still alive.
Hopefully next chapter will be better, and once again…the action isn't over yet : ) I've got this whole story mapped out, just have to find the time to write it!
One more note…thank you to EVERYONE who continued to review this story and to those of you who sent my PM's...it meant a lot knowing how many people were still interested in reading it after such a long wait!