Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter, nor do I make any money from this story.

A/N: Hey!I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to update anything. I've been really busy with work, and haven't gotten much time to write. It's been worse with my hours being so unsociable, I get home and all I want to do is sleep. Luckily, it's easing up now, so I'm not so tired, and can write more. I'm hoping to update everything more often, as well as working on some other things to posted at a later date.Well, I wanted to put this in the last one, but I felt it was getting a bit long, and I had to get to work, but wanted to post before I left. So, here is the next installment! Enjoy!

Ch. 6.

Pomfrey frowned as she scanned Harry to discover the cause of his collapse. Her frown deepened when she found the problem.

"He's fainted from blood loss," she explained to the four others in the room.

"But you gave him that potion to bring his blood levels up after you took the sample!" Dudley exclaimed. "It should've worked by now, right?"

"Yes," Pomfrey glanced down at Harry's arm. "I gave it plenty of time to work before I sent him to class. I also used a spell to heal the vein and skin where I took the sample, that should have left no trace of what occurred there, but look."

She lifted Harry's arm and showed the others the dark bruise in the crook of his elbow.

"That's what happens when you give blood the muggle way," Petunia breathed. "If enough pressure isn't put on the site, then the blood escapes the vein before it clots, and you get a bruise."

"Yes," Pomfrey answered. "But it shouldn't have occurred here."

"So the poison is interfering with healing spells and potions," Snape mused. "This isn't good. Potter's body is already weak, and if we can't do anything to heal him properly, he is at a lot more risk than we previously thought."

"What do you mean?" Dudley asked.

"Without his immune system, a simple cold could cause him to be seriously ill, but if we can't aid him magically, it could become life threatening," Pomfrey explained. "However, I don't think he's completely beyond our help. The spell did work on his arm to a degree, and there's no guarantee that some muggle equipment can't be of assistance to him."

"Nevertheless, I shall increase my efforts to find a cure," Snape looked down at Harry. "Though he and I have never gotten on well, I do admire his courage and strength. After all he's been through, for this to happen...it is nothing less than a tragedy."

He nodded at the the others gathered around the Boy-Who-Lived's bed, and made to leave the infirmary, only to be stopped by Petunia's hand on his arm.

"You better find a cure soon," she warned. "He's my nephew, my last link to my sister. I have treated him wrong in the past, and I regret that, but I will not see him die. I couldn't stand it. I would break."

"She's right," Dudley's voice was soft as he stared down at his cousin. "Harry's life has been wrong, and he deserves a chance at happiness. We can't let him go before he experiences that."

"I will do my best," was the only promise Snape could give, and after that, he swept magestically from the room, his robes billowing behind him.

"Harry will have to stay here for the rest of the day," Pomfrey said to the Dursleys. "He will probably wake up soon, so you can stay with him if you like. It's likely he'll be able to leave in time for dinner. The body replaces it's own blood cells pretty quickly, so it's unlikely he'll faint again."

The two blondes nodded and pulled up chairs, once more waiting at the hospital bedside of the young Gryffindor.

--

The nurse's assessment turned out correct, and Harry was indeed fit to leave the hospital wing for dinner. He sat quietly with Dudley, speaking only to answer his friends' questions, and reassure them he was alright. Mainly, he focused on eating the food Hermione had heaped on his plate, a healthy mix of vegetables and some meat. In the end, he only managed about half of the amount on his plate, whereas he would normally have eaten the whole lot. His appetite had been off lately, and he was looking thinner than ever, but he couldn't force himself to eat.

The Gryffindor common room was loud with chatter as the students swapped stories of their summer holidays, gossip about Harry's crutches and faint, and theories over the correct answers to their first day homework.

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dudley were sitting in their favourite squishy armchairs by the fire, working on their Transfiguration essays, the only work they had that day. Harry was using the notes Hermione had copied for him that morning, and was finding them much more useful than any of his own notes in previous years. Perhaps it was because Hermione was a much more attentive student than him, and could write much faster, therefore noting down much more information. Dudley was engrossed in Harry's first year Transfiguration textbook.

"This is amazing!" the boxer announced. "Who knew that turning one thing into another could be so complicated? I always thought that magic worked simply by saying some stranged words, and imagining the effect you want."

"That's a common misconception," Hermione answered, her hand not stopping in it's flow of words. "Most muggles think magic is about imagination and some wild. primal force, when in reality, it's about control, equations and formulas."

Harry threw down his quill.

"Finished," he announced. "Thanks for the notes, Hermione. They're really helpful."

"You're welcome, Harry," the bushy haired girl answered. "I took notes from the rest of the lessons for you, since you were out."

She handed over a sheaf of paper to the raven teen.

"You are amazing!" he smiled. "Thank you so much!"

"Well I couldn't let you get behind, now, could I?" the girl's cheeks tinted pink with the praise.

"Oh, mate," Ron grinned, also finishing his essay. "You should have seen Malfoy's face after Snape took you out. He was completely shocked, didn't know how to react. Then, when he realised he was stuck all on his own with the potion, he wasn't happy at all. He nearly ruined it!"

"I felt a bit sorry for him, actually," Hermione placed her quill down neatly. "That's a difficult potion to complete on your own. It's a credit to his skill that he turned out an almost perfect potion. I suppose that's why Snape assigned him to be on his own when you were late, Harry."

"You felt sorry for Malfoy?" Ron gaped. "Who are you, and what have you done with Hermione Granger?"

"Oh shut up, Ronald," the girl snapped. "I'm just saying it couldn't have been nice for him to work alone on such a complicated potion."

Ron continued to gape at Hermione, as if she had two heads, and eventually, she couldn't stand it anymore.

"I'm going to bed," she huffed. "Goodnight."

"Night," Harry replied, in unison with the others, contemplating bed himself.

"Hey, fancy a game of chess, Harry?" Ron asked, already summoning the board.

"No, I think I'm going to go to bed too," the scarred boy replied. "But Dudley will probably play with you, if you explain how to move the pieces."

The blond nodded, and put his book aside, sitting forward to see the board. Harry bade the two of them goodnight, and made is way upstairs, leaning lightly on his crutches.

After dressing for bed, and thoroughly cleaning his teeth, he climbed into bed, and fell into a deep slumber.

A/N: Well, I hope that was ok! Please review, I'd love to know your thoughts as always!

Love,

Len