TRYING TO ACCEPT THE PAIINFUL TRUTH
Revised: September 2nd, 2013
Tears sprung in Harry's eyes but he tried all he could to not let them fall. Dumbledore's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Remus, bring Sirius to the hospital wing. I don't know how long he has."
"Is he- is he-?" Remus breathed.
"I do not know. Poppy will find out. I do know however he is not breathing right now."
"I'll look after him. Please hurry. As soon as you do that you must go and find Helena before it is too late. Understand?"
Remus looked at Harry and nodded. He levitated Sirius' body and sped off to Hogwarts.
"Harry, are you all right?" Dumbledore asked, kneeling down.
The pain in Harry's leg intensified and he gasped, clutching it. "N-no. But I'll be okay for- for a while longer."
"We have to hurry now before someone comes," Dumbledore said, bending to lift Harry but at that moment Harry cried out in pain, but not from his leg, but from his head. His scar was on fire. Dumbledore turned around and saw the very figure of Voldemort behind him.
"Dumbledore, what a pleasant surprise. Here to assist Harry are you?" he sneered.
"It was foolish for you to show up tonight Tom," Dumbledore said calmly. "You have no business here."
"Don't I? I am sorry to say that once again my faithful Death Eaters have not obtained what it is I wanted them too. Once again they have to be punished for such foolishness."
"You are correct, your prophecy has been destroyed so you do not have any use with the boy any longer. Let him leave."
"Ah, you really believe that I will allow Harry Potter to be snatched from my fingers yet again? When I am so close to his death? I think not." Voldemort turned to Harry, his red eyes gleaming in the light.
Harry was in such agony right now from his busted leg and pained scar he could barely breathe properly, let alone see.
"You have messed around with my plans and irked me for far too long Potter. You have escaped my clutches far too easily. It is time I take care of that once and for all. AVADA KADAVRA!" he screamed but at that same moment Dumbledore extinguished the spell.
Harry scooted painfully against a wall as the two men began to duel it out. Voldemort shot a fiery snake as large and tall as the wall at Dumbledore but he vanished it with a waterfall of water. Back and forth the two fought it out; all the while Harry was concentrating as hard as he could to not pass out.
"You have yet to fight like a man! To destroy a man Dumbledore! I know that my Bella has already taken care of that mutt, Black! Kill me if you wish it! Kill me!" Voldemort challenged, banishing his wand.
"I do not wish to kill anyone tonight Tom. Death is not the only thing one can do to break a man," Dumbledore said swiftly.
"Death is the worst thing in the world Old Man!" Voldemort screeched.
Dumbledore had again waved his wand and a silvery rope strung itself around Voldemort, and for a moment Harry thought it was over, how wrong he was…Voldemort disappeared out of the rope and was nowhere to be seen in the corridor as of now. Harry was already on the floor, inches from blacking out when suddenly, he felt the oddest and scariest sensations in his life. He felt something seep into his skin, his stomach was churning horribly. Something was controlling his movements, something was taking over his body and he no longer knew who he was or where he was. Suddenly he felt the creature inside him talk; using his jaw to expel the words and Harry could not do anything about it. He was in the worst pain in his life.
"Kill me Dumbledore," Harry was saying. "I have no reason to live. Hermione and Sirius are gone; I cannot survive without them…"
They aren't gone, Harry found himself thinking. They aren't dead, they can't be…
"Kill the boy, he has no reason to live…" the creature said.
I do, I still have Remus and the Weasleys and the Grangers…no one have died yet, Harry thought painfully. He could not do anything about this though.
"Kill me now!"
No, no… I'll never see Hermione again. Alive or not I still need her near me. I want to die by her side if we are to both die tonight. She's my life Dumbledore, please at least allow me to see her again before I die…Harry's heart suddenly filled with such a strong pull of emotion that the creature's bond with his soul vanished and Harry was able to think clearly again, although he was hurting so much right now it didn't matter.
Dumbledore bent low over Harry's face to study the child. Harry was so cold and felt ill…he couldn't keep his eyes open much longer.
"How do you feel Harry?" the headmaster asked softly.
"I- I"- Harry stammered but the next moment Harry's eyes rolled in the back of his head and he finally did what he was fighting to do all this time- he passed out.
Dumbledore shook his shoulder. "Harry! Harry!"
At that moment the corridor filled with people, and many were saying the same things. "He was there Minister! I actually saw him!" and "It was You-Know-Who! I swear!"
Dumbledore got to his feet to face the stunned Minister of Magic as he stepped into the clearing. "I trust that you will deny any claims from me Cornelius but see for yourself, your own employees have seen Voldemort for themselves."
"I- well I- yes. Right," Fudge said shaking his head then gasped when he saw Harry. "Harry Potter! What is Harry Potter doing here?"
"I will be requesting a meeting with you very soon Cornelius. In the mean time, Harry is in dire need of medical attention."
Dumbledore took out a crumpled sheet of old parchment from his pocket, pointed his wand at it and said, "Portus," and it became a Portkey. He then bent down, lifted the upper half of Harry's body in his arms, held him close and placed the boy's hand on it and they vanished from site.
All the while this was happening Remus and Kingsley hurried off to Malfoy Manor where Dumbledore told them to go for he knew that most of the Death Eaters would be at the Ministry of Magic so it would be the best time to hopefully rescue Helena. When they reached the large white marble house they were surprised to see that it was not guarded. Remus looked at Kingsley who nodded and the two disappeared inside.
"Do you know where she might be?" Kingsley asked quietly.
"I don't. I just know it's a dark room or cell of some sort according to Harry's dreams. You take the basement area, I'll search the top part of the place," Remus breathed.
Kingsley nodded and the two split up. Remus was very shocked the whole time, no one had yet posed a threat to them. Were all the Death Eaters really at the Ministry of Magic? He spoke too soon. He saw a jet of red light streak past his arm. He raised his wand at the Death Eater across him and yelled, "Protego!" and he was blasted off his feet.
He hurried up the stairs to the attic where he had a feeling would make a perfect spot to capture someone for months. He then ran into someone he was not expecting, someone who was apparently guarding a heavy door with his wand out and shaking like he always did in Remus' memories.
"Hello Peter," Remus said softly.
Wormtail gasped. "R-Remus! I- what are you doing here? You have to leave!" he said, tripping over his words as usual.
"I'm here to collect Helena, and judging that you are armed and ready you are standing at her cell aren't you?"
"You cannot do anything about it Remus! It's my duty to guard her and make sure you don't come for her! The- the Dark Lord has his usage for her," Wormtail stated.
"Does he? Wormtail, you do know it is pointless to do anything about it though? I can easily thwart you," Remus said calmly.
Looking at the fear evident in the mousy man's face Remus knew Wormtail was thinking the same thing.
"I- I cannot allow you to take her Remus. He'll- he'll know if I allowed you to," he stammered, looking around fearfully.
"Then I have no choice. Impedimenta!" Remus shouted and Wormtail was blasted off his feet and flew across the room. He pointed his wand at the lock and cried, "Alohamora!" and it opened.
Remus hurried inside the room and gasped at what he saw. Helena was in the corner, crying and looked miserable. Her head shot up when he stepped in.
"Remus?" she gasped.
Remus smiled, looking grateful that he had finally gotten to her after weeks of her disappearance. "Yes Helena, it's me."
"Oh Remus!" she cried and ran over to him and began to sob on his shoulder, arms squeezing his neck. "Oh Remus, I was so scared! I feel so stupid! They tried everything but I still-I still…oh Remus, you have no idea how grateful I am to see you…."
Remus hugged her, rubbing her back. "Shh, shhh, it's okay Helena. It's okay; everyone's going to be safe now I promise."
The woman was sobbing into his shoulder and shaking. Remus let her go to examine her appearance. She was thin and worn and dirty but didn't look too injured. He smiled as he saw her protruding belly. "Look at you Helena..."
She hiccupped and smiled too. "I know. And he's still kicking…"
Remus smiled. "Let's go. Kingsley is downstairs but I know there are a few more Death Eaters around so we have to hurry."
Helena nodded and sure enough, as soon as they left the room Wormtail was ready again. Remus easily disarmed him but another Death Eater was hurrying up the stairs. "Petrificus Totalus!" he yelled and the man fell over unconscious. They saw Kingsley waiting at the end of the banister.
"Helena!" he boomed looking thankful.
"Kingsley!" she cried happily.
"I organized a porkey Remus but we have to leave now. Where is your wand?" the bald wizard asked her.
"We don't have time for this. Accio Helena's wand!" Remus shouted and a wand flew from somewhere upstairs and Remus caught it. All three of them placed a finger on an old shoe and were whisked off to Hogwarts.
At the same time as Remus, Helena, and Kingsley's arrival at the castle Dumbledore appeared out of nowhere clutching Harry's unconscious body. Helena gasped when she saw him.
"Harry! Oh my goodness! What happened?" she panicked.
"I believe Poppy is going to have her hands full for the next week. I'm going to inform St. Mungo's, see if anyone will be able to help. Remus? Could you?" Dumbledore said, indicating the teenager.
Remus nodded and picked Harry up carefully in his arms and Kingsley helped a weak Helena hobble down the corridor to the hospital wing. Poppy cried out when the four people entered her wing. Snape was already there, bending over Sirius.
"Oh my goodness…what happened? Helena! Oh my dear, oh thank goodness you're alive," Poppy said and went to hug the young woman.
"Thank-you Madam Pomfrey. What's- what's wrong with Sirius?" Helena asked, noticing the body of her boyfriend on a bed.
Everyone looked at each other. Poppy led Helena to a bed away from him. "I'll explain everything later dear. I need to check you over."
Helena did not take this as an answer. "No- what's wrong with him? And Hermione! And Harry and everyone. Why are they all unconscious? What happened? What happened?" she demanded.
"Miss Delmhar please, calm yourself," Poppy said forcefully.
"No! How on bloody earth can I calm myself if three people I care about are unconscious? If someone doesn't tell me soon I'll"-
"Severus, I'm going to need several strong batches of Calming Draught, stat," Poppy said over her shoulder.
Snape inclined his head and went into the matron's office to retrieve them. Remus set Harry on the bed to the right of Hermione's. He knew he would want to be with her when and if she woke. Harry's eyes fluttered open.
"Harry!" Remus said smiling down at him. "Oh good, you weren't out long at all."
Harry looked around then gasped as his leg flared with agony. He grunted and clamped his top row of teeth over his lip as hard as he could to hold in his true colors.
"Harry! What happened? Oh dear, you're hurt," Helena gasped and got to her feet only to be shoved back down by Poppy.
"H-Helena? Helena! you're alive!" Harry cried out and attempted to stand but Remus pushed him down.
It was getting very chaotic in no matter of time.
"Severus! I need you now!" Poppy called over her shoulder.
"I'm coming woman…" Snape hissed and he returned with the calming draughts seconds later.
Helena was struggling against Poppy's hold. "I need to see Harry," she informed.
"You will see him as soon as you are calm, as is he. Sit!" the nurse barked.
Helena was crying. "Why won't anyone tell me what's wrong with everyone?"
On the other side of the room, Ron, Luna, Neville, and Ginny were sitting down (already examined by Poppy) and watching the scene. Thankfully they did not come running at the sides of the hysterical victims.
"No Remus! I just want to- aahhhh!" Harry hissed, and tears filled his eyes. He could no longer hold in his pain. "Oooohh, my leg!"
Poppy was finally able to force the calming liquid down Helena's throat before she turned to go over to Harry.
"Poppy, I think it's best if we wait until more help arrives. You're brilliant, you really are but Dumbledore's called for backup right now," Remus stated.
Poppy looked at the poor child who was withering in pain. "But Remus"-
"Please, I know Harry too well by now. He's not going to cooperate for anyone."
"Don't talk as if I'm not here!" Harry screamed.
Poppy sat down on the bed Helena was in and everyone had to painfully wait until help arrived. Snape was terrific at potions and had a bit of healing background but times like this called for specialists' attention. Harry was painfully clutching his uncle's robe and hiding his face in it, wishing he could pass out from the pain again. Poppy kept a firm hand on Helena's shoulder until someone else came. Ten grueling minutes later the doors opened again, expelling Dumbledore and two St. Mungo's Healers.
"Oh thank Merlin, over here," Poppy said in relief and went to meet them.
"I am Healer Lioncross," a redheaded middle-aged woman said, shaking Poppy's hand.
"And I'm Healer Neeley," said the brunette Healer, pulling back a strand of her long hair.
"Poppy- I will come by later. I trust you will be okay until then?" the headmaster said.
"Yes, yes. Over here you two… we've got a real emergency." She led them to Hermione first. "She was hit with an unknown spell. She's been unconscious for the best of an hour or so. Her breathing is erratic but her pulse is fine. We have no idea how serious it is," she explained.
"I'm the Head of Spell Damage, I'll look after her," Hr. Lioncross said.
Poppy nodded and showed the younger Healer Sirius. "He's been hit with an unknown spell as well. His breathing is very low as is his pulse. I've tried to stabilize him for thirty minutes but hardly anything has worked. I don't know how much longer he has; no one knows what he was hit with."
Hr. Neeley nodded, frowning. "Tara, perhaps I should look over the girl. This man hear is in serious trouble."
Helen Lioncross looked over her shoulder. "Right, right. Let me check him over."
Poppy noticed the children at the end of the ward looking at them all, extremely worried. She huffed, swallowed her pride and said, "All right you lot. Out! I have examined you all and you are able to go about your business."
"But"- Ron said.
"I said OUT! You will be able to visit when I deem it ready! Now GO!" she ordered.
They took one last look at their friends and friend's guardians before doing as they were told. Snape strode forward to Sirius and Hr. Lioncross. "Allow me to examine him as well miss. I am an expert at recognizing Dark magic," he declared.
"Yes, any help will be appreciated. Madam Pomfrey- what is wrong with the boy?" Hr. Lioncross asked, looking at Harry's pained expression.
"I'll look after him. All my supplies are in my office. Take whatever you need."
The two women nodded and Poppy hurried over to Harry.
Remus touched the boy's head. "Cub, Madam Pomfrey needs to check you over now," he said softly.
Harry was crying into his torn robes still. "It hurts so much Remus…"
"I know, I know it does. Let Madam Pomfrey fix it okay?"
Harry sniffed. "I'm so confused…"
"What's- what's wrong with everyone else?" Harry said in a strained voice.
"I don't know yet cub but we'll find out soon. We won't hide anything from you if you don't want us to all right?"
Harry looked into the caring soft eyes of the werewolf. He knew he was telling the truth this time. He would know what everyone else did. Harry nodded. "'Kay."
Remus smiled and Harry let go of his grasp and Remus propped up the pillows behind Harry to make him comfortable. Poppy smiled sadly at the boy. "I'm going to give you a calming draught okay Harry?"
"N-no. I'll be fine."
"I said no!" he yelled.
"I will have none of your arguing young man. Take it- now," the nurse scolded Harry, holding out the vial.
Harry glared at her. "I'll be fine."
"Allow me, you check Helena out," Remus said to the matron softly. She looked at him but handed him the vial and went over to the only Healer in the room who was not able to work her magic.
"How are you dear? How do you feel?" she asked.
"Fine enough actually. They- they fed me well enough there," Helena sniffed.
"And your baby?"
Helena felt a kick in her belly. She smiled through her tears. "He's still going strong."
"Well I'm not too surprised. Every pregnant woman out there has a built in magical shield they unknowingly cast over their young whenever they are threatened. Your baby should be healthy enough actually. Do you remember which week you are in now?"
Helena nodded. "I've been counting. I'm in my thirty-third week in a few days."
Poppy smiled. "It's getting close then isn't it? Let me look over you though."
Helena laid down on the bed and allowed the older Healer to cast her wand over her belly a few times then the rest of her body. "You need to be put on strengthening and nutrient potions immediately Helena. Much of what you were given went to the baby but you need nutrients for yourself. As soon as I give you them your shield over your baby will break. This means you have to now provide his needs like usual," Poppy explained.
Helena nodded and wiped at her eyes. Poppy looked over to Harry who was again trying his best to hold in his pain, clutching the sheets of his bed tightly. Poppy looked back at Helena. "Let me give you your first doses of nutrient potions dear. I need to check on Harry, he seems to be in a great amount of distress. He won't even take a calming draught!" she shrilled.
Helena laughed. "Well he is the most stubborn boy around. You can go to him, I can wait."
"You most certainty cannot! You are very weak right now and sooner or later your baby is going to be dependent on you again. Hold on…" Poppy got up and went to take a few things off a cart standing in the middle of the room. "Take these dear," she said and handed her three vials. Helena did. "Good girl, I'll be back when I can."
She wiped at her forehead; this was going to be a very busy night. She held her hands on her hips when she saw Harry. "And what are you doing withering around in pain still Mr. Potter?"
Harry drew in a breath. "I'm in pain damnit!"
"Harry!" Remus scolded.
"I told you to take the calming draught child! It's the only way you can calm down enough without me using my wand. I know you are in pain but you have to let me help you. If you do not take it orally now I'm going to have to administer it through a syringe," Poppy told Harry, very clearly.
Harry looked at her, he knew she wasn't kidding, she defiantly wasn't one for jokes. "Fine," he grunted.
Poppy nodded and with the help of Remus Harry sat up again to down the potion. Poppy smiled. "Good boy, now was that so difficult? I honestly don't know what you are thinking sometimes Harry."
At that moment Hr. Lioncross shouted across the room. "Madam Pomfrey! We need more help! Call St. Mungo's now!"
"My goodness, what for?" she said scurrying over.
Hr. Lioncross whispered, "The boy's godfather is slipping. We need help now."
Poppy nodded and went to her fire grate and flooed to St. Mungo's for help. Harry was finally able to breathe easier and his hold on the bed loosened. That's when Helena looked over. Knowing they were safe from the matron's clutches for a few minutes she took her chance to see her boyfriend's godson, whom she already considered her own practically. Harry smiled when he saw her walk over to him.
"Oh Harry," she whimpered and pulled him in his arms.
Harry felt a tear fall from his eye as he held onto her as if she were a much-loved aunt. "I'm so glad you're safe," Harry mumbled.
"Oh me too, I'm so happy to finally see you again sweetie. I missed you."
She let go and pulled his face in her hands to examine it. "Oh my, you look like you've been put in the ringer haven't you? Poor dear…" she hugged him again.
Even with the presence of a very round belly, her body against his felt so nice and safe. It wasn't like a hug from his guardians which felt safe yes, but strong, or from his girlfriend which was warm and made him excited inside, no, Helena's was relaxed and strong and full of warmth and safety that the others weren't….like a mother's hug. This made Harry break down finally.
"Harry love, what's wrong?" Helena gasped.
"I'm so sorry Helena; I've been such a real jerk to you these past months. I feel so selfish and stupid and everything else. I don't mind if you become my new godmother or whatever because I really like you Helena, I really do. I really can't wait to live in the same house as you and see your face every morning. I'm looking forward to having you around…I'm so sorry," Harry confessed.
"Shh, shhh, it's okay. You had every right in the world to act the way you did. I was shocked by the distance you gave but that didn't make me not like you any less."
Harry looked at her, eyes brimming with tears. "W-what?"
Helena smiled sadly. "All those things that you said and did- it didn't make me not like you any less."
Harry felt very wanted and loved right then. He hugged her. "Thanks," he mumbled.
Helena nodded and let go. "So, does anyone care to tell me anything about this mess?"
Harry drew in a sharp breath. "I dunno what happened to anyone. No one does."
Helena nodded, trying to not break down. "And- and you? You seem to be in pain Harry dear."
Harry shrugged. "My right leg is really hurting me."
A second later they heard the screech of a very angered matron across them. "Ms. Delmhar! Back to your bed! Didn't I tell you to not talk to Harry yet? And Potter, you sit back down this instant! I will not have any of your foolish curiosity interrupting this crazy night!" Poppy Pomfrey shouted.
Helena got up, frightened, and went back to her bed. Harry looked at the aged Healer who followed behind Poppy whom she obviously called for from the wizard hospital. He went straight over to where Sirius' bed lay and a second later curtains were thrown around them, giving them privacy. This scared Harry.
"Madam Pomfrey- what's wrong with my godfather?" Harry said with dread.
"Don't worry Harry, the Healers and Professor Snape will sort it out," she said soothingly.
"No! I want to know now!"
"Harry please"- said Remus.
"No! What aren't you telling me? He's dead isn't he? Or he's going to die huh? That it isn't it?" Harry cried, anger boiling up, despite the calming potion.
"Harry, you really ought not to act like this," Remus warned.
"I want to see him," Harry demanded.
Remus was about to argue back but Poppy stopped him. "All right Harry, I know how upset you are right now so I'll make you a deal."
Harry opened his mouth.
"No, listen to me. I will allow you to see your godfather only after the Healers are finished with him. You cannot interrupt what they are doing now, they are doing all they can to help him. Do you understand me Harry? I know you want to see him but you can't yet. Once they are finished checking him over and I finish checking you over, you may see him," Poppy said trying to put emphasis on every word she spoke.
Harry let out a breath through his teeth and nodded.
Poppy smiled. "Thank-you Harry."
Harry let a tear fall from his eye.
"What's wrong Harry?" Remus asked worried, holding his hand.
"Sorry- my leg just really hurts…"
Poppy nodded and got to work. She discarded his shoes, socks and trousers and gasped as soon as she saw his bare right leg. Without a doubt it was broken, and any average person could tell that it was a pretty bad break. His whole bottom leg was swollen and a slight shade of blue. His ankle looked mangled, there were a few more bumps around the joint than there used to be and the area above his ankle looked to be pointing inward slightly. Remus looked almost sickened; he had seen a broken leg before but it didn't look as horrible then as it did now. Then again, Harry looked far worse than this almost a year ago so he really shouldn't complain.
Poppy frowned and began to run her wand over it, diagnosing the break. "Do you know what caused this?" she asked Harry.
Harry grunted, trying to yet again hold in the pain. "I- I was hit with a curse. It was bright blue I think- hit my leg and I went straight down into the- the floor."
"You didn't hear what the curse was?" Poppy asked.
"No- it just happened. I was running and it just happened."
Poppy nodded and a minute later she stood up to full height again. "Well, I am pretty sure I know what curse was fired."
"You do? But- well, I would've thought that a curse sent by a Death Eater would be just that, only something a Death Eater would know," Remus said frowning.
"Well thankfully there are still several curses and spells out there in the world that are used by dark wizards but are not hushed away. They were spells created hundreds and years ago that have been passed around so that the average wizard would know of them, or at least a medical professional. No, I know what the curse was. Unfortunately that's only a tiny bit of the solution," Poppy said grimly.
"How come? What's the curse?" Remus asked.
"Brakfractum Atrox," Poppy answered.
A sudden realization dawned on Remus' face. "Oh, I know of that. I have been teaching my seventh years how to block it and others like it. Damn…so you're sure it's that then?"
"What? What is it?" Harry asked looking panicked.
"It's nothing too serious dear, just a normal break. However, it will take a bit longer to fully heal and it may not be as strong as it once was. The aim of the curse is to break the leg in many places so it will be more difficult to heal and that is unfortunately what happened here," Poppy sighed.
"Just tell me so I can get it over with…" Harry said gloomily.
"You have broken your leg in four separate places- not counting your ankle. Your ankle is shattered Harry. The rest of the leg is a collaboration of two displaced fractures running along the top portion of your tibia, a complete fracture right above your ankle joint and a closed fracture on the top part of your fibula," Poppy explained.
"What? How- how can someone have all that happen to them at once?" Harry gasped then cringed.
"It's all in the spell and the complexity of the movement. It is going to take some time to heal up this leg I'm afraid…"
By the sound of it, Harry was in horrible shape.
"And that's not counting how exhausted you are."
Harry could only shake his head. His eyes then lit again. "Madam Pomfrey, what about Her-Hermione? Is she going to be okay?"
"Well, I do know that whatever spell she was hit with was not the same one as your godfather. I'm certain she's going to be fine. We just have to wait for her to wake which I hope will be soon. Do you know what hit her Harry?"
Harry shook his head no. "It was real sudden just like the one on my leg. One moment we were racing in the room the next she let out a small 'oh' and fell down."
Harry had one more question. "And- and Helena? Is she going to be okay too?"
Poppy looked over at the woman who was now nervously tapping her foot on the floor a few beds over. "She'll be fine if she listens to what I say. She can be just as forceful as you unfortunately."
Harry tried to smile but the lingering thought of Sirius' fate stopped his teeth from showing.
"I'll start the healing process of your leg then," Poppy announced.
"How long is it going to take?" Harry asked tiredly.
"Depends on how corporative you are," she said giving him a dark look as if he was already making plans to break the rules. "If you do as I say then your leg will be completely normal in three to four weeks. If you try to walk on it or do not take certain medication for it then it will be much longer."
"I have to wait three weeks for my leg to heal?"
"Sadly yes. This curse is not meant for the leg to heal nicely."
"But it will heal back to normal right?" Remus asked.
"I discussed this already, it might. It might be weaker from now on though. Let me get my supplies…"
Harry sat up more and looked past Helena to the closed curtains across the room which hid Sirius.
"Moony, I want to know what the fuss is…" Harry said in a strained voice.
"I know cub, I know. Me too. I didn't even get a chance to find out myself. As soon as I dropped him off here and told Madam Pomfrey what happened I had to go and rescue Helena. Now I'm here with you."
"You don't have to be…" Harry mumbled.
"I want to be, you're my son now remember?"
"I'm just your nephew…"
"Oh no, you are way more than that cub. It may say so on paper but in my heart, you're the closest thing to a son that I have."
"Until you have your own…"
"Not for a while then. I like things the way they are now," Remus said with a painful smile.
Harry nodded, tears in his eyes. Poppy returned with a cart of supplies wheeling behind her.
"Do you want to dress in pajamas first or begin the healing first?" the nurse asked, holding up a pair of the standard blue stripped pajamas.
"I- I think I want to change first."
Poppy nodded and Remus helped the boy out of his robe, shirt, vest, and tie for every time Harry jolted his body his leg would flare in pain. After his shirt was buttoned up Poppy began his healing after waiting for what seemed like hours. Harry had to take eight different potions before Poppy began to run her wand down his leg, chanting something. Harry felt his leg grow very cold then return to normal. Poppy then began to dress the broken leg in layers of gauze and a small fixing made of wood near his ankle to stabilize the shattered joint.
"I do not want you to leave this bed until I say so Mr. Potter. It is very important to have this leg move as very little as possible," Poppy instructed.
"But what if I have to pee or bathe?" Harry asked.
"That's what this is for," she said and held up a blue bedpan.
Harry's face grew red with embarrassment. He never had to use one of those things in his many frequent visits to the hospital wing.
"Surely not," Harry uttered.
"I'm sorry but that's the way it has to"-
That is when Snape strode over from his place by Sirius to the matron and whispered something in her ear. She covered her mouth and gasped then nodded and he walked out the wing.
"I'm sorry dear but I have to go check on your godfather for a moment," Poppy said.
"What? Why? What's wrong? What did that bat say?" Harry ordered.
"Harry, calm yourself. You had a calming draught, why is it hardly working?" Remus scolded.
"Something is wrong and you aren't telling me! I have to know what's wrong! Remus! You promised!" he said, suddenly turning to his uncle.
" I don't know anything myself Harry. I'm not keeping anything from you," Remus said.
"I'll be right back," Poppy announced and walked over to where the two Healers from St. Mungo's were trying to heal Sirius.
True to her word, Poppy returned a minute later and motioned for Remus to come over so they could talk in private. Harry glared when he saw this; he had a right to know what was wrong with his godfather just like everybody else.
"What is it?" Remus whispered to Poppy as they talked in a corner of the room several feet away from Harry.
Poppy sighed. "They do not know what curse he was hit with," she started.
"What? Not even Snape knows?" Remus gasped.
"He doesn't. He's going to talk with the headmaster now and try to do some research to find out what is wrong."
"Is- is he awake?" Remus asked hesitantly for he already knew what the answer would be.
"No, he isn't. He's actually not very responsive to anything Remus. He keeps twitching and having spasms but he's not waking. It's like his brain is trying to fight something inside him but we don't know what it is."
Remus nodded slowly, trying to take in all this information at once. "Is- I mean, is there a chance- is he going to- to die?" he said with difficulty.
Poppy glanced at Harry who was fuming up in his bed. "I'm not going to lie to you Remus but his prognosis isn't good. His pulse is very low and even after everything everyone has done so far, he's barely breathing. Severus already expects Sirius to have some sort of brain damage if and when he wakes up. He detected some strong dark magic."
Remus nodded again, biting his lip so hard it could've bled, tears stinging his eyes.
"I'm sorry Remus but that's what I got from Severus and the Healers."
"No, it's okay, I'm happy I know the truth. Is- is that all you have to tell me?"
"He'll be stabilized soon; Hr. Lioncross needs to administer a strong dose of muscle relaxer to Sirius first. After that, it's going to be a waiting game…." Poppy said sadly.
Remus nodded again, trying hard to not think about his best friend dying.
"The question is- do we tell your young charge?" Poppy whispered, nodding to Harry.
Remus glanced at the boy, then back to Poppy. "Yes, I'll tell him. I promised him I'd tell him anything that has to do with Sirius, Hermione, and Helena. By the way, how- how are they?"
"Hr. Neeley is still trying to detect what Miss Granger was hit with but she is certain it's not as dangerous as what Sirius was hit with. The spell seemed to have caused damage to her ribs and punctured a lung but she is certain she'll wake without complications and be right as rain again. She has a nice pulse and so far, Hr. Neeley has not detected any brain damage," Poppy explained.
Remus nodded with a slight smile. "Harry would be happy to know that. And Helena?"
"Well, if she stays in her bed then she'll be fit to go back home tomorrow. She just needs to take nutrient potions for herself and her baby, which is holding up remarkably well right now," Poppy said stiffly, looking at Helena as if she was about to get up again, despite her being asleep as of then.
Remus nodded. "Thank-you Madam Pomfrey."
Poppy nodded and walked over to where Sirius' body was resting. Remus walked on over to Harry, trying to prepare himself for the worst.
"Hey there cub, how are you?" he tried.
"What did she tell you?" Harry demanded.
Remus sighed; it was no use trying to distract this child. "She told me how everyone is holding up."
"Well, they don't know what hit Hermione yet but they are certain they'll find out soon. She's breathing well and should wake soon. There is no sign of brain damage but one of the Healers said she injured her ribs and they poked a hole in her lung."
"But she'll be okay."
"How do they know that if they don't know what hit her?" the boy demanded.
"I don't know Harry, I'm not a Healer, they just know okay?"
Remus sighed and took a seat in a chair by Harry's head and held onto his frail, skinny, scarred right hand. "Well, you want the truth don't you?"
"No sugar-coating," Harry said, drawing in a breath in anticipation. What was Remus going to say?
Remus squeezed Harry's hand slightly. "They don't know what hit him," he started.
"But whatever it was is something completely different from what Hermione was hit with. His- his breathing and pulse is very low. He keeps having odd spasms and twitches in his body and they don't know why. Snape was checking him over just now and he already suspects that if Sirius ever wakes up, he might have brain damage."
Tears were stinging Harry's eyes but he held them in until the end.
"Nobody knows when and if he'll wake Harry. Snape detected dark magic around him but he needs to spend time deciphering what it may be. They- they don't know if he's going to make it cub," Remus said with difficulty.
Harry nodded, looking at his hands. A tear fell from his eye and hit his hand. Remus felt it drip down for he was still clutching Harry's hand.
"Oh, oh cub, come here…" he said and took the teenager in his arms.
Harry broke down. "I- I don't want him to die Remus."
"Shh, I know, I don't either."
Harry sniffed. "He- he can't die. I dunno what I would do without him. He's done so much for me and I- I acted a jerk the whole time. (Sniff) all he ever wanted was for me to show him I still loved him and I blew it Remus. I blew it! I had a chance and I blew it!" his sorrow suddenly shifted to anger and he got out of the strong arms. "You! You made me wait! You told me to wait!" he cried, pointing a finger at him.
"I- what?" Remus said in surprise.
"You told me to wait! I told you I wanted to forgive Sirius weeks ago but you told me I'll have all the time in the world during the summer! And I believed you! I could've made up with him a long time ago but I had to listen to you instead! It's your fault! It's your fault that he might die thinking that I hate him! Just because you told me to wait!" Harry shouted at the werewolf.
"Harry, I didn't"-
"You did!" Harry then saw the Healers who came by leave Sirius' bed. Without thinking twice Harry threw himself painfully out of bed and crawled over to the far end of the room to his godfather.
"Potter! Get back here this instant!" Poppy cried, seeing the boy.
"Harry!" Remus shouted.
Helena woke to the sound of their cries. Remus went over to her to stop her from getting up. Poppy was at Sirius' bed as soon as Harry reached it.
"You get to bed this minute mister! How dare you? Your leg has had no time to heal!"
Harry didn't care if he never used his right leg again, if it meant he could say a proper good-bye to his godfather then that was what was going to happen. Poppy was about to yell at Harry again but Remus stopped her.
"Just let him do what he wants, I have a feeling he's not going to rest until he does this," he muttered to her.
Poppy looked at the helpless child who was now clutching the shirt of his godfather. She sighed. "You're right Remus, he needs time alone." She looked at Harry and closed the curtain around them up to give them privacy.
Harry was staring into the lifeless face of Sirius who was having trouble breathing. A special mask was placed around his mouth and nose, helping him breathe. Harry frowned at him; a Muggle medical item he had seen before on TV was attached at Sirius' hand and a tube was connected to a bag of three different colored fluids, but Harry forgot what they were called. He was also making odd twitches in his face and arms. He didn't seem right in the mind and it scared Harry. A number line was floating in the air from one to ten and it was currently buzzing around the number three. Harry didn't know what that meant but he had an idea. It must mean that's the chance he has to live, Harry found himself thinking. Before he knew it, he broke down.
"Sirius, I'm so sorry for everything that happened this year. I'm sorry for being such an idiot around you and Helena, I'm sorry I acted selfish about you having your own son, I'm sorry for pretending I was okay with the news, I'm sorry for ignoring you, being rude to you, not talking to you for months, not even giving you a chance to change my mind. I'm sorry you had to sit at home alone without me there to make it better. For leaving you to guess if I was ever going to forgive you. I'm sorry if I made you cry, scream, drink, made you feel guilty and confused. I'm sorry I wasn't accepting of Helena moving in. For hiding in the forest all night after Remus told me all about it. I know it worried you and everyone around me. I'm sorry for giving you the cold shoulder. I'm so sorry for all that and more Sirius- I can't even begin to think of all the other ways I hurt you. If I could I'd change it in a heartbeat. I'd be a better person, a better kid, a better son. If only you could hear me…I am so so sorry," Harry sobbed, clutching the unconscious man's shirt with his hand.
"Remus- what is it?" Helena gasped when he went over to her.
Remus took a hold of her hand. "I think you should sleep first okay? A lot has been happening and there's a lot you need to know. I promise you I'll know everything in a few hours."
"I have to deal with Harry right now Helena and you know how incredibly stubborn he is. I know you are too but he's even more so and well, he's really in a mess right now and I can only take so much of it. You understand right?"
Helena sighed but nodded. "I know, I'm extremely tired right now, and I know it's best if I stay as undisturbed as I can for this one," she said softly, rubbing her belly.
Remus smiled and placed a hand on it too. He felt the smallest of movement inside. "Yeah, you need to rest."
"Remus, could you fetch me some Dreamless Sleep? I would really benefit from it I believe."
Remus nodded and took some off the cart that was still by Harry's bed. He gave it to her and she was out right after. Around fifteen minutes later Remus decided to see how Harry was holding up. Harry was still holding onto Sirius' shirt in desperation. Remus sighed as he stood behind the boy.
"How are you cub?" he asked quietly.
Harry sniffed and turned to his uncle. "Is- is he gonna make it Moony?"
"I don't know cub, I really don't."
Harry nodded and turned back to the man he was still by.
"Hey, don't give up faith so easily though Har, Sirius wouldn't want you to," Remus tried to say encouragingly.
Harry turned to the man again. He could hear the tightness in Remus' voice. He didn't believe he would make it either. It was written all over the werewolf's face. "You don't believe that do you Remus?" he asked bluntly.
"I- yes I do Harry. I have to. I never gave up whenever you were in trouble and I never will until you are officially declared dead. Same- same with Si- Sirius. He's still alive."
Remus sighed. "I'm not going to lie to you cub, it doesn't look too good. See this?" he pointed to the numbers that were glowing in the air. It was still on the three. "This- this means how- how well he's doing," he said with difficulty.
"I figured that. So he has a thirty percent chance to- to- out of a hundred doesn't he?" Harry said, tears leaking from his eyes.
Remus didn't answer; Harry took this as a yes.
"Come on cub, you have your own healing to begin. You can't prolong it staying at Sirius' bedside. Your leg is in terrible condition. You have multiple breaks in it and your ankle is completely shattered," Remus said, trying to move the boy away.
"No! I can't leave him Remus! He needs me! I know he does," Harry cried.
"No Remus, he needs me around so he knows how much I care about him despite how horrible I was acting to him this year. Please Remus, I have to stay," Harry said desperately.
But Remus would not let the boy have his way. "You had almost twenty minutes Harry. I know you feel horrible right now but you have to heal yourself. C'mon."
"No! Don't touch me!" Harry shouted, struggling against his uncle's hold on his shoulders.
Remus let go and walked behind the curtain. Harry thought he had gone for good but he was wrong; a moment later he returned with Madam Pomfrey.
"No! I'm not moving!" Harry insisted.
"Harry, this is ridiculous. You cannot work yourself silly over this. I know you must be hurting but you have to rest. If you want to ever walk again you will go back to your bed this instant," Poppy said firmly.
"No, no, please…" Harry cried. Would anyone realize how much he had to stay by Sirius' side? "Please, I can't move. Not until he wakes at least…"
"Harry that could be days, even weeks. Please," Remus said.
"No, I don't want to. He needs me."
Remus was trying so hard to control himself. How could a man keep his cool for the sake of his child when his friend could be dying right in front of them?
"Harry, it's very late. You have to move so you can sleep. I bet you Hermione's going to be awake tomorrow and she'll want to speak to you. You'd like that wouldn't you?" Remus said thickly.
"I- I dunno…I don't want him to die Remus…" Harry hiccupped.
Remus took the boy in his arms and Harry sobbed into the man's robes. Remus wrapped a strong arm over his back and cupped the back of the boy's head with his other hand, trying to not panic as he saw the glowing number scale fluctuate between the two and three. Remus allowed Harry to cry himself into exhaustion before Poppy bent down to the two who were on the floor and easily poured a sleeping potion down the teenager's throat. Harry was knocked out a few seconds later.
"I think it's best to put him in bed," Poppy said softly.
Remus nodded and scooped Harry up in his arms very gingerly, careful of his broken leg. He placed him on his bed and tucked him in and took off his glasses and placed them on the table by him. Remus looked around two beds down at Helena who was sleeping peacefully and at Hermione who was on the bed next to her. She looked to be asleep but he knew she would be okay in the end. He bit his lip at the blue curtains drawn around his dying friend and it tore his heart to think how on earth he would ever tell Harry that he died. He looked back at the sleeping child who finally, after so long, was resting and healing. He shook his head and finally broke down on the chair beside him…
End of part 1
It has been amazing to finally revise this entire story. For old readers, I hope you liked the changes I made from the original chapters. To new readers, hoped you liked the story and you are lucky you didn't read how it was years ago! I will begin revising Harry Potter and the Monsters Beneath the Skin ASAP so return to that as well. Thank-you!
Magical love: Rose