Chapter 62

Healer Walsh And Investigating

Severus froze for a nanosecond, with what felt like the entire world freezing in that second with him before his brain kicked in. Flicking out his wand quicker than lightening, he dissipated the smoke, and lit the room, getting his first look at Harry and his stomach rebelled dangerously. Within seconds, he was over at Harry, scanning him, not even attempting to move or touch him lest he make it worse. His breathing hitched, when he read it, then he suddenly reeled back in shock.

A deafening and unholy shriek pierced the air, as smoke began to coming out of Harry's head. At the same time Severus' mark burned painfully, but he paid no heed to it. He was used to the pain that came from wearing the mark; he'd been ignoring the summons since the evil wizard had returned.

"What on earth?!" shrieked Eileen covering her ears.

It soon became apparent it wasn't just smoke, as it began to take shape, a face, one that Severus knew all too well. Severus' eyes twitched as he stared at it, the shrieking didn't seem to penetrate his shock. It soon began to taper off, until as quickly as it began it stopped again. Severus and Eileen stared at Harry unable to believe their eyes, whereas Eileen was baffled and confused…Severus had a few ideas of what it was, but didn't understand HOW it happened.

"Is he okay?" whispered Eileen leaning against the door shaken beyond words.

"Dobby!" yelled Severus uncaring how he sounded at the moment.

Eileen moved into the lab, wild eyed, and too worried to even cry at this point, jumping at Severus' loud voice. What had happened? Was that what they had heard earlier? No, it had been Harry, she knew his voice.

"Don't move, the potions caused second degree burns," snarled Severus his heart beating through the roof, as terror consumed him.

"Yes sir?" asked Dobby appearing, his little mouth dropped open as he stared around in shocked horror.

"Get a healer from St. Mungo's, NOW!" demanded Severus, yelling the last word when Dobby didn't move fast enough. Standing up he ran towards his potions cupboard, yanking it open his heart sank more than half their potions were laying in a puddle on the floor. No doubt what had caused the severe shaking, but it didn't help Harry right now. Banishing everything, not wanting another accident to occur, more than thankful for his emergency potions supply. "Accio potions kit!"

Eileen stepped aside just in time, otherwise she would have been winded in the stomach by the flying box. She came further in, wanting to do something, anything to help. Making sure to give any potion remains a wide berth, breathing ragged, her hand automatically clasped across her mouth upon seeing Harry properly. He was ten times worse up close. His robes were melted onto his skin, but it seemed the spells on them had stopped a worse disaster from happening. Yet another part of her wondered if it could have possibly been worse! The only thing stopping her from giving way to despair was the fact her son seemed so stark raving calm. For a moment, then she was spectacularly sick all over the dungeon floor.

"What on earth are you- oh dear!" said Healer Walsh instinctively going into professional mode. Assessing the situation, ensuring it was safe for her to approach it. "Go to my office and retrieve my emergency bag, it's under my desk. Make haste!" she demanded of Dobby, who immediately left to do what she wanted.

"Healer Walsh isn't it?" enquired Severus hastily handing her the results of the scan, balling his hands into fists when he realized they were shaking. He'd been through a lot in his life, and knew panicking wasn't the answer. Yet Severus felt like his entire life was spiralling out of control. Swallowing thickly, he scooped a dollop of burn paste and immediately spread it across Harry's chest. Almost heaving at the sizzling sound that met his ears and the burning that met his nostrils.

Immediately upon seeing the results, Healer Welsh cursed inwardly before waving her wand in a long complicated motion. Never faltering in her chant, as magic warmed the room, for three minutes it continued, Severus had stopped putting the paste on watching what was happening in concern. Praying it would work, each second that slugged by, he began to fear they were too late. Then they heard it, the scraping of Harry's spinal cord reattaching itself together, Harry jerked once more a moan of agony tearing out his throat.

"I did it," she whispered, breathing ragged, it had taken a lot of out her to perform that spell. In fact it was the first time she'd performed it, or at least the first time since learning at university. The spell had to be cast within five minutes of the accident or the injuries were permanent. Not even Skele-Gro would have helped Harry's spine, they had been smart to use a house elf, and nobody had done that before. "We can move him now."

"Here is your bag, ma'am," said Dobby re-appearing.

"Take it up to Harry's room, along with this," said Severus handing him his own potions box.

"Yes Master Severus," said Dobby immediately popping away.

Healer Welsh conjured a stretcher and levitated Harry onto it, and backed out of the potions lab, Eileen began showing her the way.

Severus had never been more grateful that they only used the first floor, as they got Harry into his bedroom. They lay Harry down on his back and got to work. Healer Walsh immediately set about cutting the remains of Harry's clothes away. She didn't attempt to remove the clothes from the burns, knowing it would cause more damage. Unfortunately most of his chest was covered in burns; with Severus' help they had Harry's clothes off leaving only his underwear.

"We must keep him as warm as possible," said Healer Walsh, "Do you have any Clingfilm?" it wasn't something she had available in her emergency kit.

"I will get it, ma'am." said Dobby disappearing.

"Here I think you should take this," said Healer Walsh handing over a calming draught, guiding Eileen to a seat sitting the woman down. It was testament to how bad she felt that she didn't put up a fuss about having her see to Harry first. Not that she spent a lot of time; once the potion was consumed she once again began searching her bag. Lifting out a large jar of burn paste. She wasn't sure she had enough, but she'd bet Severus Snape had plenty on hand, she was albeit surprised he was allowing her to use her potions. Oh, he had brewed it, of course, how could she have forgotten?

"The Clingfilm ma'am," said Dobby, appearing and placing it on the bed, the other house elves were in a right state. They all liked Master Harry as much as he did, and they were worried about him. They didn't make an appearance though, since it wasn't their place to do so. Only two elves had continued their work, and it was Rose and Daisy who were cooking today.

"Thank you," said Healer Walsh; grabbing it with one hand, placing it in front of her, she sterilized her hands before grabbing the paste. She stretched it and wrapped it around the large burn on Harry's thigh before wrapping it in Clingfilm to keep it in place and stop anything from getting on the paste.

"Don't burst the blisters!" said Healer Walsh hastily, "The paste doesn't have anything to prevent infection."

"I know," said Severus dryly, as he continued to press the paste into the abused blistered skin, making sure not to put too much pressure onto it. Between the both of them, the burns were covered and dressed with Clingfilm. All bar one, the large one down the side of his face and neck. Once that was done, she cast a spell to make anything in the wounds disappear, mostly the remains of the clothes. Another scan was performed to see how Harry was doing.

"He's lost a lot of fluid, but this isn't surprising with the severity of his burns," said Healer Walsh, "I'd suggest giving him a level ten pain reliever and Skele-Gro his arm is broken in three different places."

Severus nodded in understanding, his lips twitched when Dobby immediately appeared with a pitcher full of water. The clinking of ice cubes made the only sound in the room. Severus picked up the glass on the tray and immediately filled it. Taking a deep breath, he cast the enervate on Harry, wakening him up swallowing thickly at the moan of despair leaving Harry's lips. If he could he'd take the pain for Harry, or make it go away, but he couldn't, all he could do was make him as comfortable as possible.

Severus sat on the bed, lifting Harry's neck and head, making sure not to move him more than necessarily. If he did he would only be hurting Harry further, it was the last thing he wanted. Pressing the glass to his lips, urging him to drink. Unfortunately Harry wasn't having any of it; he just kept choking it back out, causing it to flow down his chin, neck and chest. Unable to bear forcing him he put the glass back on the stand and poured only a few drops of the potion into his mouth. Harry let out a guttered moan, only then did Severus give him the rest which he was able to swallow without difficulty. Then he gave him the Skele-Gro, and some water to wash the horrid taste away. He was barely conscious but he managed to succeed.

"Keep him as warm as possible," said Healer Walsh, not wanting him to go into shock.

"I will," said Severus, tired and stressed to the max. "How much do I owe you?"

"No cost," said Healer Walsh immediately, not after all the help they'd given the hospital a few months back. If not for them the casualty list would have been even greater. Truth be told they had received many donations following that day, with extra money to build a new wing from the Ministry as well. "I will come and see him in two days time, send Dobby again should you wish. If you need me for anything before then, this is my office and home Floo addresses, do not hesitate to get in touch." she added, pulling out a card with the addresses on them handing it to the surprised wizard.

"Thank you," said Severus.

"Try and get some rest." said Healer Walsh, "He's going to be cranky enough for both of you." she added wryly. Patients who were in pain were guaranteed to be unpleasant, but who could really blame them? She certainly couldn't. Although some of the abuse she took was uncalled for. She was the one trying to get them better after all, shaking of her thoughts focusing back on the situation at hand.

"Actually he's quiet when he's ill," said Severus, probably due to his upbringing and being treated as if he was a piece of gum his parents trod on.

"I see," said Healer Walsh feeling rather awkward. "Do you have enough level ten pain reliever?"

"I believe so," said Severus.

"Very well, take care of yourself," said the Healer, placing everything back in her bag before standing up with a quiet "Bye." then she Apparated away, leaving Eileen and Severus to deal with what had just happened.

"Severus, what came out of Harry?" asked Eileen her black eyes demanding an answer.

"Not right now mum," said Severus tiredly, "Can you stay with him?"

"Yes," said Eileen sighing in exasperation.

"Thank you," said Severus, grabbing his potions box and leaving the room, heading down the stairs.

Severus entered the potions lab, staring around at the devastation; he was honestly surprised Harry was still alive. The workstation Harry had been using had a large hole in it; the back of the room was black and charred. Every single cauldron was destroyed; pieces of them lay strewn absolutely everywhere. As were the vials, stirrers and potions he had been working on lay in a puddle off goo. It was a good job he'd sent Lupin the Wolfsbane potion, otherwise that too would have been ruined. Even the ceiling had damage to it; it looked like a demolition sight, or more accurately a bomb site. Merlin what had happened? Shaking his head sadly, unfortunately these kinds of accidents admittedly did happen. Whether you were an expert or a novice, as he always told his students, one extra drop of an ingredient or wrong one could annihilate the entire potions classroom and the people in it. Something Neville Longbottom hadn't taken to heart, or Nick Potter come to that.

Making his way over to the station Harry had been working at. Placing the box on the table where it hadn't been damaged which was difficult to do. Perching it on the edge, he opened it and removed a few items he'd need. They didn't know the affects the potion may have on Harry, for all they knew it could be poisoning him. So it was vital to keep some of the exploded mess. Using a small turkey baster he placed some of the ruined mess into a vial. Sealing it closed with a cork and a spell, it was one less thing to worry about, and an entire vial would be enough to test. Putting a sticky label on it, he wrote what it was with a self inking quill. Putting them away, he began investigating the workbench more thoroughly.

He inspected what was left of the potion vials trying to determine what Potion Harry had been trying to brew. Placing them on the table as he went along, some only had dregs in them but enough for Severus to identify it. Once they were all placed on the table, he began to think on what Potion he'd been making. He couldn't think of any, either he was experimenting or the other vials were so destroyed he wouldn't find out. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he noticed another vial at the other side of the floor of the counter he'd used. Arching an eyebrow, musing that perhaps it was the last vial he'd been working with, picking it up, assuming he knew what it was, he realized what Harry had been brewing. It was fairly standard, how the hell had Harry ended up causing such an explosion? Sniffing it, both eyebrows rose in shock. This wasn't what he had assumed; unless he was very much mistaken it was unicorn blood. It wasn't black which meant a unicorn had willingly given it. Unicorn blood turned black if it was taken against its will, rendering it 'cursed' so to speak.

How could he have mistaken the ingredients? Although it was a little hypocritical since he too had mistaken them. With delicacy he removed the glass from the unicorn blood, and placed the remains into a clean whole vial and corking it. That wasn't an ingredient you put out, not unless it was contaminated, and miraculously it wasn't. He had an urge to go and speak to Harry, ask him where he'd gotten the unicorn blood. Unfortunately Harry wasn't in any shape to talk to him, never mind answer any questions.

Leaning against the table, he closed his eyes; he'd come so close to losing Harry tonight. The feelings running through him scared him to death. It was nothing like he'd ever felt before, not even close when he heard about the attack on the Potters fearing Lily had died. The feelings he had for her son, made a mockery of any feelings he'd ever had for Lily back in the day. It would take days if not a week to get the lab fixed, and new worktables put in. None of this really mattered, healing Harry was more important.

When he was worried or upset he liked brewing, it took his mind off things. Unfortunately it wasn't something he could do today. This was the only lab he had, his mind wandered back to Harry, giving up, he abandoned the lab. He wanted to make sure Harry was alright, perhaps even get some sleep. He wasn't quite sure why, but he was exhausted not just emotionally but mentally as well. Placing the unicorn blood in his potions box, he stood on a piece of glass, looking down he frowned. Bending over, he noticed a piece of the dragon hide potions bag he'd gotten for Harry just after he'd become his apprentice. He added it to the list he was mentally calculating in his mind.

Closing the door to the stinking lab, he made his way to the bedroom, not surprised to see his mother was still there. She was at least calm; thanks to the potion Healer Welsh had given her earlier. His mum didn't do well under pressure, worse still if it was someone she cared about. To think just a day ago they had been enjoying themselves in Egypt. Would this still have happened if they'd remained in Egypt? Staying for Harry's birthday would have been a good plan. Forcing those thoughts from his mind, 'if' and 'buts' changed absolutely nothing. He should know he'd spent his childhood and teenage years thinking those ifs and buts until he was blue in the face. He'd forced himself to quit it, and he had, this was the first time he'd thought along these lines in a very long time.

"Find anything?" asked Eileen, clutching Harry's hand close.

"He put the wrong ingredient in," said Severus moving a chair to Harry's other side and sitting down. His mother had put the duvet over him, keeping him warm like the healer suggested.

"Thank Merlin he was wearing his protective robes," said Eileen, just staring at him, watching his chest rise and fall. As long as he was alive they could get through anything, she would ensure it.

"Indeed," said Severus. The potion would have eaten through both layers of his skin, perhaps even the muscle if he hadn't. His mother's statement couldn't have been truer; the point was he had been wearing it so that's all that mattered.

"Can Rose get anything for Master Severus and Mistress Eileen?" asked Rose, appearing in the room, her attention was mostly on Harry rather than them.

"Go get some sleep mum, its after ten." said Severus. "Don't worry about Harry, he'll be fine." reassuring himself more than his mother in all honesty.

"It's okay, I'll stay. A coffee please, Rose." replied Eileen.

Rose disappeared to do what Mistress Eileen had asked of her.

"Mum, go to sleep." said Severus. "I won't leave Harry alone, I'm sleeping here as well." trying to tell her without actually coming out and saying it. He wanted to be alone with Harry.

"Very well, but I want answers tomorrow." said Eileen pointedly, she wasn't going to give up on that. She'd let them keep whatever they were up to a secret, that was fine, but he knew what had happened to Harry. Otherwise he wouldn't be sitting there, he'd be in the library trying to find out what had caused the spectre to appear and shriek at them. She wanted answers; she certainly didn't want to see it happening again if it was going to.

Severus didn't reply, merely watched his mother leave, then turning his attention back to Harry. Brushing his hair from his face, touching his forehead he was warm, but not overly so, he also looked peaceful. Turning his hand over, finding them wet and sticky, curious, bringing his hand to his nose he sniffed it. Unicorn blood, he hastily removed a handkerchief and removed it from Harry's forehead and his own hand.

Putting it on the nightstand, he removed his cloak and trousers before sliding in next to the unconscious wizard. Shaking his head wryly, realizing more often than not he was sleeping beside Harry when he was hurt. He made sure none of their body parts touched, Harry was hurt enough without him adding to it. He made a vow that when Harry got better he'd never turn away from his advances again. Life was too short, and he finally realized this after the shock of the day. Stroking Harry's hair he continued to soothe the sleeping wizard. His other hand under the pillow, along with his wand, tightly within its grip. What a way to spend his birthday tomorrow, stuck in bed in pain was Severus' last thought, before sleep finally claimed him too.

Harry felt like he was swimming in lava, drowning in it unable to reach the surface. He hurt so much, tears rolled like rivers down his face. What had happened? Where was he? He thought as chills wracked his weakened frame, his teeth were chattering together, yet he felt so warm, so hot. He needed cold, his arms felt like lead but he successfully removed his duvet but regretted it almost immediately as the shivering intensified.

Harry lifted his head from the pillow and moaned in agony as the room spun around him, he felt extremely disorientated. Breathing ragged, he closed his eyes, groaning, what was wrong with him? He'd never felt so sick before in his life. In this case literally, nausea was rolling all over him alarmingly. Harry could do nothing as he lost the contents of his stomach, so dizzy and disorientated he barely knew where he was never mind what he was doing. Heart beating through the roof, he began choking on his sick as his eyes bulged alarmingly. He couldn't breath, couldn't swallow the sick and the world soon took on a grey tinge.

Severus jerked awake, hearing choking coming from beside him, staring around wildly before the events of yesterday slammed into him. Turning to face Harry, he used a spell and quickly banished the sick, thankful for the fact he had a habit of sleeping with his wand under his pillow. There was certainly nowhere else for him to have it, and if he'd had to look for it, it would have wasted very precious time. Gripping Harry's underarm he hoisted him up, patting him on the back, but Harry just flopped side ways against him. Unable to sit up, only then did Severus feel just how abnormally warm Harry was against him.

"Bloody hell," murmured Severus, using his wand he took Harry's temperature, his eyes widened upon seeing the results. Laying him down again, not even bothering to dress he hastily made his way to the Floo network.

"Walsh residence, 23 Forester Avenue," shouted Severus, his head stuck in the Floo, waiting with bated breath for someone, anyone to come into view.

"Can I help you?" enquired a wizard coming into view; he looked around Healer Walsh's age, perhaps her boyfriend or husband? He had never thought to enquire, and since they didn't wear jewellery when working it was difficult to tell.

"I need Healer Walsh, it's an emergency." said Severus his voice conveying the dire nature of his request.

"One moment," said the wizard, Apparating away.

A few seconds later Healer Walsh came into view, fully dressed with her emergency bag. "I do not know the Floo the address, perhaps you can send Dobby over? It will save time." she didn't question the emergency since she knew if anyone a Potions Master would be less likely to panic for nothing. A few seconds later the Floo was empty, this time she wasn't surprised by Dobby's arrival or being taken to where they stayed this time.

Dobby grabbed her robe and popped them straight into Harry's bedroom.

"Okay what's wrong?" asked Healer Walsh striding over to Harry immediately.

"Fever, chills, and a few moments ago he was sick," said Severus uncaring that the healer was seeing him in such a state of undress. Or that it was evident he had slept in the bed as well, nothing seemed significant right now.

"It is his birthday today isn't it?" asked the healer.

"Yes," said Severus in agreement.

"It could be his magic coming in," said Healer Walsh, doing a scan to be on the safe side, and safe it was indeed. "He's sepsis. He needs a course of antibiotics immediately." she didn't need to explain what would happen if Harry didn't get the treatment. Sepsis circulated the blood, stopping oxygen getting to the organs, and it would inevitably shut them down and kill Harry in the process.

"I do not have antibiotics," admitted Severus, even before the exploded had destroyed most of their potions to smithereens. The potion only took three hours to make, so if it came to it, he'd just go to the potions store and get everything.

Healer Walsh dung around in her bag, retrieving a prescription pad, she began writing it out. "May I use Dobby?" she asked looking up, signing the paper with a flourish.

"Of course, Dobby!" called Severus.

"Yes sir?" asked the little elf appearing at the door, he hadn't even left.

"Please give this to Medi-Witch Tantum, wait for her to retrieve them from the pharmacy and bring them straight here." said Healer Walsh handing over the prescription.

"Dobby will do that right away," said Dobby taking the paper and disappearing once more.

"What can I do for him?" asked Severus at a loss, he was a Potions Master not a healer.

"We have to set him up on a drip, he will be in no condition to drink anything and its vital he gets fluids." said Healer Walsh. "Do not bundle him up, or make him too warm. Someone with medical training has to remain here; otherwise he will have to be admitted into St. Mungo's. Sepsis is a very serious medical condition and it can take a turn for the worst within seconds."

"I see," replied Severus, "I'd rather not have Harry in St. Mungo's; it would just draw a lot of unwanted attention."

"I gathered as much," acknowledged Healer Walsh. She would stay until the worst was over anyway, she hadn't had a case of Sepsis for three years, after the cutting curse wound got infected and the idiot didn't seek medical attention. It had been a close call, any longer and he would have died.

"Can I give him a pain reliever?" asked Severus, wiping away the sweat gathering alarmingly on Harry's head. The cloth was wet with cool water, but not freezing since it wouldn't be good for Harry's body with the constant shift in temperature.

"Yes," said Healer Walsh immediately, he was certainly going to need it. Plus it would help lower his temperature so that was also a good thing. Using her wand she got the time and began writing once more, it was the healer in her; she felt the need to record everything down. She placed it in a clipboard so it was easier to write everything down.

Severus carded his hand through Harry's hair, his breath catching when he saw nothing but blankness and confusion in them. It was as though Harry didn't recognize him, but no, that wasn't possible. The healer had scanned him, there was obviously no brain damage, but still the look was like a knife to the heart. His mind and heart whirled with fierce panic. "Are you sure the knock to his head didn't cause damage?" asked Severus pausing in his petting, his eyes moving away from those confused green ones. Merlin his heart was pounding louder than a drum did she not hear it?

"Why do you ask?" enquired Walsh confused. "Do you think he's suffered memory loss?"

Severus looked at Harry's eyes again, "That's why I'm asking you." he said thickly.

"There is nothing on the scan, no brushing whatsoever, he was lucky, his arm seemed to have protected his head from the worst damage." said Walsh, well apart from the burn on the left side of his face and neck.

"Very well," said Severus praying she was right, Merlin he wanted Harry to acknowledge him, so he knew he still had his Harry.

"Did Harry have anything last night other than the level ten pain reliever?" asked the Healer distracting Severus completely.

"No, nothing," said Severus, flinging the used cork in the bin, putting the vial on the nightstand. The corks couldn't be re-used, the vials if sterilized and cleaned properly they could. After a few seconds Harry relaxed and dozed off again, his moaning tapering off. The fever and chills continued, Severus had to refrain from putting more covers on Harry, remember the healers words.

"Here you are ma'am," said Dobby returning with a tray of twenty potions.

The healer immediately took the tray, which looked about to topple any given moment. Conjuring a table, she placed it on a stable surface. Uncorking it, she immediately gave Harry the first dose of his antibiotics. Writing the time down on the chart she had just made.

"Can Dobby do anything to help?" asked the house elf hopefully.

"If it's not too much trouble can you make a coffee?" asked the Healer hesitantly, she was used to dealing with Dobby in a work capacity, not a personal one, she didn't like to think she was overstepping her bounds.

"Have you eaten?" asked Severus remembering his manners belatedly.

"No," she replied, she hadn't eaten since yesterday afternoon.

"Dobby can you get breakfast for myself and Healer Walsh," asked Severus.

Dobby left to do anything he could to help.

"Please call me Andy," said Andrea.

"Very well," said Severus nodding his head curtly.

"Someone is in the Floo sir, shall I send them away?" asked Rose popping into the room.

There we go :D so the unicorn blood removed the horcrux something so light surely would be able to fight of something so dark? will it remove Severus' dark mark? I hope you enjoyed the chapter to me something just doesnt seem to be right with it what do you think? will everyone come over for Harry and stay with him until he recovers? will he even remember them? or will it just be a result of the sepsis (fever, disorentation)? R&R please!