AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yeah, I know, I've done yet another crippledHarry fic. But 'The Bonds of Family' is slow going and I've found that writing similar stories is sometimes a good way to get my mind going.
Also, yes, this is a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit crossover but hopefully this story is better than the single chapter I did of 'Thicker Than Blood'.
This story will have longer chapters so there won't be as many of them and I'm trying to put more detail into my writings.
And a note to those who don't know Latin the story title comes from 'deus ex machina' or 'god from a machine' and refers to something or someone which makes an important rescue of a person or situation.
Summary: Vernon Dursley has finally crossed the line and put Harry in the hospital. During the trial ADA Casey Novak, who passed on a magical career for one in muggle law starts to wonder if she made the right decision.
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HARRY POTTER: Dei Ex Machina
(Law and Order: SVU crossover)
Manhattan, New York
It was 7pm and Fin Tutuola was looking forward to grabbing a beer and watching the baseball game at home. He'd just wrapped up another awful case and it was time to put all that aside and feel at ease with the fact that yet another perverted soul was off the streets.
Leaving the precinct, Fin had just stepped onto the sidewalk when he heard a squeal of tires and a car came screaming up. Not even stopping, the back door opened and as the car turned away, the body of a teenage male was thrown out, tumbling a few times, before coming to rest not far from where the detective stood.
Fin went to the boy's side and checked for a pulse just as Detectives John Munch and Olivia Benson came out of the building. "Call an ambulance!" Fin shouted at Olivia who grabbed her cell phone out of its holster.
"This is Detective Benson, Manhattan SVU. I need an ambulance at the precinct, now!"
The boy groaned and his green eyes flickered open. "Where… who…?"
"You're alright, kid," Fin said, grinning. "We're cops. We're gonna help you."
"My uncle…" The boy rasped. "Dursley…" He tried to say something else, but the breath wouldn't come. His voice was even raspier as he said, "Tell… Sirius… not… his… fault…" Then his eyes rolled back and the boy lost consciousness.
It was a minute or two before the ambulance arrived, the wail of the sirens splitting what had just been a calm evening. Paramedics got out and started assessing the unconscious boy while the SVU team looked on. "One of you want to ride with him?" EMT Haley Jones asked, looking at the detectives.
"I'll go," Fin said, climbing into the ambulance.
"I'm going to check out the name 'Dursley'," Munch added, turning back towards the precinct.
Benson said nothing as she watched the ambulance drive away. After a while, she ran to her car and headed to the hospital to wait with Fin.
A bright light in his eyes brought Harry Potter back to consciousness. He tried to turn his head but a white, hard, plastic collar prevented him from moving. He tried to speak, but there was a tube down his throat.
Eyes frantically darting about, Harry finally saw someone who looked like the police officer who had helped him a short while ago.
Fin saw that the kid was scared and sidled next to the boy, taking his uninjured hand. "It's okay, kid. You're safe. We're gonna help you, okay?"
Harry tried to nod, momentarily forgetting that he couldn't move his neck.
This couldn't be happening… The trip with the Dursleys had started out so nicely…
A week ago, Grunnings had promoted Vernon Dursley and had sent the three Dursleys and Harry to New York for a business conference.
The hotel was wonderful with full bar privileges for Vernon who had spent every evening getting drunk as a skunk before somehow staggering up to his room and passing out on the bed.
But today had been the last night in New York and Harry had innocently asked if he could go for a short walk before dinner.
Vernon, who had been drinking more than usual that day, had snapped and dragged Harry into an alley before beating and kicking him.
All Harry could remember after that was Dudley driving Vernon's car… A flash of memory hit Harry and he remembered flying across the hood… or had that been Petunia throwing him in the back seat…? Or was it Vernon who threw him into traffic…?
Harry felt his heart rate slow and he felt sleepy… peaceful…
"He's crashing!" one of the ER doctors shouted, shoving Fin out of the way. "Excuse me, Detective, but you need to wait outside!"
The doctors and nurses worked quickly to stabilize the teenager as Fin went to the waiting room to find Olivia leaning against the wall.
"How's the kid?" Olivia asked, looking at Fin's worn face.
"He's in real bad shape," Fin replied, wearily. "His heart stopped but they're trying to bring him back."
Olivia's phone rang and she picked it up, quickly. "Benson."
On the other end of the line, Munch was sitting in front of his computer as he spoke with Olivia. "Vernon Dursley is in town for a business conference at the Florian Hotel. I called the hotel before I called you and hotel security is holding him for crashing his car through the front doors."
"Fin and I are heading over there now," Olivia said, looking at the other detective. "Munch got a hit on Dursley. Let's go round him up."
It was near 2 in the afternoon when Harry opened his eyes again. The sunlight from his window gave the white walls of his hospital room a soft glow. Trying to turn his head, Harry found that he still had the brace on his neck and trying to sit up, he found that his back was braced as well.
Flicking his eyes around the room, Harry tried to establish what the extent of his injuries was. His left leg was in a full-length cast and was suspended in a traction-type rig. It felt like his right arm was immobilized and lifting it slightly, Harry noticed that his broken fingers and thumb were encased in the same cast that went all the way up his arm and almost to his shoulder.
The door opened and the detectives from the previous night entered the room followed by a doctor. Harry tried to speak, but the tube was still down his throat.
"You can't talk yet, son," The doctor said, pulling out a pen light and flashing it briefly in Harry's eyes before holding up an index finger. "Track my finger, please." Harry's eyes moved and after a while the doctor straightened up. "No head trauma, so that's one bit of good news." Looking at Harry's elevated leg, the doctor added, "Wiggle your toes for me, son." Harry tried but he noticed that his toes didn't even twitch. Why couldn't he move his toes? The doctor pulled a probe out of his pocket and after lifting the bottom of the blankets of Harry's bed, ran the probe along the bottom of Harry's foot. "Blink twice if you can feel this."
Harry blinked twice and the doctor seemed slightly relieved. "Well, you're not fully paralyzed but you've got a definite loss of mobility. I want to get the MRI results back before I come to any hard conclusions but…" Looking Harry in the eye he said, "There's a chance you may have lost the use of your legs."
"What do you mean?" Olivia asked, stunned at the grim diagnosis.
The doctor sighed. "If the MRI shows that the spinal nerves are intact, then he will eventually be fine. But if the nerves are actually severed, then there's nothing we can do."
"You're saying there's a chance he'll never be able to move his legs again," Fin said, looking at Harry.
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
Harry closed his eyes but that didn't stop the tear that squeezed out. He couldn't move his legs… there was a good chance he'd be permanently crippled. And worst of all was the fact that no one in the wizarding world knew about what had happened to him.
Molly Weasley smiled as she affixed the newest hand to her clock. Harry's face smiled at her from his own bronze hand and just as Molly was about to hang the magical clock back on the wall, the hand zipped to 'Hospital'. Setting the clock down, Molly ran to the fire and threw in a handful of Floo powder, shouting, "Dumbledore's office!"
Spinning through the Floo Network, Molly staggered out after a while into the eccentric office of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. "Harry!" she gasped, slightly out of breath from panic. "Hospital!"
Dumbledore rose from his seat and swept over to one of the portraits that hung on the wall. "Is Harry—"
"He's in America, Dumbledore," Molly said, still slightly breathless. "Harry sent Ron a letter a week ago before he left. Vernon Dursley got some sort of promotion and an invitation to some event in New York."
Dumbledore considered this. "Molly, I am sending you, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Nymphadora Tonks to see to Harry. Take care of him and tell me how badly the boy is hurt. I will make the necessary arrangements then."
Molly Weasley nodded and Flooed back home before preparing to go to the states.
"The kid's name is Harry Potter," Munch said to the Special Victims Unit. Benson, Fin, and Elliot Stabler looked at Munch as he finished his report. "15 years old and currently living with his aunt and uncle in England. I spoke to the local authorities over there and they said that Mr. Dursley often likes to beat Harry. Told me they had a folder full of reports but the kid refused to press charges. Too scared"
"Nice way to spend a trip to New York," Stabler said, angrily. "See the sights and dump off your abused nephew."
"'Dump' is the perfect word for it," Munch added. "Vernon got Harry US citizen status before he left and disowned the kid."
"Cut all ties so he has no legal bonds to the kid," Stabler said, looking pissed. "And he's an English citizen so we can't hold him for trial unless he's expedited.
"Don't give up on me yet, Elliot," said ADA Casey Novak as she waltzed into the room. "Let me swing this past a jury and see if they'll bite first."
"That's what I love about America," Munch said, sardonically. "Not only can we prosecute homegrown child abusers but we can go after the English ones as well."
"I'm going to see what a judge thinks," Casey said, looking optimistic.
"I'm going to check on Harry," Fin said, grabbing his coat and heading for the door.
"Excuse me," said a woman who had just entered the precinct followed by a younger woman with bubblegum-pink hair and a tall, black man with a single hoop earring in his left ear. "Can anyone help me? I was wondering if I could find out any information on Harry Potter."
"Are you Harry's family?" Fin asked, setting his coat across the back of his chair again.
"No," the woman said, pleasantly. "I'm Molly Weasley. Harry is the best friend of my youngest son, Ron." Pointing to the two others with her, Molly added, "This is Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt. When can we see Harry?"
Elliot exchanged looks with Fin, Benson, and Munch before turning back to Molly. "Mrs. Weasley, do you mind if we talk for a moment?"
"Certainly," Molly replied, following Detective Stabler to a small conference room.
Once the door was closed and the two had sat down, Elliot said, "How long have you known Harry?"
"5 years this September."
"Has Harry ever talked about his aunt and uncle mistreating him?" Elliot asked, looking curious.
Molly sighed and nodded. "Poor dear is always so skinny when he eventually comes to my house. And he never talks about it but I've seen bruises on him and… and the scars… Some days I'm amazed that Harry's lived this long. Harry's uncle, Vernon, is the worst, but Dudley, Harry's cousin, is just as bad."
"And Harry's aunt?"
Molly's lips pursed. "Petunia Dursley has never actually hurt Harry as far as I know but she makes excuses for her family and covers up whatever happened to Harry."
"Have you tried contacting the authorities back home?" Elliot asked. This woman seemed to genuinely care for Harry so why had she not tried to take custody of the kid?
"The headmaster of Harry's school, Albus Dumbledore, has overall guardianship over Harry. Dumbledore was convinced that Harry was safest with his aunt," Molly explained. "But as far as I know he never even checked in on the boy."
Casey Novak had indeed spoken to one of the judges for the okay to prosecute Vernon Dursley in New York but the judge in question, Elaine Fairbanks, had wanted more information about Harry's condition and prognosis before making a decision. England, sadly, had a habit of going lighter on child abusers as long as there was no sexual abuse involved.
Looking into Harry's room, she saw that the teenager had plenty of visitors. Fin was in the room along with a middle-aged woman whose back faced the door, a younger woman with pink hair, and a tall black man with a hoop in his ear. Opening the door, Casey looked at Harry and was about to speak when she saw who the older woman was. "Molly Weasley?"
Molly looked up and after a moment recognized the woman who had just walked in. "Casey Novak. How good to see you, dear. Last I heard you were on your way to law school."
"Yeah, a magical career wasn't for me," Casey said, smiling. "I'm an Assistant District Attorney."
"Casey, did you just say a 'magical' career?" Fin said, looking at the ADA like she had just grown a second head.
Casey looked stunned and horrified at her slip but Molly said, simply, "Casey is a witch. She was Head Girl at Hogwarts her 7th year."
"What?" Fin said, still looking confused. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You might want to sit down, Detective," Kingsley said, calmly.
Unable to talk, Harry just listened at Mrs. Weasley told the detective about Hogwarts, the wizarding world, and of course about Harry and his parents.
Fin's expression changed as he listened to Harry's story. At first the seasoned detective had been confused, then skeptical, but after Molly Weasley had shown off a few simple spells with her wand, Fin was starting to believe.
"We need to get Harry to a magical hospital," Tonks said, looking sadly at Harry. "Then he'll be okay and we can all go home."
"You're coming to the Burrow, Harry, when you're well enough," Molly said, gently squeezing Harry's shoulder.
"It's a good plan," Casey agreed. "But if I'm going to have a strong case against Vernon Dursley I need Harry like this. We'll have to video the testimony as soon as Harry can talk but once a jury sees him like this, they'll convict easily."
"Anything we can do to help?" Tonks asked, eagerly.
"All the dirt on Vernon Dursley you can dig up," Casey said, quickly. "And I'll want Dumbledore on the stand. Tell him I'm not asking."
Dumbledore looked at the muggle court order Tonks had brought back from New York. He remembered Cassandra Novak well and had not been surprised—given her interest in muggle law—at her current career. "Miss Novak wishes me to testify against Harry's uncle?" the headmaster said, perplexed as he looked up at Tonks. "I was not aware that Vernon Dursley had become physically abusive."
"That's why she wants you to testify," Tonks said, curtly. "Because you put Harry there in the first place. I talked to McGonagall and she said that she warned you loads of times. Arabella Figg told you that more than once Harry actually came to her house in the dead of night because he was afraid!" Tonks was shouting now and her hair was bright red in anger.
"I did what I thought was right," Dumbledore said, simply. "I tried to keep Harry safe."
Tonks tried to reign in her emotions. "Right now Harry's leg is broken in 5 places! His elbow, fingers, and thumb were broken! His spine was fractured!"
This last bit of news made Dumbledore stiffen. "What did you say?"
"Harry can't move his legs," Tonks repeated. "I had a healer take a look at Harry to see what she could do for him and she said that even if the damage to his spine was repaired there's still a good chance he'll be unable to walk."
Dumbledore sighed. "I had no idea that Harry was in so much danger."
"Maybe you should have paid more attention," Tonks said stiffly before she left the office.
Dr. Gail Martin checked Harry's vitals and his breathing before she prepared to extubate the teenager. Harry watched her as she disconnected the ventilator and after a moment, Harry found he could breathe on his own. "I'm going to count to three, Harry," Gail said. "Then I want you to blow as hard as you can. One… two… three…"
The tube came out of Harry's throat and shook his broken body and made the pain in his back even worse. Breathing deeply, he took a moment to recover and let his lungs rest before asking, "How… bad… am I… hurt?"
Gail sat next to Harry. "We got the scans of your spine back. It's not good news."
"I'm… paralyzed?" Harry asked, softly. It hurt to talk louder than a whisper so he kept his questions short.
"Not completely, Harry," Gail explained. "The nerves that register sensations are still intact as are the nerves which take care of signals for… well, your bodily functions to put it nicely. Unfortunately the nerves that allow you to move your legs were severed."
"When can… I go home?"
Gail shook her head. "Not for a while, I'm afraid. It will be at least 3 months before we can start your rehabilitation. Once your arm and leg have healed you'll start working on lifting yourself with your arms and navigating in a wheelchair." Seeing Harry's depressed look, she added, "Miss Novak needed to videotape your statement. If you're not up to it today…"
"It's fine," Harry said, his voice sounding a little stronger.
Gail nodded and stood up to get the door. Opening it, she let ADA Casey Novak in saying, "Call me when you're finished."
"I will. Thanks," Casey said setting up the camera at the end of the bed and attaching a small microphone Harry. "Okay. Just relax, Harry. And if you need to stop, let me know."
Harry cleared his throat a few times and said, "I'm okay."
Casey nodded and turned the camera on and made sure it was working. "Okay. Let's begin."