Alternative Medicine

a Harry Potter fanfic by canoncansodoff

Summary: Harry is struck down by a nasty curse a moment after he became The Boy-Who-Won that requires some non-traditional treatment, tenderly administered by a trio of young witches willing to share in more than just his physical therapy.

Ship: Harry/Hermione/Padma/Parvati

Rating: M

Disclaimer: Not my characters, no money being made, etc., etc.

oo00OO00oo

Chapter One

The-Boy-Who-Won woke with a blinding headache and a full bladder.

"He-ll-pp?" he rasped.

"Oh, Harry...you're awake...how wonderful!"

The young wizard tried to turn towards the the familiar voice, but found himself immobilized from the neck down. Putting his own condition aside from the moment, he focused on what mattered most...the sight of his bushy-haired best friend dressed in muggle shorts and a t-shirt, stretching out from a kip on a rattan sofa.

"Her...Hermione, are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Harry...thanks to you, of course," Hermione replied. "I'm so happy that you're...so what do you need? What can I get you?"

"Erm...some answers would be nice, but first I need to use the loo."

Hermione's focus shot involuntarily down towards Harry's crotch.

"Oh, well...go ahead."

"What?"

"Go ahead and take care of your business, Harry."

"What? Erm...How?"

"Oh, sorry, I forgot," Hermione replied sheepishly. "You've got a partial paralysis charm applied to aid your healing, so you're wearing a magical bedpan."

Harry groaned. He'd run into this situation more times than he'd care to recall whist under Madame Pomfrey's care.

"Would it be easier for me to leave the room?" Hermione asked.

With a sigh, Harry replied, "No...I mean...it's not like we haven't been in this situation before, and there is a sheet covering me, right?"

"Right now there is."

"Right now?" Harry asked with concern. "Does that mean there have been times when I haven't been covered with bed linens?"

"Not that you know," Hermione replied with a giggle, as she made for the door. "I'll go get the Healer."

With a giggle. Since when did Hermione giggle?

Harry shook his head relaxed control of his bladder. The therapeutic version of the paralysis charm allowed for that sort of thing, of course... wouldn't do to have heart muscles frozen and other bodily functions interrupted by magic. The resulting stream of yellow spray was instantly banished as it left his body by a device that actually looked like and functioned more like a magical nappie than a magical bedpan.

His business finished, Harry tried to recall how he got to be where he was. No great surprise that he was in hospital...he had met Voldemort on the field of battle for one final confrontation. He remembered slipping in the Accio spell amidst all of the heavy-duty curses...the spell that Voldemort missed, until it sent him sailing through the air towards the sharpened tip of the Sword of Gryffindor held in Harry's off-hand.

The last thing Harry remembered about the battle was planting his foot on the Dark Lord's chest, in an effort to pull the blade from his nemesis' impaled heart.

Not getting any further in his recollections, Harry took in his present environs. They were, quite surprisingly, new to him...located neither within the Hogwarts Infirmary or St. Mungo's. The headache made looking about the room painful, but that didn't keep him from using his other senses. Neither Hogwarts or St. Mungo's could have provided a private room with an opened window that allowed a warm gentle breeze to carry exotic scents and the sound of crashing surf.

Particularly in January.

Confirmation of these clues came when Hermione returned with a Healer. There were, of course, Healers of South Asian descent working in St. Mungo's, but none that dressed in saris, or worked in hospitals whose rooms overlooked a tropical beach.

The smiling elderly witch cast a spell that adjusted Harry's bed so that he was sitting upright. She then asked, "How are you feeling, Mr. Potter?"

Harry snorted, and looked down at his uncovered torso. He was shocked to see arms that were little more than twisted bits of flesh on bone, but focused on the immediate question.

"About all I can feel is a throbbing headache."

"Let me address that issue, then, before I perform my examination."

She walked to the opened door and called out a request using a melodious foreign language.

Harry made the most of his limited muscular control and arched his eyebrows towards his hairline when two young witches responded to the call.

"Padma? Parvati?"

The sari-wearing witches smiled as they approached Harry's bedside. Padma reached out and touched Harry's shoulder while her twin sister angled a straw tip into his mouth. The headache potion that the young wizard sipped through that straw was both effective and delicious.

"Now I know for sure that I'm not in Britain," Harry stated.

"Why is that, Harry?" asked Padma.

"There isn't a medicinal potion in the British Isles that tastes that good."

"Well you would know, having had need for most of them," Hermione replied. She stood on the bedside opposite of the the Patil twins, and mimicked Padma's shoulder touch.

"So where, exactly... "

"You are a honored guest of the Kovalam Arya Vaidya Sala," the Healer replied.

"India, then?"

The older witch nodded. "Kerala State, close to Thiruvananthapuram City."

"Thiru-vana..."

"Easier to call it Trivandrum," Padma suggested with a smile.

"But how?"

Hermione and the twins tried explained while the Healer undertook a series of diagnostic charms.

"You see, Harry...just after you killed Voldemort, you got hit with a nasty hex."

"What kind...who?"

"Dolohov," Hermione replied. "And it was some type of withering curse that affected all of your extremities."

"A withering curse...on my extrem...you mean just my arms and legs, right?"

All three witches giggled.

"Yes, Harry...just your arms and legs," Padma offered.

Parvati lifted up the side of Harry's sheet and said, "Maybe I should double-check, just to be certain?"

The Gryffindor witch's efforts were thwarted when the Healer slapped her hand away from the bed and scolded her in Malayalam.

Padma's scolding was in English.

"Haven't you've checked out that appendage enough times since he's been here?"

"No, actually."

Harry blushed, and asked, "Erm...so how long..."

"Close to twenty centimeters, I would think."

"Parvati!" her sister exclaimed.

Harry's blush grew. "I meant to ask how long I've been in hospital."

"Three days here," Hermione replied, casting a disproving look towards her dorm mate. "Another three days at St. Mungo's before that."

"So why here?" Harry asked. When the Healer glanced up from her wand work, Harry got nervous. "Not that there's anything wrong with here...or that I don't appreciate it..."

"No worries, Mr. Potter," the healer replied with a smile.

"St. Mungo's was a zoo," explained Hermione. "We couldn't keep the press away, and the Ministry seemed more interested in taking credit than providing security."

"Why am I not surprised?"

"And then there was the issue of care," Padma added. "Neither Madame Pomfrey nor the healers at St. Mungo's could control the withering, so they had you under a stasis spell."

"So..."

"So we were with you that last day," Parvati stated. "I actually saw the spell cast on you...and it sort of reminded me of some of the more gruesome bedtime stories that our father told us."

"Gruesome bedtime stories?" Harry asked.

"Well, not that gruesome," interjected Padma. "Sagas about battles between Indian wizards and the Nagas...that sort of thing. One of the stories involved a handsome wizard prince that was struck by a withering curse similar to yours."

"Really?" asked Harry.

Padma nodded. "So Parvati and I told our parents, who contacted our Auntie, here..."

"Auntie?" Harry asked. He turned his head towards the healer. "So you're their Aunt?"

The witch smiled and nodded her head. "Great Aunt, actually. I'm sorry, I should have introduced myself...Healer Patil, at your service."

"Aunt and Uncle run this Ayurvedic Hospital," explained Parvati. "They were more than willing to help, as was the Indian magical ministry, so..."

"So we kidnapped you from St. Mungo's and brought you here," Hermione said nervously. "Hope that you don't mind."

Harry snorted, and the room was quiet as he considered his response.

On the one hand, his hands (and, presumably legs) were useless to him. But on the other hand, he was alive, and Voldemort was dead. He frankly hadn't expected to survive the final battle, so he decided then and there to consider his glass half-full.

And that meant making the most of present circumstances.

"Let me see...instead of being held in stasis at St. Mungo's with a horde of pesky reporters and animagus beetles hovering over me, I wake up to a lovely room by the beach, attended by four of the loveliest healers a patient to could hope for."

"Oh, Mr. Potter, such a flirt!" Healer Patil chided. The smile on her face and twinkle in her eye softened the admonishment. There was, in contrast, nothing sort about the deep blush on the other witches' faces.

"So," Harry continued. "I've got something in common with another bedtime story hero, huh?"

"Oh, Harry...stop!"

"What?" Harry said with a grin. "Maybe if I can't stop all of the fan-girl attention, I should embrace it? Ginny always tried to measure me against the stories she was told."

Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Yes, go ahead, by all means...embrace the horde of fan-girls. I'm sure that they'd be willing to reciprocate."

"Nah," Harry said with a roguish grin. "I'd rather stay here and be embraced by you lot."

"Really?" asked Parvati.

"Sure, why not?" Harry replied brightly. "Of course, I might have problems doing any kind of embracing for a while."

"I think we could work on that," offered Hermione.

"So tell me more about this magical prince that shared my misfortune," asked Harry. "Did he get healed and live happily ever after with a harem?"

"Harry!" chided Hermione.

"What? I was just asking?"

"Actually, you're not far off, Mr. Potter," the Healer said. "The young Prince survived the attack, defeated his enemy, and lived a long and happy life with multiple wives and a large family, despite his injuries."

"Despite his injuries?"

Padma giggled. "Are you sure that you want to know?"

"Erm, sure...humor me."

"Well, according to the story, when the evil Naga king cast his curse, the young prince's arms and legs not only shriveled up...they fell off."

"Permanently fell off?"

Padma nodded.

"So how was this prince able to live happily ever after?"

This time it was Parvati that giggled. "The prince ordered his servants to remove his trousers, and to use a sticking charm to sit him upright on a magical carpet. He then flew into battle and cast
the killing curse on the evil king."

Harry pursed his lips. "So what was the point of taking off his pants?"

"It was the only way that the prince could wield his wand."

"But how did he..."

"He still had one appendage left, didn't he?" Hermione interjected.

Harry looked shocked. "So in this bedtime story, an armless, legless prince rides bare-arsed into battle on a flying carpet whilst holding his wand with his...wand?"

Shoulder shrugs and nods provided confirmation.

"But...but...his johnson didn't have an opposable thumb...or did it?"

The Patil twins giggled. "Of course not, Harry...he gripped it like an elephant uses his snout."

Harry gave the two witches a fish eye. "Sounds rather improbable...how long would his...wand...have to be to perform that kind of trick?"

"Twenty centimeters ought to be long enough," Parvati quipped.

Healer Patil muttered something in her native tongue that caused her two nieces to titter.

"What's so funny?"

"Nothing, Harry," the twins said in unison.

"Please forgive this old witch," their Aunt stated. "I merely suggested that my nieces wait for their wedding night before they seek answers to that question."

"That's right, Harry," Padma said with a grin. "She said nothing about the possibility that you'd find the answer under your sheet."

"As if you don't want to find out for yourself," Parvati whispered into her sister's ear.

"Ssshhh!" Padma admonished.

The young wizard shook his head.

"Not to criticize your parents, or your culture, but that seems like a rather...adult bedtime story."

"Actually, Harry," offered Hermione, "our own European cultures have children's stories that are just as graphic...in the original version of Sleeping Beauty the prince needed to shag her to wake her up...and let's not get started on what the wolf does to the original Little Red
Riding Hood..."

"Okay, okay, I stand corrected," Harry replied. "At least I hope that I can stand...Healer Patil?"

The Healer looked up at Harry, who had pulled the bottom of his sheets part-way back to inspect his legs. "Well, Mr. Potter, all of your appendages are intact...and we've managed to keep the curse from progressing without keeping you in stasis. But whether we can remove the paralysis charm, or restore function to your limbs...it is too soon to tell."

"Oh," Harry replied glumly. "So this might be permanent?"

"I can not discount that potential outcome," the Healer admitted. "That said, we employ a style of medicine that differs from what is traditionally practiced in Britain, and we offer, I think, a better
chance for a successful outcome."

"They also allow use of magic carpets here, Harry," added Padma. "So worst case, we could suit you up like the prince."

"You mean strip me down like the Prince?" asked Harry. He then added, "Might not be so bad, actually, so long as you volunteered to help me learn my new wand grip."

"Harry!" chided Hermione, as Padma replied with a blush. But the admonition was administered with a lilting voice and a smile, and the brown-haired witch then asked, "Healer Patil...would it be possible for me to stay by Harry's bedside during his recovery? I'd be more than willing to volunteer to help Harry, or elsewhere in your hospital."

The witch gave Hermione a pensive look. "I'm afraid that my nieces have already asked for the opportunity to help nurse Mr. Potter back to health."

"Oh, Auntie, that's okay," Padma stated. "We'd have to curse Hermione to keep her away from Harry's bedside, and...perhaps all three of us can share?"

"You mean share in assisting in his recovery, correct?" asked the bemused Healer.

Hermione bit her lower lip. "Maybe we should ask Harry's opinion," she said softly.

Four sets of female eyes turned towards the patient.

Harry gulped nervously.

"Perhaps I'll let you young ones discuss this," the Healer stated.

Once the older witch left the room, Harry nervously asked, "When you three are talking about sharing...it is just sharing the burden of helping me recover, right?"

"Not a burden at all, Harry," Parvati said warmly, as she ran her fingers through his messy black hair.

"I agree," said Padma, as she lightly cupped the side of his face.

"Hermione?" asked Harry.

The brown-haired witch looked across the bed, and held a silent, but apparently decisive discussion with the other two girls. With nods all around, Hermione leaned over and surprised Harry with a brief kiss on the lips. She then tilted her face and whispered into his ear.

"I'd rather share, then be shut out."

Harry narrowed his eyes, and nudged Hermione's face so that he could
reply with a whisper in her ear.

"Hermione, why would you think that I'd ever shut you out?"

Hermione bit her lower lip.

"Well, because...erm, well...they're twins, right? What heterosexual teen-aged male wouldn't pass on that opportunity?"

Harry frowned. "So...we are talking about more than just helping me make a physical recovery, huh?"

Hermione shrugged her shoulders, and spoke out loud. "Well, Harry...you defeated Voldemort, and given us the chance to live our lives, and explore opportunities, and..."

"And you'd want to explore...opportunities with me?"

The answer came from the lips of all three witches. They each replied, "yes" as they planted a firm kiss on his lips.

And then they leaned over the bed and kissed each other.

"So what do you think of the idea, Harry?" Padma asked.

Racy thoughts ran through Harry's head that messed with his magic. Blood ran into his other head that messed with his embarrassment and produced a physical reaction that was both surprising and obvious.

Parvati gasped as Harry's erection lifted both the magical bedpan and the overlying bed linen up off of his body, creating a prominent tent. Her sister, in contrast, gave Harry a grin and trailed her hand down Harry's body.

"Oh my, what strong pelvic muscles," she cooed. "Do you work out like this very often?"

Harry snorted. "Only when pretty witches snog in front of me."

"Careful," Parvati said, as she reached up and tweaked Harry's bared left nipple.

"Hey!"

"Oh, Merlin, you just lifted the bedpan up higher!" gasped Hermione.

"Just think, Hermione what if I had pinched your naked breasts instead?"

"But...Parvati...but..."

"Sure, Harry," Padma said mischievously. She then slipped her hand underneath the linen and squeezed Harry's bare bum.

"Not that butt," Harry quipped.

Hermione's eyes traveled from Harry sheet-covered erection to Padma's half-covered arm.

"Can you feel her squeezing your bum?" she asked.

"Erm...yes," Harry admitted.

Hermione furrowed her eyebrows, reached down, and tweaked Harry's other nipple.

"Ouch! Not you too!"

"Healer Patil!" Hermione called out.

The twins' Great Aunt rushed back into the room.

"Yes, child?"

Gesturing towards Harry's mid-section, Hermione replied, "I think the paralysis charm might have worn off."

"Oh, my," the Healer replied, as she quickly pulled the sheet off of Harry's body. Paying no mind to the fact that Harry was sporting a full, and fully exposed, erection, or that her niece had her hand on his bum, she immediately began to cast a set of diagnostic charms.

After a few tense moments, she let out a sigh of relief.

"Well, Mr. Potter," the Healer pronounced. "While I am rather alarmed that you cast off the paralysis charm, I am pleased to note that you apparently aren't worse off because of it."

"So the curse?" asked Hermione.

"The curse is not progressing, even without the paralysis charm in place," the older Patil replied. "How are you feeling presently, Mr. Potter?"

Harry frowned a bit in embarrassment, as he looked down the length of his torso.

"Erm, embarrassed, but I'm not feeling any pain, if that's what you mean."

"Absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about that wand," he heard Parvati mutter.

The Healer couldn't help but smile. "Padma, child, will you please remove your hand? Tactile response is more properly diagnosed with a wand tip."

"Yes, Auntie," the younger witch replied, as she pulled her hand out from underneath the patient.

"I'll need to do a more rigorous examination," the Healer stated. "If you girls would give Mr. Potter some privacy..."

Seeing the look of disappointment in the three witches's eyes, Harry closed his own eyes for a moment, and sighed.

"Healer Patil, I don't think I could be any more exposed or embarrassed than I already am, and if they really are willing to help with my care, then I don't mind if they stay."

"Really?" asked Hermione, a look of wonder on her face. She squealed, and bent over to plant another kiss on Harry's lips. Padma and Parvati followed suit.

Once his face was cleared of their affections, Harry nodded. "I think that I'll be in good hands, Healer Patil."

The healer snorted. "I should warn you, Mr. Potter, that some British healers would consider the kind of care provided under this roof as 'alternative'."

Harry gazed at the three witches, who each had hands caressing some part of his upper body.

"That's quite alright," he finally replied with a smile. "It'd be hard for me to think of a better alternative than this."

Healer Patil chuckled. "I hope that you still hold that opinion after a week's worth of treatments."