Chapter Eight

Harry stared at me from his seat at the table. Sunlight streamed in through the window panes, highlighting how pale and thin he was.

"We're going to need to go to hospital wing to have Madame Pomfrey get a look at you," I said. I knew quite a bit about magical healing, but nowhere near as much as Pomfrey. Harry glared at me and opened his mouth to answer, but I cut him off. "Look, I'm a proficient battlefield healer, that's about it. In an emergency I can patch things up until a real healer is on the scene. That's where we are. I patched you up, and now we need a real healer."

"But why Pomfrey," he yelled. "If I go to Pomfrey, then she will know everything and then soon enough the whole school will know. You know there's no such thing as confidential here!"

The boy had a point. But he couldn't not see a healer, and I wanted to make sure his physical injuries weren't worse than they appeared. "What about St. Mungo's then," I offered. "You don't know anyone there, it might be easier to be examined by a stranger right now." Pomfrey was a professional, but Harry would be hyper-alert, looking for any signs of pity or sadness that he could internalize as weakness. A stranger might be better equipped at keeping a straight face.

He snorted. "Are you kidding, that's just about as good as going to The Daily Prophet. I can already see the headlines." His faced flushed with shame.

"Okay, well that leaves us back at Pomfrey. We have to get a medical healer to look at you, Potter, and pronto. You'll feel better. One of your ribs is definitely broken, and that can't be comfortable." A shadow of something passed over his face, but I didn't press it. Right now the most important thing was making getting his body physically set.

"No!" Harry shouted. "Do you know what will happen when the whole school finds out? Malfoy and that lot will call me a faggot and a pussy and try to jump me more than they already do. And one of them will try to do what my uncle's done to me. They always do. Bullies in the neighborhood, bullies at school, they can smell the fear on you, tell that you've been ruined. So no. I'm not going to Pomfrey or St. Mungo's. You fix the rib, or no one does." Harry had stood up from the table and was facing me, his arms crossed defiantly across his chest.

"We'll make up a lie about the ribs," I suggested, but Harry snorted.

"This isn't my first broken fucking rib. I don't give a SHIT about the broken ribs. I've been getting beaten to a pulp since I can remember and never seen a doctor about any of it and I've made it this far. If you don't fix the rib then no one is," he snapped. "I'm not having the whole world find out how disgusting I am because of one stupid fucking mistake, because my owl thought I was dying and you were outside."

"Language, Potter, I will not be spoken to in that tone in my rooms," I said icily. Potter was fast becoming hysterical. "Now sit down and we can talk about this like civilized wizards and not two drunks in a pub." If the abuse had been going on for years, that was all the more reason to see Pomfrey, or someone equally skilled, but this was probably a battle I would not win today.

Harry sunk into the chair, and covered his face with a shaking hand. "I think I'm cracking up," he said lowly.

"You're not cracking up," I lied. Frankly, Harry seemed like he was having some sort of nervous breakdown but I didn't want to send him round the twist with that news. "And you're not disgusting. "

Harry moaned. "I can't STOP. I can't stop remembering and feeling and seeing everything over and over again in my mind. I used to be able to put it away, put everything in its own section so it was like it wasn't even happening to me. So at Hogwarts I could be one person and with the Dursley's I could be another and with my friends another. Someone else was an orphan, someone else was beaten and raped and starved. Someone else was responsible for a kid dying. Someone else saw their godfather die. Now it's me. It's all I can think about, over and over again." Harry was crying again. "I can't stop crying,and I never cried before. Never. And the only thing that makes me stop crying is cutting." He gave a humorless chuckle. "I mean, it's ridiculous. Everyone who has died for me, and here I am. I should be dead. I should never have been born. Think about all of the people who would be alive if I was dead." Harry was stopping crying which was scarier than the tears. "How should I do it?" he whispered. "I could hang myself. Poison. Drowning. Slit my wrists." He looked up at me and met my eyes. "I wish I was dead," he said.

"I know you do," I said. This wasn't the first suicidal teen in my rooms, and it wouldn't be the last. "Well I'm guessing we're done with lunch." I pitched our half eaten sandwiches and saved the rest. Harry stared at me with tired eyes. I washed my hands and said "I have a list from the scan I performed last night which detailed all of your physical injuries. I'll fix what I can." I turned and faced him. He swallowed and nodded.

"Thank you," he said thickly.

I sat back down at the table and mentally thought of potions and salves I already had, and which spells would work the best. Harry simply stared out the window. "I need to go to my supply room," I said. Harry looked at me but was silent. "You're coming with." Silently we walked out of my rooms and into the potions lab. I took what we would need, giving some vials to Harry.

Once back in my rooms, I spread out all of the items that would be necessary. "I'm going to need you to take off your shirt and probably your pants," I said gently. I knew this would upset him. Harry silently stripped down to his underwear. All of the fight seemed to have gone out of him.

In the daylight, the damage looked even worse than it had the night before. Bruises covered his back, stomach, arms and legs, and self-inflicted cuts extended up his arms and down his legs. He looked emaciated. Glancing at the list of injuries, I started first by repairing the ribs, and putting a healing cream on all of the bruises and cuts.

"Don't take away my cuts," Harry said suddenly. "I don't want those to go away."

"How can you do that to yourself Sev? How can you hurt yourself? Don't you know how much I care about you?" I remembered Lily's voice in such detail. I remembered hiding my face in the shadow of hallway.

"This way the outside matches the inside. This way it feels as bad as it does on the inside," I had whispered. I remembered crying, I remembered how her care and love for me felt like it actually going to break my heart, because how could anyone love me.

I shook my head, trying to clear it of the memories. "Alright Harry," I said with a curt nod. "Thanks to your little suicidal outburst earlier this afternoon, I'm going to have to watch you round the clock," I said as I applied the cream to his back, which looked particularly nasty. "Also I think your kidneys are a little bruised from I'm guessing repeated kicks to your back, and I've tried to fix that as best as possible, but you'll need to take a potion for a few days."

"What do you mean watched," Harry asked.

"I mean I will be watching you. I mean your living quarters will be stripped of anything you could possibly use to harm yourself, and believe me, I've thought of everything you could use. I mean you will be eating three meals every day, and I will be watching to make sure you don't purge after eating. I mean you will not be doing anything without supervision. That," I said as I finished up applying the cream, "is what I mean, Potter."

"Whatever," he said sullenly. "I want Lupin."

"After the full moon," I said. "You can put your clothes back on. And drink this," I said and handed him a potion. He drank it without complaint. "It's time for dinner," I said, and we sat down at the table newly laden with food from the house elves and silently picked at our food.