So this is the last chapter. It was fun! If anyone's interested I've started a new story called Going Home, check it out! :)
And thank you Beta Reader for looking this over! Your help is much appreciated!
The next morning Albus met Severus in the hospital wing so that they could head to St. Mungos together. Before the two stepped through the floo, Albus sighed and turned to look at Severus.
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Severus nodded. "It's the only thing that will make the pain go away."
Suddenly, Severus found himself encircled in Albus's arms. At first, he flinched not expecting the hug, but then he relaxed into Albus's arms and soaked up the comfort that was being given.
After a few minutes though, Severus pulled away from Albus and wiped away the stray tear that had fallen. He would never admit it, but he was a little afraid of going to the hospital. He knew this doctor would be discreet about his mark, but he still didn't like when people saw his mark, not to mention touch it.
Albus placed a gentle hand on Severus's cheek where the tear had fallen. "I'll be there with you the entire time. Take a deep breath Severus and try to calm down. Everything will be ok."
Slightly nodding his head Severus then turned to the floo and went through with Albus close behind him.
Arriving in the hospital Severus was momentary caught up in the hustle and bustle of what was going around him. As soon as Albus came behind him and placed a strong, comforting hand on his shoulder though Severus was snapped out of his daze like state and came back to earth.
"Let's get you check in, ok Severus?"
As Severus nodded he allowed Albus to steer him towards the front desk. When they got to their destination, An older lady smiled up at the two wizards.
"May I help you?"
Albus smiled at the woman and answered for Severus as it seemed the man was too nervous about the upcoming procedure to speak.
"Yes, I believe you can. Severus here has an appointment with Healer Pierce."
The receptionist looked down at her books and found Severus's name. When she found it and saw what he was here for she looked up and gave the two a very warm, sad smile.
"You're here for the nerve procedure?"
Severus nodded since the woman was looking right at him. The woman just nodded and then gave Severus a small stack of paperwork.
"Just fill these out dear and then we'll get you set up in a room. There is a note here to call Healer Madison and Healer James if you want me to. Would you like them here?"
Severus nodded. "Could you call Healer Madison for me?"
The woman smiled. "Whatever you want dear."
While the witch walked over to the floo to call the Healer Severus took the stack of papers and sat down with Albus in a couple of waiting room chairs. Slowly Severus was able to complete the paper work so that the Healers would know most of his medical history. As he finished with his work John came into the room and sat down besides Severus.
When Severus looked up at him John gave him a reassuring smile. "How are you doing there Severus?"
John gave Severus a stern, but gentle look. "I have banned that word from Harry's vocabulary. Do I have to ban it from yours as well?"
Severus blushed a bit and looked to Albus for help, but the man only placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Severus you can tell me what you are feeling. I can tell you are anxious and maybe a little scared?"
Severus looked down at his lap and nodded a little.
"There is nothing to be ashamed of being scared."
"Yes there is! I have faced the Dark Lord more times than I can count and didn't flinch one bit, but as soon as it comes to a little procedure I start to freak out!"
Fortunately, as soon as John had come to sit next to Severus he had cast a silent silencing spell just in case. John let out a little sigh and placed a hand on Severus's shoulder as Albus removed his. Sending a touch of calming magic into his patent John set out to soothe him.
"Calm down Severus. Yes, you have faced many challenges in your life and has survived them all. The prospect of letting someone essentially burn your arm is a very scary. I bet even Albus here would be nervous and scared, I know I would be."
Severus turned to look at Albus who patted his knee.
"It is true I would be scared out of my mind."
At that Severus seemed to calmed down and his breathing slowed a bit. John slowly stopped the calming magic and got up from the chair he was sitting on. The Healer then held out a hand to help Severus up and Severus took the offered help.
"Let's get you to your room. Ok?"
Severus nodded and the three brought the paper work to the front desk for the receptionist to process. The woman smiled at them all and told them what room was open for them. John nodded gratefully at the receptionist and then led the two to Severus's room.
When they got to the room Severus noticed a hospital gown on the bed and grimaced slightly. He really hated those things, especially how they never managed to completely cover his shorts in the back.
John saw the look and patted Severus on the shoulder with a smile. "We'll leave you be for a minute so you can get changed. Once you are, please hop in the bed."
Severus nodded and the two men left the room to let Severus change. As soon as the two left Severus heaved a sigh and got to work changing from his robes and into the thin nightshirt. When he was finished, he raised the bed so that it was in a sitting problem and then got in to wait for Albus and John.
A few moments later the two he had been waiting for came through the door followed by a new kind looking woman. Albus came around to the far side of the bed and sat in a chair sat that was there while the other two came and stood near his other side.
"Severus this is Healer Pierce. She is going to be doing the procedure today."
Severus nodded and extended a hand for her to shake. "It's nice to meet you."
"It's nice to meet you too Severus. Now, did John explain what I'm going to do?"
Again Severus nodded his head.
Healer Pierce stepped a little closer to the bed. "Can I see your arm?"
Hesitating slightly Severus presented his arm to the healer, but with his mark facing down. Slowly Healer Pierce reached out and gently took the arm in her hands flipping it so that she could examine the mark. Tenderly she unwrapped the bandaged and winced at what she saw.
John sighed and took the arm away from Healer Pierce examining it himself. It seemed worse than it had yesterday. Looking up at Severus John gave him a gentle look. "He called again." It was not a question, but a statement. "How many times?"
Severus shrugged his shoulders and then looked down at his lap. "He was angry last night."
John nodded and then handed the fragile limb back to Healer Pierce who took it gently. Prodding the arm a bit more the Healer looked up at Severus.
"I'm glad you came in when you did. Let's see whether we can take away some of your pain. I am going to need a few more Healers to come in here to help me, but I assure you they have all sworn an oath of secrecy. That ok?"
Severus nodded. As long as they would tell no one who he was or what was being done he was ok. Healer Pierce then placed Severus's arm down on the bed.
"Ok then, I'll go get my team and the things we'll need to start."
Healer Pierce then left the room to gather everything that was needed. John sat on the edge of Severus bed and placed a hand on his shoulder sending some of his calming magic into him.
"Everything will be fine Severus."
He had seen the way Severus had tensed up when Healer Pierce had mentioned "things" she needed. He just kept thanking Merlin that Severus was going to be asleep for this. John could not even imagine what it would be like if you were awake when someone burned your skin on purpose.
Grabbing the potion beside the bed he handed it to Severus. "As you know this is a dreamless sleep potion. It's a strong dose so you will be in a deep sleep throughout this. It also has a strong pain killer in it that will help with what you feel in your arm."
Severus nodded, but still looked at the potion in his hand. "How long?"
John sent a bit more calming magic to Severus. "Will you be asleep?" When John saw the nod, he continued. "The procedure will take an hour at most, and then you will sleep for an hour more after that. Don't worry we'll have you back home in time for dinner."
Still looking at the potion Severus nodded.
"Are you ready Severus?"
Severus gulped down the potion in response and John lowered the back of the bed down so he was flat on his back. John got up and placed a hand on both of Severus's shoulders sending as much calming magic into him as he thought necessary. Slowly Severus closed his eyes and fell into a very deep sleep. When he finally did fall asleep, John removed his hands from his shoulders and sighed. He then looked over at Albus and gave him a weary smile.
"It's up to you, but you might not want to stay in here for this. It's going to be a little...gruesome."
Albus shook his head. "No I rather be here with him. I abandoned him when he was in school, but I will never do so again." The man then took hold of Severus's hand in both of his. "Like I said, I will always be here for you Severus."
John smiled at the two and then went to see whether he could help Healer Pierce in any way. It seemed that Healer Pierce, and her team had been waiting just outside the door for Severus to fall asleep. The team entered, and they got to work preparing Severus's arm.
When they were done, a tray was beside Severus's bed, and his arm was resting on it mark side up. As soon as that was done Healer Pierce had come over and ordered a Healer to restrain Severus's arm in case he was to flinch. They didn't want him to move and injure himself.
When that was done Healer Pierce pulled up a stool and set to work burning the nerves around the mark. Albus watched for a minute, but then he flinched away not being able to watch any longer. He then just focused on Severus's face, and trying to keep the sleeping man calm. Slowly stroking his fingers through the man's hair with one hand and his other busy holding Severus's hand.
The first part of the procedure went well, and Healer Pierce moved on to ice the mark. Slowly the inflation went down and when it reached an acceptable level she removed the ice. Then very gently she applied the same numbing cream that Poppy had been applying to the arm and then wrapped it loosely in bandages.
After she was finished, she placed the arm on the bed and looked at Albus. "He's going to be very sore for the next few days. Please don't let him do anything strenuous and try to keep him calm."
Albus had to smile at that and let out a small chuckle. "You do know who your talking about, right?"
John smiled and so did Healer Pierce. "I've heard of his reputation, yes."
"Then, you know it's almost impossible to keep this man from doing what he wants."
At that John let out a laugh and so did Healer Pierce. She then looked at Albus with concern in her eyes. "Try as hard as you can please. If he were to move wrong, he could do some damage."
Albus grew serious and nodded. "I will try my hardest."
With that all the Healers except for John left the room, he had walked over and sat next to Albus.
"How are you doing Albus? I know that was not easy to watch. It never is when we see someone we love hurting."
Albus adverted his gaze from Severus and looked over at John. "I am fine. I just have to focus on how to get Severus better and not on what just happened."
John patted Albus on the knee. "That is what I was hoping you would say. I have to go and tend to another patent now. Are you ok here by yourself, or would you like me to call someone for you?"
"I'm ok here, but could you just call Minerva and tell her Severus is ok? I don't want her to worry, but I don't want to leave Severus either."
John nodded and got off the chair. "I will certainly do that."
He then moved towards the doorway. Before he could leave though Albus called to him.
"John could you do one more thing for me?"
John turned his head and nodded and the guilty looking man,
"Could you convince Minerva not to come by? I know Severus wants as little people as possible seeing him like this, but she is going to want to be here."
John just gave Albus a big smile. "I will and don't worry about it."
Albus nodded. "Thank you."
"Anytime." John then smiled one last time and turned to go through the door.
Albus sat there with Severus until he woke up an hour later. Severus waking up though was not a pleasant experience. He was in pain, more pain than anyone had expected.
It seemed that the Dark Lord had been cut off from calling him, but because of how the mark was designed it gave some adverse effects. It seemed that when the dark lord created the mark he created a fail safe that made it so that if there was ever a way found to remove it; it caused the person great pain. The healers who examined it though had found that with cretin creams and potions they could reduce the pain and they suspected that the pain would start to fade in a few days now that the connection was cut.
After another hour passed and Severus's hand was declared fully functional the two men were getting ready to leave the hospital. As Severus got out of bed with great care Albus helped him up.
"Do you need some help dressing?"
Severus blushed, but nodded accepting the help.
Patting Severus on the arm Albus gave him a warm smile. "I'm proud of you my boy, for admitting when you need help."
Severus's blush deepened and he looked away slightly embarrassed. Albus just smiled and went to close the door to give Severus some sense of privacy. He then came over with Severus's clothes in hand and placed them down on the bed next to where Severus had sat back down. His energy seemed very short lived.
With great care Albus came and slipped the hospital gown off Severus's shoulders and slipped his button up shirt onto his arms, very careful of his injured arm. He then buttoned up every button to the very top and folded down the collar."
"Ready for some trousers?"
Severus nodded. "I really hate hospital gowns."
Chuckling Albus nodded. "I think everyone does my boy."
Albus then untied the rest of the gown and removed it completely from Severus. Severus blushed at being so exposed, but Albus quickly resolved Severus's embarrassment by pulling his trousers up and butting them for him. Albus the pulled Severus's travailing cloak around his shoulder and wrapped it around him secularly.
"Let's go home Severus."
"Please." Albus placed an arm behind Severus's back and helped him off the bed again. He then walked Severus out the door and to the nearest floo to floo home.
As soon as the pair got back to Hogwarts Albus led Severus to his guest bedroom and sat him down on the bed.
"I know you want to go back to your rooms, but I would like you to stay here for the next few days at least. I really don't want you being alone."
Severus wanted to argue, but he just didn't have the energy to do so. So Severus just meekly nodded and let Albus take off his cloak and lay him down on the bed.
As soon as Severus's back hit the comfortable bed Severus let out a sigh. "Thank you Albus."
"Your welcome my boy. Now relax and call me if you need anything or your arm hurts more than it is now. St. Mungo's gave me some stuff to put on it."
Severus nodded and his eyes slowly closed shut. He hated to admit it, but he was so tired he felt as if he could sleep for days. It probably didn't help that he had scarcely slept all week.
Albus smiled as Severus's eyes closed, and he quietly summoned a quilt from the living room. There was no need to try to get the man under the covers Albus knew that he would be up in a couple of hours. When the blanket came to his hand Albus gently draped it over the man on the bed. He then leaned over and planted a small kiss on Severus's forehead.
"Sleep well, my boy."
Twenty minutes later Albus found himself in Minerva's office discussing more distressing subjects. Little did they know there was a small boy in the living room trying as hard as he could not to ease drop, but was failing. The two in the office were just becoming too loud for him to not hear.
Albus didn't really want to, but Severus had all but forced him last night to tell Minerva the prophesy. He had said that it was her right to know as she was currently taking care of the boy and grudgingly he knew Severus was right. So today he was here telling her what was in store for Harry Potter.
At first, she had just sat there staring at Albus as if he was a ghost, but then she had jumped out of her chair and started shouting at him.
"And you're telling me this now! That Harry has to kill or be killed!"
At that Harry tensed on the couch and the book he was holding dropped to the floor. Panic overtook Harry, he was out of his seat in a second and found himself running out of Minerva's rooms. Unconsciously Harry's feet brought him to the empty defense classroom, and he found a corner he could hide in and really think about what he had just heard. There was a prophecy about his death, he was going to die the next time he met Voldemort. True, growing up he never thought he would live long, but hearing that other people had predicted his death down to the very second chilled him to the bones.
Bringing his knees to his chest he wrapped his arms around them and started to rock back and forth. Unbeknownst to him tears had started to flow down his cheeks and small sobs were coming out of his mouth.
Too distraught to notice any more than his thoughts about the prophecy he missed the man come out his office. He also missed when the man had come and sat beside him on the floor. What he didn't miss though was the hand that rested on his shoulder and the words that were spoken into his ear.
At the first touch Harry flinched, but Remus did not pull back as his instincts told him too. He then tried to calm the boy down and figure out why he was so distressed in the first place. Had something happened? Was everyone ok? Was Severus ok?
"Harry please look at me."
Finally, Harry responded to Remus's call and he looked up at the worried man. His breath hitched in panic though when he saw who the man was. He was going to be so disappointed in Harry for being so weak when he was killed. Suddenly, Harry realized that he could not breathe at all and his panic grew all the more.
Remus saw how Harry was choking for air and immediately he drew his wand to summon John. He needed help now! Then, Harry's eyes fluttered shut as he passed out. Normally, when someone passed out their breathing would resume as the body would reset itself, but it seemed that this was not going to be the case today. Harry's body and magic seemed to be too weak still.
Panic stricken Remus lied the boy down on the floor flat on his back. Quickly he checked Harry's pulse and sighed in relief when he found it. It was there, but weak. Remus then bent down and felt to see if Harry's breathing was restored and when he found it not to be he started mouth to mouth on the boy. He had to keep oxygen in the boy's lungs until his Healer was here at least.
A few moments later John came bursting into the room and immediately came over to the two on the floor. Unfortunately, the door to the classroom had been left wide open and students were now watching as John took over where Remus had left off. His wand doing the work that Remus had done with his own lungs.
The one fortunate thing about the door being open though was that Filius had been drawn to the gaggle of students and made his way through the crowd to see what was up. Seeing the scene before him Filius ordered the crowd away and was in the door the next moment to see what he could do.
John saw the tiny man enter and breathed a sigh of relief. "Can you please help Remus and I get Harry to the hospital wing?"
Filius nodded." What can I do?."
As John was still breathing for Harry with his wand, he looked at the tiny man. "Remus here can carry Harry, but could you keep the crowds away. He needs space."
The Professor nodded at John and Remus picked Harry up in his arms. The two men started to walk out side by side with Filius in front of them. As fast as they could they made it to the hospital wing with Harry trying to keep as many prying eyes away as possible.
As soon as they reached the wing Harry was on a bed and Poppy brought over a muggle looking contraption. With practiced ease Poppy took the tube that was attached to the machine and stuck it down the boy's throat. As she turned, the machine on John stopped breathing for the boy with his wand and let the thing do it's work.
John then turned to Remus. "Do you know how he got to this state?"
Remus shook his head. "I heard someone crying in my classroom, and I went to see who it was. As soon as I saw it was Harry I came and sat next to him. When I got him to look up at me, he seemed to have a panic attack and then fell unconscious."
John nodded. "I wonder what made him so upset. He seemed to be doing well, maybe this has something to do with Severus?"
"That's what I was wondering. Is he ok?"
John smiled at Remus. "He's fine, but Harry could have assumed otherwise."
Remus then sighed. "I guess I'll go contact Minerva and Albus to let them know what's happened. Do you think I should let Severus know?"
Patting Remus on the shoulder John gave him a kind look. "I'll go tell Severus. He needs to know, but he also cannot jump out of bed this instant."
Remus nodded and left to go tell his friends of what had transpired. When he arrived at Minerva's rooms, the first thing he heard were the raised voices and immediately he knew what had upset Harry.
Slightly angry with the two who were having a yelling match he slammed the door open and stormed in. "Do you two know how loud you are? I could hear you outside these rooms!"
The two adults looked at Remus with their mouths open and then had the decency to look ashamed. Albus opened his mouth to try to explain, but before he could utter a word Remus was reprimanding them again.
"Do you two have any idea where Harry is at this moment?"
Remus looked between the two and allowed Minerva to speak when it looked as though she was about to answer his question.
"He was studying in the living room. Is he not there now?"
Remus could hear the concern raising in here voice. He knew it was petty, but he was actually glad that she was worrying. He could not believe the two in front of him. No matter what the conversation was about voices should never be raised to that level and they should always take into consideration who could hear them.
"No he is not in there right now. I found him in my classroom crying not a half hour ago. He then had a panic attack and stopped breathing. Currently he is residing in the hospital wing with a machine helping him breath."
Albus looked at Minerva and then fell back into the chair that was behind him. His head went down to rest in his hands, and he was looking his age.
"He heard." It was not a question, but a statement. "I didn't want him to know, not now at least. I thought he deserved what little childhood he had left to not worry about it."
Remus was now concerned for the two currently in front of him for Minerva had done much the same Albus had done. Collapsing into her chair that is.
"What are you talking about Albus?"
Albus looked up. "The Prophecy. I believe Severus told you about it. That is what we were discussing."
Remus sucked in a breath and held it there. No wonder Harry was so upset, no child should ever have that burden on their shoulders and now Harry did.
Taking another moment for himself Remus took another deep breath. He then looked at the two and took a bit of pity on them. He remembered when Severus had told him what had been predicted. "...for neither can live while the other survives...". He had thrown a similar fit at Severus, but did have the scene to put up some privacy shields first.
"Come down to the hospital wing when you're ready. John predicted that Harry would wake within the next hour."
The two nodded and Minerva immediately got out of her chair and made to follow Remus out the door. Albus however, stayed sitting in the chair with his head in his hands. A few minutes passed though, and Albus was out of the chair and headed to the hospital wing to see his boy.
The first thing Remus saw when he entered the hospital wing was Severus sitting by Harry's bed with John standing beside him. John had his hand on Severus's shoulder, and it looked as though he was trying to keep the man calm. As he came, closer to the two he could hear John trying to get Severus to come away from the bed and rest himself. Finally, though John must have realized that it was a lost cause and gave up trying to get the man to lie back down.
Remus then came and sat beside Severus and John as he had pulled up a chair as well. Close behind Minerva had come into the room and had done then same with Albus behind her. While the boy on the bed slept on the five adults talked, this time calmly, about what Albus had just revealed to two of the four. Sometime in the conversation Minerva had mentioned getting Sirius to come see Harry, but Remus and Albus had quickly dismissed the idea as a bad one. For Sirius would more than likely cause a spectacle and upset Harry more when he woke.
While they discussed things and some agreed with some things and others disagreed they all agreed with one thing. They would always be there for Harry, and they would help him through what ever lay ahead of him.
Slowly the boy in the bed started to stir and the adults around him stopped talking. John saw the hand that came to rest around the his throat and the panic that had reached the boy's eye's as he woke. Immediately, the Healer had both hands resting on Harry's shoulders sending as much calming magic into him as he thought he could handle.
"Try to relax Harry. You were having trouble breathing so there is a tube down your throat to help you."
Harry's eyes snapped up to look at John and made a motion with his hands as if he were trying to take the tube out."
"Don't worry Harry, I'm going to take the tube out right now."
Harry seemed to relax a little as he nodded his head. John started to undo the tape that was holding the tube in place. He then placed one hand underneath Harry's chin and grasped the tube with the other.
"I'm going to pull the tube, and I need you to cough as hard as you can. Ok?"
Again, Harry gave a slight nod. John then pulled the tube from Harry's throat while Harry coughed as hard as he could. After the tube was out Harry collapsed back onto the bed and coughed a few more times. As John put away the tubbing and the machine it was Severus who had a glass of water in his hand and was gently pressing it against Harry's mouth.
"Take a sip Harry."
Harry took a few greedy sips of water and then tried to talk, but was stopped my John.
"Rest your voice Harry, your throat is going to be sore for a few hours."
Harry nodded and looked down at his lap seeming ashamed. Gently Severus patted the boy on the arm so that he would look up at him. When Harry did Severus gave him a half smile.
"Do you want to tell me what you overheard with your mind?"
Immediately, Severus was bombarded with thoughts that were not his own.
"Slow down Harry or you'll give me a headache."
The boy on the bed took a deep breath and looked as if he were trying to calm himself down. Then, Severus heard a very quiet voice in his head.
"I'm, sorry sir."
Severus grabbed hold of Harry's hand and gave it a gentle squeeze while continuing to talk with the boy inside his head.
"It's ok Harry. Why don't you start from the beginning, ok?"
"Ok sir. Are you ok? How did it go with your arm?"
Giving the boy's hand another gentle squeeze Severus gave him another small smile. "I'm ok Harry, I'm more worried about you then myself presently."
Harry let out a small sigh. "I'm ok sir."
"No you are not. Please tell me what you heard, what made you so upset."
This time it was Severus who sighed when he saw the boy's head lower and shoulders lump. "Come on Harry, you can talk to me."
"I'm sorry for ease dropping, sir."
Closing his eyes for a moment Severus answered the boy out loud so everyone around could hear. "You were not ease dropping Harry. From what Remus told me you could not help, but hear what they were saying no matter how hard you tried not to."
Harry gave a small nod and Severus sent a glare at the two who had caused Harry to introvert yet again. He then tried to recommence their talk through their mental connection.
"Harry, can you please tell me exactly what you overheard?"
"Only that someone predicted that I was going to die. I always knew I was going to die young, but I didn't know that someone had predicted when down to the very moment."
Again, Severus replied out loud so those around them could know what was going on. "You are not going to die young Harry! You are going to live a long and happy life as long as I have a say!"
Minerva placed a hand on Harry's leg. "And as long as I have a say."
Slowly Remus came up to the bed and voiced his thoughts on the matter. "I'm here for you too Harry, and always will be."
"I will also be here as long as you need me Harry." John then calmly sat down near the bed in case Harry needed him sooner rather than later.
Albus then came and sat down on the edge of Harry's bed close to where John was sitting and grabbed Harry's hand. "What we are all trying to say Harry is that we love you a great deal and none of us will just sit back and watch you be hurt. We will do whatever we can be there for you and help you."
They say poison hearts can never change, but they never said that frozen hearts could never thaw. With the words said by his family the last part of Harry's frozen heart melted, and he felt tears start to flow down his cheeks.
John saw those tears and thought it might be time for some rest. He didn't want Harry overworking himself at this moment, not when it had not been two hours ago that the boy had stopped breathing he had been so upset. Slowly John got up from his chair and lowered the back of the bed down so that Harry was now lying down. Confused Harry looked over at John as if he were asking him why.
"I think it's time you got some rest. Ok Harry? We will all be here again when you wake."
Harry sleepily nodded and for the first time when he closed his eyes there was a smile on his lips. He felt more loved then he had ever felt in his life, and it felt wonderful. He had a family who loved him. A real family.