Truth And Consequences
Interlude: Calling out my name like a long lost friend
A/N - Here it is, the next chapter, just to show that I can do a fast update occassionally! I wrote th majority of this chapter first when I decided continue this story and it's been my evil plan all along! I should probably go and duck for cover right now... Please remember to read and review though. :)
The first thing that he felt was pain. Pain in his back and in his legs, but mostly pain in his head. His skull radiated with it from the inside out, pulsing at a regular beat. He blinked his eyes open and struggled to focus, his eyesight blurred. He rubbed his eyes with his fingertips and looked around, wincing each time he turned his head. He was able to make out that he was lying on a bed and staring up at a bland ceiling. He pulled himself up into a sitting position and waited for the head-rush to clear. Looking around, he saw that curtains had been drawn around the bed, shutting off the rest of the room from his blurred eyesight.
Where was he? How had he ended up here?
iOkay, just think,/i he told himself, iwhat's the last thing you remember?/i
He concentrated on trying to think back. He tried to remember something - a place, a person, a face - anything. But his mind was a complete blank, there was nothing but darkness. The strain of concentrating made his head ache even worse, his forehead pounding out a fearsome beat.
iHow is this possible? How can I remember absolutely nothing?/i A shiver ran through him. iI don't even know who I am!/i
Concentrating as hard as he could through the pain, he tried to think back. Anything. Something. He had to at least know his name! But all he found was emptiness. Panic started to eat at his veins, but he couldn't let it take over. He had to find out who he was and what he was doing in this small curtained square.
Gingerly, he slid his legs over the side of the bed and put his bare feet on the cold stone floor. Trembling weakly, he managed to stand up, but as soon as he tried to take a step his legs buckled underneath him and he collapsed onto the floor with a thud.
He moaned as his head hit the floor and stars erupted in front of his eyes. He thought he was about to die; the pain was that intense.
He could hear exclamations and the sound of footsteps rushing towards him. He wanted to cringe away, but couldn't. The curtains were ripped back and several pairs of legs came into view.
A multitude of voices started all at once.
'Why did you try to get out of bed?'
'How are you feeling?'
'We were worried!'
'We thought you weren't going to wake up!'
'Stop!' said an authorative voice, and all the other voices ceased at once. The owner of the voice, a kindly-looking woman, bent over him and pointed a wooden stick at him. 'Let's get you back on the bed, dear.'
Before he could speak, he felt himself floating up off the ground until he landed softly back on the bed. He glanced around in bewilderment, not knowing what had just happened, but then moaned again at the pain he felt; moving had only made things worse. A sea of red-headed figures stood around the bed, with the exception of a girl who had a lot of bushy brown hair.
The woman with the wooden stick held a little glass with a bubbling and smoking grey liquid in it up to his lips. 'Drink this, it will help with the pain.'
Incapable of doing anything else from pain and bewilderment, he obediently swallowed the liquid, which burned his throat as it went down. Amazingly, the intense pain in his head lessened instantly to a dull ache and the pounding quietened to a softer beat.
'Better?' asked the woman kindly.
He nodded while gazing at the people who surrounded his bed. He didn't recognize any of them…should he?
The woman pointed the stick at him again and he shrank back in fear.
'Please stay still, Mr Potter, I need to assess your injuries.'
His throat was dry so he swallowed hard and tried to get the words out. 'Who am I?' he croaked. 'What happened to me?'
A number of gasps surrounded the bed. 'Don't you know?' asked one solitary voice tentatively.
'Can you remember anything at all?' asked the woman who had given him the liquid.
'Nothing,' he whispered, panic rising up in him like a large malevolent beast.
The woman looked at him with sympathy. 'Your name is Harry Potter and you sustained a rather severe impact to your head. Memory loss is not uncommon in these cases, and it is entirely likely that it will only be temporary, however there is no way of knowing how long.'
Harry nodded and tried to take in her words. At least he had a name now, although it meant nothing at all to him. It scared him that he didn't know himself.
He gestured from the bed to her wooden stick. 'How did you do that?'
She exchanged glances with the other people at the side of his bed. 'This is a wand. You're a wizard, Harry,' she replied carefully, 'and we all use magic.'
'What?' he exclaimed, his headache worsening again.
'It's okay, there will be time for that later.' She turned to the others. 'We should let him rest for now and get his bearings.'
'We'll go and tell Ginny he's awake…she'll want to know,' said the girl with the bushy hair. The others turned away from the bed with concerned faces. She prodded the redhead at her side who remained stood at the bottom of the bed. 'Come on, Ron.'
'My name is Madam Pomfrey,' said the woman who remained. 'I'm just going to perform a series of tests, and then I'll let you rest, is that okay?'
He nodded, still trying to get his head around things. Wizard, magic, wand, Harry Potter - none of it meant anything at all to him. It hurt to think.
Madam Pomfrey began to mutter to herself as she waved her wand in front of him. After a few minutes she stopped. 'Well, there doesn't seem to be any damage other than the injury to your head…your magical reserves are very low though, which is why you are so weak.' She saw the confused look on his face. 'It's just like your energy, you need to rest to get it back.'
He nodded slightly; his head was pounding again.
She handed him another glass of liquid. 'Drink this, it'll help you sleep.'
Obediently, he did as he was told.
'I'll be back later,' said Madam Pomfrey, taking the empty glass from him.
He woke to the sound of crying. He listened carefully; it was coming from further down the room and it sounded like a baby. After a while it quietened and he began to fall back asleep.
He mumbled in his sleep and shifted on the bed.
'Harry?' repeated the voice gently.
He opened his eyes and blinked groggily in the sunlight coming through the nearby window. It took a few moments to realise that the voice was talking to him.
'How are you feeling?'
He blinked again and peered blearily as far as his eyesight would let him. He could only make out the outline of a small red-headed female.
Gentle hands placed a pair of glasses on his face and she came into focus. He searched her pretty face in the hope of recognising her. He didn't.
She sat down in the chair next to the bed and sighed tiredly. 'How are you feeling?' she asked again, avoiding his eyes.
'A bit better,' he replied. 'My head doesn't hurt as much.'
She wrung her hands together and a frown creased her brow. 'Madam Pomfrey says you don't remember anything…or anyone,' she said in an anguished voice.
'I don't,' he replied, not sure what else to say.
An uneasy silence fell between them as she continued to look nervous.
'Do I know you?' he asked, thinking that that might be the problem.
She nodded and swiped a hand across her eyes. 'We were, we were itogether/i for a while last year.'
'Oh,' he replied, feeling awkward. 'I don't remember anything at all before waking up in here…'
The sound of a baby crying pierced the air again and the girl jumped up from her seat as though she'd been burnt. 'I have to go and see him,' she said and hurried away down the ward.
His head started to hurt again so he closed his eyes.
A few minutes later the sound of footsteps next his bed startled him and he opened his eyes wide. A tall red-headed boy, who could only be the girl's brother, stood there. He thought he was the one the bushy-haired girl had called 'Ron'.
'Has Ginny just been to see you?'
'Who?' asked Harry.
'My sister,' replied Ron.
'Oh, yeah, I think so.'
'I take it she told you about the baby then?'
'What? I mean, she said we used to be together or something,' he replied, rubbing his head gingerly. 'There's a baby that keeps crying down there,' he said, confused, 'at least, I think it's a baby.'
'So she didn't say anything about him?' said Ron guiltily.
'He's your baby, mate, yours and Ginny's,' said Ron, blushing bright red and looking around awkwardly.
'What?' he repeated, not sure if it was a joke.
Ron nodded wryly. 'Yeah, that's how I felt when I found out.'
'But I can't, I mean, I haven't…'
Ron shrugged. 'Looks like you have…he looks like you - messy black hair.'
Harry sank back against the pillows. 'But I don't remember anything…you must be mistaken!'
Ron shook his head and rubbed his jaw; there was a large bruise there and a long scratch running down his cheek.
'Ron!' called a voice from down the ward.
'I'll be back later,' said Ron before heading away from the bed, leaving a very confused Harry laid there.
Once Harry was alone again, he wracked his brain and tried to remember something, anything. Surely he would remember the girl - Ginny - if he had a child with her? But still nothing came. No, Ron had to be pulling his leg, there was no way that he could be a father…