Disclaimer: We do not own the Harry Potter characters or world, but the over-active imaginations that produced this we will claim.

Rituals and Consequences

by mmagicwolf and WickerChair

Chapter Forty-Seven: Patent Medicine

Sunday, June 23, 1991

Arcturus glared across the breakfast table at André. "What was the response from your potions master?"

André shrugged, then smiled as an owl arrived and settled in front of him. "Thank you," he said to the owl, providing a bit of bacon for the owl. He opened the letter and read the contents aloud, "I am intrigued by your request. So long as the potion is not illegal and you provide the ingredients, I am willing to produce the potion. I am able to meet you tomorrow at eleven at The Black Horse in Incident Alley, London. Please provide me with the directions for the potion at that time. Snape." André glanced at Arcturus, "Trusting soul isn't he?"

Arcturus shrugged, "Not really. He has been burned one too many times by those he should have been able to trust. Do not mention that the potion is for Sirius. If you need to bring in my name, you may, but absolutely do not mention Sirius. Those two were horrible rivals during school. Severus Snape was best friends with Lily Evans until their fourth year. When Potter finally recognized that she was an attractive girl, he did his best to drive Snape away and Sirius jumped on the opportunity. Something happened during their fourth year that changed that rivalry to hatred. If Snape knew that the potion was for Sirius," his voice trailed off for a moment, "he might refuse to make it."

André picked up a piece of parchment and scribbled an acceptance to the location and time and handed it to the owl.

The owl at once headed for the open window and disappeared.

"Matilda," called Arcturus.

"Master Arcturus be wanting Tildy?" asked the house-elf as soon as she had appeared beside the breakfast table.

"How are Tsubo and Sirius?"

"Healer Tsubo and Master Sirius is being sleeping."

"How are their magical cores?" asked André.

"Healer Tsubo is having a core filling nicely, but," the house elf's ears drooped in dismay, "Master Sirius is not being improved." Matilda lifted her hands to tug at her ears in distress, "Tildy is not knowing why Master Sirius be not healing. Tildy," tears welled up in her eyes, "is not knowing what to do. Tildy is being bad. Tildy is deserving to be punished. Tildy is going..."

"Matilda," Arcturus spoke sharply, "you are doing well. I know that you are worried about Sirius, but I need you to be calm."

"Tildy is being calm," she said while still tugging at her ears. "What is Master Arcturus wanting Tildy to do?"

André concentrated for a moment, "Matilda, how are you keeping Sirius warm?"

"House elves is being using hot stones, Healer André. House elves is not being able to be doing magic around Master Sirius. House elves is trying warming charms on a blanket," she shrugged and released her ears. "Warming charm is being stopped when house elves is bringing blanket into Master Sirius' room. Master Sirius is looking even worse then. Maxie is heating a stone in the fireplace. It is keeping Master Sirius warm." Matilda's face brightened. "Stone is working. Tildy is doing more?"

"Matilda," interrupted André, "have you fed Sirius?"

"No, Healer Durian. Master Sirius is not being awake. Tildy is not knowing how to feed him if Master Sirius is not being awake." Matilda's ears drooped and her hands reached to tug at them.

"Matilda," soothed André, "does the kitchen have olive or coconut oil?"

Matilda's hands dropped, and her ears lifted. "Tildy is checking." She disappeared with a pop.

"Oil?" asked Arcturus.

"The skin can absorb nutrients even during sleep. Muggles put nutrients directly into the blood, but having the body absorb them through the skin is less … intrusive. Muggles have known about the technique for," he paused in thought, "at least a hundred and fifty years. It was not until the last fifty years or so that they started parenteral nutrition."

"Parental nutrition? What good would feeding the parents do?"

"Parenteral. Nutrition that bypasses the stomach. Like potions that are absorbed through the mouth."

Matilda's reappearance with a tray containing several jars interrupted the conversation. "Tildy is bringing samples of oils in kitchen. If Healer Durian is being telling Tildy which oils to use?" She set the tray next to André's plate.

André thought a moment, "Coconut is probably best, but avocado and olive are also good. Matilda, can you see that those three are combined, three parts coconut oil to one part each of avocado oil and olive oil. The mixture should be applied gently. Start with his feet and work your way upward. Once you have reached his neck, check to see if the oil has been completely absorbed by his feet. If it has, start over. Repeat the process until his body is no longer absorbing the oil."

"Yes, Healer Durian," Matilda said brightly.

~O~

André approached the door of Arcturus' suite. He paused in front of the door wishing momentarily for the resources of Universitätsspital Basel. Having a trained nursing staff and the ability to use a combination of magical and non-magical treatment regimens would be welcomed, particularly as he had no idea exactly when Maximillian had started the procedure of applying warmed rocks. If Sirius was draining all active magic in his vicinity, a non-magical hospital might be the best place for him to recover. However, in a non-magical hospital, the technique that Tsubo-sensei had used would have been impossible. If Sirius could be stabilized, maybe he could get Arcturus to allow him to bring his daughter as a trained mediwitch and nurse.

André checked his watch; it had been an hour since the house elves had started the oil treatment. Knowing that he would be unable to summon anything while within the nursery wards, André checked his pockets again. Thermometer, stethoscope, small flashlight, and sphygmometer were all tucked in their appropriate pockets. These were normal when he was making rounds at the hospital. The pen and pad of paper tucked in a different pocket were also normal. The reflex hammer, bottle of ammonia, and handful of orange sticks were not what he usually carried, but Sirius displayed all of the symptoms of magical exhaustion combined with hypothermia and severe nutritional deficiency.