Prompts: Pairing: Bellatrix/Andromeda, Word: blood, Song: Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Phrase: ice cold, Genre: Angst
Must use the same pairing as our sister (HannahNeville), must be a different AU than our sister (Voldemort wins AU), and must connect — in which Sam and I both write blind!Hannah.
For the beautiful Karyn as part of the Gift Giving Extravaganza, who requested canon or could-be-canon pairings. I hope you like it, love!
Her skin has been flitting between ice cold and burning hot for the past several hours. She knows the illness is sweeping through her, knows that without medical attention she will likely die.
At this point, she isn't certain it wouldn't be a welcome relief.
She slips in and out of consciousness. Her dreams are haunted by the last images she ever saw — the Forest burning, the Grounds littered with corpses both friend and foe. Blood and death and pain. And then darkness, only darkness. They took her sight with a spell and left her haunted by the last sight she will ever see.
It still haunts her dreams. The fever takes her under, but even her fever dreams aren't any worse than reality. Her imagination cannot even conceive of anything worse than this.
Hannah doesn't know it, having long since lost track of time, but Neville left to find a potion for her twelve hours ago.
To her, it feels like an eternity. She is burning, trapped inside her own skin.
Her eyes, which still stare at the world, unaware of their dysfunction, finally slip closed. She passes into welcome oblivion.
She can't tell what it is exactly that drags her from the depths of unconsciousness, so she favours the whole world with a sullen glare. Everything aches in a dull, stubborn sort of way. Her temperature gauge is still all wrong. She wants nothing more than to pass out again and sleep until the fever either breaks or takes her away.
A cool hand touches her forehead. She tries to jerk away, but the sensation is soothing and she finds herself unconsciously leaning into it.
"Hannah, love, can you hear me?" His voice is slippery-soft and deep and it breaks through the haze just enough. She mumbles something incoherent but she knows he understands. The hand moves away and a pair of lips take its place. "You're burning up."
And she feels it. Fever roars through her veins. She squirms.
"I know you don't want to, but I need you to try to eat. Or at least keep some water down. I haven't…" His voice wavers a bit near the end. "I haven't found any cure yet, but everyone says it's the dehydration that kills the most."
Water drips down her throat and she forces herself to swallow. Her stomach rolls. She so sick of it all. Sick of the pain, sick of the burning, sick of the nausea, sick of the dreams, of the pain, of the death and carnage. She wants nothing more than to wake up back at Hogwarts, the last two years nothing more than a bad dream. She can get up, walk the path from the main floor up to Gryffindor Tower, and finally get up the nerve to kiss Neville, both because she wants to and to prove to herself that she doesn't need a war to be brave.
But some part of Hannah knows this is not a dream. Knows that it did take a war for her to find the lion inside. Knows that no matter how much she is grateful for him, it is not worth this. Nothing is worth this.
Another swallow of water drips down her throat. The rolling in her stomach turns to outright revolt, and she barely manages to heave herself into an upright position before the little bit of liquid comes back up, along with stomach bile.
An arm curls around her shoulders in an attempt at comfort, but the arm is trembling. She knows he is afraid. He is afraid for her. He does not know how to fight this.
Hannah feels the weight of guilt settle on her shoulders as she slips back out of consciousness.
She is dying. Hannah is dying, and she knows it. Her stomach won't retain fluids or solids. It balks at any content. Neville is still working desperately to find a cure, but he torn between searching and his aversion to leaving her alone.
At this point, she is more grateful when he is present. Hannah doesn't mind death, but she doesn't want to die alone.
She can't tell anymore. She can't tell the difference between dreams and reality, because both are so haunted. She only knows that when she sees, she is dreaming. Her brain still knows what the world looks like (looked like? So much has changed), even though her eyes do not. When she dreams, sometimes her brain forgets that she is blind.
She isn't sure that's any better than being awake. Her brain stores and plays image after image of blood and death and pain, a constant loop of horror. The oblivion of true unconsciousness is a welcome relief.
In the end, Hannah is grateful. Death becomes not a fear, but a release from a world she doesn't want to be a part of anymore.
Still, she regrets. She regrets leaving him alone. She regrets that, after all he has done for her, she can do nothing for him but cause him more pain, give him one less reason to carry on. He deserves more, but she cannot be the one to give it, because she cannot hold on anymore.
She slips away for the last time.