The Sugar Quill
Author: Frankie Beeblebrox (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Visitation Rights  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

A/N: No, I don't own anything

A/N:  No, I don't own anything.  However, should you wish to give me something to own, please e-mail me for shipping instructions. 

 

Many thanks, once again, to my Alpha Reader, One-N-Jen for helping in the creation of the text below, and my Beta Reader, Thrennish, for her unbeatable Canon thumping skills. 

 

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    "Please, Ms. Simon, I need to know exactly where he is.  It's important."

 

     "Yes, sir.  Give me a few moments and I can find it for you.  He was just admitted an hour ago, and it takes time for these reports to hit over here."

 

     "Yes, I  know, I know.  Just please. . . hurry."

 

     Percy Weasley's disembodied head floated in the grate of the Ministry of Magic night secretaries' floo, his hair disheveled and his glasses askew.  It looked as though he had been run over by a stampede of erumpets.

 

    "Ah ha!  Here we go, he's been. . . oh.  Oh dear."

 

     "What? What's wrong?  Ms. Simon, what's happened?!"

 

     "Sir, I'm sorry, but it looks as though he's been placed into the Dai Llewellyn ward at St. Mungo's.  No visitors are to be allowed until tomorrow, at the very earliest."

 

     The news hit Percy like a ton of bricks.  Only those persons facing life threatening injuries from magical creatures were taken to the Dai Llewellyn ward.  This was bad.  Very bad.

 

     "Oh, god, what has he done to himself now?  When was he admitted?  Do they say what happened?  Is there anything else in the report?"

 

     "No, Mr. Weasley.  Nothing of importance.  Just that he has been admitted an hour ago and they are testing him as I speak.  Should I request some more information on the patient?"

 

      Percy thought for a few moments.  "No. . . no, that's all right.  Thank you, Ms. Simon.  I am sorry to have bothered you with all this.  I know it's late."

 

     She looked at him over the top of the report.  "No problem, Mr. Weasley.  Are you going to be all right?  Is there anything I can do for you?"

 

     "No. . . No, that's fine.  Thank you, you've helped me immeasurably tonight."

 

     "You're welcome, Mr. Weasley.  If there is anything else I can do."

 

     "I know, Ms. Simon.  Thank you.  Goodnight."

 

     If she made any reply, it was lost on him as he pulled his head from the fire and back into his own small flat.  He sat on the floor in front of the hearth, staring blindly at the parchment clutched in his hand.  It was rather dingy, with blotches marring the fragment and Bill's usually impeccable handwriting scrawled across the page. 

 

     P,

         Dad's hurt.  At St. Mungo's. 

                                B.

 

     He scanned the one room blindly, not seeing anything. It was a very small place, not much bigger than his room at the Burrow had been.    Small as it was, he kept it immaculate, from the neat rows of dishes on the shelf to his spare robes hanging exactly the same width from each other on the rod.

 

     The best part about the tiny flat was that it was all his.  If he chose to, he could leave the bed unmade or the dishes undone.  Not that he would ever think of such a thing, but it was an option.  No one to bother him when he was working here.  No one to tell him what to do.

 

     No one to say what he should believe.

 

     "Oh, Dad.  What have you done?"

 

     He took a quick look at the clock.  It was the middle of the night, and he had work in the morning.  He should be getting some sleep.  He could go tomorrow when the kerfuffle died down and no one else would be there.

 

     He grabbed his Ministry badge and his cloak and Disapparated.

 

                      **************************************************************************

     He arrived at the Apparition point inside the hospital and almost ran over one of the night janitors in his haste to get to the Dai Llewellyn Ward. Several people tried to stop him but he ran past, flashing his Ministry badge without a word.

 

      He expected to hear something from his family before he saw them, but the entire hospital was as quiet as a tomb.  Slowing to a fast gait, he tried in vain to smooth his hair down and polish his glasses at the same time.  He turned the last corner towards the Dai Llewellyn Ward and found himself staring at the back of a very familiar strawberry-hued head.

 

     He ducked back behind the corner as quickly as he had come around it and strained to listen to the conversation.

 

     "No, Mrs. Weasley, I am sorry, but no one is allowed in to see him yet.  I can't even bend the rules for his wife."

 

     She was young and pretty, and wearing the robes of a mediwitch in training.

 

     And she was sitting squarely in front of the entrance to the Ward.

 

     "Bloody rotten luck!" Percy muttered under his breath.  He heard footsteps walking towards him, and he froze. He had no desire to meet with anyone at the moment, and his mother was even further down the list than most people he could think of off hand. How could he explain his presence to her?  What on earth would she say?  He was getting ready to make a break for it when he heard the steps turn off down a side corridor and disappear.

 

     Percy waited a full five minutes before he dared look around the corner.  The mediwitch was studying some documents at the desk, but the rest of the corridor was blessedly clear.  He arranged his robes and strode into the hall.

 

     "Good evening, sir.  May I help you?"

 

     Percy flashed her what he hoped was a dazzling smile.  "Good evening.  My name is Percy Weasley, and I am here from the ministry to take a report on one of the recent patients.  Might I be admitted?"

 

     "Ministry, eh?  Isn't it a bit late to be working?"

 

     "I was summoned especially for this one."  He took a stab in the dark about the nature of the injury.  " We have to know what's attacking our citizens if we are going to do anything about it.  Here are my credentials."

 

     "Well, everything looks in order."  She looked at him quizzically for a moment.  "Weasley?  Are you related to the patient?"

 

     Cursing his lack of foresight, he tried to think quickly.  "Related?  Yes. . . he's. . . errr. . . my cousin?"  He hesitated a moment.  "Why do you ask?"

 

    "Same last name. Same hair.  I dunno.  Funny, how traits are passed along through every branch of the family, isn't it?"  She grinned at him.

 

     He was trying not to sweat through the floor.  "Yes.  Funny."

 

     "Well, go ahead on in.  They should be finishing up with the testing soon.  Shall I notify the family you are going in?"

 

      "NO!"  Percy almost dropped his badge, and the girl blinked at him.  "Uh. . . I don't want to. . . alarm them.  Many people feel the Ministry is tantamount to performing an embalming charm, and I wouldn't want to upset them any more than they already are."  He smiled again, praying she couldn't see through the fabrication.  "I'll let them know when I have finished the report and can speak with them for a few moments about my findings."

 

     The mediwitch looked at him for a few moments in silence.  Percy was readying himself for flight when she waved her wand and the door behind her opened.

 

     "Last door to the left.  Please try and be quiet, though.  He will need his sleep."

 

     "Thank you!" Percy breathed.  He walked briskly through the aperture and had to keep himself from sinking to the floor on the other side.  He didn't know how long he would have before the mediwitch notified someone else about his entrance.

 

     Percy peeked inside the last doorway.  The room was empty, save for his father and one other patient.  He had to keep himself from gasping aloud.

 

     He had been expecting to see something bad, but nothing like this.  The mediwizards hadn't had time to clean up the area before they went to disinfect themselves, and there were cloths soaked in blood on a table next to his father's head.  Lots of blood.

 

     His father looked so small and helpless there in the bed.  It was utterly terrifying to Percy, who could not recall a time when his father had ever been sick, let alone close to death.  His skin was almost as pale as the sheets he was laying on.

 

     "He lost a lot of blood over there, but he should be okay." Percy heard a voice behind him say.  He assumed it was one of the mediwizards, but he couldn't tear his eyes away from his father's still form.

 

     "What happened?"

 

     "No one is really sure, but it appears a giant ruddy snake bit him.  Damned lucky somebody found him when they did, or he wouldn't have made it.  You here from the Ministry?"

 

   "What?" Percy asked.  "Oh. . . yes, I am. . . taking a report."

 

    "Wish I had some more information for you, but we really won't know anything until the tests come back.  Shouldn't be more than a couple of hours, though."

 

     "But he'll be all right?  He'll recover, won't he?"

 

     "Far as I can tell, he should be.  He's a strong fella."  The mediwizard came and looked at Percy.  "Say.  Why do they have you out here in the middle of the night?"

 

     "Ministry report.  Had to be taken." Percy started to shake himself out of the stupor he was in.  "Thank you for your time.  I'll. . . I'll be back in the morning to gather some more information."

 

     He took one last look at his father, and left the room, not even hearing what the mediwizard was saying as he left.

 

     He walked soundlessly out of the hall and past the pretty witch by the door, staring dumbly ahead of himself.

 

     "Damned lucky somebody found him when they did, or he wouldn't have made it. "

 

     ". . .  it appears a giant ruddy snake bit him."

 

     Percy walked out to the Apparition point in the atrium before allowing his composure to slip a little. His shoulders slumped and he stifled one sob before Disapparating home to the empty flat.

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