Disclaimer: I do not
own Harry Potter… …
Inside the Hospital Wing
“The poor kids, look at
them. I’ve never seen such things in my hospital wing before, and that’s
telling you a lot.” Ron was pulled out of his dreams by Madam Pomfrey’s voice, but found himself
afraid to open his eyes. Where he was, he didn’t know. He didn’t remember why
he was lying in that cold bed; he had no recollection of what had happened to
they are lucky not to be dead. It’s an amazing achievement, to have gotten out
of there alive.” A second voice spoke and a flash of light seared across
Ron’s empty head.
A curse had hit him, yes, he
remembered. Right over his heart. And he had felt so
drunk, he couldn’t speak coherently, he couldn’t even walk straight. And he had
laughed as he ran hand in hand with someone, dodging planets all around. He
remembered blonde, unkempt hair, swaying in front of him. Luna’s hair, as she
steered him out of the room. There had been an explosion… and a cry of pain…
and… Ron tried to hold on to the memory, as he shut his eyes painfully. C’mon, c’mon! he thought desperately as he stirred in the cold bed. There
had been a tank, and it glittered. And then there had been a brain. It was
closing in on him. Ron could feel the tentacles all over him. He could hardly
“Get off!” he cried.
“Mr. Weasley?” a soothing voice
called him, and he opened his eyes. Madam Pomfrey was looking down at him, and
he blushed. He had been fighting with an invisible brain, for the third time in
an hour. “Bad dreams again? This potion just doesn’t work with you, does it?”
she said, pouring more of the familiar blue liquid into Ron’s glass, and
placing it again on the bedside table. Ron stared at her. He just couldn’t
bring himself to admit that he wasn’t dreaming about the brains, he was
remembering them. The dreamless sleep potion worked exaggeratedly well,
considering the fact he had drunk it three times by now.
“Are you okay, Weasley?” the
familiar voice of Professor McGonagall asked from behind Madam Pomfrey. Ron
nodded, but stopped quickly. It made his head hurt.
Professor McGonagall smiled at him
with terse lips and then sighed. “Well, then I’ll tell Dumbledore you are
awake,” she said, her face quite unemotional. “He wants to have a word with
Ron stared at her from his bed as
she exited the hospital wing, before he could gather up the strength to say
something else. He didn’t dwell too much on what Dumbledore had to tell him,
but he expected it to be about Harry. He knew Harry was okay - Madam Pomfrey
had answered that when he woke up for the first time, screaming ”Where’s Harry?”, crying and
sweating like mad. He was grateful that all of the others were fast asleep when
this happened. But, from what he remembered, something had made Harry scream
Sirius’ name quite a few times, and chase Bellatrix Lestrange out of sight.
Yes, he remembered that, drunk as he might have felt. He just hoped nothing
serious happened to Sirius, because Harry certainly didn’t need that. He
smiled. Something serious to Sirius. He made a mental note to tell that joke the next time
he had the chance. And what was even funnier was that there was nothing serious in
Sirius. Ron really liked that. He was
like a breath of fresh air, when you had Molly Weasley for a mother.
Madam Pomfrey walked up to his bed
again, carrying a pot of something labeled Dr. Ubbly’s Oblivion
Unction, and placed it on his bedside table, right next to the
un-drunken dreamless sleep potion.
“Okay, now you sit up, Mr.
Weasley,” she said, holding his arm and helping him lift his own weight. “This
is very important for your recovery.”
“What is it?” Ron asked, staring
at the half-liquid, half-solid substance in the pot.
“It’s for those marks, the nasty
brain marks you’ve got on your arms,” she answered, sinking one finger into the
pot and pulling it out again, the gray substance attached to it. “The scars
will disappear with time, but it’s the thoughts what could really harm you.”
“The thoughts?” Ron
asked, frowning at the smell coming from inside the pot, while she rubbed the
substance on his arms.
“The thoughts,” Madam Pomfrey said
plainly, as she walked to the back of the room carrying the pot with her. Ron
she knows what she is doing, after all, he thought, as he noticed he
immediately felt less tired and less heavy.
He turned to look at Hermione, who
lay in the bed at his left. His eyes dwelled on her for a few moments, and he
sighed. The first time he had woken up, he had turned to look and had believed
her dead. Her limp body had seemed lifeless, and her chest hadn’t been rising
and falling like Neville’s - well, Neville had been snoring, actually, and
still was. Ron didn’t even want to remember what it felt like to think for a
brief moment that she was gone forever. The mere thought made him shudder.
“She hasn’t woken up yet, has
she?” he asked in a tiny voice, unconsciously rubbing the scars in his arms.
Madam Pomfrey clicked her tongue
twice, as if to say “no”, but as she did, he heard a shriek and turned sharply
to look. He was impressed to see Umbridge, sitting up in her bed, looking
around wildly with a mad expression on her face. He hadn’t noticed her before.
He wondered dully why she was there. Her hair was all messed up, and the
expression on her face made her look quite mental. More
mental than usual. Madam Pomfrey, wearing a look of pity, soothed her
into sleeping again, and then shook her head with disapproval. Ron cast an
inquiring look at her.
“Poor woman,” she said grimly, as she moved
around to check on Hermione. “I wonder what those centaurs did to her.”
Of course - the centaurs!
“Who found her?” Ron asked at
once, trying his best to conceal how amusing he found the whole situation.
“Dumbledore did,” Madam Pomfrey
said, not looking at him, as she took Hermione’s pulse. “It’s a cruel thing to
leave someone alone in a forest full of wild centaurs. They don’t like humans,
you know,” she added, but she didn’t appear upset at all. Actually, Ron noticed
a tiny smile forming on her mouth.
“They bloody well don’t,” Ron
whispered to himself, suppressing a laugh.
And then, just as Madam Pomfrey
opened Hermione’s mouth and forced her to drink some white horrible-looking
potion, the hospital wing’s door flew open and in came Dumbledore, apparently immersed
in his own thoughts. He was wearing a sulky expression, something Ron had never
seen on him before. He walked up to Madam Pomfrey and smiled at her, rather
forcedly in Ron’s opinion.
“Madam Pomfrey,” he said. “How are
Madam Pomfrey looked at him
carefully, examining every inch of him with her piercing eyes. “They’re
better,” she replied, turning back to Hermione and forcing her to drink from
another potion. “Mr. Longbottom just needs a couple more touches and his nose
will be perfect, Miss Granger is still unconscious.” She took a deep breath before continuing. “I
seriously doubt she will wake soon. Miss Weasley is ready, she just needs to
rest. And Mr. Weasley has already woken,” she added, a twinge of pride in her
voice, nodding in Ron’s direction and beaming at him. Dumbledore turned to look
at him, and his expression became more cheerful.
“Ah, Ron, yes,” he said, looking
down at him from behind his half-moon spectacles. “I wanted a word with you. Accio Chair!” he cried
as he waved his hand, and a chair came flying past
Ron’s bed. Dumbledore caught it and sat down. He gave Madam Pomfrey a
significant look; she nodded and made her way towards the back of the room
There was silence for a few
seconds and then Ron broke it. “Is Harry okay?” he asked politely, not wanting
to sound as if he was pressing the conversation on. He just really wanted to
know how his best friend was.
Dumbledore turned to look sharply
at him, and Ron couldn’t read his expression. Then he looked down. Ron was
almost certain tears were starting to wet his eyes. His heart dropped
thought savagely, giving Dumbledore a stern look. Answer me!
After what seemed to be a terribly
long time, Dumbledore finally spoke, his voice unsteady. “Harry’s physical
condition is fine, Ron. He didn’t suffer from any injuries, and he is now
resting in Gryffindor Tower.” He
paused, and took a very deep breath. “But I am afraid he is not well.”
Ron’s hands began to sweat. He
looked over at Hermione, not wanting to meet the Headmaster’s eyes. “What d’you
mean, he is not well?” he asked, the politeness wearing off. He didn’t care
about anything right now; all he wanted to know was what had happened to his
friend. “I want to talk to him,” he demanded stubbornly.
“There was an unfortunate incident
that you should know about, before you are able to talk to Harry,” Dumbledore
continued, quickly, maybe afraid to be interrupted. No, no! Ron didn’t
want to know anymore. Don’t tell me, please don’t tell me, he thought frantically as
he tried to fix his mind on Hermione too, trying his best not to listen to
Dumbledore’s unsteady voice. “Today,
just a few hours ago, Mr. Sirius Black was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange, at
the Department of Mysteries.”
It took a few moments for the
words to sink in, but, once they did, Ron’s whole body went numb, and a feeling
of desolation enclosed upon him. He was still looking at Hermione, but only
half aware of it. He was only half aware of everything that was going on around
him. He completely forgot Dumbledore was sitting on a chair right next to his
bed. Completely forgot the searing pain in his head, and the uncomfortable
feeling in his arms, the disgusting smell of the unguent, the sound of
Neville’s exaggerated snoring… Sirius was dead, he thought savagely.
He stayed there, sitting upright
in his tiny bed, trying to swallow the complete meaning of those words. How
could Sirius be dead? It just couldn’t be happening.
Dumbledore was still talking,
probably explaining the whole thing to him, but Ron’s mind had gone blank. He
couldn’t listen to him right now. All he could think about was Sirius’ face and
the thought of never seeing it again. And the pain increased when he thought
about Harry. Harry, who was now alone. Harry, who was probably
going to blame the whole thing on himself. Harry, who didn’t deserve this. He felt an awful fury
towards everyone and everything. Why was life so unfair to Harry?
“Voldemort escaped after that, but thanks to all of
you, the Ministry was able to catch a series of Death Eaters at the. Of course,
Azkaban isn’t as safe as it once was, so we can’t expect to have seen the last
He found himself wishing
Dumbledore would leave and give him a chance to think, to scream, to sleep. He
glared at him, but Dumbledore didn’t notice. He was looking out of the window
right above Ron’s bed.
“It’s something awful, what
happened last night,” Ron heard him say, and he was snapped out of his
thoughts, becoming fully aware of the world around him. “I ask you to treat
Harry carefully, and give him your full support, because you are now all he
has. You and Miss Granger.” Having said this, he stood
up and walked out of the room without adding a single word. Ron watched him go,
feeling empty inside.
“In theory you shouldn’t be eating
candy, you know,” said Madam Pomfrey, as she rubbed a considerable amount of
unguent into the brain welts once more.
the Chocolate Frog the quickest way he could with his free hand. “In theory, I
shouldn’t be awake still,” Ron replied, beaming at himself,
and thrusting the Chocolate Frog into his mouth.
Madam Pomfrey gave him a stern
look. “Now, do not overreact, Mr. Weasley. It’d be unusual if you weren’t awake
by now,” she said. And then added, “Besides, in this
particular situation, candy doesn’t do anything good for you.”
“It tastes good,” Ron said, his mouth so full that he sent bits of chocolate
flying onto Madam Pomfrey’s clean white robes. “I’m
sorry,” he said, when she glared dangerously at him.
Neville and Ginny had already left
the hospital wing, completely cured. The only ones still in there were Ron and
Hermione, and a very mental Umbridge. Hermione was sleeping for the moment, but
Madam Pomfrey had told Ron that she had already woken a few times, when Ron had
been sleeping. Wrong
luck, Ron thought miserably, since he was dying to talk to her. About what,
he didn’t know. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to talk to her about Sirius, and
even if he did, he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to. Just like earlier
that morning, when Harry came after breakfast, and Ron
just hadn’t been able to summon the subject into the conversation. He knew it
hurt Harry to think about it. And the truth was, it
hurt him too.
He looked at Hermione with longing
eyes, and then looked hopefully at Madam Pomfrey. “Can I shake her a little, so
that she wakes up?” Ron asked, in the most innocent way he could.
“No, Mr. Weasley, you may not do
that,” Madam Pomfrey said. “But it’s time for her to drink her potions, so I
guess I’ll wake her up.” She gave him a faint smile, and Ron’s heart began to
pound in his ribs, completely to his surprise. You are going to talk to her at least, he found
himself thinking. You are going to hear her voice
“Miss Granger,” Madam Pomfrey said
in a mellow tone, as she shook Hermione carefully. “It’s time to wake up.”
Ron rolled his eyes. “Can I do
it?” he asked politely, since Hermione gave no signs of waking up.
Madam Pomfrey considered it before
replying. “Well, alright. But don’t scare her,” she said, moving aside. Ron
scrambled out of his bed for the first time since they had returned from the
Department of Mysteries, and felt strangely weak. His legs shook for a moment,
and he had to hold on to Hermione’s bed in order not to fall down.
“Hermione,” he said, approaching
her ear. He checked on Madam Pomfrey, but she apparently was in her office
again. “For Merlin’s sake, wake up!” he yelled, making Hermione flinch and seat
bolt upright in bed. Ron beamed at her.
“What’s wrong with you, Ronald
Weasley!” she bellowed at him as he scrambled back into his own bed, gigging
“Oh cheer up, Hermione!” he said,
fighting back a fit of laughter. She glared at him for a few moments, clearly
trying to keep her composure, but then giggled nervously.
Ron smiled cheerfully at her.
“Finally,” he said.
what?” Hermione replied, still giggling a little. “I’ve woken up
so many times, and you’ve been sleeping!”
“Well, yeah, me too,” he said,
shrugging. Madam Pomfrey, who had clearly heard the whole commotion, slid
between the two beds, carrying a bunch of potions in her arms, her eyes
flashing dangerously in Ron’s direction.
“I told you not to scare her,” she
told him, as Hermione opened her mouth wide and the nurse started to pour tiny
drops of potion into it.
Ron served himself another
Chocolate Frog while he waited for Madam Pomfrey to finish. Once she had walked
into the back of the room again, giving Ron one last disapproving look,
Hermione spoke, in a more careful tone.
“Have you seen Harry?” she asked,
and Ron turned to look sharply at her. She spoke as though she knew about
Sirius. Maybe Dumbledore had come in and talked to her while he was asleep.
“Yeah,” Ron said. “Yeah, I did. This morning.” He felt a knot forming in his throat, and
immediately fixed his eyes on his overlarge hands. “But we didn’t, you know - ” Tears were threatening to come out. “We didn’t talk that
He could feel Hermione looking at
him. “Dumbledore came in last night, when you were asleep,” she started, and
Ron lifted his gaze at once. “He came in to tell me that…”
“I know, Hermione, he told me
too,” Ron said, not wanting to speak about Sirius for the moment.
“So you know,” she said, quietly.
“And did you and Harry…”
“No, Hermione, I don’t think he
needs that right now,” Ron cut her off again.
She glared at him from her bed,
and shook her head disapprovingly.
“What?” Ron asked sternly, anger
bubbling up inside him. “What did I do wrong this time?”
“Oh, Ron,” Hermione said, in an
almost hysterical tone. “Of course Harry needs to talk about it!”
“So suddenly you’ve become a mind
reader, have you? You know exactly what Harry wants?” Ron
half-yelled, not bothering to hold back his tears anymore. He knew Harry
needed to talk about it, he knew it. And he also knew that he, himself, needed
to talk about it too. But how? How could he screw up
the courage to talk about something so painful?
Hermione was staring at him while
his tears sprayed all over his front, and her expression softened. “Ron, don’t
cry,” she said, starting to cry too. “I didn’t mean to… I just…”
“It’s not that… it’s just that… I
wanted to talk about it, but I wasn’t strong enough… you know, seeing Harry all
messed up… it’s not nice!” he finished, drying up his tears with the back of
“I know, I know! I’m sorry!”
Hermione replied. This was followed by a very long silence. A
very awkward silence, in Ron’s opinion. Ron fixed his eyes on his hands
again, blushing. He couldn’t believe he had cried,
that openly, in front of her. In front of her, out of
everyone. Her. Maybe now she thought he was this
weak boy, who couldn’t manage to stand up to things, who cracked over nothing.
But no, this was something. This was
something horrible, yes it was, Ron thought, trying to make himself feel
better. And after all, she had cried in front of him too. He looked over at her
shyly, and noticed she too seemed to be doing some quick thinking.
“Ron?” she blurted out, breaking
the long silence, and making Ron jump a little.
“Yes?” he replied in a tiny voice,
fixing his eyes on his hands once more.
“I was wondering,” she said,
looking like she was about to say something terribly difficult. “Do you
remember, last year? When we were outside this same hospital wing, wondering
what had happened to Harry? Just after Cedric died?”
Ron nodded apprehensively. “Yes, I
remember,” he said shortly, still not looking at her, wondering why she was
bringing up the subject.
“I thought I could never feel
worse,” she continued, drawing a deep breath. “I thought that was the worst
things could get.”
Ron finally turned to look at her
with quizzical eyes. “Why…” he started, but she cut him off.
“But you know what made me feel
better?” she said.
Ron shook his head.
“Knowing you were
there. You and Harry. Knowing, you know, that I… I
could cry in front of you, and you wouldn’t mind. Knowing that you would always
have a hug for me when I asked for it,” she said very fast. “And that night you
proved it to me,” she finished, smiling faintly at him.
Ron looked at her in amazement.
That was by far the most beautiful thing anyone had ever told him. They sat
there looking at each other for a very long time. Ron wanted to say so many
things. He wanted to say he loved her and Harry so much, he wanted to say they
were family to him, he wanted to say how good it had felt to cry in front of
her, and how good it felt to hug her. But he couldn’t. He was in shock, and the
only thing he could do was stare at her, amazed. She
was such a perfect person. She may have been a little maniac at times… but she
was such a good friend. He felt the urge to hug her so much that she was left
without air… a terrible impulse to kiss every inch of her face and make her
her? Yes, kiss her, Ron thought. Maybe it was about time to kiss her.
Everything he felt for her exploded inside of him with such violence that it
hurt. Everything he had felt for a very long time.
Hermione scrambled out of bed in a
hurry, and over to Ron’s. Ron looked at her startled, but he knew what to do.
He awkwardly moved over, to give her space, and she slowly sat at his side, not
taking her eyes off his. Then, suddenly, she winced painfully, and clutched her
hips with both of her hands, breathing shallowly.
Ron sat up at once and looked at
her in concern. “What’s wrong?” he asked, putting both of his hands over her
shoulders. “Are you okay?”
Hermione nodded, her face screwed
up in pain. Ron did some quick thinking, but, deciding he couldn’t resist much
longer, pulled her towards him and embraced her gently. Hermione hugged him
back, and Ron realized it was just what he needed. A hug.
And he was glad to notice that this was by far the least awkward hug he had
ever given her. “It still hurts sometimes,” she said, and Ron nodded gently.
imagine,” he replied. “C’mon, lay down,” he said, giving her all the space he
could without falling from the tiny bed. She did as she was told, and Ron lay
down at her side. It wasn’t awkward at all, Ron thought happily as he felt Hermione’s
warmth at his side. Yes, they were cramped, but they were together, and that
was all that mattered
Of course, it wasn’t long before
Madam Pomfrey told them off and commanded Hermione to sleep in her own bed.