[Author’s Note: It is with profound gratitude that I
acknowledge my debt to J.K. Rowling for creating the alluring world of Harry
Potter. All but one of these characters
belongs to her entirely as does the setting and the events that take place surrounding
this story. I’m so thankful that Ms.
Rowling tolerates novice writers playing in her sandbox.
Thanks are also due to
Suburban House Elf for not laughing at my ridiculous misspellings of names throughout
the story as it was originally submitted.
Also to my daughter, Deborah, who kept me from throwing it away in the
first place and to Sandra who helped to make it worth sharing outside my circle
A Stunning Recovery
Chapter 1 - Waking Up Alive
Minerva did not want to open her
eyes. It was simply too much
trouble. There were voices coming from
the vicinity of her feet, a man and a woman discussing the staff from Hogwarts
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They
were comforting, familiar voices that kept her from being overly concerned
about the strangeness of her circumstances.
She most definitely wasn’t in her own bed.
There seemed to be a heavy weight
on her chest and breathing was difficult.
She was glad for the voices that kept her calm so that the inhaling and
exhaling could be done slowly. Her head
ached like nothing she’d ever felt before.
The rest of her body was sore as well.
How had she gotten herself banged up this badly?
She listened closely to the voices,
merely hoping to identify who was talking rather than trying to force her mind
to recall what had caused all her pain.
“How long will she have to be
here?” the man inquired.
“Minerva isn’t exactly the youngest
witch here, you know. Healing will take
time. Rest and a break from all the
stress going on at Hogwarts is what she needs.
Aurors arresting teachers in the dead of night, honestly!”
“Poppy, you know she isn’t going to
rest while that woman is running things at Hogwarts.”
“I suppose not…but she’ll be
staying here several days if I have any say in the matter. Healer Derwent was
the supervisor for my training and has come to respect my opinion. That’s why I brought Minerva here to
recover. She’ll get excellent care
without interruption from that idiot High Inquisitor.”
The conversation she’d just
overheard not only helped Minerva to discern who was discussing her recovery
but also triggered a flood of remembrance.
Anger and indignation quickly followed, causing her to take a less than
She groaned, opening her eyes to see Poppy Pomfrey
and Albus Dumbledore coming up either side of her
“Where’s Hagrid? Did they get him? Is he okay?” she questioned rapid-fire while
gingerly pushing herself up against the headboard of what was obviously a hospital
Her voice sounded gravelly and
strained. Minerva saw Poppy snatch up a
pitcher from the bedside table and pour out a glass of water while Albus moved close enough to wrap a warm hand around her own
cold one. Had she not been feeling
frantic over the outcome of the fiasco that had landed her here, she would have
been grateful for the soothing gesture.
“I’m so glad to see you awake,” Albus said with a delighted smile.
Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,” she continued
after taking a sip from the glass Poppy had handed her. “Tell me what happened to Hagrid!”
“Hagrid’s fine, Minerva. He found me right away. He came to no harm.” His face turned solemn. “You, on the other
hand, gave us quite a scare.”
“I’d best be getting back to the school,”
Poppy interjected. “The students are
probably up and about by now. Her, too.”
There was no need to discuss to
which “her” Poppy referred. The word fairly dripped with derision. It was Dolores Umbridge’s fault that Minerva was laying here on the
fourth floor of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical
Maladies and Injuries. She had been interfering all year with
the instruction at Hogwarts. She made a mockery of
teaching, routinely belittled students, and had humiliated Sybill Trelawney just because
she could. She
had forced Dumbledore to take the blame away from Harry and flee Hogwarts,
leaving the students without their greatest protector. She
had brought Aurors to the school to capture Hagrid, and Minerva couldn’t let her get away with that!
Four Stunning Spells at once had
caught Minerva in mid-rant as she’d raced to Hagrid’s
defense on Wednesday night. It was
unbelievable that she’d survived such an attack. The distance from which they had cast their
spells was probably the only reason she was still drawing breath, painful
though it was. Hagrid
had actually been doing quite well on his own and had
managed to get away without her aid after all.
“I’ll let Healer Derwent know that you are awake on my way out,” Poppy
“Thank you for letting me know,
Poppy, and for delivering my messages,” the Headmaster responded.
Poppy slipped out the door at the
far end of the ward that Minerva was occupying all alone. There were five other empty beds. A weak light was coming in through the windows
set close to the ceiling to indicate that it was not much past daybreak.
“You shouldn’t be here, Albus.”
happens to believe me over the Ministry and has guaranteed the privacy of this
ward. She’s the only one who has been in
here besides me and Poppy. I’ll go as
soon as she confirms Poppy’s prognosis for your full recovery.”
Silence fell between them but it
suited Minerva’s aching head. He still
held her hand which was also a comfort.
Knowing that Hagrid was safe, relaxed the
tension in her body and she began to sink into the pillow. The entrance of Healer Derwent
came just in time to keep her from falling asleep in the awkward sitting
position she’d managed earlier.
sat at the opposite end of the ward, the wizened Healer erected a screen around
Minerva’s bed and examined the contusions on her chest. Several charms were administered to ease the
pain that had been escalating since she had awakened. A potion was left for her to drink as soon as
her breakfast was brought up.
“Poppy is right as always. You’ll be mending just fine as long as you
get enough rest. The potion will make
certain you do exactly that today,” the Healer commented cheerfully as she
removed the screen and motioned for Albus to rejoin
“I’ll be back when the potion wears
off, to be sure that there aren’t any complications with the mending of those
ribs. It will probably be another day or
two beyond that before we can let you go,” the white-haired witch informed
Minerva. Looking between her patient and
Albus, she continued with a twinkle in her eye, “We
have to go slow with broken ribs, you see.
Keeping them completely still while they heal is impossible, unless
you’re already dead. Not much point in
healing the bones then, of course.”
soft chuckle at her own morbid joke echoed through the empty ward as she
crossed it. “Even so, I expect you’ll be
in your own bed before the weekend is through,” she concluded happily as she
reached the door.
As soon as the Healer had left them
alone in the ward, Albus took up Minerva’s hand once
more as he settled in the chair at her side.
Neither of them spoke for some time.
She was feeling quite comfortable with his nearness, now that her
injuries had been tended and the soreness smoothed away. If only she could take the potion now
and fall asleep while he held her hand.
A flash of fire startled Minerva
from her near stupor. It was only Fawkes. Albus cleared his throat and dropped her hand as the
scarlet phoenix settled on the foot of the bed.
“I must go now so you can have your
breakfast, take your potion and get a full day’s rest.”
who is going to watch over the students?” Minerva
asked nervously. She felt very guilty
for lying here in bed sleeping when the castle was under that…that…that woman’s supervision. Dolores Umbridge
was a menace to Hogwarts as far as Minerva was concerned. It was a close call as to which was worse,
the Basilisk that had terrorized the school a few years ago or this farce of a
teacher sent by a Ministry intent on the vilification of Albus
“We aren’t the only ones who care
for the students, Minerva. They will be
fine for a few days. The term is all but
over. You’ll be there to see them off
and we have the holidays to straighten out the rest. I’ll be back if I can but I hope to find you
“Be careful, Albus.”
“I will be,” he replied as he took
hold of Fawkes’ tail and in a fiery burst they were