Author's Notes: Harry Potter meets two children during an
ordinary emergency rescue run, with more consequences than he would
have ever expected. This story is set a few years after Voldemort's
'EMR' obviously is the acronym for Emergency Magical Rescue.
What?... Did you think that it might stand for something else?
At a quick first glance, the room appeared to be a large office
with many desks in small groups of two or three, with the groups
separated by low cubicle walls, file cabinets, and book cases. Upon a
second look one might observe that almost all of the desks had signs
of very recent use: papers, books, writing materials, coffee mugs,
and pictures of family members, favourite entertainers or sports
teams. Although it was normal working hours for most people in modern
magical Britain, less than half of the desks were occupied,
suggesting that the room might be staffed twenty four hours a day or
the workers in this office might do much of their work elsewhere. The
current occupants' main activities seemed to be filling out forms,
drinking coffee or tea, or reading books or journals. The most
obvious peculiarity of the room was the large number of fireplaces
along the walls of the room. There was one next to each small group
of desks. Most unusual of all, the fireplaces were never used for
heating. This was the EMR Dispatch Center at Saint Mungo's Hospital
For Magical Maladies and Injuries and the fireplaces were only used
to travel by the Floo Network.
Harry Potter had been on several EMR teams during his training to
become a healer who specialized in responding to medical emergencies.
He was currently a member of a three-person EMR team. A second team
member, Corrie Dumas, a tall serious woman with curly short black
hair, appeared to be about fifteen years older than Harry. She had
been a Healer a number of years ago, although she was now at the same
stage of EMR training as Harry. The third team member, Jim Selby, an
older man with grizzled gray-brown hair and a deceptively laid-back
manner, was the team's only highly experienced EMR healer. He was
Harry's and Corrie's official mentor and trainer.
Recently Corrie and Harry had been taking turns leading the team.
They were aware that Jim still had final authority over them both,
although he had very rarely exercised that authority in the field for
several months. This week, it was Harry's turn to be the team leader.
The EMR team became instantly alert when an alarm sounded and
magical flames flared to life in their fireplace. They could hear a
child crying but the flames showed no face. After the team members
were unable to hear any distinct words, Harry spoke loudly into the
fireplace. "Hello? Does anyone need help there?" There was
some talk in the background, and the crying voice quieted somewhat.
"Would you stand in front of your fireplace, please, so that we
Then a young girl's face appeared in the magical flames. "Are
you at the hospital? Can you help my aunt? She fell down and won't
talk to us." The girl was perhaps seven years old. A small boy
who obviously had been crying appeared beside the girl and put his
hand in hers. Harry estimated him to be about five years old. They
appeared to be sister and brother.
"Yes, we are healers
at Saint Mungo's Hospital." Harry gestured to the other two EMR
team members behind him. "We can come to your house and help
you. I'm going to reverse the Floo Network direction so that we can
come through your fireplace without knowing your Floo address. Would
you move to one side of the fireplace, please?" Harry gestured
toward the left, and the children nervously shuffled over.
looked questioningly behind him. "EMR23A, Harry," replied
Jim, who was now very alert. Corrie briskly slapped a small, flat,
rectangular object into Harry's outstretched hand.
glanced at the object, said "EMR23A, check," and then
tossed it into the fireplace. It landed next to the two children.
"Leave it there, please, and step back from the fireplace."
The children nervously retreated further from the flames. "Very
good. Now we will come through to help your aunt."
three team members took a pinch of Floo Powder from a large bowl
beside the team's fireplace. Harry tossed the powder into the flames,
which flared up, then said "EMR23A," and stepped into the
flames. After the typically rough passage through the network of
fireplaces, Harry stumbled into a small sitting room where the
children waited. He stepped quickly away from the fireplace, and the
curly haired woman came through, followed by the older man. They all
did quick cleaning spells on each other to get rid of ash and
Harry said, pointing to each team member in turn, "My
name is Harry Potter, this is Jim Selby, and this is Corrie Dumas.
What are your names?"
"Where is your aunt?"
The girl took them into a small bedroom just off of the sitting
room. A thin, frail woman was on the floor and appeared to be
unconscious. A small trickle of blood came from a cut on the side of
her head. "Did you see what happened to her?" Harry asked
the girl. She shook her head no. Harry turned to the boy. "Did
you see what happened to her?"
"Auntie was standing there," the boy pointed next to a
chest. "Then her eyes shut an' she fell down an' she hit her
head there." He pointed to the chest.
"What is your aunt's name?" Harry asked the children.
"Aunt Amelia," the boy replied.
The girl said, "Amelia Heatherfield, Mr. Potter."
"Thank you," Harry replied. He wrote the name on a small
note pad, tore off the sheet of paper and passed it to Corrie, who
was examining the unconscious woman.
"Harry, we need to transport her," Corrie reported after
concluding her brief examination of the children's aunt.
"It's nothing simple," Jim added. "We need to
discuss it in the ward." His eyes silently indicated that the
children should not hear anything more.
Harry nodded agreement. "I'll see about the children's
"Portkey Room Three, Harry," Corrie said, holding up a
two foot piece of rope. She held one end against the woman's wrist
and Jim picked up the other end. With a touch of Corrie's wand to the
rope, the three disappeared.
Harry turned back to the children. "Did your aunt teach you
how to contact Saint Mungo's? That was well done."
"Yes, sir, she did. Ian and I stay at Day Care when Aunt
Amelia goes to Saint Mungo's for treatment." The earnest but
unsmiling Megan then asked, "Is Aunt Amelia going to be all
"We are still deciding how to best help her. Can you tell me
which healers your aunt sees at Saint Mungo's?"
you a healer?" Megan asked Harry.
"Then you should have this." Megan opened
a shallow drawer in a table by the bed. She removed a piece of paper,
glanced at it, and handed it to Harry. "You need to read this.
Auntie told us to give it to any healer that might have to help her
or Ian or me."
Harry scanned the paper and saw his wife's
name was listed among several other names of healers. Harry placed
the paper in his robe, and then looked at each child in turn. "Ian.
Megan. Is there anyone who can stay with you? Relatives or
Megan said, "No, we don't know anyone
here. We just moved here a few weeks ago. Aunt Amelia had to sell..."
A wave of sadness swept through the girl's eyes and then was quickly
hidden. "No, sir. No one."
"I'll take you to
Saint Mungo's Day Care straight away, then." Harry looked at
Megan. "Do you know how to get there by Floo?"
sir," Megan replied. "I've done it for myself many times.
It's best you carry Ian. He doesn't say it right yet."
glared at his sister. "Do so!" Then a streak of honesty
caught up with him. "Well, most of the time."
picked up Ian and discovered that the compact little boy was much
heavier than he looked. "Ian, we want to get there quickly, and
not go on a detour, so this time I'll carry you. Go ahead, Megan.
We'll be right behind you."
Megan took a pinch of Floo
Powder from the open container on the hearth, tossed the powder into
the fireplace, then carefully enunciated "Saint Mungo's Day
Care" and stepped into the magical flames. Harry, carrying Ian,
flung a pinch of powder in the fire and quickly followed.
was pleased to see that Megan knew just where to go. At the Day Care
reception desk, Harry quickly spoke to the attendant. "Janice,
Ian and Megan Brown have to stay here while their aunt is being
treated in EMR." The woman nodded and began writing on a form.
"Their aunt, Amelia Heatherfield, was brought in to Portkey
Emergency Room Three. We also set up their home Floo address as
EMR23A. I have to take some information to EMR about their aunt's
healers. One of our team, probably me, will be back later. Okay?"
The woman nodded and quickly removed the fireplace residue from the
children with a cleaning spell. Then she took the children's hands
and led them into the Day Care center.
As Harry stepped to the
fireplace and took a pinch of Floo powder, he heard Ian asking Janice
what a detour was, and what would happen if he went on one.
* * *
Ginny Potter had just spent an unusually long Friday at the
Children's Clinic associated with Saint Mungo's and she was glad to
be home. She did not expect her husband to be home yet, since Harry
was working a split shift this week which overlapped the afternoon
and the evening hours. It was often one of the busiest times of the
day for the EMR teams since people tended to get careless toward the
end of workdays and also were more prone to accidents once they went
Ginny was about to put her feet up and relax with a
freshly brewed cup of tea when she heard her name being called. She
turned from her view out the window, and saw Harry's head among the
magical flames in the fireplace. "Ginny, can you talk a minute
about a couple of your patients?"
"Of course, Harry.
Is there a problem?"
"Do you remember Ian and Megan
"Oh, yes. Are they sick or hurt?"
but their aunt is seriously ill and has to stay at Saint
"Where are the children, Harry?"
Mungo's Day Care."
"Oh, dear. I'll be right there."
Ginny took a pinch of Floo Powder and once Harry's head disappeared
from the fireplace she departed for Saint Mungo's Day Care.
* * *
After the hospital staff had settled Amelia Heatherfield into
a room at Saint Mungo's, the EMR team returned to their dispatch room
and began to fill out the usual post-rescue-run paperwork. Harry
stayed only briefly after filling out a bare minimum on the forms,
saying that he had yet to deal with the children's welfare. "You
can do the rest of your paperwork on Monday, Harry," Jim assured
When Harry entered the Day Care facility, he found his
wife talking quietly to Megan and Ian. Both children looked as if
they had just left off crying.
Ginny urged the children to
stay where they were, and pulled Harry away to talk to him privately.
"Harry! Do you know if the children's aunt can have visitors
He shook his head uncertainly. "One of her
healers arrived about forty minutes ago, Ginny. It may be a while
before we can know anything more."
Ginny looked at Harry
in concern. "Amelia Heatherfield has a terminal illness that we
have been aware of for a long time. I think the children suspect it,
at the very least. I'm not certain how much she has told them."
Determination swept away some of her anxiety. "Harry," she
pleaded, "Would you stay with the children while I go see to
Amelia's condition? I know her healers and likely can get in to see
her." Belatedly she asked, "Is your shift done? Can you
"Go on, love," he urged. "I'll stay
with Ian and Megan." Relief flooded Ginny's face and she dashed
The children were anxiously waiting for him. Megan
immediately asked, "May we see Aunt Amelia? Please? Healer Ginny
said we had to wait." Harry was a little surprised to hear the
children use Ginny's first name, although he was aware that she
encouraged such familiarity to minimize her young patients'
"Megan. Ian. One of your aunt's healers is
seeing to her now. Healer Ginny is going there, since she knows your
aunt's healers. She'll tell us more when she can. Until then, we must
Harry became uncomfortably aware that he had no
idea what to do with the children. "Um... what do you two do
when you are here in Day Care?"
"I climb on the big
things over there," Ian pointed. "An' there's all those
toys over there. They're fun. I 'specially like the hippogriffs an'
the big blocks." At this time of the evening, there were no
other children in the Day Care Center, and Ian did not seem to want
to leave Harry's side, even though he sensed a restlessness in the
small boy. Megan simply sat and watched him with big, solemn eyes.
Harry could see her worry in their depths.
uncomfortably around the room, still unsure what to do. He had had so
few toys or playmates as a child that it was largely foreign
territory to him. Then he focused on a large shelf of books and
inspiration struck. He remembered a time, several years ago, when he
had seen Ginny doing volunteer work in this very Day Care Center.
"Would you like me to read you a story? Megan, would you please
pick out a story that both you and Ian might like?"
walked over to the book shelf, and only needed a glance to select a
well worn book from the rough-and-tumble collection. She handed the
thick book to Harry. "The third story, please? It has such a
This child has a desperate need of
happy endings, Harry thought. Or at least happy times. Both
children do, I reckon.
"And don't forget the voices,"
urged Ian, who crawled up to sit beside Harry on the couch. "It's
ever so much better with voices."
Harry replied, bewildered.
Megan earnestly informed Harry,
"Ian means, when you come to words that someone says in the
story, that you should use a proper voice. If it's a wolf, sound like
a wolf. If it's a grandmother, sound like a grandmother. You know."
The slender little girl patted his arm reassuringly as she took the
other seat beside him.
Harry was still uncertain of what to
do, and then a memory crossed his mind of Ginny animatedly reading to
a large crowd of children. He slowly smiled and thought, I can do
this. Then he began to read, with a child to each side, and the
three quickly sunk into the imaginary world of the story.
* * *
When Ginny returned, three stories later, she quietly watched
Harry reading to the children for a moment. Now I'm more certain
we can make it work, she thought. I just hope that Harry
agrees to it. Then Megan spotted Ginny and came running, the
story forgotten and her anxiety remembered.
"Can we see
Aunt Amelia now? Please? Please?"
Ginny smiled and said,
"Your aunt is awake now and she is quite eager to see you. Come
along now." Ginny offered a hand to take Megan's. A flick of
Harry's wand sent the abandoned story book back to its place on the
As they walked down the hall, Ian grinned up at
Harry. "I liked when you did the giant. It was such fun!"
replied, "I met a real giant when I was at Hogwarts. His name
"Wow! Was he like the one in the
"Oh, no. Real giants are much different.
They're certainly not as smart as the one in the book." Then
Harry laughed. "Although the story giant wasn't very smart, was
he, living at the top of a beanstalk?"
Ian giggled at the
* * *
After the children's joyous greeting, Amelia Heatherfield
smiled and extended a hand to Harry. "I am told that you were
one of my rescuers." She smiled at him. "Thank you."
didn't do much. My two colleagues brought you here and did a
preliminary check while I took care of Megan and Ian." He
indicated them with a wave of his hand. "They did a wonderful
job of contacting St. Mungo's, by the way. They had such good
presence of mind. Megan knew to give us that list of healers. It was
When the children's conversation with
their aunt drifted away from the stories that Harry had read to them,
Ginny quietly pulled Harry into the hall.
quite clear that Amelia won't be going home again. She's in the final
stages of her illness." Ginny sighed tiredly, then continued.
"Ian and Megan can't stay indefinitely in Saint Mungo's Day
Care. The facility is not set up for extended over-night stays,
particularly on weekends."
Ginny's eyes worriedly
flickered over his face now, searching for something she was unsure
of. "I don't think it would be good for the children to go
straight to the Ministry's Fostering And Adoption Services. That is
where they are certain to be sent if no one takes them in, even
temporarily for this weekend. Harry, I'm so concerned what that could
do to them. They've only been with their aunt a year, since their
parents were killed by Death Eaters." Ginny avoided returning
Harry's direct gaze when she next said, "We don't know of any
relatives, godparents, even friends." And then Harry could see
it coming as she looked him in the eye. "Might they stay with
us? Until something suitable can be worked out?"
* * *
Monday found Harry at his dispatch room desk, completing his
paperwork for the Amelia Heatherfield rescue. Corrie looked up from
her own forms and asked Harry, "What is happening to the Brown
children? I checked on their aunt this morning and found that she's
dying. Obviously, she can't take care of them any longer."
"We don't know yet," Harry replied. "There seem to
be no known living relatives. My wife is the children's healer, and
she is looking into the matter. In the mean time, they are staying
with us temporarily."
Corrie's expression showed sudden doubt. "Is that legal? I
thought that the Ministry of Magic required Fostering and Adoption
Services to be involved."
"Ginny wants to avoid that lot, and so does the children's
aunt. They've both dealt with them before. Ginny says they are a lot
of time wasters who care more for justifying their jobs than taking
care of children that come their way." He shook his head in
wonderment. "Ginny has clashed with them more than once, and
managed to go over their heads to place children in good homes."
"She used medical reasons to override the usual red tape?"
Corrie asked, then she grinned as Harry nodded in agreement. "Then
it hasn't changed much since I was a General Healer ten years ago.
The Ministry has too many bureaucrats putting their jobs ahead of
Behind them, Jim Selby had approached, fresh coffee in hand, and
cleared his throat to catch their attention. "All right, you
two. Time for a post-mortem." Harry and Corrie swung their
chairs around to face Jim's desk and waited while he seated himself.
Jim scratched his head and scanned some notes on a small pad to
refresh his memory of the previous Friday's events. "That early
run we made needs no comment. Well done, both of you. It was a
complicated case." He took a cautious sip of the hot coffee. "I
only want to discuss the Amelia Heatherfield case. And not the
politics, mind you." Corrie and Harry realized that Jim must
have overheard some of their comments.
Jim turned to Harry first. "Why did you give our names first
and then ask the children for theirs?"
"I know it's not protocol normally," Harry replied, "but
they could have closed up at any time from fright. Giving our names
before getting their names gained us a bit of their trust. It turned
out that the girl had presence of mind to remember that list of their
healers. We could have missed that if the kids had become wary of
Jim nodded. "That's not a part of the training, but maybe it
should be. Where'd you pick it up? From your wife?" He picked up
his coffee mug and took a larger sip, a small smile lingering on his
lips. He had seen Ginny Potter work with injured children and had
been very impressed.
"Yeah. I pay a lot of attention when she talks about handling
children. It's her specialty. And it turned out she knew the two
children and their aunt. She's been the children's healer for a while
Jim turned to Corrie. "You didn't petrify the patient before
"I could tell that she had no bone breaks, and had sufficient
neural and muscle tone that she would unconsciously resist a rough
ride. It was clear that she had some unusual condition besides
fainting and a light blow to the head. I didn't want to risk her
being one of the rare ones that Petrificus could hurt, so I did a
non-verbal Levitation Charm, which was enough extra cushioning
against the usual jolts of Portkey travel."
Jim reviewed his notes. "Hmm. I vowed that I would do
something special when we reached this point. How about a celebratory
lunch on Saturday? Spouses included."
"What are we celebrating, Jim?" Corrie asked.
"You don't need me as a mentor any longer. I'm recommending
that you both have full status as EMR healers. And since I'm head of
the EMR Training Department, it is mostly a formality to get the rest
of the necessary approvals. Welcome to the Mad House." Jim
grinned as Corrie hugged him and Harry delightedly shook his hand.
* * *
Amelia Heatherfield was so tired. So very, very tired. She had
expected this to happen some day, but not so terribly soon. She had
expected to have at least another year before this insidious Pullen's
Disease overcame her. Her Muggle doctors and the Healers at St.
Mungo's had all predicted that, though the two worlds knew the same
disease by different names. Now I'm calling them Muggle doctors,
she thought wryly, and I'm a Muggle myself. That's what comes from
such a long involvement with the Magical world.
have assured me for a thousand times that I was lucky that I was a
True, a magical person with this
illness would have died in just a few days once symptoms like mine
had become obvious. Muggles can live with it for years and years, for
some reason. I do wonder what makes the magical people so vulnerable.
I wonder what would have happened to my Leland if he had had it.
Thank God it wasn't communicable. He had magical parents but was a
Squib himself. Would there have been some magical residue that might
have made him more vulnerable? Odd that the difference can go both
ways. Some diseases that kill Muggles quickly, hardly harm Witches
and Wizards. Some day, when we understand more about our
differences... Oh, well. I'd have fancied doing some of that research
at one time. Now it's just another lost what-if.
failed to find a more comfortable position on the bed. Her back was
sore from being in bed too long, yet she could not have tolerated
sitting up for long either. It might have helped to walk around, but
that was so incredibly tiring. Leland, my love, I do think I'll be
joining you sooner than we expected. I had thought you would have
many more years than I. Who could have guessed that horrible accident
would take you first?
She thought of Megan and Ian, who
she had grown to love as if they were her own. It has been so good
of Ginny and Harry to bring them by every day. And even Ginny's
mother, Molly, brought the children when neither Ginny nor Harry were
able. Such good visits most of them have been. Ginny is such a
wonderful healer, and her husband Harry seems such a nice chap. I do
hope they can forgive my little deception once they discover it. That
temporary guardianship we signed isn't so temporary if Ginny cannot
place the children after I ... die. I'm certain she'll do the right
thing for them, find them a good home, whatever may come. Her
thoughts turned again to the children's visits, and she smiled.
They've been so happy to see me. I'll miss them so, when...
She sighed. I must warn the Potters about why those Death
Eaters killed my sister and her husband. I still think it wasn't just
because they were both Muggle-born. I don't care what the Aurors
said. Tomorrow. I can tell them tomorrow. I'm so very, very tired
now. She yawned then, a little surprised at how good it felt.
I'll see them tomorrow. Yes. Tomorrow. She sighed, finally
releasing herself to the enveloping, warm, comforting sleep.
* * *
Amelia Heatherfield's Healer
visited her later, and sadly found that Amelia had commenced her
final sleep. After reading the temporary guardianship assignment she
found on the table beside the bed, she knew to send an owl to the
Potters straight away. She realized how difficult it would be for the
children to lose the last of their relatives. Perhaps the Potters
could help, but it surely wouldn't be easy for any of them.
is a part of my Healer Harry series of stories, still under