I was forced awake from the unbearable pain in my shoulder. I wasn’t even in this much pain at the muggle hospital. Frik what did they do to me?
“Oh good you’re up!”
My eyes flicked over to a smart looking woman in her late 30’s strutting to me in a way only very accomplished assholes can strut. I inwardly groaned I had the feeling this wasn’t gonna be much fun.
“How are you doing?”
Just the question I was hoping for.
“What the fuck did you people do to me?” I asked through my teeth trying to keep my voice under control over the blinding pain radiating from my shoulder and the growing anger. The muggles were doing just fine with me.
“What in heaven’s name do you mean?” She snapped.
“Even at the muggle hospital I wasn’t in the much fucking PAIN!”
“There’s no need to shout.”
“Are you fuc-”
“James.” I hate it when people call me that.
“James,” she said in a sickly sweet tone, “your anger is wrongly placed.”
Oh really now?
“If you had come straight to us we would’ve been able to fix you up quickly. If you hadn’t wasted those precious first months in that lame excuse for a hospital you wouldn’t be in any pain right now!”
“Oh yeah I was just supposed to demand that I go to St. Murgo’s hospital for magical mishaps. Oh yeah that would’ve gone swell!”
She took a deep breath, no doubt trying to calm herself down, “This is not the time for sarcasm, Mr. Potter.”
I cringed. James.
“We couldn’t fix it. Re-breaking it didn’t help.”
And the truth shall set you free… wait what?
“What! And breaking it made it worse!”
“The bones were already shattered,” she defended.
“You’re telling me,” I said deciding to let her of easy, it wasn’t smart to argue with the person giving you drugs.
She smiled in thanks, “but we did successfully fix all your ribs!” She said trying hard to lighten my mood. Yeah good luck with that.
“And you’ll be out of here in two days.”
Yeah that worked!
“You’ll have to spend the remainder of the week at home, you’re going back to school Saturday morning and back to classes on Monday.”
“Yeah!” She faltered; yup she wasn’t done with the bad news. “But no flying for 6 weeks. No heavy flying for 3 more. And no Quidditch for, well... a while,” she said hanging her head while I digested it.
“Oh be reasonable! You just shattered your shoulder, your right shoulder at that! You are not fine!”
“Come on you know I’m right.”
I did some quick math in my head, “But that’ll be like,” I paused, by the date on the calendar at the foot of my bed today was March 23 plus 6 weeks would be…
“MAY 4th!! You’ve got to be kidding! I can’t even fly until 2 weeks before the final match!! Please say you’re kidding!”
“Mr. Potter, I am perfectly serious. And it’s 6 weeks at the bare minimum.”
“Oh God this cannot be happening.”
“I’m sorry,” and she looked like she meant it, “I know it’s gotta be hard to hear but I can assure you that if you do try to fly earlier it will only mess it up more and you’ll be off for even longer. I think now would be a good time to start following doctor’s orders.”
I hate life.
“Well that sucks,” I said simply.
“Mandy!” A healer called from outside the door, “he has a visitor, should I send her in?”
She looked at me questioningly.
“Yes.” I nodded once the way I learnt from dad to make them do what you want.
“Yes thank you,” she called back.
Before I could blink the door opened with a boom and a clearly frantic woman with crazy black hair flew right to my side.
Holy fucking shit.
“James! Oh my God! I’ve been soo worried! What happened? It’s been months! They – they called off the search parties you know? I could’ve died!"
Holy fucking shit.
“Its okay – I’m okay,” I reassured her in a flat voice. No Quidditch.
I realized a moment too late she was going to hug me. I realized a moment too late she was on my right side. I realized a moment too late that this was gonna hurt.
“Shit!” I shouted in shock. Hurt my ass, that killed. Maybe I’m not really as fine as I say…
She jumped back just as quickly. “What is it?” She asked wildly. It was a rhetorical question though; she already had her eyes glued to my shoulder and the heavy duty brace that was just visible under the blankets.
“You’re okay, eh?”
“Well if you want to get all technical…”
“Oh I do,” she said confirming my fears. Must she make me say it?”
“Well… I’m not really all that fine.”
“You don't say,” she said with a sarcastic smirk.
“Well… they couldn’t fix the shoulder… made it worse really…”
“What do you mean they couldn’t fix it?”
I sighed, “It was completely shattered and the bones didn’t know which way to mold back together… and yeah… they found out a little late that the muggles were doing the best thing for it… So I’m back at the beginning.”
I stifled a laugh that must be the international Potter shock word.
“Well that’s gotta be a first.”
I shrugged my one good shoulder, keeping the right one stiller than I was used to.
“So Quidditch…” she continued pressing the topic of my non-okay-ness.
“6 weeks to fly. Quidditch – long time…” I said depressed.
Like I said our shocked beyond words word.
“Oh,” she said again, but this time with more feeling.
It’s sinking in…
“Oh my God! That’s awful!”
That’s more like it.
She went to hug me again but thankfully she stopped herself.
“So in two days you’ll be at my house,” she confirmed in her business voice.
She nodded awkwardly and the awkwardness instantly started creeping up on me. I just hate it when people do that, it wasn’t awkward until you decided it was. Grr.
“So you liking your hair cut?”
I glared at her, “Oh yeah I love it.”
“James you have some more visitors,” the same healer called from what was probably her desk in the hall, “should I send them in?”
“Yes!” Aunt Monica yelped before I could finish processing it.
Didn’t matter much, I was just about to send her out, hospitals never were her thing.
“I should probably go anyway,” she said awkwardly getting up, “let you have some time with your friends…”
“Okay, thanks for coming!”
“It doesn’t look that bad you know,” she said on her way out.
Moments later the whole Quidditch team burst through the door, all with identical smiles of relief on their faces.
“Thank God you’re okay! Frik we’ve all been so worried!” Kate said the moment she was in.
“You have no idea!” Derek added.
Oh but that I do.
“It was awful!”
“Woah! What happened to your hair?” They asked as they actually saw me, “You look… different.”
Yeah I know it sucks.
The other comments got jumbled up in my head until they were completely un-understandable.
“Bad news,” I said cutting someone off.
They groaned, already knowing what I was gonna say.
“How long is long?”
“Can’t even fly till a week before final match. I’ll be lucky if I’m playing first game next year.”
“Frik is right.”
“So I get out of here in 2 days, but not back to school until Saturday.”
“How’s Heather doing?” I asked not sure what I wanted to hear.
They weren’t sure either.
“She’s doing good,” Chelsea said in a dead voice.
My eyes flew to her face. I’m not sure why but it always surprises me how calm she can force herself to be. I always tried to imitate her when the need came, but I never could get the terror and worry I was feeling on the inside to leave my face… So instead I wasted my time decoding all the signs that weren’t there. In general the less emotion on her face the worse. And today there was nothing, not even in her eyes.
This was bad. I’m an ass.
The door opened again and my nurse popped her head in, “Sorry to interrupt,”
My eyes flew to her face. Yeah right.
“But we have to check his shoulder now.”
They groaned but got up to leave anyway, the same look of worry back on their faces.
“Yeah?” She asked her voice familiarly flat and her face carefully not hopeful.
I sighed, this lack of emotion was worse than anything. “I’ll be okay.”
She didn’t miss the double meaning.
She nodded slowly, “Me too.”
I didn’t miss the double meaning.
She smiled sadly and allowed some, yet I know not even a fraction of her agony to slip onto her face. And even though I knew that it was going to disappear the moment she turned around it made me feel better.
She sighed, “Stop stalling James.”
I turned my eyes to my healer waiting impatiently by my side.
I didn’t notice when Chelsea left, but I did notice when she wasn’t here anymore and I was alone with a healer wanting to touch my shoulder.
She noticed the reproachable look in my eyes and soothed her voice accordingly, “Honestly this won’t hurt very much.”
I raised my eyebrows disbelievingly. Yeah right.
She shrugged and pushed the blankets down and moved my makeshift shirt out of the way in one movement. She obviously did this a gazillion times before. That didn’t comfort me one bit.
“You have a lot of scars,” she noted.
“Auror kid,” I said quickly, maybe a little too quickly, I don’t know, it’s hard to tell with her.
She nodded and slowly moved my head over to my right shoulder. Wait, what?
“But this one looks more like a bite mark,” she said accusingly.
I shrugged my already infamous one shoulder shrug, “They’re evil.” I hoped she would leave it.
“But there’s gotta be at least 15, maybe even 20 that all appear to be from the same animal, but in varying levels of healing.”
Wrong two’s from Pads and one’s from a branch in the forest and three of them is actually from an “auror’s kid” related attack…
“Will you just drop it?” I asked annoyed, “You’re not here to take a scar count but to check my shoulder.”
“Just trying to help,” she said innocently.
I rolled my eyes.
“Look away,” she instructed.
Her cold hands slowly unbuckled a couple, er, buckles on the brace and lightly brushed her fingers as far across my shoulder as the brace would allow. I wanted to look so bad, but knew it would make it hurt more.
“It’s really bruised and swollen, but it’s not as bad as it could be. But still bad,” she added quickly, “You’re gonna want to be really careful with it.”
She re-buckled the buckles and I hesitatingly turned to look at her.
“We’ll check it once more before you leave on Tuesday.”
“Kay,” this time I definitely answered too soon.”
“You should get some rest, you look tired.”
Among other things…”
“Good night!” she said happily.
I cringed. “There’s nothing good about it,” I muttered, but she was already gone.
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