I waited patiently while Poppy looked over my injuries. She kept mumbling to herself about fights starting in her hospital wing and wondering aloud to herself about how I had come to sustain such injuries. I gathered from her examination that my jaw was cracked, my face badly bruised, one black eye, 2 broken ribs which had penetrated my left lung allowing blood to fill it and cause my breathing to cease and almost die, and finally my vocal cords were badly injured resulting in me not being able to talk. If it had not been for my friend's quick thinking when James pulled me up I would have been dead within minutes. For some reason the severity of this didn't phase me as it should most people. The only fear I had was facing JT again.
"Lily, I am going to have to report this to the headmaster, you understand?" Poppy said gently as she sat her instruments down and sat next to me.
I looked at her in confusion. Why would she have to tell Dumbledore? She must have read my mind because a reprimanding look appeared on her face.
"Lily had your friends not found you when they did you would have died, you understand that right?" I nodded. "You need to tell us who hurt you."
I shook my head and smiled at her. I fell I tried to say but no sound came out of my mouth. I looked at her trying to convey my thoughts to her. Poppy sighed and conjured a note book and quill for me to write for her.
I fell- I wrote out to her. Handing it back to her she scoffed and dropped the note book onto my knees. Standing up Poppy grabbed a mirror from the bedside and handed it to me. I took it bewildered. Looking at myself I could see that my excuse of falling would not work.
"Do you see why I can't believe you Lily?"
I stared at my reflection as I started to cry. A bruise in the form of JT's hand was visible across my face, purple and red with an angry glow. My neck had 5 circular bruises exactly where JT had crushed my throat in his hand. My left eye was black and blue the entire sclera of my eye was now red instead of white from the veins bursting. I chocked back a sob as I put the mirror down. JT had done this. It had never been this bad.
"Your side and back are worse. Some of those bruises looked a day or so older then the others. Lily, you have to tell us who did this to you."
I just sat there in silence not meeting her eyes. I couldn't explain it to her. None of them understood.
"Your friends should be back shortly, if they aren't waiting outside already I'll die of shock. Count yourself lucky to have such good friends Miss Evans. I'm going to have Professor Slughorn brew you a cure to heal your vocal cords and fetch Headmaster Dumbledore he wants to talk with you." I looked up at her in shock, they told him already? What had the others told them while I slept? "Yes we told the headmaster of your incident. He will want to talk to you as soon as possible. Get some rest dear."
I closed my eyes as she walked away. What a mess I had gotten myself into. What was I thinking going off alone with JT, I knew he was mad but I went off with him any ways. Now I had to figure out what to tell Dumbledore. I wracked my brain trying to find a suitable answer but came up with nothing. They couldn't force me to tell them what happened. I'll just tell them I fell. Who cares if they believe me or not?
"Lils?" Briana's voice came from outside the curtain.
"God Briana it's not like she can answer you, her voice doesn't work." Sirius laughed
"I'm just being polite Black, and if you're going to be an insensitive jerk you can wait outside." Briana scolded making everyone else laugh.
"Jeeze calm down babe."
"This is serious you guys. Don't even think about making a wise crack about your name Black." Alice scolded him.
"Wow chill out girls. Go see Lily if worrying over her is putting your knickers in that big of a twist."
"Ouch!" Sirius screamed as two slaps echoed off the walls of the hospital wing.
"Sorry mate, but you had it coming. Come on lets go see Lily." Remus chuckled as he appeared around the curtain followed closely by the rest of the group.
"Hey Lily," Briana said as she took a seat next to me. "How are you feeling?"
I shrugged my shoulders and smiled slightly.
"Oh don't pull that on me. You must be in so much pain." Briana scolded me.
I grabbed my note book and wrote 'It looks worse then what it is'
Briana read it quickly and laughed, "Lily you almost died."
'Almost, you guys saved me. Thank you, all of you.'
I handed it back to Briana who read it and laughed. "She says she almost died but that we saved her and she thanks all of us." Briana handed the note book back to me, "So what did Poppy say after she examined you?"
I started to write quickly 'That I'm lucky, my ribs are broken, one black eye, multiple bruises, and cracked jaw. She went to Slughorn to get a potion so I can talk again and went to get Dumbledore so I can talk to him.'
Briana read my words upside down and repeated it to the others who were still standing around my bed.
"Are you ready to talk about it?" Alice asked sitting at the foot of my bed. I shrugged not bothering to write anything down. They would get the hint.
"You're not telling him are you?" Briana sighed.
I gave her an "are you stupid look" and rolled my eyes.
James opened his mouth as if he was going to say something only to be cut off but a loud bustling coming from the entrance of the hospital wing.
"Where is she Poppy?" Slughorn's booming voice reached our ears.
"Just over here, I'm sure she is holding court there. I couldn't get Potter and his friends to leave her alone since she got here." This earned a great chuckle from Slughorn.
"It's a good thing I had this on hand already, takes 5 weeks to brew this kind of cure, especially for the extent of damage you mentioned."
"Yes well I am sure Lily will appreciate it very much Horace."
"Anything for my favorite pupil." Slughorn's voice cooed in admiration. My friends laughed as my face turned red as her hair.
"Here she is." Poppy and Slughorn came around the curtain.
"Sweet Merlin, Lily, are you okay pet?" Slughorn whispered taking in the extent of the injuries that covered me. I nodded with a smile. "Ah can't talk, take this and you will be talking straight away." He handed me a cup of lumpy blue potion and laughed at my face.
"Go on Lily, and then you can talk." Remus encouraged laughing at the look of revulsion on my face as I pressed my lips to the cup and tilted it back to swallow. Instantly my throat felt like it was on fire causing me to look at Slughorn in panic.
"It'll hurt for a moment, only a moment." And as he said it the pain dulled and the tension that was on my throat before lifted. "Try to talk."
"Thank you." A whisper of my voice came out, I smiled at the sound.
"You're welcome Miss Evans. Well my job is done here, Poppy shall we tell Dumbledore?"
"Yes I think so. You lot stay with her until we return." Poppy and Slughorn left quickly.
"That feels better." I whispered at my friends who were staring at me still. "What? Guys seriously it looks worse then it feels. I am sore but other then that I feel great."
"Don't lie Lily." James said rolling his eyes. "You look like you're in pain."
"I never said I wasn't in pain just that it wasn't that bad."
"Okay what ever." James hissed at me making me do a double take. For some strange reason it hurt my feelings.
"James, what wrong?"
"What's wrong Lily? Are you seriously asking me that right now?"
"Maybe we should let them talk privately." Sirius said grabbing Briana and leading the others out from my bed space. I watched as Frank towed Alice behind him who was shooting me a sympathetic stare, Remus and Peter hurried around James and out from the curtain. It was just the two of us left.
"I don't understand why you're so angry with me." I whispered at James.
"You don't get it." James's hands shot into his hair as he stared around the room as if looking for an answer. James let his hands fall to his side and took a deep breath. "Lily do you have any idea how close you came to dying? Lily you almost died in my arms on the way to the hospital wing!" I stared up at him with my mouth hanging open; did it affect him that badly? "You looked up at me and said "James, help." Do you have any idea what that was like?"
"No" That was all I could get out, I felt like a little kid getting told off by their father.
"Lily we all want to help you, but you're not letting us."
"It's not that simple James." I pleaded for him to understand.
"It's not as complicated as you think Lily. Tell Dumbledore! Tell him JT beat you; tell him JT has always beaten you! Dumbledore of all people could help you."
"You think I haven't thought of that before? Do you honestly think I haven't tried to get help? I have tried!" I yelled jumping out of the bed even though my body protested. I strode over to James and got right up to him. "I have tried! I've been trying but he terrifies me James! No matter what I do he will find a way to manipulate me into staying with him, to forgiving him, to not telling anyone. He will say how sorry he is, how he will change and he doesn't! I know this I am not stupid enough to believe it now. But no good will come from telling Dumbledore." I yelled at him.
James took a step back and stared at my face harshly. "If you don't tell Dumbledore, I will. So will Sirius. He saw what JT did that night."
"I'll deny it." I said bluntly. "I won't tell them what JT does to me!" I turn to get back into bed to only have James grab my arm gently turning me back to him. I look down not wanting him to see the tears that are starting to fill my eyes.
"Hey," James softly tips my head up, "Lily, don't do this. You won't have to say anything, we will do the talking." I shook my head back and forth. "Why not? Is it because you are scared he will come after you again, sweetheart, you break it off with him you will never have to be near him again. We would protect you."
I look at James with sorrow in my eyes. He just doesn't get it. To him the whole situation is easy but it's not.
"James, it won't work this way. You should just turn around now and forget about this. It's my mess and I don't want you involved with it anymore. Please just leave."
I might as well have slapped him, James looked so hurt. I turn and start to walk back to my bed and James skirts around to block my way.
"I'm not leaving and I won't forget about this Lily. I won't forget about you. I don't understand it and nothing about this makes sense right now. But I have never felt for anyone the way I feel for you. The moment I met you was like a light turning on inside me. I want to protect you Lily, I want to hold you, I want to kiss you, I want you, all of you. You've become the whole world to me. Seeing you in pain hurts me. When I thought you had died, I can't explain the pain the erupted inside me. Ask anyone of our friends I was beside myself crying and screaming. They had to give me 6 different calming draughts. Then the feeling when Poppy told us you were stable, that's one moment I will never forget. I love you Lily."
My tears were pouring down my face after James's profession. He loved me? This was turning to an even bigger mess. James was too involved and now he would get hurt because of me.
"Don't" I whispered, "You can't say stuff like that James."
"But it's true Lily!" James grabbed my face tenderly in his hands, "I love you, and I'm not backing down no matter how hard you try to make me. I'm not going away."
"James, I'm not good for you. My whole life is a mess and I can't get out of it. Not now, not ever. You desereve better."
"I deserve better? Lily you deserve better! You deserve someone who will hold you, tell you how beautiful you are how amazing you are, and how special you are to them. You will never have that with JT, he doesn't care for you. But I do! I care about you so much, just let me help you and I will prove it to you." James grabbed me pulling me close to him. "I love you." James's mouth was moving closer to mine, his eyes locked on mine the whole time waiting for the go ahead. I closed my eyes softly as he leaned in.
"Am I interrupting something?" Professor Dumbledore asked coming around the curtain making James and I jump apart.
"N-n-no sir." I stuttered turning away from James and climbing gingerly back into bed.
"Good just checking." Dumbledore winked at James who chuckled. "Well now down to business." Dumbledore looked at me over his half moon glasses. I always felt like he had x-ray vision and could read my mind.
"Yes, sir." I whispered staring at my hands.
"So, Miss. Evans, care to share what happened? Poppy has told me that you say that you fell down in an empty classroom and fortunately for you your friends found you." Dumbledore looks at me not conveying disbelief at all, "Miss Evans I must say that judging by the marks that grace your face and neck I can't say I believe you. Do not be ashamed child, you are not the first nor will you be the last to go through this."
"I fell." I whispered not looking at Dumbledore or James. I hear James sigh angrily. I shrink back against my pillows and look at Dumbledore with apprehension,.
"Hmmm, now Lily did the room where you fell in have statues hands laying everywhere?" Dumbledore asks making me blush to my roots, I look around at James and see a flicker of annoyance as he stares at me shaking his head.
"Well then, it seems to me that you are not being honest Lily. In fact I believe you are lying to me." I wince at his bluntness, which of course does not go unnoticed. "Do not fret Lily; I am not angry at you. Rather angry that you will not help yourself get out of this situation. You are covering for someone, out of fear or loyalty I do not know. But what I do know is the severity of the situation. If someone truly cared for you they would not do this to you. You almost died Miss Evans, had your friends not found you, you would not be here right now. Please consider telling me who has done this to you. You do not have to tell me today but sometime in the near future please, that way we can help you."
"Lily, tell him." James pleaded softly.
"I'm sorry." I say looking at my hands, "But you can't help me."
"Lily that is exactly what your attacker wants you to think. They want you to feel totally helpless and alone. But you are neither, you have help waiting for you, and you have some remarkable friends who love you and do not want to see you die. Please consider that." Dumbledore stood up and looked around at James and I. "My door is always open should you change your mind Miss Evans. I encourage you to allow someone to help you."
I watched as Dumbledore walked around the curtain and out of sight. His words played over in my head "someone who truly cares for you would not do this to you." Did he know? Did James and the rest of them tell Poppy who then told Dumbledore that I was covering for JT?
"You have to be kidding me." James mumbled staring up at the ceiling, I looked at him in trepidation, he was mad that was easy to see. "Lily are you really that stupid!" James screamed at me. I winced he was furious at me. James strode to the end of my bed and looked down at me. "Do you honestly think the moment you get out of this hospital that JT won't hesitate to hurt you again? That he won't hit you? Are you that thick?"
"James stop, please." I pleaded; I couldn't take having him yell at me.
"No, you stop Lily. Stop being afraid of him! Stop giving him the power to control you! Stop covering for him! He almost killed you; he should be in Azkaban right now! Is that what you want? You want him to kill you and just leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces? Well I'm not going to stand here and watch it Lily! I'm trying to help you but right now I can't even look at you!" James stormed away from my bed yanking the curtain away from my bed to reveal Sirius, Remus, Peter, Briana, Alice and Frank standing with their mouths open. James strode past them and out of the hospital wing slamming the great doors behind him.