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“Healer Weasley, can I see you for a moment?” Turning she seen her supervisor, Healer Bones, walking towards the main desk where Ginny had been going over patients charts.

“Good afternoon, Healer Bones, and welcome back! How was Scotland? I was just checking over the charts for today; it seems like it has been a busy day around here. What can I do for you?” Closing the file she had in her hand, she turned towards the older woman.

“Thank you Healer Weasley, Scotland was wonderful as it always is, but I am happy to be back to work. There is only so much time one can spend in a drafty castle before you long for a warm bed at home. I wanted to discuss one of your patients with you. Would you mind coming down to my office for a few moments?”

“That’s not a problem. Let me just put these charts back.” Ginny moved around the back of the main desk and opened the cabinet. Setting them inside, she waited for the cabinet to auto-sort them into their proper spots. When that was completed, she slid the drawer shut and moved back around to the front to follow Healer Bones to her office.

“Close the door would you please? “ Healer Bones said, walking behind her desk to sit down. Ginny crossed the threshold into the office and did as her supervisor asked. “Have a seat dear.” She said, gesturing towards the bright blue chair beside the desk.

Ginny smoothed her robes and sat down in the chair. “Who is it that you would like to discuss Healer Bones?”

“Ginny dear – when we are behind closed doors you know I prefer you call me by my first name, Matilda. After all - I will only be your supervisor for a certain amount of time and you have shown me that you have advanced farther than many healers your age; it makes me proud to have you as a healer on my team.” The older witch smiled and sat back in her chair. “And before I start discussing business I’d like to congratulate you on what I am assuming is an engagement.” She smiled and gestured towards the ring Ginny was wearing on her left hand.

Ginny’s cheeks grew hot and she laughed nervously. “Thank you Healer – I mean Matilda. First for such kind words! And I have to say that I am grateful to have you as a supervisor here at St. Mungo’s. I couldn’t have asked for a better healer to guide me.” Ginny looked down at the ring she now wore on her left hand, a rush of love went through her as she watched it sparkle against her freckled hand. “And yes, it is an engagement ring. I suppose you missed the excitement of when it happened, with you being away in Scotland.”

“And who is the lucky wizard? It has better be someone that will treat you with the respect and love you deserve! Now let me see this ring!”

Ginny laughed and held her hand across the large oak desk for Matilda to see. “The lucky wizard is Harry Potter, we were engaged about a month ago. I’m surprised that you didn’t hear about it while you were away. It caused quite an uproar around London when the Daily Prophet found out. The headline one Saturday was London’s Greatest Bachelor, a Bachelor no more. And yes, although it sounds arrogant to say, he loves and respects me more than I ever thought was possible!”

The older witch laughed at Ginny’s comment. “No – actually I hadn’t heard anything at all about it. When on vacation I try not to stay in contact with the outside world. It helps me relax more. But I’m so happy for you Ginny – Mr. Potter is a lucky wizard to have you. Have you set a date?”

“Not an exact date actually. Harry is out of the country right now with Mad-Eye Moody’s team of Aurors. We are planning to be married a few weeks after he returns. Mum and I are planning things now. It’s going to be a small private ceremony and then a large party. I do hope you’ll come!” Ginny said, then she blushed once more. “Oh dear, I am rambling!”

Healer Bones chuckled and smiled at her young healer. “Don’t apologize dear. I was young and in love once. And I remember the joy of planning a wedding! Just don’t let it overwhelm you. Now, shall we get down to business?” She turned in her chair to fetch a roll of parchment out of the cubbyholed shelf behind her. “Ah there it is – Nymphadora Tonks.” She unraveled the parchment in front of her on the desk and looked it over. “I see that you have signed her up for the new experimental treatment to bring Crucio victims out of comas. Do you think it’s a wise idea? The amount of torture she went through indicates that she has less than a 5% chance of making a full recovery with this treatment.”

Ginny paused for a moment to formulate her answer. “Actually, I think it is a wise idea. There are no other alternatives out there. If I don’t include in this treatment it may be years before she shows any signs of improving. Before the attack, she was in top physical and mental shape. Those facts alone are above average for those in the study. I think she has a real chance.” She responded, watching Healer Bones’ face for signs of what the older witch was thinking.

Healer Bones sat back in her chair as she steepled her fingers under her chin. “Now, those are all good points. But I need to make sure that your relationship with the patient and her family isn’t clouding your judgment on what is best for Ms. Tonks. I’ll be frank Ginny, the head of St. Mungo’s doesn’t want us including Ms. Tonks in the study. He feels that she’s getting preferential treatment because of her status of an auror and being in Harry Potter’s close circle. Mr. O’Malley has advised me to remove you from Ms. Tonks’ case.”

Ginny sat in the chair in front of Healer Bones’ desk with her hands gripping her knees. As she listened to the elder witches’words, her fingers dug deeper into her robes until she hit her knees and squeezed them. Keep your temper Weasley. Ginny thought to herself, trying to keep her composure.

“Ginny – now I want to say first off, try to keep your temper dear. I for one, do not agree with O’Malley’s reasoning. I believe that Ms. Tonks’ brain may be far too damaged for the study to work. But I also know that you’re a smart witch. If you believe that there’s hope for a patient. I am going to allow you to continue with the course of treatment.”

At these words, Ginny felt her fingers relax slightly on her knees. “Thank you Matilda. Does this mean Tonks can start the treatment with the rest of the test group?” Ginny looked towards her supervisor with a glint of hope in her eyes.

“It does – however, I’m going to require you to write out a report on why Tonks should be included in the study. Even if she doesn’t meet the listed requirements.”

Ginny smiled slightly, trying not to get overly excited. “Not a problem; when do you require the report by?” She asked, feeling restless. She’d get started on it as soon as she had a free moment – in the month since Harry had left, Ginny was beginning to run out of things to do. A report may keep her busy for at least 3 days, which would take her to the weekend. Then she’d be packing up James and heading to the Burrow, to plan more of a wedding that was taking on a life of its own.

Healer Bones rose from her chair and moved around to the front of the desk where she perched on the corner. “Well the study starts in 3 days but I realize you are on nights this week. So I’ll give you until the week after next. You can start Ms. Tonks on the preliminary tests with the rest of the study group so she doesn’t fall behind. How does that sound?”

Ginny looked up at her and smiled. “That’s perfect Matilda. Thank you.”

“Don’t thank my yet Ginny. You still need to convince O’Malley. But I know you will. You have that stubbornness around you. Now go – you have rounds to do.”

Ginny rose from the chair she was sitting in and stood in front of Healer Bones. “No worries, I will convince O’Malley. There is no way Tonks is not getting this treatment.” Having said that, Ginny turned on her heel and left the office to continue to do her rounds.

*~*

Ginny left the office and after picking up Tonks’chart from the healers desk; she went directly to Tonks’ room. Finding the door closed over she knocked softly and went in. Soft sounds of music came from inside, making Ginny smile. She went down the tiny hallway into the private room.

“Hello Remus.” She said, as her old professor and friend looked up at her. Remus smiled and rose to greet her.

“Ginny, hello. How are you today?” He asked, hugging her lightly.

“I’m doing well, it’s been a busy few weeks.” She replied hugging him back.

“I can well imagine. A healer’s work is never done.” He said, moving back over to where Tonks lay in her bed.

Ginny laughed. “I wish it were so Remus. It’s more like the life of a girl planning a wedding is never done. Mum is driving me up the wall with her plans. The only solace I have is that she’s promised to keep it small. I convinced her that Harry wants it that way. You know she’d do anything for him.” She paused as she took Tonks’ vital signs. Writing them onto the parchment, she looked down at her patient. “The music is lovely. I’m so glad you took my advice to bring it in for her to listen to.”

“Well Miss Weasley, you are persistent and I strongly agree with your theory that she can hear everything that we say to her. I’ve brought in a wide selection of music. We were listening to the Weird Sisters earlier, but I am hoping that if I play enough of my music, I can change her tastes.”

Ginny laughed at Remus’ admission. “Well, I’m not sure about that – but I think you’ll both gain an appreciation for each other’s music.”

“Always the little diplomat.” He chuckled. “Well I just have to hope for the best. Now Ginny – what is the status of the test group? “

Ginny pulled a chair up beside Remus and faced him. “Well, its about to begin actually. In 3 days. I have run into a bit of a problem. The head of St. Mungo’s feels that Tonks is getting special treatment because of her connections to Harry.” She held up her hand as he opened his mouth to protest. “Please let me finish. He also believes that she is too damaged to have this treatment I’m proposing work on her. But – as you know – I feel differently. So my supervisor has asked me to write a proposal of sorts on why Tonks needs to be included. I’m starting her treatment at the same time as the others in the test group. I promise Remus, that one way or another she will get the treatment.”

“Thank you Ginny. You have no idea what this means to me. You’re a special witch, and I have to say that your Harry Potter is lucky to have you.” He squeezed her hand and looked into her eyes. Ginny looked back to see the age and trials he had been through. Squeezing his hand in return, Ginny rose from the chair that she had been occupying.

“Remus Lupin, you truly are a kind man. Tonks is lucky to have someone like you. Now if you will excuse me. I am going to have to leave the two of you to your music. The afternoon is early and I have some other rounds to do.” Ginny turned to look at Tonks as she lay silently in the bed. “Tonks, I will be back to have our chat later.” She patted Tonks’ feet as she moved away from the bed. Glancing back, she watched as Remus took up his love’s hand and was already telling her a story from his days as a carefree maurader.

Ginny smiled wistfully. Watching the private moment made the ache she was feeling in her heart since Harry left more insistent. Sighing, she closed the door quietly behind her and went to find her next patient.


*~*

Harry stared at his butterbeer and wished it was firewhiskey. Here is was, day 30 of the mission and very little information had been gathered. All the team knew was that the suspected deatheaters had gathered deep in the mountains and it was only accessible by portkey. He thanked Merlin that Moody couldn’t send communications here; otherwise he would have his head for this. But it wasn’t for lack of trying, if they could find a way to replicate the port key, they’d be set. But there was no way of doing it without having the exact location. Harry feared that soon someone was going to have to go undercover and try and infiltrate the nest. He sighed and looked about the pub he was sitting in. It was dark and smoky. The noise level was through the roof and everywhere he looked people were crammed. It wasn’t an easy place to be alone in. But it was his night off and there was no way he was spending it in the house he had secured for his team when they had arrived.

“Want another?” The wait-witch asked in Russian as she ambled by. Harry looked up at her and shook his head no. He hadn’t even wanted this butterbeer – but he couldn’t have anything stronger. The wait-witch looked at him curiously, and kept moving through the crowd.

Harry furrowed his brow and realized he wasn’t exactly fitting in here. The rest of the pub was full of exuberant wizards and witches who were all glad that it was a Saturday night. The band was playing traditional Russian music and a small space had opened up for people to get up and dance. Harry watched with interest for awhile, when he suddenly got a prickly feeling on the back of his neck. Knowing he was being watched, he tried to remain casual as he picked up his empty bottle from the table and stood. He did a quick scan of the crowd around him and seen that no one was even paying attention to him.

Harry moved through the thick crowd towards the bar. Setting his empty bottle on the ledge, he dug into the pocket of his robes and pulled out some knuts and sickles. He signaled the wait-witch and handed them to her as payment when she came over.

Picking up his heavy jacket from one of the pegs near the door, Harry threw it about his shoulders and entered the cold evening. Although it was only early September, the weather in the East Urals was much different from what Harry was used to in Britian. There was no snow on the ground yet but the air was crisp and cool, it was what a wizard would expect to experience in November instead of September.

Harry turned left onto the street outside and began to walk. Keeping his pace casual he moved down the quiet street. Most every witch and wizard was inside the pub, drinking and enjoying their Saturday evening. The wizarding community of Yekaterinburg lived on 3 streets that were concealed to the muggles of the city and if they didn’t live on the streets they lived in the countryside. Harry had discovered quickly, there was only a handful of muggles that were kinds to wizards and witches in these parts. The muggles looked at the community with fear, old views surrounding witches and wizards had yet to die. With this discovery, Harry had also realized that this was why the deatheaters were able to live in the mountains unnoticed for so long.

The stillness that was in the air was disturbing Harry. It meant that whoever was watching him in the pub, hadn’t followed him out or had followed and he wasn’t detecting their presence. Harry paused for a moment outside of the closed bookstore. Feigning interest, Harry leaned closer to the glass as if he was peering inside to check out the contents of the window. It was then that he picked up the feeling once more of being watched. Shivering as if he was chilled, he placed his hands into his robes and wrapped his fingers around his wand.

Moving quickly, Harry pivoted to his right and thrust his wand arm out in the direction of his watcher. “Petrificus Totalus!” He said, a burst of white light emitting from the tip. As his spell hit its target, he heard a thud as his follower fell to the ground. Moving in that direction, Harry went to find the identity of the stranger.

He approached the stiffened body with caution, his wand low at his side. Harry knew from his years as an auror not to assume that a spell had hit it’s target. There was always a chance that the victim was lying in wait to counter-curse. As he neared he realized that the person in question had indeed been hit by his curse.

Looking down at the still form, Harry instantly recognized who it was. “Bloody hell.” He muttered, lifting his wand he performed first a levitating charm and then a concealing charm and headed back to the house he shared with his team.

*~*

Harry levitated the non-moving form onto the couch in the front room of the house. Quietly, he removed his outer robes and took a seat beside the still form. Picking up the wand he had placed on table between the chair and couch he performed the counter-curse to remove the petrification.

Slowly, the petrified body began to stir. Harry waited silently for the form to open their eyes. As soon as they did Harry began, “Calileigh! What were you thinking?” He shouted, not waiting for the auror to focus on where she was or what she was doing. “What possessed you to follow me and watch me?!”

Ariadne blinked silently and looked over as Harry Potter ranted in her direction. “How? How did I get here? “ She asked as she tried to sit up, groaning as she felt the stiffness in her bones.

Harry got up and started to pace the room. “I levitated you back here after I performed the pertificus totalus curse on you! Can you at least tell me what possessed you to follow me to that pub?” He stopped and stared at her.

“I didn’t mean to. Well, what I mean to say is that I didn’t start out to follow you.” Ariadne started off, staring at her boss and knowing he was extremely…. Mad. “Yuri told me to take the night off – he has the watch on the suspected port key station covered. I went into the pub to relax and I seen you there. I was about to approach you but you seemed so closed off I didn’t want to disturb you. I’m so sorry Mr. Potter! “

Harry threw his hands up in frustration. “Ariadne – I could have seriously harmed you. I sensed that I was in danger. You could have been a death eater. That was a rookie action Calileigh – next time you could be facing down much worse than petrificus totalus. We’ll be having a team meeting in the morning - we can’t afford to be sloppy like this.” Without waiting for an answer Harry strode out of the room and headed for his space in the top of the house.

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