Search Home Read Write Forum Login Register
Chapter One

The machines around them beeped at a slow and steady pace. It was rare for the three of them to be able to stand in such silence for a prolonged amount of time, but today it felt like nothing could break this fragile peace. Sirius was sitting in an uncomfortable chair that Remus had shoved towards him upon entering the room. Privately, Severus felt that if anyone deserved a seat, then it was him, but under the circumstances he didn’t feel inclined to push the issue.

A young nurse entered the room and, ignoring the three of them, walked over to the bed. Cool fingers gave relief to a burning forehead, and for a moment her patient opened his eyes.

“Simon?” he asked, raising a battered arm slightly from where it lay on his bed. “Sirius?”

“Sorry, Harry, it’s too early for visitors yet,” the nurse murmured before the boy drifted back into his painful slumber. The nurse swallowed and turned her pained eyes away from the young man who lay on the bed.

“Who’s Simon?” Sirius asked with a frown.

“I don’t know,” Remus replied, “but Harry asked for you, too.” The reminder was delivered gently, with a hand resting on his shoulder.

Severus Snape was being uncharacteristically quiet, staring moodily across the small room at the figure on the bed. The boy was thoroughly bruised; they’d been present when the nurses had partially undressed him to clean his wounds. His face was swollen in odd places, and white strips covered where Potter had been stitched back together – literally! Severus had never been to a Muggle hospital, and after watching them stick needles and what looked like thread into Potter, he vowed never to enter one again. What disturbed him the most about the whole Muggle medicine ordeal was how hopeless it all was; so much of Potter’s treatment appeared to be waiting for his body to fix itself, and to keep him under enough drugs so as to remain unconscious.

It wasn’t until late morning that a man was escorted into the room by the same nurse.

“How is he?”

“Not too bad,” the nurse replied with a faint smile, “and I’m sure he’ll feel a lot better when he wakes up to you.”

The man walked over to Harry and stared at him for what felt like hours. The nurse neither did nor said anything. The man reached a hand out and ran his fingers through Harry’s hair. Harry sighed in his sleep and when the man rested his hand against a bruised cheek, the young man moved into his touch.

“He’s barely recognisable,” the man said, refusing to take his eyes away from him. “What happened?”

“A car crash,” the nurse said, a sneer touching her lips for a moment.

“A car crash,” the man repeated faintly. “At what point in this car crash do you think a hand-print came to be on Harry’s throat, Catherine?” His voice cracked slightly as he spoke. “At what point did similar bruises find his arm? At what point was he tied up?” He pointed then at the bruises around Harry’s wrists that somehow the invisible occupants of the room had overlooked. “At what point in this car crash was he starved for a month?” His voice had dropped to a whisper and he turned away from Harry then, to see tears shimmering in Catherine’s eyes.

“I know,” she said softly, her voice finding strength as she continued, “it is clearly a tale to appease the police.”

“The police? He’s only been here a day!”

“There really was a car crash. The whole lot of them were brought in yesterday afternoon.”

“They’re here?” he repeated and then an odd glint touched his eye. “Are they hurt?”

“Hardly, but they’re milking it for all it’s worth.”

“And what exactly is it worth?” he asked.

“Not a great deal,” she replied. “The policeman on the case is Jonathan, and he’s happy to verify just how little damage was done to the car.”

He noticed the sneer was back on her face. She looked pleased with that minor detail, if nothing else. They had managed to get the upper hand so rarely where the Dursleys were concerned that anything in their favour was to be celebrated.

“So all this…?” he said, gesturing at Harry.

“Definitely not car crash related.”

“None of it?” he asked in a weak voice. She shook her head.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When his eyes opened again, Catherine was disconcerted to see a keen resolve there. “Where are they?”

“What?”

“Where in the hospital?”

“You are not leaving this room!” she told him. “And you’re certainly not going off to exact your petty revenge!”

“I will do as I damned well please!” he shouted, banging his fist forcefully on the bedside table beside Harry. A glass of water shivered violently for a brief moment, and three invisible men jumped at the sound.

“Don’t you dare be so selfish!”

“Selfish!? I—”

She cut him off. “I will not be the one to tell Harry when he wakes that you have grievously injured his relatives and have since been arrested!” He fell silent then. “Despite everything, Harry would never forgive himself if anything happened to them,” Catherine went on to say quietly.

“No, he never wants anyone else to get hurt, does he? No matter what they’ve done to him.”

“Simon?” came a hoarse voice from behind them.

“Harry!” the man breathed, and he spun around so quickly that everyone else in the room thought he would fall. He grabbed the chair and pulled it up to the bed, unaware that one Sirius Black had thrown himself off it and into another man just moments before.

“Yes, it’s me,” Simon whispered, leaning in to brush the hair out of Harry’s eyes.

Then Harry did something that none of the wizards had ever seen him do; he held up a hand, as if to arm-wrestle, and Simon gripped it tightly in his own, letting the boy hold his hand against Harry’s chest.

Such a display of weakness and dependence, Severus mused, and undisguised affection. Even when it had been Potter and Black alone in the hospital wing, Potter did not behave in such a manner, he was sure, from the telltale longing that was written all over Black’s face, and in no small measure on Lupin’s, also.

Simon leant over to press a quick kiss to his forehead, and Harry smiled faintly.

“Do try to keep your absurd jealousy under control,” Severus drawled at Sirius.

“Shut up, you greasy—”

“That is quite enough,” Remus cut in, and they momentarily fell silent.

“Where are my glasses?” Harry asked into the quiet.

“I’ve got them,” Simon replied, placing the spectacles in question on the bedside table. “You can’t have them until the swelling goes down however.”

“Oh,” Harry replied.

“Articulate as always,” Simon replied, sounding to Sirius and Remus uncannily like Snape.

“My apologies,” Harry drawled, “but I rarely get the opportunity to exercise my eloquence in the presence of the Dursleys. I’m all out of practice.” The wizards stared at him then; none of them had ever heard Harry talk in such a manner before. He sounded like Snape, too! Sirius thought privately. He sounds like this ‘Simon’, Severus thought.

“That is apparent,” Simon said, smiling faintly when Harry pulled a face. “Don’t pout, Har, it doesn’t become you.”

Harry snorted faintly, “I doubt I could make myself pout even if I wanted to. My face feels all heavy and strange.” He raised an arm to touch his face but Simon stopped him.

“I wouldn’t do that, if I were you,” he told him, gently lowering Harry’s arm back down to the bed. “You’ve hurt your shoulder quite badly.”

“Why, what happened?” Harry asked him.

Simon sighed. “I was hoping you could tell me.”

Harry pulled a strange face, which in his current state, Simon suspected would normally be a frown. He opened his mouth to speak, but shut it audibly when Harry began to speak. His gaze was focussed on something beyond him, but his hand still gripped his tightly.

“I don’t remember that much. I can only assume that I hit my head in the car crash,” Harry said quietly. So quietly that Sirius and Remus had to lean forwards to hear him, and Severus walked straight past them to stand on the other side of Potter. “The Dursleys were being their usual selves, treating me in the usual way-” he shot a meaningful look at Simon at this point “-and I just tried to get by as best I could under the circumstances. I’d done or said something to upset Vernon particularly, but I don’t remember what it was yet, and he got quite… violent.” Harry paused at this point, as if trying to collect his thoughts. Simon squeezed his hand, hoping to convey some wordless support to him. He suspected it had worked when Harry squeezed back and smiled faintly. “It became very hazy after that. There was a lot of shouting, and I was jostled about a lot. I was picked up and dropped somewhere dark. I’d thought it had been the cupboard at first, but now I think it must have been the car…”

He stopped then and stared into space for almost a minute. Severus felt the boy’s magic swirling around the room confusedly, instead of emanating the calm magical sense one usually got from a magical being. It wasn’t often noticed; it just faded into the background at Hogwarts where everything and everyone was magical, but here, in a Muggle hospital, next to a Muggle man, Potter’s magic was both easily noticeable and recognisable.

“Harry?” Simon prompted gently. “Are you okay?”

Severus stilled as he felt Potter’s magic wrap around him, swirling and mingling with his own, as if trying to tell who he was. For the first time, he wondered whether Potter would instinctively know that someone else was there, someone he couldn’t see. Dumbledore had cast the charms on them however, and there was little chance that the boy would be able to see through something as powerful as that. But still, that niggling doubt was there. And suddenly Potter’s magic was gone, reduced to the calm that he was used to.

“I… yeah, I’m fine,” Harry replied quietly. “I don’t know whether I remember the car crash, but I think that I do. There was a strong jolt and then everywhere hurt. There was more shouting and then everything went white…” If there had been a rest of the sentence, it drifted away, and no one ever heard it.

“I’m glad you’re okay,” Simon said quietly.

Harry raised a sceptical eyebrow. “You call this okay?”

“Very well, allow me to rephrase. I’m glad you’re alive,” Simon told him quietly. Severus almost thought he could see Potter’s magic wrapping around this man at this point, and he wondered who on earth he really was. He was certainly no Dursley.

“I wonder if they were taking me to hospital, or…” Harry trailed off again, wondering whether the Dursleys were just going to dump him somewhere, anywhere, and his being involved in a car crash was the only reason he was there at all.

“It doesn’t matter, you’re here now,” said Simon, firmly.

The door opened then, stopping Harry from whatever it was he was going to say. The young nurse walked in, and smiled when she saw the two men in the room talking quietly.

“Hey, Cathy,” Harry said, a smile forming.

“Don’t call me that,” she said, in a long-suffering tone, which made Harry’s smile widen. “I’m afraid this isn’t merely a social call, or at least not from myself anyway.”

“Who’s here?” Simon asked, his tone flatter than the wizards had heard before. “Do I even want to know?”

“Your charming brother, for one,” Catherine told him, “but there are a few others as well, who I know would like to see for themselves that Harry has survived his latest ordeal.”

“And then maybe we can all go lynch the Dursleys together!” Simon said with mock cheerfulness colouring his words.

Harry shot him a horrified look, and Catherine gave him one clearly telling him that she’d told him so. And then the door burst open, to reveal rather more than just a ‘few’ people to see Harry.

Severus took the opportunity to steal out of the room, and to try and find some fresh air. It had been one of his worst nightmares, the last few hours in the Muggle hospital, one which he would never wish to repeat again. He left Black and Lupin watching over Potter, the latter being swarmed by his fan club. Severus snorted slightly. At least Potter had his fan club, made of Muggles, admittedly, but it was there nonetheless. He was glad that despite his world being turned upside down in the last day, some things never changed.

He sat down on a bench outside, gasping in cool, fresh air. It made a change from the stale air in the hospital. Severus closed his eyes; finally being able to relax somewhat now that he was away from Potter and his frightful injuries. He had always thought he’d like to see Potter injured somehow, but having seen the result, he was left feeling nauseated and vaguely guilty. Someone appeared close to his side, and his eyes snapped open instantly. He groaned inwardly when he realised who it was.

“Black,” he said coolly. “What do you want?”

His guard instantly went up when he saw the expression on the other man’s face. It was the kind of expression that told of some kind of imminent attack.

Sirius stared at him intently, and managed to get out between clenched teeth. “You were watching over Harry all summer, personally. You’re going to tell me right now how in the hell this happened to him, and why you never raised a finger to stop it.”

Severus stared at him, and the earlier guilt that had tried to wash over him came back full force. Some how, he’d managed to avoid thinking about this little detail entirely. Now faced with this fact full on, he had to admit to himself that he had absolutely no idea as to how Harry Potter came to be in this state. No idea at all.

Track This Story: Feed


Write a Review

out of 10

JOIN HARRY POTTER FANFICTION


Get access to every new feature the moment it comes out.

Register Today!
Need Help Writing Your Fanfic?

Write Your BEST Fanfic EVER In Our FREE 10 Day Fanfiction Writing Jumpstart Program!

  • Introduce Your Character Like A Rockstar! 🤘
  • Build GUT-CLENCHING Suspense 🔎
  • Drop into an Action Scene 💥
  • Develop a POWERFUL Romance 😍
  • How to Land an Ending 🍻
  • How To Make Writer's Block Your Best Friend ❤️
  • ...And more!
“The lessons that were offered helped me enormously. Suddenly it was easier to write scenes, imagine them and bring suspension and romance in it. I loved it! ​It helped me in a way other bloggers couldn’t and still can’t.” - Student