The inhabitants of the castle scramble to deal with the aftereffects of Draco's disaster.
He was vaguely aware that Hermione was talking to him. Looking into her worried eyes, he softly said, “I’m sorry. I was looking at the destruction from Malfoy’s curse and not paying attention. What did you say?”
Nodding in acceptance, Hermione asked, “Why hasn’t Professor Dumbledore called Fawkes down to help? You said that he saved you after you were bitten by the Basilisk in second year.”
“I’m not sure.” Harry said thoughtfully as he looked over at the headmaster. “Why don’t we go find out?” Taking her by the hand, he led them over to where Dumbledore was looking around at the injured students with a glazed look on his face.
Clearing his throat, Harry spoke once he knew that he had Dumbledore’s attention, “Excuse me, sir. Why haven’t you called Fawkes to help the injured students? Daphne Greengrass is hurt pretty badly.”
Dumbledore looked down at Harry Potter, the twinkle gone from his normally expressive blue eyes, his somber whisper was barely audible above the din, “Alas, Fawkes has just had a burning day and is currently sitting on his perch in front of my fireplace. Why didn’t you block that spell, Mr. Potter?”
White-hot fury flooded through their bond and Hermione almost winced. She had become so used to Harry’s flashes of emotions that she was quite good at schooling her own features behind a blank mask. While pushing tranquil thoughts through their bond, Hermione put her arm around his waist in a show of support.
Harry took a couple of deep, calming, breaths while he focused on Hermione’s feelings. Blowing up at the Headmaster would not be a good thing right now.
Finally reigning in his anger, Harry politely rebuked, “First of all, I didn’t know that he was going to fire a Blasting Hex at me. The impact from that spell would have injured me even if I managed to put up a shield. Secondly, I was standing at the head of the isle between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables. There were a lot more students sitting there and the damage could have been even more severe if the hex had deflected off my shield and hit one of those tables.”
Before Dumbledore could turn Harry’s words or actions against him, Hermione stepped in and asked in concern, “Excuse me, sir. Why aren’t you helping the professors heal the wounded?”
Surprised at the question, Dumbledore shifted his attention to Miss Granger and said, “I think that the teachers have things under control.” Looking around the room at his teachers, he found them all working on injured students. With a tone of finality, Dumbledore said, “Now, if you will excuse me, I have to file some paperwork to make Mr. Malfoy’s expulsion official.” before stepping around the two teens and heading for his office.
Stunned by Dumbledore’s abrupt departure, Harry took stock of the situation and dragged Hermione towards Madam Pomfrey. When they arrived where the Mediwitch and their Potions Professor were working, they met with a gruesome site.
There was blood everywhere. Daphne’s robes were torn open, revealing a mass of cuts and pieces of wood sticking out of her body and her arm had been amputated at the shoulder joint. The wound had a charred look to it and Harry realized that they must have used fire to stop the bleeding by cauterizing the remaining flesh.
Hermione turned around and hastily stepped back out of the privacy screens before vomiting all over the floor of the Great Hall.
Harry fought down the bile rising in his throat and burned the image in his mind. The scene in front of him was a stark reminder that innocents could and would get hurt in any conflict no matter how careful you were.
Quietly, so he wouldn’t break their concentration, Harry asked, “Is there anything that I can do to help?”
Snape didn’t even bother to look up, he recognized Potter’s voice easily. His voice was without its usual snarl when he spoke, “Mr. Potter, we are very busy here at the moment. If you want to help, start checking the injured students that haven’t been treated yet.”
Seeing Madam Pomfrey nodding in agreement with Snape, Harry replied, “Yes, sir.” and stepped out of the enclosure, never noticing the trail of bloody footprints he was leaving behind.
Looking over at Hermione, he grimaced and asked, “Are you going to be alright?”
When she looked up at him, her eyes were bloodshot from throwing up and crying at the same time. It was her first experience with how dangerous a spell could really be. Wiping her mouth on a napkin that Ginny handed to her, quietly, she said, “Eventually.”
Harry rubbed her back gently in understanding before turning his attention to the rest of the group. He noticed that they all seemed a bit green but seemed willing to help.
In a commanding tone that they had never heard him use before, Harry said, “Hermione, I want you, Neville, and Ginny to head up to the Hospital Wing and get some extra medical supplies. Madam Pomfrey and Professor Snape are tied up and the other teachers are going to need some assistance.”
The three teens nodded and dashed off towards the Hospital Wing at a run.
Turning his attention to Fred and George, Harry said solemnly, “Professor Snape wants us to treat the students that the teachers haven’t gotten to yet. I figured that you two would be able to handle the blood better. If you can’t treat a wound, just bandage it until a professor or Madam Pomfrey is free.”
With identical nods, the normally rambunctious Weasley twins made their way over to the injured students to lend a hand where they could.
Focusing on his magic, Harry allowed it to direct him to an injured student that was sitting slightly away from the crowd. Kneeling down next to her, softly he said, “Where are you hurt?”
The look of pain on the young witch’s face was agonizing to see. When she removed her hand, Harry was shocked to see a piece of the table the size of a railroad spike protruding from her left forearm. Gingerly, he took her injured arm and lifted it up to better inspect the wound.
His gulped when he saw that the shard had been driven through her arm. She was bleeding profusely but no one had noticed because she was holding her injured arm against her black school robes. Looking closely at her face, Harry realized that she was paler than usual because of the blood loss and that her eyes were out of focus.
Gently, he lowered her to the floor, placed his own school robes beneath her feat, and laid her injured arm across her abdomen. Soothingly, he said, “I need to fetch Madam Pomfrey. Stay still, I’ll be right back.”
Sprinting back to the school healer, he blurted, “Madam Pomfrey, Tracey Davis is badly injured and no one noticed. She’s lost a lot of blood where a piece of the table pierced her left arm.”
Not even looking up from her work, Poppy said brusquely, “Take a Blood Replenishing Potion from my bag and bandage her injury as tightly as possible. I’ll be there shortly.” Looking up into Mr. Potter’s eyes, she said, “Don’t leave her, she may go into shock if she hasn’t already. Good job catching her injury before it was too late, Mr. Potter.”
Harry knelt down and rifled through her medical bag and withdrew the proper potion, a few bandages, then ran back to Tracey. Gingerly, he lifted her back into position with her head across his thighs and said softly, “Madam Pomfrey wants you to take this potion for the blood loss and then I’m going to bandage your arm. She’ll take care of you as soon as she’s finished helping Daphne.”
Tracey Davis looked up into the eyes of her nurse and focused on him for the first time. Harry Potter was the last person that she expected to see helping her and the shock was plainly visible on her face.
She swallowed without conscious thought as he tilted some of the potion into her mouth, her gaze never leaving his. “Th…Thank you.” she rasped, just before she passed out.
As Harry was about to pour another measure of potion into her mouth, Tracey’s eyes rolled up into her head and she began to convulse. While he tried to keep her from injuring herself further, Harry yelled as loud as he could, “Help!”
In the mass of confusion, no one noticed a flashbulb from a camera going off; forever immortalizing the moment. Changing back into her Animagus form, Rita flew over to a wall sconce and settled down for a very juicy story, ignoring the cries for help around her.
Madam Pomfrey was just finishing up with one of the wounds on Daphne’s chest when she heard Harry’s yell. Checking her patient’s vital signs, she said urgently, “Severus, Miss Greengrass is stable for now. I need to see to Miss Davis.” Without waiting for his response, she stood up and made her way over towards Mr. Potter.
A whispered, “Good luck.” from Severus Snape was lost amongst the din.
Madam Pomfrey surveyed the situation in front of her as she knelt down next to the two teens. The first thing that she noticed was the extremely pale color of Tracey’s skin and the large wooden spike that was sticking out of her forearm.
The clinical part of her mind noticed the good job Mr. Potter was doing to prevent any further injury to Miss Davis as she convulsed. While running her wand the length of Tracey’s body, she was muttering an incantation to check for vital signs.
“Minerva!” Poppy shouted. The results from her spell were much worse than she feared. Miss Davis had lost a tremendous amount of blood, if she lost much more, her heart could fail. As it was, some of her organs were already shutting down from the blood loss.
Turning her attention to Mr. Potter, she noticed him looking down at Miss Davis with wide eyes. Calmly, she said, “Harry,” when he looked up at her with those piercing green eyes, she continued, “When she stops shaking, I’m going to need you to pour the rest of that potion down her throat as soon as I say so.”
Harry nodded in understanding and grasped the potion firmly in his hand waiting for her word.
Minerva bustled over as quickly as possible when she heard the Matron’s call for help. Arriving at the scene, she quickly conjured up more privacy screens before asking in her thick Scottish brogue, “What do you need me to do?”
Poppy’s tired eyes glanced up at the Transfiguration Professor; this wasn’t the type of injuries that she was used to dealing with at Hogwarts. Sighing in relief, she said urgently, “Minerva, I need you to get some additional healers here. We have at least two students that need to be transferred to Saint Mungo’s.”
Moving as fast as she could, Minerva McGonagall headed towards the nearest floo to call Saint Mungo’s for some help. As she was leaving the Great Hall, she spied the Hogwart’s Poltergeist, Peeves, madly cackling with glee at the destruction and chaos. Furious beyond belief at the annoying spirit, she did what Mr. Filch had wanted to do for years. She exorcised him with a swish of her wand without even breaking her stride.
Poppy noticed that the girl’s convulsions were ending so she said commandingly, “Now, Mr. Potter.” as she began treating the wound in Tracey’s arm to get the bleeding stopped.
When he was finished pouring the potion down Tracey’s throat, Harry asked, “What do you need me to do now, Madam Pomfrey?”
Looking into Harry’s eyes, Poppy could easily see that he was determined to help and would do what was necessary to see things through to the end. Relieved that she didn’t have to do this alone, she said, “I need you to vanish the piece of wood in her arm and then I’m going to start closing the wound.”
Turning her attention back to the unconscious girl’s arm, she snapped, “Now!” The moment that the stake was vanished, blood spurted everywhere. It was as she had feared; the arteries in the arm had been severed below the elbow. She quickly conjured a tourniquet and began wrapping it around Tracey’s bicep while keeping her other hand clamped over the pulsing wound. Shifting her gaze to Mr. Potter, she said urgently, “I need you to keep tightening this tourniquet until the bleeding stops so I can heal her arm.”
Harry didn’t say a thing; he just took the tourniquet and began tightening it down just like Madam Pomfrey was doing moments before.
As the bleeding began to lessen, Poppy was able to see what she was doing and began repairing the damaged arteries. After a few tense minutes, she finished fixing the arteries and had begun to seal up the wound. Relieved, she said, “Mr. Potter, please begin slowly loosening the tourniquet.”
Relief flooded through Poppy as she felt Miss Davis’ arm begin to warm back up from the flow of fresh blood. Slumping down on her haunches, she looked up at a blood covered Harry Potter and said tiredly, “Great job, Mr. Potter. Miss Davis is going to be just fine. If it wasn’t for you, she would have bled to death.”
Suddenly very tired, Harry leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes. After a few moments respite, he opened his eyes and looked down at the girl lying across his lap. Her skin color was returning to normal and her breathing had evened out.
Unconsciously, Harry reached out and brushed the hair away from Tracey’s face before beginning to use his fingers to untangle the knots. He was unsure how he felt about what had happened in the last fifteen minutes.
He was confident that Draco was going to throw a spell at him once he started goading the blonde haired ponce. He was extremely surprised by Malfoy’s spell choice though. At most, Harry was hoping that it was going to be something harmless but uncomfortable. Nothing prepared him for the lethal spell that the arrogant brat had sent rocketing his way.
It was ironic that Malfoy ended up teaching Harry, not one, but two important lessons during the disaster. The first was that all witches and wizards were armed and dangerous. The second lesson was that you should never taunt someone without being prepared for the consequences.
Harry knew that he didn’t have control over Malfoy’s choices, short of using the Imperious Curse, but his own actions did lead to a very bad situation. That being said, he was glad that it wasn’t his friends, or heaven forbid, Hermione, on the receiving end of Malfoy’s disastrous spell choice.
Albus Dumbledore had returned to the Great Hall just as Harry Potter yelled out for Madam Pomfrey’s assistance. Suppressing his presence, he stuck to the outer edges of the hall until he was about fifteen feet from where Miss Davis was being treated so he could observe Mr. Potter more closely.
He knew that Harry had goaded Mr. Malfoy into attacking, the question burning in his mind was, ‘Did he do that with the intent to harm the Slytherin students?’ Dumbledore feared that Harry had already started down a dark path based upon the boy’s reactions to the tasks in the Triwizard Tournament.
Just as Harry was beginning to relax, he felt the familiar presence of Albus Dumbledore. When he spoke, his voice clearly conveyed his displeasure towards the Headmaster.
Dumbledore was ripped from his thoughts when the very person he was dwelling upon said in a very frosty voice, “Is there something you want to say, Professor Dumbledore?”
Poppy was startled by the tone in Mr. Potter’s voice and by the fact that she had not heard Albus step into the cordoned off area that they were inside.
Plastering a smile on his face, Dumbledore said in his proud grandparent voice, completely ignoring Harry’s tone, “Indeed, Mr. Potter. I wanted to congratulate you on saving Miss Davis’ life. Had you not noticed her injury she most certainly would have died before ever being treated.”
Annoyed, Harry had to struggle to keep his voice low so he didn’t disturb Tracey when he growled, “It wouldn’t have been necessary if you would have taught the students that their actions have consequences a long time ago.”
Minerva McGonagall had just entered the Great Hall with a few Healers from Saint Mungo’s. She directed one of the Healers to the cordoned off area where Professor Snape was still working on Miss Greengrass and one to check on the students that were being helped by the Weasley twins. She beckoned to the third Healer, a trainee named Augustus Pye, to follow her to see Miss Davis.
As they entered the cordoned off area, they both heard Harry Potter telling off the Headmaster. Shocked, Minerva snapped angrily, “Mr. Potter! Now is not the time for that discussion!” She was well aware that Harry was correct, but it was something that she felt should be discussed in private, not in the confines of the Great Hall in front of witnesses.
The look of defiance in Harry’s eyes almost caused Minerva to rebuke him again but when Mr. Potter didn’t speak, she wisely held her own tongue in check. Turning her attention to Madam Pomfrey, she reported, “I managed to grab two Healers and one Trainee. Mr. Pye is the Trainee.” she said as she waved her hand in his general direction.
Relief flooded through Poppy when Minerva mentioned the extra help. Sounding exhausted, she said, “Thank you, Minerva. The worst of everything is under control, I hope. Please have them check all the injured students over just to be safe. Mr. Pye can assist me in getting Miss Davis ready for transportation to Saint Mungo’s.”
Minerva nodded and headed over to make sure Madam Pomfrey’s instructions were carried out properly.
Harry was about to get out of the way when Healer Pye spoke for the first time, his voice surprisingly high, “Don’t move just yet, Mr. Potter. We need to get her onto a stretcher first.”
Dumbledore had been listening to the conversation with half an ear and at the mention of a stretcher; he conjured one with a lazy flick of his wand. Eyes twinkling, he asked helpfully, “Is there anything else you require, Healer Pye?”
Awed that Albus Dumbledore was speaking to him, Augustus stammered, “N…No thank you, sir. I think we can manage it from here. Th…Thank you for your help.”
Impressed with Dumbledore’s skill at manipulation despite himself, Harry took the lesson to heart. With that one action, the Headmaster made Healer Pye believe that he was the one to do the majority of the work before the Healers from Saint Mungo’s arrived. Mentally shrugging at the irony, Harry figured it was a school and he did learn some very important lessons today, even if it wasn’t in a classroom.
As the Headmaster walked away, Harry pondered Malfoy’s situation. He knew that Sirius and everyone else needed to know about this tonight. Just as he was about to head off to find Hermione, Tracey reached out and grabbed his wrist, stopping him in his tracks.
When he leaned down next to her, she croaked out, “Thank you, Harry Potter. I owe you my life.” Too tired to say anything else, she closed her eyes and drifted off into a healing sleep.
Surprised, Harry just stood there and watched them carry the young woman out of the Great Hall.
A few minutes later, a very bedraggled looking group that consisted of Hermione, Neville, Ginny, Fred, and George joined him. All of them had blood on their clothes in some fashion but none more so then Harry. He looked as if a fire hose had sprayed him with blood.
Silently, he led them out to his garden down by the lake. Once they arrived, he checked the area for more Eavesdropping spells. Finding two, he held up his finger to his lips before miming covering your ears.
When everyone had safely covered their ears, Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at his throat. With the Sonorous Charm active, he stepped up to the rock that the Eavesdropping Spell had been cast upon and shouted as loud as he could in his amplified voice, “The Chudley Cannons stink!”
The sound was deafening, birds scattered from their perches in the low hung branches in the trees while Harry’s friends all cringed and tried to cover their ears tighter.
Back in the castle, Albus Dumbledore winced at the volume of Harry’s shout. He knew that his ears were going to ring for hours and a headache was fast developing. He quickly deactivated the other Listening Charms with a frown on his face; he did not want to suffer that fate again. Rubbing his temples gingerly, he wondered what to do now that Mr. Potter had discovered another one of his tricks of always knowing what was going on.
In the garden, Hermione could feel the mirth and a touch of smugness coming from Harry. Curious, she asked, “Did you find more Listening Charms?” When he nodded yes, she sighed and said resignedly, “You would think that he would have gotten the hint when I blocked the sound from the area last time.”
The wicked smile that crossed Harry’s face complimented his smug tone well, “Oh, I’m sure that Dumbledore got the message today. If I ever find another one of those things, I’m not going to be so nice next time.”
Remembering that they were all still covered in blood, Hermione drew her wand and began siphoning it off herself before moving on to Harry and the others. She never noticed that she performed the spell silently.
Everyone else, however, did. They were all giving Harry and Hermione shrewd looks before George piped up, “Okay, spill. How come the two of you are so good at silent casting?”
Harry and Hermione shared a look before she answered for the both of them, “We have been practicing our silent casting all year for an hour or two per day if we have the time.”
Before anyone could say more on the subject, Fred interrupted, his tone curious, “What I want to know is what you meant about Dumbledore putting Listening Charms down here?”
The corners of Harry’s eyes crinkled slightly, the only obvious physical sign of his annoyance towards the Headmaster. His voice was carefully controlled as he slipped into the state of Occlumency that he guarded his emotions behind, “For some reason, Dumbledore has been keeping tabs on me for a long time. Professor McGonagall removed a Monitoring Charm from me earlier this year.”
The four purebloods all gasped at Harry’s revelation. An invasion of privacy on that level was almost unheard of outside of a prisoner.
George’s face clouded over into an angry expression that Harry was pretty sure that he had never seen on the normally gregarious twin. Moments later, Fred’s expression mirrored George’s as he too worked out what that Monitoring Spell really meant.
The anger in their voices was easily detectable as they said in tandem, “You mean that Dumbledore knew what your life was like at the Dursleys in your second year?”
Neville and Ginny were at a loss. Most of the conversation between Harry and the twins was going right over their heads. Ginny understood a little from bits and pieces that she had picked up from her parent’s discussions when they thought that they were alone, but she still didn’t have the full picture.
Uncomfortable about the abrupt change in the conversation, Harry felt that a simple, yet direct, approach was needed. Sighing in resignation, he whispered, “Yes, he did know.” while never meeting their eyes.
Hermione had moved over to Harry and had wrapped her arm around his shoulders in support. Leaning over, she whispered in his ear, “It’s okay, Harry. You can tell them, they already know most of it and Fred and George will figure it out soon enough.”
Straightening up, Harry turned and planted a tender kiss on her forehead before saying, “Why don’t we all have a seat, this could take a while.”
Curious, the four teens sat down in a semi-circle facing Harry and Hermione. They listened, enraptured, as Harry gave them the basic details of his life up to his third year at Hogwarts over the next couple of hours.
Harry was finally able to tell someone other than Hermione about his previous home life and properly thank Fred and George for rescuing him that fateful evening. The emotion he felt at their finally knowing more about his home life shocked him, it was relief instead of shame.
Harry’s story allowed Fred, George, and Ginny, a better understanding of Harry’s reactions to food and freedom when he first came to visit the Burrow. Neville discovered that his own life wasn’t so bad after all, and in a showing of true Gryffindor Courage, he told them about his parents.
Those two hours in the garden by the lake cemented the bonds of friendship between the teens for life.