Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Aftermath

Visiting Hours

by RyanJenkins 0 reviews

Ryan wakes up in St. Mungo's -- and has an argument with Harry.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Characters: Harry,Kingsley - Published: 2016-07-30 - 3443 words - Complete



When I woke up, I was actually pretty comfortable for awhile. For however long it took me to start remembering things and begin to wonder where I was, anyway. My eyelids seemed to work, the light was bright enough but not painful, and after a bit I figured out that I was looking at a ceiling. There was a noise. I waited, and heard it again, a sort of rustling sound. I waited patiently, hoping to identify it if it happened again, and while waiting decided to try practicing with the eyelids again. I closed them and opened them.

“Ah. Are you back with us, then?”

More of my systems were coming back on line, and I decided I might be able to see the source of that question if I turned my head to the right. I tried it, and it worked. A little slowly, but it worked. I saw a bed a couple of feet away, and lying propped up in the bed, looking over at me, wearing striped pajamas and his round spectacles over a concerned look, with his hair sticking up in every direction, was Harry Potter.

“Whuh-ah...” my first attempt didn't go very well, so I swallowed – that was working, at any rate – and tried again. “Well said. Excellent question.” My voice sounded hoarse. I swallowed again, which felt reassuring. “I'll appoint a committee at once to look into it. Let you know what they find. I'll be interested too.” At that moment, a door opened and people started coming into the room. “You see? Here they come now. Quick service. But then, I am an undersecretary, you know.” I had the satisfaction of seeing the concerned expression on Harry's face dissolve into a grin, although it still looked strained.

Then Jamie and Dr. Conway were looking down at me, dressed in identical lime-green robes, both holding their wands. They asked me some silly questions – I knew perfectly well who I was – pointed their wands and muttered things that made the room darken and brighten again, and did some other things that made my legs and arms twitch. It was nice to know my arms and legs could twitch. Then Jamie gave me a glass of something that looked golden, with swirls of bright blue in it; it tasted – well, not bad, but not exactly good, either, kind of like lemon juice with a shot of rocket fuel. But it definitely helped.

Conway pointed his wand at the bed – it was an old-fashioned kind of bed, with an iron frame painted white – and the head end raised up with a groan, putting me in a sort of sitting-reclining position. My head was clearing fast, and I looked at both of them.

“So how am I? You'll have to submit your report in triplicate, and route an extra copy to the Head Auror over there in the next bed. How is he, for that matter?”

“Better than you,” said Jamie, “although you're going to be fine. Harry broke his left foot and his right hand is all. Except for the concussion, I mean. You, on the other hand had quite a list – you remember them all, Cracks?”

Dr. Conway looked thoughtful. “Let me see – skull fracture, broken neck, smashed nose, several cracked vertebrae, liver damage, gall bladder, impaled kidney...what else? Oh yes, compound fracture of the upper right leg, broken hip, and the kneecap reduced to splinters. And loss of blood, of course. Aside from various bruises and minor lacerations, I think that's about it. Nothing we couldn't handle, really, although it was a bit tedious checking everything. Still, all in a day's work.”

“The real question is,” Jamie asked, “how are you feeling?”

“Like I've been dragged through a knothole and then stuffed back to the other side with a broom handle. Otherwise, fine.”

That got a suitable round of chuckles. They looked at each other and Conway nodded, grinning. “As you predicted, Doctor. Incorrigible sense of humor. Brilliant prognosis, if I may say so.”

“He can't help it.” Jamie nodded sideways at me. “But thank you, Doctor, and if I may say so, you did an equally brilliant job on the vertebrae and the kneecap.”

“Just routine, really,” Conway answered with a ham actor's modesty. “After all, he wasn't sprouting spines all over, and none of his appendages had been turned into vegetables. Still, it's very kind of you, Doctor.”

“Oh, not at all, Doctor. Any Doctor would have the highest respect for your skills as a Doctor, Doctor –”

I knew perfectly well what was going on, and truth to tell I was delighted to find that Jamie was getting along so well, so quickly, at St. Mungo's. But I'd only been awake for less than half an hour, and besides, as far as their gushing at each other was concerned, I was one of the sources of the Nile. I tugged on Jamie's robe. “I hate to interrupt, but I just had a thought.”

Jamie turned to me, looking concerned. “What's that?”

“If you fellows break your arms patting each other on the back, Harry told me about one of your patients here, a fellow named Lockhart, who knows just how to fix that.”

There was a loud laugh from Harry, who then had to tell them the story I'd heard at his house, about how he broke his arm playing Quidditch and Gilderoy Lockhart, who was then a Professor at Hogwarts, had attempted to fix it but instead had accidentally removed his arm bones entirely. Lockhart later accidentally removed his own memory, and was in long-term care on another floor. The two Healers laughed, then turned to me, shaking their heads.

“Not that I'm not grateful, you understand, for saving my life.” I was quite serious. “And Harry's. And I am glad to see you getting along.”

“Ryan, joking aside, having Jamie here is proving quite a wonderful experience. In a way – not that it was at all worth the cost! – but in a way, it was a very good thing that he was introduced to us in an emergency the sense that we all worked together before we were properly introduced. By the time we found out he was with your Department of Magic, he had already earned our complete and total professional respect.”

“And vice versa,” agreed Jamie. “I couldn't have asked for a better introduction, diplomatically speaking. More to the point, I've been learning a lot.”

“We have a great deal to learn from each other. That seems quite clear at this point! Jamie is doing a complete tour of the hospital, and may well be able to help us with some of our...difficult cases. And on top of all that, he likes a laugh as well as anyone.”

“Hey, I coulda told you that!” I grinned. “That's great. Officially, I'm almost as pleased as I am personally, which is a saying a lot. After all, if I can attempt some of that understatement you Brits are so famous for, not being dead or crippled for life is one of the better things that's ever happened to me. But I do have one question...”

“Yes?” I had been looking at Dr. Conway, and now I made my face into a question mark.


Conway grinned. “Oh, that – well, Caractacus is a fine old British name, but I'm happier to answer to Cracks – or Cracky – or Cracker – but not the past tense, please.”

“Unless you really mean it, of course,” added Jamie, and Cracks – as I'll start calling him now – gave him a pointed look.

“Could be worse,” I said brightly, “you could have been named after his brother.”

“Yes! Quite right, and I see you've read some British history.” Cracks looked impressed.

“Well, there was a character named Caractacus in a book I read as a kid – Caractacus Potts. I looked it up, eventually – the original Caractacus fought the Romans, way back when.”

Harry's curiosity got the better of him, and he spoke up. “What was his brother's name?”

“Togodumnus,” admitted Cracks after a moment, and Harry snorted.

“Wow.” Jamie looked at Cracks and then at me. “I see what you mean.”

Cracks nodded. “With that name, I should never have got through the first year at Hogwarts alive, let alone medical school!”

The two Healers gave Harry a quick examination, pronouncing themselves satisfied, and said that he might be able to go home tomorrow, being careful not to actually promise, however. They told me I'd better plan on being here for a few more days, and laid three large slabs of chocolate on the bedside table, with instructions to eat it all before going to sleep tonight. Promising to look in again later, they left, and shortly thereafter a nurse brought in a pitcher of iced pumpkin juice, a pitcher of water, and two glasses. My body had relaxed and loosened up amazingly since drinking that potion, and I found it quite possible to move, although little stabbing pains here and there made me do it gingerly. We shared some of the chocolate and drank juice, while I started to think. After a little while I finally said,



“I've got a million questions. About what happened after the lights went out, I mean.”

“No problem, fire away.”

“OK, but first – Harry, I've only known you, what – three days?”

“Six now, actually. A week, tomorrow.”

“Was I out that long? Jeez.” I took another drink of pumpkin juice while I tried to process that. “But what I mean is, you've been almost killed, twice, in the first three days we've known each other. And this time, it was an American bomb, planted by Americans, that went off while you were trying to help me. I owe you a major ap---”

“No. Please stop.” Harry spoke urgently, and looked very upset. “I'm the one who owes you an apology, Ryan. I set that explosion off myself, and you then proceeded to save my life.”

“What? How?”

“By being first in line when we went through the roof.”

“Oh.” I couldn't think of a thing to say. I couldn't even think of anything to not say. After a moment, Harry continued, his voice bitter.

Wingardium Leviosa. Swish and flick, and boom! Amazingly stupid of me, wasn't it? We hadn't actually done any magic inside that house yet – we'd worked from outside, and your computer apparently didn't count as magic, or active magic at any rate, or something. The whole equilibrium of spells, whatever it was that had frozen events in that house, collapsed when I levitated your computer. It's fine, by the way – Hermione caught it in midair.”

“That's good. But Harry, look, you couldn't have known---”

“Rot. I did know. We all knew. Thanks to you, we had advance warning about the bomb, and a chance to get out safely. Ryan – if it hadn't been for your work with the computer, we might all have been crowded into that attic when somebody cast a spell, and never have known what hit us. But I – I don't know, I just wasn't thinking, I suppose. We were on our way out, and – oh, what's the use? I'm just not ready for this bloody job.”

“Now just a bloody minute!” The anger in my voice made him look up. “I don't know why you people think 'bloody' is such a bad word, but if you've got a worse one, I'll use that. Harry, I'm no more ready for the job I'm trying to do than you are – less, in fact, when you think about it. A lot less! You went up against Voldemort, and beat him, but I never wanted to be a diplomat – I've had no training at all for this bloody job!”

“Yeah, well that just makes it worse, doesn't it? You've been doing right well so far – at least your Secretary of Magic seems to think so, Kingsley thinks so, and for what it's worth, so do I. You've made a lot of friends here very quickly, and perhaps you don't understand fully how...unusual that can be, over here. It's not been really the usual thing for me, at any rate.”

“Oh, hell, Harry, that's not skill, it's plain old dumb luck...and the fact that the people I've met have turned out to be incredible people. Like you." I glared at him, but it was a friendly glare. "Deal with it. Hey, I had no plans at all when I got here, beyond going to Gringott's – I just happened to be looking in the front window at Weasleys' Wheezes when George arrived to re-open the store. Of all the wizards and witches in this country, the first people I run into turn out to be him, and Arthur, and Ron and Hermione! Come on, can you think of anybody in this island it would have been more ideal for me to meet?” Harry cocked his head, acknowledging that he couldn't, and I continued, “Seriously! What are the odds? And I may not know much about diplomacy, but I've got a pretty good idea that it's not supposed to be part of a diplomat's job to get his new friends killed!”

“Which is not what you did. Not at all! I was the one who rushed in like a fool, ordering people around – ordering my friends around – when I hadn't really got the slightest idea what I should be doing---”

“Horse maneuvers!” I always liked that joke, but it fell flat that time. “I did have Auror training, and according to what they taught me, you handled things beautifully. You brought in all the best available people, got their advice, and made a good plan before going in. You took every precaution I could have thought of, and a few I didn't. Harry, aside from – from what's left of you and me, how many people were hurt when that place blew up?”

“Well...nobody, actually. That's one good thing.”

“It sure is. And why was that? Because you ordered your friends to get back, and stay safe, and you did it in plenty of time.”

“Yeah, well, that's pretty much what Kingsley tried to tell me, when he came round yesterday – day before yesterday, actually. Said he'd be back, by the way, but haven't seen him yet.” Harry was calmer, but still looked very unhappy. “Still, Ryan – I'm – well, I'm not in school anymore, if you see what I mean. I'm in charge, and I'm responsible. And the whole thing did blow up in our faces, didn't it?”

“Yeah. Although – not exactly, if you want to be precise. At the time, we were actually facing the other way...” I had to chuckle, and Harry couldn't help but join in. We looked at each other, and the chuckles became full-blown laughter, which felt really good, even if I did have a few protests from certain parts of my torso. I felt tears in my eyes, and saw Harry lift up his glasses and wipe his with a corner of the bed sheet. Then a thought struck me.

“Merlin wept in a little blue bucket! I just realized – I wasn't thinking either, back there in that attic. I was about to shrink my computer down to pocket-size, and that would have set the damn thing off, wouldn't it?”

Harry blinked a couple of times. “Yeah...I suppose...probably...not that we'll ever know.”

“Well, there you are. Even with the training course under my belt, I made that same damn mistake. We're a fine pair, we are. And I'm a fine diplomat! Laying here arguing with you. Sorry about that, Harry.”

“Thanks, Ryan. So am I.” He lifted his glass of juice, and we clinked glasses and drank together. After a few moments, I thought of something else, and shook my head.

“You know, I think I must be going native.”

“What do you mean?”

“I've just realized – we've been arguing about who's going to apologize! How British can you get?”

Harry looked startled for a moment, and then we were both laughing again. After we settled down, I went back to munching chocolate, and Harry filled me in on what happened after the bomb went off. Apparently the security spells on the building had been strong enough, and had held long enough, to vent the explosion almost entirely upwards, so the surrounding buildings were not much damaged, and none of the Muggles in them were hurt. They were, however, abruptly woken up, and the fact that so many of the Ministry's Obliviators and Invisibility Task Force people were already on the scene turned out to be a really, really good thing. As well as the teams from St. Mungo's – Jamie and Cracks had caught Harry and me in mid-air, and we were on our way to the hospital literally before we came down. Bill and Elliott had managed to make almost all of the debris fall straight back down into the crater where Number 96-B had been. Ron had helped with that, and had the presence of mind to use a summoning charm on both our wands while they were still in the air – neither was damaged, and they were both in the drawer on the bedside table. Hermione had not only caught my computer and kept it safe, she'd had a brilliant inspiration and transfigured much of the gasses floating about into natural gas, giving the Muggle emergency first-responders (who began arriving very quickly) solid evidence to support a perfectly logical, if completely wrong, explanation for what had happened. This made the work of Orderic Pease and his people a lot easier, and everyone was back at the Ministry within an hour.

The Muggle news services had of course reported the disaster thoroughly, and had been speculating that an unexploded bomb left over from the war might have been set off by the blast, which was all to the good, as far as the Ministry was concerned. Muggle officials had evacuated the area, inspected everything, and by the time I woke up had already let people back in; the story in the Muggle media had died down and the headlines were back to the latest scandal about some politician's sexual peccadilloes.

Harry and I had had a stream of visitors – Kingsley, Ron, Hermione, Arthur, Molly, Bill, Elliott, Abner, Mrs. Murdle, and even Percy. Neville and several others had sent owls with get-well wishes and promises to visit. Most of St. Mungo's patients were in wards, but Harry's status – or maybe Kingsley's request – had gotten him into a private room, and I was levitated in to join him after the Healers had finished with me. This apparently had taken quite some time, and I had been kept under a sleeping charm for two days, until it was allowed to wear off. Then I had slept naturally for most of another day before coming to – in the late afternoon, as I found out.

Visiting hours were over at 6 p.m., Harry told me, and not long after that, an orderly Wizard brought in dinner – sorry, in Britain lunch is dinner and dinner is supper; at least breakfast is breakfast, and then there's “tea,” but let's not go into that right now – brought in supper for us. I was famished, and a little dismayed at being served a small portion of chicken and large helpings of soup and vegetables, while Harry got a beefsteak with all the trimmings. But our trays each also held a Chocolate Frog, and mine looked up and spoke in Jamie's voice, telling me that I had to be careful what I ate, while my liver and other internal organs got used to working properly again. After dinner I discovered I could stand up, learned I was wearing an extra pair of pajamas Molly Weasley had brought, and found that the private room had a private bathroom. I'm a shower-taker, but since there was only a rather large cast-iron bathtub with clawed feet, I had my first tub bath in years. I got back into bed feeling vastly better than I had when I woke up, and told Harry I felt ready for anything.

I was wrong, though. What I wasn't ready for happened about 9 p.m., when the door opened and we found out that the Minister of Magic had enough drag to ignore official Visiting Hours. I saw Harry's eyes light up as Kingsley came in, and I think mine did too, but then they bugged out of their sockets as I saw the man who was following him.
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