The trip from Surrey to St. Mungo’s was excruciating for James. His leg
was throbbing worse than ever, and he was starting to see spots just as
a mediwitch swooped in to examine him.
“Got another one, Georgina,” the woman said as she conjured a stretcher for James to lay on. “Is exam room twelve cleared yet?”
was forced back onto the stretcher so he didn’t see the source of the
voice that spoke next; he presumed it to be Georgina.
“Only just. Levitate him in there and I’ll assist as soon as I’m finished with my Splinching.”
“Stop fidgeting,” the mediwitch hovering over James said, and pointed her wand at the stretcher.
a pleasant hello to you,” James retorted, catching her name on the tag
hanging from her ample bosom. “A bit busy are you...Elizabeth?”
witch rolled her pretty hazel eyes. “You’re a bright one, aren’t you?”
She floated him to the exam room and the door clicked shut behind them.
“Strip,” she commanded and James did a double-take.
looking up from where she was donning a white robe over her uniform,
she explained, “I need you to take off your clothes, or I can’t give
you a proper diagnosis.”
James complied, but hit a snag when
he got to his leg. The trousers were ripped, but every time he tried to
push them down past the break, a great well of pain shot through him.
“Need a hand?” Elizabeth asked with a smirk. “If you do it quickly, the pain won’t last as long.”
“Er,” he croaked. “Can’t you just...sever the trouser leg or something?”
There was a definite twinkle in her eye as she did exactly that and removed his trousers completely. James was not going to take off his underwear for this exam.
“Right,” she said, assuming a business attitude once more. “Let’s look at that leg.”
beam of purple light shone from her wand and she ran it up and down the
area around the break. “Pretty nasty, but I’ve seen worse. What spell
James did a double take. “I’m sorry? I didn’t say it was a spell.”
lips thinned as she surveyed him. “I’m not stupid, you know? I’m not
going to buy a lame story about a Quidditch accident. I get about
twelve cases like you every day. There’s a war going on, and we’re the
ones that have to pick up the mess. Now...which spell was it?”
his head in defeat, James shrugged and answered, “I dunno. Things were
moving pretty fast, so I’d be guessing at best.” When her icy gaze
continued to freeze the room, he added, “All right.... I remember being
hit with something hard, so he probably just Banished something at me
and hit my leg?”
“Well,” she said finally, “at least I won’t
have to worry about latent curses.” She popped on a pair of glasses
whose lenses resembled two large, glass donuts. “Lie down,” she
commanded. “This is going to hurt.”
arrived home later that evening after a debriefing at Order
Headquarters, his leg was stiff, his back was sore, and his ego
bruised. He had come to find out that Elizabeth the mediwitch, was none
other than Elizabeth Jones, a Slytherin in the year ahead of him who
had been the butt of one too many of the Marauders’ pranks. Although he
was healed, it hadn’t been without a good dose of payback for the years
of fun they’d had at her expense.
He opened the front door and walked inside, only to be smothered by his wife’s embrace.
“Oh, James,” she cooed, hugging all the air out of his lungs. “I was so worried.”
her just as fiercely, James kissed her hair and inhaled her scent. It
had always been a source of comfort for him. “I’m sorry, love. Things
got a bit dicey there, at the end.”
Lily led him to the sofa
and he was pleasantly surprised to see a serving of tea set out for
them. He sat next to her and gratefully took a proffered mug.
“Tell me everything,” she prompted, taking a sip of her own tea.
recounted everything, almost exactly as he had for Dumbledore, except
with a little more embellishment when it came to the part where he and
Arthur had dueled the Death Eaters. He was about to finish up when Lily
“You’re a wonderfully brave man, James. And even
though my love for you sometimes distorts my view of who you are, I can
tell you’re holding something back.”
Looking at her smirk at
him like she often did, he realized that she knew something about his
adventure that he hadn’t told her, and he would likely be in trouble
for it. “You...uh, can?”
“Yes,” she confirmed. “That, and I’ve got it on good authority that your partner managed to walk away from the night’s...events
in better shape than you.” James shifted on the sofa. “Oh...and someone
from St. Mungo’s popped in by Floo asking about you. A real looker,
too. Elizabeth Jones ring a bell?”
Unable to fight it, a flush rose on his cheeks. “She was the mediwitch who patched me up,” he confessed.
“You needed to see a mediwitch? James, you’ve got to be more careful with yourself. This isn’t playtime at Hogwarts anymore!”
James set his mug down next to hers. “Lils, I know.”
apparently wasn’t done, however. “Because if something happened to
you...” Her sentence trailed off and she began to blink her eyes. A
tear managed to escape, anyway. “If something happened to you
or...Harry, I don’t know what I’d do.”
His heart broke, and he
took his wife in another embrace. He was grateful that she let him. “I
know, love. I’m sorry for worrying you, but sometimes...sometimes there
are things so evil out there – things so completely opposed to all the
happiness and peace we want for our children that it’s worth sacrificing what we have to protect it. And if we don’t, we’re as good as helping the likes of Voldemort to take over.”
Lily sniffed and nodded her head. “You’re right, of course. I just worry so...”
away from her, he stared into her eyes and said, “Don’t. We can’t worry
about it, or it’ll eat us alive. We need to be strong for each other
and for Harry.”
She nodded again. “We need to live our lives so that Harry can grow up in a normal home.”
“Exactly,” James confirmed. “Like his birthday. I’ve been eyeing those miniature brooms at Quality Quidditch....”
Lily said adamantly, but there was a twinkle in her eye. “I’m not
letting you buy one of those for him, James. He’s too young.”
“But Lils,” he protested, “he won’t be more than six inches off the ground.”
was a pause in which he thought he would lose the argument, so serious
was the look on her face. “We’ll think about it. Right now, I’ve got to
put him to bed.”
Lily stood, and James stood with her. “I’ll come help you.”
looked a bit shocked by his offer, but smiled nonetheless. They began
to walk up the stairs and James winced with every movement of his leg.
turned a serious eye on James again. “Don’t think I have forgotten
about Miss Jones, by the way. I want to hear what she did to you at St.
Mungo’s – I don’t trust her as far as I could Banish her.”
James smirked despite himself. “Yes, love.”
was already asleep among a pile of toys he had been playing with. The
peaceful expression on his face was so adorable that James felt a great
well of joy burst within him. It was so striking that he had the
glimmer of a memory float past his mind. Something about Arthur’s
Popping home to the Burrow, Arthur let
out his breath in relief that he hadn’t Splinched himself along the
way. He was confident in his Apparition skills, just not in his
constitution. The fight with James against the Death Eaters had been
quite a bit more harrowing than he had expected, and as his knees
wobbled on his way to the sofa, he reflected on his wisdom in choosing
not to go into law enforcement like his school friends.
“Arthur?” called Molly from the kitchen. “Is that you?”
sat heavily onto the sofa and felt the adrenaline leave his system,
causing a brief surge of shaking to pass him. “I’m in here, love.”
Laying his head back onto a squashy pillow, he closed his eyes and
willed his body to relax.
“Arthur?” came Molly’s voice again, this time closer and with a very distinct note of concern. “What happened?”
opened his eyes and watched her heavily-pregnant body waddle over to
him. She placed her hand on his forehead and withdrew it suddenly.
“You’ve gone all cold, and...you’re bleeding.” She wiped her hand on the apron that covered her dress, leaving a streak of crimson.
“Bit of a scuffle at work, dear, nothing serious.”
serious,” she repeated, now fully appraising him with her keen eyes.
“As if a gash, torn robes, a pound of dirt, and you looking like you’ve
almost died was an everyday occurrence.”
Arthur winced at her succinct description of his condition. “Yeah, well...you should have seen the other guys.”
what have you been doing that’s put you in such a state, Arthur
Weasley?” Her tone brooked no argument; Arthur would have to confess
“You remember what Dumbledore wanted to see me about?” he queried.
Her eyes narrowed. “He hasn’t got you involved with this war, has he?”
felt his strength return and stood, facing his wife. “Molly... you know
how desperate things are out there. They need every able witch and
wizard they can find. You-Know-Who is gaining ground every day. We’ve got to act.”
what about your family?” she retorted hotly. “Who’s going to raise them
when you’ve been killed on some fool’s errand?” Her hands moved
automatically to cradle her stomach. “Who will be this one’s father
when you’re dead?”
With a sigh, he reached out his hands to
her shoulders and locked eyes with her. “Molly,” he said solemnly, “I
promise I won’t do anything stupid, and I promise I’ll be here to see
this one married and having babies of her own.” He moved his hands down
to rest on her belly as well, and received a sharp kick from its
Molly’s face softened immediately. “Do you... really think it’ll be a girl this time?”
some reason, a distant thought grazed the edges of his mind – something
about his next child being a girl – but it left just as quickly. “I
do,” Arthur answered. “And she’ll be raised by a mother and a father that love her.” The baby kicked again, right on the spot where his right hand laid.
embraced then, and the baby kicked and kicked where Molly’s stomach
came into contact with Arthur. They stepped apart and shared a laugh.
“Well,” said Arthur, “I guess this one’s a bit keen to be born,
wouldn’t you say?”
Molly kissed his cheek and tugged on his hand. “Let’s get you cleaned up. Dinner’s almost ready.”
he let his pregnant wife lead him into the kitchen, he couldn’t shake
the feeling that he’d forgotten something. After trying to capture the
memory of whatever it was, he soon gave up and concentrated on the
delectable smells of roast lamb and steamed potatoes. It was good to be