people Apparated into the receiving room of St. Mungo’s Hospital for
Magical Maladies and Injuries, covered in mud and grime, two of them
supporting the third, who appeared to be unconscious. The two
conscious ones immediately began yelling for Healers to come as they
laid their friend down on the floor.
Startled by the
unusual entrance the three had made, the other occupants of the waiting
room began to look at this latest arrival, sizing him up. About
seventeen years old by the look of him, medium-high height, medium but
solid build, untidy black hair covered in dirt and grime and on his
One witch nudged her seat-neighbor. “It’s
Harry Potter! Look, you can see his scar, there on his forehead!”
she whispered. With that, the rest of the waiting room
inhabitants abandoned all pretenses and watching as the Healers came
running in to assist the boy and girl who had come in with him, and who
were alternately trying to help Harry and glaring daggers,
metaphorically, at the gathered crowd.
One of the
Healers conjured a stretcher and together, the boy and girl and several
of the Healers lifted him onto it, and proceeded to move him out of the
waiting room and into the hospital proper, leaving behind them a
boiling caldron of discussion and speculation in the waiting room.
“Harry Potter, here!?”
“What do you think happened to him?”
“Do you reckon he dueled He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named again?”
“How’d he get away?”
“Maybe he lost.”
“Maybe he won.”
this statement, all of the various wizards and witches in the waiting
room seemed to cheer up significantly and they continued to discuss the
various possibilities with a great deal of excitement...
inside St. Mungo’s, the girl and boy who had come in with Harry were
sitting at the desk of the Master Healer, a somewhat elderly woman who
reminded them, in a rather unspecified way, of Headmistress McGonagall.
between the two of them, she said, “Mr. Weasley, Ms. Granger, we are
trying to help Mr. Potter, but his condition is... confusing to say the
least. Can you tell me anything, anything at all, about what
Ron and Hermione looked at each
other, obviously wishing that they could say something, but holding
themselves in check for some unknown reason. Hermione spoke up,
“Healer Pomfrey, we wish we could tell you, but we’re not allowed
to.” Just as the older sister of the Hogwarts nurse was about to
protest this, a voice came from one of the portraits on the wall, that
of Dilys Derwent, the one-time Healer and Hogwarts
“Ms. Granger, I told Dumbledore
what happened, and he says that you can trust her. Matter of
fact, here he is now,” said the painting of the long gone witch as she
moved over in her frame to make way for an image of Albus
The portrait-bound headmaster nodded,
acknowledging Ron and Hermione, and said, “Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley,
you may inform Healer Pomfrey what has transpired. I am also
curious as to what has happened,” he said, leaning against the edge of
the frame. “I assume that this has to do with either the cup or
Ron and Hermione looked at each other again,
clearly not having anticipated this development. After a moment’s
silent consultation with each other, Hermione spoke up.
“This will take a few minutes, Healer Pomfrey, but this is essentially what happened...”
the next few minutes, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore’s image filled in
the increasingly aghast Healer about Voldemort’s Horcruxes, and then
told her how they were protected against intruders...
Harry had to drink the potion around the cup-Horcrux and,” Hermione
patted down her robes and extracted a small vial of potion from a side
pocket, “I managed to save this bit in here to analyze later, it was in
the cup itself.” She handed the vial of thick liquid over to the
rather appalled Master Healer, who then called another Healer in.
Smethwyck, take this,” she said as handed him the vial, “and start
making an antidote to it, right away.” As the Healer held up the
vial, examining its contents with a frown on his face, she shouted,
After the resounding crack of Healer Smethwyck
Disapparating faded from the office, Pomfrey turned back to Hermione,
who continued, “So after we managed to escape the repository, and back
to our headquarters, Harry took out the cup and tried to destroy it
using the reducing jinx and it worked.” Ron held up the mangled
remains of what had once been a rather magnificent cup. “But then
there was this bright blue flash that wasn’t from the spell, and next
thing we know Harry’s on the floor, screaming and convulsing violently,
and then he went limp. We sort of panicked and brought him
here. And that’s it, that’s what happened,” she finished somewhat
Master Healer Pomfrey seemed to digest this for
several minutes as she sat at her desk silently. After about five
or six minutes, she got up and said to the two of them, “Come with
me. We’re going to go check on Mr. Potter.”
came to, feeling sore and in pain, and sat up. For a few moments
he couldn’t identify where he was until he realized that he didn’t have
his glasses on. Squinting, he brought the room into focus and it
was undeniably... “What am I doing at Hogwarts?” he murmured to
himself, for he was undoubtedly in the dormitory that he had shared
with Ron, Neville, Seamus, and Dean for the last six years.
out of his four-poster bed with some regret, he got dressed and walked
to the stairs down to the common room. It was completely empty,
with no sign whatsoever of habitation; even the fire in the fireplace
was out. Puzzled and slightly worried, Harry began stretching to
relieve some of the muscle pains and aches that he had for some reason
that he couldn’t remember.
Still, there were spots on
his body that felt very painful and sore, that, no matter how much he
stretched, didn’t disappear. Probing one of them on his back with
his fingers, he felt, with a small measure of horror, that his robe was
warm and wet in those places, and his finger came back covered with
Running back upstairs to his dormitory, Harry pulled
off his robe and looked at his back in a mirror. He could clearly
see several deep cuts across his back and legs but as he watched,
thunderstruck, he could see them knitting back together one by one,
until the only evidence that they had been there was rivulets of drying
and dried blood on his back, which also disappeared in short
Putting on some fresh robes, Harry left the
dormitory and headed out of Gryffindor Tower walking towards the Great
Hall, his footsteps echoing, wondering what the heck was going on and
where everybody was.
and Hermione looked at Harry’s still form lying on the bed in the
private ward as the team of Healers worked frantically on him, barely
hearing the Healer’s words, even though she was right next to
them. “We thought that he’d be safer in here, of course, with
nobody else around. We’re trying to keep this quiet. Only
the most essential personnel know that he’s even here, and we’ve put
Memory Charms on the people in the waiting room, although we did have
to inform the Ministry. We shouldn’t have any over-ambitious
Death Eaters trying to come in and finish him off.” Looking over
the two of them, she frowned and said, “Ms. Granger are you aware that
you’re still bleeding? And Mr. Weasley, you should have that burn
And, indeed, they were quite a mess.
Actually, it was a not so minor miracle that they were both still
standing, considering their current conditions. Motioning over
two Healer orderlies, she silently indicated Ron and Hermione, who
seemed rooted to the spot, watching a Healer as he tried to heal
Harry’s wounds, his brow knitted with concentration as he used a
combination of spells and potions to get some of the deeper lesions to
“Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, please, you require
attention. Please, go and get fixed up. We’ll inform you as
soon as there’s any change in Mr. Potter.” When they obviously
hadn’t heard her, she continued, a definite note of irritation in her
voice, “Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, please! You can’t do anything
for Mr. Potter right now. You have both sustained serious
injuries and you need medical attention! Please, go and at least
get those looked at. We’ll let you know as soon as he’s
stable.” After her third, and most definitely final, request, Ron
and Hermione seemed to register that that they were being talked to,
and allowed themselves to be lead away for treatment.
was running through the halls of Hogwarts, chasing after someone, his
footfalls ringing loudly in the empty corridor. Harry had been
walking slowly through the empty castle, trying to find someone,
anyone, that could explain what was happening. But it had seemed
like he was the only one in the entire castle.
Great Hall? Empty. The Library? Empty. The
classrooms? All empty. The Hospital Wing?
Empty. Even the teachers’ offices were unoccupied. For a
while, Harry had wondered if everyone was home for some holiday or
other... but wait..., last thing he could recall, it had been the
middle of December, and pausing by a window, he looked outside and it
looked like the middle of spring. Could he have been out that
long? But that still didn’t explain where everyone was...
Then he had suddenly realized, as he looked around his current corridor
near Trelawney’s room, that all of the paintings were empty.
Walking over to one that usually held a group of nuns from the 15th
century, he saw that the nuns were gone; their table and chairs were
still there, along with their books and whatnot, the fireplace in the
background was still there and moving, but the subjects of the painting
Looking around at all of the other
paintings, he had realized they were all empty, totally
abandoned. It had looked like he was the only one in the castle,
alive, dead, or pigment.
Feeling rather frustrated, he had
continued to walk down the corridor, and spotted a glimpse of the hem
of a cloak whipping out of sight around the next corner.
“Wait!” he began to chase after the mysterious cloaked figure, turning
the corner and seeing the cloak again whipping out of sight further
down the hall. And so the chase was on, Harry running down one
corridor only to see the figure whip out sight around the next
On and on the chase went, up one corridor and
down the next, up staircases and down secret passages, on and on and
on, for minutes upon hours it seemed, until Harry noticed that, after
all this time, he wasn’t even short of breath, and he had just run from
the North Tower all the way to... where was he?
Harry checked his landmarks. He was near the Great Hall, which,
now that he thought about it, seemed to be the mysterious figure’s
destination. Dashing through a shortcut hidden behind a tapestry,
Harry ran towards the Great Hall, hoping that he would actually beat
that whipping cloak hem there. Bursting out of a corridor in the
Entrance Hall, he ran towards the doors to the Great Hall; at the same
time, the cloaked figure ran out of another corridor around the
corner. They collided as they both tried to round the corner,
knocking each other over sprawling. Harry was back on his feet in
a moment; the figure, on the other hand, was tangled up in its cloak
and was fighting to extricate itself.
Harry ran over
to the figure. When he grabbed its shoulders, it stopped
struggling, and seemed to look up at him through the hood covering its
face. Harry, thinking rather uncomfortably of Dementors, reached
up and pulled the hood back and gasped. It wasn’t a Dementor in
the slightest. It was...
and Hermione, back from their medical treatment, looked up at the
almost barely perceptible sound that Harry had just made. Harry
was lying on the bed, dressed in a hospital gown, looking serene and
According to the Healer that Healer Pomfrey
had put in charge, Harry was in perfect health; they had managed to
repair all of the damage inflicted by Voldemort’s defenses and they
were working on an antidote for the potion. The potion, however, at
least the way it seemed to be in their analysis, wouldn’t cause these
symptoms. While he acknowledged that they might be missing
something, when Ron and Hermione had pointed out that Harry was
experiencing these symptoms, he said there shouldn’t be any reason why Harry was still unconscious.
However, when he'd tried to use Enervate on
Harry to no effect, a rather worried and scared expression had crossed
his face for a moment. He had excused himself rather hurriedly
from the room, leaving Ron and Hermione alone with Harry, who had been
utterly silent up until a moment previously.
“Ron, did you hear that?” Hermione asked.
“Yeah,” Ron responded, looking at their comatose friend, “but why’d he say your name all of a sudden?”
don’t know, but there’s definitely something going on in there,” she
said, looking worried as she and Ron sat next to each other, Ron slowly
stroking her hair as they continued their vigil.