Fourteen Steps to Nowhere

Entry Fourteen

Harry Potter and the Strange Girl's Dream, Part the III

Harry and Ron, look through the cracked door to the infirmary quietly listening to Madame Pomfrey, Professor Snape, Professor McGonnagal and Dumbledore as they talk.  In the bed next to them, Hermione rests, a sheen of sweat across her forehead.  Over her an IV bag of some sort of blue liquid floats attached to her by a line running to her right arm.  Both Snape and McGonnagal appear to be on the verge of all-out shouting match while Dumbledore offers gentle and sage advice as is needed.  Pomfrey is obviously listening to the conversation but has a concerned eye on Hermione.  The four continues to talk for a few more moments, obviously resolving nothing and then breaks up, all but Madame Pomfrey heading for the door.  Harry and Ron rush away from the door and hide quietly until Snape and Mcgonnagal are gone.  Dumbledore, however, waits for the two to come out of the hiding.

"Sir," Harry starts.

"Hermione will live, dear boy," Dumbledore says to Harry.  "Right now, she is very ill and sleeping off her first dosage of ______ antivenom.  Luckily, Madame Pomfrey administered the antivenom in time and it does not appear she will suffer permanent damage from her attack.  You boys can go in and see her if you'd like, but don't be surprised if Madame Pomfrey chases you out soon after since Hermione needs to rest."  Dumbledore states and turns to walk away.  Harry and Ron watch him walk away for a moment before they head into the infirmary, quietly and walk over to Hermione's bed.

Ron sits on the bed next to Hermione's while Harry sits next to Hermione on her own bed and takes her hand into his own.  At the motion, Hermione stirs and opens her eyes tiredely.  Muzzily, she blinks up at Harry and smiles back in response to concerned smile he's giving her.

"What happened?"  Hermione asks quietly.

"Oh, you're awake," Madame Pomfrey says as she walks over to the end of the bed with a tray in hand.  "You gave us quite a scare, Miss Granger."  Pomfrey continues as she check Hermione's IV and then offers her a glass of water from the tray.  Hermione takes the water and sips thoughtfully for a moment.

"Madame Pomfrey," Harry says relunctantly.  The doctor looks up from her patient and regards him.  "Before the ______ bit her, Hermione was having these strange episodes.  I don't know what they were, but she would slump forward and stare downward for a few seconds."  Harry tells Pomfrey.

"Harry, that's not true!  I've never done anything of the sort!"  Hermione cries indignantly, trying to sit up.  Pomfrey looks concerned and hands Harry the tray as she moves to the front of bed and take Hermione's water from her.

"Miss Granger, please calm down!"  She orders and gently, but firmly presses down on Hermione's chest to force her to lie back down.

"Hermione, it is true!  We've both seen you do it!"  Ron bursts into the conversation loudly, jumping up from the nearby bed.  Hermione turns her head to glare at him angrily, but her anger turns to a look of nausea and her face pales rapidly.

"Oh, my head," Hermione says softly and covers her eyes with her hands.  She leans over slightly and gags a bit, eyes still covered.

"The dizziness will pass in just a moment."  Madame Pomfrey assures Hermione, her hands on the young girl's shoulders.  Obviously agitated, Pomfrey glares up and Ron and Harry.  "Both of you get out of here, now!"  She tells them and motions to the door with her head.  "Miss Granger has had more than enough excitement for today!"  Pomfrey looks like she intends to chase Harry and Ron out, but stays next to Hermione and glares.

Quietly, Ron and Harry jog out of the infirmary and share a glance of concern as they head back toward the Gryffindor common room.

"Harry," Ron says, "Why did Hermione deny having those episodes when both of us have seen her?"  He's upset, both worried and hurt judging by his expression.  His tone is pitiful, like he's been given a detention with Professor Snape.

"I don't know, Ron."  Harry answers.  He looks thoughtful as they walk through the castle.  In a situation like this, Harry's usual response would be to ask Hermione her opinion, and now that he can't, he's stymied.

You guessed be continued.

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