Tea and Time to Die
~ Harry had barely stepped foot into the Great Hall, Katie staying close by his side, while Ron stuck close to his sister, as neither Harry nor Ginny had made a full recovery, when Professor McGonagall called the group over.
"Professor Lupin sent an owl, alerting us as to what happened upon the train. I want you all to know that I am very proud of you, my lions, for defending one of your own against such dark entities. Now, Mr. Potter, Miss Granger, I'd like to see you both in my office. The rest of you continue on to your seats. Mugs of hot chocolate have already been placed at the table. The headmaster thought it prudent to forgo with formality, in case anyone was still suffering the after effects of the dementor's search."
While no one seemed particularly thrilled to leave Harry, they also didn't want to risk annoying their, normally, very strict professor either. After thanking the professor, and offering Harry their well wishes, they headed into the hall.
Harry was grateful that his head of house's office was on the first floor, because at the moment, he really didn't feel up to a climb to the seventh just yet. Madam Pomfrey was already waiting when they finished the short trip to McGonagall's office. As they were escorted inside, Madam Pomfrey looked Harry over.
"While I do enjoy your company, Mr Potter, I believe it might be a tad early to already be paying you a visit," offered the matron of the hospital ward.
Harry gave her a weak smile, "I'm not entirely sure I deserve the credit for this visit. I wasn't even out of bounds this time."
"It was the dementors, Poppy," stated his Professor.
Madam Pomfrey tutted, while Hermione clarified, "I think it was drawn to Harry ma'am. It didn't seem to really stop at any of the other compartments, but it fought to get into ours. If the girls hadn't been there, I'm scared to think what it might have done."
The room went silent as the two adult witches absorbed what she had just said. Hermione and Harry both went a bit paler at the memory.
"Do you mean to tell me it actually attacked!? All Professor Lupin mentioned was that one of the foul creatures seemed to have lingered near your cabin, and that several of my students were attempting to shield an unconscious Potter."
Harry noticed that Professor McGonagall must really detest the dark creatures too, because she was at her white lippedest. He really didn't have the energy to go over everything he was trying NOT to remember about the attack, so instead he motioned for Hermione to explain, took a seat, leaned back, and closed his eyes. Before he could really get comfortable though, he felt the familiar swirl of Madam Pomfrey's diagnostic charm. A moment later he looked up to the kindly medi-witch's as she was putting a mug of hot chocolate in his hand.
"But Professor Lupin's already given us chocolate. He had the trolley witch giving a little out to anyone that wanted it too," Harry half heartedly complained.
"Well it's nice to see we finally have a defense professor that knows his remedies, but you have still been magically drained, so drink up Mr Potter," retorted Madam Pomfrey.
So Harry drank as Hermione continued to explain. Professor McGonagall was equal parts horrified at the dementors assault, and impressed with Alicia's plan of a combined Protego charm, let alone the fact that, with the exception of Ron and Ginny, they had actually pulled off such a magically advanced defence. When Hermione detailed Harry's fall, he refused to meet anyone's eye, instead fidgeting with the hem of his shirt.
Once Hermione had finished the tale, Professor McGonagall said, "That is quite a concerning misadventure Miss Granger. I'll need to be having a word or two with the headmaster about this. I want you both to know that you acquitted yourselves exceptionally well."
"They did great, but I was useless," Harry interrupted morosely.
"None of that now Mr Potter. You are not the only one especially vulnerable to those monstrosities. There is no shame in that," McGonagall replied fiercely. He didn't want to admit it, but her adamant defense of him, even if directed against him in this instance, was nice.
"Now then Poppy, is Mr Potter fit enough for the feast, or do you need him in the hospital wing?"
"Well," began Madam Pomfrey, but Harry interrupted.
"No hospital wing! I'll be fine by tomorrow. Honestly, I just want to go on up to bed. Please," he added as an afterthought.
Madam Pomfrey sighed, but nodded.
"Okay Harry, but you be sure to come see me tomorrow if you still aren't feeling back to normal once you've had breakfast."
Harry stood to go, but first Madam Pomfrey handed him another mug, with instructions to finish it before bed.
"I must be off Minerva, Professor Flitwick has another one to check on, and I dare say they won't be the last. Dementors around a school, complete madness," and with that the mediwitch was off.
"Mr Potter, if you would be good enough to wait outside while I go over a few details concerning Miss Granger's schedule," instructed the professor.
A few minutes later and Hermione emerged beaming.
"You look happy," Harry observed.
Before she could respond, Professor McGonagall stepped out, and asked that Hermione escort Harry to his dorm before joining the feast, and gave them the new password before they left.
Even using several of the secret passages they had discovered, by the time they made it to Harry's dorm, he was leaning pretty heavily on Hermione's shoulder. If it wasn't for Harry being small, and Hermione being nearly a year older than he to begin with, they might not have made it.
Finally Harry was able to collapse onto his bed, "Thanks 'mi. Couldn't of made it without you."
"Any time, Harry."
He yawned, before mumbling, "And thank you for protecting me." A small smile at the thought tugging on the corners of his lips.
Though he was already too far under to realize it, Hermione beamed, just able to make out what he had said. She knew Harry wouldn't normally allow himself to show such a tender vulnerability, even with her. She pulled off his glasses and beanie, sitting them on his bedside table. Considering that he had fallen on top of his covers, she instead went to fetch a blanket from Ron's bed, he'd never miss it, and draped it over Harry. Finally she headed back down to eat. Luckily the feasts lasted for a while, so she should have plenty of time left to eat. Expending as much magical energy as she had today, made a girl hungry!
Okay, so this is only part one of chapter sixteen. I'm sorry it's taking a bit longer, I at least wanted to get something out to you happy few readers! Things are kinda crazy right now. Trying to plan for my wedding at the end of next month, and we started classes to become foster parents two weeks ago (my dumbass fiancee's idea to do both at the same time), on top of working 10-12 hour days this month to try and meet production. Plus trying to go back and smooth out some of my older chapters. So my brain is all, nope. Just go get lost in a book instead. Avoidance is not a great coping mechanism.
Good news is I have another good fanfic to recommend. "Finding Heather," another trans Harry fic that was harder to find. Definitely a long and slow burn. I might reread at some point. Not the most polished writing I've seen on here, but pretty on par with mine I think. Every time I read through one of my chapters I find a little something to tweak, but hey, I'll eventually upload those fixes here.
Trigger warning, real talk
On a more serious note, my hubby-to-be and myself are both trans. Me to she, and him to he (I liked how that kinda rhymed). We tried for two years to get preggo, both of us even going off hormones, granted I was only off for like 6 months, but reduced the whole two years. We finally managed it, but lost the baby at 8 weeks. That was a little over a year ago. It's why I started reading fic's again. I wouldn't say I'm all the way fixed, that scar tissue is probably always gonna be there, even though it's technically healed over. But yeah, I am mostly good, and that's why we are starting foster classes now, even though we really don't have the time right now. I'm posting this, cause maybe someone reading it will be going through something too, and maybe feel less alone because of it.
With love, Clover