Chapter 40

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It took a week more for Harry to be able to sit up straight without bursting out in screams. Now that Harry was finally seated up in bed, heavily leaning against the pillows, Rabastan was practically beaming,

"Harry, this is wonderful."

It wasn't wonderful. He looked down at his hands and frowned. Rabastan had tried every possible spell, every charm, every potion. His fingers should have been healed by now. Rabastan's expression turned grim and he cupped Harry's face gently, drawing his attention away from his hands and making him meet his gaze,

"I know this is tough for you, Harry, but I haven't given up, I'm still searching for a remedy. Something will eventually work."

Harry felt extremely guilty and couldn't bear to meet his gaze. Rabastan had been there for him 24/7 for more than two weeks. Every time he had woken up, every time he had fallen asleep, Rabastan had been there. Somehow, Rabastan knew exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it without him saying a thing.

Rabastan's eyes were bloodshot and he looked haggard. His usually slicked back hair were in disarray. It was apparent that he hadn't been getting any sleep at all. Harry finally decided that he was feeling better enough and he wouldn't let Rabastan take care of him any longer. It was his turn to take care of him,

"Rabi, come lay down with me."

Rabastan looked practically befuddled. Harry leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek,

"You've done enough. It's my turn to take care of you now."

Rabastan looked hesitant and confused. Harry just wanted to pull him close. He was hating Dumbledore more than anything right now because he was certain that the reason his fingers hadn't healed by now was because of that old bastard. Rabastan was wearing himself thin, all for him and Harry felt unworthy of his devotion and care,

"I'll get some sleep on the couch later, Harry."

Harry knew he was stalling and he wouldn't have it. He was certain Rabastan's later was never going to come,

"Get in. That's an order, Rabi."

Rabastan moved forward to help Harry lay back down when Harry declined,

"I'm fine, Rabi. Seriously, I'm sick of laying down, but you need rest."

Rabastan vanished his shoes and socks and got in beside him hesitantly. He sat there beside him for a few minutes, his body radiating uncertainty and discomfort. Harry decided to put him at ease,

"You're not resting, Rabi. Lie down."

Rabastan obeyed quickly and laid down,

"Close your eyes."

Rabastan did. He still looked uncomfortable so Harry leaned down over him and kissed his forehead,

"Take a deep breath…...Relax."

Harry was surprised by who willingly Rabastan was following all his orders. It didn't take long for Rabastan's expressions to soften and soon enough his breathing was deep and steady.

Harry leaned back against the headboard. He couldn't help but wonder what was going on at the ministry. Rabastan had told him everything except what was going on at the ministry and it bothered him. His gaze flicked back to Rabastan asleep beside him and he wanted to smooth his hair, or caress his cheek or do something. The man had done so much for him and Harry was unable to do anything for him. He felt so bloody worthless right now. He looked back at his hands laying uselessly in his lap and tried flexing his fingers but it was impossible to move them after the cast Rabastan had put them in.

His thoughts wandered off to Voldemort. Don't go there…. Don't go there…. He urged his brain but it refused to listen to him. Would he be thinking about him? Did he know about what had happened? Maybe he did…. maybe he didn't. Had Voldemort even attempted to search for him? He wasn't so sure about that. Why would the man even care? He would probably be happy that Harry was gone after what had happened. And in the end Voldemort had been the one to tell him to leave only to return when he had made up his mind. He wasn't ever going to make up his mind and he wasn't going to return. Besides he probably didn't even have an excuse to return anymore. Voldemort must have handed over his post to Bellatrix. Harry hoped the joy had killed her. He'd have to ask Rabastan all about it when he woke up.

Why had he even cared about Voldemort? He shouldn't even have been affected by the fact that Dumbledore had been planning to exploit his past. But he had been affected. Affected enough to put himself in harm's way to ensure that the memories were destroyed. Well to be fair, he had been in harm's way from the moment he had been thrown in Dumbledore's office. Dumbledore would have hurt even if he hadn't destroyed the memories. A voice inside his head scoffed….yeah, but he wouldn't have snapped your fingers as a punishment for that… He could have had his fingers intact right now if he had minded his own business just like he was supposed to. Despite everything though, he couldn't bring himself to resent Voldemort. The man hadn't asked him to do it, hadn't compelled him to do anything. He had done it all by his own choice. The man owed him nothing and now Harry didn't owe him anything as well. He had settled their score whether Voldemort ever knew about it or not.

After an hour of sitting still, Harry began to get antsy. He wanted to get up but he didn't want to disturb Rabastan. The man was sleeping so peacefully. Harry tested the muscles in his back tentatively, a pang of pain shot down his spine, his body's way of begging him to desist. But Harry was done. He was done with this bed. He was done being weak and helpless. Harry pushed away the covers carefully and swung his legs off the bed. Slowly, gradually he forced himself to his feet. The pain returned tenfold and Harry nearly collapsed on his knees. He leaned against the side table, inhaled, exhaled and attempted to regain some self-control. The pain receded to a bearable degree and Harry decided to take a step. His body refused to cooperate any longer and Harry stumbled. He braced himself for contact with the floor but an arm around his waist held him up,

"Harry, you're not as discreet as you'd like to believe."

Harry cursed and attempted to straighten up,

"Sorry, Rabi, I didn't mean to wake up. You were sleeping so peacefully."

Rabastan was about to lead him back to the bed when Harry groaned,

"No, I don't want to go back there."

Rabastan didn't reply and instead began to lead him out of the room. Harry sighed out in relief. It felt good to be finally out of the room and on his feet. But he felt terrible about waking Rabastan. He finally asked,

"When did you wake up?"

Rabastan laughed softly and lead him to the couch,

"I woke up when you pushed away the covers."

Gently, Rabastan lowered him down on the couch and propped some cushions to support his back. Harry winced but the pain slowly began to dissipate,

"Why didn't you stop me?"

Rabastan sat down beside him and arranged his hands neatly in his lap,

"I know that you won't get better if I keep you grounded to the bed and I also know that you'll resent me if I even try. You felt ready enough to get on your feet and that was good enough for me."

Harry couldn't help but laugh,

"You're the best healer ever, Rabi."

He stopped laughing and met Rabastan's gaze,

"But you have to know that I'll never resent you, no matter what you do. You've done so much for me…..more than anyone has ever done. And you did it despite the fact that Voldemort would hurt you and he did hurt you. Rabi, I can't ever pay you back."

Rabastan averted his gaze but Harry didn't miss the tears shining in his eyes,

"Your friendship is my payment."

Harry looked away. His friendship wasn't going to last. He was going to die and their friendship would be over. Rabastan didn't deserve that. Didn't deserve to be hurt. But he couldn't tell Rabastan that because that would hurt him even more. Harry decided to change the topic,

"Rabi, what's going on at the ministry?"

Rabastan stilled and his expression turned nervous. Harry saw his body visibly tense up. Something was definitely up and he was going to get to the bottom of it.

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