Title: Recovery, Chapter 2: Remus Awakes
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating/ Warnings: PG, AU
Word Count: 2444
Summary: Surviving the battle is just the start, Remus and Tonks find out that what comes afterwards can be just as hard.
Author’s Note: This is the second chapter of a project I’ve been working on for well over a year now! From this chapter on we’re going AU! There's been a number of denial!fics that attempt to "fix" Deathly Hallows so that Remus and Tonks survive the battle, this is my version. The title and some of the themes in the later chapters are inspired by the David Tennant 2007 TV Drama Recovery.
Chapter 1: The Battle
Chapter 2: Remus Awakes
Five days after the Battle of Hogwarts Remus Lupin awoke in a darkened room on an uncomfortable bed. He could feel straps holding him down and cutting into his already battered body. For a moment he didn’t know who was or what had happened to him, but then images of the battle flashed through his mind, and other images too, hazy ones of James, Lily and Sirius looking as young and healthy as he’d ever seen them. They were talking to him and to Harry too, but how could that be possible? They were dead. Maybe he was dead. But if that was true then where was he now? This couldn’t be heaven, not with this darkness and this pain. He then became aware of sounds beyond the door. He listened carefully trying to focus through the pain. He could hear shouting, someone was very angry but he couldn’t tell exact words. Next thing he knew the door was thrown open and in strode the imposing figure of Kingsley Shacklebolt, wearing bright robes and gesticulating wildly. As he tried to focus in on Kingsley’s face and words, the pain became too much and the world turned to black.
The next time he awoke it was in a bright white room with the sun shining through the blinds. For a moment he was blinded but then his eyes adjusted to the light and he could see the room more clearly. It was fairly conventional hospital room and he was lying in a fairly comfortable hospital bed. When he realised that he was in less pain than before he turned his head to look around the room. His eyes fell onto the still figure in the next bed, and his heart leapt to his throat when he recognised the unconscious form of his wife, her natural brown locks spread over the pillow.
“Dora,” he croaked.
Immediately there was a rustling sound and a familiar voice answering, “Remus!”
He looked up to find his mother-in-law, Andromeda Tonks, peering down at him with an expression of relief on her face.
“Remus, you’re awake, thank goodness! I’ll just get the Healer.”
He reached out with his arm to stop her.
“Dora?” He asked pleadingly.
Andromeda stopped, her eyes flickered over to her daughter and an expression of pain crossed her face.
“She’s not woken up yet. The Healers have done as much as they can. They won’t know more until she wakes up. And they don’t know when that’ll be.”
Remus could hear the distress in Andromeda’s voice and he looked over at Dora willing her to wake up, to be okay.
“But now you’re awake hopefully it will be only a matter of time before she wakes up too. I’ll get that Healer.”
Andromeda bustled off and Remus focused his attention on his still wife, his mind whirling about the battle and their parts in it. Could he remember Dora being injured? When was the last time he saw her?
“Mr Lupin, glad to see you back with us!”
Andromeda had returned with the Healer.
“How are you feeling?” asked the Healer as he examined him, “any pain?”
“Not really,” replied Remus, “more stiff but no worse than after full moon. What about my wife?”
The Healer paused. “It’s difficult. We can’t be sure of anything until she wakes up.”
“She will wake up?”
“It’s difficult. We can’t be sure.”
Remus started to lose his temper. “Is there anything you can be sure of?”
The Healer looked at him with a serious expression on his face. “It’s not good news. We’ve detected a number of curses that she was hit with. The main being....the Cruciatus Curse.”
Remus drew a sharp breath and closed his eyes. Bellatrix. It was what he had been most afraid of, that a straight Avada Kedavra would not have been enough for Bellatrix, she would wanted to hurt her niece first. Avada Kedavra was simple, one direct hit. It had never been Bellatrix’s style. The Cruciatus Curse was her calling card. She would have enjoyed it. He could only be thankful that she must have been distracted, that she hadn’t been able to kill Dora completely. But what kind of state had she left her in? Remus had known Frank and Alice Longbottom in the original Order. He had liked them and had spent many hours at their hospital beds, reading to them, telling them about Neville and about Harry. All the things he couldn’t do for Lily and James. He couldn’t even contemplate his beautiful, vivacious wife in the same state. She had to be okay. Opening his eyes he looked directly at the Healer.
“How long? Do we know? Is there any hope?”
“It was sustained attack but probably not more than five to ten minutes as far as we can tell at this stage. As an Auror she would have been trained to repel Crucio but the technique has not been tested in such extreme circumstances before. It’s hard to say how well she would have held up in the situation. We need to wait. And you should rest. I’ll be back to check on you later.”
Remus hardly noticed the Healer leave the room as he focused on Dora’s still form.
A small cry then drew his attention to the end of his wife’s bed. He watched as Andromeda leaned over and lifted a crying Teddy from his travelling cot. She cuddled the baby with one hand and delved into the nappy bag with the other taking out a bottle.
“Give him to me.” Remus reached out his arms to receive his son. Relinquishing the baby, Andromeda heated the bottle with her wand and handed it to Remus. He cuddled the baby close and Teddy’s cries subsided as he suckled from the bottle. His tiny eyes flickered up to Remus and a confused expression spread across his little face indicating that he had realised Remus was not Dora. The baby’s cries re-commenced.
“Ssh.” Remus lifted the baby to his shoulder and rubbed the tiny back. “I know little man. I’m not mummy. I’m sorry, you’ll have to make do with daddy for a little while, just till mummy wakes up.”
Finally Teddy’s cries subsided and he fell asleep on Remus shoulder. Andromeda came over and made to take him.
“No it’s okay. Leave him. I’d like to keep him with me for the moment.”
Andromeda nodded and returned to her seat in between their two beds. Remus continued to stroke Teddy’s back and placed a kiss on his head.
“What happened to everyone else? At the battle? What happened to Harry?”
Before Andromeda could answer the door opened and appeared to close by itself, then Harry appeared from underneath his invisibility cloak.
“Sorry about that. It’s just easier than having to get past everyone who wants to congratulate me or shake my hand. Consequence of being the one who defeated the Dark Lord I suppose.”
Remus grinned. “I knew you could do it Harry!”
“Remus! You’re awake! Thank goodness! And Tonks? How is she?” He turned to address Andromeda.
“The same Harry. No change.”
Harry nodded and looked serious.
“Mr Potter has been here every day whilst you were unconscious Remus.”
“How long was I unconscious? What happened in the battle?”
“We’re not sure what happened to you, or to Tonks. There was so much confusion. We all thought you dead for a while.” A weird look crossed Harry’s face as he looked into the distance. “I think you thought you were too.” He looked back at Remus. “Voldemort’s gone. For good this time. But it was tough. We lost so many. Fred. We lost Fred. And Colin Creevey and so many others. There’s so many still in hospital too. There’s so much to do, to rebuild. I don’t know how anything can ever be the same again.”
“It’s the price of war Harry. We all knew that. It won’t be the same but we’ll get through it. Together.” Remus’ eyes flickered to Tonks. “How long? How long have we been unconscious?”
Harry looked nervously at Andromeda before replying. “Ten days. It’s been ten days since the battle.”
Remus gasped, ten days! The full moon had only been days away on the day of the battle, was it possible he had slept through it? But then he remembered waking in that dark room feeling so much pain strapped down on a bed.
“I awoke before. I was in a dark room, strapped down to the bed. Kingsley arrived I think.”
“We know,” replied Harry who looked grim-faced. “There was so much confusion after the battle and no-one knew what had happened. It seems they took you to a secure ward, in the basement somewhere. It’s where they take newly bitten werewolves to transform. They weren’t even treating you at first. We didn’t even realise where you were, until Kingsley made a fuss and had you transferred up here.”
Remus nodded, resigned to the idea of mistreatment, it was only to be expected. But then his heart began to race and he clutched Teddy closer to his chest. “What about Teddy? During the full moon, how was he? Was he...?”
“He’s not a werewolf Remus,” Andromeda answered. “He was fine, a little fractious but fine. It’s not an inherited condition.”
Remus let out a sigh of relief. “We didn’t know that for sure.”
“We do now. I had the Healers run a few tests. He has a susceptibility to the full moon, it might make him a little fractious and when he’s older he may prefer his meat a little rarer on the full moon than at other times but he won’t transform. He’s not a werewolf.”
Remus pressed a celebratory kiss on the top of Teddy’s head and rubbed circles on the small back. All the terror he had felt at passing his condition onto the small boy was suddenly washed away.
Looking back up at Harry, he asked, “What about you? What happened with Voldemort?”
Harry looked nervously at Andromeda. “It’s a long story, complicated.”
“It’s okay Harry.” She stood up from her seat. “I’ll take Teddy for a little walk and change him. Leave you boys to talk.” She swung the nappy bag over her shoulder and collected Teddy from Remus. “We won’t be long,” she said in response to Remus’ unspoken plea to not be parted from his son.
When Andromeda and Teddy had left the room Harry and Remus remained in silence for a moment.
“Harry, I need to ask you something. It might sound strange. I probably dreamt it but that night at the battle I thought I saw your parents and Sirius. We were all with you in forest and they looked so real. It must have been a dream.”
Harry looked nervous. “It wasn’t a dream, at least I don’t think it was a dream but now I’m not sure how you were there. Remus, have you ever heard of the Deathly Hallows?”
“Somewhat, yes. Like most wizarding children I was read the story by my parents. I know James used to joke that his invisibility cloak was the cloak of invisibility, given that the Potters were related to the Peverells who were supposed to be the real brothers from the story. But they’re not real, it’s just a story.”
“No,” said Harry, “they are real or they were. I destroyed the Elder Wand and I used the Resurrection Stone.” He looked up at Remus. “That night in the forest I used the Resurrection Stone to bring back the most important people to me, my family that I’d lost, to support me as I gave myself up to Voldemort. I thought you were dead Remus, but you’re alive so I don’t understand how the stone could have called you.”
Remus took a deep breath, his mind racing; it was a lot to take in. “I think...I think maybe I was hovering between life and death and that’s how the stone could call my soul but then because I wasn’t truly dead my soul returned to my body instead of moving on.”
Harry nodded. “That makes sense.”
“How on earth did you get the Resurrection Stone?”
“From Dumbledore,” answered Harry. He then went on to explain Dumbledore’s connection to the Deathly Hallows, Voldemort’s search for the Elder Wand and his subsequent defeat.
Remus was somewhat flabbergasted at the story. “But how did Voldemort die? I thought he was supposed to be invincible?”
“He was. He had created Horcruxes. Seven in fact.” He saw the look on Remus’ face. “I take it you know what they are?”
“I’ve heard of them yes, but seven? That’s incredible.”
“But true,” added Harry ruefully. “He’d collected objects of importance to him and used them to store parts of his soul. That’s what Ron, Hermione and I have been doing all year, trying to find the horcruxes and destroy them, before Voldemort knew what we were doing. That’s how he died, we destroyed them all.”
Remus’ eyes widened. “Wow. You really are an amazing man Harry.” Reaching out to lay a hand on Harry’s shoulder he added, “I’m so proud of you and I know your parents and Sirius are too, wherever they are.”
Harry nodded and they shared a few moments in companionable silence as they contemplated recent events.
A few days later and the Healers were happy enough with his progress to discharge him from hospital with orders that he should take it easy and rest as much as possible. Remus nodded just glad to be out of bed and able to be useful again. Leaving Andromeda to take care of Teddy had been frustrating. Tonks had not yet woken up and he had had to watch from the other side of the room as others sat by her bed and held her hand.
Manoeuvring himself out of bed for the first time in almost three weeks Remus felt stiff and a little shaky. He took the few steps over to the chair next to Dora’s bed and sat down gratefully, slightly breathless at only a couple of steps, he realised the toll the battle and the subsequent transformation had taken on his body. Taking a deep breath he focused on Dora, who looked as still and peaceful as she had the day Remus had woken up. He clasped her hand within both of his and lifted it to his lips. With a shaky hand he smoothed her hair away from her face, leaning over he placed a soft kiss against her forehead and whispered in her ear.
“I love you Dora. Please come back to me.”
To be continued.