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Adventures in Healing by Dementor149

Adventures in Healing


Adventures in Healing: Detachment

All things Harry Potter belong to J K Rowling and her publishers. This story is done purely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of any one reading this. There is no attempt to make any profit. Thanks to Rowling for letting me play with her characters.


Apprentice Healer Ron Weasley ran his fingers through his red hair. As he slowly counted to ten he absentmindedly fingered the queue at the back of his neck. He wasn't consciously trying to copy his older brother Bill, but he hadn't really had time to get his hair cut properly. He hadn't even been home for nearly two months. Learning healing in the middle of a war guaranteed a lot of practice. He was grateful to his fiancée, Luna Lovegood for teaching him how to do a pigtail. He allowed his mind to dwell on his beloved for only a few moments before returning to this morning's source of frustration.

His latest patient was a solemn little waif with curly, brown hair. Her blue eyes were bright with fever. She appeared to be about seven and her name was Calley Grady. She was perched on Ron's examining table with her feet gently swinging in and out. Calley had dark circles under her eyes and to her credit she could have been cross but she wasn't. However, her calm demeanor belied a stubborn streak nearly a mile wide. Her mother had brought her and her sister in to St. Mungo's. Calley's baby sister was being seen by another healer and Ron had been left to care for Calley.

"Your throat hurts, doesn't it?" he tried again.

She nodded yes.

"You want it to stop, right?"

She continued her slow nod.

"You're going to open your mouth so I can look at your throat. Aren't you?"

Instantly the slow nod turned into a vigorous shake. Her answer was a most unequivocal if non-verbal, "NO!"

Desperately Ron tried to reason with his nemesis, "I need to see what is wrong so I know what to do to make your throat stop hurting, Calley. Why won't you let me look?"

Calley began to speak. Ron struggled to hear because she was whispering through clenched teeth. "The last time my throat hurt they made me drink something really nasty. I'd rather be sick."

Before Ron could put his spoonful of sugar offense into action he was interrupted by a soft knock on the examining room door. He crossed to the door and opened it a little. To his surprise Luna was standing in the hall. "May I come in, Healer Weasley?" she smiled.

Ron opened the door, "Come in Healer Lovegood. May I introduce my patient, Calley Grady?"

Luna's soft, oddly protuberant, blue eyes filled with kindness as she smiled at the little witch. She took in the blue and bronze scarf Calley was wearing. "Well, eaglet, what seems to be the problem today?"

Calley's eyes widened in surprise, "You were in Ravenclaw?" Ron was staring too.

"Yes, Calley, when I was at Hogwarts." She looked at Ron, "We have always called our first years eaglets," she explained. Ron nodded his understanding.

"My throat hurts," she complained. "But the last time the potion they made me drink was really nasty."

"Well, sometimes it takes a nasty potion to kill nasty germs. Right?" Calley nodded agreeing with Luna's reasoning. "Of course, if you think the potion to kill germs tastes bad the one we have to use to kill the Squamous Khoreslaks tastes even worse. Fortunately the only people who have to worry about Squamous Khoreslaks are the ones who eat Brussels sprouts. You don't eat Brussels sprouts, do you?"

"I like Brussels sprouts." Calley whispered. "We had them for dinner last Monday."

Ron's mouth dropped open in surprised wonder; he had never met anyone who liked Brussels sprouts before. Calley was looking back and forth between Luna and Ron. Misunderstanding Ron's look of surprise her expression became one of alarm. "Why don't you let Healer Weasley look just to make sure?"

Ron placed his hand on her forehead; his touch informed him that Calley did indeed have a fever. Calley opened her mouth and Ron used his wand light to examine her throat. "Two tonsils, slightly inflamed, several white spots, undoubtedly streptococcus, one uvula, and … no … Squamous Khoreslaks," he smiled. "Thank you, eaglet."

Ron reached up on the shelf, pulled a bottle down, and added some powder to the potion. He then poured some of the liquid into a drinking glass. "This powder will keep the potion from tasting so bad. My teacher at Hogwarts, Madam Pomfrey, showed me."

"Were you in Ravenclaw too?" Calley asked.

"No, eaglet, I was in Gryffindor."

"I wanna be in Ravenclaw, that's where all the smart people go," declared Calley. She drank the potion and looked at Ron in surprise. "That wasn't very bad. I hope I don't get sick again, but if I do I wanna come see you. You're funny."

"And you're really a demon in disguise," thought Ron. His thoughts were interrupted by another knock. He opened the door to find a wizard standing there. "I'm Calley's father, is she all right?"

"Come in Mr. Grady. Yes, she will be fine in a few days." Ron gave Mr. Grady the bottle. "Just give her two tablespoons of this each day for a week. Make her rest and drink plenty of fluids. I buffered the standard potion so it won't taste too bad and as a side effect it should make her drowsy."

Grady picked his daughter up and she nestled against his shoulder. "Tell the Healers 'bye, and thank you, Calley."

"Bye," she said sleepily. She rose up and said, "There's no such thing as Skamus Klorskaks, is there?"

Luna caressed Calley's soft hair as she smiled, "No, sweetie, but because you thought there were you let us look, and that is what we needed to do to help you get well again. If you will be truthful with us, like telling us you don't want to take a nasty tasting potion, then we won't have to trick you into letting us help. Usually there is something we can do to help, but we don't know unless you talk to us. Okay?"

"'kay," Calley said as she settled against her father's shoulder. A few moments later she was asleep. Her father thanked them as well and then he left Ron's office/examining room.

After they were gone Ron sterilized the examining table with a wave of his wand and checked the ready use potions he had stored on the shelf. Satisfied he had the potions he needed he leaned up against the table and drew Luna to his side.

"Thanks for the help."

"You're welcome," Luna smiled.

"How did you know about the Brussels sprouts?"

"I had the chance to talk to her mother. It was tough on her having to leave Calley here while she stayed with Calley's baby sister."

Ron sighed, "Sometimes this is all so hard. I couldn't even get her to open her mouth."

"It is a shame she wasn't about six years older, my Gryffindor stud-muffin. Those killer baby-blues and that manly chin with that sweet little cleft would have charmed her in a heartbeat." Luna gently stroked his cheek and chin. "You're just going to have to change you tactics for the pre-pubescent set."

"Stud-muffin?" he asked incredulously.

Luna looked slightly confused. "No one has ever called you that before?"


"I heard a Muggle girl call her boyfriend that when I was out on my walk the other day. I was sure everyone used it." Luna laid her head against Ron's chest listening to his heart.

Suddenly a magically amplified voice spoke. The voice was soft and well modulated but it commanded instant attention. "All Healers, All Healers, this is an emergency. Proceed at once to Central Receiving. There has been an attack. There are incoming casualties. All Healers proceed at once to Central Receiving."

Luna stepped back from Ron. He was watching as she slid into the dreamy detachment that he knew so well from their days at Hogwarts. He wished once again that he could detach himself like she could. Even though she appeared unfocused he knew her mind was marshalling all its resources to meet this latest situation. She would be able to perform the most difficult procedures without allowing herself to be overcome by all the emotional storms swirling around her. Together they set off to meet the latest havoc unleashed by Voldemort.


Central Receiving was a mass of organized chaos. The war had taught the healers many things about how to manage care for many wounded and injured all arriving at the same time. The Healers-in-Training acted to separate the injured into groups based on the type of care each person needed. They then took care of the least injured and tried to assist the Apprentice Healers as they could. The Apprentice Healers took the more seriously injured and began to help them as quickly as possible. The Healers took over from the Apprentices if they needed help or took the most seriously injured straightaway. The Master Healers supervised, circulating through all levels, giving instruction as needed or taking over when a healer was unable to help his/her patient.

As Apprentice Healers, Ron and Luna separated upon entering the receiving area. Ron was looking around when his arm was grabbed from behind. "Healer Wealsey! Come quick. I have a patient here … the burns are quite extensive." The young Healer-in-Training, Temple, by name looked sick. She was pale and sweating.

"What happened?"

Temple recounted the report telling Ron the circumstances and the mechanism of injury, "She's an Auror, the Death Eaters attacked some kind of conference. One of them tried killing some of the people by blowing up a Muggle car. She shielded the dignitaries but was caught by the fireball. I-I've never seen burns like…"

Ron stepped into the small treatment room. The emergency treatment rooms had only minimal furnishings; all supplies were drawn from a central area. All that was in this room was a small table in the corner. On the table was a small bag with the patient's wand in it. In his hurry to help Ron forgot what he knew he must find. His nose was assailed by the overpowering odor of gasoline, the sharp, charred stink of burned hair, and the sickly odor of partially cooked flesh. Gagging, he beat a hasty retreat into the fresh air. He cast a modified bubble charm over his mouth and nose, did the same for the trainee, and they re-entered together.

The figure before him was indeed badly burned. In order to allow ease of treatment the body was being buoyed by a Hover Charm. All the hair was gone and the face and arms were beginning to swell. The face was unrecognizable. Some of the skin was hanging in strips from her back and legs. Though his patient was unconscious she was shivering. Ron sent his assistant to get some drapes and while he waited for her to return he vanished the rest of his patients clothing. He was glad that she was wearing sensible fabrics that had protected her body in some areas and had not melted as some fabrics did.

He knew that his first concern was making sure that she could breathe. "Sonorus," he incanted, then he placed the tip of his wand against her throat and over her lungs as he listened to the way her breath sounded. Her airway had been damaged by the heat and fumes so he gently tipped her head back and performed a shrinking charm on the membranes of her airway. It was delicate work and his assistant was back by the time he finished.

Because she was unconscious Ron checked her nerves by stimulating the various nerve centers. If she had been conscious the pain would have been excruciating and he was glad all it made her do was twitch. He was relieved to see that there was no major nerve damage.

Together they covered their patient and Ron considered what to do next. With a wave of his wand he rolled their patient over and he examined the burns on her back. The deepest burns were across her shoulder blades. The lower lumbar region of her back and buttocks were uninjured, protected by her clothing. Her thighs down to the back of her knees weren't too badly burned. Her calves were the second worst areas. Her hands were badly swollen now and he thought he saw a gleam of gold on her ring finger. He needed to remove the ring to keep it from interfering with blood flow.

"Engorgio," he commanded. He caught the heavy ring as it dropped into his hand. With equal suddenness his heart seemed to stop. The strength left his knees as he sank to the floor. The memories flashed through his mind. He was giving this ring to Harry. "I take you Hermione Granger to be my wife … with this ring I thee wed." He remembered the power and light of the nimbus. The gold ring with its inlayed sapphire band was unmistakable.

"HERMIONE!" he cried. Then he whispered, "Oh, God, no! Not Hermione!"

In a moment Master Healer Galen was in the room. "What …" he began but stopped when he saw the expression on Ron's face.

"It's Hermione Potter…one of-of my best friends," Ron stuttered.

Galen crossed to Ron and gently helped him to his feet. He captured Ron's eyes with his own. He dropped all formality in an effort to reach the young healer. "Ron, you knew it must happen sometime. That someone you know is going to need you to heal them. You must put aside your emotion and do what needs to be done."

"But she's in pain."

"Yes, but that is not your doing, it is a natural consequence of her condition. She is relying on you to help her. If you don't she may die."

"But-but I'll need to … to remove all the dead skin, it will … hurt her," tears started in his eyes at the thought of causing her more pain. He could not say it but all the arguments they had had, the times he had made her cry, were flashing through his memory. He now regretted the times he had hurt her intentionally. It was irrational he knew but he wasn't sure if he could hurt her anymore.

"Ron, If you don't she will get gangrene, and then she surely will die. Do you want that?"

Ron looked helplessly at his teacher, "Couldn't … someone … anyone else …"

"If there were anyone else, I would let you switch. But they are all too deeply involved with their own patients, for them to switch now might cause someone else to die. Ron, you are one of the best I've ever taught. Help her."

Galen gazed at Ron. It seemed he was getting over the shock, trying to organize his thoughts, and remember the protocols. Galen was tempted to relieve Ron, but he knew that the young healer might lose confidence and quit the profession. He wanted more that anything to prevent what might lead to a life time of regret. He had seen it happen before. But he had to hurry, they were losing time.

"Ron, I know a little of your history with Mrs. Potter. I have heard you talk of the way she poured her life into yours, how she helped you study, how unselfishly she gave of her time to help you be here today. Is this how you are going to repay that effort, by running out on her when she needs you most?"

Anger flared in Ron's eyes, it was almost as if Galen had slapped him. Galen smiled inwardly, anything was better than that self pitying expression Ron had been wearing before. "Go out. You have five minutes, and then I want you to come back in here and treat your patient."

Ron stepped out of the treatment room. He was deeply envious of Luna. It wouldn't have fazed her for a moment. He could see her setting immediately to work doing what had to be done, almost like a machine.

"What am I going to do?" he thought. Then he remembered a conversation he had with Hermione back in their fifth year. Harry had been acting so crazy back then. He and Hermione were talking about what to do about him.

"But, Hermione," he was protesting. "He is just going to blow up at us again."

"Some times you just have to do what is best even if you know it is going to be hard." Hermione was saying. "My parents call it 'tough love', it maybe painful for all concerned. But it is really doing what is best for the object of your love. It won't make it less hard, but if you know that you have done all you can, love will carry you through." Then, as if to comfort him, he remembered what she had told him on that Boxing Day, "Ron, you're going to be a wonderful healer. I just know it!" It was almost like he could feel her arms around him again.

He turned and went back inside. Galen was instructing Temple about how to get rid of the odor in the room. The Master Healer looked expectantly at him. "Yes?"

Ron looked at his assistant, "Would you please get the burn treatment paste? And we need lots of Dittany, it will prevent scarring." The young girl looked at him for a moment and headed for the door. Ron grabbed her arm as she went past. "Please … bring gauze, we need lots of gauze. Healer Galen, will you assist me? I need to remove the burned dermis." Galen nodded. It seemed Ron was preparing to "get back in the saddle" after a bad fall. While they were waiting for the assistant to return Ron placed the wedding ring into the small bag used to hold the patient's possessions.

The charm used to remove the skin was a closely guarded medical secret. They all shuddered when they considered what might happen if that secret fell into the wrong hands. Ron first prepared Hermione by anesthetizing her, he carefully numbed each nerve center and then using wordless magic he debrided the burned skin. He was extremely shaky at first but as he went on he went faster. As he finished each section he compounded the Dittany with the burn paste and applied it liberally to Hermione's burns. When he finished she looked like a freshly wrapped Egyptian mummy. The magic that he used was extremely draining. When he finished he leaned back against the wall and sank slowly to the floor.

When he looked up he found Luna smiling sweetly at him. He had been paying so much attention to attending Hermione he wasn't sure at what point she had replaced Temple.

"I will alert the burn ward you're coming; you may move her when you're ready. Well done, Healer Weasley, well done," complimented Galen as he left the room.

It was a crazy thought, but it was a means of coping with the horror he felt when he realized it was Hermione he was working on; seeing more of her body than he ever wanted to even in his most lustful moments. "No, Healer Galen, she was medium-rare, or medium at the worst. But thank you for the complement."

Luna gathered the bag containing Hermione's wand and wedding ring while Ron prepared to levitate Hermione to the burn ward. They completed preparing for the transport by covering her completely.

Opening the treatment room door they came face to face with Lupin, Tonks, and Shacklebolt. The tall Auror, looking over Ron and Luna saw how Hermione had been draped. He quickly took in Ron's haggard expression and assumed the worst. "She's not dead, she can't be…"

Luna placed a comforting hand on his forearm. "No, Mr. Shacklebolt, Hermione will be fine. It will take a few weeks but eventually you won't know she was even hurt."

Remus shoulders slumped in relief, "Merlin, I'm glad. I don't know how I would have told Harry. You would have been proud of her, Ron. She could have saved herself but she wouldn't drop the shield, she protected those Muggles in spite of the cost to her."

"Harry's on his way, but it will be an hour or so before he gets here," said Tonks.

Ron spoke up, "We're going to take her to the burn ward. You can wait for Harry in the waiting room and he can see her after we get her set up in her room.

After getting Hermione to her room on the ward Luna began checking their patient again. They would need to monitor her closely for the next few hours to make sure that no injury had been missed. As she finished her exam Luna called Ron over, "look at this."

Ron looked at Luna in surprise, "Oh, my …"


The sound of Harry's oaken staff heralded his approach. Ron and Luna looked grave as he entered the room. His movements were stiff and awkward still. His face was ashen with worry.

A hint of a memory flashed through Ron's mind as he saw the staff again, but then it vanished. "Harry," Ron began, "she's going to be okay. You understand?"

Harry nodded. He reached for Hermione's bandaged hand.

"No!" Ron commanded. "You know she was burned?" Harry jerked his hand back, he looked at them and shook his head.

Ron shook his head, "There's no easy way to tell you this so bear with me, okay?" Harry nodded his head looking for all the world like a small child trying to cope with a world he didn't understand. "Hermione was burned by an explosion. She has no skin on her hands, arms, shoulders, her head, lower legs, and some parts of her face. We are growing it back but it's going to take about three days, okay? You may injure her if you touch her where she was burned. That's why we will be levitating for the course of her treatment."

"Okay," Harry whispered.

"We are going to keep her asleep while that happens. I barked my knee quite badly a few months ago playing Quidditch and had to use the stuff we are using now, it itches like you wouldn't believe. It's better for her to sleep through it.

"Try re-growing an armful of bones," Harry thought.

"After about three days we'll remove the bandages. You've got to be sensitive to her feelings. It will take a few months before her hair all grows back. That's because the skin she is re-growing will be undifferentiated and it will take a little while for the hair follicles to reform. I know Hermione has never been vain, but she will need your reassurance that she looks okay. I'd recommend you get her a hair piece until her hair grows back, unless she wants to sport that skin head thing some Muggles go for. Her skin will appear very red for about a month until her skin thickens, it will also be very sensitive to sunlight for about two months. I want you to reassure her that everything that is happening is normal. You will also want to get some soft cotton underclothes for her to wear and a hooded cloak for when she goes outside in the sunlight. Got all that?"

To his amazement Harry repeated all the instructions and the reasons for everything. Then to Ron's eternal embarrassment Harry sank to his knees and with tears flowing down his face he said, "How can I ever thank you enough. How did you know, all those years ago how much we'd need you? God, if you hadn't been there she might be dead…"

Luna knelt beside Harry and put an arm around his shoulders.

Ron's face was the same color as his hair as he tried to think of what to say. At last he stuttered, "That's okay, Dad, you'll be g-g-getting my b-bill."

Harry shook his head as he tried to figure out what Ron had said. Harry rose to his feet. He knew Ron had hated being poor all his life, but this was even more tactless than even he was used to. Something like anger was starting to overcome him, it just didn't make sense for Ron to be this way.

"When we were commissioned as Aurors they told me that injuries in the line of duty would be covered by the Ministry." His words were slow and carefully chosen.

Ron was working to keep his face impassive. "For the burns, yes. That is covered by contract with the Ministry, but if you'll read the fine print you will find obstetrical care is not. Hermione will require several visits in the coming nine months."

Harry turned pale once again, " What's obs-obstet …" he was almost whining in shock. "You said she was going to be okay," he accused.

"Ronald," Luna interrupted, "he's too fuzzled to understand. Harry, obstetrics is the branch-,"

"Wait! Wait! Dad? Nine months?" Harry's breathing was shallow and rapid. You mean Hermione is-,"

"Pregnant," Ron finished with a grin.

"We're gonna have-,"

"A baby," Luna chimed in; she conjured a chair as Harry sat down hard.


"She appears to be three or four weeks along, I'd bet she hasn't missed a period yet. We'll give you a due date in a few days after we have a chance to talk to her. Now I know you have a lot of things to tell her. I know she's sedated but you'd be surprised at what people hear, it's eerie, sometimes. We'll be back in a little while. May we give your colleagues the happy news?" Ron smiled at his friend.

Harry nodded his assent as he moved the chair near Hermione's head. He began talking to her, "One, did you hear? We did it; we're going to have a baby! When I get home I'm going to owl John and Karen…"

Ron slipped his arm around Luna's waist as they shut the door behind them. "I need to introduce him to Calley Grady, he might not be so excited," Ron observed. Luna elbowed him in the side.

As they walked arm in arm to the waiting room Ron was thinking. "It's alright for Luna to be like she is, that's her way. I got into this because I love it. Sometimes, and only sometimes, love has got to be tough, just like Hermione said. Then, sometimes, you get to do what we just did and it makes it all worthwhile."