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Healing is hard to do by Word_waterfall

Healing is hard to do


Disclaimer: Not my Characters, but my plot bunny!

A/N: Okay, so I have had this idea for a while. A story where Harry had a lasting injury from the war that impeded the perfect life the Trio should be leading. This is a very angst filled story (My Specialty), that will have a very happy ending. Post-hogwarts, Pretty much ignores DH and the epilogue....H/HR. So, if you like angst, romance and happy endings read warned there are some pretty dark themes to begin with.

Chapter 1

Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, with his head in his hands, Harry wondered how he had got here again. Sick to his stomach from too much alcohol and with a spinning head, in an unfamiliar bathroom belonging to a girl he had met only hours ago. The passion he had felt along with the flood of adrenaline experienced that paired together, briefly numbed the feelings he was so desperate to escape. Tired limbs and itchy eyes weren't the only signs of his new party lifestyle; the clothes he was wearing were three days old. The Daily Prophet that rustled on the floor beside the toilet painted the picture of a playboy name Harry Potter; celebrating and putting that war behind him. Different girls on his arm every night, and the dishevelled pictures taken as he left each girl at the crack of dawn.

This morning was no exception. Harry tried to avoid being sober at all, being sober was when the thinking started, the memories returned, and the shudders began. He could already feel the twitching beginning in his hands; the residual effects of numerous cruciatus curses were taking hold again, unbridled by the dampening effects of alcohol. Soon the shooting pains would begin: up his forearms, along his spine, piercing him to the centre of his being. Cruel taunts of a madman that refused to leave him, even though the madman's life had been taken many moons ago.

Apperating wasn't an option, Harry couldn't be sure he wouldn't splinch himself in his current state. A chuckle bubbled out of his throat, splinching himself would be all the ammunition that Ron and Hermione, his housemates, needed to get him locked away for good in St Mungo's. With that thought, he stood and steadied himself, gritted his teeth through the sharp prickling pains beginning in his lower back and left the strange bathroom.

There was a blonde asleep in the bed, Harry couldn't quite remember her name- Karen? Or maybe Kirsty? Kirsten?- Whoever she was, she was more than ready to jump into bed with the famous Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived, the boy-who-prevailed. She didn't know or care how broken he was. Shaking hands collected socks and shoes from the floor, where they were abandoned in the throes of his escapism. He barely glanced at the sleeping figure before letting himself out of the ground floor flat into the pouring rain that soaked the streets of London. He turned towards his flat in Diagon alley, and began the painstaking journey home.


Hermione woke with a start as the thump sounded from the stairway leading to the flat. The book on her lap slipped to the floor as she stood from where she had fallen asleep in an armchair. Harry was home. She ran to the front door and threw it open. Sure enough, Harry was crouched halfway up the stairs, groaning.

"Harry-!" She exclaimed softly, and crept -barefooted- to where he was crouched. He was soaked thoroughly by the downpour outside, but Hermione knew he would be boiling hot to the touch. She was surprised there wasn't steam rising off him! "You didn't take any of your potions out with you, did you?" She knew this was a stupid question, he hadn't been home for three days and she knew because she had been waiting for him.

"Ran out-" he muttered through gritted teeth. Hermione shook her head and placed a gentle but firm hand around his bicep to coax him into standing. He relented but needed to rest two steps later. Hermione could see him working very hard to contain his cries of pain through the beads of sweat forming on his clammy forehead. Her own pain at having to witness this ritual again was quashed by her healer instincts. Luckily, Ron and Luna had been awoken by the sounds of Harry's return and quickly came to aid her. Harry's bedroom wasn't a long trek from the front door. Together, Hermione and Ron managed to help Harry to his bed. Ron's face was pale and drawn with worry;

"How long can we let this go on, Hermione? I'm terrified that one day we will just find him dead outside our front door" He spoke with a darkness that Hermione did not like to hear from him, and she shot him a glare

"We can handle it Ron, What else do you suggest we do?" She snapped, she saw him recoil from her harsh tone, but knew he had no answer for her. Luna stepped over and took Ron by the hand;

"Let's go back to bed" She soothed "Hermione knows what to do now" She turned and nodded at her friend before she led her boyfriend away. Hermione's glance lingered on their backs as they retreated to Ron's bedroom. She was losing faith in her steadfast promise to Harry that he could be treated at home for his ailments, and she wondered if Luna could see her willpower waning. The sound of Harry retching brought her back from her thoughts with a bump-

"Okay Harry" she whispered, beginning the ritual that was all too familiar now. She grabbed a plastic basin from the kitchen and placed it next to the bed. This was the part when the alcohol that Harry had consumed made a reappearance. She assessed him to see if she could leave him to run to the kitchen. When she was happy that he wouldn't choke on his own vomit, she half-ran to the kitchen. In the furthest corner of the kitchen was a cupboard they used to house all of Harry's potions. She grabbed the numerous pain potions, and treatments that were needed for his condition and hurried back to his bedroom. Harry breathed heavily from the pain and the unpleasant exercise of purging ones stomach. His eyes were closed, and she peeled back his eyelids and checked his pupils with a small light she produced from her wand. He was really in a state this time around, she noted, his pupils were almost pinpricks. The process of administering the potion was made much simpler by use of magical tubing that fastened to the skin when applied. Hermione had learnt that trying to get Harry to drink them when he was semi-conscious was easier said than done. His agitation ceased almost as soon as she attached the magical tubing and began the potions pumping with a flick of her wand. She conjured a damp cloth and placed it on his forehead to attempt to bring his temperature down, further she cast a cooling charm in the room.

How had it got so bad? Of course she hadn't expected any of them to come out of the war unscathed, but Voldemort had really left a lasting mark on her best friend. They had found Harry collapsed next to a burning pile of robes that night. He hadn't awoken for six months afterwards, and although healers worked tirelessly they couldn't seem to undo the damage done to his neurological system. The head healer on Harry's case, Healer Guttridge, theorised that Voldemort had used a curse of his own creation or Harry had simply survived an unprecedented number of castings of the cruciatus curse. A year and a half later, and no improvement was seen. Initially, Harry seemed on board with the tests and experiments', eager to start his life post-Voldemort. As the months passed with no improvements, Hermione had watched the life and spirit leach out of her friend until only a shell remained. Harry had developed his own coping mechanisms, and despite the damage he was doing to himself and those around him continued to seek anything that allowed him to escape what his life had become. Many people had given up on him, even Molly Weasley was visiting less and less.

They had tried to help him, Hermione and Ron. Sitting with him, attending hospital appointments, and attempting to reintroduce Harry to all the things he used to enjoy- but Harry just wasn't Harry anymore. Then he started leaving. The first time he left for one night, Ron had gone with him believing that a lads night out was `just what Harry needed'. It hadn't gone as Ron would have liked, Harry drank a lot and if he didn't find a girl he would find a fight instead. Then Harry would start sneaking out while neither of them was looking. Then they wouldn't see him for three days. Anyone looking in could see the cracks in the foundations of the Golden Trio, and that all was not as it should be. They should be happy, getting on with life, but while Harry couldn't move on, neither could the two people closest to him.

Hermione removed the -now warm- cloth from Harry's forehead, and brushed his hair back to thumb his scar. The potions had sent him to sleep, and he was resting easy now, but for how long?

Hermione breathed deep into herself. She needed her Harry back, her Harry from before the final battle. The person she missed the most, was the person she was sitting right next to. She stood and pulled the duvet over Harry. She lay next to him to make sure the potions were working, and that was where she fell asleep. She dreamt a wonderful dream where she, Harry and Ron were living the life she imagined, instead of the hell that they currently knew.

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