The Janus Thickery Ward
Title: Importance of Being Buffy 2/? (Working title)
Disclaimer: All things Buffy to Joss Whedon and Co, JK Rowling owns the Potter world
Distribution: fanfiction.net, Twisting the Hellmouth
Summary: Gotta love them resurrections.... Especially ones that involve new prophecies, new baddies to fight, and way too many guys in tweed.
Spoilers: Everything up to season 5 (and snippets of S6 ep Bargaining) in the Buffyverse, post-OOTP Potter-wise.
The Janus Thickery Ward
Despite the recent return of Lord Voldemort, Ward 49, located on the fourth floor of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, was surprisingly quiet. Miriam Strout could not have been happier. Ever since the unfortunate incident with Broderick Bode and the Devil’s Snare, Miriam found it difficult to enjoy her job. She had decreased the number of shifts she worked each week and flatly refused to deliver any packages to her patients. But the afternoon’s quiet had renewed Miriam’s fragile confidence. She knew she could tackle Gilderoy Lockhart’s confused mutterings and had little else to worry about during her shift: the summer holiday was always a popular time for hospital visitors. The visitors would more than look after Miriam’s handful of patients.
“Can I get you anything, ma’am?” Miriam asked a stuffed vulture. White curtains rustled. The vulture moved towards the healer, revealing itself to be an unusual hat perched atop a rather-imposing elderly woman’s face. Despite the summer heat, the woman (whose face seemed permanently stuck on “determined”) was wearing long green dress robes and a fox-fur scarf. “Mrs. Longbottom? Can I get you anything??” Miriam repeated her question in a louder voice.
“I heard you quite clearly the first time,” ridiculed Mrs. Longbottom. “There’s no need to shout at me.” The older witch opened her oversized red hand-bag and began to dig around. “I’m just going to run upstairs for a moment.” She smiled, and pulled out a short oak wand. “Neville’s forgotten to bring his OWL scores and he so wants to share them with his parents. They won’t have a clue what he’s talking about, but you know how he gets. That dear boy can be quite insistent about talking to his mum and dad as if they aren’t completely batty.” Mrs. Longbottom sighed and snapped her purse shut. “I’m just going to go have a cup of tea and then summon his letter here. I shouldn’t be but a minute. Just make sure Neville doesn’t get it into his head to wander off and get his nose broken doing anything silly like trying to fight-off dark wizards.” Affection and pride clearly lurked behind the harsh words of the elderly Longbottom. With a slight nod, which caused her gigantic vulture hat to wobble uncertainly on her head, Mrs. Longbottom purposefully marched out of the room.
“Wait! Gran!” A slightly-overweight boy emerged from behind the white curtain divider and began racing after his grandmother. “I think Mum wants you to bring her another—” Neville tripped on the edge of his ragged robe and tumbled to the ground. “Never mind,” he mumbled, pulling himself up. “I might have an extra candy in my pocket or something.” He pushed himself off the ground. “Don’t worry Mum,” Neville called to the corner of the room, forcing cheerfulness into his voice. “I’m sure I’ve got some candy you can have in my pocket. And when Grandma gets back I can show you my OWL scores and….” The boy disappeared again behind the room’s cotton partition.
From a chair in her own corner of the room, Miriam Sprout chuckled to herself. The two Longbottoms were such amusing visitors; they always provided Miriam with a good laugh. She knew it was morally wrong to find them humorous, considering the poor states of the young boy’s parents, but she just couldn’t help herself. After allowing herself one more moment of laughter, Miriam forced herself out of her chair. Gilderoy Lockhart had been gone in the bathroom for far too long and she supposed she better go check on him. He had a bad habit of standing in front of the mirror and smiling at himself. He could be at it for hours.
Fortunately for Gilderoy Lockhart’s grin, Miriam Sprout did not make it to the loo. As she reached the door of the hospital room, she was surprised to have it open on its own accord. A body floated into the room. The body—a young woman, it turned out—was soon lying on an empty hospital bed. The pale girl’s eyes were closed and her arms hung lifelessly at her side. A tall wizard followed behind and the door shut firmly behind him.
“Hello Miriam,” Albus Dumbledore said, comfortably settling himself into the chair the healer had so recently abandoned. “I have a new patient for you.”
“Dumbledore!” Miriam exclaimed. “I… I… will not! You know I will not. I cannot look after any new patients. I can’t!”
Dumbledore stroked his beard knowingly; he was unsurprised by Miriam’s answer. “Miriam,” the wizard said gently, “this girl needs your help. She has been recently recovered from unknown dangers. The apparent spell damage is also unknown. Even I have had difficulty ascertaining what exact spell, or spells, have caused her to enter this sleeping state. She could wake-up at any moment or never at all.” Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. “We had better hope that it is not the latter. She needs to be kept alive. I know you are being hard on yourself, after that unfortunate incident with Bode—”
Miriam opened her mouth to voice a complaint. Dumbledore calmly cut her off.
“You know it’s true, Miriam. You’ve been doubting yourself ever since. But this girl needs your help. She could become tremendously important in the upcoming months.”
“Yes, Miriam. You were once a star pupil back at Hogwarts. Use your Hufflepuff compassion now.”
Miriam nodded weakly. “Yes, uh, sir. Yes Dumbledore. Of course.” She could not bring herself to refuse her former professor.
Dumbledore grinned at the healer, his blue eyes twinkling. “Excellent. I knew I could count on you.” He rose to leave. “Some of us will be popping in every so often. Work on her as well as you can. We’re going to need her awake. I think her cure will be something most unexpected. I just hope that… someone… will be able help her wake up.”
The Headmaster began to walk towards the door. He turned his head. “Oh, and Neville??”
Ever-so-slowly, a guilty face poked through the white curtain at the end of the room. “Erm…. Yes Headmaster?”
“Congratulations on your OWLS. I hear you’ve done quite well. Professor Sprout was just telling me how wonderfully you have done in Herbology. And I believe your score was more than unusually high in Defense Against the Dark Arts. I guess your days in my army seemed to have served you well.” Dumbledore winked at Neville. “I heard that some of you were planning on meeting in Diagon Alley before school?”
Neville nodded, red-faced. “We were hoping to, sir.”
“Of course you were,” Dumbledore said, encouragingly. “Well, have a good rest of your holiday then. Keep your toad out of danger.” He strode towards the door. “Miriam, thanks again for all your help.” Dumbledore vanished from the room, long robes swishing behind him.
Neville emerged from his parent’s corner and stood staring at the newly-occupied bed. On the opposite side of the room, Miriam Sprout was doing the same. The girl could not have been more than a few years older than Neville. She seemed astoundingly peaceful in her enchanted sleep. Only the slight rise and fall of her chest proved that she was, in fact, alive.
The door clicked and both individuals jumped back, shaking themselves out of their stupor.
“I’ve brought back your scores Neville. And I thought you might like a muffin as well.” Neville’s grandmother paused. “What’s going on here?” Noticing the change in the room, Neville’s Gran marched over to the young woman. “What’s this?” Two pairs of eyes—belonging to Gran her extraordinary vulture hat— peered over the girl’s face. A golden plaque had just appeared at the head of the bed. “Who is Buffy Summers??”
*END Part 2, The Janus Thickery Ward*
A/N: Made a few slight changes to this chapter. I’m rather embarrassed to admit it, but it contained some typos and such that I should have caught!!