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Published: 09/21/2004
Updated: 01/14/2005
Words: 139,369
Chapters: 38
Hits: 79,228

Harry Potter and the Goblin Rebellion


Story Summary:
Year 6 - The goblins are threatening rebellion: Now that Fudge acknowledges Voldemort's return, he is pushing wartime policies, which oppress the goblins. Voldemort is seeking the secret in an ancient Egyptian magical site. Harry is being drawn into these two seemingly-unrelated developments. At the same time, he must train students in the schoolwide DA, while the burden of the Prophecy is filling him with visions, which cause Harry to pull back from his friends. But love has a way of arising whether it is welcome or not. For Harry, the course to resolution is never smooth, but if Harry can thwart Voldemort's plot, he can gain access to the secret which could enable him to use the 'Power the Dark Lord knows not.'

Chapter 22

Chapter Summary:
Harry is taken to the Hospital Wing, where his treatment from the lethifold's injuries begins. He finds it quite embarrassing, as well as soothing, to have murtlap salve applied.

Chapter 22 - Salve

Justin Finch-Fletchley stayed behind to help other prefects calm and control the students. Ginny and Ron ran ahead to the Hospital Wing to alert Madam Pomfrey and assist if they could. Hermione and Marietta tried to check Harry's condition as well as they could while Cho levitated Harry to the Hospital Wing. He was not truly unconscious, but could not control his body and was not very coherent. As they entered the Hospital Wing, Cho guided Harry's body to the bed Madam Pomfrey had indicated to her.

"Don't set him down! Those raw wounds won't take to linens very well," she said, then she shook her head. "Him again!? What now?"

Hermione answered first. "He was demonstrating how to handle a lethifold, but Draco Malfoy interfered and the lethifold got to him before he was able to conjure his Patronus. After his Patronus had handled the lethifold, we thought he was okay, but then he collapsed as we headed up to the feast. We found his flesh all exposed and his clothes soaked with fluids."

Madam Pomfrey was already checking his condition as Hermione spoke. "He's clammy, pallid, incoherent, lost a lot of liquids: he's in shock. Granger, get the blood-restoring potion, give him a tablespoon every minute until he's stable. Edgecombe, make a mixture of 1 pint essence of murtlap with a quarter cup each of DermoGro and NeuroGro. Then put on your smock and prepare yourself for a big job."

Hermione had the first tablespoon of blood-restoring potion in Harry's mouth within ten seconds. Between doses, Madam Pomfrey had Cho move him near a fireplace so that he could warm up from the body chill caused by so much blood loss and exposure. She told Ron and Ginny to roll the bed underneath him, even though there was no intention of letting him down until his skin and outer layers of flesh had been regrown. After four doses of blood-restorer, he started to become more lucid and get color in his cheeks.

"Huh! What happened? Why am I here?" Harry asked.

"Potter, do you know where you are?"

"Of course, Madam Pomfrey, the Hospital Wing."

"Good. I suppose you'll recover. The lethifold dissolved some of your skin and flesh wherever it touched you. Can't you just play gobstones when you're bored!?"

Madam Pomfrey put a Hover Charm on Harry so that Cho could release her Levitation. She explained that removing his clothes from raw flesh would be much easier both for her and for him if he was hovering. He would also need to remain hovering while he regrew skin and nerves. She pulled a rolling curtain around his bed and sprayed him with a blood dissolving potion. She had Marietta and Hermione assist her by gently pulling the clothes outward and upward as the cutting and the dissolution of the blood allowed them to separate safely from his body.

"Why didn't he know he had been hurt, Madam?" Hermione asked.

"A lot of slow and stealthy predators deaden their victims' senses to make the killing easier," Madam Pomfrey explained, "The icy-cold feel of the lethifold touching is actually the deadening of the nerves, so Potter was simply not able to feel the dissolving of his flesh or anything else in the affected areas. Is there no end to the ways this boy finds to hurt himself!? Let's see, Potter, you've had a deboned-arm, been bitten by an Acromantula, fought basilisks, fallen from a broom, passed out from dementors, fought with a possessed professor, now lethifolds - sometime couldn't you come in for simple acne or a splinter or something!? Are you trying to find something I haven't handled?"

"No, Madam," replied Harry sheepishly.

"Well, if you are, you can stop it. We don't naturally get lethifolds up here - they're tropical - so I haven't seen this particular injury before, but I know what to do for you. You're in luck - a muggle hospital would have to regularly scrape scar tissue off of you, and each time it would re-expose raw nerves. That's what they have to do for severe burn wounds. The toughest men you'd ever want to know cry like babies facing it. It would take months too."

Once she had all of Harry's clothes cut off, she told Hermione to remove his wands and any other possessions for him and place them on the night stand. Then Hermione was instructed to dispose of the clothes.

"Order another set of robes for me, will you, Hermione?" said Harry. "Madam Malkin has my size."

"Of course, Harry."

Madam Pomfrey started to usher Hermione around the screen. "Now you, Granger, and the others can return to the Feast."

Ginny asked, "But will he be okay?"

"The essence of murtlap will heal him fine; he didn't lose but skin and some of the flesh underneath. He'll even regrow the nerves in a couple days time. It was the body fluid loss that made him collapse. But he'll scar terribly if he doesn't have the murtlap applied. Edgecombe can do that - she's a second-year healer trainee. And she's not a prefect, so she won't be needed like you lot. Tell everyone that's concerned that he'll heal like new. You two Weasleys - save a good full plate of the feast for each of them and bring it up in a couple of hours."

After they left, Harry heard Madam Pomfrey address Marietta. "Now you know the procedure - you must apply a thin coat of the murtlap essence over all affected areas and work it in. Be thorough! The way that lethifold covered him you'll have to search out every possible nook and cranny or he'll be left with scarring."

"Yes, Madam."

Marietta came around the curtains and picked up the bottle of blood restorer.

"You'll need a tablespoon of this again before I start with the murtlap."

Harry nodded and let her push the spoon into his mouth.

She continued. "I'm going to turn you over and start on that side."

Since Harry was hovering about a foot and a half over the bed, she just grasped his arms where he had not been affected and gave him a slow spin, stopping him when he was face down. Harry grasped the top rail of the headboard to steady himself and to have someplace to rest his arms.

She started from his feet, remarking how awful his feet and lower legs looked.

"I'm sure - that's where it got to me first," replied Harry. "I didn't think the lethifold had done anything to me. I thought it would envelop a victim first and then eat."

"I guess we know now they don't wait," said Marietta, "but this isn't the best way to find out."

"Have we scared everyone else off from ever trying to face it, do you think?" asked Harry.

"I hope not. It was a great experience for me to face it. I feel so much freer and more powerful, now that I know I can use a Patronus against something deadly. And that's what I'll tell everyone,' she answered.

"Would you have been able to face it if you knew this could happen to you?" asked Harry waving his hand behind him weakly to indicate his raw flesh.

"I don't know," she said quietly, "we girls are rather vainer about our bodies, especially our skin. That's one reason it's important for us to get you healed by the end of the weekend. We want others to see that Madam Pomfrey knows how to restore a body even if a lethifold gets a bit of you."

"Right," said Harry, but his mind was elsewhere. The lethifold may have deadened his surface nerves, but the deeper nerves still worked and Harry could feel Marietta's motions as she rubbed the mixture into his legs. He remembered what Grishnack had said when he saw Melony holding Dobby's hand, how magically powerful touch was for healing. He began to understand. Being touched and ministered to in this way made him feel connected and calm. Despite his many friends and supporters Harry often felt like a pariah, but Marietta's stroking made him feel peaceful. He let out a contented sigh, which he hadn't realized Marietta had heard.

"Feels good, doesn't it?" said Marietta, "Murtlap's good for most any damage to the skin."

After his legs, she started working on his back and the part of his upper arms which had been affected, though the higher she went the less damage she found.

"Alright then," she said with a giggle, "that's as much as I can do until you unclench."

"What?" said Harry.

She laughed again and gave him a little slap on his bum.

"'Unclench,' I said. You're tight as a drum. I know you heard Madam Pomfrey tell me to check EVERY little cranny."

"Marietta, is that really necessary? I mean, couldn't I do it or something?"

"No, you couldn't. You couldn't see whether you had gotten everything. Harry, don't be silly about this. I'm your healer, a professional - it's my training."

"You're not a healer yet, you're a trainee," objected Harry.

"Yes, but I've applied murtlap to others before, though not this extensively, and Madam Pomfrey has assigned me to apply it to you - ALL of you that needs it. I have to check everywhere the lethifold might have gotten to. And if we don't get the salve on all the surfaces, the parts that are touching will grow together - do you want that?"

"No, definitely not. All right then," said Harry, as he forced himself to relax, though it took some real concentration.

"Now that's better. My, you really have been working out. With skin on it, this would be very nice," she added playfully.

"Marietta, I thought you were just being a healer, a 'professional'!" mocked Harry.

"Doesn't mean I can't enjoy my work, does it?" she giggled, "Oh, if you're embarrassed now, just wait until I set to work on the other side."


She worked the salve into every exposed bit of flesh behind Harry and then she rolled him over again. Harry felt like one of the chickens Uncle Vernon would roast on his backyard rotisserie: he was even near a warm fire.

"You know, Marietta, this is kind of embarrassing."

"Harry, I had already seen your front when we cut your clothes off you. Besides I've seen loads of boys in here. It's no big deal. Ooh, well, most weren't as fit as you are! But otherwise ..."

"But, erm, you're going to have to touch EVERYwhere, maybe I should, you know..." said Harry, nervously.

"We've been through this. I'm the healer - why don't you try being the patient. There are places you still won't be able to get to, so just let me do what I have to. And don't worry, there's nothing that might 'happen' that I'm not aware of. I'm a seventh-year, not a first-year. So just lie back, relax and let me do my job - unless you want me to get Granger in here to help?"

"NO!" said Harry, far too loud and quickly.

"Hmm," said Marietta, "I know you two are close friends, so that reaction means one of two things - you'd find it too nice to have her touching you like this, or you'd find it awful for her to touch you like this."

Harry said quietly, "She's my friend. It'd be like Ron doing all this. It'd be too weird."

"Well, that answers something that's been on a lot of girls' minds. We thought maybe you two were being very discrete, but it really is 'just buddies' - at least for now, hmm?" Marietta teased him. "Too bad Cho didn't know this last year - she really thought you were comparing prospects."

"I doubt it would have mattered," replied Harry, "Neither of us was communicating very well."

"I certainly heard enough from her to know that's quite an understatement. Don't worry - everyone's awkward when they first start dating."

"What did she say about me?" asked Harry.

"Forget it, I'm not about to betray a confidence," said Marietta. She suddenly stopped and looked down for a few seconds. "That was a poor choice of words, coming from me, considering what I did last year. Harry, I am so sorry about that."

"As far as I am concerned, it's forgiven. I'm not sure I would place you in a high-pressured situation, if I had the choice, but that's not a matter of forgiveness. Some people just don't handle the pressure. We all have our limitations."

"I appreciate that, Harry" said Marietta, resuming the therapy on his legs. "So what are the strengths and weaknesses of the quidditch teams this year?"

"Ah, so you can report back to Cho? I don't think so."

"Well, I'll tell you some of what she's said first, so it's fair."

Harry had the impression that she was just distracting him, so she could do her job. And actually he was enjoying both the efforts to distract and letting her do her job. She talked about quidditch rather ineptly as she worked on his tummy and sides, then she moved up to his chest and shoulders.

"Well," she said, "the lethifold left the hair under your arms - did you used to have any on your chest?"

"A ... a bit, it was coming in." said Harry nervously. "Will it come back?"

"Oh, sure, we'll restore you good as new. We can even give you some extra, if you want, but let's not get too extreme. Okay, I've got to finish up now: it's time for the good bits, just like before. You'll need to lift and spread your knees. Just relax - to the extent you can while I work this in. Hope my hands aren't too cold. Aah, well, now that makes things easier."

Harry felt awkward having salve worked in on his privates. It felt very nice and yet it was also quite embarrassing. He felt like he should put his hands somewhere, rather than just let them float alongside him on the hover charm, but there was no appropriate place to put them. He both wanted the treatment to over and wanted it to never stop. Before long, Marietta was finishing up.

"A-a-a-a-nd, there, that should just about do it. Let me just check there, and ah, there, and okay, then. All done. You can relax now," she said. Then she winked and smiled at him. "Or maybe you can't."

She washed her hands in a basin and then dried them.

"Here," she said pulling an anti-stick sheet over him, "this should make you a little less anxious. Take another teaspoon of the potion: you're still oozing quite a bit."

"How long will I have to stay here?" asked Harry.

"You might be out Saturday, but Sunday is more likely. Lucky the quidditch match is Ravenclaw-Slytherin, rather than a Gryffindor game. Let's see, tomorrow is a class day. What have you got tomorrow?"

"Erm, double potions, double Charms and Care of Magical Creatures."

"Okay, Weasley or Granger can get you the instructions and ingredients for tomorrow's 6th-year Potions. Even Snape wouldn't give you a hard time after what his boy Malfoy did. I can bring the sample to him after. I'm certain that Flitwick will be very understanding, especially after your Charms demonstration tonight. And if Hagrid is even fit to teach tomorrow, it'll probably be about lethifolds anyway."

"Yeah, I guess I'll be okay with classes," said Harry. "Say, will I have to get the murtlap again?"

Marietta nodded. "Three times a day, why?"

"I guess I was a bit concerned about who would be applying it," said Harry.

"Well, normally it's the healer trainee on duty, unless there's a special request," said Marietta.

"Oh, I was thinking that maybe you could, um, you know ..."

Marietta smiled. "Take care of you?"

Harry blushed. "Well you already know your way around there."

"And you'd really rather not have Granger doing it, eh? Yeah, I'll square it away with Madam," said Marietta, with a Mona Lisa smile. Then she became more serious. "Harry, what did you think of for that Patronus - I mean, I really had to compose myself to conjure mine, but you had to come up with yours so quickly, when things were so sudden and confused."

"I thought of all the people in my life that I care about," replied Harry.

"Was I in that, too?" she asked and Harry nodded, "and that makes you happy enough for a Patronus?"

"Yes," said Harry, "happy, and terribly frightened."

Marietta nodded her understanding.

"How about you, Marietta? We all laughed about saying Malfoy's detention was the happy thought for the rest of you, but he hasn't been the thorn in the side to you the way he has to most of the rest of us."

Marietta smiled and winked again and said, "You need to get some rest before our dinners are brought."

Then she dimmed the torches and went to Madam Pomfrey's office.