Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Emmeline Vance, Neville Longbottom, mentions of other Order members.
Word Count: 1225
Summary: The few times Emmeline Vance visited St. Mungo's.
Author's Notes: From before the first war to the end of Order of the Phoenix.
She was seven years old, just turned that day, when her parents told her that cousin Hera was sick. They’d asked if she’d mind a trip to St. Mungo’s on her birthday. A needless question; she was already too worried about her favorite older cousin to enjoy her cake.
They’d flooed over immediately and Emm had been left in awe. Healers were rushing every which way, all sorts of families were waiting around, one wizard appeared to have sprouted scales, and it all smelled like the apothecary at Diagon Alley. For a seven year old it was a brand new world. When her father assured her that Hera would fine for the moment, she determined to explore.
While her parents spoke with aunt Calliope she followed a healer down the hall.
It took about eight minutes for her to get lost. So far, however, aside from a scream from one of the rooms, all was well. She hadn’t taken notice of what ward she’d stumbled into.
With that innocent curiosity of a child she peeked into any open room. She was waving at a lovely looking blond witch when she was roughly grabbed.
The wizard in front of her was balding and red in the face. He let go of her arm, but the tirade of incomprehensible shouts that followed was worse. Even as a child Emm was not prone to tears, but she was coming awfully close.
She was saved by a tall blond wizard who ordered him “back to the barracks, no supper.” The wizard bowed to her and reminded her that war was no place for ladies before marching off.
Emm bolted away with an impressive speed. She’d clung to the first non-healer she could find and he called for her father. When her dad came to collect her from the healer’s station she was still clinging to the wizard’s robes. She was briefly reprimanded for wandering off, but her distress was obvious and they flooed home quickly.
She wouldn’t remember the events of the night the next morning, but she’d remember the fear and soon related it to St. Mungo’s and everything it encompassed.
Another Charms class debate had just begun when Professor McGonagall stepped in. She looked serious, which was nothing new, but there was something in her eyes when she asked for Emmeline that made her stomach drop.
She was distantly aware that she was once again at St. Mungo’s and that Dumbledore had been kind enough to accompany her. Mostly, she was in shock. She was trying, and failing, to make sense of her world.
It wasn’t until she spotted her father standing tiredly in a waiting area that she really reacted to anything. Emm rushed forward, feeling infinitely safer in her father’s arms. She let out a choked sob.
No one wondered who she was, the resemblance between them was glaringly obvious. No one wondered what had happened. The scene, from the way she clung to him to her school uniform to Dumbledore’s sympathetic look, was easy enough to decipher.
When her grandfather finally woke up she was the only one in the room. He didn’t seem to notice where he was or that she should have been in school and when he asked for “my Willie-Rose”, as he always called her grandmother, she lost it.
He nodded. “I thought so.”
She cried with him and her mother for what seemed like hours.
As far as she could remember, this was the only time St. Mungo’s had been related to anything happy in her mind.
She’d received word late, as she finished Quidditch practice, and took several minutes to calm herself down before apparating over to the hospital. She found Dorcas getting a cup of tea first and was happily informed that Neville Longbottom had been born fifteen minutes ago and was perfectly happy. The ridiculous smile on Emm’s face had made Dorcas laugh.
She hadn’t had a chance to worry about healers or hospitals because they were all allowed in to see the Longbottom’s and there were better things to think about. She’d hugged Alice and Frank and held the baby Neville as long as she could before Sirius made her pass him over.
They were all kicked out soon enough and baby Harry hadn’t been born yet and soon enough that familiar panic had started to rise in Emm’s chest. Remus was the one to suggest she go home for a while. After making them each promise to get her immediately, she apparated home.
Two hours later Dorcas’s canary patronus informed her that Harry Potter had been born.
She’d found it odd that she would visit St. Mungo’s twice in one day, of her own free will, but baby Harry was beautiful and Lily and James were so happy that she didn’t care. She was the second to hold the baby, after Sirius, and was hard pressed to remember a time when she’d been happier of late.
She was shaking, but then she’d been shaking for two weeks now. She’d been shaking ever since Remus had informed her that Lily, James, and Peter were dead. She’d been shaking since they’d captured Sirius. Shaking now didn’t make much of a difference.
Somewhere in her mind she recognized the ward she was in, though she couldn’t remember when she’d ever been there.
Some part of her told her to turn around immediately; nothing good was waiting for her. She couldn’t do that to Alice and Frank. At least they were alive.
She hadn’t gone to St. Mungo’s when Marlene had died, or Dorcas, or the twins. There had been no point, they were already dead. Alice and Frank were not dead and she had to see them.
She held herself together for twenty minutes before it became too much and she apparated away from the room in a panic.
She visited the Longbottom’s once more over the years, but it had hurt and she had panicked and her distress was plain. A healer asked her to leave before she affected them.
She hadn’t been to St. Mungo’s in twelve years.
She was shaking. She was shaking and crying and she didn’t even realize it.
Emmeline couldn’t feel much of anything besides the overwhelming tightness in her chest and how painful it was to breathe.
Neville was sitting alone in a room, the healer had just left, when she entered in a flurry. He recognized her instantly and some part of her realized that he looked just as worried for her as did for him. She must have looked like hell, and she hadn’t even fought.
The crying wouldn’t stop but she kneeled in front of him and ran her trembling hands over his hair and face and checked him all over for injuries. He’d already been attended to, she knew, but she had to do something.
“Are you alright? Are you hurt?”
He shook his head, but she wasn’t paying attention. It wasn’t until he put his hands on her shoulders that she actually looked him in the eye.
“Are you alright?”
She shook her head after a moment. “I can’t keep losing all of you.”
She stumbled back then, sitting on the cold floor of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and sobbed.