Chapter 56 - Urgency

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Monday had to go on as normal, even with the excitement of Sunday afternoon, but Harry was twitchy all day. Not least of all because the Prophet had had a huge headline all about him first thing in the morning. Several students discovered that amicable Professor Potter was not so easy going if they pushed him too far by bringing it up just after lunch.

No one mentioned it for the rest of the day.

As soon as the school day was over, Harry and Draco headed for London, because Harry had to see with his own eyes that Hilde was recovering. Draco was pretending that he wasn't just as worried as Harry, but it wasn't like he could lie to Harry, so they both knew the truth.

Hilde was sitting up in bed drinking what looked suspiciously like a cup of tea when they walked into her room.

"Well look what the cat dragged in," she said and smiled at them.

Harry produced the box of chocolates they had picked up in Hogsmeade and Draco brandished a bouquet of flowers as they chose one side of the bed each.

"For me?" Hilde asked, apparently absolutely delighted as she put her tea on the bedside cabinet.

"Well I don't see any other thoroughly deserving Hufflepuffs in the room," Draco said, and made her blush.

"Choccies and flowers," she said, "I'll be the talk of the gossip rag by tomorrow morning."

"Are you propositioning us, Professor?" Draco asked and wiggled his eyebrows.

Harry couldn't quite manage to be so charming now that he could see the healing bruises on Hilde's face; the fact that they weren't completely gone spoke of how nasty the injury had probably been. Unfortunately Hilde noticed that he wasn't joining in.

"Oh, Harry," she said, patting the side of the bed, "don't look so worried, I'm fine."

"But you almost weren't," he said, even as he sat down.

Much to his surprise, she reached out and hugged him. It was only a short hug, but he hadn't been expecting it at all.

"I take it you've been telling him this isn't his fault?" she said, looking at Draco after she pulled back.

"Of course," Draco said, "but he will be so Gryffindorish about it."

"Not completely unexpected," Hilde said.

"I can't help it," he protested.

"We know," Draco said and sat down on the other side of the bed, reached over and ran a hand down his back.

"Harry," Hilde said, ducking her head a little so she was looking him in the face even though he had taken to staring somewhere over her right shoulder, "we're in a war. I'm safer with this oath bond than I would be without it. You saved me. Your magic put one very bad man in St Mungo's under guard and knocked out three others so all the cavalry had to do was cart them off. They deserved everything they got and I am still here, very much whole and hearty. Thank you."

"I really don't know how I did that," Harry confessed.

"Of course you don't," Hilde told him and almost reached out to him again, her training being the only thing stopping her. "If Hecatamae could perform miracles at the drop of a wand, we'd have to up your statuses to demi-gods, not human beings."

"Please don't give him ideas," Draco said and made Hilde smile again.

"You're really okay?" Harry asked.

"Fit as a fiddle," Hilde promised, "well almost. They only have me still here for observation because of all the mixed magic that was flying around. Feeling all that power was quite a rush, let me tell you; I was higher than a kite for hours. Didn't feel a thing as the lovely healers fixed me right up. I'm hoping they'll let me go in the morning."

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