Fixer Upper


maura1.jpg liam1.jpg

Scene Title Fixer Upper
Synopsis With a wave of her wand, Maura mends Liam's all too important aesthetics and they catch up.
Location Hospital Wing
Date May 24, 2001
Watch For Liam's favorite word
Logger Liam, Maura

Hospital Wing Hogwarts
Fri May 24, 2001 — Fri May 24 17:47:04 2019

Here the scent of medicines becomes stronger and rows of beds make two neat lines on either side of the long room. Large windows let in light and- when appropriate- air. Aside from the occasional groan of a patient or hushed conversation of visitors, it's a quiet place for the sick and injured to be treated.

Two days ago, one of the mediwitches, blushing like she'd invented the thing, reported that that one of rescuees from Azkaban had woken up finally and seemed much more recovered than previously. In that he'd actually sat up and talked to her, asking for his personal clothing, which of course had been ruined beyond repair. After that, he's found his wand and seemed intent on leaving with a hobbled gait, taking the uncooperative Aurelian with him. Although, they only made it as far as the benches just outside the wing's door. Aurelian had eventually left on his own, with the man returning to his cot, as if having thought better of it. Since, he's remained, now sitting on the edge of that very same bed this dreary afternoon. Through the parting of the curtain that surrounds him, Liam has his hospital rob hitched up, exposing the full length of that long, slender, right leg, uncovered as discreetly as possible all the way to his yellow tinged hip. This is really all that remains on the surface, faded but still discolored reminders of his previously heinous injuries, but the damage had been to the extreme and went far deeper. In his left hand, he holds his wand, apparently intent on solving the issue himself.

The familiar faint click of Maura's four-legged assistant gives clue to her arrival at the infirmary before she can be seen, along with a quiet murmur of voices and rustling of paper as charts are rifled through and notes from the prior shift are looked over. "Ah, Liam's been up and about has he? Not just awake but moving, good. Let's have something more substantial to eat sent up for him then." Her own shoes are quiet, barely heard as she approaches the mostly curtained off area that the other healer recovers in. "That yellow color looks dreadful, doesn't it. But now that you're awake and more yourself I can finish healing it right up with your permission. I'd have done it sooner, but you were a bit difficult to get close enough to use the spell I prefer. And being knocked flat on my ass is definitely not a good look for the rest of the patients to see, now is it?" There's some amusement there at least, as she tries to injext a bit of levity into an otherwise unpleasant situation.

Taking in a breath, Liam's just about to get started, when sounds that tickle at memories he thought lost forever bring all that nonsense to an end. Vibrantly aqua eyes widen, long blond hair tosses as his head turns towards the Maura's voice, a breath catching on parted lips. This is how the woman finds him behind the curtain, staring at her as if he'd just seen a ghost, and not the ones that usually wandered about Hogwarts. This trend continues as she address him directly, frozen as it were in that pose of nearly caught casting. Then, brows twitch, descending into a furrow and unsteadily he inhales, "Maura?" For a second there, he might even think he'd imagined her, because the disbelief lingers. There were hints of his once perfectly sun-kissed porcelain skin, but the majority was in patchy yellowed botches with uneven purple edges. Then, he blinks once, snapping out of his reverie with a flutter of ashen lashes, "I did what?" comes next, trying to picture it, and so the faintest reminder of his melodic laughter slips into his voice, ever as serene as it ever was despite everything that had happened to him.

"Yes Liam, it's me. I'm glad to see you with us." Maura is as genuine as ever, with a warmth and relief in her voice to see him sitting up and obviously much recovered. "You were quite distressed when they first brought you in, and I imagine you didn't realize you were at Hogwarts until a couple of days ago. It was no doubt like something of a trippy nightmare or dream, coupled with actual nightmares… well, we will just say you can have a very loud voice, with some remarkable creative curses. And those long limbs can flail. It makes one try to jump back out of the way. Only, well, we know what happens when I try to jump out of the way." she jokes, flipping one hand to the side and making a splort noise that is entirely out of character for her. "And then Starbuck here would have started barking, and goodness. So I've had to direct from a distance. But now that you're lucid I hope you'll let me finish your healing." The chocolate lab at her side, where she has one hand gripping a balance bar, wags his tail in greeting.

Another blink and it should be clear Liam's having difficulty wrapping his head around seeing Maura again, let alone in a much better state than the last he saw her. "I…" he begins, finally lowering his wand and the hand holding it drifting aside to rest palm lightly, taking on a rather distressed expression, "…don't remember." Any of it really, other than the pain, as it'd been excruciating to the extreme. Countless broken bones and looking as if he'd been trembled several times over by a herd of enraged centaurs, he'd come to her almost completely unrecognizable. Not only as Liam Laronte, but perhaps human as well. "I'm sorry…" And he means that, his level of discomfort skyrocketing in the wake of how he behaved in those days and week following his rescue, aqua eyes darting to the turn of her hand and looking quite taken aback by the splorting noise. A glance to Starbuck, but whether or not the man had actually noticed the friendly pup till then, is anyone's guess. Likely not, considering the mist of emotion that glosses over his gaze and he reaches outwards to take the dog's head between shaking hands and bow his own over him. "By Merlin's beard…Starbuck!" Now that voice was unsteady, trembling with emotion that Liam had so rarely shown outside of his carefree and gracefully mischievous self. Affections are lavished upon the lab, soft words murmured against him, but Liam doesn't let himself fall completely apart. Aside from that small but reasonable display, the blond composes himself soon after, and slides himself back to a properly seated position once again. Well, aside from the quick brush of fingers beneath his eyes as he laughs prettily, the tinest suggestion of something 'off' beneath it, "I must look a fright, yes…please…I'm in your all too capable hands…"

Maura shakes her head just a little, allowing Starbuck to lead her forward until she is close enough to the chair by the side of his cot to turn it slightly and seat herself. "Please, don't be sorry. Not with me. I understand better than most what it's like. You didn't see me until years after I had been rescued, so you don't know… you don't know what a complete wreck I was. It gets better, Liam. I promise you it gets better. But that is equally hard to believe right now, so allow me to assure you that I can make sure you have enough work to keep you busy while you work through what it means to be free again." she offers, clucking her tongue to signal Starbuck that he's free to cavort with Liam for a few moments. Moments where she politely diverts her gaze, so that even if he had fallen apart she could allow him to keep a measure of his privacy and dignity intact. "You also know I won't lie to you. You /do/ look a fright. I'm having some decent food sent up for you, too. And you'll eat every bite of it." Ah yes, there she is. The merciless caretaker! If she catches that there is something off about him, there is merely a sad glance of empathy cast upward for a moment and a bit of an inheld breath before she leans forward enough to cast the spell that will allow her to feel his injuries and heal them. Even those internal ones that the simple spells miss or take time to get to. She is thorough, the single word 'Rapha' spoken quietly and without any use of her wand. He may recall her using it before, and that it's not unusual for her eyes to tighten and lips thin as she as she works through the injuries.

Watching Maura take a seat, Liam continues to look at her as if he can't believe she's there, a proverbial cornucopia of emotions running rampant and unchecked across his face as she speaks to him of the similarity between her past and his present. He can't hold her gaze for too long after that, jaw tightening as he tosses his eyes off to one side, swallowing hard against the lump that'd started to form in his throat. However, stubborn as always, the man refuses to let himself come undone and pushes all that unpleasantness as deep down inside of himself as he possibly can. Due to the sheer volume of it, he's only somewhat successful, taking another unsteady breath and releasing it just as unevenly, "I would never even begin to compare what happened to me, to…" Liam might not know exactly how long it was that he was a prisoner at Askaban, but even having experienced it, what Maura had been far worse. He didn't know everything, of course, just enough that he reaches out and takes a hold of her hand, giving it a gentle but firm squeeze. The softness of a sigh, gathering his strength, Liam slides the brilliant aqua of his attention back to her in earnest and with it the distant cousin of one of his heart-stopping smiles, "And I shall eat every last crumb, as you bid it." A second later, "Just like you not to honey-coat things," he laughs, short and brief, giving her hand another squeeze before retracting his touch, "…and I would not have you any other way." Straightening himself up a bit, tossing some hair over his shoulder, he prepares himself for a proper healing, "Just make me pretty again, old friend. We wouldn't want me frightening off all the handsome young men." His attempt to simply be himself, to be normal and not have gone through what he had, falls flat in a way that only those who knew him as well as Maura did would notice. "Whatever use would I be then, hmm?" It may fail to be convincing, but at least he seems to be trying to reclaim the pieces of him that the Death Eaters and dementors had stolen, rather than openly wallow. All the pretense succumbs to the sharpness in which he inhales as Maura begins, the agony of his throbbing right hip tightening before it begins to fade in transfer over to her, a time in which the man tightly clutches the covers of his cot before he groans and exhales in relief as the pain disappears along with its unsightly discoloration. "I'm sorry Maura," he breathes out, aqua eyes past the thick fringe of lashes that surround them, heavily lidded. The apology because, he knew that his pain hadn't just simply vanished.

"Come now, Liam. I know your injuries, and you know that as your healer I will not divulge any details to anyone else without your leave. Just because it isn't exactly the same, does not make it any less difficult or harrowing to work through." Maura chides, because she is very good at chiding! "And if you didn't listen to me, I'd just set my house elf Zinny on you. She is -excellent- at the guilt tripping until you eat routine. Trust me." she whispers dramatically, smiling back at him when he does his best to be his old self for her, even for a moment. "Speaking of handsome men." Her lips quirk upwards, as she gives him time to prepare himself for the healing. "Jack and I are engaged now; D-Day has… it made many things both much more clear, and much more urgent, I suppose you might say." That should occupy his thoughts for a moment while she works, her own sharp exhale of relief given once she lets her hands drop into her lap and she can break the empathic connection that allows her to do her work. Leaning back against the chair to regain her energy, she makes a face at the other healer. "It ends when the connection is broken, so it isn't as though it's a prolonged experience. Besides, it's what I /do/. So stop apologizing. How does it feel? Did I get everything?"

Liam shakes his head lightly, "I don't doubt your discretion, Maura…" His eyes dart back to her, if only to be cast away again to catch on something he can see beyond the privacy curtain, "…I merely don't wish to form parallels, no matter how accurately they may align." He had little doubt that throughout the arduous process of healing him back to some semblance of what he looked like before the Death Eaters, that the woman had come out the other end of it with a fairly decent idea of how he'd come to her in such a state. Maura was nothing, if not a gifted healer, and had taught him a great deal in their time together. There's a soft sound, something akin to a snort, at the promise of sicking her house elf on him, "I'll have to do all I can to avoid her wrath." Lips more quirked than rightly upturned, gaze flipped back rapidly with the news that she was engaged, "To…Jack?" Another familiar name, another familiar face, and a justifiably handsome one at that. Though, her mention of D-day and urgency, brings a quiet sadness to settle upon his yellowed features, "I suppose you could, yes. I hope he brings you nothing but the greatest of happiness, Maura. If anyone deserves it, it's you." Then, the healing begins, and their conversation is paused until such a time as both of them are able to continue. "I know, but that doesn't mean that I can't empathize, after all I understand better than anyone exactly how that felt." Not that it hurt much, if any, now. Sighing, but deciding not to argue, he extends his leg and rocks his hips a bit. Following this, Liam slides off the bed and stands carefully taking a few steps away and then returns. Markedly without limping. "There's still an ache deep in the socket somewhere, but I think it's something I can live with until it heals on it's own."

"You definitely want to avoid Zinny's wrath. She is a little menace with that wooden spoon of hers." Maura mutters under her breath, no doubt recalling the fact that it's rather difficult for her to flee the house elf's wrath and she has certainly been subject to it. All of then is spoken after the healing is finished of course, and she can take a moment before the true measure of her smile is seen. "Yes, that's right. To Jack. He's made me smile and brought me happiness since the moment we met; I doubt that's going to change. I think he's going a little stir crazy stuck in the castle here as we all are. How will you feel about possibly being sent out in the field as a combat medic once you're fully recovered?" Excellent segue am I right? Her smile grows that much brighter and she claps gleefully to see Liam walking without a limp. "Look at you! That's fantastic. And it means you can be shown to the room the castle has no doubt already picked out for you. You know I expect you to tell me if the ache doesn't start to fade in a couple of days."

Eyebrows lift in unison at mention of Maura's house elf wielding a spoon in such a way as to be menacing, but rather then ask the questions any one who's had a house elf would ask, Liam presses his lips together and keeps them to himself. It was not his place, regardless of their status as friends. On the subject of her engagement to Jack, he does offer a soft and gentle smile, as close to those he frequently wore before D-Day as he was going to get for the time being, "I'm so pleased for you, Maura." The segue? Liam follows her through it, although as she gets to the part about going back out there a knot begins to form upon his brow faintly. By the time she's finished, tension had brought the smallest measure of tightness to the line of his shoulders, "I would go if ordered to, of course." How he feels about it exactly isn't voiced, even if it wasn't all that difficult to figure out. Returning to the bed, Liam eases himself back down to sit with considerable effort to down play his discomfort, giving his leg another stretch and bend in an attempt to alleviate it. "I promise, you will be the first to know if that becomes the case." Hands placed on the edge of the mattress, the man leans forward minutely, "I know it's superficial of me, but do you think you could do something about the rest of this bruising? It doesn't hurt, but it's downright unsightly."

The long story that would ensue is almost certainly for another time, should such a question be asked. Rather, Maura pays attention to how Liam responds to her suggestion of when he might return to the field. And, she simply nods without judgement and makes a mental note to offer Jethro her thoughts on that particular matter. "We need plenty of help right here in the infirmary as it is. It's Madame Pomfrey's infirmary of course. But, there are plenty of M-Sec, Ministry, and Civilian injuries to take care of these days. Will you mind triage, and being a bit more hands on where needed?" When he mentions more bruising there is a definite furrow of her brow and she is there instantly to cast an Episkey or two as needed. "Any injury, Liam. Superficial be damned. Sometimes you just need to look better then you feel. Fake it till you make it, right?"

It's true that Liam had been liberated from Azkaban for almost a month already, however Maura knew all to well he'd really only been well enough to function on a most basic level for a few days. Up and talking, able to feed and clean himself, and until today hobble a short distance. Physically she may be able to help him fully recover today, but much more than that was necessary for combat readiness, and they both knew it. As Maura shifts her thinking towards the immediate needs of the infirmary, the stiffness that had gathered in Liam's shoulders bleeds out of him, which alone gives her an answer without requiring a verbal response. Not that this stops him, his reserved smile spreading into one that just felt much more like his old self, "It would be my pleasure to be of use, and seems a much better way to spend my time than wandering the castle and it's grounds aimlessly." When it comes to bruising? There is plenty to behold, to be found anywhere that he had skin to cover his tall and slender frame, or at least there was until Maura gets right to it and puts an end to all that nonsense. Yellow and purple alike fade away, leaving behind not a trace on that sun-kissed porcelain finish, and Liam pushes back as much of his hospital robe as is decent to have a gander, breathing out a sigh of relief, "Much better. Thank you, Maura…" As kind and gentle as the blond Slytherin might be, his vanity had a life all its own sometimes. A soft round of laughter follows, that trace of 'not right' minutely reduced now that all outward physical signs of his ordeal had been wiped clean, "I suppose, but for what I have in mind for the next while only requires I look my best." Considering the wickedness of his smile just then, he really could only mean one thing. The slut. It's probably right then that Maura might have trouble not remembering him as exactly he was back when she'd been assigned to train him, "Speaking of which, where might I find myself better attire? Distractions may be far more difficult to acquire if I'm in my dressing gown."

Maura has never been one to be idle, or allow others to wallow in idleness either when it will only lead to dark and dire thoughts. So they also both know she will be giving him subtle pushes in the right direction; for now, the right direction just so happens to be exactly where the most help is needed. "I can't tell you how wonderful it will be to have someone here who doesn't mind all of that. I'll show you where the M-Sec offices are in a day or two; many of our supplies are there, though when it comes to ingredients for potions we obviously pool our ingredients with that of the school. We've some muggle medical supplies too, as they can really help out in a pinch if there's a sudden flood of injuries and not enough magic to go 'round." Doesn't sound like it happens often, but best to be prepared. Of course, his call for decent clothing and what he intends to do once he has it sets her laughing. "Same place as the medical supplies. It probably won't be up to your usual standards, but a bit of transfiguration magic can do wonders. You'll be… smiling in no time at all, I'm sure."

Subtle pushes in the right direction, at the right time, and at the right increments? Undoubtedly, if done properly, this plan would work as many wonders as Maura's wand had this afternoon. Liam would never admit it, but her assumption that leaving him to his own devices in relation to unfavorable outcomes, was more likely than not. Quirking a brow, "I take it that there is a shortage of healers?" At least, this is what he gathers from what Maura has been saying on the topic, aside from her making it her business to keep him from to thinking too hard or too deeply on his own. Liam nods a few times as she speaks of supplies, muggle and magical, "How secured is the forest? Might be worth a jaunt to replenish the stores." After all, he had a decent grasp of herbology and where to find the rarer plants around Hogwarts. When it comes to clothing, the blond tsks softly, "Then I wager you'd better show me to the stores sooner rather than later, because I am not going hunting dressed like this." With that, he slides to his bare feet gingerly, "Once I've a toss or two, I should be fit enough to start earning my keep…though, I do think you mentioned something about a room?" Stubborn. Single-minded. Not taking no for an answer. There was no mistaking the statuesque blond for anyone in that moment other than Liam Laronte.

"There are the combat medics that M-Sec typically employs, and several healers. Even students that have a natural inclination towards the art that help out when their studies permit. But, with each group of refugees that come in…" Maura's voice trails off a bit and her words are accompanied by a slight shrug. "The forest is not at all secure; there are still the dangerous creatures in there that there have always been. You might speak with Taril about what herbs you think we might need though. He has something of a special dispensation from some of what roams in there. And since he is often somehow injured because trouble attaches itself to him like a tick - it's as much for his benefit as everyone else's that we stay stocked up." Oh that tone, as dry as the deserts of her homeland. "Yes, a room. We'll stop by the Headmistress Office and pick up the key. Starbuck and I will help you find your way, and I'll have your meal sent right to your room so you can enjoy a bit of peace before you go trawling for vic.. I mean, before you go hunting." she teases.

Liam nods once, solemnly, as Maura's words trail off into a shrug. One didn't need NEWTS in divination to figure out what she meant by that. Injuries were probably more numerous than those that managed to make their way to Hogwarts successfully, given the dangers no one needed to reiterate to him. He was well aware. "I have to say that I am, impressed, that Hogwarts continues to function as an institution of education for young wizards and witches. You'll have to indulge me sometime in explaining exactly how that works." There is a pause, a slow roll of his eyes upwards towards the ceiling, "Though, I imagine the students parents would find this a place a safer option than keeping them home." Nail on the head? Perhaps, perhaps not, but anything beyond that didn't necessarily need to be discussed here and now. Which is why Liam drops the topic in favor of another, namely the forest and someone named Taril. Ashen brows lift unifiedly, "My concern was more in regards to the two legged types of danger," And by that, he means the Death Eaters, "But I see your point." Another nod, contemplative in nature, "Very well, I'll do as you suggest, given that you point him out to me." Otherwise, he might very well get lost looking for a face to match the name. The dry twist to her tone brings a renewed crook to one side of Liam's mouth, as well as an amused and airy snort, a sound that blossoms into his patented musical laughter at mention of finding the Headmistresses office, "That, I could find on my own, given how often I was sent to see Professor Dumbledore in my school days." It's then that his smile turns towards sadness, and a moment of silence given in reverence. He'd been fond of the old Wizard, just as much as countless others. Shaking it off and taking in a quick breath, those brilliantly aqua eyes drop to Starbuck, drifting soon after back to Maura with the slow return of a deeper grin, "Right then, proper attire, a room, a meal, and then…" A darker chuckle follows, and he braves confident steps away from his cot to brush aside the curtain with his head held high, "My favorite four letter word…" One, he leaves up to the imagination of anyone listening.

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