On Loan: Andromeda
|Scene Title||Don't Pity Me|
|Synopsis||Holly dwells in self-pity while those around her try to offer support.|
|Date||Jan 22, 1995|
It's been a couple days since Holly was admitted to the hospital, and she's slept most of it, between the obvious and understandable crying and feeling sorry for herself and the heavy doses of wolfsbane potion.
Her dreams aren't so great. They're mostly a combination of the cruciatus curse and being mauled by a large animal, so those wake her up a lot. The good news is that the bones are broken, so when she does wake up, there's a lot less that actually hurts now. Even still, being mauled by a werewolf is one of the most painful things she'll ever have to endure. Her arms and chest are now stitched, thanks to a mediwitch with some proficiency in muggle medicine - and, despite claims that such things are 'barbaric,' Holly's glad of that - though the bite taking up a good portion of her torso is still open, and currently packed with antiseptic - or the wizard equivalent - and gauze.
After a disturbing falling dream, Holly wakes up with a jolt. She's propped up in a half-sitting position, and she tries to push herself up just a little further. It seems that every time she wakes up, she can't immediately remember where she's at, and so there's panic. She's getting better, though. She hasn't tried to get out of bed since last night.
Jack has kept a vigil as much as he possibly could. He's left to get food and to change clothes, but he's planted himself beside Holly and stayed there. He's been attempting to make sure she's taken care of, though luckily that hasn't taken much doing. Currently, he sits working on some paperwork while he waits for her to awaken. When she does, he moves quickly toward her, hoping to catch her if she takes another dive.
There's not much to do in Grimmauld Place right now, but sit around, clean, and wait to see if Remus'd come otu of his imposed exile. Neither of the cousins have decided to bother him, yet, considering how much things are likely weighing on his mind. However, Tonks, like Sirius, can't stay in one place for long, but she's also not a fugitive (as far as she knows) so it's easier to escape the suffocating House of Black.
A knock comes to Holly's door, apparently having managed to sneak in without notice. Tonks'll push it open and she's got a small gift basket. Something stupidly cute and muggle-ish. Like, with a stupidly cute bear that has 'Get well soon!' on the belly with some flowers. so yeah, nobody said she could come in but she's here anyway. "Hey… brought you something," the Auror'll hold up that gift basket. Still, it's awkward speaking. Jack gets a nod of greeting. "Uh…I'm not interrupting anything important am I?" Did she jsut bust up some intimate embrace type thing or what?
Neatly dressed in her mediwitch uniform, Andromeda enters the room as Holly awakes, on the heels of her daughter. The woman clearly bears a resemblance to her elder sister, and her wayward cousin. By now, she's a familiar sight in this room, having taken it as a bit of a personal mission to tend to Maplewood. In the witch's hands is a tray containing a meal for two. There are /two/ mouths to feed, and both will eat, even if she has to force it down. "I've got another card for you, Holly." The card in question is set on the tray, bearing two paw prints. One much larger than the other. Andromeda settles the tray down next to Holly, and she'll be staying put, thank you. "I brought enough for you as well Mr. Noble." The woman's tone brooks no argument as well.
Tonks' entrance is met with a blank stare, and the confort from Jack isn't exactly rejected, but it's not really returned, either. At the moment, she's just in shock and trying to get her bearings. She's in the hospital - St. Mungo's. Not in that cell… She's been out of there for a couple days. "Oh," is her response to the offer of the gift basket. She doesn't reach out to take it, but that's only because her arms are bandaged and still really sore.
Eventually, there's the slightest touch offered for Jack. She brushes his shoulder with hers - a very blink-and-you'll-miss-it gesture - before she leans back against her pillow.
Andromeda might as well have set a flyswatter down near her, as that's how much interest Holly shows in the food. She's not hungry, and she doesn't see the point in eating anyway. There's something more lively in her eyes, though, when she sees the card… And that, she'll reach for. "My cat," she explains blandly, pointing at the smaller one.
"Not exactly." Jack's reply to Tonks (the younger one) is wry. He nods at Andromeda and looks at the food. "Will do." As every touch or word from Holly is cherished, he does notice the brush of shoulder. He reaches up to run his fingers through the edge of her hair: the only affection he can show her without causing her pain. "How does she look, Healer?"
The basket's settled down on the closest surface, and Tonks works on making sure the ribbon is just right. So, what do you say to a werewolf-bite victim? 'How are you feeling?' 'Like I got mauled'. Fortunately, Andromeda arrives and is that Tonks trying to become one with the wall over there? Not quite, but Tonks is definitely kind of subdued, more so than when she came in, upon her mum's arrival. So, yeah, guess who wears the pants in the Tonks' family?
Andromeda's expression softens some, and she doesn't push the meal just yet. Jack's given a roll of the eyes, "You can use my name by now. We're all practically family in here." What with all that Holly's done for her idiot cousin, and the thanks she's received in return for it. "Miss Maplewood will be fine. Some of her wounds will take longer to heal than others, and that's just the nature of the source. /If/ you stay put, you'll be on the mend all the sooner. No more attempts to pull your bandages loose or to move around." Oh you aren't hiding from your mother /that/ easily. She sees Tonks over there. "This whole fiasco is disgusting and deplorable. If it weren't for those trumped up charges, I'd have your support group in here this minute, Miss Maplewood."
"Thanks," she says to Tonks when the basket is set down. The teddy bear seems like it'd be extremely comforting right about now, but she can't bring herself to ask for it. Maybe later, she can see if she can reach it on her own.
There's a short glance at the food, but after forcing goblet after goblet of that potion down, it seems exceptionally unappetizing. Besides - she reminds herself - she can't see a reason for it. The rebuke over pulling her bandages off surprisingly doesn't have Holly feeling particularly guilty, and she asks the question she's been feeling for days. "Does it matter if I do? I have nothing anymore. You should have just let me die."
Jack's lips thin, and he addresses the Tonks women first while he lets his frustration dissipate. "Yes. Thank you." He should've said that already. "Yeah, that's gonna be the big 'if', I think." He closes his eyes, hating to hear her self-destructive thoughts so clearly. "No." He'll repeat that over and over again. "Not gonna happen, Holly."
Tonk's hand lifts up, rubbing her face. She didn't come here for a rehearsal for her eventual conversation with Remus. She looks to her mom, "You don't think you can get that support group in, anyway, Mum?" It's obvious that Holly can use it. AS for letting people die? "Unfortunately, Holly, it's kind of not in my job description." Tonks isn't the type to jump on self-depreciating comments right away. "So what's for dinner?" She looks at the plate nearest her.
Andromeda pulls herself up to her full height, spine stiffening. "Stop that, this instant. A defeatist attitude is not going to help you." She wears the pants alright, and is stubborn to her core, but she's not as ah, violent, as others in her family. Her hands settle on her hips, and she looks down at the woman in the bed. "This isn't the end for you. Others have coped long before you, and those after you will cope as well. You're not the first case I've seen, and you are most certainly not alone. Sirius, Nymphadora, Mr. Noble and Lupin will attest to that and they won't tolerate the self-pity either." All that's left unsaid really is put on your big girl britches and move on. "Nymphadora, don't be silly. I can't get Sirius or Lupin in here. They come to mind first about who is best able to help." Based on what she heard at the trial? That's a support group right there if she's ever seen one. "However, the sooner Miss Maplewood gets better, the sooner we can get her back on her feet. Your work isn't finished." She will not take no for an answer.
Holly looks at Andromeda incredulously for a minute, and then she laughs. "Yeah, that totally makes it all better." In fact, the more she thinks about it, the funnier it seems, and it's not long before there are actual tears in her eyes. Holly can't even tell if it's from the laughter, though, or if she's just having another break down. It's amazing to think about, though. All these people, her so-called 'support' group, and not one of them just wants to allow her to feel bad. "It would be great if life was a half-hour sitcom," she says. "You know, 'cuz then all your advice, I'd have to take it by the end of the show, 'cuz there's only one 'to be continued' allowed in a season, and this just isn't— " She trails off, dabbing at her eyes with the bandages around her arms. "It's not self-pity, it's fact. No matter what people say, I will never be a human being anymore. Not to the public at large. You think they're gonna want me in court fighting their battles? Come on. Don't try that encouraging bull crap on me. I know enough to know that coping just isn't going to be enough."
"Then you find a family who needs a legal advisor, and you make your living that way." Jack offers as one option. "Or, you teach law. Or…" Any number of other things come to mind. "There are people who need you Holly, and not just me." He's admitting a lot more than he might otherwise. "You've brought a needed perspective to a lot of people, and you don't need to be in the courtroom to do that." He nods at Andromeda watching the byplay between mother and daughter. Oh, dear. Should his mum ever meet Andromeda… The thought makes him shudder slightly. He shakes it off, and returns his attention to the situation. "You are still a human. Still a witch. Just with the need to have a potion every month and sleep in a special room." He won't go so far as James and the 'Furry problem' description, but that's the intent. He looks at the food, and takes a bite of something, offering another bite to Holly. "Now, c'mon. Take a bite. "
Yeah, way to go with the bedside manner, mum. Then again, Andromeda /is/ Slytherin, and never really did have much tolerance for self-pity. It usually was up to her dad to translate for the Andromeda-Impaired. "What she's trying to say, Holly, is it's okay to feel out of sorts…bad..whatever about what happened. I mean, you've totally gotten the short end of the stick here. But to tell us that we should've just left you to die?" She tilts her chin towards Jack, "You telling him he should've just left you? I think if he had a problem with the whole 'changed' thing, he wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be here." She scratches the back of her head idly, not wanting to upset the woman further because she /is/ going through a hard time, but Tonks is also a believer the sooner you get back on your feet, the sooner things can begin going your way again. Jack's words get a nod, and then Tonks is quiet for a moment or three. "You're not the only one who's hurting," she finally says quietly.
Andromeda has no idea what Holly is babbling about. Sit-coms? Whatever that is, she moves right along. She settles on the edge of Holly's bed, and her voice softens. "I didn't say that it was going to be easy." A hankie is produced and she reaches in to try and dab at Holly's eyes. "You'll be surprised at what you'll be able to accomplish. You fought for werewolf rights in your country, or did I read that wrong? You've already rocked the boat here, you have more support than you're allowing yourself to realize. I don't want any more nonsense about not having anything. You have friends that will see you through this. You have more options open than you're willing to see right now." Her daughter is given a sharp look, "I can speak for myself Nymphadora.. but yes Miss Maplewood. You're allowed to feel sad and angry. You and Lupin have been used and you have every right to feel as you do. He's probably feeling quite the same. /That/ said, feeling sorry for yourself is not going to help."
It won't seem so bad one day, since it is so manageable, but right now, it does seem like the end of the world. She loved being in the court, loved fighting with words rather than with wands. It was such a rush when she totally disproved someone else's point beyond a shadow of a doubt. "I'm not hungry," she says to Jack, muttering. "And you know what scares me? What if she uses me like she used Remus? He had… no say. They— " Her breathing picks up momentarily as she successfully fights back tears. "He's okay?" This is said on the heels of Tonks' reference to the man, who's been absent from here, and for good reason. "It's not his fault. He…"
Could have done something. She saw it in his eyes. There must have been a way, but all that goes unsaid, and the statement trails off with an "I'm sorry." She sniffles again, looking at the food. "Could use some water." That's a start, right?
There's a stiff nod when Andromeda asks if she fought for werewolf rights in her country. "There's always people who won't ever… accept…" she says. "Has anything been in the Prophet? Do people know?" Because she's certain Umbridge must be gloating by now.
Jack reaches for the water, and holds it out to her, waiting for her preference to see if she needs help drinking or if she wants to do it herself. "There's always idiots, Holly. You know that. Hell, my big brother is one of them." He rolls his eyes and shakes his head. "The important thing is how you handle it." When they mention Remus again, Jack's lips thin again. He knows it wasn't Moony's fault, but he can't help feeling this helpless anger at his friend. He, too, is dealing with it. "She's gonna…" They all know to whom Jack is referring, especially if they see the fire in his eyes.
Andromeda gets a look that's between indignation and a pout. Obviously you can't speak for yourself or else she wouldn't have to reword things! DUH. She just sighs. "Umbridge won't be that stupid to say that another werewolf was allowed to be made under her watch. She'll probably try to spin it into something else, but nobody else'll know, outside of those who already to." Umbridge may be a talentless hack, but she did manage to wrestle the Ministry away from more capable hands (not by much), after all. Remus? "He's…" Again Tonks is quiet, and there's a shift, and she finds the corner of the room a bit more interesting to look at. "The food trays come back empty at least."
"Once word gets out about this? The people won't stand for it. Werewolf or not, that was a line that never should have been crossed. Using a person in such a manner." No, Andromeda hasn't an issue with voicing her mind. "You have small sips of water, and I want to see you eating a little bit before your next round of potions. You'll want food on your stomach for them." Rising from the bedside, she straightens her robes. "I haven't seen anything in the Prophet. As horrible a paper as it is, Ted and I have been reading it thoroughly for any information. Now. I'll be making a beef stew later, I will be bringing some from home tomorrow." She usually cooks to feed an army when she gets her mind to it. "Nymphadora, I'll give you enough to take to Sirius. I bet Kreacher's refusing to cook best he can." She knows that horrid elf won't be cooking properly. "Listen to Mr. Noble," she says, even as her lips twitch in what could be a smile about people being idiots. "Although, idiot doesn't quite cover it in some cases."
Some tiny voice in the back of her head says GOOD. He should feel guilty.
Holly's arms are still sore, but she takes the water from Jack, anyway, and holds it to her own lips. The taste of old socks is finally diminished, and after enough of this, she might just re-gain her appetite. Maybe. The whole werewolf thing is still making her sick, quite literally. From studying them, she knows she'll never really feel one hundred percent ever again.
"I hope he's okay," she says of Remus between sips. And she does, but there's a lot to fix between her and him now, and she has very little drive to actually do it. Still, she reaches over to the nightstand next to the bed, though the twisting brings another squeal. She's got a legal pad there; apparently, at one point, she thought reading some of her own notes would help. It didn't. Flipping through the first few pages until she finds a blank one, she writes 'Remus, I'm okay,' signs it, and gives it to Tonks. "Give that to him when you think he'll appreciate it."
After trying and failing to smile for Andromeda, Holly gives up. "And then after the outrage is over and the novelty wears off, I'm just another— you know. It'd be a great opportunity to get out and start something, but I'm going to be stuck in here for God knows how long." Looking down at the bed, she sighs. "I'll eat when I feel like I can keep it down."
Jack hasn't anything more to say at the moment, so he sits quietly, offering silent support. It's a rare thing, and highly valued, or so he'd like some to think. He sits back into his chair, and starts eating the food. "Thank you, Andromeda." That's all he's got for now, except a nod of agreement now and then.
The note's taken and Tonks stashes it in a pocket (after figuring out which ones doesn't have random junk in it where it'd get lost) "I will," she promises. Perhaps not on the first time she ( or Sirius) manages to talk with the man, but perhaps the second. "That's why there's broths and soups," Tonks points out about the food. "An d the sooner you eat, the better you'll heal. Body can't work if it doesn't have any nourishment." Hopefully the 'Sooner you eat, the sooner you'll get out of the hospital' message gets registered. Jack gets a smile, and Mum? Mum gets a grimace. Stop it with the Nymphadora in front of her friends, D:
"Then you cross that bridge when you get there. For now, take it one day at a time." Stiffening, Andromeda is finding herself bucking at the self-pity again. "You won't be here too much longer. Your bones have mended and we just have a few major wounds that need to close." Jack is given a smile as she walks over to Tonks and gives her daughter a motherly pat on the cheek. "Join us for dinner later, dear." Now that she's done embarrassing Tonks, she looks at Holly, "I'll be back to check in on you in a little bit. Do try and eat something before your next dose. If there's /any/ problems, you call me. I won't be too far away." Then she's gone from the room.
In a perfect world, Holly would feel better from all this attention and reassurance, but she just feels pitied, even if that's not anyone's intent. Of course she'll have to decide on her own that she can deal with this, and maybe it'll take a while. Really, she's in no hurry to leave the place, because even if she doesn't want the pity, at least the people here feel sorry for her, and they don't hate her for what happened to her. As soon as she steps out of here, she'll have the whole world on her shoulders.
"Okay, thanks," she says to Andromeda. Yeah, she can't let them boot her out of here. Not until she's ready. "Guys… I just need to be alone for a little while, if that's okay," she says to Tonks and Jack. "Just give me … An hour. I just need to be alone for awhile."
"I'll go, if you'll tell me you'll be here when I get back." It's not pity in Jack's eyes. It's fierce pride, care, and worry. "Alright. I'll go take a shower or something." He rolls his eyes.
LOOK AT HER SUFFERING. Tonks just tolerates this cheek patting with a grumble. Her and Dignity haven't really been partners in a long time, so … There's a grumble about 'not being twelve anymore', but Andromeda's bustled out. "Alright. I'll stop back in in a couple of days," Tonks doesn't want to wear out her welcome or anything. She'll reach over, and if permitted, will pat Holly lightly on the shoulder, being mindful of any thing that looks like a bandage there. Then she'll move to the door, holding it open for Jack.
Holly nods. Her eyes are a little red, but she manages not to cry again. Yeah, she'll be here, in one form or another.
As soon as they're gone, she reaches for the bandages again, fingers under the adhesive, ready to pull them off, rip out the gauze or the stitches, and start the healing all over again so she can stay longer.
Why, though? What's that going to do for her? How is it going to make things easier? She doesn't want to leave, but she's always gone in fighting before. What's the difference now?
When Jack returns, he'll find the meal mostly gone, and a still-bandaged Holly dozing as peacefully as possible.