And look who it is, the consequences of our actions...
Jasmine came to slowly, a thick fog enveloping her thoughts. Her head throbbed a bit as she fought to open her eyes. It felt like she had been run over by a herd of hippogriffs and not in the fun post workout kind of way. It had been a while since she felt this wrung out. She couldn't even get her rune vision to work because she was drained.
The last thing she remembered was Brightbark doing something stupid.
She allowed herself to lay still and take a quick catalogue of her body…her fingers and toes moved and twitched when she wanted them to, which was always a good sign that they were in working order. Forcing her eyes open was a hassle, but after she got past the crust gluing them together they both opened. A white ceiling greeted her, which meant she was at a hospital…more than likely St. Mungo's. This reminded her so much of when woke up here after her nineth reset.
Her pulse quickened at the thought.
Death wouldn't…send her back to the beginning…
Not without telling her? Right?
Jasmine panicked and pushed herself up, despite her aching body, to take a look around. Her starched hospital blanket pooled around her. She didn't want to be back in her fourteen-year-old body. Had she failed again?
Forcing herself into a sitting position was a mistake, it hurt, so she collapsed back against the bed and prayed that she hadn't damaged anything that was healing.
Jasmine didn't remember an injury like that when she had first been brought to the past.
But, that was when she noticed that something was moving on her blind side. Jasmine turned her head and saw Petunia was slumped over on the bed, barely touching her. Her friend was uncharacteristically disheveled and most definitely in her twenties. Her blonde hair was a bird's nest barely held together with an elastic, she had a large robe thrown over her shoulders that she was using as a blanket and it didn't look like she had been wearing any make-up, which was unusual for Petunia.
Jasmine nudged her with her leg. "Tuny, time to get up," she said jostling her as gently as she could.
Petunia swatted her leg with as much coordination as a zombie, but Jasmine's voice seemed to have registered somewhere in her brain because moments later her head shot up. "Jasmine!"
Her long-time friend threw herself forward and hugged her. Jasmine barely had time to wrap her arms around Petunia before Tuny was pulling back.
"You had us so worried! Tahatan said you would wake up, but some many people died in that fight and then the explosion!"
They already had a body count?
Where was Sirius?
Jasmine's fist tightened around the blanket. "Tuny, what happened? I know that Tom Riddle was killed, but where's Sirius? What happened after Brightbark caused that explosion."
Petunia bit her lip and worried it between her teeth for a moment as she figured out what to say. Jasmine braced herself for the worst. Petunia wasn't going to sugarcoat the truth, it was something she admired about her friend. "Cassiopeia is dead…she died taking the brunt of the explosion…" Jasmine's eyes widened. Out of all of them, she figured that Cassiopeia would live through the fight. The woman had seemed to untouchable. "Sirius is alive. He's in surgery or whatever your healers call it."
He was alive, Jasmine let out a breath that she hadn't realized she was holding. "I doubt anyone told you his medical condition."
Tuny shook her head and Jasmine groaned. She was going to need to wait until Theo came back and get the details from him. Though, he was probably the healer working on Sirius right now, so it would be a while.
"Give me the damage report. Is Theodore alright?"
Petunia wouldn't be here otherwise. Well, she might make time to visit Jasmine, but to doze off in her room, she'd need to be waiting on someone else.
"The doctors here are discharging him and it was taking a while. His eye was damaged in the fight, and there some kind of curse damage that they needed to stabilize, but otherwise, he's unharmed. Tahatan let me wait here while Theodore dealt with that. You killed a Dark Lord, but you already knew that. Dumbledore subdued Brightbark and Amelia arrested him. I think he should have let Bella take care of him. She had to be restrained by Mikhail. Regulus sustained a head injury, but he should make a full recovery. Chatan used his golems to protect a lot of civilians without getting hurt…Euphemia will be using a cane to walk for the rest of her life, the Minister is alive, though from what I've heard no one knows if it's going to stay that way. Peter Pettigrew was arrested and Marlene's remains were found. She apparently had been possessed, poor dear. Umm, the Prewilts…Prewills…"
"Yes, the twins are okay. Marianna killed more people than she probably needed to, but barely had a scratch on her. James and Lily thankfully missed the entire thing...Dorcas Meadows died…Amos Diggory sustained some serious injuries, a lot of death eaters died. The Carrow twins died.
Cassiopeia more than likely did that.
"Is Severus okay?"
Petunia nodded, though she frowned at his name. Those two still didn't get along, which was fine, there was a history there.
"There were other injuries, but our little ragtag group is alright. A lot of people were out of the country at the time of the attack. There is going to be some kind of meeting in a few days to discuss losses, or at least, that's what Theodore told me," she replied, playing with a ring on her finger.
Jasmine's eyes zeroed in on her left hand and Petunia just grinned.
"It took him nearly dying to get his act together, but he finally mustered up the courage to ask me to marry him. The idiot apparently asked my father and Lily months ago. Theodore's father was furious, of course, but the old man has no other heirs and a dead wife. He could always remarry, but conceiving at that age, even for magical people seems to be difficult."
Merlin knows it took the Potters nearly thirty years to conceive James.
"Congratulations, Petunia. You are going to take this world by storm," though, she couldn't keep her focus on her friend, "Did they say how long Sirius' surgery would be?"
Petunia turned towards the clock on the wall and frowned. "It's been over three and a half hours already. I imagine it should be over soon. Though, I'm no doctor."
Jasmine worried the end of her hair between her fingers. "The average for magical surgeries is about two hours. This has to be delicate work then." There are only so many surgeries that would take this long in the magical word and none of them were good. Theo was an expert, but she really wished she knew what happened after the explosion.
"It was indeed delicate work," Theo magically projected into the room as he entered with a light knock on the door. He was dressed in a long well fitted white master healer's robe. He had some muggle equipment in his front pockets as well as quills and potion vials sticking out of others. The magical hearing aid hanging from his ears, were glowing a dim red as he projected his thoughts outward. He had recently put those out on the public market and made a small fortune.
"Is Sirius' life in danger?" Jasmine asked, getting the hard question out of the way. The two of them had talked about what to do in that kind of situation, but she didn't want to have to actually implement it.
"No, Sirius is in no danger of dying, but he did sustain a life changing injury. Petunia, Theodore Nott is looking for you. I need to speak to Jasmine about Sirius' medical history." Petunia nodded, gave Jasmine's hand a squeeze and made her way out of the room, "I'm the healer in charge at the moment, so I need to ask. Has Sirius had previous damage done to his back that I should know about?"
She frowned and thought back to his Auror missions. James was the one that got hurt the most, but the worst of their injuries was a broken bone or two. Occasionally, there was some curse damage, but it hadn't been anything major. Sirius was a great duelist, it's what kept him safe, but, that's when she remembered fifth year. "He did get hurt in our fifth year. Your dear brother nearly snapped his spial cord or something."
"Ah…that's unfortunate," Theo took Jasmine's hands in his. "I'm going to be very frank with you. Sirius has severe nerve damage that is affecting his lower back. I'm sensing little to no activity below the waist. I'm not sure if he'll be able to walk. The explosion blasted you both into wall. Cassiopeia used herself as a shield to absorb most of the blast, but you two were still too close. Sirius used his body to cover yours and that decision had consequences."
That wasn't the worst news she could have gotten. "His mind is okay? He'll wake up?"
Jasmine let out a shuddering breath and leaned back against the pillows behind her. Disability would change their lives, sure, but it wasn't the worst outcome. He was alive, they were alive.
"I expected more panic."
Theo was still gripping her clammy hand in his.
"I can build him a wheelchair that has all sorts of magical capabilities. Lily is a charms master and you're a medical genius. Between all of us, we should be able to make something for him that should give him some mobility back. Yes, our lives will be different, but he's alive, and all his necessary organs are functioning to keep him alive. That's more than okay with me. It's more than I've ever really gotten out from life. Merlin, that's sad. Mind healer appointments for everyone, again."
Theo let out a silent chuckle and squeezed her hand again. "I'm glad that you're holding up. And, yes, all of his organs are working. I still need to run some tests on his nerves to see how extensive the damage really is, but I need him awake for that. I've fixed everything I can."
Nerve damage was always tricky.
Theo has spent multiple lives studying it and has found that magic can only do so much. Muggle technology tends to work best with a few magical modifications.
"Sirius is going to be upset. Am I allowed to visit his room or am I confined to this bed?"
Her friend scoffed as he summoned a wheelchair from the hallway. "You have fractured ribs, I'd prefer you to not move for the next few hours while your bones finish mending. Sirius will be sleeping for another couple hours. Take some time and rest. You will no doubt have some visitors…I have personally cleared all the healers and guests on this floor. James has been patiently waiting his turn."
She let out a sigh. James was going to want all of the details of the battle and out of all of their friends, he would also want to know about Sirius' injuries. "Let him in. I don't need him panicking in the hallway."
Theo gave her hand one last squeeze before making his way out into the hallway, his robes billowing out behind him. He kept the door open and a few moments later, James came in dressed in muggle jeans and a t-shirt. It wasn't something he usually wore outside of the house and special occasions to Lily's parents' house.
He must have rushed here when he heard the news. At least most of them made it out of the fight alive. Her cousin was staring at her, his gold rimmed glasses were a bit askew.
"How is your mum, James?"
The question seemed to snap him out of it. "She's alright. Already crawling the walls, claiming she's fine and ready to leave. How are you doing?"
Jasmine ran a hand through her hair and let out a sigh. "I've certainly been better, but I'm not suffering any lasting damage."
"Have you heard anything about Padfoot? I saw Orion pacing the halls earlier, but he didn't seem to be in the talking mood."
No, Orion would be figuring out damage control. He lost Cassiopeia, Sirius sustained a major injury to his back, Regulus took a blow to the head if Petunia's information was correct and Jasmine had been unconscious. She was more than likely going to be getting a visit from her father-in-law shortly.
"Sirius is alive. His back was severely injured when he protected me from Brightbark's spell and the healers aren't sure what kind of mobility he'll have. It doesn't sound like he'll be walking any time soon," Jasmine replied slowly, watching her cousin's reaction.
James was quiet for a moment, his hands were shaking a bit, but he didn't seem phased otherwise. "But, he's going to be alright? No lingering dark magic? He didn't suffer any brain damage from the explosion?"
"The healers are just worried about the spial damage. I was told I will get to see him soon."
"Thank Merlin. I had assumed the worst when he was rushed into surgery."
A knock caused both of them to turn towards the door. Orion was in the entryway, his grey eyes were a bit red rimmed. James quickly gave Jasmine a hug and made his way out of the room.
Her father-in-law closed the door behind him. "I assume you heard the news about Cassiopeia?"
Jasmine felt tears prickling at the corners of her eyes at the mention of Cassiopeia. The woman had seemed immortal. "I'm sorry for your loss, Cassie was an amazing woman. I know you two were close friends as well as siblings."
Orion let out a wet chuckle. "Yes, my sister's loss is one this family will mourn for years to come, but she died doing her duty. She lost her life protecting my son…I assume you've been informed of his injuries."
"Tahatan informed me a little while ago. Once my ribs finish healing I'll finally be allowed to visit him. I'm just glad that we're both alive after all of this madness."
Orion blinked and seemed a bit surprised at Jasmine's response. "You aren't angry?"
"Well, I want Brightbark's head on a pike for what he did to Sirius, but law enforcement have him at the moment. There really isn't anything I can do but be there for Sirius and support him though this. Was I supposed to react differently?"
Her father-in-law chuckled. "I suppose not. I'm just glad that Cassie and I chose the right bride for my son. You know, if you had been born thirty years earlier, she would have fought for your hand."
Jasmine's lips twitched upwards. "I'm aware. She had mentioned it once or twice when she'd had a little bit too much wine." That had also made its way into her wedding speech to her nephew. It was one of the few times that Jasmine had actually seen Cassie truly drunk. "Though, is there a reason you thought I would be angry at Sirius? I mean, the injury is awful, but he's alive and we can make it work."
"Not many witches would want the inconvenience," he replied with a shrug and Jasmine could feel her face heating and her fists involuntarily ball up. If she had the energy she would shout at him, but her ribs were burning just from talking and she needed them to heal them enough to make it to Sirius' room.
"I wouldn't just leave him. You have to know me better than that by now."
He didn't meet her eyes. "I'm just worried for my son."
And that was the crux of the problem. Rational, even for a Black, tended to go out the window when it had to do with family.
Orion sunk into the chair next to her bed with a complete lack of grace that he would never show in public. He threw an arm over his eyes and took a long shuddering breath. His hair was loose, fanning his face in mess waves and curls. Jasmine could really tell where Sirius' got his dramatic flair and looks from. "I nearly lost my entire family in that fight. Sirius, Regulus, Bella, Cassiopeia, and you were all on the battlefield."
Jasmine took his trembling hand in hers, which was littered with scars and fresh lacerations. "Cassie might be gone, but the rest of us are still here. The Black Family will live on. Sirius and I still owe you heirs, right?"
He let out a mirthless chuckle. "I suppose that's true. You've yet to break your word, Jasmine."
Nearly four hours passed before Jasmine was finally given the all-clear to travel from her room to Sirius' which turned out was right across the hall. Her ribs were going to be tender for a few days, but she was now allowed to walk around at a slow pace.
Theo held the door open for her as she entered Sirius' room. The set up to his room was different from hers. There were various magical items floating around his bed monitoring his heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, an IV drip that Theo must have brought with him was hooked up to his wrist.
Sirius had a book lying face down on his chest that he had dropped at one point before dozing off. His hand was still on the spine. He wasn't facing her as she entered. She had a lovely view of the back of his fluffy head.
Jasmine hobbled over to the plush chair next to his bed as Theo shut the door quietly behind her.
"Tahatan, I told you I don't need you hovering," Sirius mumbled halfway between wakefulness and sleep.
"I hate to disappoint you, but I'm not our dear healer."
Sirius' head snapped in her direction, he had a small cut on his nose, but other than that, his face was remarkably intact. He knocked the book off his chest in an uncoordinated attempt to greet Jasmine. They had to have him on strong pain medication.
"Jazz! You're alright. How are your ribs?"
Jasmine grabbed his still flailing hand with her own and gently leaned over and kissed his forehead. "I'm fine, you idiot. How are you? Merlin, you're the one that was in surgery for hours. Tahatan filled me in, though, I know they ran some more tests."
Sirius let out a shaky sigh as he ran a trembling hand down the covered silhouette of his legs. "Well, I've lost a lot of feeling below the waist. Tahatan was able to salvage a little bit, but I won't be walking for quite some time and even then, it will probably be assisted by some kind of weird device he plans on creating."
Jasmine moved to sit on the bed to hug Sirius as the shaky sigh turned into tears. They would make it through this. Brightbark wouldn't be getting away with this. Who would have thought that they would defeat Voldemort nearly unscathed to nearly die against a mediocre light wizard?
"We'll get through this."
Maybe the more she said it, the more people would start believing her.
It wasn't until later that evening after Sirius had fallen asleep that Death wandered into the room. The Deity still had their hood up, but the usual tension in their shoulders was gone. "Lady Magic is proud of you, my dear. Magical Europe is more in balance than it has been for nearly fifty years. Numbers of magical births are rising. You mission, for now, is complete."
Jasmine felt a physical weight lift off her shoulders as she held Sirius' hand. "Does that mean I finally get to die? No more time travel? I get to live out this life to the end?"
"Your family will still serve Lady Magic and myself, but your mission has come to its close," Death replied, they stepped in front of Jasmine and placed their cold lips on her forehead. "You know where to find me, if you ever need my power."
And a moment later, Death vanished and Jasmine let herself cry in relief. She was finally free.
And so, our story is starting to come to a close. RIP Cassie, you were a great character. Next chapter we have more of the fall out from the battle and what the government is going to do...what's happening with Brightbark and all that lovely stuff.
I hope you enjoyed the chapter! Real consequences to battles are something that I do write quite a lot. So, most of the people that were in that fight left with some kind of injury. Some worse than others.
Anyway, I will post another chapter next week, 6/25/21.
See you soon,