Date: May, 1998
Format: Pensieve Memory
Relevance: What happened after Rodolohus escaped from the Battle at Hogwarts (follows this post)
Once again I am indebted to Dr Robert Elessar for advice on all things medical.
The horrible news he’d just received fresh in his mind, Rodolphus grimly plodded in the direction of the smoke he’d seen from the cottage window. He paid no attention to his surroundings, the beauty of the scenery completely lost on him. When he reached the outskirts of the village, Rodolphus paused. There were about twenty houses along a road. This wasn’t paved, but it looked fairly well traveled and he ventured out warily, wand at the ready. He really had no idea what a muggle doctor’s house or office might look like and he was relieved to see a solitary man, apparently out for an early morning constitutional.
“Doctor!” Rodolphus shouted at the man.
The man was badly startled by Rodolphus’ appearance.
“Jesus!” he exclaimed. “Was there an accident?”
Rodolphus, who had completely forgotten his own battered state, just stared.
“Right!” the man answered, “down there, last house on the left.” He pointed. “There’s a sign out front. You can’t miss it.” He was babbling. “D’you need any help?” He looked as if he devoutly hoped the answer would be no.
Rodolphus sneered at the man’s offer.
“You’ve been quite enough help already,” he growled. ”Obliviate!” The man’s face went blank and he shook his head, confused, then resumed his walk. Rodolphus made his way down the road to the indicated house.
The last house on the left was a neat modern-looking bungalow. A sign on a post out front read “Doctor Robert- Helping Everyone in Need”. Rodolphus smiled grimly. He certainly expected the owner of the sign to live up to its boast. He went up to the door and pounded three times. “I need help, muggle doctor!” he bellowed.
Doctor Robert Williams had just buttered his breakfast toast when he was badly startled by a thunderous knocking on his door. He dropped his toast and hurried to the door. He flung it open and was nearly bowled off his feet by a battered and blood-stained man in what appeared to him to be some sort of monk’s robe. He wasted no time. “Right this way! The examining room is down the hall on your right. He started to turn to lead the way when the man grabbed his arm.
“Not me you fool! You have to come with me! Severus needs your help NOW!!” His eyes stared out of discoloured flesh and Dr Williams peered at him.
“Someone’s hurt worse than you?” he asked anxiously. “A car accident?” He hurried down the hall.
“Where are you going?!” Rodolphus shouted. “He’s back there!” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder.
“Concussion at least,” the Doctor muttered to himself. Aloud, he told the distraught man. “I have to get my bag. How bad is he? Sev…whatever you said his name was?”
“Very.” Rodolphus replied gravely. “Maybe dying. HURRY!”
The doctor disappeared into the examining room and bustled back out carrying a largish black bag. “Any idea how badly he’s hurt?” he asked. “I need to know what to bring.”
Rodolphus thought a moment. “Restoratives,” he replied. “Severus said to bring restoratives.” He yanked again on the doctor. “Get what you need and let’s go! We can always come back if we need something else!”
“Best to take more than I think I’ll need,” Robert replied sensibly. He ran back in the room and Rodolphus could hear rummaging and doors banging. The doctor re-emerged. “Where is he? I suppose you couldn’t move him.”
“Couldn’t risk anyone seeing us,” Rodolphus replied, much to the doctor’s puzzlement.
“I’ve got everything I should need for right now.” He brandished his bag. “I hope he’s not too far away. I haven’t got a car.” Rodolphus’ car was, as far as he knew, wrapped around a tree.
Rodolphus grinned, the expression quite horrible on face that wore a mask of dried blood. “Whatever a car is we won’t need one. Hold on!” He grabbed Dr Williams arm and apparated away with him.
The two reappeared in a clearing in the forest. Dr Williams was frog-eyed with surprise.
“Wha…what did you do?! He gasped.
“Apparated.” Rodolphus told him, as if it should be obvious to the veriest dunce. “Come on.” He started to enter the clearing.
“Um…there’s nothing there,” the doctor began gently, wondering how he was going to get this madman back to his office.
Rodolphus made a scoffing sound and kept walking. The cottage appeared to mushroom out of the ground as he approached it. Dr Robert stood there with his mouth hanging open. Rodolphus gestured impatiently from the door. “Come on DOCTOR.” He sneered. “There’s a man dying here.” He opened the door and Robert hurried in after him, half afraid the house might vanish again.
“How did you do that?” he asked again, looking around at the shabbily comfortable interior of the cottage.
“Never mind!” Rodolphus shouted. “It’s magic and I’m a wizard.” He gestured to the sofa where Severus lay, still covered with the blanket. “Here he is. Now, do whatever it is you have to do to bring him back.” He crossed his arms and glared at the doctor.
Robert approached the couch warily. He was quite overwhelmed by what had just happened, but the thought of a patient in need took precedence. He peered at Severus’ waxen face and gently laid two fingers on his neck. He shook his head. “I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do,” he told Rodolphus gently. “He’s beyond my help. Now, let’s go back to my office. You I can help.”
Rodolphus wasn’t budging. “He’s not dead, muggle doctor,” he said firmly.
“But there isn’t any pulse,” Robert protested. “And my name is Robert. Or Doctor Williams.
“Move his arm, muggle doctor,” Rodolphus ordered, ignoring his correction about the name. “See for yourself.”
Robert sighed and decided to humour the injured man. After all, it would hardly hurt the corpse to move its arm. He took Severus’ hand and moved his arm up and down. “So?” he said puzzled.
Rodolphus nodded at Severus. “That happened two, three hours ago. Four at the most.” He waited.
Robert looked blank for an instant, then understanding dawned and his face took on an incredulous look. “No rigor!” he exclaimed. “Rigor mortis should have set in by now!” He moved Severus’ arm again. “And he’s still warm!”
“Exactly!” Rodolphus gave a decisive nod. “And he didn’t bleed nearly enough to bleed out.” He indicated the front of Severus’ robes, still quite damp with blood.
Doctor Robert decided he didn’t want to ask how Rodolphus knew about bleeding out. He was afraid of hearing the truth. “What happened to him?” he asked.
Rodolphus shook his head. “I don’t know. I found him like that and brought him here. This was my father’s cottage. I knew we’d be safe here.”
Robert made a murmur of acknowledgement. He was examining Severus more thoroughly. He bent close to look at the sealed gash in his neck. “What did that?”
“No idea,” Rodolphus replied. “No weapon I know leaves a mark like that.”
“Looks as if something bit him,” Robert said, looking closer.
“Bit him?” Rodolphus leaned over the sofa to look for himself. “A snake?” he looked up at the doctor.
“Bloody big snake if it was,” Robert replied, running his hands over Severus’ torso. “There don’t seem to be any other wounds or broken bones. Still, I’m not equipped to deal with snake venom. There’s no call for it in Scotland.” He glanced at Rodolphus.
“Just do what you can,” Rodolphus was beginning to get angry again and it made his head hurt. “Bring him back!” He took out his wand and pointed it at the doctor. “NOW!”
“I can’t promise anything, you realise,” Robert told him. “This is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered before.”
“Damn it, even for a muggle you’re an idiot!” Rodolphus’ face mottled purple. “Bring him back and I’ll let you live!”
Shrugging, sure he was going to be killed regardless, Robert rummaged in his bag. “I’ll try adrenaline,” he said. He drew out a hypodermic and a small vial. “I’ll need your help though,” he told Rodolphus, opening Severus’ robes. “Do you know CPR?” He inserted the tip of the needle into the vial and pulled back the plunger.
“What?” Rodolphus was startled. “Never heard of it.”
“Just come over here and do what I tell you. Bugger!” he exclaimed. “The needle isn’t long enough! I can’t do anything if it can’t get to his heart!”
“How long does it have to be?” Rodolphus asked, coming around the sofa.
“Another two centimeters,” Robert told him. He held his finger a ways from the current end of the needle. “About here.”
“Engorgio. ” Rodolphus said, waving his wand, and the needle grew. “Now…” he pointed at Severus, “before he dies of old age…”
“Here goes nothing,” Robert took a deep breath and plunged the needled between Severus fourth and fifth ribs, emptying the syringe. He tossed it aside and began to push on Severus’ chest. He appeared to be counting to himself.
“Pinch his nose shut and breathe into his mouth,” Robert ordered Rodolphus, still pressing rhythmically.
“What?!” Rodolphus was astonished.
“Breathe into his mouth!” Robert repeated, beginning to pant. “We’ve got to get oxygen into his system or it won’t work. That’s CPR”, he explained.
Rodolphus looked ridiculously torn. “If you’re having me on…” he began menacingly.
“I’m not! I swear!” Robert’s face was red with his exertions. “Just hurry! This might not work but it’s all I can do here. GO!” he shouted.
Rodolphus knelt by the sofa and pinched Severus’ nose closed with his right hand. He took a deep breath and, covering Severus’ mouth with his own, exhaled deeply.
“Good!” Robert told him. “I could feel his lungs inflate. Keep going.” He suited actions to words and kept pumping Severus chest.
The two men kept up their labours for an indefinite time. Finally, Robert slipped his fingers to Severus’ neck.
“Holy Shit!” he exclaimed. “He’s got a pulse! Faint and thready, but it’s there. Stop and see if he can breathe on his own.”
Rodolphus, who had grown spectacularly dizzy breathing for himself and Severus, collapsed next to the sofa. He blinked, trying to focus his vision. He glanced muzzily at the doctor and then at Severus. He noticed Severus chest rise and fall almost imperceptibly. He put his own fingers on Severus’ neck. There was a pulse! They had done it! He glanced at the doctor and saw him rummaging in his bag again.
“He really should have a transfusion and some glucose,” Robert said. “I have all the necessary equipment at the office. I don’t suppose you’d let me go and get it?” he looked at Rodolphus. “What’s your name, anyway?”
Rodolphus shook his head. “Not important,” he said tiredly. Now that all the excitement was over, he had to concentrate to keep from passing out.
“You need help too,” Robert told him. He peered into Rodolphus’ eyes. “I can’t tell how severe your concussion is, but you may have a fractured skull and your nose needs to be set. And you should get cleaned up at least.”
Rodolphus shook his head again. “We’ll go get what we need and come right back,” he told the doctor. “You can take care of me after you’ve gotten Severus set. He’s going to be all right?”
“As near as I can tell right now,” Robert told him. “He may relapse, I just have no idea. I’ll need to stay here to keep an eye on him. On both of you.”
Rodolphus got shakily to his feet. “Let’s go then. The quicker we go the quicker we come back and the less time Severus is alone. And he better not relapse. He owes me his life.” Rodolphus grinned unpleasantly. “And I know how he’s going to pay me back.” He fingered the locket and message in his pocket. “Hold onto me muggle doctor.”
Robert sighed and grasped Rodolphus’ arm. The two of them disappeared again. On the sofa, Severus’ eyelids flickered.