Evan looked up and found himself in a crowded reception.
Rows of witches and wizards sat upon rickety wooden chairs, some looking perfectly normal and reading out-of-date copies of Witch Weekly, others sporting gruesome disfigurements such as elephant trunks or extra hands sticking out of their chests.
The room was slightly less quiet than the street outside, for many of the patients were making very peculiar noises.
A sweaty-faced witch in the center of the front row, who was fanning herself vigorously with a copy of the Daily Prophet, kept letting off a high-pitched whistle as steam came pouring out of her mouth, and a grubby-looking warlock in the corner clanged like a bell every time he moved, and with each clang his head vibrated horribly, so that he had to seize himself by the ears to hold it steady.
Evan, Harry, and Hermione looked around curiously in disbelief.
On top of normal disease patients, there were almost all kinds of curses and dark magic patients in the hospital.
Witches and wizards in lime-green robes were walking up and down the rows, asking questions. The badge embroidered on their chests was a wand and bone, crossed.
“Look at those people, are they doctors?” Harry asked quietly.
“That is the Muggle hospital’s status, they’re called Healers here.” Hermione replied, “Requirements to become a Healer include, as far as I know, N.E.W.T.s of at least the grade ‘Exceeds Expectations’ in the subjects of Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, Herbology and Defence Against the Dark Arts.”
“Oh, Potions class! Then I guess it’s no good. Snape won’t let me pass!” Harry said, “But you definitely won’t have a problem, Hermione!”
“But I don’t want to be a Healer; it’s a job of great responsibility.” Hermione looked up at Evan, not far ahead and whispered, “I prefer being the editor in chief of a newspaper over being a Healer…”
“Yeah, I forgot!” Seeing Hermione’s look, Harry smiled. “You’re going to run a newspaper with Evan.”
Seeing Harry’s expression, Hermione blushed and nodded with embarrassment, which was for sure a confirmation.
While Harry and Hermione were chatting, Evan followed Lupin to the queue in front of a plump blonde witch seated at a desk marked inquiries. The wall behind her was covered in notices and posters saying things like “A CLEAN CAULDRON KEEPS POTIONS FROM BECOMING POISONS”, and “ANTIDOTES ARE ANTI-DON’TS UNLESS APPROVED BY A QUALIFIED HEALER”.
Beside the counter, there was also a large portrait of a witch with long silver ringlets that was labeled DILYS DERWENT, ST. MUNGO’S HEALER 1722–1741, HEADMISTRESS OF HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY, I741–1768
As the most famous Headmistress, she had a high reputation in history and her portraits were on many important places.
Derwent was a very amiable person. When meeting them in the school corridor, she always greeted the students and provided the new ones with guidance.
Dilys was eyeing the people in front of the counter as though counting them.
When Evan caught her eye, she gave a tiny wink. “Hello, Evan Mason. Nice to see you outside school!”
Derwent greeted him, walked sideways out of her portrait, and vanished.
Meanwhile, at the front of the queue, a young wizard was performing an odd on-the-spot jig and trying, in between yelps of pain, to explain his predicament to the witch behind the desk.
“It’s these …ouch … shoes my brother gave me … ow… they’re eating my … OUCH … feet … look at them, there must be some kind of … AARGH … jinx on them and I can’t … AAAAARGH … get them off… “ He hopped from one foot to the other as though dancing on hot coals.
“The shoes don’t prevent you reading, do they?” said the blonde witch irritably, pointing at a large sign to the left of her desk. “Go to Spell Damage on the fourth floor. Next!”
The wizard hobbled and pranced sideways out of the way, Evan hurried forward a few steps.
His attention shifted to the sign that the witch had just pointed at, reading the above text: ARTIFACT ACCIDENTS, Ground Floor (Cauldron explosion, wand backfiring, broom crashes, etc.); CREATURE-INDUCED INJURIES, First Floor (Bites, stings, burns, embedded spines, etc.); MAGICAL BUGS, Second Floor (Contagious maladies, e.g., dragon pox, vanishing sickness, scrofungulus); POTION AND PLANT POISONING, Third Floor (Rashes, regurgitation, uncontrollable giggling, etc.); SPELL DAMAGE, Fourth Floor (Unliftable jinxes, hexes, and incorrectly applied charms, etc.); VISITORS’ TEAROOM AND HOSPITAL SHOP, Fifth Floor.
If you are unsure where to go, incapable, of normal speech, or unable to remember why you are here, our Welcome Witch will be pleased to help.
“Ron was under the Imperius Curse, we should go to the fourth floor!”
As Evan read the sign, Lupin moved forward to the desk and asked softly. “Hello, we’re here to see Ron Weasley. What ward is he in, please?”
“Ron Weasley?” said the witch, running her finger down a long list in front of her. “Oh, yes, he has been delivered from Hogwarts a week before Christmas. Fourth floor, second door on the right!”
Everyone followed Lupin through the double doors and along the narrow corridor beyond, which was lined with more portraits of famous Healers and lit by crystal bubbles full of candles that floated up on the ceiling, looking like giant soapsuds.
More witches and wizards in lime-green robes walked in and out of the doors they passed; a foul-smelling yellow gas wafted into the passageway as they passed by one door, and every now and then they heard distant wailing.
They climbed a flight of stairs and entered the “Spell Damage” corridor, on the fourth floor.
Before they even looked for it, they heard the Weasleys’ voices. Mrs. Weasley was losing her temper and blaming Fred and George for a nasty joke they had just played.
“Ron is recovering, and you two just can’t behave…”
Mrs. Weasley suddenly stopped, and she was surprised to see Evan and the others walking into the ward.
In the next second, she hurried over and held Evan, Harry, and Hermione in her arms, red-eyed and thanked them for helping Ron at school.
Evan looked up in embarrassment, and he saw Fred and George winking in front of him, with a cheerful smile on their faces.
Behind them, Percy, with a book in his hand, followed with a serious look.
Ginny, sitting in a chair in front of the bed, nodded as if to say hello, and looked at Harry with a red face.
Beside her, Ron, who was lying in the bed, sat up and looked excitedly at the three of them, looking both happy and embarrassed.
The Weasleys were exactly the same as always.
“Although you said it before, I didn’t expect you to come back today, after all, it’s just been christmas!” Mrs. Weasley said gratefully, “Arthur has just left. Because of Pettigrew’s affair, the department has become a mess lately.”
After she hugged Evan, Harry, and Hermione, she stood up to greet Sirius and Lupin.
Apparently, she and Sirius knew each other and were very familiar.
After a brief introduction, Harry hurriedly asked Ron about his recovery.
“Basically there are no problems. The Healer just came over and confirmed that I will be able to leave the hospital after a few days of observation!” Ron patted his chest and signaled that he was healthy.
Since they entered the ward, he noticed the small owl that had kept hooting in the cage. Ron looked at Sirius puzzled.
“This is a gift for you. After all, it’s my fault that you lost that rat…” Sirius explained.
“This owl is for me, I can’t believe it. This is the best gift I’ve ever received!” Ron took the cage, looked at the owl inside with joy, and then raised his head. He said with embarrassment, “You didn’t have to do this. I was… I was so dizzy at the time, I doubted you, to help Scabbers…”
“It was not your fault, Ron.” Harry hurriedly said, “You broke free from the control of the Imperius Curse at the last moment.”
Sirius and Lupin also hurriedly followed the persuasion and said they had forgiven Ron for what he had done.
“Who could think that Peter Pettigrew was an Animagus, he was hiding too well!” Fred said.
“Yeah, I still can’t believe that Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew!” said George. “Unbelievable, he actually lived in our house for more than ten years.”
Hearing his words, Mrs. Weasley and Percy showed a lingering expression on their faces. It was horrible enough just to think about it.
If Peter Pettigrew had other plans, the consequences would have been unimaginable.
T/N: Hey there, this is Translating_Wizard. I hope you like the story so far and are happy with the releases, I just posted chapter 350 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, hit the button below ^^