“Shh.” She brushed his hair away from his forehead, her hands leaving a small streak of red on his skin. “You’ll be fine.”
It was getting late at the hospital. The sky was indigo and the lamps inside the ward shed a hazy glow over the corridors as the young witch in lime-green robes walked through the corridor, a wand and clipboard in hand, her gaze on the latest report.
“Have you had dinner yet, Healer?”
Hazel eyes lifted from the paper to face a young man in Ministry robes leaning against the end of the corridor, holding out a paper bag in hand toward her. Tatiana rolled her eyes but smiled. “You don’t need to come in and check up on me all the time, Dai.”
“Hey, if I don’t, you end up eating dinner at nearly—“ Daniel checked his watch quickly, “Half past nine. Which is late.”
“What did you bring me this time, then?” Tatiana replied, placing down her clipboard and washing her hands as her brother moved closer, paper bag rustling in his grip.
“Chinese food. You like noodles, don’t you? I even made sure they didn’t add chicken because apparently you’re still into being vegetarian,” he rolled his eyes and left the bag on the counter.
“Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it,” she swatted at him and then picked up the bag, her hands clean now.
“When are you out of here?” Her brother asked, leaning on the counter beside her.
“Technically, my shift ends at nine thirty, so I’ll be out here soon enough,” Tatiana replied, her voice somewhat absentminded as she pulled out the small carton from the paper bag and then rummaged at the bottom a bit more. “Have you got a fork?”
“Isn’t there one in there?” Daniel pulled the paper bag toward him, his brow furrowed before suddenly there was a crash from the other end of the corridor.
“EVERYONE ON THE FLOOR. NOW.”
The siblings exchanged an anxious look and then bent down simultaneously, each clutching their wands (and Tatiana also grabbing the carton of noodles for good measure). A hooded man burst through the end of the ward and enter, his wand out menacingly as he glanced side by side. “Where’s the Minister?” he demanded, grabbing hold of a healer assistant nearby who shrieked.
“The Minister’s in here?” Daniel whispered sideways to his sister.
She pinned him with a glare. “It’s confidential.”
The healer assistant was too hysterical to answer so the man shoved her away and moved down the corridor. Most of the healers, thankfully, weren’t in the hall when he’d arrived and had barricaded themselves into the patient rooms, but now the hooded man’s gaze turned to the two on the ground near the healer’s station. He took several purposeful strides their way.
“Oh, shit, Dai, he’s coming this way,” Tatiana hissed, grabbing onto her brother’s sleeve and promptly abandoning the carton of noodles from fear. Her knuckles were white as they curled around the wand tightly.
The man stopped. She could barely see his eyes from behind the hood, but they first turned to Daniel and then to Tatiana, fixing on her robes that marked her as a healer. He suddenly bent down and had grabbed her by the front of her shirt. “Where’s the Minister’s room?” he hissed.
Tatiana flinched away. “I can’t tell you that.”
The man released a huff in irritation, pulling up his wand to rest against her neck. “We can do this the hard way or the easy way,” he threatened.
Tatiana’s eyes were at the wand at her throat. She spared her brother an anxious glance – he was just as worried as her, tensed up beside her – before turning her gaze back to the man in front of her. She hesitated, opened her mouth, and spat on his face.
He cursed and pulled back for a moment, and she took the opportunity to scurry to the side nearly head-first into Daniel, grabbing her wand again. “I won’t tell you,” she informed him defiantly.
“I only wanted to spill one person’s blood tonight, but you asked for it, bitch,” the man replied savagely, reaching for her again, but Daniel flicked his wand suddenly and the man howled in pain as a cut opened on his hand.
“Get out,” Daniel replied, pointing at the doors of the ward. “Now. Out of the hospital and don’t ever come back.”
The man paused and for a brief, naïve moment, Tatiana thought that he was actually considering it. But then he sliced his wand through the air with a large arc and a curse and suddenly Daniel groaned and she turned in alarm.
“The Cutting Curse.” Her hazel eyes turned to him, wide in alarm. “Daniel, you’ll be fine, okay? We’re in a hospital, we can fix this.” She turned to glare at the man.
He gave out a sudden laugh in contempt and then seized up both Daniel and Tatiana’s wands, seeing as their attention had been more focused on the injury that had been inflicted. “Good luck with that,” he grinned before suddenly running down the hall toward the patient rooms, seemingly trying to find the Minister.
This was a matter Tatty could worry about later. Her attention instead turned to her brother, and she bent down close, trying to gauge the damage. She bit her lip suddenly.
“You can’t treat this, can you?” he asked, his voice breathy as he caught her panic.
“I could, with a wand.” Her amber-flecked eyes began to well up. “But I haven’t got one. I’m useless.” She paused for a moment and then suddenly reached over him to the cupboards, hastily pulling out bandages and gauze and wraps.
“I’m going to bleed right through them,” Daniel observed as she began to unwrap a length of gauze.
Tatiana bit back a sob. “I’m the healer here,” she said, more harshly than she’d intended, but he didn’t look perturbed, even as he groaned and moved his slick arm to a spot an inch further down on his abdomen. Already the ground was slippery with blood, scarlet pools forming.
The brunette tried in vain to wrap the gauze around his wound, but he’d been right; she put several layers on but the scarlet stain kept appearing. She abandoned this attempt now and cradled his head in her lap, unable to stop the tears from falling. “Look at me; just breathe, okay?” she managed out between her sobs, but even her attempt to keep him calm set her more on edge.
“Shh.” She brushed his hair away from his forehead, her hands leaving a small streak of red on his skin. “You’ll be fine. The bleeding will stop.”
“No, it won’t,” he managed, lifting a sticky arm to grab her hand. “I love you, sis.”
She would have smiled if she wasn’t crying so hard. “Right back at you, big brother.”
His lips began to curve up but then suddenly he went limp and they curved back down again. His hand felt cold in hers; she couldn’t feel the reassuring pulse of his heart.
Pulling him closer, Tatiana leaned forward and wept on him, barely noticing that the MLE had arrived in the time since.
One approached her. “Who did this?” he asked, his tone somewhat gentle.
She lifted her head, her cheeks stained with blood and tears. “He did,” she managed, pointing at the hooded man who they were now leading him away in handcuffs. “Make sure he gets to Azkaban. He killed my brother!”
And the realization sent a fresh wave of shock through the witch and she bent forward to sob again. The MLE officer suddenly looked uncomfortable and stepped away to give her some room.