Closing Time at Mungos

London | January 26, 1986

Earlier in the afternoon a young boy was brought into St. Mungo’s with a variety of ailments. It turns out the seven year old child has consumed every potion in the cupboard, varying from pepper-up potions, to hiccuping potion, a draught of peace and potions for birth control. Needless to say this made an interesting cocktail in his stomach and Anthony Montague was rushed in by his very worried parents. Vomiting was induced by yet another potion, and all seemed to calm down for the poor lad. Though he is being kept overnight for observation, he is resting well and his parents stay as long as they can before returning home for the evening. Seraphine gets the note late that her youngest brother is in the hospital. She was out in the field all day, dealing with Muggle laundromat that had become filled with bubbles after someone forgot a potion their pocket before throwing it in the washing machine. So it took a while for all of the suds to be removed and of course to explain it away to everyone who saw it. Now the most forgettable woman in London is racing through the children’s ward, trying to make it to her brother’s room before visiting hours are over. Racing toward the ward desk, she skids to a halt and tries to speak between breaths. “Ant-hony Montague’s room… please.” The Ward Nurse looks at her watch before raising her brow at the disheveled woman. Sera’s dark hair is wild and windblown and her dark robes are damp and still have suds attached at the bottom.

Darius is standing near Anthony's bed, holding a clipboard with a file rested on top of it. He's reviewing something with a nurse, which at this exact moment means he's scribbling something furiously on the file, crossing things out and writing in margins. "Thanks, Linda," he says after a moment, closing the file with a flick of his wrist and handing it back to the nurse. "That was a good catch – I appreciate you alerting me so quickly." Linda smiles back at Darius before walking briskly off, ever efficient in her role there. Darius is about to leave the ward when he spots Seraphine by the desk. Rather than brush past her, he slows to a stop and frowns thoughtfully. "Oh. Hullo… was it Seraphine?" he asks. See! He remembers her name! "Can I help you with something?"(edited)

"Look, I just want to see him and check if he's okay, he doesn't have his favorite stuffed lion and I know he won't sleep with out it. I still have five minutes!" Seraphine tries her most charming smile on the ward nurse but she appears immune to it's effects. She turns toward Darius when she hears his vaguely familiar voice and it takes her a second to recall his name. "Darius?" She questions before the name finally fits the face. "Yes, sorry. My brother was brought in today, Anthony Montague, do you know if he's okay? His parents only told me that he got into the potions cabinet in their owl." It's easy to see the worry in her face and she even brings out the well loved stuffed lion with a bright red ribbon around it's neck.

"I do," Darius promptly responds, "I was just in to see him myself. He'll be just fine, we're only keeping him overnight to make extra sure." He reaches over the front desk to take the papers that were sitting in front of the reception nurse there, flipping through them as he talks. The nurse looks put-out, but doesn't say anything with Seraphine there. "Ah yes, Seraphine Montague. You're fine to go in. I'll take you there now." He drops the papers back on the desk, then holds open the door to the ward he'd just left for Sera. The ward is lined with a number of beds, but patient surnames are noted at the foot of each one, with curtains offering privacy.

Relief washes over Sera's face at Darius's reassurance and she takes a breath to compose herself before answering. "I'm glad it's not as bad as my step-mother lead me to believe, but she's known to over react." When he gives her permission to access the ward she gives him a relieved smile and mouths 'thank you as they pass by the desk. Seraphine walks quierly into the ward, not wanting to disturb any sleeping children. When she gets to Anthony's bed she lets out another sigh of releif as he appears to not be in any immdeiate danger. With all of the excitement of the day, the boy is passed out and curled up into a ball on the hospital bed. Quietly and carefully he reaches over to brush some hair out of his face. "What all did he drink?" She whispers.

Darius follows her in at a respectable distance, giving her privacy while still being on hand for any questions she might have. “It’s a long list,” he replies, folding his hands in front of him. “But most of it has come up, and we’re getting him antidotes in case there are lingering effects.”

Seraphine carefully takes the lion and tucks it under her brother's arm, adjusts his blanket and leans over to kiss his forehead before stepping away. She doesn't dare wake him, knowing that rest is what he really needs right now. Listening to Darius, she nods her head and takes a step back to join him. "It's my fault." She admits, and saying it doesn't seem to lift any guilt off of her shoulders. "I wanted to be the one to tell him to that I was moving out, but he over heard my parents discussing it and flipped out a little bit. He's a little attached and I had hoped to soften the blow. He's a little dramatic but… this is out of character for him."

Darius pretends to read something on his empty clipboard in an attempt to give Seraphine some privacy. Technically it isn’t empty; technically, it does say ‘Master D. A. Nosfertum’ on it, as if it’s something regularly misplaced that may require returning, but he probably doesn’t need to read that. Even so, he’s distracted enough by his clipboard that he looks surprised when he’s addressed once again. “Ahh…” he starts, doing the mental work to catch up with the conversation. “You can’t have predicted this, particularly. And he will be right as rain tomorrow. Presumably you aren’t moving so far as to never see him again, either?”

"No, I'm only moving across town, and he'll still see me regularly. He's just attached, I've been the only one constantly living there since he was three so we spent a lot of time together." Frowning she looks back to the sleeping boy and shakes her head. "Not that it is at all relivent information that you need to do your job. I'm sorry I don't typically voice my inner monologue to complete strangers." She flashes a weak smile. "Thanks for getting me past the guard, I know she's just doing her job but I probably came off as rude in the process."

"Well, there you are then," Darius responds casually, tapping his clipboard against one hand. "You'll see him regularly, and he'll adjust. Children so often do." At her apologies, he smiles softly. "It is entirely a part of my job to comfort the loved ones of my patients, actually. No apologies are necessary. And the nurses… well, most of them are good eggs. I hope you won't judge them all harshly based on one. There are no jugements on my part, for what it's worth."

"He will. He's just stubborn and spoiled so change is always difficult with him. I'm hoping that time at Hogwarts is going to humble him, but knowing what house he really wants to go into, that might not happen." As if on cue, Anthony cuddles his stuffed lion closer to his chest as he stirs in his sleep. Thankfully he does not wake up. "I suppose that is part of your job. No I don't hold it against the nurse, I'd feel the same way if someone barged into my office and asked me to break some rules. I'm glad you don't rope me in with one of those over worried relatives."

Darius let his eyes slide from Seraphine, down to the boy and his lion. He watched for a moment before slowly saying, "Well, I was a Gryffindor." It's said without offense, although his eyes remain on the boy for a few moments before they return to the young woman. "Growing up in general tends to humble children. Unless they're awful. But your brother doesn't seem like one of the awful ones." He only shrugs to her comments about the nurses, still not offended, just without much of substance to add.

"That's to bad, we apparently have to be mortal enemies now and I must never speak with you again." Seraphine says dryly, a hint of the teasing mirth creeping back in that she had when they first met. "No, he isn't aweful just spoiled, I suppose it was because he is the baby of the family and my father's only son." Still she looks down at her brother and lightly brushes his hair back again. "I should leave him before I do something foolish and wake him up, I can always come back in the morning before he's discharged."

"That is a shame," Darius deadpans right back, now clutching his clipboard to his chest. When she mentions leaving, he nods and motions for her to go first – he'll follow her out. "I imagine they'll discharge him in the morning anyway, so you may as well be here to take him home if you can. And maybe get some child locks for the potions cabinet on the way?"

"It's funny how none of that matter once you leave school. It felt so important back then, I suppose even leaving Hogwarts humbles you." Seraphine says thoughtfully as she takes one last look at her sleeping brother and walks to the ward doors. "I may just owl into work then and tell them I'll be late. Or maybe I'll just spend the day with him, and reassure him. That might be better in the long run."

“I was never that gung-ho about the houses, actually. My parents went to Beauxbatons, so I guess I saw it more as Beauxbatons vee Hogwarts more than House vee House,” Darius admits. “But you do what you need to do. His main doctor is working day shift, so you’ll have a chance to speak to her tomorrow as well.” When they get to the door to the ward, he’ll hold it open for her.

"Interesting. How did they compare the education here opposed to in France? I've always been curious on what they teach differently at the others schools." Seraphine follows him through the ward and nods her head as he holds the door open for her. "I'll be sure to speak with the daytime doctor in the morning. Thank you for keeping an eye on him." She pauses for a moment while a thoughtful look crosses her face. "You strike me as a scotch drinker."

“I’m not sure, actually,” Darius replies as if he’d never even considered the question. He doesn’t elaborate, but does follow her out of the ward, although he angles himself as if there’s somewhere else he does plan to go when they’re through. “Does my accent give me away?” he jokes with a small smile.

"I'm sure it can't be all that different. In the end it's all wand waving and incantations right?" She gives him another tired but polite smile before she looks down the hallway toward the exit. She smirks at his question and pinches her fingers together. "Just a bit, but it is hard to miss. Again, thank you for taking care of him, and letting me break the rules a little. I should get home and continue to pack, but it was very nice to see you again."

“It probably is,” Darius agrees, sort of. “And of course. Good luck with your move. Try to get some rest, it sounds like you have a long day planned for tomorrow.” He lifts a hand to wave good-bye with a smile before turning to walk off down a hallway, headed for his office.

"I'll try and find some time to get some sleep, I know he'll keep me busy all day tomorrow." She waves one last time before disappearing back toward the first floor and the exit.
When Darius arrives to work the next night, he'll find a nice bottle of scotch waiting for him on his desk. It's pricey, but not so expensive that it doesn't need to be saved for special occasions.


ArannahMithren Nilli

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