Dark Blood and Dark Magic
A steady drip-drip-dripping sound brought Harry back to consciousness. It seemed to be originating just below his head.
He moaned and went to raise a hand to his forehead automatically; it was aching fiercely.
Yelping a raspy Gah! at the stabbing pain in his neck and shoulder that started at this simple movement, he opened his eyes. Why couldn't he move his arm, and why did it hurt so badly?
Harry could now tell that he was bent almost double, with only a shoulder strap of a seatbelt to hold him up. I'm in a car? he realised wildly. Everything was blurred, as his glasses had mysteriously disappeared. It was also quite dark.
Then he caught site of the red rivulet streaming down his left arm and onto his lap. Harry nearly retched in revulsion after catching a glimpse of the mince the window glass had made of his forearm.
It all started coming back to him…the green-blue flash….the swerving car….the flight….the crash…
"HEDWIG!" he shouted and began rising. Harry yelled "Ouch!" as the back of his head struck something immediately behind it. Sinking back downward, he used his good hand to hold the new lump forming on the back of his head.
Apparently, the passenger bubble of the vehicle had been almost totally compressed where he had been sitting. He tried looking around him, but the ache near his shoulder severely limited the movement. Lovely. Trapped. He was trapped.
He had to get out of here. NOW. Find out what happened to Hedwig and the Dursleys. And why in the four Houses of Hogwarts hadn't anybody shown up yet to help them? Sun was barely starting to set when they left the train station, and now the street torches were lit, casting an eerie light about the scene. This place should be swarming with emergency response personnel. Or at the very least, curious passerby should've noticed a smashed car in their midst. Where were all the people?
If ever a time came to flout the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, this was it. Ministry of Magic be damned.
Praying he would still find his trusty wand, he reached under his t-shirt. Good—still there! But as he pulled it out, it came apart in his hands.
"Oh no!" he croaked in lament, as the phoenix feather fluttered out onto his bloodied trouser leg. Apparently, his seatbelt had slapped against it too hard, causing it to snap in half lengthwise with the grain.
What now? Harry had been half-sure he could pull off some sort of rescue with his wand. What was he supposed to do? If he could just get in contact with a wizard, any wizard…any good wizard…think, think, THINK!
Harry blinked involuntarily as something trickled into his eye. Reaching up a hand to clear it away, his fingers came away slicked with matted hair and coagulated blood. Was there anyplace left on him that wasn't oozing? A deep gouge ran from temple up to hairline. Evidently his glasses had left a nasty impression where his head had struck the door. And the source of the dripping that woke him had been his own open head wound. It was an ominous sign yet ironically reassuring. Dead men don't bleed.
Eurgh, Harry slapped himself mentally, snap out of it. Don't think grotesquely, just—get it over with, cover it up, and above all don't think about it…or you'll go mad. Besides, calming down should be a piece of cake. You've dealt with Voldemort four times successfully; you can certainly deal with a Muggle-world car crash.
He felt a tingling sensation on his leg and looked down. The phoenix feather was sparkling feebly; it had already soaked up some of the crimson liquid underneath it. To avoid its further damage, he slipped the feather in his pocket. Gaining solace in the limited effects, Harry was inspired to take assessment of the situation…stock injuries along with what he did and didn't have available to him.
Pushing his aching brain into clinical mode, he checked himself over. Cut on the head, cuts on the arms, legs seemed okay—he flexed them experimentally. His ribs where Dudley ran into him were starting to throb and it was becoming gradually harder to breathe as well. But his shoulder….he raised his good hand and gingerly probed the painful area. Wincing, Harry concluded the seatbelt had snapped his collarbone as well as his wand. This could get to be problematic. In order to move, he was going to have to secure his useless arm somehow.
It was a good thing he made it a regular practise to wear an over shirt.
At least the hand on his bad arm still worked; he'd need it to undo the sleeve buttons on the opposite arm. Catching the cuff of the sleeve in his teeth, he carefully shrugged his right arm out of the shirt. Next, he tried to just tie the empty sleeve to the tail; it wouldn't work—to unsupported.
Setting his jaw, he carefully peeled back the other shredded sleeve from his left arm. Then he closed his eyes and brought it free after unbuttoning the cuff.
Again using his teeth and tongue with the good hand, he knotted the ends of the shirt collar together. Could still come undone…double knot it—there.
Despite the coolness of evening, he was beginning to sweat. This was indeed hard work; knotting a shirt in the dark hunched over half-blind with a shoulder injury.
Harry spent an inordinate amount of time fashioning his much-needed sling. After several setbacks, he at last managed to use his knotted overshirt to secure his left arm against his side.
Panting with his exertions, Harry allowed himself a break to rest. He could still not hear any telltale noise, save for the street sounds and crickets outside.
Time to vacate this deathtrap, he resolved.
Harry reached across his chest with his good arm and attempted to pull the door lever out…but it was already jammed in the open position. He then pushed on the door a bit, but it wouldn't budge.
Just as well, he told himself. Hadn't really believed it would be that easy besides. Since he obviously couldn't begin boisterously ramming the door open due to his arm injury, he'd just have to reposition himself to kick it open. Somehow.
Harry grabbed the two halves of his wand he'd set on the seat and prised the seatbelt buckle open with them. He then tucked them into his sling. Feeling behind him, he tried to gauge how much room he would have to manoeuver with on the seat. The answer? Not much.
His hand ran into Dudley almost straightaway.
It seemed the only way he was going to get even a little more room was by wedging himself in the dark floor space at their feet. Great. Never in his life had Harry wished he was still a runty child more than now.
Steeling himself, he swung up his legs, rolled right and pushed himself diagonally downward in one smooth motion. One way or another, he thought in mild surprise, that could've gone worse. Now he was just about flush with the back of the driver's seat, with enough room to kick out toward the door.
Which was undoubtedly going to hurt more than at little. Just do it.
Shutting his eyes, he summoned all the strength and rage he possessed on that stubborn door; the door between him and freedom.
"You stupid thing—" he flung out feet together in punctuated rhythm—
"I will not—"
"Let you stay—"
"And my rescue!"
At last, the hateful door gave way; before Harry could move any more, he had to catch his breath.
Cradling his arm and sucking in sharp shallow breaths through his teeth, he felt an undeniable sense of victory surge through him despite the pain. Even though it was far from over, this was a major step he'd just accomplished.