The rays from the early morning sun shone through the window and fell upon Ginny's gentle face. She stirred and opened her eyes. She heard a scratching sound and turned toward the source to see Healer Bunbley seated in a high chair and writing on a clipboard.
She rubbed her head; the bandage was gone. "What time is it?"
"Five Twenty AM," the elf answered without looking up from his clipboard. "Do you know where you are?"
"My room at St Mungo's."
Bunbley nodded in approval. "Are you feeling any better?"
"You're lucky. The psychic surgeon missed the formation of an aneurysm in your brain. I went back in and repaired the damage."
"Thank you." Ginny sat up. It gave her pause to notice that she was wearing an adult diaper. "What about my baby?"
"I'm sorry, there was nothing that could be done," Bunbley said matter-of-factly. "Were you aware that you were pregnant?"
"No." She shook her head, her lips quivering. "I killed my baby."
"You mustn't blame yourself. You've been under tremendous stress." His response was genuine, but his bedside manner still needed work.
"How did I get here?"
"Lucius Malfoy brought you in with some rubbish story," Bunbley said with a frown. "The Aurors are questioning him now."
"He's telling the truth," Ginny said. Hesitant to volunteer specifics, she added, "I… was hallucinating, and he helped me."
For the first time, Bunbley looked up from his clipboard. "Well, I suppose even a Death Eater is bound to tell the truth on occasion. I'll inform the authorities."
"May I speak with him, please?"
"As you wish." Bunbley hopped off the chair and grabbed his cane. "Can I get you anything?"
"Yes. I would like a bookmark, if it's not too much trouble."
The elf gave her a curious look, but he acknowledged the odd request and left.
Ginny took the novel from the end table. She found the first folded page therein and carefully smoothed it out, ignoring her trembling hands. She repeated the process for the rest of the markers. By the time she was finished, she heard a knock at the door; it was Lucius.
Ginny bade him to enter, and Lucius obeyed, though he stayed a respectful distance from her bed.
"I have to know," she said. "Was that really Tom Riddle we defeated?"
The former Death Eater hesitated to answer. "If you're asking whether this all fell under the purview of the naturalistic or under the supernatural, I cannot say."
Ginny was not in the mood for cryptic answers. "Take a guess."
"I choose to take comfort in the fact that, either way, Tom Riddle is dead once and for all," Lucius said with finality. "We'll both be a lot better off if you decide to do the same." Having no desire to linger, Lucius turned to leave.
"By the way, this changes nothing between us, Malfoy."
He paused. "I understand. For what it's worth, you have my deepest sympathies, madam."
The door closed, and the room fell silent. Massaging her empty belly, Ginny took out her wand:
And she wept.
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