(1938-01-06) Trusting Healer Keenan
Details for Spell Damage
Summary: Flanked by both Annie and Alis, little Rhyeline manages to stay calm for the most part and submit to Keenan's diagnoses spells and subsequent treatment to keep her heart beating strong until he can develop a permanent cure.
Date: Sunday, January 6, 1938
Location: Spell Damage, St Mungo's
Related: Trusting Alis
Characters
AlisRhyelineAnnieKeenan

The hour stands at the edge of midnight. An urgent message arrives for Annie through the fireplace at her little cottage in Hogsmede. In a hurried scribble, Annie’s nurse friend informs her that Rhyeline has just been brought in.

In one of the examination rooms of the Spell Damage ward at St. Mungo’s Hospital, Rhyeline sits next to Alis on the padded table. Waiting for Healer Keenan O’Shea to arrive, the young one’s eyes shine with fear and she clings to the fabric of Alis’ suit jacket as if it were her anchor to life itself. Though she is conscious at the moment, the girl doesn’t even have the strength to walk on her own.

Alis doesn't present much of a formidable sight, at first glance; she's shorter than the girl clinging to her, for one. Her expression, however, suggests she could kill small animals with her glare at twenty paces, and there's a definite air of protectiveness. It lowers briefly as she hails a passing nurse. "Has there been any word from Healer O'Shea?" she asks.

There's only a slight commotion in the lobby as Annie arrives. Thankfully, the nurse she befriended is there to greet her within moments, and bring her through to the ladies waiting in the Spell Damage ward. She looks rumpled, like she was already abed… which is actually proven without a doubt since she's wearing house slippers instead of shoes. But she was in a hurry! As she hits the door her eyes dart, being drawn to Rhyeline like a beacon, and she veers her path. Anxiety shows on her face as she speaks up, quietly as if the hospital gets the same regard from her as the library. "Rhye, poppet, what happened?" Since she may not quite be up to conversation, beseeching eyes go to Alis.

Running a hand through his hair, and straightening his robes, Keenan runs a hand under the collar to settle it. Pausing at the desk to find out which room Rhyeline had been put in, and the particulars from the admitting healer. He's reading the report as he enters, and he glances up and around at the crowded room when he enters. "Well," he says quietly. Setting aside the reading, his green eyes surveying the smallest occupant. "Evenin' Miss Diderot. Seems ye've had a turn? Can ye tell me when it started, an' can ye' think of anythin' that might've brought it on?"

Rhyeline’s lifts her gaze at the sound of Annie’s approach. Conflicted emotions flicker across the young one’s frightened gaze. Though she still doesn’t want Annie to witness such things, at last profound relief wins out and though she keeps close to Alis’s side, she reaches out for Annie with a touch of desperation. Her eyes widen with dread as she catches sight of Keenan appearing beyond Annie, but then squeezes her eyes shut. Not until she is snug in Annie’s embrace does she venture to peek once more at the healer. Swallowing, she parts her lips to speak but no sound comes.

Having met Annie once in passing, Alis' expression softens when she recognizes the woman. "I don't know," she tells Annie, in response to the query directed her way. Keenan, however, gets a much more brisk reaction. "Pardon me, Healer O'Shea? I was with Rhye when she took a turn, to use your parlance. We'd been talking, and I'd asked her to walk me out. She had difficulty upon standing, twice, and the second time requested that I bring her here."

There's no hesitation as Annie slips her arms around Rhyeline, pressing a kiss to her friend's temple, eyes on Alis. She whispers a soft reassurance to Rhye, "Remember, I told yeh. He's nice." She shifts a step behind the little witch, staying close but backing off for the healer to check out her friend.

Keenan tips his chin a little so he can look down to Rhyeline, then he pulls a chair over to sit in front of her. Taking a close look at her eyes, he nods as Alis speaks. "Did she lose concsiousness at all?" he directs the question to Alis without looking at her. Instead of taking Rhyeline's hand to check her pulse, he holds out his hand for her to give it to him so he can check her pulse. From the seated position, the witches sitting on the examination bed are now taller than him, and he looks up patiently, his expression mildly encouraging.

Rhyeline’s pupils are small as a sharp edge of fear presses into her heart. As he holds out a hand for her hand, her grip upon Annie tightens for just a moment before she slowly extends a hand to him. Closing her eyes, she hides against Annie. Hearing Annie’s gentle encouragement, the girl nods slowly and peeks once more over at Keenan.

"I believe she did, the first time it happened. No more than a few seconds." Alis shifts her attention from the Healer to Rhyeline, and huffs a sigh. "Rhye. Do you honestly think I'm going to let anyone harm you?"

Annie can feel how tense Rhye is, and automatically her hand comes up, gently stroking Rhyeline's hair. She stays silent, letting those with something useful to say speak, eyes intent on each in turn. The deep frown on her face is more than evidence of her concern for her friend.

Keenan nods as listens, and grins to Rhyeline as she gives over her hand. His fingers are just firm enough to find a pulse, without having to push too hard against her wrist. "An' may I ask who ye are, Miss?" he asks Alis, again keeping his visual attention to his patient. "Miss Taylor I'm familier with, even if it's been awhile…" his head nods in the direction of the witch he names. "Miss Diderot, I need ye tae open yer eyes again, please," he urges as he lets her hand down and pulls out his wand.

Rhyeline nudges her foot beneath Alis’ in appreciation for her reassurance. The gentle hands in her hair, however, seems to sooth her more than anything. Lifting her gaze to meet Keenan’s the little one tries again to speak. “I felt I couldn’t even stand. Sleep wouldn’t help. Rest doesn’t help. Please help me, I feel I’m fading.” The girl’s eyes shine with fear as she watches Keenan, but it is not due to the healer himself, but rather what news he might give her.

"I'm Alis." Alis almost never gives her last name, and she doesn't do so now. She also doesn't get in Keenan's way, though she maintains the protective presence in Rhyeline's vicinity, in the hope that it will help make the girl feel better.

A faint smile pulls Annie's lips as the healer remembers their brief meeting at his sister's Apothecary shop, but it's short lived in light of Rhyeline's words. Annie knew things weren't going to be all sunshine and roses, but she had thought Rhye was doing better. She waits for reassuring words from the healer, eyes hopeful.

Keenan places a gentle hand on Rhyeline's shoulder as she finally speaks, and nods. "Just hold still, lass," he tells her. The giving of the name from the redhead is acknowledged with a nod. "I'm just goingtae use ma wand tae look a little deeper inside ye an' see what might be makin' ye feel that way." Once he's made sure she understands, he stands again, and his wand taps lightly over her heart, her forehead, then around back to her lungs and the base of her skull as he quietly murmurs the diagnosing charm.

The wand lingers at the last point for an extra moment, and then he retakes the seat in front of her. "The spell is still tryin' tae slow yer heart, an' it's affectin' tha nerves that tell yer heart tae beat. What I can do is a charm that will stimulate tha nerves tae make them push harder at yer heart. It'll need tae be renewed, lass, but it will keep ye from fadin'. Do ye want me tae do it?"

Rhyeline nods slowly as the healer explains what he is about to do. The fear continues to shine in her dark gaze, but she is making a strong effort to trust and to remain perfectly still under his diagnoses spell. Informed that he needs to perform a charm in order to make her last a bit longer against the curse, the little one nods despite her apprehension. Her arm around Annie’s waist tightens a bit and with her other hand, she reaches to cling to the fabric of Alis’ sleeve.

Healing is not something Alis has a great deal of knowledge about, but Charms are something she knows well. "When you say it will have to be renewed, is that something that will have to be done here, or would you be able to do it in Rhyeline's home?"

Annie backs off from Rhyeline momentarily, to give the healer room, but as soon as he sits she's right there, stepping up to her friend again. Her hand comes up once more, stroking the small witch's hair to calm her as much as possible, and she murmurs, "It's the right thing, poppet. He'll help yeh." She apparently has all the faith in the world in the ginger healer's abilities, despite barely knowing him. The question posed by Alis and whatever response it will get merits full attention, and she looks to the wizard for his answer.

Keenan smiles to Rhyeline as she consents to the charm, and puts a gentle hand on her shoulder to steady her. "Ye're a brave lass, Miss Diderot," he tells her. "Ye'll feel a strong jolt at first, but then yer heart should feel more regular after that." At Alis's question, he pauses. "It's a charm that I have tae do, an' I can do it either place. It would be up tae Miss Diderot, as I don' have her address, an' she'd have tae consent tae home treatment." Annie's encouragement brings a grin to his feace before he steadies Rhyeline with the hand on his shoulder, then presses his wand just above and to the side of her heart. The incantation is firm and swift, and then he withdraws his wand to be ready to catch her if necessary.

Rhyeline’s gaze widens with apprehension, like a child that has just caught sight of a syringe behind a doctor’s back. Annie’s gentle touch and Alis’ reassuring presence probably have a lot to do with how cooperative she is being at the moment. Though her hands tighten upon each woman and her breathing quickens, she remains perfectly still, squeezing her eyes shut. The spell causes a visible jolt to rush through her. A sharp cry escapes her, more from alarm than pain. Letting go of Alis, she places a hand over her heart, panting softly.

"Perhaps a middle ground, even." Alis hasn't missed Rhyeline's reaction to her suggestion, after all. "Somewhere more comfortable for her than this, at the very least."

Annie winces at Rhyeline's cry, but she knows that sometimes something bad has to happen in order for something good to happen. Leaning forward to support her friend, Annie whispers softly, reassurances yes, but more for the soothing tone of voice. Her voice raises in volume just a measure, still with a sort of sing-song lilt, still talking to Rhyeline but wanting Alis and Keenan to hear her words. "An' I'll keep my promise t' come with yeh, poppet, so yeh won't be alone." No matter what is decided, Annie is willing to be there whenever needed. Perhaps even a little adamant about being there, despite Rhye trying to 'protect' her from the truth of the little witch's condition for so long.

Keenan sits back and gives a nod and studies Rhyeline for any side effects and to make sure his charm does what it is supposed to do. Due to this concentration, Alis's suggestion receives a brief nod, but the green gaze is intent on the patient.

Rhyeline feels her heart beating steady, assisted by the lingering effects of Keenan’s spell. Almost like a pacemaker, it steadies and strengthens the beating of her heart. Resting to the side against Annie, the girl’s gaze fills with profound relief. “Thank you,” she murmurs faintly as she watches Keenan, much calmer now. “Feels better. Much better.” Hesitating a moment, her gaze flickers from Annie to Alis, and then looking once more to Keenan, she murmurs hesitantly, “You said I had to come here for extra examinations and treatments. But- but could we do it somewhere else? In my flat?”

Because Alis is trained to respond to such things, she knows when the moment of crisis has passed. "She's been under a great deal of stress since we arrived. While it's most likely not justified, it would be best, for her safety and well-being, to limit her exposure to such an environment." After a beat, she thinks to offer the man her hand, as well as a better introduction. "Orpington. Alis Orpington. I'm a security specialist."

Annie falls silent again, letting the conversation volley between the key players as she listens carefully. All the while her hand strokes Rhye's dark hair, smoothing it out, moving in a slow, steady rhythm.

Keenan nods to Alis, finally satisfied with Rhyeline's condition enough to look towards her. "I am aware," he acknowledges quietly, and takes her hand. "Healer Keenan O'Shea. Pleasure tae meet ye, Miss Orpington." He considers the patient for a moment. "I'll still need ye tae come here for some o'tha testin' an' examinations. Also tae meet with Healer MacCurry. She has a suggestion for a potion that also cleanses tha blood. I think it's worth a try." He gives a sigh as he puts his wand away. "Recurrin' treatments, such as this charm can be done at yer flat if ye'll be more comfortable with me comin' there."

“I’d feel much less scared, I think. Thank you,” murmurs Rhyeline with a small nod as she watches Keenan. Annie’s gentle touch through her loose, dark curls has calmed her to the point where she almost seems relaxed, now that she isn’t feeling such mortal fear at the sensation of her fading hear beat. Peeking up at Annie, she murmurs, “And when I come here, as long as you’re with me, I’ll be ok.” Looking to Alis, she adds with a soft, shy smile, “You kept me safe. Thank you.”

"Call me Alis," the redheaded woman insists. She looks over at Rhyeline, and lifts a hand to brush aside a lock of hair. "Of course I did. I gave my word, didn't I?" She turns her attention back to Keenan. "Is she stable enough to take her back home?"

Annie, for the most part, is just there now to reassure Rhyeline that Keenan isn't going to cook and eat her. Or sedate her. Or anything of the sort. "Every time, poppet," she promises again, favoring the little witch with a tender smile. It's only then she thinks to look to Keenan, since he does have the final say on the matter. But she'll fight to be there. And she's scrappy. Grr.

"Alis it is, then," Keenan accedes to the request. He nods as he stands. "Miss Diderot may go home, an' ye should be able tae sleep a little better, now. But," he raises a hand to caution Rhyeline, "don' be takin' an' draughts tae be helpin' ye fall asleep. Let sleep come on its own, ye understand?" He looks to the women, and gives Annie a little chuckle. "If it'll help keep ma patient from lookin' at me like I'm goin' tae eat her or some such while she's here, please, by all means…" He winks, and then covers a yawn. "I suggest ye go ahead home, now, an' leave yer address with tha charge nurse for me. I'll send ye an owl ta make appointments with ye. Good night, Miss Diderot, Miss Taylor, Alis." With a nod/bow of the head to the three witches, he turns exits the room to let them decide how they're going to get on from there.

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