J. K. Rowling owns all things Harry Potter, and I thank her for sharing them. There is no attempt for profit in this, and it is done only for my own enjoyment.
A/N This story is dedicated to a muggle named Caity who started this plot bunny running. To those who are wondering about Ron Weasley as a healer please read my other story, "The Most Ancient Magic."
Adventures in Healing.
Ronald Weasley, healer-in-training, had never liked lectures. In his lifetime he had been lectured by some of the best, Molly Weasley, master of the "in-your-face, don’t-you-dare-put-another-toe-out-of-line” school of lecturing. Hermione Granger, "scratch that Hermione Potter now", he thought, master of the guilt trip school of lecture. Minerva McGonagall, well, three seconds of "that look" and a thirty-minute lecture was implied and you felt just as small and foolish as if she had actually said something. Severus Snape, "well scratch that too, Snape never lectured he just pontificated then he deducted points or pronounced detentions". He thought he had experienced them all.
That was before he encountered Master Healer Marcus Galen. Healer Galen had the annoying talent of speaking with just the right tone of disappointment in his voice. Rather than experience that tone of voice you would rather he just beat you to within an inch of your life; it would have hurt a lot less.
"As I was saying, Healer Weasley, your trauma rotation was well done. Your medical knowledge and technical expertise are exceptional. It is in the area of your interactions with your patients that you show some regrettable weakness. I must say that you display a surprising lack of sensitivity and tact sometimes.
"I realize that your clinical rotation lacks the glamour of emergency medicine but most of your career will be spent helping patients who do not have sudden trauma. I believe it was your wish to demonstrate that you could control the situation and you wanted your patient to believe you could help her. But really…"
Galen ran his hand through his hair while he pondered what to say next. "Menarche can be a difficult time for a young woman; she is being evicted from childhood, and must take on the responsibilities of womanhood. She knows the changes of puberty are coming fast and she may find this alarming. Her body image is important and she doesn’t want to be considered different from her peers. Menstruation carries a set of discomforts: aches, fluid retention, hormonal changes, and the cramping that comes from the uterus preparing to exercise its function in the creation of new life.
"At the same time she is growing, maturing and preparing to take her place as a woman in our society. She will be accepting responsibility and gaining new freedom. Her powers and gifts will also blossom. It is your job to help her see that becoming a woman is something wonderful, something to be celebrated, in spite of its attendant change and unfortunate pain.
"You came across as considering her condition as something trivial, something to be treated, as a problem rather than a natural process of life. I know it is difficult to relate to a condition you will never experience, but honestly, Healer Weasley, did you have to say ‘it’s just the cramps’?"
Ron slumped in defeat. "I’m sorry Healer Galen. I have a sister and I remember something of what it was like for her. I just spoke without thinking, as you said I wanted to let her know that her condition wasn’t dangerous, not that it wasn’t of genuine concern or a source of real discomfort."
"Well, Weasley, next time I hope you will think before you speak." Galen turned to leave. "I was using Legilimency in order to gauge her possible reaction. She finds you very attractive; I felt that she was considering the least painful way to break a bone so she could see you again. But after this she’d rather die than consult you on a female complaint."
That was Galen’s style; he would start with something positive, then crush you, drop you in a hole, and cover you with dirt. He would then pour a little water on your grave and hope something useful would grow from it.
"Did you tell her I was spoken for, Healer Galen?" Ron smiled, thinking of his fiancée, Luna Lovegood.
Galen shook his head and left Ron’s study/office, shutting the door behind him. All of the apprentice healers had an office where they could study and work on their casebooks. Ron began transcribing notes from the class’ morning rounds. If he hurried he might spend lunch with Luna before afternoon classes.
Just before he had finished someone knocked on his door, "Come!" he called.
Luna stuck her head into his office, "Hi, Ronald."
He was always amazed at how wonderful she looked in her lime-green robes. He thought they set off the color of her hair perfectly. His red hair just seemed to clash with everything except his black Hogwarts work robes or his scarlet Quidditch robes. He couldn’t help grinning in welcome.
"I brought you some lunch," she said, returning his grin. Luna entered carrying a tray with a bowl and a mug. "How’s your day going, Ron?" Ron sat up and took notice. He still remembered the night he had first kissed her, and the first time she had called him Ron. She usually started calling him Ron when she was feeling amorous.
Ron looked disgusted with himself. "Well, you heard what I said to that girl about her cramps? Galen fussed at me about my insensitivity. I just don’t know what I should have said."
"Well, Ron, It’s your apparent attitude about her pain that put her off, mainly your use of the word ‘just’. We know you didn’t mean anything by it. It sounded condescending is all. We also know that it is difficult to feel sympathetic about a pain you haven’t felt before. Don’t worry you’ll figure it out. Here, I made you some soup."
She held out a spoonful of the cream-style soup. Ron swallowed it, "Mmmm, that’s really good, Luna." Suddenly his lips and tongue felt like they were on fire. He began rapidly fanning his face.
"Too hot?" Luna asked sounding distressed. "Here drink this, quick!"
She handed him a small glass and he slugged the liquid down. The thick, slimy liquid started down his throat. "What ever it was," he thought, "it sure cured the burn". Before he could do anything else Luna bent to kiss him.
It was then that he felt the squirming in his insides. He stood; breaking the kiss, as he felt his flesh began to bubble. Luna embraced him and gave him the kind of kiss that usually left him feeling like a star struck puddle of romantic mush.
He pushed her away, "Polyjuice Potion," he gasped. "Why?" He looked at the mirror mounted on the wall. Luna was there – twice!
"I’m trying to help, Ron," the original Luna said.
Ron/Luna groaned as something clenched deep within his lower abdomen. Holding his breath he sat down in his chair feeling like he was experiencing the worst charley horse ever.
"The Polyjuice had a little bit of me in it," she said sweetly. However Ron noticed something a little different in her eyes, a light that was not so sweet. She noted it in his expression, "Don’t worry Ron, we’ve swapped more spit snogging. I promise."
Ron/Luna was feeling slightly sick and looked it.
"Oh, Ron, don’t be so squeamish, I was joking. I had a few split ends and I used them, silly."
"Thanks," Ron/Luna grunted as another spasm pulsed through his abdomen. "Ooohhh, that hurts."
"Yes, I know. I’m on my period, too. Don’t worry it’s just "the cramps," she said as she leaned forward and placed a small plastic-wrapped package in his hand. "I don’t know if this will stick in your boxers, but it couldn’t hurt. Welcome to my world." Luna rose and walked to the door. "I hope you understand now," she said as she shut the door behind her. A moment later she stuck her head back in, "The pepper was in the spoon. The soup is OK. See you for supper, my love," she said with a wink, and then she was gone.
Healer-in-training Ron Weasley reached for his wand and books. He had an hour to practice his muscle relaxing charms. He thought again about the expression he had seen in Luna’s eyes. Suddenly, he suspected his gynecology rotation wasn’t going to be as much fun as he had thought.