Disclaimer: I don't own any of the events or characters. Except Lilith.
Warning: Explicit language
It had been a grueling day at St. Mungo's, and Hermione was ready to jump into her shower and go to bed. She gave her overnight patients a final check before cleaning up her office and tossing her lime green robes over the chair. Just as she was about to check out, the emergency alert system beeped loudly throughout her mind. Slightly alarmed, she walked over to the system on her wall and pressed her fingers on the button to let the caller know she was in.
"Healer Granger," the attendants voice immediately shot through. "There is an new patient that requires your immediate attention. We're sending him up to the Spell Damage ward now. Room 406."
The connection cut off and Hermione inwardly sighed. She only allowed herself a moment of self-pity before she grabbed her recently tossed robes and threw them on again.
She threw her office door open and rushed through the hall, wondering what had happened. She knew that St. Mungo's usually did not use the emergency alarm system unless it was absolutely necessary. She bit the inside of her mouth and narrowed her eyes. It looked like she wasn't going to get any sleep tonight.
Locating 406, she slid the door open to see two emergency-on-site healers were setting the patient down.
"Tell me the situation," she asked calmly, not betraying her true feeling of anxiety as she noticed the bloodied body on the bed.
One of the men handed her a small file. She took it and began casting diagnosis charms on the man. "He was found right in front of his apparent place of residence, stunned multiple times and hit with cutting hexes. We suspect he had been there for a good half-hour before someone called."
Hermione's jaw lowered, but continued to stare at her diagnosis. She nodded her head and the two men left efficiently.
After assessing the damage, she cursed. The man was nearly dead. He had an incredibly large head injury, a few broken ribs, his heart had temporarily thudded out of existence, and he was loosing blood incredibly fast. Hermione casted multiple tracking charms and began countering the stuns first.
The door slid open again, and her assistant Lilith slipped in, her glasses fumbling on her face as if they had been hastily threw on.
"Thank Merlin you're here," Hermione breathed. "I need blood replenishing potion, skelegrow, the salve on the counter and the wraps, please."
The dark haired girl flew to the counter and began pouring the needed potions into vials and placed them within Hermione's reach.
After a few moments, she saw her charm lit up in response, giving her a slow but steady heart rhythm. She released a breath of relief. That was one thing out of the way. With another wave of her wand, she placed barriers over the cuts to temporarily stop the bleeding so she could heal the wounds.
Deciding to address the head injury first, she pushed the bloodied hair out of the way to clean the area. Her hand froze and her body went rigid as she finally realized whom she was healing.
Draco Malfoy had his head turned towards her, his familiar face in clear view after pushing back his blonde hair that had been tinted with blood and dirt.
After staring at him with shock for another second, Hermione forced her body to move. He was a dying man for Merlin's sake! Every minute counted. Lilith thankfully didn't see her internal struggle as she had her back turned. Keeping her trained eyes on the injury and not the person, she ignored the racing of her heartbeat and began to clean the large gash that ran from his left cheek to the top of his head. After putting the blood on hold, she mended the skin and removed traces of possible magical disturbances that could stop her from fully healing him.
She moved on to the next few grievous injuries, repeating the same steps, trying to keep her mind occupied on the injury. After healing a rather deep cut across his chest she settled her eyes on his right leg and cursed.
"What is it?" Lilith inquired, still spreading salve over the healed cuts and wrapping the wound with a swish of her wand.
Hermione scowled. "The leg injury is deep. It tore through the critical muscle and ligaments…" She trailed off, but she knew Lilith understood her meaning. The leg would probably be unusable.
Hermione steadied her wand and began to form a number of complex binding spells. She was determined. St. Mungo's hadn't put her at the top of the Spell Damage ward at the young age of 21 for nothing.
Sweat started to slide down her temples as she focused her magical energy on healing the muscle tissue. She stared intensely, twirling her wand in complicated motions and watched as the cuts began to connect again. After an hour of intensive healing, she sealed the skin with a wave and released a sigh of relief.
Lilith switched places with her and began to wrap the leg. Hermione moved onto the more manageable cuts, thankful that they weren't as terrible as the others.
They worked in relative silence for another two hours before Hermione finally conjured hospital clothing to replace his old tattered ones, and threw the sheet over his body.
"We've done all we can do," she said tiredly, chugging down a glass of water. "Go and rest. You've been of great help tonight."
Lilith beamed, thanked her and practically skipped out of the room. Hermione sighed quietly. She remembered when she was an assistant to the major healers, following them around like a shadow.
She glanced at her watch, and sighed again when it read 3:20am. She had to get up in another 3 hours to check her other patients. Dropping her wrist, she picked up the tossed file and peeled it open. There were records of his previous visits, all jotted down by the healer at the time. She pulled out a muggle pen from her robes and began to fill out the necessary information, checking off what she knew about his current situation, which was not much if she was honest.
She pondered that thought for a moment before risking a glance at the very man next to her. His face was still, but Hermione saw the slow and steady movement of his chest. After the war, she and Harry had spoken at his trial, no doubt surprising him. His father was still sent to Azkaban, but narrowly avoided life imprisonment after testifying that he indeed had also defected last minute with his family. He and his mother were released with very small repercussions, thanks to the fact that Narcissa Malfoy had lied to Voldemort to save Harry's life, and Draco was simply young and was under the threat of a madman.
Hermione shook her head. She had put her past to rest. She really had. It had only momentarily shocked her to see the man who had made her school life miserable, dying and in her hands. She had no idea what Malfoy was doing or who had attacked him with the clear intent to kill. She suppressed a shudder at the though of being sliced into pieces so close to home. She didn't particularly like Malfoy, but she wouldn't wish his current state on anyone.
Her eyebrows furrowed, as she analyzed her current predicament. When Malfoy awoke, she would have to talk to him no doubt. She groaned quietly as bad childhood memories resurfaced. He would make her work hell. She was willing to be civil with him as they were in a Healer-Patient relationship within the white walls of St. Mungo's, but Malfoy was never one to care about the feelings of another soul. She rubbed the bridge of her nose and considered setting Lilith to take care of him instead, and only call her when absolutely necessary. It would be a good way for her assistant to get real time practice without someone watching over her shoulder, and she wouldn't have to worry about Malfoy's condition being put into incapable hands. She would check with him each morning when he was still asleep, that way, they didn't have to converse.
Satisfied with her decision, she glanced at her wrist noting another 40 minutes had gone by. She rubbed her eyes in exhaustion and set Malfoy's file down at the foot of his bed. She waved her wand to set an alerting spell to monitor his condition and shut the lights with a flick of her wrist.
Not even bothering to apparate home, she transfigured her office sofa into a somewhat comfortable bed and crashed, barely setting the alarm before closing her eyes.
The moment Hermione's alarm interrupted her dreamless night; she reflexively shot her hand out and stopped the offending sound. Muttering incoherently, she rolled over on her transfigured bed and fell of its side, startling her awake. She rose from her unceremonious position and towed herself to her private bathroom to wash up. After taking a decent shower, she threw on a new pair of robes and headed out to check her current patients.
She entered the first room, thankful that the patient was still resting. This was the main reason why she bothered to wake up this early anyways. The patients wouldn't bother her for information about their condition, and she wouldn't have to walk in during visitor hours for check-ups. Hermione jotted down some notes on their condition, wrote down the list of potions they would have to take for the day and the time and amount required for Lilith, replaced the old bandages with fresh ones and moved to the next person.
After checking in all her patients, Hermione walked down to the staff dining area, grabbed a sandwich and went back to her office, calling Lilith in around noon.
"You wanted to see me?" her assistant entered the office, a bright smile on her face.
Hermione nodded. "I want to give you a separate assignment from the rest of your current duties."
Lilith titled her head, her glasses dropping slightly in the same direction. "What will you have me do?"
"I need you to take specific care of the patient we saved last night," Hermione began. "I think it'll be good experience for you to learn after care procedure instead of always following after me and learning second-hand."
The dark haired girl seemed surprised for a moment before taking a large breath. "What if he get's worse? Or there's an emergency and I don't know—"
"I'll handle it if it comes to that," she assured with a smile. "I've set an alerting charm on his condition to notify me when something happens. Although there shouldn't be any problems as long as you follow normal protocol. Will you take the offer?"
Lilith nodded immediately and Hermione felt herself relax. Thank Merlin; the girl was smart and willing to do as she asked.
"Perfect. I already checked on him this morning so everything should be written in for you." Hermione shuffled through some papers and handed them to her. "These are for the duration of the week. Condition reports are important; notify me when he regains consciousness."
"Of course, Healer Granger," she took the papers. "I'll do my best."
Hermione nodded and sent the girl on her way.
Draco felt like absolute shit. He couldn't move a single damn inch to save his life without his body screaming in pain. He grunted softy as his eyes adjusted to the white walls around him, and the foreign sheets that covered his body.
He was sure he was in St. Mungo's. His head was throbbing and his vision went blurry for a few moments. After steading his breathing, he finally remembered what had happened. He had been attack on his way back home by some crazy bastard. He distinctly remembered being called a blood traitor and concluded that it was some insane Voldemort sympathizer that was still running around after the fall and after his head. He inwardly cursed Potter and his Auror team but mostly cursed himself for being so careless. He was torn from his thoughts when the door to his room slid open to reveal a dark haired girl with glasses and a white robe.
"You're awake, Mr. Malfoy!" she exclaimed. "How are you feeling?"
He grunted incoherently, and scowled to the best of his ability. Frustration rose in his chest as he realized he couldn't place his voice.
The healer gave a nervous laugh before walking over to the counter. She picked up a few potions and set them to the side of the bed. "Er—this is for your headache, this one's for your immune system, this is for your leg—"
"My leg?" he finally spoke, noticing the awful way his voice croaked. He tried clearing his throat and stare down at his covered legs.
"Oh, you had a terrible cut on your right leg that severed all responsive connection with the rest of your body," she explained. Draco's eyes widened.
"What?" he asked in disbelief. His chest swelled in dread.
She quickly raised her hand. "B-But it was mended. You were very lucky Healer Granger was the one who was here when you came in. She's the only one who has the hands to preform such a miracle."
Draco frowned. He swore he heard her say something that sounded like Granger. "I'm not following. Who are you?"
She blushed. "I'm Lilith. I'm just an assistant in Healer training. The one who saved you and has explicit care over you is my trainer, Healer Granger. Actually, she asked me to inform her once you've woken up, I'll get her right away."
Lilith scurried out of the room and slid the door shut behind her. Draco was still frozen in his position, taking the information in.
He had been saved by Granger. Bloody, bushy haired, know-it-all Granger.
Draco heard she went into St. Mungo's for training and became a adept healer, he just had never expected to be in her care, much less have her save his life. Surely, she was tempted to simply let his die. Draco inwardly scoffed. No, she was a Gryffindor through and through. She had probably let her honorable hero complex get the best of her, seeing his condition now.
He briefly wondered how she had been holding up. She had shown up during his trial, shocking him to hell and back, and even aided Potter to testify for his case. At the time, he wondered in frustrated dread what they wanted in return, but after the testimony was over, the two of them left and Draco never saw them again. He was thankful to her, but he would rather die a hundred times over before admitting that.
That was over 4 years ago.
Draco groaned and tried to turn on his side to curl up in a ball and die. His body didn't listen to him. He had been attacked to the brink of death; his memory was cut in blanks for some parts of the offending night, and was officially in the care of Hermione Granger.
Was he angry? Not exactly. He couldn't place the feeling as all he ever felt around the girl was anger and bitterness. After being taught that muggles and muggle-borns were lowly beings, he was absolutely furious when she had always beat him in every subject. Except flying of course, but he could hardly count that.
The door slid open again, and Draco snapped out of his thoughts. He craned his neck to see the lime green robes and its owner walk in. For a second, he didn't recognize her. Her face slimmed with the loss of baby fat, she had grown another inch or two, and her usual tangled mess of what she called hair, was now in manageable curls down her back. Her hazel eyes pierced into his grey ones and Draco could see the evidence of lack of sleep under her eyes.
Hermione stared at him and waited for him to speak. She was so sure he would try and make some offending comment about her the moment she walked in. He just continued to stare at her from the bed.
She inwardly sighed, so far so good.
She approached him and slightly nodded in greeting. "Good Morning, Mr. Malfoy, I'm Healer Granger. You'll be under my care for your stay here at St. Mungo's."
He opened his mouth as if to say something, but snapped it shut a moment later. She couldn't blame him. He was probably wondering why she was reintroducing herself when they were already so well acquainted. She tossed her hair behind her shoulder, glancing at her assistant. Lilith was watching them and Hermione had no desire to let the young girl know she wasn't on the best terms with this particular patient.
She slowly reached over to his wrist, hoping he didn't notice her hesitancy.
"Your pulse is a bit erratic," she whispered mostly to herself. She placed her free hand on his forehead, trying to gauge the temperature without actually touching him too much. "Do you feel cold?"
Malfoy shook his head and stared into her eyes again. She watched them widen a fraction and his pupils dilated with intensity. Hermione was first to break contact, as she pulled her hands back from him. Trying to keep herself distracted, she picked up his file and began flipping through the pages.
"You've been here for about 5 days," she began. "I was able to heal the physical injuries, but I'm afraid the blow to your head is causing brief lapses in your memory for now. Other than that, you will gradually heal and your leave will be scheduled in a months time."
"A month?" he finally spoke. She noticed his jaw lower.
Hermione nodded. "After your extensive care is over, you'll need to attend a week of muscle rehabilitation to use your right leg again."
She expected him to blow up in frustration, demanding that they release him earlier, but he stayed quiet, surprising her for the second time that day.
"Lilith will be here to look out for your condition. If you need anything, she will come and help you." Hermione gestured to her assistant. Lilith stood straighter and nodded in confirmation. She passed her the file and gave a final glance to Malfoy. "We hope for your full recovery here at St. Mungo's. Good Day, Mr. Malfoy."
With her final words, she gave a reassuring smile to Lilith and stepped out the room. She released a large breath of relief and began walking to her office.
Hermione felt a large weight lift from her shoulders and she momentarily wondered how stressed she was about approaching Malfoy. Sure, the conversation had been professional and to the point, but she still couldn't believe he had refrained from making a single snarky comment about her.
Shaking her head, Hermione landed on her comfortable office chair and set to work. If all went according to plan, she wouldn't have to ever talk with him again until his check out a month later. She would still see him every morning, but he was sure to be asleep during the time she came in and did the morning check-ups. Things were about to look better.
Draco's mind was still stuck in the moment she checked his pulse. What the fuck was wrong with him? He must have really been hit in the head. He had found himself unable to sneer a simple insult at her. No, he had been unwilling and he knew it. Draco was still accustomed to scowling at her at every meeting; he had a set image in his mind of her teenage self in healer robes. Her current self after 4 years had momentarily shocked him. He couldn't place the feeling and it unnerved him.
Lilith sighed at the corner of his bed.
"Isn't she just wonderful?" she sighed contently again. "I know she said a month, but Healer Granger likes to give her patients the normal estimated time, but she always manages to release her patients within a week or two. Like I said, Mr. Malfoy, you were very lucky."
"Yes," he replied, masking his surprise. "I'm lucky."
He couldn't shake off the feeling of disappointment when Granger had said she wouldn't be taking direct care of him. His stomach lurched at the thought and he inwardly cursed at himself. He should be jumping in joy and thanking every deity he knew, but all Draco could feel was an empty fizz in his chest.
It then dawned on him that he had most likely wanted to talk to her and give her his idea of thanks for saving his sorry arse at the trial. As much as he wanted to deny it, and even after his father had drilled into his head that Malfoys do not thank people, he still had an urge to do it. So much for dying a hundred deaths before he admitted anything.
Draco had long left behind his so-called superior beliefs of blood purity when the war had ended. Look where their thinking had led them. He supposed that seeing her again after so long, especially after tossing his previous attitude had allowed him to see what he was desperately trying to deny in the past.
He sighed and tried to rub his forehead but realized he could barely lift his arm. Damn everything.
It was early in the morning when Draco realized someone had entered his room. He had been an extremely light sleeper since the war, and his body had refused to drop the instinct now. He kept his eyes shut, thinking it was just Lilith making her rounds again, when he felt a hand linger over his forehead and two fingers gently press against his wrist. He didn't know how he knew, but Draco immediately realized that it was Granger instead.
He heard her cast a few spells on him, probably checking his condition and gently tossed the sheets to a pile at his ankles. There was a cork pop of a bottle being opened, and soon felt the cooling salve spread over his injuries. It felt incredibly relaxing. After she had finished his legs, he felt her fingers expertly undo the buttons of the hospital garments and repeat the same procedure.
He cracked an eye open, and met the lime green robes of his healer.
She yelped in shock and jumped back, leaving a large goop of salve on his chest. Her wide eyes locked with his as if to make sure he wasn't talking in his sleep, her hand over her chest.
"Bloody hell, Malfoy!" she whisper yelled. "You startled me! How are you awake?"
He raised an eyebrow. He felt somewhat relieved she wasn't calling him 'Mr. Malfoy'. That had been strange to hear. "I'm a light sleeper."
"But I gave you dreamless sleep," she said with incredulity.
Draco attempted to shrug, but realized he couldn't move his shoulders. He settled for a small smirk. "It doesn't work for me anymore."
She stared at him with slightly narrowed eyes, and Draco saw a flash of recognition in them. Granger released a small sigh and lowered her hand back on his chest, spreading the salve again. "At least try and sleep. Your body needs rest."
He didn't answer as he felt her fingers leave trails of fire on his skin. It's just the damn cream. Just the effects of the damn cream. After chanting the phrase in his mind a few times, he watched her again. Her face was set in concentration, and after a wave of her wand, his chest was wrapped in clean bandages. She buttoned his shirt and turned her attention to his arms.
He breathed. "Granger, I know you have every reason not to listen to me, but I just want you to know that… I'm sorry. And I'm thankful that you saved me."
He saw her freeze mid motion and blink a few times. He couldn't blame her. He had probably never put the words 'sorry' and 'thanks' in the same sentence all his life. It felt foreign to his ears as well. There was a hint of confusion and surprise in her eyes, but quickly left. After a few moments, she resumed her duties.
"I'm a healer, Malfoy. It's my job," she replied.
Draco shook his head to the best of his ability. "I'm talking about 4 years ago… at my trial. I never told you that my mother and I were grateful you and Potter showed up."
Her hands slowed, but she continued her work. He saw her lips quirk up in the corner. "…In that case, you're welcome."
He raised his eyebrows. "And are you accepting my apology?"
"For what exactly?" she inquired.
He inwardly sighed and scowled. "For being a miserable git at school, if you must know."
To his surprise, she laughed softly. She pushed her hair out of her face with the back of her hand and met his eyes. "You're forgiven."
His eyes widened. He didn't think it would have been that easy. He was prepared to fight her verbally for her to know how sorry he was. She seemed to notice his confusion.
"I really mean it," she said. She gently turned his head so that he faced her and began to dispose of his old wrappings. Draco merely stared at her, looking for any glints of lies. "My mum told me, that holding grudges is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It's pointless and it won't take you anywhere. So if you're apologizing, there's no reason for me to reject."
She conjured new bandages again and stared back at him. Her words had been like a bucket of ice water to his head. She was being absolutely serious, and it was overwhelming how he could just forgive him like that.
She gave him a small smile. "Unless of course I'm an emotionally unstable bastard that likes to dance in my own self pity. Good thing I'm not."
He released a gruff snort of amusement. He wouldn't say it, but it felt incredibly relieving for her to know he was sorry, and for her to accept his apologies.
Granger walked over to the foot of his bed and opened his file, checking through the paper with practiced ease. She returned the file and moved his sheets to cover him with a flick of her wand.
"Lilith will check on you throughout the day," she waved her hand in farewell. "Bye Malfoy."
Before Draco could express his sudden thoughts, she slid the door shut and walked from his sight.
Hermione's head was swirling. Draco Malfoy had thanked her, and apologized to her. It must have been a dream. She was probably hallucinating from the lack of sleep. But that meant she was dreaming of Malfoy, and she didn't know how she felt about that.
He was being absolutely tolerable, and that scared her more than if he was being his usual arrogant self. She had tried to see if he had been joking with her, but she saw nothing but pure honestly in his eyes. It unnerved her. Everything Hermione thought she knew about Malfoy's one-dimensional personality had suddenly been shattered and replaced by something much more complex.
She slightly stumbled into her office and began mindlessly sorting through the mountains of documents and research material on her desk. It wouldn't be good for her health to think about Malfoy's sudden character this early in the morning. But her mind lingered on him for a while longer, considering the possibilities.
The war changed everyone, even those who were supposedly on the opposite side. She couldn't claim to know him well from school. All she had cared about at the time was that he was an insufferable idiot that had the extensive vocabulary with the words mudblood, blood traitor filth, and other profanities. She considered for a moment that he was simply always complicated, but chose not to see it. She shook her head. That would mean she had misjudged him, and that meant admitting she was wrong.
Scowling, she tossed that train of thought far into the recess of her mind, determined not to dwell upon it. After a few hours of work, she heard Lilith check in for the day, and decided to take a brief lunch break.
The rest of the day went by smoothly. Hermione gave her other patients their routinely checks, released two of them after a thorough examination and finished the night before the clock stroke 12. She even got to add in an extra hour of research time on the development of a new healing charm. Satisfied with her day, she apparated home, completely forgetting about her morning encounter with Malfoy.
The following morning, Hermione was standing in front of 406, her hand on the door slider. Oddly, her heart was pounding against reason as if she was anticipating something and was waiting in excitement.
Which was absolutely absurd. She was definitely not looking forward to spending time with him. Yes, that thought was easier to handle.
She slid the door open quietly, hoping not to wake him. Hermione waved her wand, applying her usual spells to check the smooth healing of his body systems.
She saw his eyelids flutter, and his blonde lashes rise to reveal his grey eyes. They darted around the room before falling on her, followed by a strange look on his face.
"Granger," he finally said.
She nodded and looked at her spell's results. "I promise I was being as quiet as possible."
He waved a lazy hand. "Don't bother."
She gently grabbed his waving wrist and checked his pulse. His heart rate had picked up again and she frowned. The man had been lying here for the past week. Why was his pulse raging as if he needed a burst of sudden energy?
Strange. She hadn't noticed anything odd about his records throughout the day from Lilith.
"Have you been this cutting with Lilith as well?" she asked conversationally—anything to falter his intense gaze.
He snorted, and thankfully turned his eyes to the blank ceiling. "She's too scared of messing up. Speaking of her, I heard something interesting yesterday," his eyebrow titled higher.
Hermione lowered his wrist and began her daily routine of replacing the old bandages with clean ones. "Which was?"
"She told me you assigned her to me specifically, which is something that doesn't usually happen." Draco explained. "And after blabbing about how wonderful you are, she said she wouldn't betray your sudden trust in her."
Dear Merlin, the man may have been a step away from death, but he was sharp. Hermione bit the inside of her cheek, and decided to play ignorant.
"And?" she finally retorted, keeping her eyes down.
"Don't play dumb with me, Granger," he replied. "I know you did that on purpose."
Sighing in defeat, she raised her head. "Malfoy, we aren't the best of friends. I'm sure it's more comfortable for you to see Lilith over your care than me. I'm only here in the mornings because you're supposed to be sleeping. Plus, she doesn't check in until noon."
The blonde's triumphant smirk fell and he narrowed his eyes. "Is that what you think I really feel?"
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Well you haven't given me a lot to work with other than the insults to my blood and snarky remarks to my very existence."
"I thought you've forgiven me for that," he whispered.
She nodded. "I have. But I can't suddenly see you as a warm and caring person now, can I?"
"So it's for your sanity?" he bit out.
Hermione inwardly sighed and shook her head. Strangely enough, she didn't have a problem with the current, tolerable Malfoy. Especially after he had apologized to her.
"For yours," she replied, spreading salve over his chest injury. "Patients are patients to me, Malfoy, no matter what."
He seemed surprised at this. Malfoy's mouth slightly opened, and he seemed to hesitate. "What if… I told you that my sanity's not slipping right now?"
She bit her tongue and tried to contain the sudden eruption of butterflies in her stomach. What the hell was wrong with her? She tried to meet his eyes for the truth, but he wasn't looking at her.
"I don't know," she replied honestly, wrapping his chest up again. "I'd say you already lost your sanity then."
She saw him roll his grey eyes at her and didn't bother to reply.
After finishing cleaning through the last injury, she filled out his file again and gave him one last check. She pulled the sheets over him and bid him farewell, leaving him faster than he could reply, just like the previous morning.
A/N: Hello! If you've reached this far down I must forward you my happiness. This is my first attempt at a DM/HG fic, so I decided to start out with something short. It'll probably be another chapter or two but I'd love to hear your thoughts!