What if the one you loved died? What if you found a way to go through different timelines and universes to be with them again? Would you do it?
"You know, I saw 14,000,605 different timelines. And he loved you in all of them."
This plot came from a video image from a Marvel movie. So, really, those specific words belong to Marvel. Characters and places you recognize belong to JKR. I don't own anything, and I make no profit from this. Really, I just had this idea in my head and I couldn't find a HP story to match it.
Does it need to be said? Probably. So, this is AU. Many, many AUs. EWE. And, probably NOT a happily ever after love story. Character deaths. The ending will (hopefully) be satisfying and all that jazz. But, while this is a Hermione/Draco story, that isn't the endgame. Or maybe it is? I'm writing this story, along for the ride as my muse takes the reins. But, I'm thinking that no, it's not.
I am planning on this to be a short story, but who knows? I'll keep you updated.
She tried to remember the last time they were happy. Before fear overtook them. Before pain ruled them. She knew that they had been happy, but when?
When was the last time they had lay in bed lazily, hidden under the covers talking about everything and nothing?
When was the last time they had shared a simple kiss, one that felt like a habit they would have for the next one hundred years of their lives?
When was the last time they had left each other's sight without their hearts constricting with fear?
She knew that they had shared those moments, because her heart yearned for them in a way that told her she would never experience them again.
As Hermione sat next to the hospital bed in St. Mungo's, watching the feeble rise and fall of Draco's chest, she struggled to remember the happiness that had encased them before this. She tried to picture in her mind the soft glow of his skin when it was tan. The small wrinkle between his eyebrows when faced with new muggle technology.
She wanted those memories when she thought of him.
She didn't want to look back and remember that his skin was so pale that she could see each and every purple and blue vein that ran under his skin. She didn't want the memory of dull eyes and shaky breaths and the beep of monitors as they showed his ever-nearing demise.
Across from her, the unrecognizable form of Narcissa Malfoy sat slumped over her son's bed. She had his left hand softly encased in her own, her chipped nail polish clashing with the diamond rings that adorned her fingers. Her hair was messily falling out of its bun, shiny with oil from being unwashed. Her skin was almost as deathly pale as Draco's, Hermione noted, but Narcissa's still glowed faintly with health.
Over the beep of monitors and the wheezing breath of Draco, Hermione could make out Lucius's baritone murmur through the closed door. Was he talking to another doctor? Potion's master? Curse breaker? The Malfoy's had brought in the best of the best from all over the world, but none had been able to help.
The door creaked open, and Lucius followed a doctor through, closing the door softly behind him. The doctor, Hermione recognized him as Head Healer Dalo, Draco's main healer, walked over to Draco's monitor and studied the lines carefully for a few moments.
Narcissa had looked up when Head Healer Dalo had walked in, her eyes glued to him as she awaited the news they were all expecting. Hermione kept her eyes on Draco. His eyelids that fluttered softly as he slept on. The soft flex of his nostrils that proved he was alive for now.
"Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy?" Head Healer Dalo spoke softly, and Hermione's eyes shifted to Narcissa's face. There was a small glimmer of hope still in her face, begging the healer to tell them the blood curse was reversing itself. "I am very sorry to have to inform you that, from what I can see, Draco has no longer than two hours at the most." Here, Narcissa cut in with a low moan of despair, dropping her head onto the bed beside Draco's thigh. "From my readings, the blood curse is almost complete," Healer Dalo continued quietly. Hermione's eyes looked back to Draco's face. Could he hear what was being said? Did he know that in two hours he would be gone forever?
Healer Dalo continued to speak, but Hermione couldn't focus enough to make out the words. Her eyes studied Draco, flicking across his body for any obvious sign that the curse was almost complete.
She registered the soft touch on her shoulder as Lucius patted her softly before crossing to lift up Narcissa and turning to sit in the small, stiff chair with his wife in his lap. Immediately, Narcissa's head fell back onto Draco's bed, his right hand curled in hers. Hermione ignored the soft sounds of crying that came from Narcissa, and instead focused again on Draco.
He looked the same as he had for the last week. Always asleep, too tired to wake up and suffer the pain of the curse and the pain of leaving his family and Hermione. She wasn't family yet, but the engagement ring that glittered on her finger and the love that rippled off of his parents showed that she was as good as.
Time passed slowly yet increasingly fast as they waited for death. Suddenly, unexpectedly, Draco rasped loudly. The monitors beeped loudly. And then, there was silence for a small moment.
Then the room was filled with the continuous beep of the monitor as it searched for some proof of life to monitor. Narcissa wailed, a long, low sound that echoed through the room and down the hall. Lucius wrapped his arms tightly around his wife, pulling her closer as he buried his face in her unkempt hair. And Hermione felt the silent tears running down her face, her breath caught in her lungs, trying to suffocate her so that she may follow Draco into death.
Nurses rushed in, cancelling monitoring charms and waving their wands over Draco's body, checking and double checking that he was really gone. Healer Dalo walked in, waved his wand once over Draco's body, nodded slowly at Lucius, and then walked out again, taking the bustle of nurses with him.
Hermione felt her facade crack, the impenetrable walls that she had been building around her shake, and she took a deep breath to center herself. Squeezing Draco's limp hand, she ignored Lucius and Narcissa completely as her mind tried to make sense of what had happened. She felt her breaths shuddering in her chest, confused about whether she was inhaling or exhaling.
Without realizing, Hermione crawled up into the hospital bed, curling her body into Draco's, pressing her head onto his still chest and gripping his bedclothes tightly in her fists. She felt her body quake with silent sobs and she screwed her eyes shut.
This was it. This would be her last memory of him. Twenty-six and dead.
Time stopped. No visitors came into the room, even though Hermione knew there were two waiting rooms filled with people ready to come and share their grief. Somewhere in her mind, she knew Head Healer Dalo would be walking into those rooms, sharing the news they all awaited. But she couldn't find it in herself to care about their grief. Not when she was being swallowed whole by her own. Like a lake full of inferi pulling her into the dark depths. No air to breathe. She was cold, but so was Draco.
It was Harry that came in to get her. Gently unclasping her hands from Draco's soft button-up bed shirt, and gripping them tightly in his own. She saw Lucius standing with Narcissa curled in his arms, and her eyes sought Draco once more as Harry lifted her with ease, tucking her into his chest. Her eyes stayed on Draco until Harry turned her around. Then Hermione shut her eyes, blocking out the view of her loved ones, as Harry carried her to the floo and then to her bedroom in their flat. Draco and Hermione's flat. Or maybe, just Hermione's flat.
He was speaking to her, Harry was. She could feel the vibrations coming through his chest against her face as he walked down the unlit hall to the bedroom on the right that she had always shared with Draco. Harry laid her on the bed- Draco's side, her mind supplied- and pulled the throw cover at the foot of the bed over her. He was still speaking, but she couldn't hear him. She was under water with the inferi and Harry was safely on land.
His fingers ran softly through her hair, pausing on her cheek for a second, and Hermione lifted her eyes to meet his green gaze. Harry must have taken that as an answer to whatever he had been saying, and Hermione watched as he clicked on the bedside lamp before walking out the bedroom door and closing it behind him.
Hermione buried her face into the pillow- Draco's pillow- and filled her lungs with his scent. His shampoo, his aftershave, his cologne, and the smell that was uniquely him combined to form her own personal Amortentia that pulled her into a dreamless sleep.