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Chapter 5: I will try to fix you
A/N: I own nothing!
This story (as well as this chapter) contains substance use/abuse and sensitive issues, which is why it's rated MATURE. Read at your own discretion.
Also, thank you again to all who take the time to read and review (and favorite). You all hold a special place in my stomach. ;)
“To what do I owe the pleasure of this very unscheduled visit?” Draco asked upon opening the door.
“Shut up. You're my administrator; you have to listen to me,” I started my case immediately.
“I'm your administrator when we've agreed to a meeting. We have one two days from now. On Thursday.”
“Then you're my... friend, alright?” That's right. I was breaking out the big guns on this one. It was new territory for me, and the territory made me desperate enough to call him a friend. Of course he already thought we were friends. But in my head, we were still the same bitter enemies we were in Hogwarts.
“Alright. What brings you out to Chez Malfoy?” He opened the door wide, indicating I should come in. His stance was welcoming; his sarcasm was not.
“I guess it's... complicated.” It was something I wanted desperately to complain about, yet I had no idea where to begin.
“Hermione, you're suicidal. I'd say complicated pretty much covers it.” While Malfoy was right on the mark, I wished he wasn't.
“Okay, well this time it's Ron,” I had to wonder what it was exactly that started him spinning so out of control. I wasn't willing to believe it was because I broke up with him. Ron had broken up with several girls in his lifetime, and I was hardly special in comparison.
“I mean, every since I got out of that bloody hospital, I've been with someone. I haven't been left alone. I can't breathe. Apart from my stupid therapy sessions, my appointments with you are the only time I get to leave the house. Which is difficult because I broke up with Ron and now he's alternating between brooding, snarky Ron, and couldn't-give-a-damn-so-he-shags-every-woman-ever Ron.” My tirade was more short-lived than I would have liked, given my state.
“Every woman ever?” I could tell he was trying to keep a straight face. Probably a mixture of the crazy look in my eyes and maybe his indignation at Ron getting more woman than he did.
“If he were charging for his services, he could go back in time, give the money to his great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather and he'd still have money left from the inheritance, to buy Malfoy Manor.”
“Yesterday, you seemed only mildly perturbed by his, erm... escapades. What happened between our appointment yesterday, and now?”
“This morning, as usual, I gave my clothes out. To twins,” I was trying not to let the steam seep out my ears, but it was relatively difficult in this situation.
“I just needed to leave the house, is all.”
“Of course. I get it. Er, tea?” He offered.
“Yes, please. Unless you've got something stronger.”
“Well, as your Administrator, I have been told you are not allowed alcohol. However, the Healers have not told me as your friend, that you are not allowed to drink. So if you don't mention it, I think I can work something out.”
“Oh, thank God.”
“So my question still, is – if you broke up with him, why are you so upset?”
“Because he gets to leave the house. Because the noise from the attic keeps me up at night and I'm becoming sleep-deprived. Because it's disgusting, and because those girls keep borrowing my clothes. I'm running out of jeans to give them!”
“Do you want him back?”
“No! God, no. I want sleep. I want out of that damn house. I want my clothes back!” I took a cleansing breath, filling my lungs with the warm air that filled Malfoy's living room.
“I just want to go back to normal, whatever that is. But it's impossible in that house.”
“So stay here a couple nights,” he said after a few discerning moments.
“Think of it as a two to three day trial. Obviously, you'll have to be back on your own at some point. After your recovery. How do we know you'll adjust until you go a few days without them?”
“Well, I am your trusted Administrator,” he said, finally handing me a glass of my beloved firewhiskey.
“Hermione, why do you let them take your clothes?” She was well into her third glass of firewhiskey, two more than he had initially promised. We sat together on his couch, me with a blanket wrapped around me, him with a book in his hand. I had been enjoying the silence when he posed this question.
“Because I used to be the one coming in at 6 am, in last night's clothes. I guess I wish someone nice had been waiting for me in the morning to take me home. I used to go dancing with some of the girls at work. I told Ron I went back to the office, but I really went home with some guy I just met. I remember leaving those men in the morning, promising myself I'd stop. But I'd be out again the next night, doing the same thing. As you can see, my self-destructive phase accelerated greatly.”
He put the book down. I glanced at the title. Franny and Zooey. It used to be one of my favourites.
“Why are you letting me stay here? Apart from being my trusted Administrator?” I asked, the last bit was a bit sarcastic, but I couldn't summon up my usual amount of spite.
“Because I'm hoping this is my second chance to save your life,” he admitted. And everything he'd been trying to suppress – I'd been trying to suppress – came crashing down around us.
“Draco, I-” I tried to quell the memories, tried to push them out by speaking, but nothing worked. I went silent and he didn't prod. We both knew I needed to remember.
There wasn't any blood. At least, not much. Avada Kedavra didn't exactly cut you open and spill your guts. Instead, there were just bodies, strewn all over the castle grounds. Inside, outside. In every room, on every floor. All the way from the dungeons to the Astronomy tower.
I wanted to steal away into a secret passageway and wait it all out. But I knew I couldn't. I had been hit with every curse except Avada Kedavra. So while the castle grounds were not running red, I was. I looked down at my arms; my neck; my legs; there were red splotches all over my white shirt; dark, wet patches on my jeans. I knew if I hid somewhere, I would easily bleed out. It was almost too tempting. It would all be over for me. It wouldn't matter who won or who lost. I would be gone. I wouldn't care.
In fact, I didn't even care at this point. If we lost, I would be dead. If we won... the battle would go on for hours anyway. When everything ended, they would find my body. I was okay with that. It was easy. I strode quietly into the forest, not giving a damn if anything hit me on my way in, because that would just be a quicker means to my end.
My limbs felt heavy. My head was light. My eyes informed me of nothing but spots.
Then he was there. Malfoy. In front of me. He was casting spells and charms; protection charms. I tried to call out, a plea to stop. But my voice was a sigh. He told me to save my strength. I distinctly remembered a thousand muggle movies I had seen, where those were the last words spoken to someone before their death. I hoped my fate would be the same.
I tried to remember when my fight left me. I couldn't remember. Maybe it happened slowly. All I know is that at some point, it stopped being worth it. I didn't care if we won. I just wanted it to be over. But it would never be over. Even if we killed Voldemort, there would still be death eaters to catch. There would still be evil on the earth we had to destroy. There was too much to fix.
Malfoy was pouring something down my throat. I was hoping it was poison, but then he started wrapping my bandages. I thought it might be a ploy, so if anyone caught him he could say he was trying to help, while actually killing me. But he actually was helping. The spots in my eyes started going away. I cringed – It was dark now. I started feeling better. The muscles that were aching, stopped. The wounds that were bleeding, slowed.
Malfoy walked away before I could completely realize it was him. I had doubts that anyone even came to help me. Malfoy never mentioned anything. So I didn't either. All the Ministry knew was that Malfoy had killed several death eaters and had been a worthy ally in the downfall of Lord Voldemort.
We won that day. And all I could feel was exhaustion. That was the moment I really started hating Draco Malfoy.
“No offence, Draco. But you can't save me this time.”