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Chapter 1: A Letter Can Change Everything
Beautiful Chapter Image by chocolate_bunny @tda
Sunset was closely arriving, when Draco received an Owl from St. Mungo's.
Dear Mr. Malfoy,
We are sorry to inform you that there is nothing else we can do (medically or magically) for your mother, Narcissa Malfoy. We feel it best if you came to the hospital, so our Director of 'At Home Care' can assist you in making much needed choices for your mother's continuous care. We have taken the liberty to schedule an appointment for you with Mr. Lamport on the 13th of July at 10:30am.
The At Home Healer Staff
Draco gripped the parchment tightly in his hand feeling it crumple between his fingers. A lump formed in his throat as he thought about the task that he would have to complete the next day. A small thought crossed his mind.
'He cared for his mother and they had grown closer since the end of the war, but he hadn't felt this remorseful since Crabbe died in the Room of Requirement five years ago.'
He tossed the parchment onto the dark walnut desk in front of him and leaned back in the chair with only the words of the letter to keep him company in his solitude. He was angry at the thoughts that played around in his mind. He was angry that his father was locked in Azkaban and not there to take care of his dying mother. He was angry that he was left to find a way to un-tarnish the Malfoy name.
Unsure of what else to do, he stood up from the hard, high backed chair and peered around the dark Study. The dark, velvet curtains were tightly pulled shut to cocoon him in his own little world. The only light in the room was dim and on the walls, shadows danced from the burning fire. The walls were adorned with bookshelves filled hundreds of leather bound books containing pages of aged parchment. In the corner by a large, high, arched window stood a large globe. There was a mixture of other odd trinkets placed in a poised manner around the other windows. As Draco stood reflecting on his memories, he tried hard to pry his mother from his thoughts.
He walked aimlessly around the room searching for some type of comfort. He only stopped to run his finger across the spines of the leather bound books, or to spin the globe and watch it rotate with obvious ease and no pain.
As night drew around him and he could find nothing else to ease his mind, he finally decided that he ought to retire and head to his bedroom. Walking to the study door, he grasped the cold handle and turned it in one fluid motion. He walked out with his shoulders slumped and a depressed look upon his face. The snap of the door behind him echoed off the walls of the large corridor with a deafening finality.
The corridor was just as dimly lit as the study had been, as he made his way to his room. Sighing heavily from his burden he opened his bedroom door and sulked in. The room had a grandeur feel to it. With dark silk covered walls and high ceilings. He made his way directly over to the four poster bed that sat in the middle of the room and threw himself onto the deep emerald colored sheets. The weight of the evening seemed to evaporate around him. As he lay there he looked up at the ceiling and started to shut down his swirling mind. His silver, grey eyes closed slowly and he was lost in slumber.
The next day, the sun rose and set its rays on Malfoy Manor like bright spot lights. The dew covered grass glistened like diamonds as shadows rose up throughout the manicured garden. Inside the near empty Manor, Draco awoke with a startle. His eyes slowly began to take in the same view they had last seen before he drifted off into a dreamless sleep. As he laid there staring blankly, the thoughts of his busy day flooded his mind. Not wanting to be submerged in those thoughts, he got up and decided to busy himself with taking a shower.
The warm shower only provided him with a few minutes escape from his mind and life before he had to face reality again. Stepping out of the shower, with a frown he looked at his reflection in the steamed mirror. He could see dark circles around his eyes, his skin was more pale than normal, and his facial expression was somber. He slowly backed away from the mirror, terrified of how he looked and began to dress. Afterwards, he tried with all his might to mentally prepare himself for the day ahead.
When Draco arrived at St. Mungo's he made his way briskly over to the attendants desk to ask which floor he could find the Director of Home Care on. The attendant behind the desk glared at him for interrupting her from the puzzle she was doing and indicated that he should look at the sign sitting next to her. Glancing over at it he saw that it said, "Sorry, but the attendant is busy right now. If you need assistance please look at the hospital directory." Angry, Draco struggled to keep his calm and gave the attendant a scowl. The attendant turned her attention back to her puzzle with a small smirk on her face. Trying not to let her get the best of him and focusing all his energy on why he was there, Draco looked at the directory. His eyes scanned the list quickly to find that the Director was on the Magically Damaged floor, in the Terminally Ill ward. Turning back to look at the attendant once more as she continued to glare at him, Draco said,
"Thanks for not helping." She looked a bit put-out as Draco sneered and made his way over to the lift.
Stepping inside the tiny lift and wanting nothing more than to be alone, he made his way to shut the grate, but wasn't fast enough. A Healer happened to sneak in with him. Draco held his gaze forward, determined not to talk if at all possible. The lift gave a jolt and began moving slowly upwards as the Healer with him asked, "Could you please press floor five?" Draco ignored the Healers request and instead waited patiently as the lift continued moving up. Annoyed, the Healer leaned forward in front of Draco and pressed the button them self. Draco slowly lowered his gaze and noticed that the '5' button had indeed been pressed. He stood there refusing to believe that he, a Malfoy, would ever be visiting this floor in the hospital. Finally, the Healer cleared their throat. "You know, if you were going to the same floor that I was, you could've at least been kind enough to press the button." Draco turned to look at the Healer. She was a skinny witch that stood about average height, with blonde hair and greenish blue eyes. "I'm already running late for a meeting," she announced. Draco averted his eyes back to the numbers as a cool, calm voice sounded out their arrival to 'floor five, Magically Damaged Department.'
Wanting nothing more than to escape the confines of the lift with the Healer witch; he proceeded to pull the grate open and stepped out into the corridor. He had no idea where he was going, but just as he decided to try and go left, the Healer witch stepped out of the lift and asked, "Can I help you find your way?"
Draco who was still ashamed to be on this floor of the hospital, stared at her. "No, I shall be able to find my way, I trust," he said in a haughty tone.
The Healer witch looked at him skeptically. "Fine suit yourself," she stated as she stalked off.
Draco glanced at her as she walked off down the corridor, hesitated for a moment, and then wandered off in the opposite direction. After a quarter of an hour later, he was lost in the labyrinth of the fifth floor. All the walls were painted in an off white color that after awhile started to make him feel disoriented. He decided that he needed to sit down and leaned up against the wall, letting his back slide down slowly as he made contact with the floor. Sitting there he tried to think of what to do next. All around him he could hear strange and frightening sounds from the residents. Nervous and angry at himself for now being fifteen minutes late he started to curse his own stupidity.
As he focused all of his anger on himself and began to drown in self pity, he failed to hear the footsteps making their way purposefully towards him.
"Mr. Malfoy," said a voice and Draco jumped at its soft sound. "Are you Draco Malfoy?" A woman's voice asked. He looked up and gave her a curt nod.
"I am one of the resident healers and I was asked by the Director to be on the lookout for you," she finished. Draco just sat there with his pale face reflecting off the wall and his mouth hanging slightly open. "If you will follow me, I will show you to his office." Comprehension dawned on Draco and he stood up quickly, brushing himself off. He followed her down the seemingly endless corridors and about five minutes later they arrived at a polished oak wood door with a shiny, gold name plate on the front of it. Reading the engraving, Draco realized that she had taken him to where he needed to be. He turned to look at her with a strangled look upon his face as he tried to force out two simple words from behind his lips. Before he could, however, the resident healer said, "No need to thank me Mr. Malfoy. You're welcome." Then she gave Draco a small smile and an obvious wink. Draco tried to not show his disgust, but failed miserably. Her smile faltered and her cheeks flushed red. Turning sharply on her heel she walked away as fast as she could.
Draco watched her round the corner and turned his gaze back to the door that hid the office within. His facial expression immediately changed to one of disgust to one of trepidation. Sighing, he knocked lightly on the door; he heard a man's voice call 'enter' as he turned the plain door knob in his sweaty hand.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of the story. There is a lot more to come in Draco's life after the war and we get to meet some new characters along the way. I hope that you enjoyed it and the nice little cliffie at the end. I am sorry in advance that my grammar is awful. Please let me know your thoughts in the little review box below. Thanks!