Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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Disclaimer: Snape and anything else you see that's familiar belongs to J.K. Rowling. Everything else is mine.
This does contain DH Spoilers so if you haven't read the book, read at your own disgression.
Darlene Warner pulled into the hospital parking lot; dreading another day of work. The day hadn’t started off well; her shower had decided to stop working, the light bulb in the bathroom went out, preventing her from putting on her make up in a proper light, her toilet over flowed and to top things off, her car wouldn’t start so she had to call her worthless brother, Joe, to give it a jump start. She was forty dollars poorer and forty minutes late for work. Darlene was at least grateful that she had a clean pair of scrubs, though they were her least favorite pair.
She clocked in, and began doing her normal routine, checking the night shifts reports on the patients, making sure that nothing went horribly wrong during the night. A headache began develop in her temples, and she hadn’t even been there for twenty minutes. It was then that the man who liked to think that he was her boss approached her.
“Mornin’ Darlene,” Kirk said, glaring down at her. “I don’t suppose I have to tell you that you were late, again.”
Darlene didn’t look at him; she didn’t say anything. At that point, the headache kicked into turbo mode. Kirk wasn't pleasant but she felt lucky to even have the job at the hospital so she couldn’t rightly say anything to him for fear he might have her fired. He always liked to make her think that her job was in his hands, and she acted as such because she was scared he actually did.
“We’ve got a new patient that was moved in from ICU last night, and he ran Sherry out. I need you to go in there and take his vitals and make sure that he’s taking his medication.”
Darlene glanced quickly at the computer screen, and pulled up the patient history. To her surprise, this man had no medical history at all, that was until last night. She looked at the name, and took her time as she made her way to room 234, dreading what this man would be like. Sherry was a tough girl and if this man was able to run Sherry off, Darlene was sure that he would rip her to shreds. She tapped her fist three times on the door as protocol dictated and waited five seconds before entering the room.
The hospital room was just like all the others, sterile and empty feeling with the heavy scent of industrial germ killing cleaner hanging in the air, burning her lungs slightly.
She approached the impersonal, metal bed where a man with greasy black hair was sleeping. An I.V. was dangling from its metal stand, dripping liquids directly into the man’s wrist. Even when he was asleep he looked intimidating. He snored gently, his chest rising a falling laboriously, and he was scowling. She’d never come across anyone who looked annoyed in their sleep.
“Mr. Snape,” Darlene said softly. The man didn’t stir. She said his name a louder and his eyes fluttered open. He looked around for a second, confused at where he was, but then his gaze focused upon her and his expression, if it were possible, soured even more. Darlene gulped.
“I need to check your vital signs, so if you could…”
The man narrowed his eyes. Darlene was afraid that he would try and bite her if she got too close. She just should have checked his vitals when he was asleep.
The man glowered at her, but tried to sit up none the less. Well at least he was cooperating. She made to help him up, but he held up his hand and struggled until he was sitting though she could tell that he was in pain.
He was there because he had pneumonia. Her nursing instincts kicked in as she grew concerned. She didn’t say anything, however, he wasn’t verbally complaining. She checked his heart rate and took his blood pressure. They were a bit above normal, but she had expected this.
“Sir, are you diabetic or have any other diseases that I should know about?”
“No,” he growled. “Are you finished? I’d like to get back to my nap.”
“No, I need to listen to your lungs.”
He sighed, annoyed and scooted up some. She pressed the stethoscope to his back; he grew stiff.
“Deep breath,” she commanded softly, and he obliged. She repeated the process four or five times but he didn’t complain.
“Tell me,” he said as he lay back down on the pillows. “Have you ever felt as though you were meant do something but some one came along and fucked everything up?”
Darlene didn’t answer him. She stared at him, strangely. He was smiling slightly, but it was a cold smile, a distant smile.
“I was supposed to die; I’m not supposed to be here…”
“Mr. Snape, do you have a history of mental disorders?”
“Are you calling me crazy?” The man said his cruel smile widening. Darlene felt as though she were a deer caught in the headlights; he was trying to bait her.
“No, but I have to ask.”
“The other nurse didn’t, but then again she didn’t get much a chance now did she?”
Darlene chose to ignore this and checked his I.V. stand, making sure it was close enough so that the tube wasn’t pulled taut but not so close that if it accidentally fell over, it wouldn’t clock him in the head. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if this happened, but if it did she’d be blamed, fired and then thrown back into prison, where she’d been for three years before she got out early for good behavior. She’d been out for a year, and she had to go through many other jobs before she could get the job she had now. Before she’d been thrown into the clink, she’d been a nurse. It had taken much persuading from her parole officer, the security guards down at the prison and even a few clean cut friends to get the job at the hospital. She didn’t want to mess it up. Though she hated the people she worked with, she loved nursing.
“Doctor Leonard will in here to see you in a couple of hours, but if you need anything, just press the green button to your left there.” She indicated towards a silver plate on the wall with a green and red button sticking out from it with a speaker built in to it.
“I didn’t catch your name, how do I know you’ll be able to hear me if I don’t know your name?” The man asked.
“If I don’t hear you, one of the staff will be more than glad to assist you.”
“I don’t any one else besides you coming in here. If some one else comes they’ll regret the day they popped out of their mother’s womb,” he said, sneering at her. Darlene wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or frightened.
“I have other patients to see, I won’t be available all the time,” Darlene said, trying to look apologetic. The man didn’t seem to notice, however.
“Then I’ll wait.”
“You’re being unreasonable.”
“I’m unreasonable man,” he said, closing his eyes. Darlene rolled her eyes, but not a second too soon. He opened his eyes again. “You’ll just have to make your self available.”
Darlene knew when she had been beat; Kirk would probably send her in there anyway because he hated her and was a sadistic freak of nature. If there was a troublesome patient, nine times out of ten, Darlene was sent to take care of them.
“My name is Darlene.”
The man shut his eyes and mouthed the name to him self before dozing instantly into deep slumber. Darlene quietly slipped out of the room, closing the door with a quiet click and returned to her station at the desk. Sherry, a plump middle aged woman with short hair, was sitting in her usual spot, sipping coffee. Darlene took the seat next to her as Sherry handed her a Styrofoam cup filled with black invigorating liquid. Darlene accepted it and took a sip, shuddering slightly. She usually took hers with a bit of creamer and sugar, but the budget had been cut down and the only place she could find such things were down in the cafeteria which was three stories below them, in the basement.
“King Kirk is on the rampage again. His girlfriend dumped him last night and he’s feeling extra moody today, so watch out,” Sherry said. Darlene groaned and took another drink of her coffee.
“That’s just great,” she mumbled. Sherry clucked her tongue sympathetically.
“At any rate, how did it go with the terror in 234? He wouldn’t let me get close to him earlier. He threatened to bite me.”
“You didn’t report that?”
Sherry rolled her eyes.
“I tried but Kirk didn’t really seem to care. You know how he can be. Did that nightmare of a patient get rough with you? Cause if he did, Kirk can’t ignore that.”
“No,” Darlene replied. “But he made it clear that he didn’t want any one but me checking on him.”
“Better you than me,” Sherry shrugged, and took a bite out of a sticky doughnut. Darlene shot her a look.
“Thanks for that,” Darlene mumbled. Sherry stuffed the rest of the doughnut in her mouth, excusing her from replying back. Behind them, a switchboard started beeping. The two nurses looked at each other, and then back at the switchboard. A red button was flashing; under it bold black numerals read “234”. Sherry lifted her eyebrow at Darlene who sighed and stood up. She pushed the red button in and the beeping stopped at once.
“Can I help you Mr. Snape?” Darlene said into the speaker.
“I demand that you bring me new pillows. There is a stain on one of mine,” his voice replied, scratchy with sleep and gruff.
“I can assure you that all the pillows are washed with sterilizing detergent after every use,” Darlene said, looking at Sherry. Sherry didn’t look at her. She was too busy trying not to crack up at her co-worker’s misfortune.
“I don’t care how they’ve been washed. Bring me a new set and make sure there aren’t any vomit stains on them this time. I’ll report you for neglect if you don’t,” he said. Darlene sighed. This was going to be a long day and perhaps an even longer week depending on how fast he recovered. For now, she’d just have to deal. The better she took care of him, the sooner he’d be able to leave and then he’d be out of her hair for good.
“I’ll be right there,” she said.
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I thought it'd be fun to do something different for a change and I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I enjoy writing it. Snape is fun to write for.
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