Chapter 2 : The Infirmary
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Chapter 2: The Infirmary
Madam Pomfrey sent him an unpleasant look from her desk as he entered through the doors to the infirmary. In his attempt to get the levitating Hermione through the door without injuring her head further, he knocked over a couple of flasks filled with colourful potions standing next to the door.
“Must you make so much noise Mr. Malfoy?” she asked with a stern facial expression. He sent her an unfriendly look, and held open the door so the old nurse could see her patient hanging in midair outside it.
“Why didn’t you say that immediately?” she fussed, and rose from her seat to take a look at the unconscious girl. With hurried steps she walked across the room, tying her apron safely around her waist.
“Bring her in here!” she ordered, and Draco sighed; he hated being ordered around, especially in situations he didn’t want to be in to begin with.
Madam Pomfrey gestured for him to lower Hermione down onto one of the hospital beds nearest the door. The contrast between Hermione’s pale face and the red droops of blood on her temple were getting even greater, and the wrinkles on Madam Pomfrey’s forehead deepened. She seemed worried about the girl.
Draco sent Hermione a last glance. She lay still as a statue, with her skin almost the same colour as the white sheet beneath her. The bushy brown hair was smothered in blood on one side, and stuck to her face and coloured it a sickening brownish tone.
Then he turned to walk out the door and get back to the common room; he wouldn’t have time to join class by now.
“Where are you going Mr. Malfoy?” he heard the stern voice ask behind him. Slowly he turned around to face the slightly angry old nurse standing next to Hermione, who was still lying limp on the bed.
“First, I need you to hand me that turquoise potion there, right behind you on the shelf.”
She pointed towards something on his left. He rolled his eyes at her, but she didn’t seem to notice or care. She had turned towards the girl again, examining her wound with tender fingers.
“You would think I was her house elf,” he mumbled to himself, but he turned to the shelf to find the potion nonetheless.
The shelf covered most of the wall next to him, and on it were several hundreds of precooked potions in all different colours and shapes. He figured the one Madam Pomfrey was asking for, was the greenish blue potion in a small round bottle. His fingers grabbed it and held it carefully.
“Hurry up now boy!”
Draco breathed in deeply, trying to conjure up some patience because he didn’t like the old lady’s tone. And he definitely wasn’t used to being treated like a servant.
As soon as he was within reach of the nurse she snatched the bottle from his hands and uncorked it.
Carefully she let a few drops of the potion drip into Hermione’s slightly parted lips. Draco followed Madam Pomfrey’s moves as she went around the room and picked up different objects, most of which he didn’t recognise.
He waited for her to either be gone long enough for him to silently slip out the door without her noticing, or at least telling him that he could go. Neither happened. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other and looked out the window towards the Quidditch pitch, which was emerald green in the sunlight. He looked forward to the next Quidditch match, which was two Saturdays away. He could almost feel the broom beneath him and the wind around him…
“Now I want a thorough explanation,” Madam Pomfrey’s voice got him back on earth again immediately. She gestured for him to come sit in front of her at the desk. With a displeased look he sat down in the uncomfortable wooden chair. This seemed too much like an interrogation situation. He knew it was a bad idea to try to play the hero – he would only end up getting blamed for Granger’s injury.
“What happened to this girl?” the old lady had a surprisingly strong look in her faded blue eyes.
Draco breathed in and prepared himself to refuse to tell her anything, as she wouldn’t believe him anyway. Then he reconsidered; it probably wouldn’t help his situation.
“I found her at the bottom of the stairs leading to the third floor,” he answered with a slight smirk.
Madam Pomfrey straightened her apron and folded the wrinkled old hands in her lap.
“How did she come to lie there in the first place?” the steel in her glance told him that she believed he had somehow injured Hermione intentionally. Why would he want to do that? It wasn’t like Hermione needed him to hurt her. She was in enough dangerous situations without him putting her in more.
“I don’t know, I wasn’t there,” he settled on answering and drummed with his fingers impatiently on the armrest of the chair. Was she done soon?
“What do you think happened to her?” Madam Pomfrey asked inquiringly, and kept her eyes fixed on him. He didn’t back down, his grey eyes starred into hers without blinking.
“I don’t know! I guess she fell down the stairs…” his patience was running out and the old lady was getting on his nerves, “I found her, I picked her up, I brought her here, isn’t that enough?”
“She would most likely have died if you hadn’t,” came the grave answer. She took a large round tin box standing on the desk and opened it. For a moment he feared that it contained something nasty, but she slid the box towards him and he saw that it was filled with biscuits. With a slightly insecure glance he took a biscuit from the box. What was the point of all this?
On the other side of the desk Madam Pomfrey wrote a note on a little piece of light blue paper. The feather scratched across the parchment, and Draco followed the tip of it.
When the nurse rose from her seat to locate the infirmary owl, he relaxed in his seat and put one ankle on the opposite knee.
“I have reported to McGonagall,” said the nurse and turned away from the window through which, she had just sent the owl, “I’d like you to stay here until she arrives. She will want to hear the whole story.”
Draco stiffened in his seat.
“Why? It’s not like I pushed her down the stairs!” he said indignantly. He was tired of everyone always thinking he was to blame just because he happened to be a Slytherin. If it had been Harry Potter, who had found Hermione the celebration would already have started, there would have been medals of honour and lots of housepoints involved. But because he was Draco Malfoy he was stuck in a smelly old infirmary with an unconscious girl and an old nurse, who believed he was to blame.
“At what point did I indicate that?” asked the nurse dryly. Draco didn’t know how to respond to that.
“If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the greenhouses.”
With that remark, Madam Pomfrey left the infirmary and closed the door carefully behind her.
The hospital wing was quite. The only sound he could hear was his own breathing and the occasional soft moans from Granger. There was no one else in the neat row of beds with blue and white striped linen, no one in sight. From the windows the sunshine poured in and bathed the room in light, illuminating every grain of dust that whirled in the air.
It felt as if time stood still for a moment. Then he moved, and the sound of his robes brushing against the chair broke the silence.
Just what had the nurse imagined he should do while waiting for her and McGonagall’s return? He couldn’t very well go around smashing the potion bottles or taking care of the patients.
He walked across the floor to the window. Everything was quite outside. Near Hagrid’s hut he could see a class standing in a circle, studying something Hagrid was holding in his hands. They were too far away for him to see what it was, or where the students were from.
Looking in the other direction he could see blue glimpses of the Lake, mirroring the blue sky on still waters.
He screwed up his eyes to see better in the bright light. A couple of students ran alone back towards the school. They seemed to be on their own, and their red hair shone in the sunlight. Probably those insufferable Weasley twins, Draco concluded, and followed their journey across the lawn towards the Forbidden Forrest. One of them held up his wand, ready if something should attack them.
Another moan turned his attention towards Hermione, who lay still in one of the beds behind him.
Some of the colour had returned to her face after taking in the turquoise potion earlier, but it still wasn’t the same fresh colour as it used to be. Not that he knew that much about how she normally looked. She wasn’t the kind of girl he was looking for; there were certain …’assets’ she didn’t have which some of the other girls had.
One of the only times he remembered really having looked closely at her was a moment in their third year, just before her fist hit him on the face. Not one of his proudest moments.
He stepped closer to the sleeping girl and examined her more thoroughly. Her hair looked messy from lying down, but the blood that had covered one side of her was gone. The nurse had probably used a cleaning spell to be able to see the wound better. It was a relatively small cut reaching from her temple to the hairline, magically stitched up with black thread so only a little stripe of red could be seen beneath it.
Hesitantly, he reached out towards it; with trembling fingers he touched the wound. Nothing happened. It felt sort of anticlimactic as if he had expected there to be a huge explosion if he touched this girl. He rolled his eyes for thinking something so girly. It wasn’t like he hadn’t touched a girl before. Or touched a wound before.
Compared to the dried out red blood on Grangers forehead, his slim fingers seemed pale and almost as white as the girls skin. He studied her face. A lock of brown hair covered it and he pushed it away tenderly before thinking about it.
A sound was heard from behind, and Draco jumped away from the girl as if her skin had burnt him.
From outside the door he could hear the voices of McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey. Hurriedly he returned to the chair in which he had been sitting when the nurse left him.
“Hallo Mr. Malfoy,” McGonagall greeted as he stepped into the infirmary with quiet steps and looked over the top of her glasses to better see the boy sitting in front of her.
Here we go again, Draco thought, and rolled his eyes.
A/N: Thank you to those of you who reviewed the first chapter of this story, I appreciate your input very much, and I hope that you and many more will review this chapter too.
Any constructive critisism, feedback or comments are welcome:)
And thank you Quiddichref for taking the time to beta:)
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