Chapter 1 : Choice
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Pairing: Draco x Hermione
I set the time frame after DH, without the epilogue. There will not be many references about the novel or film, but I do follow the rule of characters. Which means the dead stays dead, other characters that I do not mention were doing their canon events.
Thank you in advance for reading this fic, I hope you enjoy it.
Living with a Muggle
Hermione knew she needed to do something.
Half an hour ago, dinner and drinks were on their dinner table, to celebrate her graduation. She and her mother had since cleaned it up. Harry, Ron, Neville, Luna and Ginny had left. Harry and Ron were the last to leave her home, after saying goodbyes, promising to keep in touch. Her mother had accompanied them to the door.
Monica Wilkins smiled while drawing a chair from the table, studying her only daughter. A year ago after she sent her parents away to save them from Voldemort, they had decided not to change the surname back into Granger.
"So, what do you want to do from now on, dear?" Monica asked.
Hermione put her teacup on top of the dinner table. "Harry and Ron asked me if I want to join them in Shacklebolt Ministry. But I don't think that's the right job for me."
"What about the organization you said you're interested in expanding?" Monica asked. "It's something to do with house elves?"
"It's called S.P.E.W, Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare." Her daughter sighed. "I can't turn that into my permanent job, although I'm still doing it."
"If you need someone to knit socks or hat, I'll be glad to do it for you."
"Thank you." Hermione glanced up, crossed her arms and mumbled aloud, "Now that I'm a full-fledged witch… What should I do next?"
"You're still eighteen; you can do anything you want," Monica said, "…I want you to enter a college."
Hermione stared at her mother. "…College?"
Her mother stood up, walked to the kitchen cabinet, and pulled something out from the drawer. She gave Hermione a piece of paper.
Her daughter saw the paper and raised her eyebrow, did not bother to hide the humour in her tone. "You want a full-fledged witch to enter Imperial College—medical major?" She laughed. "Six year undergraduate?"
"I'm just giving you more choices." Monica leaned on the wall across from her daughter. "You can choose to live in the wizard world or in here. You're always a witch, but it doesn't mean you have to live there." She let a smile play on her lips when Hermione read the paper in silence. "Before you knew you have another gift, you always said you want to be a doctor, remember? You want to help people. I know as a witch, you can do that. But with more knowledge, you can help more people, whether they are wizards or normal humans."
Her mother's words played in her mind as she stared at the form. She had nothing to do. Even though she could work in the wizard world, she preferred to learn new things.
Yeah, what's the problem? Hermione shrugged. It was not like she was going to enter this college; there were only two-hundred and eighty-six students admitted each year. There was no better way to show her mother that she was better off in the wizard world.
"Alright," Hermione said, shoving the paper into her pocket. "I'll do it, but don't be disappointed if I don't make it."
Monica replied with a proud undertone, "I know you will make it."
Why is mom always right?
Hermione Jean Granger woke up, freezing. Hopping to her feet, she tried to raise her body temperature. Waking up in a chilly bed in a cold winter morning was not her idea of fun.
The heater must've been broken again.
The twenty-year-old tumbled into her small bathroom, turning the shower on, shrieking in surprise. The water she expected to flow hot in her hands was cold and freezing. She sighed when the pipe stopped running on water. After smashing the tap, she realized it must have been freezing overnight.
Rubbing her hands together, Hermione fumbled to her open kitchen, drawing out a bag of coffee bean from the cabinet, turning the coffee machine on.
What should I do today? Class… Returning books to the library… She glanced at her wall clock, nodding to herself. She still had an hour to go. She poured the liquid into her cup and carried the old mug to her couch. Two big swallow of her caffeine and she began to feel alive.
Feeling a bit happier, she observed the view outside her window. It was winter. The road outside was snowy. Her small and cheap flat was located fifteen minutes away from the South Kensington campus. When she said to her mother that she would try for it, she had never thought she would pass.
Hermione had moved into a small flat two years ago, leaving her cushy life. She still practiced her magical skills daily. However, being a hero who had defeated the Dark Lord was an impressive background that she had to keep from everyone around.
It had been an honour that a famous Muggle college would accept her, after she spent her teenage years studying in the magical world. Her Hogwarts friends were surprised when she told them that she would be a medical student in the Muggle world. Nevertheless, they understood her ambition for success.
Hermione loved challenges. Studying in one of the most prestigious school had been a big achievement for her, even though nowadays her life had nothing to do with wizard world.
However, living—She sneezed–in such a small flat with an occasionally broken heater was not—She sneezed again–an achievement at all!
She finished her coffee. Ambling to her bedroom, she opened her closet and changed her thick pyjamas into red sweater and snug black jeans. Hermione grabbed her backpack and long coat before rushing towards the door, slipping her feet into a pair of thick socks and knee-length boots, sporting her coat and backpack before leaving.
In the hallway, it was even more freezing. Hermione pushed the elevator button, waiting for the shaft to arrive and shivering.
Why has my landlord always ignored my complaint?
She gritted her teeth. Ten minutes passed by. She narrowed her eyes, shook her head and decided to walk down through the stairs from her fifth floor.
At least it would keep me warm!
It did keep her warm, but when she arrived at the ground floor ten minutes afterwards, the college girl panted and crouched down, resting her spinning head between her knees.
I must be getting sick…
Holding the side of her waist with her hands, Hermione slowly rose up and made her way outside. When she felt the chill snow falling to her face and neck, a thought about running back in and sleeping through the days occurred in her mind.
If only the heater is working.
Hermione sighed, pocketing her hands and pacing towards her campus.
The brunette felt happy when she strolled into the reception area of St. Mary hospital. Her class went fine, the books were now safe and secure inside the library. Her volunteer work should work like every other Thursday.
Since she was planning to ask for an internship in her senior year, she decided to apply for volunteer work first. Hermione's job was to read books for sick children and elders. She liked to cart their wheelchairs around the park. Sometimes she brought Crookshank to visit. Of course, that cat did not like it one bit, always attempting to run away. Which was why the cat stayed in her parent's house; she had never stayed home long enough to care for it.
The receptionist smiled when she approached her counter. "Hey, Jean."
She smiled back. Her first name baffled people. In the end, they decided to call her by her middle name. "What can I do today?"
"Let's see…" The receptionist turned to her computer. "There's a new patient. A young man. Could you help him change his clothes?"
"I know what you're thinking about. This young man got injured in an accident. He can't move that much, he was paralysed from waist down." The receptionist rolled her eyes. "Lucky for him and unfortunately for us, his vocal chord was unscathed. He cursed everyone who tried to help him change his clothes. He'd been here for two days, so far refusing to talk or mentioning his family." She shook her head. "God bless whoever knows that man."
"How do you know I can do it?" Hermione frowned.
"Just try," the receptionist said, handing her the hospital gown. "None of us escaped his endless swearing. If you fail, no one'll blame you."
Hermione bit her lower lips and gave a nod. "Okay, I'll try."
The receptionist gave the man's room number. Hermione entered the lift and pushed the floor button, leaning on the wall. Swaying her head, she memorized today's lesson. With the gown in her hand, the brown-haired woman arrived outside the patient's room. She frowned. There was nothing on the bed. Then her eyes captured a slump under the blanket on the floor, below the bed. Rushing to help the fallen man, she received a harsh shove.
The man stooped low. Long, pale blonde hair covered his face. Hermione crouched nearby as he struggled to sit on his own. The paralysed man swore and punched the floor, his body trembling.
Hermione sympathized. It was hard for any person to find that they could not walk anymore. For some people, it led to depression.
"What are you doing here?" the man asked through gritted teeth.
"I'm here to help you change your clothes."
He snapped his head up, surprised to hear the voice he recognized. Hermione's eyes widened when she saw a pair of grey eyes…
That belonged to Draco Malfoy.
To be continued…