Chapter 23 : Consciense vs. Subconscience
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"Hermione! Hermione, wake up!" a quiet voice whispered as the speaker put it's hand on her shoulder and started shaking her.
Hermione gasped and jerked awake to find that Madam Pomfrey was staring down at her with a concerned look on her face.
Hermione looked around, "Sorry," she murmured, rubbing her eyes, "I must have dozed off for a moment,"
"Try twelve hours," Madam Pomfrey said, seemingly concerned.
Hermione's eyes widened, "Twelve hours? I'm so- Draco! Draco is he ok!" She slurred, hurriedly getting to her feet, her heart rate speeding up in her chest. The last thing she'd known was sitting down in that green chair after the doctors had rushed him away. What if they hadn't been able to save him?! What if he was gone?! What if, what if....
"Relax!" Madam Pomfrey hushed, putting a hand of Hermione's shoulder, "He's alright. He's not exactly in tip-top shape, but he survived the night by some miracle."
This was the best news she'd heard in a long time.
She put a hand on her heart, he was still alive.
"Where is he?" She looked around, not seeing him, her fears creeping back up her spine again.
"He's in the Intensive Care Unit. We didn't think a lot of visitors would be good for him with how much stress has been put on his body in the past few hours. If you'll follow me..." Madam Pomfrey led the way out of the room and down a hallway she'd never been down before, until she saw the door labeled 'Intensive Care Unit'.
"I'll wait here and give you a few minutes," Madam Pomfrey said as she gestured towards the door.
Hermione took a deep breath as she wrapped her fingers around the brass handle of the doorknob.
"Go on," Madam Pomfrey encouraged.
Hermione smiled a smile that clearly said 'Thank you' and turned the handle before disappearing inside the room.
Madam Pomfrey smiled to herself, "I never thought I would see a day where Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were in love," she smiled as she walked back down the hall, reminiscing about the days when Hermione and Draco were children in that school.
It seemed like just yesterday she was seeing Hermione walk in to the Hospital Wing looking like a feline. She distinctly remembered one particular day of that year though, when Harry Potter and Ron Weasley saw an untransformed Hermione in the Great Hall. Never before had she seen such a loyal group of friends.
She smiled to herself, happy to have witnessed the occasion.
Elsewhere, Hermione was tip-toeing across the shiny linoleum of the floor, peeking in to each of the four poster hospital beds when suddenly something blonde caught her attention.
Hermione turned on her heel and across the room she was greeted by the site of a heavily bandaged Draco.
She smiled faintly as she saw the slight rise and fall of his chest.
He was breathing.
He had really made it through the night.
Her heart skipped a beat.
She slowly walked over there, not sure what she was going to see when up close.
When she was standing next to his bed she saw just how bad the damage was. His torso was wrapped heavily in gauze and you could see a few blood spots seeping through the material.
Her stomach flipped.
His blonde hair was a disheveled mess, the total opposite of it's normally carefully sculpted precision. His eyes were closed, but he didn't appear to be sleeping heavily. He looked so....fragile. And weak. It was not his best moment.
She took a seat next to the bed, unsure what to do. In her heart though, the only thing she wanted to do was stay there. Be there for him.
It was her fault he was like this. He would have never had this happened if she hadn't been off more than she could chew; if she hadn't just proclaimed she was dating him, even though she wasn't. It was her fault he was in this mess. It was....
She was taken away from her thought when his fingers slowly unclenched themselves, as if they were reaching for something. She didn't know why, but she did the first thing that came to her mind: she grasped them in hers.
They felt cold in her hands.
Guilt could not stop creeping up her spine: this was her fault.
She buried her frizzy head in between her arms, not knowing what to do with herself.
How could she have let this happen to him?
Suddenly she felt his fingers squirm and she released them and she felt her heart skip a beat when his eyelids suddenly fluttered open to reveal his grey eyes looking thoroughly confused.
"Hermione," he whispered, bringing her completely out of her trance-like stance.
She smiled faintly and gently stroked the side of his face with two fingers, not bothering to care about what was going through his mind and the feel of her fingers. She no longer cared.
He smiled, "That was one hell of a night."
She broke in to a grin, surprised that those were the words he found the most need to say, "It was wasn't it?
His smiled faded and his eyes took on a more serious look, "Thank you."
Hermione was taken aback by this.
Never before would she have though Draco Malfoy would utter those words to her, Hermione Granger.
"F...For what?" she stuttered, not sure as to why he was thanking her.
He looked around, clearly uncomfortable before speaking, "For saving my life. I probably wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for you."
She felt tears well up in her eyes and a lump formed in her throat.
"You know," Draco laughed, "the normal response it 'you're welcome'."
She looked at him through tear filled eyes, "It's my fault this happened though! It's my fault that you're here!"
He shook his head and flinched when he felt the sharp twinge of pain course through his body, "Mione," he whispered, still clearly trying to conceal the amount of pain he was in, "It's not your fault. You didn't fire the spell."
"So?" Hermione argued, "If it wasn't for me having to say we were dating, this never would have happened!"
"I'm not mad at you," he groaned, "If you hadn't I'd have been missing out."
Hermione met his eyes.
Had he just said what she thought he said?
Maybe she was just reading too much in to it...
"What?" she whispered, unable to stop her mind from questioning exactly what that meant.
"Hermione," he started, but then he paused.
He knew what she was getting at.
She raised her eyebrows,
"I.....um...." he was suddenly interrupted, much to Hermione's dismay.
Thunderous footsteps from outside the room started echoing in the room, causing Hermione and Draco to quit their conversation abruptly.
"Where is he?" A worried, female voice said from in the hall.
Hermione sat up, thinking she recognized the voice, but unable to be certain.
The doors burst open suddenly, causing Hermione to jump back from Draco, and Madam Pomfrey led two older, blonde adults in to the room. The woman took off at a run the exact moment her eyes met Draco's and when she was about half way to him, Hermione recognized her as Mrs. Malfoy, Draco's mother. The man still standing with Madam Pomfrey was clearly Lucius, Draco's father. He wore a scowl on his face, as if he was too good to be standing in that hospital.
Seeing his scowl took Hermione's memory back to a certain Quidditch game when she and Draco were in their second year. It was the same game that had nearly killed Harry due to a rogue bludger caused by Dobby the elf and Draco, too, had wound up in the hospital, although Mr. Malfoy was not concerned.
Mrs. Malfoy rushed to his side and tears filled her eyes as she fell to her knees and put her hands on the sides of his face as if he was a small child.
"Oh....Draco," she sniffed in to his shoulder as his face pinkened.
"Mum," he whispered, attempting to conceal the pain from his overly concerned mother, "I'm alright."
She looked up through tear filled eyes, "Alright? Alright? Alright....What! Draco you could have died! You could have been killed!"
"Mum," he groaned, "I'm alright."
Hermione realized just how much he'd changed in these past years, he wasn't soaking up the attention like he would always do in school.
Mr. Malfoy looked down at his son with a disgusted face for a couple moments before he let his eyes wander up and his eyes met Hermione's. Lucius' eyes were the exact same shade of grey as his son's, but there was a colder sense in them than she'd ever seen in Draco's, even in his darkest moments. His face curled up in disgust, "Who let you in?" he spat, with hatred clearly tossed in to the words intentionally.
"I....uh...." for once she was speechless. What should she say? What could she say?
Luckily, Draco came to her rescue, "She was just visiting me," he covered quickly with a wink, "She was just being a friend."
Draco and Hermione knew at the same moment that that was not what should have been said.
"Since when are you friends with her kind?" Mr. Malfoy sneered coldly, looking Hermione up and down, clearly not seeing anything worth living.
"Lucius," Narcissa pleaded, looking up at him with kindness in her face, "Draco's safe, isn't that all that matters? Your son is safe."
He scowled, "That's nice." he shot coldly, taking everyone in the room aback, " A Granger still shouldn't be here though....she's a disgrace to the Wizarding world."
"...Should have just been happy to get in to Hogwarts. She doesn't have to go sniffing around where she isn't wanted."
Hermione felt her heart twinge with the stinging, hurtful words. She looked to Draco who was gawking at his father, but he didn't say anything.
Hermione wanted to let out her tears, but Mr. Malfoy wouldn't be getting the satisfaction of seeing her cry any time soon, "Excuse me," she sniffed, turning to leave.
"Hermione....you don't have to," Draco begged, not sure what he should be doing.
Did he side with his parents or with her?
"No, I need to," she said quickly, "I was supposed to be at work a half hour ago," she lied quickly as she swiftly got away from the hospital wing.
As soon as she was out of sight she let a couple tears escape her eyes.
How could he say something like that?
She propped herself against the wall, letting the pain from the past twenty of hours out of her system.
Suddenly a voice caught her attention, "Hermione?"
She turned her head to see Ron Weasley standing at the end of the hallway, looking like a disheveled mess.
"What?" she spat, brushing away her tears from yet another person who would not get the liberty of seeing her cry.
"Please, talk to me." Ron pleaded, now a mere couple feet from her.
"Every time you've tried to talk to me recently it just makes things worse," Hermione spat, "Maybe if you'd just keep out of my life, none of these problems would occur for you to try and 'fix' by talking to me! Go. Away!"
"Hermione," he begged, remembering not to use 'Mione, even though he'd used it a thousand times before, "Please."
It was against her better judgment, but she reluctantly agreed, "Five minutes."
The last time she'd agreed to talk to him for 'five minutes' she'd gotten herself in to the 'dating Draco' lie, what was she going to do now?
"Why would you even tolerate that!" Mr. Malfoy screeched after asking Madam Pomfrey for some privacy with his wife and son.
"Tolerate what?" Draco challenged with as much force as he could bear, just speaking made him feel like he was breaking ribs all over again.
"That mudblood being allowed to be in here!" Mr. Malfoy yelled, disgust coursing through his veins.
Draco felt his blood boil, "Don't. Call. Her. That." he spat through clenched teeth, unsure why the exact reason was for his defending her.
Lucius took a step back, unsure of how to react to his son standing up for himself, "What did you say?"
"Don't call-" Draco began to repeat, still angry, but, Lucius was not done speaking.
"Since when do you care about that miserable excuse for a witch. People like that don't deserve magic! They're a disgrace to the Wizarding world!" he boomed.
"You're wrong," Draco whispered.
Narcissa widened her eyes in shock and took a step away.
No one spoke that way to Lucius Malfoy.
"Excuse me?" he stuttered, wide eyed, "What did you say to me?"
"You. Are. Wrong." Draco growled, "She's not any of those things."
Lucius wasn't sure how to react, "And since when do you...wait....this isn't your way of saying you've actually fallen for that creature, is it?"
Draco glared at his father, "No. I haven't, but so what if I had? She's a lot better than that snout face Pansy you were so adamant I marry!"
Lucius tried to argue, "Son, you know as well as I do that Pansy's family-"
"Enough with the family thing! I don't give a rat's arse what her family does! She has a dog face and is a loon," he growled.
"Let's get one thing straight!" Mr. Malfoy screamed, shoving a finger in a scowling Draco's face, "I-"
He was cut off.
"Mr. Malfoy! Mr. Malfoy!" Madam Pomfrey was hurrying across the a room, lifting her long skirt up to help her legs move faster with out tripped, "I think it's about time you leave. Mister Malfoy needs his rest."
Lucius narrowed his eyes, "We'll continue this conversation later, when you can think straight." he spat as he turned on his heel to leave, his cape whipping behind him as he left.
Madam Pomfrey raised her eyebrows at Narcissa who reluctantly pulled her hands from the sides of her son's face and got to her feet with a nod, "Draco, honey. Just owl if you need anything."
Draco grimaced at the overly played mom card.
She left and Draco collapsed on the bed, taking in all that had happened.
Maybe his father was right...maybe he just wasn't thinking clearly....
Or maybe, just maybe, there was more to the story than even he was willing to admit?
Hermione raised her eyebrows at Ron, expectantly, "Well?"
"Hermione, I'm so-" he began, but didn't get any further.
"RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY! How many bloody times am I going to have to tell you? Stop saying sorry! Just bloody hell spit it out!" she screeched, getting angrier and angrier by the second.
"I didn't mean to!" he cried, hoping he appeared genuine, "I just got so freaked it...it slipped!"
She cocked an eyebrow, "Did I turn into a bimbo? Do you honestly expect me to believe that?"
"It's the truth!" he argued, "I was just so scared he was going to hurt Lav or the baby and....I cast it without thinking!"
"Ronald! Accident or not you should have enough self control to not. do that! You can't just let something slip like that!"
"I know I..."
"Do you know how bloody dangerous that spell is?"
"Yes but I-"
"You could have killed him!"
"I know," he sighed, guiltily, "I shouldn't have done it!"
"Darn right you shouldn't have done it! What if they hadn't been able to save him, Ronald? You would have committed murder!" Hermione screamed, the idea of Draco, dead, making her brain unable to think straight.
"He didn't die Hermione! Everything's going to be ok!" He screamed.
Hermione stared at him wide eyed ,"Ok? You honestly think that everything is going to be okay just because he escaped, barely I might add, with his life?"
He knew he messed up, so he said the first thing that came to his mind:
"Hermione, I'm so sorry!" Ron begged.
Hermione narrowed her eyes, "You could have killed him!"
"I didn't mean to!"
"Air hockey! I'm through with you Ronald Weasley! I never want to speak to you as long as I live."
She turned to go, but Ron caught her arm, "'Mione, please. I didn't mean to!"
"Don't call me that, Ronald! You can't just accidentally do something like that!" She argued.
"It slipped...wait...where are you going?" He cried as she started to walk away.
She kept going.
"Hermione, come back! I love you!" he screamed.
She stopped dead in her tracks, "What?"
She turned to face him and their eyes met, "Hermione Granger, I love you. I'm completely, totally, madly in love with you. You're the most amazing girl on the planet. Please....please. Forgive me?"
She slowly walked up to him, not blinking, afraid to look away for a single moment, "Really?" she whispered.
Ron shook his head.
She placed both hands on the side of his face.
He smiled, was he finally about to win her heart?
The next thing she did shocked him. She quickly pulled a hand back and slapped him across the cheek.
"You think that after all that pain you've put me through I'd just come back because you say three meaningless words to me? It's over. Forever. Get that in your head already." she spat and stormed down the hall leaving a dumbstruck Ron standing in the exact same place, cradling his cheek in his palm.
That was the final straw for him.
He was done chasing after a girl who refused to admit loved him. He hadn't realized he was hurting her, but now that he knew he was, he was determined to stop.
The saying if you love something let it go is easier said that done.
He felt his heart twinge with pain, the Hermione chapter of his life was ending, even though he thought it was going to cover the rest of his life's book.
The days where he thought of them being together through everything were gone.
He'd made one fatal mistake with Lavender and now he would be paying for it for the rest of his life.
He walked out if the hospital for once not knowing for sure where he was going or what he was going to do when he got there.
A/N Draco lives! YAY! So, did you like getting to see Draco's parents enter the picture? Lucius sure is unpleasant, huh? Well, this chapter had some complicated dialogue, but I think it turned out ok(: What do you think?
From the last couple chapters, I've discovered that there are some serious Ron haters out there! While I don't know if he's going to be making the nice list this year after his little stunt, I will say this for him: he's not an entirely awful person(: I guess....I still think he deserved his slap though! lol(:
Well, here's your preview!
Hermione wasn't sure if what she was doing was a good idea or an insane one as she knocked on the door of the flat.
The door opened revealing a disheveled looking Harry, "Hermione? What are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to Ginny." she said urgently.
Harry ran his fingers through his hair, nervously, "'Mione, I don't know if that's a-"
"Harry, please. There's something she needs to know. Please, ten minutes?"
Harry was obviously unsure, but stood aside, letting her in.
As if on cue, Ginny entered the room, a flour faced, blue haired Teddy in her arms, "What are you doing here?" she growled, narrowing her eyes.
"Ginny, please!" Hermione pleaded, "I have to tell you something. I don't know how you'll take it but please just hear me out!"
Looks like Hermione is about to spill some beans! Is she going to spill about the game? About Ron? Something else? Any guesses?
Well, read. Review. You know the drill (:
Thanks for reading! I know it wasn't that exciting a chapter, but the next one will be even better(:
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