Chapter 7 : Hospital Visitors and Dream-Intruders
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There was a light at first, shaping into round brightness; then a white expanse that he knew to be the ceiling above him. Draco instantly tried to sit up, feeling slightly lightheaded, and closed his eyes. The Hospital Wing.
What he remembered of his episode flipped behind his eyes like a bad movie, only the part where he realized it was him as the actor was the worst part about it. Oh God, he thought suddenly, what are people going to think of me now? Afraid and intimidated by the Boy-Who-Lives-Once-Again?
Madame Pomfrey walks over to him, a stern and questioning look on her face at the same time. “I’d say it was 7th year nerves, with N.E.W.T.’s coming and all, but it’s only the third day of school! And you especially, Mr. Malfoy –“
“Oh, just give me the bloody medicine,” Draco interrupted, teeth clenched. How he hated that name.
“No need to rush,” Madam Pomfrey said, pouring a glass of some grey, swirling liquid and handing it to him. “This will calm your stomach considerably.”
Draco took it and downed the drink quickly. Was there a tonic for erasing memories? Draco thought.
“Probably just nerves,” Draco said to himself as the lady walked to her next patient, a young girl sitting up moaning, face covered in dark red spots.
Suddenly, from the furthest corner of the room, Draco’s mother, Professor Malfoy, appeared at the door, searching for her son. When she finally saw his face, she gasped and went over to him quickly.
“Draco!” Professor Malfoy exclaimed, reaching a hand over to pat his hair down, sitting on the edge of his bed. “Tell me what happened.”
“I - I passed out, mum,” Draco replied still embarrassed. Draco looks around wildly. “What time is it?”
“It’s six-thirty, baby.” Professor Malfoy smiles, mother-like. “You were out for more than two hours.”
“Two hours? What!??” he exclaimed. “I didn’t – I wasn’t even knocked out or anything!”
“Draco…” His mother drifted off, and her slight smile was warm, concerned. “Is there something you want to talk about?”
Having your mum at the school really bites right now. He wished she didn’t push it, though the visions kept on coming back. “I - I also threw up, okay? I think I was just full from lunch, I guess I ate too much food.”
His mother just gave him that all-knowing look mothers gave their children at certain points of their life, and he knew she knew he was lying. “Alright. Well… I got you something to eat. A little treat, really.”
And from a leather bag she had beside her, she pulled out a bag of chocolate frogs. “In case you miss dinner.”
Perfect. Wait until this gets out around school; Draco’s mummy was bringing him sweets after a bad day of school. It sucked being on the other side of the gossip.
Leaning forward to kiss his forehead in a way the small girl covered in dark circular marks couldn’t ignore, Professor Malfoy walked away. After her departure, Draco gave the girl a dirty look, and vowed before he was out of there he would give her a hex she wouldn’t be likely to forget anytime soon.
Draco sank down deeper into the sheets, and decided he wouldn’t be well enough to be at dinner. It was too much showing his face as it was, before the incident.
He heard a clearing of the throat from across the room. Draco opened his eyes and turned to the left once more. Leaning with his back against the door post, was Theodore Nott. “Scaring little second year girls isn’t the best way to go in your condition, Draco.”
“What brings you here?” Draco said nonchalantly, though he knew exactly why Nott was standing there. To get the spill of the story, why the notorious Draco Malfoy puked in front of his supposed arch nemesis. What a weak stomach he had, and what distinct memory he’d been given that made him sick in the middle of class.
“Homework. Somebody told me you had missed it, They were… concerned.” Nott walked over to his bed, his long legs taking long strides.
“Who?” Draco couldn’t help wanting to know. Someone here helping me? Draco thought.
“That black girl you’d been showing around school. You know, rumours have been cropping up –“
“Stop,” Draco interrupted. Look at him, standing there so calm, hands behind his back, Draco thought. He’s so full of himself. “I’ve only known this girl three days.”
“Like that would stop them? Everyone knows how fast you switch girlfriends.”
“Not since Pansy.”
“Well are you going to give me the homework or what?” Draco said rashly.
“Practice the Shield Charm, and study up on grindylows. There might be a pop quiz tomorrow. Why do you still take that class, anyway?”
Draco could not answer. The classes he wanted to take on his Seventh Year ended up being so scant he had to choose two extra classes besides. Coming down to it, it was between Defense Against the Dark Arts or Muggle Studies, and Merlin knows what he’d do before he took Muggle Studies.
Nott’s grey-green eyes looked down on him, as Draco looked the other direction. ”When do you plan on getting out of here?” he said quietly.
“First thing tomorrow morning,” Draco said in a falsely bright tone.
Not was silent, thinking about his father for a moment, and something he said about patience. He said, “Alright. I’m just trying to help, you know.”
Draco was still quiet, head still turned the other way, even as Nott walked away and out the door to the Hospital Wing. Though he didn’t want to admit it, he was thankful the tall Slytherin did not ask why he passed out in Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
It was her dreams that made her more aware to everything in her life. There had been her father , appearing to her to foreseeing how he would rise. Flashes of her brother, possessed then knocked unconscious by a red-eyed demon with wicked-sharp fangs and blood streaming down the corners of flawless lips. Then a startled, white face that looked like it had just been confronted by some unavoidable truth, and she knew that he would have to die… It was all a blur, and something from the core of her being told her that everything she dreamt were all predictions of the future.
“You alright, there?” Her brother inquired.
Gianna pushed back her thoughts. “Yes. Just…” She looked down at her half eaten dinner, her broccoli long soggy from the gravy neighboring it. “…not hungry.”
“I know the feeling. It’s just not the same.” Kaleb said, looking down at his own half- finished dinner.
“Kaleb. . . do you still remember . . .” Gianna paused for a moment, and looked around to see if anyone was in hearing distance. There wasn’t. “. . . the time when I was thirteen, and you said it was as if I was possessed . . .”
“. . . by grown voices speaking through you all at once? Yeah,” Kaleb said, a little nervous. He looked around. “Do you want to go somewhere else to talk about it?”
“Please,” Gianna entreated, and they both left the Slytherin table.
“Over here,” said Gianna, and they turned to a hallway that was leading to the dungeons.
“Tell me again.”
“Well, you collapsed one the ground, and started – started foaming at the mouth,” Kaleb looked frightened. “And your eyes - they glowed green . . .” he faltered.
“Kaleb, go on.”
“And you collapsed on the floor and – and you started having a seizure or something...”
It pained her to put him through this, to realize that the only thing he feared more than himself was his own sister. “Please…”
“You spoke of a prophecy, one of the Feared One and his most valuable servant and about how the servant’s children . . . how they would help him rise again. Then your eyes shut, and after a moment they opened again, but they were your normal eyes, and not the glowing green ones. And you were back to normal, as if – as if nothing had happened.”
Gianna was silent. “You don’t remember any of this?” Kaleb’s voice wavered.
“No,” Gianna answered, her voice lined with hopelessness. Kaleb sighed. “The one summer day when Mom was out and we were home alone… You still haven’t told her?”
“No.” Gianna’s eyes never met his, and her mind was somewhere else. “She wouldn’t... understand.”
Kaleb stopped to think for a moment. “Well, that’s your choice, not mine.” He paused. Why did you want me to tell you again, anyway?”
“Because . . . from what I can interpret from my dreams, I think that same prophecy that I spoke four years ago is coming back to me. In fragments. And I think that our father might be behind it all.”
Silence. Torturous silence.
“Kaleb, say something.”
“Why does he appear to you, and not me? I mean, as a ghost, we could all see him, Mom would definitely want to see him again – “
“Kaleb, you don’t want to see him again! He is – was – a terrible man, mad – “
“He was our father, Gianna!” Kaleb shouted.
“Kaleb,” Gianna said his name again, so as to have his full attention, reaching out to grip his shoulders. “You know the things he did – “
“You don’t understand,” Kaleb said sadly, ripping free from her grasp. “You never did. You didn’t love him the way I did. The way I still do.”
“Kaleb!” Gianna pleaded, hurt by his sudden retraction. “You were five when he left! Five years old! That’s hardly a relationship!”
But he was already gone, turning the corner to meet the Slytherin Common Room.
Right when she needed someone to listen to her, really listen to her, her brother still believes in the impossible, and shoves her away.
Those eyes, she remembered. How could I forget those grey –blue eyes?
Earlier, when she asked the tall, wiry, plain haired man Draco often talked with, she never planned on going there to see him herself. Almost without realizing it, she drifted over to the Hospital Wing.
“Five more minutes until Visiting Hours are over, dear.” The wiry man said that her name was Madam Pomfrey. The woman looked at her sternly. She was carrying a tray of empty vials, and seemed to be in some hurry.
Barely aware of her actions, Gianna blurted, “I was wondering which curtain held Mr. Malfoy.”
The woman’s gaze softened, surprised at the same time, and walked forward to point out which bed he was in. “He’s just fallen asleep,” Madam Pomfrey said quietly. “Usually an arrogant fellow; I can’t believe he’s come back for another year, when his other friends have… left. But already he’s had two visitors. Well,” she paused, smiling to herself. “I suppose his mother doesn’t count.” The woman smiled warmly and left.
Gianna turned to the sleeping figure. His features, usually so hard in consciousness, were gentle now as he dozed. His mouth was open slightly open, and from his lips he breathed; faintly, deeply.
She held her own, and bent forward to kiss him lightly on the forehead. She did not leave until the lanterns dimmed out all at once around her, and she walked out, wondering if he’d felt her touch in his dreaming.
Draco awoke, bewildered and startled. His covers were all messed up, and beneath his hospital gown, he was sweating. He pushed the blankets aside. No, it was not sweat from the heat, for it was relatively cold in the Hospital Room; it was a cold, panicked sweat. The aftermath of a terrifying dream.
Or, in other words, a bad memory.
The details were faint, though he knew it had to do with he and Snape, and his last memory of his greatest teacher. When he’d been alive.
And then the pictures . . . the pictures of his slow, horrible death.
He didn’t have deserve such a gruesome death like that, Draco thought. He held back an enormous sob, and wiped away the tears that had not yet come to trickle down his face with his arm, roughly. No, not a death like that.
He stared at the dark curtains lining his bed. It had been he who had been the first one to find the professor; the black blood from the newspapers were still running thickly from his punctured throat, his eyes staring into nothing. Draco felt himself beginning to sink; down, down, down into some sucking vortex of depression. And then a beam of light from above showed down on him, and an angel pulled him out with glowing arms of strength and warmth, but he could not see the entity’s face. Back on his feet again, a whole area of white light coalesced around him, and he felt a light kiss placed upon his forehead by the being of light.
Blinking, Draco’s eyes were shining and wet as new tears spilled onto his cheeks. But he did not wipe them away.
Beautiful, Draco thought.
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