Chapter 4 : |Chapter 2| The Healer
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* Chapter image by Me! *
In an office at St. Mungo’s, the Head Healer of the Memory Recovery Department, Miss. Saleena Blackwell, was bent over her desk frantically trying finishing up the days paperwork so that she could go home. She tucked a loose strand of her long golden hair back behind her ear and looked up at the clock on the wall again. She couldn’t believe that it was nearly 10:00pm. already. She should have been out of here hours ago! She turned back to her work and became extremely focused. It was easy to keep focused at this time of day because the hospital was very quiet, almost too quiet.
“Miss. Saleena,” a voice called out suddenly from the speaker on her desk. The arrival of the night-shift secretary’s voice startled her so much so that she nearly fell off her chair in fright. “Sorry to bother you ma’am, but it appears you have a visitor here.”
She furrowed her brow in confusion. Who on earth would be coming to visit me at this hour? she wondered. “Send them in I guess,” was her only reply.
A moment later, there came a soft knock on the office door. She gave the visitor permission to come in. A woman with hair as equally long and as equally golden as Saleena’s walked into the room. She closed the door behind her and walked over to the desk. Saleena stared at her in shock. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing, this had to be wrong. I must be more tired than I thought! She rubbed her eyes, hoping that the woman before her was a figment of her imagination. No such luck. When she opened her eyes again, the blonde woman was still standing there.
“I am real, Saleena” she confirmed.
“Obviously,” Saleena spat. “The question is why are you here? You have a lot of nerve just showing up here like this, uninvited. It’s been over 30 years… Mother.”
“Which is far too long if you ask me,” her mother replied.
“What do you want, Kireonna?”
The use of her first name coming from her only daughter stung. But a moment later, she had regained her composure and responded, “I have simply come to talk to you Saleena.”
“Yeah right, I find that way too hard to believe!” Saleena barked. “There has to be more to it than that, there always is with you! I know you want something else, you always want something! So spit it out already!”
“Alright fine,” her mother snapped. “If that’s how you want it, I’ll get straight to the point then. You’re grandmother, my mother, the leader of our people; is dying! She probably only has a month or two left to live. She isn’t doing good, Saleena… she’s not doing good at all.”
Saleena’s heart sank. Whatever she had been expecting her mother to say, it wasn’t this. After a brief silence she asked, “so what do you expect me to do about it?” She was almost positive she knew what was coming next.
“I want you to come home, Saleena” her mother pleaded. “Come back and take up your rightful place among out people. I have spoken to them and they are all willing to let the past 30 of your absence go and accept you as their new leader. All you have to do is come back with me.”
“I have no desire to become one of them,” she said, making the word them sound as if it were a some kind of nasty disease. “I never did! You always just assumed that I would want to be their leader and tried to force their customs on me. that’s why I left with dad in the first place! So how dare you come in here after all these years like everything is okay between us and ask me to come back with you! My life here is fine! I have a great job and I am very successful. So what on earth would make you think I would even be the slightest bit interested in going back there with you?”
“Well I had hoped that maybe you’d missed me as much as I have missed you,” Kireonna sighed. “But I can see now that I was mistaken.”
“Yeah, you were!” Saleena nodded sharply. “Mother, it’s not that I don’t love you, nor that I don’t miss you, because I do! It’s just that I have no desire to be the leader of a people that I just don’t fit in with.”
“What do you mean, you don’t fit in? Saleena, you fit in fine!”
“No, mother, I don’t” she stated. “Think about it; I’m not a boastful person like most of them are. I actually like my privacy! I have no desire to rebel against the ministry, and I actually view men as human beings and not just as a breeding tool. They’re people too you know!” Saleena shook her head. “No mother, me being their leader would never work. They wouldn’t want me anyways because if I were their Leader then there would be a lot of things that I would change. Most of them don’t like change because they’re all so set in their own ways and beliefs it isn’t even funny! I can’t lead them because I do not agree with them. Enough said.”
“So there is no way you will change your mind then?” Her mother was practically begging now.
“No!” Saleena said forcefully. “Why don’t you do it? You be their leader. Carla was your mother after all!”
“You know it doesn’t work like that!” Kireonna shot back. “I cannot be their leader because I do not have the gift, you do! It skips a generation, it always has. You know this!”
“Well I don’t want the stupid gift! I never asked for it! I never asked for any of this,” Saleena yelled.
“Did you ever think that perhaps it is because of that stupid gift that you’re so successful?”
“No, I’m successful because I am good at my job!” she argued.
“So you mean to tell me that you’ve never used the gift to help you with any of your patients? Not ever?” Kireonna asked skeptically.
“Well yes, maybe I have a few times,” Saleena admitted. “But I don’t make it a habit of doing it everyday!”
Her mother clicked her tongue and shook her head. “Tisk, tisk, tisk, imagine what the Head Healer of St. Mungo’s would say if he found out that his lead girl was actually a Gypsy! It isn’t good to lie to your superiors all the time, my daughter. What do you suppose he would say if he ever found out what you were?”
“It doesn’t matter because I am not one of you!” she retaliated. “And besides, he’s not going to find out.”
“Oh trust me, once your grandmother dies and there is no one there to take her place, the whole world will know!” Kireonna promised.
“Because, our clan has already been approached by another man,” she explained. “One who has promised to give us back the freedoms that the ministry has been denying us for years! He knows you’ll never come back, so he’s made his move already, and most of them have fallen under his influence. Lord Voldemort does have a way with words, you know.”
Saleena fount the idea of the entire Gypsy Clan joining forces with Lord Voldemort to be very repulsive. “They would never join Voldemort! The Clan knows better than that! They all know he can’t be trusted!”
“Ah, but he is very good at what he does, my daughter,” she debated. “When he speaks, he paints this beautiful picture of a perfect and peaceful world, one that we both know is completely wrong of coarse, but the way he paints things is irresistible. A few members of the Clan have already secretly agreed to leave and join him, even if you do decide to come back.”
Saleena slowly shook her head. “What exactly will happen if I don’t return?”
“The Clan will have vote on a new leader. If they cannot find a girl in the clan who possesses at least one of the three gifts, then they will join forces with Lord Voldemort,” she confirmed.
“And what will happen to you if they join him?”
“I’m not so sure,” Kireonna confessed. “But I will not take side with a monster like him! It is out of my hands because the Clan does not consider my opinion to be of any value. Ever since I failed to raise you up properly, they have disowned me.”
“But I always thought that you agreed with Voldemort’s principals on blood purity,” Saleena challenged.
“Heaven’s no!” Kireonna exclaimed. “What on earth would give you that impression?”
“Well, you and Mrs. Black were always the best of friends,” Saleena spat. “That woman was a pure-blood nutcase if I ever met one! Sirius and I saw right through her, but you and Rudolfus practically worshiped the ground she walked on! You thought that woman could do no wrong, now tell me I’m wrong!”
“Saleena DeAnn, we are not having this conversation right now,” she demanded. “That is not the reason why I am here! I have traveled a long way to speak with you and I‘ll be damned if I am going to have this argument with you right now!”
The room grew deeply silent as each of the women became engrossed in her own thoughts. They were both afraid of what the future might bring… After a few minutes of thinking, Saleena cleared her throat. Her mother looked up at her pleadingly with her deep green eyes. Saleena hated herself for doing this but she knew that there was no way she could go back. She didn’t belong with the Gypsies.
“I am deeply sorry mother, but you will not sway my decision. I cannot go back there.” Kireonna buried her face in her hands and began to weep. “Please don’t do that mother,” Saleena begged. “I’m sorry but I just can’t do it! But listen, I’ll get us some help, alright? I promise! I’ll seek out the Order of the Phoenix and ask them if we can join sides with them. Then you won’t have to go with Voldemort. Would you like that?”
Kireonna looked up at her daughter. “You would ask me to turn my back on my clan?”
“They’ve already turned their backs on you it would seem.”
“I won’t!” she proclaimed. “I will stay with my clan no matter what they decide to do!”
“Well fine then!” Saleena yelled back. “Do whatever you want to do, but leave me the hell out of it!”
On the upper corner of her desk, one of her business cards began to glow a bright yellow. It soared off the desk and glided towards her. Surprised, he reached out and took hold of it, reading it quickly to herself. “Wow,” she mused. “This card hasn’t glown in such a long time I… I never thought it would again… I wonder what has happened…” she was muttering to herself. For a moment, she was so distracted by the card that she had nearly forgot her mother was there.
“What is that Saleena?” Kireonna asked, snapping her attention back onto her.
“It’s one of my old calling cards. I used to use these all the time back when I used to do house calls,” she explained. “But it’s been forever since one of these have actually been used! I always keep this one on my desk though because it belongs to one of my favorite patients; Draco Malfoy.”
“Lucius Malfoy’s son?”
“Yes,” she said. “And I will confess that this one patient I have used the gift with. I got a call from Mr. & Mrs. Malfoy when Draco was just a baby. He was really sick and I had to use my gift to determine what was wrong with him. Because of it, Lucius and Narcissa have trusted me with their child care ever since. I am not so anxious to lose his trust neither, because usually when I work for the Malfoys, I always get paid rather well.”
“Well of coarse you do!” her mother said sarcastically. “That’s how Lucius Malfoy always operates. He uses his money to control the world!”
“Lucius Malfoy does not control me Mother!” Saleena glared at her and, for one tense moment, Kireonna glared back. “I have to go,” Saleena said, getting up from her desk. “I need to take this call.”
The moment of confidence Kireonna had gained a moment ago was now gone. Her face was once again ridden with grief and worry. “Daughter, can you really turn your back on your people without a second thought?”
“But won’t you have a guilty conscience?” she pressed.
“Nope. If our people are seriously considering joining up with Voldemort after all he has already done, then I want nothing to do with them. Not now, not ever!”
Kireonna stared once more into her only daughter's eyes. Even to this day, she was still caught off-guard at how incredibly similar Saleena's eyes were to her grandmother's. Her own eyes were a deep green color, which she had inherited from her father. But Carla and Saleena both had eyes that were the of the most brilliant shade of mint green. They shared the same all-knowing eyes stat could pierce through one's soul in an instant. She sighed and shot one last pleading look at Saleena. “So nothing I say could change your mind?”
“No Mother, there‘s nothing,” Saleena confirmed. “I have to go now, sorry. You found your way in alright, I trust you don’t need any help in finding your way out.” She grabbed her traveling cloak off the hook by the door and threw it on. She motioned for her mother to leave, and then followed her out the door, locking it behind her.
Kireonna stopped at the main entrance to the hospital. “Well, I guess this is goodbye then,” she sighed at last.
Saleena stared right back at her mother and casually shrugged. “Yeah, I guess so.”
Then, without warning, Kireonna flung her arms around her daughter, embracing her. “I’ve missed you so much!” she cried
“Get off of me and act your age woman!” Saleena spat, clearly affronted. She pried herself out of Kireonna’s embrace. The look on her mother’s face made her regret her behavior for a moment. But those feelings only lasted for about a second. Saleena sighed. “Look, I really am sorry that I cannot do more to help you,” she said apathetically. “But I must go now. I have a job that needs tending to! So goodbye Mother.” And without another word, she turned and walked out of the double doors and didn’t look back.
Kireonna hopelessly watched her daughter go. She knew she could never make Saleena come back. It would have to be her own choice. Of course, she had known that her daughter was going to say no before she even came here tonight, but still, she had to try. And try she had. A moment later, Saleena had apparated out of sight and Kireonna then shook her head in defeat. It’s a shame she will never know how truly powerful she is... Or how great she could be, if she would just try, she thought to herself as she too made to leave the Hospital. But I will never give up on you, my daughter...
Back at the Burrow, it was about 10:45pm. when there finally came a knock at the front door.
“I‘ll get it,“ Molly said, getting up to go and answer it.
The main entrance to the Weasley’s home opened up into the kitchen and as Molly walked towards the front door, there came yet another soft knock. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” she announced. She opened up the door and there stood Miss. Saleena Blackwell, a pleasant smile on her face. Molly‘s first impression of her was that she was far too young to be a healer. She was very pretty; tall and slim, with long blond hair and light green eyes. She was very professional looking with her clean-cut white suite, her briefcase filled with medical supplies, and her golden hair woven into a braid along her back.
Molly smiled back at her. “Hello, my name is Mrs. Weasley,“ she said, extending her hand. “You must be Dr. Blackwell.”
Saleena reached out and shook Molly’s hand. “Miss. Saleena at your service.” Molly let her in and closed the door.
“So, do you work for the Malfoys?”
“Goodness, no! I work for St. Mungo’s. Lucius has been a client of mine though for quite some time. Draco got very sick as a baby and well, you know the Malfoys. They only hire the best!” She complimented herself. Molly stared at her. “That was a joke,” she added quickly. “I’m not really one much for bragging. However, I am second in command on my floor at the hospital. I must say, it has been a long while since I have done a house-call for anyone. I don’t blame Lucius though for wanting me to come here in these dangerous times. Who knows how the Ministry would react if Draco Malfoy walked into the hospital right now.”
“Well, I highly doubt that Draco will be walking anywhere anytime soon,” Molly said. “His condition is not all that great right now.”
“What is wrong with him?” she asked.
“Well, we’re not entirely sure,” Molly answered. “Arthur, my husband, he suspects that Draco has been poisoned.”
Saleena’s jaw dropped. “What? What do you mean poisoned? What kind of poison?”
“We don’t know Miss.”
“Of coarse you don’t!” Saleena half chuckled. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.”
“erm…” Molly wasn’t entirely sure how to take the Healer. Was she being serious, or was she kidding? “Well um, would you like to see him now?” she asked, trying to ease the awkwardness that had settled between them.
“Sure,” she said enthusiastically. “It’s been a while since I last saw him!”
“Right this way,” Molly said, leading her out of the kitchen and into the living room.
Saleena entered the room and walked straight over to the couch. Draco was laying there wheezing, trying to catch his breath. She placed a hand lightly on his forehead and immediately withdrew it. “My goodness, he is burning up!“ Molly and Arthur were silent as Saleena took Draco’s pulse and began to examine him. Judging by her reaction, there was obviously something going on that she could see and they could not. Saleena frowned, raised her eyebrows, rolled her eyes, muttered under her breath, shook her head and sighed for several minutes before turning away from her work at last.
“Could one of you please go and get me a cold washcloth?” Molly ran to the kitchen and grabbed a cloth, as was requested. She returned and handed it over to Saleena who placed it on Draco’s forehead.
“What’s wrong with him?” Arthur asked after a time.
“It’s just as you suspected,” she sighed. “He has been poisoned… along with other things…” she trailed off.
“What kinds of other things?” Molly asked.
Saleena just shook her head. “His wounds are internal and go deep. They are the result of a dark magic, which I have never seen before, which can only mean one thing; that Voldemort is growing stronger.”
You can help him though, right?” asked Arthur.
Saleena nodded. “I should be able to, yes. But it will take a lot of time to sort this all out. A lot of time, and a lot of coin, I’m afraid. Are you sure you want to do this?”
Arthur glanced at Molly. She just shrugged her shoulders as if to say; whatever you like Dear. “We are,” Aurthur answered firmly. “And as for the money, Lucius informed me in his letter that he would be covering the cost the money should be here around Midnight.”
“Very well then,” Saleena said with a nod. “Lucius hasn’t ripped me off, as of yet. So I suppose I can trust him enough to take his word for it on this. I will be needing a more private place to work from though.”
“Of coarse you will,” Molly said. “I’ll go clean out Percy’s old bedroom. You can take him upstairs and work from there.” With that, she got up from her chair and disappeared up the stairs.
After Molly left, Arthur turned to Saleena. “You are aware as to why we cannot take him to St. Mungo’s, aren’t you?” he asked.
“Of coarse I am, My Weasley. I wasn’t born last night!” she exclaimed. “We are in the middle of a war here, and Draco happens to be a wanted man, I get that. And if you think for one second that I am going to turn him in, you’re wrong! I am not like that at all.”
“Well I should assume not,” Arthur interjected. “If you were that sort of person, I highly doubt Lucius would have left us with your card.”
“Well, Lucius and Narcissa trust me, and Draco just so happens to be my only favorite patient” Saleena said proudly. “I have worked with Draco ever since he was a baby! I have watched this boy grow and, in turn, I have grown quite fond of him over the years. Rest assured Mr. Weasley, I will do everything within my power to save him, I promise you that.”
“I just hope Molly isn’t too sore with me for allowing him to stay here. Lucius and I never really go along, you see,” Arthur explained.
“Oh believe me, I know” Saleena said, nodding. “I’ve heard Mr. Malfoy talk about you before Arthur. He never really liked you neither. I imagine it must have been a stretch for him to leave Draco here. However, I believe that it was what is best for him.”
“Why sure!” She chuckled. “You see, I have always believed that Draco was destined for greatness. I know that he is going to be different than his father, his grandfather, and so-on. I can’t explain it myself, I just know that he’s different. You know what I mean?”
Arthur smiled. “Actually I do. And I think that Dumbledore knew it too.”
“That he did,” Saleena chuckled. “And Dumbledore was never usually wrong about much.”
Molly returned, announcing that the room was ready for them. Saleena followed her up the stairs, Arthur carrying Draco and following right behind them. He took Draco into the room and laid him on the bed. After that, Molly and Arthur excused themselves and allowed Saleena to get right to work…
It was a few days before either of them seen or heard from Saleena again. Any time Molly would go upstairs to invite her to come down for a bite to eat, Saleena would politely say “No thank you,” and that was all. But, every now and again she would emerge from the room just to grab a quick snack and she would then give Molly & Arthur what little pieces of information she had uncovered. Eventually the pieces began to fit together and they started to get a more clear picture of what had happened to Draco. Saleena wouldn’t answer their questions, no matter how much, or how often, they would ask. All she wanted was to be left alone, she preferred it that way because it helped her think.
Saleena had been there for almost a week when Molly and Arthur recived a BIG surprise. The trio had returned! They walked in the door, tired and travel worn and no sooner had they taken off their traveling robes, Molly & Arthur met them in the kitchen at the front door. Arthur immediately pulled his youngest son into a huge bear-hug. He let him go and ruffled his hair.
“Oh, Ronnie!” Mrs. Weasley shouted with glee. She yanked Ron into a hug of her own and didn’t let go. “Oh it’s so wonderful to see, all three of you…alive,” she added.
“Mum, would you mind?” Ron asked breathlessly. “I kinda can’t breathe here!”
“Oh,” she exclaimed, releasing Ron.
“Well this is a most unexpected surprise!” Arthur exclaimed.
“Yes, but we are only staying for about a week, if that,” Harry emphasized. “It wont be for long.”
“You never do stay for long,” Molly said stiffly.
“Well, to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit this time,” Arthur asked.
“We have come to warn you and the Order that -” Hermione began, but Molly cut her off.
“- Shhh, not now! We are not the only ones here at the moment,” she explained. “And one of them might overhear you.”
Harry, Ron and Hermione were now giving Molly and Arthur curious looks. Arthur sighed. “Look, before you head upstairs, I guess there’s something you need to know.”
The trio froze. Immediately they were all on edge. “What’s going on?” Asked Harry quickly.
“Is everybody alright?” Hermione asked nervously.
“Yes, yes. Everybody here is fine,” Molly assured them. “We-we just… Oh, I can’t do this Arthur, you tell them! After all, it was your idea to keep him here.”
“Keep who here?” Ron cut in.
“Thanks Molly,” Arthur muttered sarcastically. Then he turned back to the trio, “well you guys,” he began. “We have a few guests in the house right now. They’re both up in Percy’s old bedroom. One of them is a Superior Healer from St. Mungo’s. Her name is Saleena Blackwell.. She is here tending to our other guest, and he might just be staying here for a while, as he has nowhere else to go.”
“Alright, who is it?” Ron asked.
Arthur took in a long breath to steady himself. He knew there would be an explosion as soon as he said the name. “Draco Malfoy.”
“WHAT!?” They all three shouted in unison.
“Why in the hell is he here?” Ron continued. “What the hell were you thinking even letting him walk through our door, dad? How could you?”
Hermione just shook her head, “Arthur why? He is such a horrible person!”
Harry didn’t say a word. He just stared at Mr. Weasley’s. Arthur met Harry’s gaze and they continued to stare at one another while Ron and Hermione ranted on.
“And who cares if he has nowhere else to go!” Ron shouted. “Just throw him out on the street and make him do the begging for a change! That‘s what I would have done, and it’d be no more than he deserves! Why doesn’t he just go and stay in his kooshy little mansion? What, is it not big enough for him anymore? Well that‘s just too Damn bad! --”
“-- He even said that he wanted me dead when the Chamber of Secrets was opened! Don’t you remember that?” Hermione was yelling over top of Ron. “I-I mean, the boy has never, ever used my real name. Not once! I tolerated his comments at school only because I had to. I will not listen to it here! You just wait. If he says one thing to me that’s out of line, I swear I’ll put a hex on him! If he messes with me here, he’s going to need a Healer alright! I just-”
“- You guys, I think that’s enough!” Harry commanded, shouted over and cutting off their protests. “If anyone here has a right to hate the Malfoys more then us, it’s Mr. Weasley. He and Mr. Malfoy’s relationship is a lot more complicated than ours is with Draco. Therefore, if Mr. Weasley has allowed Mr. Malfoy’s son into his home, I’m sure it’s not without good reason. So why don’t we give him a chance to explain all this before we start freaking out!”
Arthur smiled. He knew that even if no one else understand, or even believed him, Harry always would. He also knew that if Harry accepted this gracefully, so would Hermione, and in turn, so would Ron. The room grew quiet as all eyes now turned onto Arthur expectantly.
“Thank you, Harry,” he said. “And you are correct, there is a very good reason for this. From what we have gathered on Draco’s condition, it isn’t good. Apparently Voldemort has been holding him hostage for three months, starving him and tormenting him the entire time. He murdered Draco’s mother and nearly drove his father insane. Then he shoved some kind of poison down his throat and left him there to suffer for hours before he would have eventually died from it. However, soon after Voldemort had left Draco alone, Severus found him. He didn’t have the supplies or the time to make the antidote, so he and Lucius brought Draco here and left him on our porch. That was where I found him when I came home from work last week. Voldemort has no idea that Draco is even still alive. He needs the Order’s protection right now more than ever! Lucius even sent us 10,000 Galleons to take care of his medical bills. Whatever is left over, we get to keep!”
“Who cares about his money, dad?” Ron yelled. “He can take his stupid money and shove it for all I care! And since when does the Order charge for their protective services? I thought that we operated for free. Isn’t that why we’re so broke in the first place? Why would you except charity from Lucius Malfoy? Of all people, why him?”
“Ronald, you are so much like your mother,” Arthur sighed. Molly chuckled. “For starters, it isn’t charity and it isn’t Lucius’ money, it’s Draco’s. We can barley afford to feed ourselves, let alone add another mouth to feed. And as I already told you, Draco has medical bills that’ll have to be paid for out of that money before anything else. It is not for the Order to spend it as they wish Ron.”
Ron looked at his mother and she immediately understood what he was trying say. “I’m sorry Ronald, but I have already agreed with your father on this. We have spoken with Minerva already and she has issued an order for Draco’s protection. We don’t have a choice now that she has confirmed it. The Order must comply.”
“But that’s ridiculous! This is your house, isn’t it?” He argued.
“Yes,” Molly answered. “But so long as we are offering it to up as temporary headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix, we have to keep our doors open to whomever asks for the Order’s protection.”
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ they always say” Arthur stated. “And from what I’ve seen so far, there is no way Draco will ever want to rejoin sides with Voldemort. Draco seems to hate him as much as he hates his father, which I don’t blame him for. If he isn’t on Voldemort’s side, then that makes him on our side. We are all fighting for the same cause here. And at the end of the day, that is all that really matters? Draco has been with Voldemort a lot over the past year and he could have some very valuable information for us as to what Voldemort is currently planning to do, or what his next move might be. You never know, he could prove to be useful to us after all.”
Hermione nodded in agreement, finally understanding as to why the Order would want to protect Draco. “Well that makes perfect sense,“ she stated simply.
Ron however still looked to be confused. He seemed to have only gotten one thing out if everything that Arthur had just said. “Wait a minute, wait a minute! Did I hear you correctly? Did you just say that Draco hates his father?” He asked skeptically.
“Yes, but that’s not all. Were you paying attention to anything I just said Ronald?”
“No,” he confessed. “I’m sorry dad, but I lost track after you said that Draco hates Voldemort almost as much as he hates his father. That doesn’t make much sense, considering that Draco practically worships the ground his precious father walks on! Draco is the spitting image of Lucius Malfoy and you know it!”
Seeing the wary look on Arthur‘s face, Molly spoke up at last. “Things are not how they once were Ronald. You will understand more once you’ve seen him. I’m sure we all will. Your father and I haven’t even gotten the chance to speak with him yet.”
“Why haven’t you spoken to him yet?” Hermione asked.
“Because for one thing, he hasn’t been in any condition to carry on a conversation” Molly said. “That, and Saleena doesn’t like a bunch of people around when she’s working.”
“Didn’t you say she was a Superior at St. Mungo’s?” Hermione asked.
“Yes,” Arthur answered.
“What does that mean?” asked Ron.
Hermione rolled her eyes. “To be a Superior Healer means that you’re really good at what you do. She must have people working under her,” she explained.
“The entire top floor, she said” Arthur told Hermione again.
Hermione nodded. “Each department at St. Mungo’s has different floors the coordinate with each department. It is the Superior Healers job to make sure that each separate floor of their department is running smoothly,” she explained. “Meanwhile, the Head Healer runs the entire department. If this Saleena is running the entire Top floor of her department, then she must be good. It means that she is the Second-in-Command of her Department. Do you know what Department she is in?”
Arthur shook his head. “She didn’t specify.”
“Hmmm… well, it’ll be interesting to find out. When can we meet her?”
“Whenever she decides to come down here and grace us with her presence,” Molly said sarcastically.
“Now Molly don’t start that again!” Arthur told his wife. Taking in the confused looks on the trio’s faces, he added, “Molly doesn’t appreciate the fact that Miss. Saleena rarely ever comes out of Draco’s room.”
“She’s been downright rude!” Molly said, agitated. “Common courtesy suggests that whenever someone offers you to join them for dinner, you accept. Not just take the food upstairs and eat it alone while you’re a guest in someone else’s house!”
“She’s a very private person who prefers to keep to herself, Molls. There is nothing wrong with that.”
At that moment, a throat cleared. Everyone turned their attention to the kitchen entryway. Standing there in the doorway was the blonde Healer, Miss. Saleena herself. “Hello,” she said shyly. “I have come to give you a report, Mr. & Mrs. Weasley. I didn’t realize you had company over, my apologies.”
“No no, Saleena! These aren’t our guests. This is my son, Ronald and his friends,” Molly said, pointing at each of them in turn. “Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.”
Saleena nodded. “It is wonderful to meet all of them, Mrs. Weasley -”
“- Please, call me Molly.”
“Molly. Did you say Harry Potter? As in the Harry Potter?” Molly smiled at her, nodding. Saleena turned to Harry then. “I-I’m sorry, Mr. Potter, I know you must get this sort of thing an awful lot.”
“It’s okay, really” Harry assured her.
“But, if I may ask, aren’t you Sirius Black’s Godson?”
“Umm, yes” he answered her, slightly taken aback. Sirius wasn’t usually the first person that people associated him with. Normal people recognized him for Voldemort. “You knew Sirius?”
Saleena chuckled. “Oh I knew him alright. Sirius and I go way back. Before his Hogwarts days even. We used to be neighbors, so we grew up together. But then while I was 10 and Sirius was 11, my father’s company got transferred to France, so he had to move. But my mother refused to leave England because all of her family is here. My money-crazy father chose his job over his family, which left me stuck in the middle. My parents gave me the choice of whom I wanted to live with and, as much as it killed me to have to move so far away, I chose to go with my father. He has his own medical practice in France now and, even back then, I knew that I wanted to go into the medical field. That’s one of the main reasons I chose to go with my dad. Another reason is because I knew that my mother was planning to go back and live with her parents. I refused to go and live with them! She would’ve let them force their customs on me and I have no desire whatsoever to become the next one of them!. ” Saleena sighed at her long-past memories.
“That was the last time I ever saw Sirius I’m afraid. Of course, I read about him when he was in the paper for murdering those muggles. What a load of rubbish that was! The Sirius I knew would never do something like that! And then they just shipped him off to Azkaban without even a trial! I read about his clever escape too and I’ve kept a copy of every article he was ever in in the Daily Prophet. Oh Harry, I was so happy when you and your friends proved his innocence! That was such great news, even if it was… too late. It was so horrible when he - when he…”
“Yeah I know,” Harry agreed. “It was hard. It still is hard some days.”
Saleena sighed and went on with her story. “After the move, I got accepted into the ‘Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.’ I finished school there with top marks and continued on to study medicine. I even went abroad and studied in America for a while. Then about 18 years ago, I decided to come home and take up a job at St. Mungo’s. That’s when I met the Malfoys. When Draco was a year old, he got really sick and wouldn’t stop crying. His parents didn’t know what he wanted, or what was wrong with him. They tried everything! I have a gift for reading people, you see. So Lucius called me to his house. I guess I earned their trust after that because I’ve been Draco’s private Healer ever since. And, just so we’re clear, I am in no way friendly with Mr. Lucius Malfoy. My relationship with him is strictly business. I am the only one Narcissa would ever trust to take care of her baby. The Malfoys have always preferred to live a very private home-life so there were few people they allowed in their home unless there was a special occasion.”
“Yeah I’ll bet Lucious enjoyed his privacy alright,” Arthur said bitterly.
“Lucius Malfoy gave the department that Arthur used to work for in the Ministry a lot of trouble, on several different occasions” Molly stated.
“Ever since I ordered that first raid on his house years ago, after Voldemort’s first fall, Lucius has continuously tried to get me fired from the Ministry. Lucius and I have never really seen eye-to-eye on much of anything.”
“Then why are you housing his son?” Saleena asked curiously.
“It’s complicated,” Arthur answered. He didn’t trust Saleena enough to approach the subject of the Order with her just yet, so he quickly changed the subject. “Speaking of Draco, how is he? You said you had a report for us?”
“Oh right,” Saleena exclaimed, snapping back into her businesslike manner at once. “The most minor injury he sustained was a dislocated shoulder. The worst; a broken leg. His right leg to be precise. It was shattered in several places, who knows what the hell Voldemort did to it!” she shuddered. “Anyways, he mustn’t move it for the next week, it has to stay propped up at all times! I have given him plenty of fluids over the past couple of days, so he is no longer dehydrated. I believe that he should be able to eat solid foods now, but I would only give him soft foods and soups to start out with. He’s still kinda groggy from the combination of the antidote and all the other various potions I’ve given him. I have supplied him with enough of each medication to last another week. There are different times he will need to take each one everyday. I will check in at the end of the week to make sure everything is working as it should be. If you have any questions, you can always-”
“-Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!” Molly cut Saleena off in mid-sentence. “You actually expect us to remember all of this? There is no way! Couldn’t you just come each day?”
“I am sorry ma’am, but my job requires me to be there everyday. I’ve already been gone long enough. Besides, it would cost an awful lot to do that and I don’t think-”
“-How much is it per day for you to stay?” Arthur inquired, cutting her off again.
“Well, because the Malfoys have been clients of mine for quite some time now, and because Draco does happen to be my favorite patient, I would only charge him 100 Galleons a day. However, if I had to stay over night too, it would be another 100 on top of that. But it isn’t just the money, it’s all the time as well. I have other patients and other responsibilities to tend to back at the hospital.”
“If we paid you 200 Galleons a day, would you be able to stay for another week or so?”
“But that would cost nearly 1500 Galleons a week, Mr. Weasley!”
“I know that. But we can cover it. Lucius gave us the money,” he reminded her. “And you said yourself that he and Narcissa only wanted the best for their son. My wife and I will never be able to remember all of those potions and what times to give them and all the rules and guidelines! So clearly, we are not what is best for Draco. But it’s obvious that you are! Otherwise, Lucius wouldn’t have given us your card in the first place.”
Saleena bit her lower lip. “I don’t know. I would have to talk to my Head first and get it approved through him. It is a great idea, and I’d be more than happy to do it, it’s just that it’s time consuming is all.” Saleena paused to think for a moment. “I’ll tell you what,“ she continued. “I’ll run back to St. Mungo’s and have a talk with Dr. Nelson to see what he suggests. That way I can make a proper decision on this and we can go from there. I shouldn’t be gone too long, but if Draco happens to wake up before I return I must warn you; there is a good chance he might be a little bit panicky.”
“Panicky?” Molly asked, concerned.
“Yes, panicky. As in, he hasn’t been quite with-it enough yet this week to fully come to terms with the extent of his condition. Some things may be a bit of a shock for him, especially once he finds out where he’s staying. I mean lets face it, Lucius Malfoy is the boy’s father and we all know how much your two families have never gotten along. Therefore, you should not be alarmed if he freaks out-” Almost as if on cue, a painful scream rang out from the floor above. Saleena chuckled, “yeah, umm, something kinda like that,” she said. Then she ran out of the room and up the stairs. Draco was laying in the bed where she had left him, clutching his right leg and howling in pain. From the looks of things, Saleena gathered that Draco had moved in his sleep, thus causing his leg to slide off of the pillow it had been propped up on, the alarming pain jerking him awake.
“Calm down, calm down Draco, I’ve got it,” She shouted over him. She rushed to the foot of the bed and gently lifted his broken leg back onto the pillow. Draco’s screams turned to whimpers as the pain slowly subsided. “I’m sorry Draco, but your leg was so badly broken that I had no choice but to heal it slowly in order to be sure it even could be healed properly,” Saleena explained. “It should only take about another week to heal but you must stay off of it and try not to move any.” She walked around the bed to the right side of it and stood next to him. “How do you feel?” she asked.
Draco only groaned in response. His senses were slowly coming back to him now and his throat felt like it was on fire. Memories began flooding his brain and as they did so, Saleena placed a hand on his shoulder. She was then able to join his thoughts and get a glimpse into Draco’s mind to see more of what had happened from his perspective. She watched as Draco remembered that awful night; his father joining the Dark Lord in casting nasty spells on him, Voldemort threatening to kill him and then move onto his father, the dumbfounded look on his father’s face as Voldemort had told him all about the night he had been born. Oh, how he had wished it was all a lie, but Lucius didn’t deny it!
Then he remembered his father pouring some hot liquid down his throat, the excruciating pain it had caused him. He remembered wishing that Voldemort would just kill him and end his misery. But just as the Dark Lord was about to grant him his wish, his mother had stepped in the way and was killed instead. He had no idea how or when she had came into the room, all he remembered was seeing her body crumpled and fall to the ground. She had landed with a thud, right over top of his already broken legs. He remembered screaming even louder than before as he realized that she would never get up again. Then Voldemort had ripped him out from underneath of her and hit him with yet another Crucio Curse before turning to leave the room. By that time, he was too consumed with agonizing pain and grief to notice much else that was going on around him. He couldn’t move, or scream, or even breath after a time as the poison slowly spread throughout his system...
And then, just when it had seemed that death was finally coming for him at last, two hands had taken hold of him and pulled him out of the darkness. When he opened his eyes again, Professor Snape was there, kneeling next to him. Snape helped Lucius pull himself together and the two of them cleaned up the mess that Voldemort had made. The last thing Draco remembered was seeing Severus carry the body of his dead mother out of the room, and then he slipped into unconsciousness…
Saleena removed her hand from Draco’s shoulder and gasped. ‘Oh, what an awful ordeal this poor boy has been through‘, she thought to herself, shuddering. She could not believe what she had just seen.
“Mom,” Draco groaned softly. “My mother…” Tears swelled up in his eyes and he quickly wiped them away. “My father,” he growled. He trembled with rage as the realization of what had happened washed over him. “Oh how I hate him! I HATE HIM!”
“Now now, please don’t be getting yourself worked up,” Saleena encouraged. “And don’t go raising your voice at me, because it won’t help any. On the contrary, yelling will only make it hurt worse. You need to calm yourself down Mr. Malfoy.”
“Don’t call me that!” Draco demanded. “Don’t you ever call me that again! I hate him and I want nothing more to do with him! NEVER!”
“Okay, Draco, I’m sorry I used your last name! But please, you have to calm down!”
“He lied to me! He’s been lying to me my whole life! My entire existence is a lie!” Draco continued ranting.
“Draco, what in Merlin’s name are you talking about?”
“This,” Draco said, pressing the palm of his hand against hers. He knew she’d be able to see, so he closed his eyes and allowed the memory of when Voldemort had told him about the day he was born to fill his mind again. This time, he forced himself to recall every painful detail of the conversation that he could, because he wanted her to understand. He wanted her to realize what kind of a monster his father really was.
And it was not until then that the real cause of Draco’s anger became clear to Saleena. “Wow,” she said softly, shaking her head. “That’s deep stuff, Draco. Of coures, you have every right to be upset. I would be too if I were in your shoes. I never thought your father would do such a thing. He always seemed to really care about you.”
“He is not my father, not anymore! I hate him! I want nothing more to do with him! He doesn’t care about me, he never did! If he did, then he wouldn’t have lied to me all of those years! He is dead to me now!”
“You’re right,” she agreed. “I never expected anything like this. I mean, I had noticed the Mark on your arm, but I never questioned it, because never once did I expect that it were real.” There was silence between them again. “Are you going to be okay?” Saleena asked Draco sincerely.
Draco shrugged. “I dunnow. Eventually, I guess so… So, I suppose I’m even lucky to be alive right now, aren’t I?”
Saleena laughed. “That you are,” she agreed.
"And I suppose I have you to thank for that," he continued.
Saleena shrugged. It's no big deal, really. I was just doing my job."
"Well still," he said. "Thank You."
"You're welcome Draco... Well," she sighed, "I suppose it’s time for me to report back to St. Mungo’s and check in with my boss, but I will be coming back. If you need anything while I am away, just yell for Molly or Arthur and one of them will be right up to help you.” She turned to leave, hoping he hadn’t caught on to exactly what she had said. Not such luck.
“Wait,” he said firmly, stopping her in her tracks. “What did you just say? You want me to ask who for help? Saleena, where exactly am I?”
“You’re in a safe place Draco,” she answered vaguely. “So there’s no need to worry.”
“Don’t be short with me, Saleena!” he commanded. “Answer the question! Where the hell am I?”
“Now, please stay calm Mr. Malf-“
“-DON’T call me that!“
“Sorry - Draco- but I learned from Arthur that it was Severus’ idea to bring you here. He and Lucius thought that this would be the safest place for you, I guess.” She took a deep breath. She knew he was going to overreact, but she had to tell him sooner or later. “You are in the home of Molly and Arthur Weasley, in one of their son’s old bedrooms.”
For a brief moment, Draco just sat there, mouth gaping open in shock while what she had just said sank in. “So you mean to tell me that I am in the Weasels excuse-of-a-home, lying in one of their hand-me-down beds?” he asked slowly. Saleena nodded, confirming his worst nightmare. “THIS IS AN OUTRAGE,” he bellowed. “I demand that you take me to St. Mungo’s at once!”
“Why would you want me to do that, Draco? Do you want to get arrested?” she asked. “Because that’s what would happen if I were to take you there! They would lock you up at once. Draco, you’re at the top of the wanted the list now, right along with Voldemort, Severus Snape and your father. Didn’t you know that?”
“WHAT?” Draco stared at her in disbelief. “I haven‘t done anything that bad though! Why else do you think I was punished like this for? Because I wouldn’t do what the Dark Lord wanted me to, that’s why! So then why would the Ministry be after me for?”
“Draco, everyone knows that you were involved with the Death Eater’s raid on that muggle village a few months ago. It’s been all over the news!” she informed him. “And they know how you turned and fled with the Death Eaters the night that Albus Dumbledore was murdered. I’m sorry it break it to you like this, but you’re a prime suspect right now. You mustn’t be seen by anyone in the public until we can at least clear your name first. And that could take some time.”
“Well yeah, but I certainly cannot stay here! Not with them! I refuse to do it!”
“How can you act like that?” she asked, not wanting to believe that Draco could possibly share the same feelings about the Weasley’s as his father had. “You’re not that selfish! You should be grateful, because from what I have heard, you’re lucky they even allowed you to stay here in the first place! They almost didn’t take you in you know.”
“I almost wish they hadn’t.”
“If they hadn’t, you would have been dead by now.”
“That doesn’t mean that I owe them anything!”
“No one has said that you owe anyone anything, Draco!” she exclaimed. “You’re acting like your father right now. Are you seriously going to be lie that?”
Draco shook his head vigorously. He knew she was right about everything. He really had nowhere else to go but to the Order. Snape was right to send him here. And given his family’s history with the Weasley’s, he truly was lucky that the Order had accepted him into their protection. But still, he wasn’t ready to admit it. He wasn’t about to go down without a fight, that would make him weak. “I just can’t stay here Saleena,” he said. “You don’t understand.”
“You’re right I don’t,” she agreed. “So why don’t you help me to, please. Tell me what is so wrong with this house? I’ve been staying here for a little over a week now and I’ve even offered to stay for another week to help take care of you. I don’t see anything wrong with this house or these people. They all seem very friendly. Harry Potter even lives here!” If she thought the last bit of news would help, she was wrong. It had the complete opposite effect on Draco.
“I can’t stand Potter,” Draco spat.
“Why? What has he ever done to you?”
“We went to school together. Potter and I have always hated each other, that’s just the way things are! You wouldn’t understand.”
“You sure it’s not because you’re both incredibly jealous of each other?”
Draco scoffed. “What on earth would I be jealous of Potter for?”
Saleena shrugged. “Only you can answer that.”
There was a brief silence between them. Finally Draco asked, “does Potter even know I’m here?”
“Yes he does.”
“And what did he have to say about it?”
“Nothing from what I heard,” she answered honestly. “But from what I have seen, he doesn’t seem too opposed.”
“Humph! That’s Potter for ya.” And then he was silent again.
After a moment, Saleena asked, “Draco, may I tell you something?”
“What now,” he sneered.
“Well, it seems to me that you have been given a very rare opportunity here. You have the chance to change, and I mean really change your life around. I know how life has been like for you and I’m just letting you know that it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. No more trying to be only who you’re told to be, no more hiding who you really are. From now on all you have to do is just be Draco. I just don’t understand why you’re being so stubborn about all this. Won’t you tell me what is going on?”
Draco shook his head and sniffled, trying to keep himself from having an emotional breakdown. “You wouldn’t understand, even if I did.”
“Draco, why are you acting this way?” she asked. “It’s just me and you in here and you have never spoken to me like this before! What are you trying to prove? I hope you do realize that you no longer have to prove anything to anybody! Those days are done! So there is no need for you to be so bitter and angry, guarded and defensive, all of the time! It is okay to let your emotions out every once and a while, you know? It’s human. So, why don’t you just tell me what it is that really bothers you about staying here?”
“I am not going to do that because I am not a weak person like some people!”
“Expressing your emotions does not make you a weak person, Draco,” she stated. “Who on earth told you that lie?”
“My father,” he said through clenched teeth. “And if Potter seriously has no objection to me staying here then I may have been wrong about him and I would never be willing to admit that to anybody!”
“And why not? How hard is it to admit that you were wrong?”
“It’s a sign of weakness and I am not weak!” he spat.
“Draco, you have clearly been misinformed,” Saleena jeered. “Admitting that you may have been wrong about something, or someone, does not make you weak. You’re father isn’t here now so you don’t have to strive for his acceptance anymore! You no longer have to follow his rules. You know that he was just teaching you to be a Death Eater, so I don’t understand why you still believe every word that Lucius ever told you! Stop trying to be him!”
Draco was clearly offended. “I’m not! How dare you!” he glared at her.
“If you’re not trying to act all tough for your father right now then who are you doing it for? Voldemort?”
“NO!” he asserted. “What‘s it to you anyways?”
“Well, after everything you’ve been through,” she began. “Being half-starved for three months, tortured by Voldemort, having your own father turn on you, watching your mother die and now, having to accept help from the very people you once considered your enemies; I just find it hard to believe that you’re okay with everything. I’m just trying to understand how you do it, that’s all.”
“Do what?” he growled.
“Go through all of that and still be able to sit here and act like you’re fine when clearly, you are anything but fine.”
“Okay, you’re right,“ he yelled. “I am not fine! I just don’t want to stay here because - because,” he broke off to catch his breath and calm himself down a bit. “I do not deserve to be treated nicely by these people! They have more important things to be dealing with right now other than me. I don’t understand why they would even want to waste their time when there is so much else to worry about! Not only that, but I don’t think I could live here and have to face being pa-poo-oh, I cant even say it!”
“Yes that!” he spat. “I honestly don’t understand how these people live. I don’t belong here.”
“Draco, this isn’t honestly about money, is it?” Draco didn’t answer her. “I don’t think it is. Do you want to know what I do think?”
“No, but I know you’re going to tell me anyways, so lets hear it.”
“I think you’re upset because this is all out of your control,” she said. “It’s new for you and you don’t know what to expect, so you’re scared. But sometimes we have to overcome our circumstances and allow our experiences to make us better people.”
“You’re only telling me all of this because you think that I’m weak and cant handle it, aren’t you?”
What? No!” Saleena exclaimed. “Draco, you are one of the strongest people I have ever met! You just need to learn to accept that which you cannot change.”
“Why? What if I don’t want anything to change? What if I wished that none of this had ever happened? What if I wished that I had never been born?” he challenged.
“Draco, when we accept the things we cannot change in our lives, it makes us stronger,” she told him. “For example, you cannot change the fact that Voldemort killed your mother, nor can you change what your father did to you. All you can do is accept what has happened and try to make the most of it. Statistically speaking, you shouldn’t even be alive right now. By all accounts, you should have died already. Not too many people can withstand all that Voldemort put you through; physically, mentally, and emotionally, and live to tell about it. You are a very strong young man Draco, and by no means do I believe that you are weak! Nor will anyone else for that matter.”
“But you don’t get it!” Draco bellowed. “A few nights ago, I found out that I was a mistake! Voldemort told me that my mother and father weren’t trying to have a baby, it was a complete accident! My mother even tried to force herself to have a miscarriage because she didn’t want me. And when I asked my father if it were all true, he did not deny it! They gave me up to the Dark Lord the day I was born and I was forced into becoming a Death Eater! FORCED! Even though Voldemort may have made it seem like I had a choice in the matter, I never really did. My father set me up! I didn’t want to go on that raid with the other Death Eaters, but I was scared for my life! Voldemort was threatening to kill me if I didn’t go, so I did what I had to do in order to survive." Draco was shaking with anger now. Saying it all out loud only seemed to make it that much worse, and intensify his dislike for his father that much more.
"So you see Saleena," he went on. "It’s a little late to try to be whoever I want to be now because the entire world thinks that I’m the bad guy! Everybody hates me simply because of my last name. Hell, I hate my name too! My whole life, I’ve been treated differently than everyone else because of it! I just wish that things could be normal for a change. I wish that I didn’t have to hide who I am or how I feel all the time, but no one gets me! If I started acting soft now, people would pick fun at me and they wouldn’t respect me at all. And if I don’t have people’s respect, they will just reject me even more.”
“So…” Saleena considered everything he had just said. “It sounds to me like you are afraid of being rejected.”
“I’m not afraid of anything of anything!” he said defensively.
“Oh please, Draco, don’t give me that crap,” she mused. “Everyone is afraid of something, even Voldemort, so just admit it! Weather it be by your father, your friends, or these people here, you cannot stand the thought of them not wanting you around. I know you feel like you have to be accepted wherever you are, and that that’s why you always think that you have to do something to prove yourself to someone. Which, in turn, all boils down to you having an ultimate fear of rejection. I know you’re not willing to admit it right now Draco, but you do. It all makes perfect sense and you know I’m right.”
Draco didn’t say anything. He just folded his arms and glared at her. Of coarse he knew she was right. She couldn’t have been more right, and he despised her for it. He truly was afraid if being rejected. After all, the famous Harry Potter had rejected him on their first day at Hogwarts and he had resented him for it ever since. And he had spent his entire life thus far trying to make his father proud of him, striving to earn his acceptance, but nothing he ever did seemed to be good enough for Lucius Malfoy. That was the very reason he had signed on to join the Death Eaters in the first place; so that maybe then his father would approve of him when he came back home from Azkaban. The only thing he ever wanted in life was to be accepted.
“What, no comment?” Saleena asked, with her usual sarcasm, a minute later.
“I hate you,” Draco growled.
“You hate me?” she repeated. “But Draco, hate is such a strong word! What on earth do you have to hate me for?”
“You know me entirely too well!” he shot. “I never should have allowed you to get so close!”
Saleena smiled. “So then, you admit that I was right.”
“I never said that!”
“No, but you were implementing it.”
“I never implied anything!” he raged.
“Draco, why is it so hard for you to talk about your feelings?” Saleena asked again. “It isn’t healthy to keep your rage bottled up inside you like this. If you don’t let it out, you’re going to grow into a very unhappy, bitter old man one of these days - Just like your father! Haven’t you ever talked to anyone before?”
Draco didn’t answer her question. He closed his eyes and took several deep breaths. The truth of it was, as a boy, he had tried to talk about his feelings. But then he was forced to learn at a young age that that type of behavior was not permitted. A memory filled his mind and he focused on it, trying anything he could to ignore Saleena’s prying questions. As he focused on the memory, Saleena placed a hand on his right leg, but Draco was too consumed within his own thoughts to notice. Almost instantly, Saleena was able to watch the memory along with him, as if it were one of her own:
In this particular memory, Draco was just a little boy who was hiding under his bed. The bedroom was dark and he was clinging to an old teddy bear. He appeared to have been crying. As he touched a hand to his cheek, Saleena noticed that there was a red handprint on his left cheek.
“I don’t know why daddy is so mean Mr. Bear,” he whispered into the bears ear. “He isn’t like this all of the time, only sometimes. I wish I knew if he liked me, Mr. Bear. Sometimes I wonder. I don’t think my daddy likes me. Maybe that’s why he’s always so mean to me…” He was silent for a moment as he wiped the tears away from his eyes. “You know, you’re the only person I can talk to around here Mr. Bear. I don’t trust anybody else but you.” He hugged the teddy closer to him. “Don’t ever go away from me, okay?”
At that moment, there were footsteps in the room. “Draco, are you in here?” A deep, cold voice called out. “Your mother insisted that I come back up here to see if you were alright. Where are you?” Draco sniffled from under the bed, which caught Lucius’ attention at once. He reached under the bed, grabbed hold of Draco and drug him out from under it. “What do you think you’re doing? Stand up!” Draco got to his feet, trembling. “What were you doing under there?”
Draco stared down at the floor. “I-I was just-just playing a game daddy,” he stuttered.
“You were playing a game?” Lucius repeated. Draco nodded. “I heard voices. Who were you talking to?“
“No one daddy,“ Draco answered, still not meeting his fathers gaze.
It was then that Lucius noticed the teddy bear clutched in Draco’s right arm. He reached out and snatched it away from him. “What the hell is this thing?” He demanded.
“Daddy, that’s mine!” Draco cried. “Give him back daddy, he‘s mine!”
“You don’t need to be playing with silly little toys, Draco. Have I taught you nothing? This is for babies and you are not a baby anymore!”
“Daddy, please give him back. Please! He’s mine. He’s mine” he continued to cry helplessly, hoping that his mother would hear and come up to save him.
“Not anymore, it’s not. You’re too old for filthy things like this. It’s time for you to grow up boy!” He whipped out his wand and preformed a vanishing spell on the bear, making it disappear forever. Draco started to whimper and Lucius raised his hand threateningly. Draco stopped crying and cowered before his father. “That’s much better,” he said, patting Draco on the head. “Now get back into bed and go to sleep son,” Lucius left the room and Draco crawled into bed and cried himself to sleep…
Draco opened his eyes and wiped a tear off his cheek. He felt Saleena’s hand on his leg and quickly slapped her away. “Get your filthy hand off of me, you freak!” he cried.
“Don’t touch me, don’t you ever tough me again! You’d better just stay out of my head, do you hear me? I know what you are. My father told me all about you and you‘re nothing but a freak!”
Her jaw dropped open. “Your father told you? When?”
“A while ago. I’ve known for quite some time now,” he sneered. “It was a bit of a joke with my parents. Every time I did something wrong, they would always threaten to call the Gypsy on me. So, if you say anything to anybody about tonight, I swear I’ll tell everybody what you are and then they’ll lock you up for good!”
She glared at him. “You wouldn’t dare!”
“Oh yeah? Try me,” he threatened.
“Well, if you did that, then I would just have to tell everybody that Draco Malfoy is afraid of being rejected,” she retaliated.
“Oh please, not that again! You think you have me all figured out, but you don’t know squat! So why don’t you just stick with what you’re good at; healing people. Hurry up and get me back up on my feet again so that you can leave.”
“Well now, if that’s how you want it,” she said, instantly snapping back to her professional-like manner. “Then Mr. Malfoy I-”
“-DON’T call me that!”
“You want our relationship to be strictly business, then that is what I am going to call you. That is your name after all… So,” she continued. “I need to go and talk to my boss to get permission for a leave in order to stay here and take care of you for another weeks or so. I shouldn’t be gone too long. All I ask is that you stay put. If you need anything, there is a bell there on the bedside table. Ring it and someone will come up to assist you with whatever it is you need.”
“Whatever. Just go so that you can get back. I don’t wish to be left here alone with these people more than what is necessary,” he said.
“Humph!” Saleena turned her nose up at him and walked out of the room. “Stupid, ignorant, spoiled little brat!” She was muttering to herself as she walked down the stairs. “If he tries anything smart, I swear I’ll make him pay! How dare he threaten to tell -”
“- Is everything alright?” A voice greeted her at the bottom of the stairs, breaking into her rants. She hadn’t realized that she was speaking out loud. Oops!
“Mr. Weasley!” she exclaimed. “You frightened me. Yes, yes, everything is fine. Just fine. He’s awake, in case you hadn’t noticed. I think he‘s going to be perfectly fine though. He feels well enough right now to argue, that‘s for sure!”
“What did he say to you?” Arthur asked.
“Oh nothing. He’s just being Draco, that’s all,” Saleena shrugged. “Anyways, I really need to go before Dr. Nelson leaves the office. I shall return soon. Draco will need to be fed while I am away. Something light, like a soup or something. Nothing big, his stomach cant handle much yet.”
“Alright, we’ll give him something,” Arthur promised. “Don’t you worry about a thing Miss. Saleena. Just go and get what you need to get done.”
“Thank you Arthur,” she said with a nod. “I will be back shortly.” Then she walked out of the living room, through the kitchen and out the front door. Vanishing at the end of the drive…
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