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Chapter Twelve

Draco was pacing again, this time outside the room that held Hermione because he had been barred entry while she spoke about everything that had happened to a mind-healer. She was undergoing tests and being healed all while she had to repeat everything that had happened to her for over a week.

Draco was beyond angry that he wasn’t allowed in the room. This was his girlfriend, he had just got her back and brought her to the hospital for safety, scared to have her out of his sight for a moment and she was taken away and he was barred from the room.

It was all complete and utter bullshit.

Blaise was seated on a chair in silence, watching Draco’s progress up and down the hallway. He chose to keep quiet at the moment, which was probably wise considering the volatile mood of his friend.

The door to Hermione’s room opened and a Healer poked her head out, causing Draco’s movements to stop abruptly.

“She’s asking for you,” the woman said to Draco, who ruthlessly barged past her without a thought, still angry about being kept out.

He rushed to her bed and felt his heart pluck in his chest at the sight of her. She honestly didn’t look much better than she had when he had carried her from the cell, and he momentarily wondered if these morons had even done anything at all.

“She won’t let us approach her, really, and she hasn’t spoken a word to our mind-healer other than how she wanted you in here.”

“Do you have any idea what she’s just been through?” Draco all but screamed at the idiot male healer beside him, “of course she doesn’t want strangers flocking around her demanding things,” Draco yelled, feeling like he was getting on a roll, but before he could continue he registered a small sound behind him.

He cut off his tanget completely and went to Hermione’s side. She was looking up at him with sad, pained eyes, and he knew that it would be a long time before he saw the familiar fire behind them… if ever.

“They’re here to help you, love,” he said to her, annoyed by the fools around him but knowing that they really needed to be given access to her. But honestly, why would she want a male healer?

“Just stay with me,” she whispered, gripping his hand so tightly it hurt. He readily agreed and pulled the chair beside her bed into a better position for him to sit.

And there he sat for hours, listening to Hermione tell the mind-healer all about her plight while Healers and aides did their best to fix her body. He listened to her story attentively, knowing that he would be visiting Harry Potter in Azkaban, knowing that he would gladly allow gold to exchange fists in order to see the man alone from time to time.

Whether Hermione approved or not.

The mind-healer had left shortly after Hermione’s story. They had offered her an obliviation but she had declined, as Draco knew she would. She was too headstrong to rid herself of those memories, preferring to heal her mind the natural way.

She had finally fallen asleep on the hospital bed facing Draco, her hand limp in his now that she had given in to the slumber awaiting her. He was watching her face while she was peaceful, the scars that may never completely disappear marring her perfect lips, one across her eyebrow, and one on her cheekbone, making him angry all over again. There were more on her body that would most likely be there for the rest of their lives.

Draco was scared to sleep in case he woke up and she was gone, but he began to doze off when a Healer was suddenly standing beside him. He jerked awake and held onto Hermione’s hand tighter now that there was another presence in the room.

“We’ve come across something deeply unsettling, Mr. Malfoy,” the Healer started, looking wary.

Draco didn’t say a word, just waited for the man to continue.

“We’ve done numerous blood screenings on Miss. Granger and I have personally redone the test four times just to ensure it’s correct. She has poison in her system… more to the point, Mr. Malfoy, she has been being poisoned for months now.”

Draco reeled back in surprise, his stomach fluttering nervously.

“What kind of poison?”

“Arsenic, we have Muggle-born healers here and they say that this used to be a preferred method of murder because it was virtually undetectable unless it was being specifically looked for. In the muggle world, that is. In our world, it’s very obvious on the blood screening.”

Draco’s mouth was dry.

“I don’t understand,” he said, almost stuttering, “How can she have been being poisoned for months now? I’ve been dating her for months already.”

“I am suggesting that you allow us to take blood and hair samples from you as well, Mr. Malfoy.”

Draco nodded dumbly, shock and confusion overtaking his brain.

He sat still as the healer took his blood and pulled out a few strands of his and Hermione’s hair.

“I’ll be back shortly,” the healer said, leaving Draco with the news that his girlfriend, and probably him as well, had been poisoned but with no helpful information whatsoever.

He had no idea if they would be alright.

Were they dying at this exact moment? Was the poison eating away at their organs as Hermione slept and Draco sat watching her? How would Harry have been giving them poison consistently over the last few months? Draco knew that Harry was breaking into Hermione’s flat, so it was clear how their food was poisoned there, but when they were elsewhere? When they were at the manor?

Draco had a sudden flashback of Hermione vomiting in his bathroom toilet….

He slowly let go of Hermione’s hand and left the hospital room, glad beyond anything that Blaise, bless his soul, was still lounging on a chair outside.

“Blaise,” Draco said, and found that he had to clear his throat a few times before he could speak properly.

 The dark skinned man jumped slightly when Draco spoke his name, but he instantly schooled his features so that he looked alert.

“I need you to go in and stay with Hermione for a while.”

“Where are you going?”

“I need to find someone,” he said, noticing that his voice was coming out almost monotonous.

“What’s happened?” Blaise asked, standing up so that he was on the same level as Draco. His blond friend was giving off intense vibes, but Blaise didn’t know what they were about.

Draco was definitely scaring him.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Draco said, already backing away from his friend.

He needed to find Pansy.

/////

He appeared outside of Parkinson Manor moments later, but the estate felt too quiet. There were no signs of life.

Draco approached the door anyway and beat on it with his fists so hard he was surprised that it hadn’t fallen in, but after a few minutes he had to concede that there was no one home. Pansy had left.

He knew she was acting weird the last time he saw her, stranger than usual, anyway, and her packed bags should have been a dead give-away that she was more involved than she was willing to let on.

Harry Potter couldn’t have been poisoning them. He didn’t have access to Malfoy Manor.

Draco felt the familiar rage bubbling in his gut as he realized just how betrayed he had been by someone that he had once considered a friend. There was no one else it could have been.

Before he got too carried away he remembered that he didn’t know for a fact yet if he had been poisoned as well, but remembered how lethargic he had been feeling, the way nothing tasted good but specific food… food that was prepared directly following Pansy’s visits. He recalled both his and Hermione’s recent vomiting episodes and wanted to smash something violently.

That fucking bitch, Draco thought angrily, grabbing the door handle tightly and shaking it roughly, trying to force his way into her house.

Not that it would have mattered.

She’d be long gone, by now.

Draco would find her.

One day.

/////

The door to the hospital room opened slowly and Blaise caught his breath as Draco stood still on the threshold, the shadows catching his face made him look almost skeletal and bloody dangerous.

“Has she been asleep the whole time?”

“Yes, and the healer was here not too long ago; he asked to see you as soon as you returned.”

Draco backed away slowly, the door closing shut in his wake.

Blaise shuddered.

Something was definitely not okay.

/////

“You mean to tell me that both Hermione and I have been ingesting poison for at least three months?”

“That’s what I’m telling you.”

“Why hasn’t it killed us, yet?”

“It’s been very low dosages, enough to make you sick without really questioning it or taking it too seriously. Either the person who was giving it to you was unaware exactly how long it takes to poison someone in this method, or they thought they had more time.”

Draco growled low in his throat, an ominous sound that made the healer take a cautious step away.

“Fortunately, after some good meals to deal with the anemia you both have, some frequent visits to our establishment and no more poisonous food, you will both recover fine.”

“And what of the person who poisoned us?” Draco asked, his shoulders loosening already, relieved that there would be no long term consequences for him or his witch.

“Harry Potter, I presume? We’ll just add a few other charges to his court hearing.”

“But… if it wasn’t Potter?”

The healer looked surprised, and then his features quickly darkened while he explained to Draco that if he had no proof of who he suspected it to be, it wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Draco nodded along, a small smile on his lips. He knew Potter was involved in the poisoning as well, and that it was probably the insane man’s idea… but that didn’t mean Pansy wasn’t involved at all. Plans were already forming in his mind, but he knew that he wouldn’t be gracious enough to make it a prolonged sickness.

Oh no. That definitely wouldn’t do.

“I’m sure it was Potter,” Draco told the somewhat confused Healer, “I don’t know who else it would be and with his open hostility for both myself and Miss. Granger… well it only makes sense.”

“Yes,” the healer said, nodding.

“I’m going to get back… if there’s nothing else?”

“I’ll be in tomorrow morning to start treatment on you both, you should probably get some rest, Mr. Malfoy. The entire hospital is being monitored for press, so you shouldn’t be bothered while you’re here.”

“Thank you,” Draco said, the small smile still gracing his lips, causing the healer to stop for a moment and think of the Malfoy family’s past before shaking his head. He gathered his things and continued getting ready to head home, the smile on Draco’s face leaving his mind the moment he stepped out of St. Mungos.

/////

Draco took the seat that Blaise vacated just moments before, his friend deciding to finally go home to his wife and get some proper rest. He picked up Hermione’s hand after thanking his friend profusely for all of the help he had given, for searching restlessly and giving up his own time to keep Draco somewhat sane.

“It’s over now,” he murmured quietly, his lips brushing across the knuckles of her hand lightly.

Relief was the deepest feeling he had at the moment, but he knew that at some point he would find Pansy Parkinson and make her pay for what she had done to the most important person in Draco’s life.

Oh yes. She would most definitely pay.

“Draco?”

Grey eyes snapped up and met the wide, somehow still innocent brown ones. The scars on her face were completely obvious in this lighting and he suddenly found that he loved those scars. He loved those scars because she was still here, she was alive and fighting, she was… everything.

He honestly wasn’t sure what he would have done if he never got her back. The last week seemed like a long drawn out nightmare, but thinking about what would have become of him if she wasn’t okay was killing him inside.

“Don’t cry,” Hermione said softly, tears shimmering in her own eyes; Draco was surprised by her words before he reached his free hand to his face and felt his wet cheeks with his cold fingertips.

Once the realization of his tears came to be he found his chest tightening uncomfortably, his throat burning like he’d never felt before and he stood up abruptly and crowded into Hermione’s bed with her. She clutched onto him tightly as her own tears started to fall, sobs ripping from her chest as Draco’s tears dripped onto her left ear, cheek and into her hair.

They stayed that way until they wept themselves to exhaustion, falling asleep on the small hospital bed clutching each other tightly, fearing to let go.

That was the beginning of healing for both of them.

/////

Hermione stood in front of a tall mirror, her stomach tight with nerves as she smoothed her hand over her white gown. She shared a small smile with herself, but she was also examining the scars that hadn’t diminished in the least over the last three years.

She didn’t hate them, anymore. They were hers.

Draco would sometimes run his fingers across them when they were relaxing; Hermione couldn’t help but notice that he did it more often after he had visited Harry in Azkaban. She tried to understand why he went there but she had only questioned him about it once before she came to the very real conclusion that she did not want to know what went on during their private meetings.

She reached up and ran her finger lightly down the scar on her eyebrow, remembering exactly how and when she received it, but she didn’t linger on the memory. She was passed it now, for the most part. Sometimes she still thought about it, and it took both herself and Draco ages to get by everything that had occurred, but they were stronger now because of it.

Their love was stronger now because of it.

Hermione allowed herself another small smile before she gently picked up a small bouquet of white roses and left the room in a swish of tulle.

Going to meet Draco for their important date.

/////

Draco was standing in a small ice cream store, waiting patiently for a scoop of gelato while his ears were trained on a conversation a few feet away.

“I’d much rather go to the theatre tonight,” a female voice with a slight whine was saying to her companion before taking a few bites of her own sugary treats.

The man let loose a deep sigh, obviously this had been discussed previously.

“I know that, but we’ve already agreed on attending this ball.”

“It’s for charity,” Pansy Flint whined at her husband, who just waved a general hand in her direction, batting her comment away.

They didn’t see the dark haired, pale skinned, blue eyed man standing a few feet away, watching their exchange closely. The man grinned as Pansy took the last few bites of her gelato, licking her spoon clean before placing the bowl onto their tiny little table.

“Well let’s go get ready for the ball then,” she said, standing up, but she immediately fell to the floor of the Italian shop in an undignified heap, catching herself on her hands and knees.

“Pansy!” her husband screamed, dropping down beside her quickly while she retched onto the floor. Her arms gave out and she was on her side moaning, holding her pained stomach tightly with her arms.

“What’s wrong?” Marcus Flint yelled, as Pansy started shuddering in agony, tears pouring out of her eyes as she continued throwing up on the previously gorgeous, immaculately clean tile. Patrons of the shop were running away quickly, leaving the store behind as employees tried to figure out what exactly to do since Marcus had refused an ambulance.

They didn’t need to go to a muggle hospital.

It was too late, anyway.

“Here’s your gelato, Sir,” a flustered employee said, passing Draco his treat in a Styrofoam take-away container. He was ready to get home to his pregnant wife; he was done with his business in Italy.

“Thank you,” he said pleasantly, turning away and smiling wider still as Pansy started vomiting blood.

Her eyes met his for a moment and he knew she recognized him as her pupils dilated in fear.

The last thing Pansy Flint, nee Parkinson, saw was a grinning, dark-haired, blue-eyed Draco Malfoy, licking a spoon and staring at her with a triumphant gleam in his eye.

End

 

A/N- Thanks to everyone who read this and reviewed... I just love this story! I really hope everyone enjoyed reading it! If you like my writing stiyle be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my next story, which is still unnamed at this point since I'm still writing it, but it's a doozy and my favourite so far!

xox Shananigans!

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