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"Ok Miss Granger?" Healer Murphy asked, as she finished up the last test.

Hermione nodded. "Well, what's wrong with me?"

"Well, there's good news and bad news." Healer Murphy said. "The good news is, that you haven't started showing symptoms of Cruciatis poisoning. The bad news, is that we don't know for sure what is causing your memory loss."

"You don't know for sure?" Hermione asked, "Does that mean you have a theory?"

Healer Murphy nodded, and pulled up a chair. "I think your memory loss was caused by Neurological Amnesia. You lost a lot of blood from the wound in your side, and judging by the types of bruising you have, you were already in a rather weakened state when that happened."

Hermione nodded, looking frustrated. "So how do I fix it?"

"Well, unfortunately, the best cure for Neurological Amnesia is time." Healer Murphy said. "I want to keep you here for observation, and we're going to try a few types of treatment. Nothing is proven to work, and we're not sure that this is really the cause, but it's the best place to start."

"How long do I need to stay here?" Hermione cried, "I've already missed a week of classes, I'll never catch up!"

"Somehow I think that's probably not an issue." Healer Murphy smirked. "No one who reads Healer Texts for fun will have difficulty catching up on a little schoolwork."

"Well can I at least send an Owl to Professor McGonagall and ask her to send my lessons?" Hermione whinged.

"No." Healer Murphy said. "I want you to relax. I've read about you Hermione."

Hermione rolled her eyes.

"No, not the gossip nonsense." Healer Murphy laughed. "About everything you did during the war. I'm willing to bet you've kept yourself right in the thick of it since. Auror Shacklebolt said you saved his life."

"Well I was just the closest to him." Hermione said. "Harry was the one who knew the counter curse."

"Still, to be able to counter a Sectumsempra, while people are shooting spells over your head is impressive." Healer Murphy said. "Sounds like you'd make a good healer."

"I thought about becoming a Healer." Hermione admitted. "I don't think I could give people bad news that frequently."

"Well that's not the whole job, but I know what you mean." Healer Murphy laughed. "But back to the topic at hand, I want you to relax. Read, sleep, stare out the window, but no work."

"I can read?" Hermione asked.

"Yes, as long as you're not reading anything stressful." Healer Murphy said. "I'd avoid the Daily Prophet."

"What kinds of treatments are do I have to do?" Hermione asked.

"Well, to start with, you're going to have some sleep therapy." Healer Murphy said. "Which is a fancy way of saying that you're going to be put on a regime of Dreamless Sleep potion. I want you sleeping at least eight hours a night. Preferably more."

Hermione nodded, that wasn't so bad.

"I'm also concerned about your weight." Healer Murphy said. "I'm guessing you lost quite a bit last year, and haven't been able to gain back to a healthy weight?"

Hermione nodded. "I eat every meal, but I'm not gaining anything."

"Well that's quite common." Healer Murphy said. "You're probably eating less than you used to without noticing it. Which is fine, as long as you are consistently eating healthy things. And judging by your mothers build, you probably were quite slim before the war?"

Hermione nodded.

"Ok, well since you're here, we're going to keep an eye on it." Healer Murphy said. "Since we're not precisely sure what is causing your memory loss, I want to get you into top physical condition to rule out other possibilities."

"Ok. Eat and Sleep." Hermione said. "Why do I feel like it's not that simple."

"Because it's not." Healer Murphy agreed. "The other thing we're doing, besides fixing up the external damage, is getting you in to see a mind healer."

"What?!" Hermione cried. "I'm not crazy!"

"Miss Granger, I didn't for a moment suggest that you were!" Healer Murphy said. "You're thinking of a muggle psychiatrist. I'm not sending you to someone to talk out your problems, although that's never a bad option. A mind healer uses Legilimency to see if there's anything you might be blocking out."

"I hate Legilimency." Hermione mumbled.

"You've been around a Legilimens before?" Healer Murphy asked, surprised.

"Harry." Hermione sighed. "He taught me Occlumency."

"Hmm, I didn't know you were an Occlumens." Healer Murphy said, making a note in Hermione's chart. "That will make this more difficult."

"Well, I never do things the easy way." Hermione said, falling back against the pillows.

"It's going to be fine Miss Granger." Healer Murphy assured her. "We'll get you sorted out. Do you want one of your friends to come back in? For the moment, I'm going to restrict you to one visitor at a time. I don't want you getting overwhelmed."

"Oh, ok... um." Hermione was torn. She really just wanted Draco back with her, but it would seem odd if she requested him again right away. "I guess send my dad?"

Healer Murphy nodded, and left the room.

After a few minutes, Mr. Granger came in. "Hello Princess, feeling better?"

Hermione smiled at her father's use of her childhood nickname. "A little. Healer Murphy talked me down a bit."

Mr. Granger smiled. "Hermione, why didn't you tell your mother and I about last year?"

"I didn't want you to worry." Hermione explained.

"I've been reading those moving newspapers in the lobby." Mr. Granger said. "They say some pretty incredible things about you."

"Oh, don't believe everything you read in that rag." Hermione scoffed. "What does it say now, that I'm pregnant with triplets?"

"No sweetie, it was talking about some of the things Draco was telling me about." Mr. Granger said. "About you helping people. About your medal."

"Oh." Hermione blushed. "It's not a big deal Dad."

"I disagree." Mr. Granger said. "I think it's a very big deal when you find out your daughter has been spending most of her semi-adult life fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. I'm incredibly proud of you Hermione."

Hermione looked at her scar, partially covered by the baggy hospital gown she was wearing. "Really?"

"Of course Princess." Mr. Granger said. "Parents can only teach their children right from wrong, and hope they learnt the lesson. It feels like a victory when your child chooses the right path."

Hermione didn't know what to say to that, so she just nodded.

"I know you're confused right now, but you'll be just fine." Mr. Granger said. "Do you remember when you were little? Before we knew you were magical?"

Hermione shook her head. "Not that much, no."

"Well your mother and I were completely bemused by your magic." Mr. Granger said. "We had no idea what was going on. We were terrified to take you to a Doctor because the things you could do seemed impossible. We just didn't know that there was another possible answer."

Hermione smiled. "Draco was asking about that a few weeks ago. About how you handled finding out about me being a witch."

"He sure seems to have grown up from the boy who used to tease you." Mr. Granger said with a wink. "He seems quite taken with you."

"Um, yeah. He is." Hermione blushed scarlet. "Don't mention it to anyone else dad, the others don't know... about us."

"Why is that?" Mr. Granger asked.

"Well, I don't know what he told you about himself, but he..." Hermione started.

Mr. Granger cut her off, "I know he was on the opposite side of the war from you."

Hermione nodded. "Harry, Ron... they wouldn't understand."

"Hermione, I've only known your Mr. Malfoy for a day, but he has already demonstrated multiple times to me that he puts your safety and happiness ahead of his own." Mr. Granger said. "I don't understand anything about these Death Eating people, but I know that no truly bad person would do that."

Hermione smiled. "He's a better person than he knows."

"Well I'm glad you can see past the mask sweetheart." Mr. Granger said.

Hermione giggled manically, her father didn't realize how literal he was being.

"I'm going to send your mother in, I'm sure she's chomping at the bit." Mr. Granger said, hugging Hermione tightly. "Please don't shut us out again."

"I won't daddy." Hermione promised.

"Okay then." Mr. Granger said with a smile.




"Ugh! Get me out of here!" Hermione cried. "You can smuggle me out! You know all kinds of sneaky tricks!"

Draco chuckled. It had been almost a week, and Hermione wasn't taking well to being in the hospital.

"It's not funny!" Hermione said, and crossed her arms, inadvertently knocking herself in the side. "Ouch!"

"Take it easy Little Dragon." Draco said, as Hermione winced. "I know you are bored, but you're not back to 100 percent yet, so you stay!"

"Argh!" Hermione yelled.

"You're meant to be trying to relax." Draco pointed out.

"I can't relax." Hermione pouted. "Don't even have something normal to wear."

"Well Ginny is going to bring you some things when she visits at the weekend." Draco smiled.

Ginny had returned to school when McGonagall insisted that she not miss any more days. She had tried to say the same to Draco, who had flat refused. He took a room at the Leaky Cauldron to sleep and shower each evening after Hermione had been given her sleeping potion.

He had stayed by her side through the additional tests and prodding the next several days by Healer Murphy. He had held her and let her cry when she came back from her first appointment with the Mind Healer with no clear progress.

"I just want things to go back to normal." Hermione mumbled.

"We'll get there Little Dragon." Draco said. "And when you get out of here, we're going to take a trip, just the two of us and get away from all of this!"

"Draco, I can't afford to take a trip, and I can't ask my parents for money to go galavanting on a holiday... they are still paying bills from the move I tricked them into making." Hermione sighed.

"Do you remember that conversation we had ages ago about you not understanding the perks of dating a Malfoy?" Draco said with a wink.

"Hmmm." Hermione glared at him. "I still say you spend too much money on me."

"Which reminds me..." Draco said, fishing something out of his pocket. "You didn't get your present today!"

He tapped a black box with his wand, and it expanded in size, and then he passed it to Hermione.

"Draco, honestly." Hermione sighed. "I'm not this materialistic! I don't need a present every day!"

"I know." Draco said gleefully. "That's why I like buying you things. Let me enjoy this Hermione, it's one of the few things that have ever brought me real joy in life!"

"Oh, no pressure there." Hermione teased, rolling her eyes and lifting the top off the box. "Where do you even get all these black boxes?"

"The black box fairy." Draco said deadpanned.

"Wow Draco! When did you even have time to find this?" Hermione gasped, as she lifted a beautiful black silk robe out of the box. It was a Japanese style robe with a red and gold dragon embroidered on the back.

"I sneak around when you nap, or go to appointments." Draco said with a wink.

"This is beautiful." Hermione said, sitting up on her knees to put it on.

Draco helped her slip it over her shoulders and she sighed back into the pillow. "Now I don't look like an invalid in a hospital gown!"

Draco laughed, "No, you certainly don't"

"You buy me a lot of black clothes, you know?" Hermione asked, with a smirk. "Not trying to influence my fashion sense, are you?"

Draco chuckled. "Hermione, I love you, but you have no fashion sense."

Hermione grinned. "You're telling me that black silk and faded blue striped hospital cotton don't go together?"

"Not in the slightest." Draco teased. "I told you it was my goal to buy you a whole new wardrobe."

He leaned over and whispered in her ear, "And I buy you black, because on you it looks very naughty."

Hermione shivered, and blushed. "Why?"

Draco traced Hermione's collar bone with his thumb, before lifting up her chin and kissing her. "Because you are the Princess of Light, so the black is a contrast."

Hermione was sure her face was scarlet red.

"Merlin, it is so easy to make you blush." Draco chuckled.

"That's not fair!" Hermione said, still rather breathless from the kiss.

"I don't claim to play fair." Draco said, giving her a sinister grin.

"No Death Eater smiles from you!" Hermione said, tossing one of her pillows at Draco. "Too creepy."

Draco laughed, smiling a genuine smile. "Alright, you win. Creepy Draco is back in his box."

Hermione ran the fabric of her new robe between her fingers, and suddenly gasped, "Black sheets!"

"What?" Draco asked.

"I remember black sheets!" Hermione cried, grabbing for Draco's arm. "Black silk sheets... is that at your house?"

"Yes, that's my room." Draco said softly, "That's where Lestrange was keeping you."

"He kept me in your room?" Hermione asked, "Why?"

"No idea, Love." Draco said. "Maybe it was just the first room he checked... it is right near the stairs."

"You have black sheets?" Hermione said, curiously. "You really like black, don't you?"

Draco chuckled. "Black like my soul."

"That's not funny!" Hermione snapped.

"Isn't it though?" Draco whispered.

"Draco!" Hermione scolded. "Are we really going through this again? You are not evil!”

“Hermione, why is it that everyone can see what I really am except you?” Draco said, his eyes darkening, and his face growing hard.

“I’d say I know you better than the rest of that lot.” Hermione argued. “My dad thinks you’re a good person!”

“You father has known me for a few days.” Draco contended, “And in that time I’ve only been here… worried about you. He’s impressed with my dedication, but he doesn’t know me.”

Draco closed his eyes, and rubbed his temples.

“I still trust his judgement.” Hermione said.

“Like you trusted him when you sent them into hiding?” Draco demanded. “Like you trusted them with the truth about last year?”

Hermione winced, looked at the floor. Draco knew he’d gone too far, and he searched for a way to explain. “Hermione, I’m…”

“No, you’re right.” Hermione said sadly. “I didn’t trust my parents with the truth.”

Draco didn’t know how to continue; he’d never had to fix a mistake in a relationship before.

Just then, one of the assistant healers came hurrying into Hermione’s room. “Everything alright here Miss Granger? Your heart rate has spiked a bit.”

“Yes, yes. I’m fine.” Hermione said, cursing the magical monitoring of her hospital gown. “I… I think I remembered something from last week.”

“Oh, well I’ll need to report that to Healer Murphy right away!” the Healer said with a smile. “Let me just check your vitals first.”

She pulled a curtain between them and Draco, and quickly checked Hermione’s blood pressure and heart rate with a few charms, before hustling back out of the room.

“Stacey will be here soon.” Hermione whispered, knowing that her healer would come running at the slightest bit of progress.

“Well, focus on what you remembered.” Draco said, quietly. “Why did you remember the sheets?”

“I don’t know.” Hermione said honestly. “Maybe they feel a bit the same as the robe.”

Draco nodded. “I’m sorry that you have to associate that memory with me, but maybe it’ll give you some perspective.”

“On what, where you grew up?” Hermione asked.

“Sure.” Draco said. “On where I grew up, how I grew up.”

“I’m playing my Hospital card.” Hermione said stubbornly. “No arguing with people while they’re staying in hospital.”

Draco chuckled. “Fine, Hospital rules. You win.”

“What’s this I hear about a recovered memory?” Healer Murphy called, coming into the room.

“I remembered black sheets.” Hermione explained. “Draco says that’s what the room I was being held in looks like.”

“Ok, well the easiest way to check is for you to give Mr. Malfoy a memory to verify.” Healer Murphy said.

Hermione nodded. “Okay, do you have a Pensieve?”

Healer Murphy nodded. “I’ll bring it in.” She hurried out of the room.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” Draco asked. “I know you want your memories back, but you’re still fragile. Your side isn’t completely healed.”

Hermione huffed. “I’m not as…”

“I know, I know… you’re not as fragile as I think you are.” Draco acquiesced. “And ordinarily that would be true, but you are in hospital, Little Dragon.”

“Well, Stacey obviously thinks it’ll be fine.” Hermione pointed out. “You can’t protect me from everything Draco.”

“Obviously.” Draco said darkly.

Hermione glared at him, and he rearranged his features.

Healer Murphy came back in with the Pensieve, and Hermione picked up her wand, withdrew the memory and dropped it into the bowl.

Draco hesitated, and then let himself slip into Hermione’s memory. It was quite short, only a few moments, but he looked around his familiar bedroom from Hermione’s perspective.

The memory must have been sometime after the ransom pictures were taken, because Hermione was wearing the white nightgown. He watched as she frantically glanced around the room.

Draco very suddenly found himself furious. He’d been so focused on rescuing Hermione, that he hadn’t thought of what to do with the Lestrange brothers. Now he just wanted revenge; he wanted to make them suffer the way she had suffered.

He yanked his head out of the Pensieve. “Yes, that’s it. That’s from last week.”

“Excellent!” Healer Murphy exclaimed. “I’m going to leave the Pensieve in here, and anytime you get a memory back like that, I want you to do the very same thing.”

Healer Murphy didn’t notice the change in Draco’s mood, but Hermione did. His “Malfoy Mask” was back: face uncaring, eyes cold and sinister.

Hermione waited for her Healer to leave before she asked, “Draco, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing Hermione.” He said, tone matching his expression. “I’m going to go for a walk.”

“I don’t think so!” Hermione said, scrambling to try and get off the bed to block Draco from leaving the room. She put both hands on his chest and shoved him away from the door.

“Hermione.” Draco sighed, exasperated. “Get back in bed.”

“No!” Hermione insisted, standing in the doorway. “Something is wrong, and you’re going to tell me what it is!”

“You have to get back into bed first.” Draco insisted.

“That’s not happening Draco.” Hermione argued. “You’ve got your ‘Arrogant Prat’ mask on, so I know you’re up to something. You haven’t looked at me like that all year.”

Hermione was set on blocking the doorway, but the ache in her side had increased exponentially, and she began to feel dizzy. A cold sweat broke out on her forehead, and she leaned against the door for support.

Draco sighed, “Come on Hermione. You are not up to this conversation. You aren’t even able to stand up on your own yet.”

“I’m just fine Draco Malfoy!” Hermione insisted, sounding stronger than she felt. “Tell. Me. What. Is. Wrong.”

Draco watched Hermione for a moment. She’s as stubborn as she is beautiful. She’s going to get herself killed. Just as he was about to push his way around her and leave, her eyes rolled back into her head, and she started to fall. He caught her before she hit the floor.

“Bloody Hell.” Draco cursed. He picked Hermione up, and laid her back on the bed.

“Can we get some help in here?” He called out the door, before turning back to Hermione, who was just opening her eyes. “Told you.”

She scowled at him, and crossed her arms as a healer came hurrying in. “What’s happened?”

“She got out of bed, it was a bit too much for her.” Draco explained. “She blacked out.”

“You know you’re not meant to be up and about young lady.” The healer chastised a furious Hermione. “You’ve just regrown a load of new tissue, you’re going to split your side back open!”

The healer pulled the curtain round Hermione’s bed, and Draco could hear Hermione trying to convince her that everything was fine while the Healer checked her wound.

“Not even close!” The Healer snapped. “You’ve broken this open again.”

The Healer came whirling past the curtain, and quickly summoned several potions. After a few minutes, and some coughing from Hermione after swallowing them, the Healer said, “You’re having your sleeping potion now, I’ll not have you running around mucking up your injuries. You need to be still while this re-heals.”

The Healer left again, returning the curtain to it’s proper place. Draco looked over at Hermione from across the room. She was tucked back into bed, still wrapped in the robe he had given her. She looked pale, and frustrated.

“Hermione, we’ll have plenty of time for the ‘What’s wrong with Malfoy’ conversation later.” Draco said softly. “It’s nothing pressing, and nothing you need to concern yourself with now.”

Hermione shook her head. “I know something is wrong, Draco. You think I don’t know you well enough to see that you’ve been struggling all week? You’re like you were when we first came back to school: you’re twitchy, and moody, and you keep rubbing your temples like you’ve got a headache.”

Draco sighed, and sat back down next to Hermione. “You’re too perceptive for your own good, you know that?”

Hermione smiled. “I get that a lot.”

“Well, the truth is…” Draco rubbed his head again. “When we went to fetch you back from the manor, I took the Aurors in the front door. I figured it would be the easiest way to surprise the Lestranges, seeing as how the protective enchantments on the front of the house hadn’t been shared with the other death Eaters. Father always made them use the back door.”

“And you had to do Dark Magic to get in.” Hermione finished. “Why didn’t you say something?”

“Because I let you down Hermione.” Draco admitted. “I shouldn’t have told you about the plan to break into Hogwarts. You were meant to have detention that day, you wouldn’t have been anywhere near them. You would have been safe.”

Hermione started to argue, but Draco put a finger on her lips to silence her. “If I hadn’t been so scared, if I hadn’t told you they’d been contacting me, you wouldn’t have called up your army. You wouldn’t have gotten hurt, you wouldn’t have gotten kidnapped.”

“And the worst part was knowing exactly what the Lestranges were doing to you. Were going to do to you if we hadn’t gotten you out, I didn't think about the repercussions of using those spells.”

Hermione whispered, “ What repercussions?”

“I liked using the spells Hermione.” Draco sighed. “The Dark Magic… it felt good, I’d been craving it for a long time. And now I’m having to fight twice as hard to resist the urge. Seeing that memory, seeing you in that position and knowing it was my fault, it pushed me over the edge.”

“But it’s not your fault Draco.” Hermione insisted, with a tear rolling down her cheek. “It’s because of you that I’m alive! I don’t remember last week, but I do know that. Harry told me all about it.”

“Well, one good deed doesn’t undo a lifetime of evil.” Draco said sadly.

“And a lifetime of evil doesn’t mean that a person cannot do good!” Hermione insisted, fighting the sleeping potion.

Draco stood, and kissed Hermione on the forehead, and said as she drifted off to sleep, “I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”




Author's Note:

The book quoted in this chapter is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

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