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So Potter is having me followed. Draco chuckled to himself as he climbed back up to Hermione’s third floor bedroom. I pity the poor bloke who has to do the following; he’s probably right bored.

When he returned to Hermione’s room, she sat up in bed and asked, “So what’s really going on down there.”

“Nothing gets by you.” Draco laughed. “There’s some snatchers outside, Potter wanted me to identify them.”

Hermione shivered. “Do they know we’re here?”

“Probably not.” Draco said. “I think they’re just hedging their bets. And anyway, they can’t get into the Fidelius, it’s a particularly strong one.”

“It should be, I cast it.” Hermione said, rolling her eyes.

You cast Potter’s Fidelius Charm.” Draco asked, agog.

“Sure, it’s the safest protection for a building.” Hermione shrugged.

“Hermione, do you understand how many people in the world can cast that charm?” Draco asked.

“I dunno?” Hermione replied. “The steps are listed in several books…”

“Hermione, the only person I’ve ever known to be able to do that charm was Dumbledore.” Draco insisted.

“Ok, well I’m sure there’s more. I know Moody could do it.” Hermione pointed out.

“Ok, there’s two.” Draco rolled his eyes.

“Draco, it wasn’t really that complex, people probably just don’t talk about it.” Hermione sighed. “After all, you wouldn’t want to go blabbing around that you know the identity of a secret keeper.”

“You’re not the secret keeper?” Draco asked.

“No, Harry insisted.” Hermione explained. “Said he didn’t want that on my head, and figured it’d be too much of a hassle anyway… what with being away at school.”

“Well, at least he’s not a complete idiot.” Draco mumbled.

“Dray-co.” Hermione chided.

“Ok, sorry.” Draco smiled. “I take it back. Isn't Healer Murphy coming by soon?"

"Yes, she said she'd be by before lunch." Hermione said.

"Well, I had an idea." Draco said. "What if you have Potter help with your Legilimency Therapy. You said he's a good Legilimens, and he obviously knows about any of the trade secrets you were trying to conceal from the Healer."

"I don't know." Hermione said doubtfully. "I still don't think the Legilimency is the way to go. The memories I've recalled, they were all triggered by something tangible."

"Well, I don't know how to fix that." Draco admitted.

"I... I have an idea." Hermione said, steeling herself. "You won't like it, but I think it's my best option."

"Oh no." Draco said, crossing his arms. "I know where this is going."

"Draco, I think I need to go to the Manor." Hermione said, "I think it will help with my memory, and with my nightmares."

"Hermione, I promised I'd never make you go there." Draco insisted.

"Well, you're not making me, are you?" Hermione pointed out.

"I don't think traumatizing you is going to fix the problem." Draco argued.

"Well, we've tried everything else." Hermione countered, "And you have to admit, I remember the most when I connect something physical, like with the robe."

"I won't let you go there." Draco snapped. "I won't put you through that. You don't need those memories anyway, you have enough nightmares as it is.”

“Draco, I’m not asking.” Hermione said, stubbornly. “Although, I do know it will be easier to get in with your help.”

“So your plan,” Draco growled, “Is to break into my home to try and fix your memories? You wouldn’t make it to the front door alive.”

“You’ve already told me that’s where the strongest charms are.” Hermione said, crossing her arms. “I’d go in another way.”

“This is a useless conversation.” Draco said, fixing Hermione with a glare. “I’ll tell Potter, he’ll help me keep you away from there.”

“Away from where?” Came Harry’s voice from the door.

“Malfoy Manor.” Hermione said, not breaking eye contact with Draco.

“As much as I’d hate to agree with Malfoy on anything,” Harry said, coming into the room. “I’d agree with this. Why would you even want to go to Malfoy Manor?”

“I think it’ll help me get my memories back.” Hermione admitted, turning to Harry.

“Or it’ll just stir up old memories and give you more nightmares.” Harry suggested.

“Well you went back with no issues.” Hermione pointed out.

“Well sure, I was only locked up for most of the first visit.” Harry explained, glaring at Draco. “That place doesn’t hold the same trauma for me that it does for you. Hell, it was worse for Ron than me.”

“What?” Hermione asked, looking confused. “What happened to Ron?”

“We could hear your screams.” Harry shrugged. “I thought he was going to take the Manor apart with his bare hands.”

“Well, that wouldn’t be any worse for him than it was for you.” Hermione argued.

“You know it would Hermione.” Harry said, a bit of sadness in his eyes. “And you know why.”

“Do I?” Hermione snapped.

“Well, you’re smart enough to figure it out.” Harry said, softly. “Healer Murphy is here, I’ll just… send her up.”

Hermione blushed red, she hated that Harry insinuated that Ron had feelings for her. I bloody well gave him plenty of time after the battle to do something about it. It’s not my fault he’s a oaf.

Draco looked at her oddly. “Ask her about the Legilimency.”

“I’m asking her about the Manor.” Hermione said stubbornly.

Draco sighed, and followed Harry out the door.

Healer Murphy came in a moment later. “How are you feeling today Miss Granger?”

“Outnumbered.” Hermione muttered.

“What?” Healer Murphy asked, as she unpacked her kit.

“Nothing. I’m feeling ok.” Hermione sighed.

“Well, you look a bit better than yesterday.” Healer Murphy said. “You’ve got some color to your cheeks.”

“Any chance of getting sprung from this prison soon?” Hermione asked hopefully.

“Let’s see.” Healer Murphy said, drawing her wand. “Have you been getting dizzy?”

Hermione thought about it. “Not often.” She replied honestly.

“Ok, I’m going to check your side.” Healer Murphy said, performing a complicated motion over Hermione’s torso.

“Well?” Hermione asked, impatiently.

“It’s looking rather well healed.” Healer Murphy said, “Have you finally been following my instructions to stay in bed?”

“More like, there’s an overenthusiastic House Elf who won’t let my feet touch the floor.” Hermione groaned.

“Well, my thanks to Kreacher.” Healer Murphy chuckled. “You’re strong enough now for me to do something about the scarring. If you want.”

Hermione’s hand went immediately to her side. “You can get rid of the scar?”

“Sure.” Healer Murphy said. “It wasn’t magically made, so there’s nothing to prevent me from charming it away.”

Hermione had already prepared herself to live with the large scar on her abdomen. “I guess I never thought about it being removed.”

“Like I said, I don’t have to.” Healer Murphy explained. “It’s just an option.”

Hermione thought about it for a moment. “I… don’t think so. Scars are a part of life.”

Healer Murphy smiled. “Miss Granger, I’m sure you have heard this before, but you are much too wise for your age.”

Hermione smiled sadly, “I think my generation learnt their life lessons early.”

“You’re probably right.” Healer Murphy sighed. “I see more teens with that same haunted look in their eyes than I care to.”

“I don’t looked haunted.” Hermione argued.

“Yes you do Miss Granger.” Healer Murphy said, “You have every time I’ve seen you. Even right after the battle, when you were all celebrating… you, and Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley. Mr. Malfoy has the same look in his eyes, though I expect it’s for different reasons.”

Hermione considered this, she hadn’t noticed the change among her friends. “I guess… I didn’t notice.”

“I’d imagine that it wasn’t a change that took place overnight.” Healer Murphy explained.

“True.” Hermione agreed. “Well, regardless. I don’t think you need to remove the scar.”

Healer Murphy nodded. “I’m not quite ready to let you apperate yet, but I think you could Floo by the end of the week.”

“That’s fantastic! Then I can get back to school!” Herman gushed.

“Well, we’ll see what happens between now and Friday.” Healer Murphy laughed. “No running around yet.”

“I promise.” Hermione grinned.

“And I also want you to start your Legilimency again tomorrow.” Healer Murphy said.

“About that…” Hermione said, “I don’t think it’s going to help me.”

“Who is the Healer in this conversation?” Healer Murphy asked.

“You are. But that’s not my point.” Hermione said. “There are things that I must conceal. Things that are classified. I don’t think it’s going to help because I must Occlude my mind to most of the things the Healer is looking for.”

“I can get you an Auror Healer.” Healer Murphy explained. “They have clearance to work with classified information.”

“It’s not that simple.” Hermione tried to explain. “Even most of the Aurors don’t know these details. There’s only about five people in the world who do. I can’t compromise the information, not even for my own well being.”

“Well, that does put us in a difficult position.” Healer Murphy acquiesced.

“I had another idea though.” Hermione went on. “The few memories I can recall, have been brought on by a tangible connection; a touch or a smell triggers them. I think if I went back to the Manor, it would trigger them all.”

“Well, that was my last resort plan.” Healer Murphy admitted. “But to be honest, I wasn’t sure it was worth the possible trauma. You reacted so badly to finding out that’s where you had been.”

“I was in shock.” Hermione admitted. “And honestly, I think going back to the Manor would help me with some of my other—personal issues—as well.”

“Well, we’ll consider it.” Healer Murphy said, after contemplating for a moment. “Lets focus on getting you back to Hogwarts first. I’ll be back on Friday to see how you’re doing. I don’t think you need me daily anymore.”

Hermione nodded. “Ok, I’ll see you Friday.”

“You can move about the house, as long as you’re careful.” Healer Murphy told her. “And no climbing stairs. Get someone to levitate you.”

Hermione smiled. “Will you tell that mob downstairs, otherwise they won’t let me out of here.”

Healer Murphy laughed. “Yes, I’ll let them know. It’s nice to see that someone is keeping an eye on you.”

She packed up her kit, gave Hermione some potion refills, and headed out the door.

Hermione grinned, and threw back the covers. She couldn’t wait to go somewhere else in the house. I can eat lunch at the table!

She looked around the room, and realized she didn’t have any proper clothes with her. Disappointed that she would have to go about in pajamas, she picked up the robe Draco had gotten her, and wrapped it around herself. Before she knotted it, she pulled up her pajama top, and inspected her scar in the warped old mirror on the dressing table.

It was a large scar, about six inches, and jagged. Draco said it had been from a pair of pruning shears that she’d had in her hand when she’d been trying to escape.

“She couldn’t remove that?” Came Draco’s voice from the door.

“She offered.” Hermione said, blushing and pushing her top back down over her stomach. “I told her to leave it as it is.”

“You want the scar?” Draco asked, incredulous.

“Well, it’s not as if I don’t have others.” Hermione said, holding up her arm. “Besides, scars just show that you were stronger than the thing that tried to hurt you.”

“Well that’s a very enlightened idea.” Draco said, crossing his arms.

“You don’t like it?” Hermione asked, looking worried.

“That’s not what I mean Hermione,” Draco sighed, pulling her into his arms. “Of course your scars show that you’re strong. I just meant that I was surprised you wouldn’t remove it since you have the choice.”

“I’m Muggleborn Draco,” Hermione explained. “I grew up with the idea that scars are a part of life, not something that can be magicked away.”

“That makes sense.” Draco said, giving her a squeeze. “Now, Healer Murphy said you're allowed to be up and about?”

“Yes! I want to eat lunch in the kitchen like a real person!” Hermione grinned. “I was getting so tired of eating off a tray like a convalescent.”

“Ok, I’ll take you downstairs.” Draco said, keeping an arm around her as the left the room. “Healer Murphy said no stairs.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “She said no climbing stairs, I’m quite sure I can make it down with no problem.”

“You probably could.” Draco said with a smirk, “But I’m not letting you test that until Healer Murphy says its okay!”

As soon as he said that, he hooked an arm behind Hermione’s knees and swept her into his arms.

Hermione sighed. “You could just levitate me down you know, rather than lugging me around like a sack of potatoes.”

“You’re a very light sack of potatoes.” Draco teased. “Besides, I thought you liked doing things the Muggle way.”

Hermione simply rolled her eyes in annoyance as Draco descended the stairs and headed into the kitchen.

Installed at one end of the table, surrounded by parchment, Harry was trying to catch up on correspondence.

“Hey, she lives!” He teased as he looked up.

“Ha, bloody, ha.” Hermione grumbled as Draco set her on her feet. She pulled out a chair near Harry. “What are you working on?”

“Trying to catch up on mail.” Harry said, dipping his quill.

“Too much fan mail Potter?” Draco joked, a bit of the old cynic in his tone.

“More or less.” Harry said, honestly. “Mostly requests for interviews.”

“Oh the poor Boy-who-lived.” Hermione teased. “No trouble from Skeeter, I hope?”

“No,” Harry grinned. “She’s conspicuously absent.”

“Why doesn’t Skeeter bother you?” Draco asked, curiously.

“Because Hermione blackmailed her into leaving us alone.” Harry laughed.

“You could have been in Slytherin!” Draco teased. “Blackmail is something we master in first year!”

“Hmmm, thanks but no thanks.” Hermione laughed. “I look terrible in green.”

“So what’s on the agenda for the afternoon?” Harry asked, capping his ink bottle.

“Lunch!” Hermione said eagerly. “Then, who knows? Too bad you don’t have a TV.”

“Yeah, I tried it.” Harry laughed. “Too much magic in these walls. I never could get it to work properly.”

Hermione laughed. “I guess it’s more books then. Unless I could convince someone to go to Hogwarts and pick up my homework?”

“I’ll consider it, after lunch.” Draco said.

Hermione grinned. “Really?!”

“Really will I consider it?” Draco asked seriously, “Yes, but you’ve been sitting in bed for the past few weeks. We’ll see how you handle being up and around.”

Hermione rolled her eyes.

“He’s right ‘Mione.” Harry said. “And besides, I need you to stay here this afternoon Malfoy. We have a raid planned, and we need all hands on deck."

“So you’re leaving her unguarded?” Draco asked harshly.

“No, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” Harry said. “You’re still deputized, Kingsley kept it on the books intentionally. Unless you think you can’t protect her on your own, our plan is to leave you with a set of emergency Portkeys.”

“She’s not strong enough to Portkey yet.” Draco pointed out.

“Hello, sitting right here!” Hermione interjected.

“I know she’s not, but an emergency Portkey is better than capture, is it not?” Harry pointed out.

“True.” Draco said, “And we haven’t had any interest in this building anyway.”

“Pardon me, third party present in this conversation!” Hermione tried again.

“None at all, and we’re not acting on a tip.” Harry continued, “So there’s no reason to suspect a setup.”

“YO!” Hermione shouted, sparks shooting from the end of her wand.

Both men turned to look at her, surprised.

“Will you both please stop talking about me like I’m not here and capable of defending myself!” Hermione said angrily. “I have gotten both of you out of plenty of scrapes, I can activate a Portkey on my own in an emergency.”

“I know that ‘Mione,” Harry said softly, “But you’re under sanctioned Ministry protection. There’s specific protocols that have to be followed.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ok, Auror Potter.”

“‘Mione, don’t be like that!” Harry pleaded. “You know I’m just doing my job!”

“Whatever you say Auror Potter.” Hermione said, getting up from the table. “You and Deputy Malfoy can discuss it to your hearts content.”

She angrily banged out of the kitchen and into the hall, where they heard Kreacher denying her access to the stairs. She stormed into the Parlor, and they heard the door slam.

Draco sighed. “She hates being unable to help.”

Harry nodded in agreement. “I’m not used to her anger being directed at me.”

“I’ll keep her safe.” Draco said, sitting across from Harry. “What do you need me to do.”


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