Chapter image by the amazing Apocalypse at TDA!


St Mungo's was chaos.

Hermione couldn't absorbed the scene in front of her fast enough. Every inch was covered with people. She had never seen it so frantic or crazy. She could feel her brain working, thoughts processing quickly as her body and legs took control. The noise almost resembled a loud Muggle rock concert. The sound of hospital beds and feet pattering across the floor, Healers and Mediwizards echoing one another, groans and murmurs of pains came from all around Hermione. There were patients everywhere. Hermione assumed St Mungo's ran out of rooms because there were patients laying down and floating on beds wherever space was available.

Hermione grabbed a medical cart and hauled it over to the sitting area where there were around twenty sick witches and wizards alike.

"Okay," Hermione took one big deep breath, her brown eyes scanning the small crowd.

"Who hasn't been seen?" Everyone raised their hand quitely, too sick and in pain to do much of anything else. Everyone wore the same greenish skin tone with a painful purple rash all over. Some were worst than others, bleeding and oozing of nasty infectious pus as they scratched and picked at their skin. Others were coughing and sneezing, sparks flying out their nose as they did so.

Hermione bit her lip, grabbing the first trainee Healer she saw in the hall and got to work.

"Marie," she said, putting her hand on the shorter witches shoulder. She was an American transfer and very new and frightened.

"Stay calm, we have a lot to do." Hermione glanced over the witches shoulder, observing the patients again. "This looks like a bad outbreak of Dragon Pox." She reached over to the medical cart, grabbing a few supplies.

"What? But an outbreak hasn't happened in decades!"

"I know," Hermione nodded, trying to not let her overworked brain get the best of her. She had a million questions of her own. The loud noise around her wasn't helping and she had to remain focused.

"Here," she handed Marie a clipboard and a few supplies.

"Listen carefully, we don't have time. I need you to go down the hall and collect enough antidotes, pain potions, and calming draught for about twenty people. Then, I need you to go around assessing the severity, gather personal information and names. Dragon Pox can be fatal if not treated, especially in older and sickier patients. We need to hurry and act quickly." With that, Marie nodded and turned on her heel.

Hermione took another deep breath and headed over to a sick and screaming toddler. Today was going to be long and it was just getting started.

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"I'd let Acromantula eat my left foot to have more days like this," Ron said, smiling, propping his feet on his desk, leaning back in his chair, closing his eyes and interlocking his fingers behind his head.

"No, you wouldn't, you prat. You'd run screaming like a girl in the other direction," Neville, his Auror partner, chimed in, finishing up the rest of his coffee.

Draco eyed his desk, Longbottom had three other empty coffee cups from that morning that needed to be thrown away. Clearly, the black muggle substance was addictive.

Ron blanched, shuddering at the thought of the monstrous spider.

Draco rolled his eyes at the two, handing Harry some paperwork, "Potter, sign the bottom."

"Moody's only gone today," Harry chuckled, signing his name for Draco, and handing the papers back. Draco scoffed at his hideous handwriting.

"And it's the best damn day ever," Ron said, laughing and closing his eyes. It's not like they had anything better to do with Moody out of the department for the day on a foriegn trip.

"Weasley being a lazy git is nothing new."

Ron cracked opened one eye and flicked Draco off.

Looking around the room, Draco shook his head inwardly. Had you told any one of them four years ago they'd be working together, they would've laughed. However, after The Second War, the Auror department had suffered the most. With over half of the current members dead, anyone who had fought in the war was allowed to apply. Harry, Ron, and Neville had applied a year before Draco. Harry and Ron had played a huge role in weeding out the corruption. Harry was even on his way to becoming Head Auror in a few years. Draco, while a year behind and a few strings pulled, caught up fast and learned quickly. It felt good to do something worthwhile. Something that didn't involve torturing and murdering muggle borns. Draco pushed that thought as far back into his mind as he could.

"I think I might take an early lunch. Ron, Harry, Malfoy, y'all want to grab a bite to eat?" Neville asked, rubbing his stomach as it growled loudly.

Harry nodded his head and Ron let out an undistinguished noise. They all three cleaned up their desks, grabbing their coats, making their way to the floo for lunch.

"You coming, Malfoy?" Harry asked, noticing his partner still hasn't moved from his desk.

"No, I got some work to finish."

Harry shrugged and the three of them headed out to lunch.

It was a lie, of course, Draco was hardly ever behind on any type of work. Plus, he'd rather not let Granger's two bestfriends know what he was doing when he didn't even know himself. Not like he confided in them or anything. He respected Potter and merely tolerated Longbottom and Weasley. On a good day, he would even go as far as saying he respected them as well. Just a smidge. However, the overreaction and sheer stupidity of the two if they found out, was something Draco was not dealing with today. He just wanted company for lunch. Granger's company.

It had been a little over two weeks now since Draco last saw Granger. He had owled her twice to schedule their lunch, but every time she had wrote back saying that she was busy with work and needed a raincheck.

Personally, Draco found it rude. As a Pureblood, Lucius and Narcissa attended every event, function, party, and dinner they were invited too; even if they didn't like the company. He could not count all the times his mother had let her hair down and scowled at the women as soon as they left her weekly tea parties. Not only that, maybe Draco was even a little offended. And it was pisssing Draco off and he became even more bloody pissed when he realized how worked up he was getting over Granger.

Honestly though, who didn't have twenty minutes they could spare for over two weeks now? Draco knew they had a rough past, especially Granger with his own family, but Draco was so far past prejudice now. What was a mudblood when he himself was dirty? He scowlee down at the Dark Mark on his arm. He was more tainted than Hermione Granger was even capable of being. Draco scowled deepened, ignoring the chatter around him. Why the bloody hell did he even ask her such a stupid question? The last few times he had seen Granger had been during The Second War at Hogwarts, his stay at St Mungo's, and at The Malfoy Manor where she was tortured.

Draco rubbed his temples. He was doing far too much thinking about Granger these days. For fucks sake, none of it should even matter! He shouldn't even care about the situation or Granger. He didn't even know why he felt like this, but bloody hell, he did! And he'd be damned if she ignored him one more time. Draco despised being ignored.

With that in my mind, Draco gathered his things, brushed his bangs out of his eyes, and headed to St Mungo's.

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When Draco arrived on the floor Hermione worked, or the floor he assumed she worked, he almost turned back around. He had never seen St Mungo's so crowded and full of sick witches and wizards. He was about to approach the receptionist desk when a voice behind called out his name.

"Malfoy?"

"Granger, just the witch I was looking for," He said dryly, his six foot frame towering over her.

He could tell Hermione had a busy day. Her hair was even messier than usual, her Healer outfit wrinkled with a few stains. Her eyes were tired and she looked exhausted.

Hermione pursed her lips, shaking her head.

"What do you want? As you can see," she waved her hand around at the chaos. "We are so swarmed and behind. I don't have time for this."

Draco would have been offended if he hadn't known how she was going to act. Granger was so predictable and true to nature, it was ridiculous. He was about to speak again until a voice behind Granger cut him off.

"Hermione, dear, go take your lunch hour. Ah! Nope. Close your mouth, I don't wanna hear it. I have been trying to get you to go for the last two hours. You've been here since five in the morning without so much of a breath. You have been running around this place like a witch without her wand. We have plenty of help for the hour you will be gone," the older witch, Hermione's boss, the Head Healer, said with a wink.

Hermione tried to protest once more, but the other Healer shooed the brunette away, heading back down the hall.

Hermione huffed, folding her arms over her chest, walking forward.

"C'mon Malfoy, since you so kindly showed up at my work uninvited, you can pay."

"My pleasure," Draco smirked, pleased he had got his way finally.

With a Snap! the two young adults were gone.

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